Named after a US president, Washington state is the country’s largest producer of apples, lumber and plywood. It’s also the birthplace of coffee shop chain Starbucks. Aside from agriculture and manufacturing, other major industries are aerospace, IT, life sciences, maritime, and defense.
With the economy recovering from the pandemic slump, many opportunities have opened for entrepreneurs. Among the possible businesses you can launch in Washington include an import export business, boutique, salon, and event space. These are included in our list of business ideas in Washington. Take a look!
1. Gift Basket
One can never go wrong with a gift basket of wine, fruits, food, or flowers, whether it’s given to family, friends, or colleagues. It’s an excellent choice if you don’t know what the recipient likes or if you’re sending to multiple recipients.
The versatility of gift baskets has kept demand high over the years, especially from the corporate sector. The US corporate gift market is predicted to cross $300 billion in revenue by 2024. If you’re an artistic entrepreneur, why don’t you grab this opportunity and start a gift basket business? It’s a great way to use your creativity and sell something that people will love.
Before you get started, it’s to your advantage if you choose a niche and craft your marketing strategy. Having a strong online presence is crucial to your success, so it’s a good idea to start developing your website and social media accounts as soon as you decide on your branding strategy. Of course, it’s important to make your business legally compliant so you need to work on your regulatory requirements as well.
2. Import-Export in the US
Are you looking to start an import-export business in the US? If so, you’re in luck! Both imports and exports posted record growth rates in 2021 as most pandemic measures were lifted and demand for tradable goods surged. Exports increased by almost $400 billion while imports surged by nearly $600 billion to make up for the decline at the start of the pandemic. This boom will likely continue unless new trade barriers are imposed.
Importing and exporting can be a very profitable business venture, but it’s important to understand the process and the risks involved before getting started. Check the applicable laws and regulations as well as the requirements of the US Customs and Border Protection. In most cases, a license is not needed to import goods into the US, but some agencies may require a license, permit or certification for certain products. The regulations are being implemented to protect American consumers and ensure that imported products are genuine and safe.
3. Self-Storage Facility
One in 10 Americans spend an average of $90 a month on storage, according to the Self Storage Association. If you’re looking to start a business that’s low-maintenance but provides a steady source of income, consider starting a storage business.
There are many reasons why people need to rent storage space — when they renovate their homes and have to move some stuff out of the way, when they relocate or move to a smaller space, or when they simply have to declutter their homes.
If you own or intend to rent an empty piece of land, you can turn it into a storage lot for boats, RVs, and other stuff. An option is to build some self-storage units. You’ll know what’s best for you after you conduct your market research. It’s also a good idea to find out what existing storage businesses in the area are offering. With careful planning and an effective marketing campaign, your storage business can be very profitable.
4. Staffing Agency
It doesn’t take rocket science to start a staffing business. But it’s to your advantage to have an expansive network. If you have a lot of connections, you can set up your own staffing business and help companies find the right employees while raking in some profits. The US staffing market was estimated at a little more than $150 billion by the end of 2021. The market is expected to grow as job openings reach record highs in the US, following the so-called Great Resignation which saw millions of Americans quitting their jobs in November 2021.
To get your new business off the ground and running successfully, you will need to define your business model. Will you provide a full-time staffing service, which means you will get a one-time commission for recruiting candidates for full-time positions? Or will you be providing temporary and contractual workers? Your commission will vary depending on the business model that you will adopt. Niche recruitment and having a big candidate base can spell the difference for your business.
5. Painting Business
Painting may not be the most exciting line of work, but it can be quite lucrative, and demand is nearly constant. After a sharp slowdown during the pandemic, the US painting industry is now coming back strong and looking at steady growth in the years ahead. With a relatively small investment you could launch your painting business from your home, take on residential and commercial jobs, interior as well as exterior, and make good money while adding a burst of color to your community.
Of course, it won’t be as easy as watching paint dry. You’ll need a van or truck, as well as brushes, rollers, step ladders and other equipment. And if you plan to take on bigger jobs, you’ll also need to be licensed as a painting contractor by your state, which requires significant experience. But you could start out with smaller jobs, build up your experience, client list and reputation, and then once you get your license, launch your sharp new website and watch the jobs start rolling in!
6. Cricut Business
Have you heard of Cricut? It’s the leading brand of automatic cutting machines, which became very popular with home crafters during the endless months of pandemic-related lockdowns. Much like Etsy, the top online platform for homemade goods, Cricut’s revenue nearly doubled in 2020, and the company has continued to expand since then. The US crafts market is now a fast-growing multi-billion industry that offers a wealth of opportunity for all types of makers and crafters.
One great thing about Cricut machines is the endless product possibilities. Cricut machines can be used on paper, felt, leather, vinyl, and other materials, to create anything from mugs and rugs to posters, T-shirts and more. To get started, you’ll just need to get your Cricut, polish your cutting skills by taking an online course or two and decide which products you’d like to make.
Another great thing about Cricut, in addition to the machine being small enough to run at home, is that it encourages creativity. The more you’re able to express yourself in creating uniquely appealing goods, the more likely you are to build a strong brand and a successful business.
