Service Business Ideas: The Top 15
- Personal fitness trainer
- Grocery shopping and delivery
- Makeup artist
- Doula and birth coaching services
- Private school application consultant
- Elder companion and care provider
- Pet sitting
- Handyman service
- Mobile car-wash and detailing
- Virtual assistant
- Graphic designer
- IT systems consultant
- Mobile notary public
- Rental property management
- Corporate event planner
If you’re thinking about starting a business, more specifically a service business, you’re part of a growing workforce demographic. Experts disagree on the exact size of today’s gig economy, but research from Intuit suggests that the population of independent, service-based business owners made up as much as 34% of the total U.S. workforce in 2017. That’s a huge volume of individuals looking for new, independent ways of earning an income.
Whether you’ve been pushed into business ownership by a lack of steady employment, or you’re on a proactive search for a more flexible and self-directed way of earning a living, this wide-ranging list of 145 unique ideas for service businesses is a great resource to get you started.
In a world full of people who are busier than ever before, convenience has become an utmost priority to US consumers. As a result, there is no shortage of ways that individuals can start businesses providing services for others. Whether you’re a staunch academic, love working with animals or children, or have a knack for fixing things, the realm of personal service business ideas has an option for nearly everyone.
Best of all? Most of these personal service businesses require little to no formal training or certification, and they can be offered on-site in people’s homes to avoid the high overhead of maintaining an office or retail shop.
You may need to acquire some basic supplies, but otherwise, the only barrier to getting started is finding clients who are willing to pay for your work.
Personal Health and Wellness Services
Many of us set goals to become a bit healthier in some way, whether through our mental health, agility, or simple physical wellness—but without some form of assistance, guidance, or accountability, many people struggle to reach those goals. If you’re an avid runner, love cooking, or have training in alternative healing, one of these health and wellness service business ideas may be a perfect fit for you:
- Personal Fitness Trainer
- Meditation Instructor
- Private Yoga Instructor
- In-Home Masseuse
- Nutrition Consultant
- Meal Delivery Service
- Personal Chef
Personal Concierge Services
From buying groceries to doing laundry and keeping our spaces tidy, who among us has time to get all of our chores done without becoming overwhelmed in the process? If you’re not bothered by running errands and cleaning up, friends and neighbors may your ideal clientele for these personal concierge business ideas.
- Grocery Shopping and Delivery
- Errand Runner
- Dry-Cleaning Delivery and Pick-Up
- Seamstress or Tailor Services
- Window Washing
- Home Cleaning Service
- Private Car Service
Beauty and Lifestyle Service Business Ideas
If you love all things beauty and personal style, your career options are no longer limited to traditional cosmetology school and hourly work in a salon. Consider whether these emerging lifestyle service business options—almost all of which you could provide in-home, or even virtually—might make a great gig for your interests.
- Makeup Artist
- In-Home Hair Stylist
- Personal Wardrobe Stylist
- Life Coach
- Online Dating Consultant / Profile Editor
Serving Parents, Babies, and Small Children
There is growing opportunity for service business ideas that meet the needs of new parents, particularly in major cities, where children are more likely to be born to older and more career-minded couples.
If you love the idea of working with small children and their parents, consider whether one of these unique service business ideas would be a good option for you.
- Doula and Birth Coaching Services
- Birth Photographer
- Overnight Doula Service
- Lactation Consultant
- On-Demand Babysitter
- Home Baby Proofing Consultant
- Nanny and Au Pair Placement Service
- Private Music Teacher
- Children’s Party Planner
- Birthday Party Character Appearances
- Children’s Entertainment Services
Academic Consulting Services
As those babies and toddlers grow into young students, research has shown that their parents’ dollars are transitioning to an increased amount of spending on academic support services. In fact, the private tutoring market alone is expected to grow by at least 7% between 2018 and 2022, with much of those services provided by freelancers.
Consider yourself academically inclined? Perhaps your perfect idea for a service business is among these listed here:
- Private School Application Consultant
- Homeschool Teacher
- Academic Tutoring
- Online English Tutor
- SAT Tutoring and Preparation
- GED Test Preparation
- College Application Consultant
- College Essay Editor
- Cover Letter and Resume Writer
Elder Care Services
Population shifts are trending toward dramatic growth in our nation’s number of senior citizens, so you can expect demand for elder care services to skyrocket in the coming years.
