Although massive corporations with hefty marketing budgets get the most attention from the general public, small businesses across the country provide unique products and services and support their local economies.
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Smaller, family-owned companies are more customer-oriented than corporate giants. If you have a problem or complaint, you’re more likely to have the issue solved promptly and effectively by a small business owner. Starting a small business by yourself is a challenging feat, but it’s a rewarding experience to provide an invaluable service and build lasting relationships with the members of your community. If you’re unsure which small business to pursue, the following sections describe six excellent examples.
If your town lacks a community college, university or parks and recreation system, the community will benefit from a private recreation center. Although the upfront costs and maintenance can be expensive depending on the facility’s size, recreation centers are profitable when there’s a high demand for its services. After deciding which services you’ll provide, you’ll have to talk to several different contractors for estimates. For instance, if you want to install a swimming pool and a small gymnasium, you’ll have to call a professional pool installer for the inground pool cost and a building contractor for the gym costs.
Unlike a restaurant, food trucks aren’t hindered by their location. A gas leak or a widespread power outage can temporarily close a restaurant and decrease its profits. With a food truck, you can bring your cuisine to the customers and move to another spot if business is slow. You won’t have to worry about high property taxes, rent or immense labor costs when your shop is mobile. Another advantage of owning a food truck is the opportunity to participate in large events. Festival and concert promoters often hire food trucks as event vendors to serve thousands of hungry patrons, and you may be lucky enough to get hired to cater a conference or large wedding.
The demand for gourmet coffee products has steadily risen since the 1990s, and small coffee shops have remained competitive in a market dominated by Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts. To stand apart from the franchise shops, your business should provide customers with a unique experience. You can bake homemade desserts, appetizers or sandwiches to serve with your coffee or hold a free coffee tasting event to promote new blends. After receiving a positive reception from your patrons, your coffee shop will be filled with loyal regulars sipping coffee and discussing the day’s events.
If recreational activities or foodservice operations aren’t appealing, you can start a landscaping service. Unlike the previous suggestions, a lawn and garden service requires a small initial investment and low labor costs depending on the size of your staff. Your territory can be as large as you want it to be, and you’ll save on maintenance costs if you’re able to fix the machines yourself. However, your business will be more successful in a location with a long growing season and mild winter.
Hair Salon/Barber Shop
Depending on the costs of property tax and rent, hair salons and barbershops are inexpensive operations to get started. Operational costs are minimal, and with effective advertising and word of mouth, your customers will continue to visit every month. Skilled hairdressers can make between $100 to $200 per customer when they offer multiple services.
Bed and Breakfast
Although customers have several options of where to stay when they’re traveling, bed and breakfast operations provide a more personal experience that feels like home. Unlike the uninspired cuisine at hotel chains, a bed and breakfast serves delicious home-cooked meals in a cozy atmosphere. If you own a large house in a scenic part of town, all you’ll need to start a bed and breakfast is a business permit, health inspection, bedding and supplies and any renovation projects to improve the home’s appearance.
Although there are several thriving small companies around the country, the previous examples can help you finalize your plans for your new venture.