Think you’ve got a $10,000 business idea? There are actually a lot of them out there, offering some serious opportunity. You could open aboutique, ...
23 Business Ideas to Start with $100K
Written by: Carolyn Young
Carolyn Young is a business writer who focuses on entrepreneurial concepts and the business formation. She has over 25 years of experience in business roles, and has authored several entrepreneurship textbooks.
Edited by: David Lepeska
David has been writing and learning about business, finance and globalization for a quarter-century, starting with a small New York consulting firm in the 1990s.
Published on July 29, 2022
Updated on October 2, 2023
If you’ve got an entrepreneurial nest egg of around $100,000, you’ve got a ton of great options for your next business venture. You could start a bakery, brewery or restaurant, get into construction, manufacturing, solar power, healthcare, travel bookings or house flipping.
The wise move is to follow your interests — get into something that appeals to you. Also, do some research and see markets are growing and offer the best potential for growth.
But first, check out our list of brilliant $100,000 business ideas below to jumpstart your thinking.
1. Coffee Shop
Nearly 200 million Americans drink coffee every day, which is why you’ll find a coffee shop or cafe on just about every street. Like many industries, coffee shops took a hit during the pandemic, but now it’s on the rebound and expects to steady growth in the years ahead. You could take advantage of this trend by starting your own coffee shop and providing a nice pick-me-up to countless people everyday while making a good living.
Of course, opening a coffee shop will take some real work. The best coffee shops offer excellent pastries and other foods, and create a comfortable atmosphere for people to linger and enjoy. So you’ll need to make smart choices in terms of your product offerings, furniture and overall design, as well as your location. You’ll also want to be careful in choosing your coffee source, to make sure it’s eco-friendly and fair trade. But if you’re passionate about coffee and have the drive to see your business succeed, it can be an incredibly rewarding and profitable experience.
2. Car Repair Shop
At least 70 million vehicles in the US are more than 15 years old and potentially need to undergo repairs in the coming years. This means growth opportunities for car repair shops across the country. If you’re looking to start a car repair shop, now is the time to do it. The US automotive repair industry has seen steady growth and is predicted to earn nearly $60 billion by 2024.
One of the challenges to starting a car repair shop is the high startup cost. You’ll need to invest in some tools and equipment like hydraulic lift, diagnostic machine, air compressor, jack and jack stands, and more. You’ll also need to undergo training in auto service and repair, which is a prerequisite for a National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification. This certification will give you an advantage and show potential customers that you have the skills to repair their vehicles. It will also make it easier for you to obtain liability insurance and find financing. With proper training and a lot of hard work, you should be able to get your business up and running and headed toward success.
If you’re an entrepreneur, or would like to become one, it’s important to always be on the lookout for the next big thing. Lately, that thing has been cryptocurrency, the digital currencies that use cryptography and the blockchain to secure transactions and create new units and value. As of early 2022 the global cryptocurrency market is worth about $1.8 billion. By 2028 it’s expected to be worth more than $32 billion, which means it’s set for incredible annual expansion of 58%.
Cryptocurrency may well be the world’s fastest-growing industry, and you can get in on the action by starting your own cryptocurrency business. Assuming you’re not going to create your own cryptocurrency, which requires programming expertise, you’ll need to decide whether you want to start a wallet, which is an application that helps users store and spend cryptocurrencies, or an exchange, which enables cryptocurrency trade. Another option is to become a cryptocurrency investor and broker, which will require considerable expertise regarding the fast-evolving field of cryptocurrency.
Whichever option you choose, be sure to do your research before committing too much of your, or other people’s, hard-earned funds. If you do find a niche, this is an industry that could deliver massive returns.
Considering all the ride-sharing apps out there, you might be surprised to know that old-school taxis are not only surviving, but doing quite well. The US taxi and limo market is worth more than $66 billion and expected to see steady growth in the coming years. If you don’t mind driving and enjoy meeting strangers, starting a taxi business might be a great start to your entrepreneurial journey.
Getting started will require some real effort and investment. You’ll need to buy a reliable car, if you don’t already have one, plus reliable insurance and all the necessary permits. In some cities the car hire license can be a major expense, for instance a New York City taxi medallion costs $80,000. In other places, like $300 in Cleveland, not so much. Once you’ve all set up, it’s a good idea to build a website so people can find you, and you might want to offer an app as well, as most car services nowadays offer on-demand ordering.