Could the growing need for home health aides, drivers, and other care providers direct your new career?
- Elder Companion and Care Provider
- In-Home Physical Therapist
- Private Nursing Service
Animal Care Services
Who doesn’t love spending time with furry (or feathery, or even scaly) friends? And with Americans expected to spend more than $70 billion on their pets in 2018, this market has ample room for your service business to prosper.
If you’ve always had a love of animals, consider channeling that passion into a full-time business in one of these popular specialties.
Home Maintenance and Repair Services
Although you may be inclined to look to new, trendy, or virtual service business ideas for your next opportunity, don’t forget about traditional home maintenance and repair services, which are consistent needs among U.S. populations.
Are you naturally talented at fixing things? Do you enjoy collecting tools and home maintenance equipment? One of these ideas for service businesses may be your perfect choice.
- Handyman Service
- Pool Servicing and Maintenance
- Lawn Care
- Locksmith Services
- Home Entertainment Installation
- Home-Inspection Services
- Interior Painting Service
- Wallpaper Installation Service
- Power Washing Service
- Carpet Installation Service
- Air Conditioning Installation and Maintenance
- Plumbing Service
- Appliance Repair
- Porcelain Repair
- Home Maintenance Equipment Rental
Automobile Maintenance and Repair
For much of America, owning a car is considered a necessary convenience for getting around from day to day. Even so, vehicle ownership can quickly become inconvenient when a need arises for cleaning, maintenance, or repair.
With just a bit of skills training, you can choose one of these lucrative, new service business ideas to help your fellow drivers get back on the road.
- Mobile Car Wash and Car Detailing
- Mobile Car Mechanic
- Vehicle Inspection Service
- Windshield Repair Service
As more and more Americans become independent business owners, it should come as no surprise that demand for business-to-business services is also growing. Generally, modern businesses have taken a leaner approach to growth, relying on outside consultants or contractors to provide services and expertise to avoid the high overhead of having many employees.
Instead of working directly for another business as an employee, your future career could fall within one of these B2B service business ideas.
B2B Administrative Services
Though the range of “business services” can span almost every industry and niche, let’s start with some of the most traditional, purely administrative services that you can provide to fellow business clients. These services can be conducted in person at a client’s office or retail location, but in many cases they can also be offered remotely from anywhere with a reliable internet connection.
- Virtual Assistant
- Executive Headhunting
- Language Translation
- Project Manager
- Certified Professional Accountant
- Payroll Processing Service
- Financial Auditor
- Business Plan Consultant
- Office Support Services
- Data Analysis
- Messenger Service
- Online Course Consultant
- Freelance Researcher
- Online Business Coach
- Customer Service Phone Operator
- Live Chat Customer Support Service
Sales and Marketing
For any business to succeed, it needs two basic things: a product or service to sell, and customers willing to pay for it. The good news for small business owners is that the internet has made connecting with and attracting those customers a more accessible process than ever before.
The good news for you, however? The world of online marketing—and content marketing in particular—requires a huge amount of human capital to be done effectively. Could providing one of these marketing services be the right opportunity for you?
- Graphic Designer
- Website Designer
- Marketing Copywriter
- Content Writer
- Editing and Proofreading Service
- Ebook Ghostwriter
- Facebook Ads Strategist
- Instagram Marketing Strategist
- Social Media Manager
- Content Marketing Strategist
- SEO Strategist
- Email Marketing Manager
- Affiliate Sales and Marketing Consultant
- Brand Photographer
- Marketing Video Producer
- Podcast Producer
- Presentation and Proposal Designer
- Public Relations Consultant
- Brand Ambassador
Technology Maintenance and Repair Services
As businesses across every industry rely more and more heavily on technology for their daily operations, the need for knowledgeable service providers has grown steadily. Within larger corporations, these roles are often filled by in-house employees. Small businesses, however, very often cannot afford to maintain full-time IT managers, meaning they must rely on third-party services to address technology needs.
If you have previous training or a natural affinity for computer programming and information technology, your service business idea might be on this list.
