4 Business Start-up Ideas

Starting your own business costs a lot of money and only a select few individuals have what it takes to launch a successful venture, right? WRONG. The digital age has heralded a decrease in the costs and traditional restrictions for running and marketing a small business. Countless individuals have used the web to turn their hobbies and skills into cash. Here is a list of 5 low-cost, high-demand business start-ups that show just how easy it can be to create a small business.

  1. Cleaning Service

This is not a new or unique idea, but cleaning services are in high demand. Whether people don’t have the time, or they don’t want to spend their free time do chores, there is great potential here to earn some extra money. Bonus: Carve out a niche as a garage, basement, or after-party cleaning specialist to differentiate your business.


  1. Personal Assistant/Concierge

Here is another business that offers people more of something they can’t buy, but lose by the second – time. Grocery shopping, running errands or completing other chores can be marketed to people struggling to find that “work-life balance” or those physically incapable of taking care of these tasks themselves. Bonus: Research jobs with long, unconventional hours and market your services to people in these fields.


  1. Personal Chef/Baker

Many people don’t have the time or ability to prepare good, home-cooked meals. Here’s a great opportunity to go above and-beyond the typical restaurant by offering your best dishes on a flexible and changing menu that also takes requests and delivers. Bonus: Selling seasonal and holiday dishes or desserts (i.e. Christmas cookies, etc.) may prove surprisingly lucrative if you are only looking for extra income on the side.

  1. Woodworking/Furniture Restoration

Working with your hands requires patience, focus and no small amount of talent, and marketing this skill can net a pretty penny. Selling custom-made pieces online using social media and craigslist offers woodworkers a virtually cost-free platform for showcasing and profiting from their work. Even if you don’t have the time or resources to create something from scratch, you may want to consider refinishing antique furniture commonly found at yard and estate sales or flea markets. Bonus: Check out websites like Etsy.com and woodworking forums to find ideas and discover market trends. Also, think about conducting preliminary market research – use social media to get an idea of products and price ranges that would yield the highest sales.

But that’s not all….If you’ve lost your job as a result of Department of Defense spending cuts, then The University of Scranton Small Business Development Center provides FREE and CONFIDENTIAL individual consulting to help you turn your hobby or idea into a viable, successful income stream. If you have an idea for a business or if you are a recently unemployed military veteran, contact Nick DeAntonio at (570) 941-4149 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to schedule a confidential discussion.


The University of Scranton SBDC is part of the NE PA Defense Transition Partnership. The NE PA Defense Transition Partnership is an initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Community Economic Development and the Northeast Region Partners for Regional Economic Performance, with financial support from the Office of Economic Adjustment, Department of Defense. Content reflects the views of the Pennsylvania Department of Community Economic Development and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Office of Economic Adjustment. The NE PA Defense Transition Partnership assists displaced workers as a result of Department of Defense spending reductions.