Finally, get creative with your marketing to stand out in a competitive market, provide excellent service and steady driving to your first few clients, and the good reviews and revenues should start pouring in.
Who doesn’t love tasty baked goods fresh out of the oven? If you often find yourself elbow-deep in flour, now’s a great time to take the next step and become an entrepreneur. Despite the anti-carbohydrates trend, the US baking industry has been growing for years and is now worth more than $12 billion. You could open your own bakery, or start a home-based baking business, and share your delicious culinary creations with the world while also making a good living.
But starting a baking business can be tricky, and there are several hurdles before you can start. You’ll need to nail down a handful of absolutely fantastic baked goods that will keep people coming back. You’ll need to outfit your kitchen, or your new bakery, with all the right equipment and ingredients. And of course you’ll also need to pass health checks and government licensing required for food businesses.
After that, you’ll just need to start marketing your tasty treats and, with a bit of luck, you’ll soon have too many orders to fill!
6. Food Trailer
More than 35,000 food trucks and trailers are currently operating across the US, and the number is expected to rise as people get back out there and consumer spending increases. These stationary vehicles prepare and serve food, ranging from hotdogs and tacos to ethnic menus and gourmet cuisine. They can be found on sidewalks and in parking lots and parks, and at all kinds of major events, fairs and festivals.
If you’re an entrepreneur with a love of food, starting a food trailer business might be the perfect way to turn your passion into a career. But before you start whipping up tasty dishes, it’s important to research the market and see what competitors are serving. It’s a good idea to decide what kind of food to offer and find your own niche market.
It’s much easier to attract customers if you’re offering unique products. You’ll also need to comply with permit and licensing requirements. When you’re ready, take your trailer to the park and start cooking!
7. Digital Marketing Agency
With many people staying at home and working remotely because of the pandemic, companies have also gone online and undertaken digital marketing initiatives to keep their target markets engaged. Global digital marketing is booming right now, and expected to more than double to $786 billion by 2026.
If you’re looking to start your own digital marketing business, you’re in luck. There has never been a better time to do it. Just catch up on the latest industry trends and know the steps in setting up a business. Keep in mind that since this is a relatively new industry, there are no concrete guidelines for success, but some insights into how other companies grew their own businesses can be helpful. Read and learn everything you can about the business before uploading your first social media post or your first digital ad. Once you’ve done that, you should be able to get the hang of digital marketing!
8. 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 the required licenses and permits, you’ll just need to do some strong marketing to get those first customers coming through the door.
9. Car Wash
Some people REALLY love their cars, and need to keep them looking beautiful in and out. That’s why the US is home to nearly 17,000 car washes and a growing $28 billion industry. With a decent-sized investment, you could start your own car wash business and make countless car owners beam with pride while making a good living.
One crucial element will be location, as few people drive out of their way for a good car wash. So it’s important to find a location with ample space, steady vehicular traffic and easy access. Near malls and shopping centers, or alongside highway rest stops, are among the stronger options. Once you’ve nailed that down, you’ll need to invest in top-of-the-line car washing machines and fine-tune your knowledge of car detailing. Soon enough, you’ll be washing your way straight to the bank!
10. App Development Business
Do you ever think about how often you use mobile apps? Many times a day, for most people, which is why apps are among the world’s fastest growing industries. The global app market is worth more than $465 billion and expected to expand nearly 40% by 2026. If you have some tech skills, you could start your own app business and ride that growth to great success.
Getting there, however, will not be as easy as unlocking your phone. First, you’ll need a great idea for your first app. If you’ve already got that, you’ll need to do the build out and coding, then have the app vetted and approved by major app outlets, like Apple and Google. And that’s when the real work begins — convincing smartphone owners that your app is more appealing and valuable than the millions of other apps competing for their attention.
You might think that’s the easy part, but many entrepreneurs make that same mistake. Even the most brilliant apps need a well-executed marketing strategy to take off. Any fool can make an app. The hard part is getting people to use it.
11. SEO Agency
Google is the undisputed king of search and the main entrypoint to the internet. As a result, search engine optimization (SEO) — guidelines and practices that lead to preferred Google search results — is one of the world’s fastest growing industries. The market is growing at a 17% annual rate and expected to expand five-fold by 2030. Now is a great time to start your own SEO business and ride this wave to serious success while helping businesses boost their revenue.
If you’re not already an SEO expert, there are countless free online courses you could take to start building up your skills, as well as pay courses that provide greater insight. Once you have a firm understanding of SEO principles, you should use them to build your own website and fill it with SEO-friendly content. Once that’s done, you’ll have evidence of your SEO abilities, which you’ll be able to use in your marketing materials to attract clients.
