Small Business Brief


5 Small Scale Business Ideas to Help You Become Your Own Boss

5 Small Scale Business Ideas

Looking to develop your own business? Check out these 5 small scale business ideas for the inspiration you need to strike out on your own.

Sick of sweating the commute and slaving in the office, only to make profits for someone else?

You can join the entrepreneur crowd, and no, you don’t need pocketfuls of capital. In just a minute, we will hit you with 5 small scale business ideas that can bring you large scale profits.

What Are You Selling?

One of the first things to think about is your interests and skillset.

The whole point of starting your own business is to stop doing what you hate. Make a list of the activities you enjoy, and another with the marketable skills and knowledge you have.

Now have a look at your lists side-by-side. Are there any obvious matches?

Is there something that needs an in-demand niche? This is key to a successful business. Look for opportunities where skillset and interest marry nicely.

Maybe your makeover skills and events connections could have you doing makeup at weddings and premieres.

Perhaps your cycling ability and knack to fix anything can land you a mobile cycle mechanic gig. Could you use your research and writing skills to do freelance market research or blogging?

Maybe you have something to offer a particular market segment. Your niche might be even faith-based.

You could pitch to apartment-dwelling dog lovers, organic-food hipsters near San Francisco who want local-produce granola, or clean windows for busy moms. The last of these worked out pretty well for window cleaning Charlotte.

The options are almost endless. Nail what you have to offer, then find your market.

To get you started, here is our selection of small scale business ideas.

Small Scale Business Ideas – Time to launch!

1. Outsource Online

Have you thought about contracting your skills online? There are a number of online platforms now that connect start-up businesses and individuals offering the services they need.

If you know how to put a social media strategy together, design a website, run google analytics, or sort the back-end of an online store, you are in business!

It is a great way to legitimately spend your working day on Facebook!

If you know how to write marketing copy, you could do copywriting for the growing number of businesses wanting to offer industry-themed blogs, or even write their product descriptions.

Many multi-lingual individuals are finding basic translating jobs through these platforms, which is yet another option. The digital world makes it that much easier to connect supply with demand, make good use of it!

2. Start an Online Store

Did your ex-workmates comment on your hand-knitted woolen scarves, hang-out for your organic granola, or rave about your arty earrings? Maybe its time you started an online store.

With WordPress plugins and Facebook retail, or crafty online platforms like Etsy, it has never been easier to start your own online store.

You will need to crunch numbers first.

What does all the stock cost you, how much markup will you need for packaging, what will you spend on marketing, and what is your time worth?

Punch it all into a spreadsheet and see how much you will need to sell each item for to turn a tasty profit. Look up your competitors’ prices to see how you compare. If your products are much more expensive, is there a good reason for it, e.g. cruelty-free, water-proof, fair trade or eco-friendly?

It is a good idea to run the product by a group of people who are similar to your target market and see what they would be willing to spend on a product like yours.

You will need to ensure you are following any legislation about your product – the material used in children’s sleepwear, the ingredients or process used to make edible products, and more.

3. Be a Career Coach

These days, it is predicted that those under 40 years old will have up to seven different careers before retiring. The days of starting one job at 18 and working it up until retirement are long gone. The pace of change due to digital tools also means there are new careers being created all the time. With so many choices, young people need informed advice and career guidance more than ever.

Those stepping out of a current career that no longer satisfies them want to make sure their next career step is in the right direction.

That’s where you come in, as a career coach.

You might deliver and analyze the results of career suitability tests, run personality tests so people can see their work-type, or coach people through practice interviews for their dream job.

This is a truly satisfying role, and if you are a people-person, and enjoy keeping informed with the employment market, it sounds like we found the best of our small scale business ideas for you!

4. Be a Service Provider

With longer work days, increased divorce rates, longer commutes and communities that aren’t as neighborly as they once were, we need odd-job assistance like never before.

You could supply assistance by:

  • mowing the lawn
  • replacing blown lights or smoke alarm batteries
  • picking up the dry-cleaning
  • cleaning, ironing, and buying groceries
  • answering the phone as a virtual assistant or
  • dog-walking

People are willing to fork over money to a trustworthy someone who meets their house and lifestyle needs. Once word-of-mouth gets out, you won’t even have to worry about marketing!

5. Tech Five

If you are a whiz with technology, patient, and enjoy teaching new skills you could bridge the tech divide.

There are many older people needing assistance managing technology, new businesses needing to install and get across new program software, and families needing someone to fix the glitches in their tech devices.

This is perhaps the most future-proof of all our small scale business ideas, as technology is here for good.


There you have it! Those are the top 5 ways to start being your own boss, without investing a lot of money. The sky is the limit. What are you waiting for?

If none of our small scale business ideas sound like you, have you got a whole other spark to tell us about? We’d love to hear more small scale business ideas from you – tell us all about it in our small business forum now!