7. Shaved Ice
What’s more refreshing than shaved ice on a hot summer’s day? Not much, which is why snow cones and shaved ice have been gaining in popularity in recent years and are now making a major splash. This is a great time to start a shaved ice business and spread the summertime joy. All you need is a mobile pushcart or food truck, a shaved ice machine and some tasty flavored syrups and you’ll be good to go.
The key step will be finding unique and appealing flavors in an increasingly dynamic and experimental market. These days, restaurants like David Chang’s Majordomo are serving up Japanese-style shaved ice, while street vendors offer flavor combinations like blackberry-lavender and watermelon-basil.
Whichever options you choose, you should know that the US frozen dessert market is worth $53 billion and expects strong growth through 2028, which means opportunity is there for the taking for the bold entrepreneur.
8. Carpet Cleaning
It’s inevitable that carpets get dirty, which helps explain why carpet cleaning is a $5 billion industry in the US. It’s also seeing sharp growth these days, thanks in part to greater concerns about cleanliness and sanitizing as a result of the pandemic. This means now is a great time to start a carpet cleaning business, help people live healthier cleaner lives and ride the wave to success.
Getting started is not as difficult as you might think. You’ll need cleaning equipment and a vehicle in which to transport it from job to job. You’ll also need to acquire the relevant licenses and permits. Once all that’s done you can offer your services at online platforms and start marketing your new business. If you use the latest cleaning solutions, which are safe and environmentally-friendly, and promote this aspect of your business, you’ll likely be cleaning up — literally and figuratively — in no time.
9. Event Space Rental
If you’re looking for a new venture, starting an event space business could be a great option. Event spaces can be used for all sorts of occasions, from weddings and corporate events to birthday parties and baby showers. The market suffered a blow in the last two years because of the pandemic, but is expected to bounce back now that in-person events are allowed again. The global events industry is seen to grow at least 11% per year through 2028.
Starting your own event space business is not as easy as throwing some chairs and a few tables in a room. There are a lot of things to think about, from the type of events you want to host to the legalities involved. One of the most important things is how much money you’re willing to invest. If you don’t have enough money, then starting a small corner in your house will be enough for now or you can rent a warehouse and build something from scratch. In order to be successful, it is important to always adhere to safety standards.
10. Clothing Boutique
Are you obsessed with fashion? Do you have an eye for trends? If so, starting your own boutique may be a great fit for you. Following years of steady growth, the US clothing boutique industry is worth more than $18 billion. More and more of today’s serious shoppers tend to walk right past the brand outlets and department stores and head straight for the exclusive boutiques offering new, unique and vintage clothing and accessories not found anywhere else.
To draw them in, you will need to establish a strong based on your own sense of style. You might embrace a pre-WWII theme and embrace flapper dresses, hats and brooches. Or maybe you’re a disco lover and all about bell bottoms, short shorts, tube tops and more. Or you could go with a clean and simple, more futuristic look. The key is finding and highlighting your own sharp fashion sense. If it’s right, the shoppers will come.
11. Supplements Store
If you’ve been thinking about starting a supplement business, now is the time to do it! Sales of multivitamins and supplements spiked more than 50% at the start of the pandemic. In 2022, vitamin and supplement manufacturers in the US were estimated to have earned at least $35 billion. The market is expected to grow marginally in the next five years, with e-commerce sales representing a big opportunity for the industry.
A supplement business can be a very lucrative endeavor. However, it’s not without its challenges. To get started, you need to comply with licensing requirements and other regulations relating to vitamins and supplements. You also need to choose your products well, find reliable suppliers, develop your brand, and get creative in promoting your products. Since the latest trend is selling directly to consumers via the internet, you have to develop your e-commerce website and boost your online presence. Expect to devote a lot of time and effort to your supplement business to ensure its success.
12. Pizza Store
If you’re like most people, pizza is one of your favorite foods. You can either go to the nearest pizza restaurant, or you can just pick up your phone and order. Better yet, you can fix one yourself, get creative with your toppings, and even start a business. In the US, the pizza industry is worth nearly $54 billion and growing, so right now is a good time to take a bite of this mouthwatering pie.
But first you’ll need to learn the basics of starting a pizza business, from licensing and permits to branding and marketing. It’s also important to study the competition — find out how many restaurants are already doing business in the area, what kind of pizza they’re making, and how they’re promoting their brand. Choosing the right location is critical. You have to be where your target market is. Once you hurdle these, you’ll be well on your way to success!
13. Hair Salon
Hair is big business, worth more than $46 billion in the US alone. More importantly, it’s set to grow nearly 40% by 2027, which means there’s no shortage of opportunity for bold and talented entrepreneurs. If you’re good with hair and have a strong sense of style, you could start your own salon and help people look better and feel more confident while making a good living.
It can be a very rewarding experience, but it’s not without its challenges. Assuming you don’t plan to be a mobile salon and make house calls, your first order of business will be to find a great space, preferably in a location with good foot and vehicular traffic. Next, you’ll want to build it out in a way that suits your personal style and provides a comfortable place for your clientele. Finally, you’ll want to decide on your products and services — will you offer only styling, or also shampooing and dying? Maybe you’ll want to offer added services like nails and head massages?
Once you’ve decided all that, and gotten your required licenses and permits, you’ll just need to do some strong marketing across social media and in your area to get those first customers coming through the door.