Every business starts with an idea.

May 7, 2019 8 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur or you’re mired in the proverbial rat race, if you’re looking to start a new business this year, there are definitely some ideas that are better than others. At the end of the day, you’ll need to ask yourself what you’re passionate about and what you’re willing to sacrifice for peace of mind. 

Sure, you might make a healthy salary while living in a big city, but what’s your happiness index look like? How long is your commute? How much do you like the company you work for? What about the people around you? And that’s not to mention the cost of living, quality of education, access to health care and so on.

It isn’t always about making more money; sometimes it’s about having more freedom and a higher quality of life. How happy and sated you are also has a big impact on your productivity in the workplace. If you’re simply going through the motions in your job and you’re clearly unhappy, then it might be time for a change.

With that in mind, the following 10 business ideas would be great for your next startup, and most of them can be run as a location-independent business. Of course, if you’re interested in that digital nomad lifestyle, these will likely also be great for you. Nonetheless, you’ll need to still go through the legal motions of setting up your corporation and bank accounts in your home country, but these are terrific business ideas no matter who you are or where you’re from.

Related: Need a Business Idea? Here are 55.

1. Smart device repair

Devices like smartphones and tablets are in the hands of just about everyone these days. No matter what location we’re talking about, everyone is using them. They rely on them. They use them to communicate, surf the internet and even conduct commerce. So when those devices break or go into a state of disrepair, those individuals need someone to help fix them.

No matter where you are in the world, you can fix smart devices and turn that into a thriving business. You can order parts and instructional kits from a company like iFixIt, which is by far one of the biggest educational and parts resources for repairing any type of electronic smart device. Once you get really good at this, you can likely fix things like cracked screens, water-logged phones and dead batteries in minutes.

Related: How an NFL Linebacker Is Tackling the Business World– the Gary Vaynerchuk Way

2. Vacation rental management

Vacation rentals are on the rise and this segment is one of the hottest sectors in the hospitality industry. If you’re living in a highly trafficked tourist destination, you could easily manage homes from property owners who don’t want the hassle of listing, stocking, cleaning and dealing with incoming guests. 

Considering that you have many options of where to advertise those homes, you could choose Airbnb, HomeAway or any other rental-listing platform to help drive traffic and interest to the homes. The better you perform, the more homes you can secure for your portfolio. You can then generally expect to make anywhere between 20 percent and 40 percent of the gross rental rate if you’re managing those properties exclusively.

Related: The 15 Most Profitable Small-Business Industries

3. Website-flipping

If you’re looking for some fast cash, you could turn to website-flipping. All you’ll be doing is buying and selling sites on existing platforms. There’s definitely an art to this and some research involved, but if you get the hang of it, it’s a simple and straightforward way to earn money.

There are plenty of sites dedicated to this. You could either auction off domains or sell complete websites. The latter will help you earn money and you can utilize a platform like Flippa.com or FreeMarket.com to both buy and sell domains and full-blown websites.

Related: 5 Affordable Franchises You Can Start for Less Than $10,000

4. Educational content and courses

One of my absolute favorite things to do is to create educational content and courses. People are always looking to learn and expand their skill set and if you can offer great instructional material, you could make a serious amount of money in this type of business.

There are plenty of sites where you can sell your educational courses, too. You can use a platform like Udemy (although you’ll be subject to Udemy’s going promotional discounts where the company drops the prices of your courses) or you could use Teachable, Coursera or Lynda.com or even build your own membership-based course using cloud-based software.

Related: My 10-Year-Old Came Up With My Business Idea — Here’s Why It Worked

5. Monthly “box” service

There are tons of monthly “box” services springing up across all kinds of verticals. You can easily build your own premium (or non-premium) box service and have a great business with recurring revenue. Every month, you’ll send out a unique box with hand-selected pieces that apply to your industry.

What industries might be included? You could do box services involving gourmet foods, wines, cosmetics, toys and many more. This is a great way to build a continuity program while also having a recurring base of members to whom you can upsell other one-time offers and ancillary products or services.

Related: Why Being Lazy Might Be the Secret to a Successful Tech Startup

6. Guided tours

Guided tours are a great business idea if you’re living in a tourist area. You can lean on a number of sites out there to advertise your services, and your cost to get this up and running is virtually nothing aside from setting up some simple legal or business structure paperwork.

Advertise your guided tours on sites like Viator or TripAdvisor to reach the largest potential audience. Do a Facebook Live of part of your tour and share it with your friends and post images of your tour on Instagram and use the right hashtags so that people can find you with ease.

Related: The Simplest Test of Whether Your Business Idea Is Good or Bad

7. Coaching services

If you’re an expert in some arena such as business, health or computers, why not become a coach? You can become a coach no matter where you’re living and you can render your services over Skype or in person. Jot down three of your best skills and decide how you can parlay those skills into a high-ticket coaching service.

Today, people are paying thousands of dollars to coaches and masterminds just for the chance to learn the proper skills that will get them ahead most quickly in life or in business. No matter what your category is, you can definitely set up a coaching service for it even if you have to get creative to do so.

Related: The Good Thing About an Antiquated Industry? Lots of Room to Innovate.

8. Social media management

Social media is massive these days and businesses don’t have the time or the knowledge to manage this themselves. Yet, they do realize that this is one of the most important aspects of marketing, and by mastering this single area, you can add tons of value to local businesses while also raking in that proverbial cash.

Today, businesses are willing to spend big money on social media management. If you can help to drive real leads and sales through this medium, your roster of clients will skyrocket over time. Follow other popular social media influencers and power users to discover their best strategies and model your efforts after theirs.

Related: Why MailChimp’s Insane Fake Ad Campaign Paid Off

9. Ad management agency

Today, Facebook, Google and YouTube ads have become the domineering forces in pay-per-click advertising. Those who can master the PPC medium will find that any business can be scaled quickly and effectively. Once you understand how to track your converting offers — and you determine that by spending $1 you can make $2 — you’ll be able to infinitely scale your business and grow by leaps and bounds.

Take the time to learn how Facebook and Google ads works. Take courses on these topics and uncover the best tactics for reaching the right audience. Once you can reach the right audience, and you have the correct offer in place that appeals to that audience, you can move quickly into market saturation.

Related: The Website That Is Helping Companies Find Diverse Talent

10. SEO and web development

SEO and web development both offer massive opportunities today. Web development and the often-obfuscated world of SEO is definitely something that’s scary to most folks because there are so many variables at play. With over 200-plus algorithm-ranking factors, it’s no wonder people are hesitant about making mistakes and doing it on their own.

Yet, if you get very good at this one single thing, you can make an impressive amount of money no matter where you are. Either you can sell your services as an SEO or web developer, or you can build your own niche sites with affiliate links and go after the passive-income route for making money online.

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