If you’re able to provide excellent service and boost traffic, referrals will follow and you’ll be on your way.
12. Ecommerce Business
Do you have a great business idea, but don’t know where to start? These days, the best way to get started is often by turning to the internet, where a wide variety of ecommerce businesses have found great success in recent years. Of course you know about Amazon, but there are also millions of smaller businesses that make up what is now a $4 trillion global industry.
With countless people stuck at home, ecommerce revenues increased by more than a quarter in 2020, and they’s still growing, so opportunity in this market remains strong. You will need an appealing, in-demand product, a simple, easy-to-use website, and a sharp marketing plan, but if you’re willing to invest a good chunk of your time and money your new ecommerce business will have a great shot at success. Somebody’s got to be the next Jeff Bezos, right?
You probably think bookkeepers and accountants do largely the same work, and in some minor areas their work does overlap. But for the most part, bookkeepers perform the minute recording of day-to-day financial transactions, while accountants use bookkeepers’ data to create financial statements and review a company’s financial standing. The work of bookkeepers is, in fact, crucial to financial stability, which is why the US is home to 1.5 million bookkeepers and a growing $55 billion industry.
If you’re hard working and good with numbers, you could start your own bookkeeping business and grab a share of that market while helping countless companies keep better track of their financials. What’s more, you could work from home to start, and market your services to clients around the world.
Keep in mind that you will need to become a certified bookkeeper, which requires a good deal of training and experience. But once you’ve cleared that hurdle and begun building a reputation through great service, you’ll be well on your way to success.
14. Event Planning
The biggest events — weddings, reunions, graduation parties — are moments that people never forget. You can help create powerful memories for countless people with your own event planning business. As the pandemic recedes, the industry is growing fast and now worth $3 billion in the US alone, so the opportunity is real. If you enjoy organizing and planning, this could be the perfect venture for you — and now’s a great time to do it.
More and more people are looking to plan long-delayed major events, from weddings to reunions to memorials and more. You can grab a piece of this growing market with a bit of training, confidence and organizational skills. Starting an event planning business requires little investment, and event planners often make 15-20 percent of the total cost. So just imagine how good you’ll feel working from home while planning a $100,000 wedding reception!
15. Pet Store
With people stuck at home during the pandemic, the number of pet owners skyrocketed. Over the past decade, Americans’ spending on pets has more than doubled to $110 billion, and pet stores, also growing quickly, represent about a fifth of that total. If you love animals, you could start a pet store, give lots of cuddly cuties new homes and help people better take care of their pets, all while making a good living.
Of course, you’ll need to decide which pets you’ll offer and how broad your variety of products will be, from food to toys and accessories. Another crucial step will be ensuring you meet all regulations and obtain all the required licenses and permits required for pet sales. Starting a pet store is not easy, but it’s totally doable. With a bit of luck and determination, you can start your own and ride Americans’ love of animals to prosperity.
16. Delivery Service
The US couriers and local delivery services industry was among the few sectors that performed strongly during the pandemic. Demand spiked as people stuck at home needed food, clothes, parcels and other consumer goods. The industry has grown more than 5% annually since 2017 and is predicted to expand to nearly $135 billion in 2022. If you’re looking for a smart venture, look no further than delivery.
A delivery service can be run from your home, but you’ll need to invest in a van if you don’t have one. Keep in mind that you’ll be competing with the likes of Instacart, Amazon, Walmart, and other big players, so it’s a good idea to come up with a business plan that includes an aggressive marketing strategy. Once you’ve established your brand of service, your delivery business can be highly profitable.
17. IT Consulting
As our world becomes increasingly digital, it’s no surprise that more and more businesses need guidance and insight on how to adapt and take advantage of this new technological landscape. This helps explain why IT consulting in the United States has been growing fast and is already worth more than half a trillion dollars. The industry is expected to expand further in the years ahead, which means now is a fantastic time to start your own IT consulting firm and get in on the action.
The crucial element is expertise. If you have a computer science, IT or engineering degree and have spent a few years doing related work at a respectable consulting or tech firm, you have the resume needed to become an IT consultant. You’ll need to build a strong website and register your business, but you could soon be offering your tech insights to top businesses. Provide quality consulting for the first few clients, and you’ll be well on your way to building a reputation, getting some referrals and being a successful entrepreneur.