- IT Systems Consultant
- Computer Repair Service
- Printer and Copy Machine Maintenance
- Software Installation Service
- Mobile IT Support Service
- App Developer
- Online Network Installation and Maintenance
- Online Security Consultant
- Data Management Consultant
B2B Legal Services
From notarizing documents to reviewing contracts and investigating wrongdoing, a wide array of opportunities exist to create a service business in the law enforcement sector—even without a law degree. Here are a few examples worth considering.
- Mobile Notary Public
- Legal Process Server
- Paralegal Services
- Private Investigator
- Contract Drafting and Review Service
Travel and Tourism Service Business Ideas
Have you recently traveled to a resort destination, only to discover that you never want to leave—or do you simply want to share with visitors the unique charms of your own hometown?
Though major airlines and hotel chains dominate much of the $370 billion US travel market, opportunities abound for the creation of unique cultural and adventurous experiences by small business service providers. Here are just a few of the many ways you can turn your passion for travel into a new opportunity.
- Rental Property Management
- Local Tour Guide
- Adventure Tours
- Travel Agent
- Corporate Retreat Coordinator
- Cruise Booking Agent
- Travel Concierge Services
- Ski or Snowboarding Instructor
- SCUBA Diving Instructor
- Beach Equipment Rentals
Event Service Business Ideas
From family celebrations to corporate conferences and everything in between, hosting an event almost always requires many hands on deck. And with business-to-business events alone representing a $30 billion industry, it should come as no surprise that so many opportunities exist for new service businesses in this sector.
Do you thrive on the adrenaline and social interaction of live events? If so, you could find your calling in one of these ideas for service businesses.
- Corporate Event Planner
- Fundraising Event Coordinator
- Trade Show Producer
- Wedding Planner
- Conference Marketing Manager
- Event Photographer
- Event Videographer
- Audio Visual Technician
- Lighting Designer
- Live Video Producer
- Bartending Services
- Event Catering Services
- Custom Baking
- Event DJ
- Photo Booth Rental Service
- Reunion Coordinator
- Valet Parking Service
- Event Furniture and Equipment Rental
You might assume that we’ve covered every option for a service business in 2020 with this list of 145 ideas. In reality though, this list only scratches the surface of possibilities. If you’re eager to start your own business, thinking about your individual passions, strengths, and skills is the first step to what could be a satisfying new career.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is a service business?
A service business is one that provides an intangible product, performed by a team or an individual. Examples would be accounting, plumbing, landscaping, and banking.
2. How do you start a service business?
The basic first step to start a service business is to find a gap in services that exist in your area and create a business that fills the gap. Beyond that, it will depend entirely on the industry you choose. A good place to start is by writing a business plan. During that process, you will start to focus on many of the elements of starting a business, like your target audience, marketing strategy, and funding needs.
3. How do you calculate the break-even point for service businesses?
Simply put, your break-even point is found by dividing your fixed costs by your selling price per unit minus the variable cost per unit. For a service business, you first need to figure out what your “unit” is. For example, accountants may charge by the hour, so one hour would be one unit. You could also charge by treatment, course (if you’re a tutor or educator), or individual service (for example, a landscaper would charge different prices for just a lawn cut vs. cut and plant trim). Once you figure out your unit, the formula is pretty standard.
It is ultimately up to each individual state to decide which businesses are subject to sales tax. Be sure to check with your state and city agencies when establishing your service business to ensure that you’re complying with the law.
- CNN.com. “Intuit: Gig economy is 34% of US workforce“
- Nytimes.com. “The Age That Women Have Babies: How a Gap Divides America“
- Businesswire.com. “Private Tutoring Market in the US – Increasing Student Enrollments to Boost Growth“
- Mcknights.com. “The demands of a rapidly growing senior population will drive 2018 industry changes“
- Prnewswire.com. “Americans Spent $69.5 Billion on their Pets Last Year: More Than Ever Before“
- NPR.org. “Freelanced: The Rise Of The Contract Workforce“
- Deloitte.com. “2018 Travel and Hospitality Industry Outlook“
- Eventmanagerblog.com. “Event Statistics“
- Planprojections.com. “Service Business Break Even Analysis“