Small Business Store Ideas: Creative Ways To Make Money

Brad Dorsey

4 min read ·


Opening a small side business as a way to add revenue is appealing to aspiring entrepreneurs who want to start small. These creative ways to make money are also attractive amid the pandemic. Working from home may mean you have more time. Or you could want a way to earn outside of a crowded work environment. These small business store ideas can help.

There is currently no shortage of available jobs. In fact, the number of available jobs is the highest it has been, at 10.1 million on the last day of June 2021. That’s 1.4 million more jobs than people listed as unemployed right now. Yet, few are eager to work in brick-and-mortar retail or the service industry if it means face-to-face time in enclosed spaces. 

Small business store ideas that will allow the entrepreneur to work from home or outdoors are looking good. After all, people are still purchasing services and buying products, particularly online. 

This article offers suggestions of creative ways to make money on the side before sharing tips on getting started. We’ll cover:

  • Ideas for working from home
  • Outdoor work small business ideas
  • Basics for starting your small business


Ideas for Working From Home

Even before COVID-19, people were eager to find ways to supplement their salaries. According to Bankrate, nearly one in four people had a “side job” in 2019. And they were bringing in an average of $8,000. 

Working from home is particularly appealing now during the pandemic. Top opportunities include:


Outdoor Work Small Business Ideas

Outdoor Work Small Business Ideas

Maybe you want to be your own boss for a side hustle, but you want to get out and interact with people. There are great small business ideas for you too. These include:

  • Landscaping
  • Food delivery
  • Personal trainer
  • House sitting
  • Pet sitting
  • Dog walking
  • Driving instructor
  • Party planner
  • Handyman for hire
  • Housecleaner
  • Sports referee


Basics for Starting Your Small Business

Taking advantage of these small business ideas can help you add stability if your day job is in flux. You can also build a new skillset. Or pursue a personal passion or find a new hobby. Yet, setting up a side business will take some effort. There are some important steps to take to set yourself up for success from the start.


Do some research. You don’t want to begin a side business you aren’t going to enjoy. Also, you want to be sure there is a local market for your planned small business. You could review local directories to determine what kind of competition you’ll be facing. Also, check out other people’s offerings to gauge what kinds of rates you can charge. 


Make a business plan. This will force you to set goals, determine how to run your business, and identify your startup costs. The business plan is key to having a clear vision of what you hope to accomplish and how you plan to do so. The thinking you do to write the plan will help you determine your competitive advantage. Identifying what will make your business different from the rest can help you target your message to potential customers.


Build a business website. In today’s environment, you need a digital presence. A business website is the simplest way to establish credibility. This might be a good area to “outsource your weaknesses,” as Lifehacker recommends. If you’re not a graphic designer and need help creating a professional website, you can often follow a template from your business website host, or they may have an affordable in-house designer. You might also hire a freelance writer (another possible work-from-home small business, by the way) to craft a clear, concise message to prospects and customers.


Start advertising on social media. Your small business social media strategy should explore the main platforms to determine which draws most of your audience. You can start small, but you’ll want to start on one of the big five

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
  • YouTube


Making It Work: Side Hustle and Day Job

Making It Work: Side Hustle and Day Job

Many people are looking to work less, but here you are thinking of starting up a side gig. Maybe even while you are doing a day job—and that will be challenging. It can help to develop a new routine. Perhaps you’ll wake up earlier, work on weekends, or at night after you get home from your other job. Make the choice that suits your schedule, but then aim to be consistent. Make a habit of putting time towards this new business initiative.

One last piece of advice if you’re going to pursue one of these small business store ideas. Don’t quit your day job until you have a reliable, consistent income from the side gig. You may prefer working for yourself and love the new, creative way you’re making money. But you may not want to risk your financial security pursuing it full time until you know you can make a sustainable income pursuing this new avenue.

Brad Dorsey