18. Personal Chef
If you’re a skilled cook and passionate about what you do, starting your own personal chef business might be a great option for you. The personal chef market is booming because more people now prefer to eat at home in the wake of the pandemic. A personal chef prepares meals for private clients, either daily or weekly. In the US, there are around 6,000 personal chefs working nationwide.
Starting a personal chef business requires time management skills, a well-equipped kitchen, culinary abilities and creativity to channel into meals that will satisfy clients. Before you launch, it’s important to research the market to find out other chefs’ offerings and prices. You’ll want a good marketing plan to find clients, who will likely be relatively well off. So if you’re ready to make money while doing something you love, start promoting your delicious kitchen creations.
19. Accounting Firm
If you’re an accountant, why not consider launching your own accounting business? It’s one of the most lucrative small businesses and there’s always a demand for accounting services. As the US economy improves, corporate profit is also expected to increase, presenting vast opportunities for accounting businesses. The accounting services market in the US is worth more than $140 billion and still growing.
Before you get started, it’s important to have a clear vision of your purpose and a firm grasp of the risks involved in starting a business. In some states, you may not need to be a certified public accountant to start an accounting firm. You just need to register it as a business and comply with all applicable laws and regulations. But getting certified will allow you to offer some services that only CPA businesses can. With the right skills, a good marketing plan, and a lot of hard work, you can make your accounting business incredibly rewarding.
20. Cooking Class
Are you a skilled and trained cook? You can start a cooking class business and help others do wonders in the kitchen while earning some cash. The US cooking class industry is worth $2 billion and expected to rebound strongly from the pandemic. Globally, the industry is expected to soar 450% by 2029, driven by strong food interest from Generation Z and millennials.
Before you launch your business, it’s important to obtain relevant certifications to increase your value as a brand. If you conduct classes online, you can just set up a DIY studio in your kitchen but you’ll need tools and equipment. You’ll also need a high-resolution camera, microphone, lighting equipment, fast internet connection, and live streaming software if you’re doing it in real time. Keep in mind that you’ll be competing with culinary schools, so it’s a good idea to get creative with your marketing. With careful planning and some market research, you can achieve success with your cooking class business.
21. Donut Shop
Popular donut shops never seem to run out of new flavors. Besides the original glazed donuts, these sweet treats are sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, dipped in icing, topped with KitKat, filled with strawberry jam, and more. If you can think of new and unique varieties that could challenge Dunkin or Krispy Kreme, then it’s time for you to start your own donut shop. Plenty of opportunities await you as the US donut industry, which is valued at $7.5 billion, is expected to continue growing.
While you’re complying with the legal requirements, you’ll need to identify sources of funds so you can invest in donut making equipment and find a good location for your shop. Your biggest challenge is how you can overcome the growing healthy food trend which discourages people from eating donuts. It’s daunting, but not impossible. Creating a realistic business plan with an innovative marketing strategy can spell the difference for your business. Once you’ve hurdled these, it’s time to put on your apron and start rolling in the dough!
22. Shirt Printing
Shirt printing is a lucrative industry that continues to grow in popularity, especially among young people. If you’re looking for a new business opportunity, look no further than T-shirts. The global custom T-shirt industry is anticipated to grow steadily and approach $8 billion in market size by 2028. Rising disposable income and increasing preference for customized shirts are expected to drive growth.
Anyone can get into T-shirts, but in order to succeed and grow it helps to be knowledgeable in silk screen printing and the latest technologies, like direct-to-garments and sublimation. You may come up with packages that already include the shirts as well as the design and printing services for the convenience of your customers. Another way to do it is to come up with your own innovative shirt designs. With the right skills and resources, you can succeed in tees.
23. Dollar Store
Think all dollar stores are the same? You might be surprised at just how many different types there are. From party supply to variety shops, there’s a dollar store out there for everyone. So, if you’re thinking of starting your own dollar store business, what are you waiting for? Dollar and variety stores were on an upward trend before the pandemic, growing more than 3% per year. With consumers becoming more price conscious, dollar stores are set to thrive again now that most restrictions have been lifted.
Starting your own dollar store business can be fun. But how to go about it? There are many different types of dollar stores in the market, so consider focusing on a niche to differentiate your business. You can set up a small convenience store, a do-it-yourself shop or a bookstore. You can start by buying products from other dollar stores and reselling them. An option is to start as an online retailer, and use your website and social media accounts as your storefront.
23 Business Ideas to Start with $100K
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