When you started out in your corporate career, you were probably excited to go for the promotions, do the extra projects and make yourself visible to the ‘big cheeses’.
Now you dread Mondays. Hate the fact that you hardly have any time for your partner or kids. And wince every time the email notification pings on your evil work mobile that needs to stay on 24/7.
You are an intelligent woman. You have mad skillz in your career and life and an appetite to learn. So why not start a business?
You could set your own hours, have time for your loved ones and do something you believe in. Triple ‘yay!’.
But what business should you start?
You tired of the same boring lists on google telling you to start a blog or be a freelance writer.
You don’t want to do those things but can’t for the life of you decide what you do want to do.
Well, get a coffee (or wine) and go through these business ideas for women to see if anything tickles your fancy.
If it does, the best thing to do is just GO FOR IT!
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These business ideas won’t necessarily make you a bazillionaire.
Some might, but others might just give you the quality of life you don’t get in your corporate career.
Depends on what you want.
I am happy to forgo the private jet as long as I don’t have to sit through any more lobotomy inducing meetings.
I have organised the list under a few headings to make it easier for you.
You don’t necessarily need to cast your net wide to find your small business idea. You could just take your current profession and pivot it into something new!
I’ve listed some well-known professions below to get you thinking.
If yours is not covered here then just type into Google ‘small business ideas for + ‘your profession”, or ‘side-hustles for + ‘your profession”.
You get articles with lists of ideas or examples of what others have done.
As I am not in the medical profession, I’ve used the fantastic list from Passive Income MD for physician side hustles. His list includes:
Depending on what field you worked in, you could set up your own small business consultancy.
Small retail businesses may be set up by people who love designing but may need help with sourcing, pricing, and stock management.
An example of this is Future Retail. Catherine Erdly is the founder and uses her experience with big-name retailers to help smaller retail businesses grow.
Ok, so this isn’t a business per say, but it can be a great way to take extended periods of time off in between projects.
My previous role was Head of Merchandising for a UK retailer. I now occasionally pick up a short consultancy project to top up the savings.
If you are going to be a consultant, just be aware that your income may be unpredictable for a while, especially when starting out.
It would be wise to have a nice chunky emergency fund to tide you over if needed.
If you have a unique idea or design for clothing, why not set up your own brand?
Mini Rodini is a funky kidswear brand which stands out from the crowd. Below is a screenshot of some of their cool stuff.
With selling platforms like Etsy and Shopify, you can get your product out there much quicker and easier than having to set up a physical brick and mortar store.
If you are into designing t-shirts, Amazon runs a programme called Merch by Amazon. You upload your design and they will print and dispatch it when a customer makes a purchase.
For some more inspiration on clothing brands, you can check out the link below.
As a lawyer, you could set up a freelance business or offer your services on a platform like Upcounsel.
You could release video courses for test preparation. Or what about videos or written explanations of commonly used contracts or anything else to help lay people understand (very confusing) legal jargon.
Here are some inspirational ideas from Entrepreneur.com.
Bookkeeper comes up a lot when searching for side-hustles or business for accountants.
You could either provide freelance services or set up a niche bookkeeping agency. Like bookkeeping for landlords for example.
Rather than bookkeeping, you could focus on one aspect, such as tax. Everyone would love to know how to calculate tax properly and avoid overpaying unnecessarily.
The further you niche down, the more specialist you become.
I interviewed Hannah Xu for my ‘Real Women. Real Business’ series who founded a tax consultancy for medical professionals.
If you have a background in marketing, you could provide a number of services. You could train others how to use social media, or copy write effectively or pitch to brands or publications.
You could train other people how to run effective social media campaigns like Digital Mums in the UK which runs a training academy to help mums launch their own social media service business.
If you know your vlookup from your sumif, you could be a great help for people who would rather poke themselves in the eye than use excel.
I personally LOVE excel and use it all the time for budgeting or analytics for my business.
You could create pricing templates for product businesses, or a wedding spreadsheet, or create budgets for people. You could do this as a freelance business, or create courses around it or sell your spreadsheets on Etsy.
If you know ALL the things about healthy eating, why not create a business around it.
You could become a personal chef or sell specialty home-made goods.
Or what about being a cooking instructor for people who want to learn how to eat healthier but don’t know where to start.
If you are an organised type you could provide a meal planning service like $5 Meal Plan.
For some more inspiration, you can check out this article with 50 small food business ideas.
If you leap at the chance to organise holidays and love all the research that goes with it, why not do it for someone else?
You could plan the whole holiday for someone, or offer weekend breaks.
I love this idea from Pack Up and Go where they organise surprise weekend breaks for people in the States.
Alternatively, you could offer concierge services for your hometown or a nearby city.
You could use blog posts to drive traffic to your site and then provide a bespoke booking service for restaurants and activities.
P.S If you help to come up with your business idea, I have made a free ‘Business Idea Worksheet’ for you to use.
You can go through the sheet to brainstorm your business ideas and select one to get started with. Click on the link below to get your worksheet.
Although the phrase ‘follow your passion’ is a little wishy-washy, if your interests are also something people would pay for then you can definitely use it as a business idea.
Just do your research first to make sure that there is enough demand for your ‘passion’ and that people will pay for those goods or services.
If you love all things make-up and beauty, what about a subscription box business? You could niche down to make your business more unique.
Like subscription boxes for busy professionals, or new mums, or people with sensitive skin?
I interviewed the founder of a high-end subscription box business called Moi-Meme which you can read about here if this business ideas interests you!
If subscription boxes aren’t your thing, then make-up tutorials or making your own niche product could be an idea.
Or you could start an eyelash salon like Monika who I interviewed for my ‘Real Women, Real Business’ series.
Here are 50 more beauty business ideas to help you!
If you love to bake, why not create a niche baking business?
The Sourdough school gets 50,000 visitors to the website a month. And all they do is focus on Sourdough.
I can vouch for their recipe, after many failed sourdough attempts, I have finally nailed it by using their instructions!
Here are 50 more baking business ideas to help you out!
If you are really into wine and beer (or any other alcohol), then why not find a way to make money from that?
A friend of mine has a craft beer subscription business in New Zealand. He loves craft beer and likes nothing more than discovering new beers to go in the boxes.
What about a beer business targeted at women? I am not a beer drinker myself but there could well be a market for it.
Gary Vaynerchuk grew his dad’s wine business by starting a YouTube channel called Wine Library TV. He has since gone on to become a mega bazillionaire as a marketing guru.
Here is an interesting article on alcohol tech startups to give you some more ideas!
If you are unhappy about the state of the planet and want to do something about it, what about a business which helps tackle global problems?
If you are sick of ingredients you have never heard of in your food, what about starting your own food brand?
The peanut butter brand Pip and Nut started out as the founder couldn’t find nut butter that didn’t contain palm oil or refined sugar.
If you are trying to reduce waste, what about making a business out of it?
You could start a zero waste online shop, an eco-blog, or a plastic-free beauty business.
Here are 50 more green business ideas for you to have a look at!
If there is something that continually annoys you, why not create a business around solving the problem?
You could spend the next month writing down everything that frustrates you about products and services and see if it sparks an idea.
Here are some examples of problems people encountered and how they solved them!
U Brew is a London based business which sells memberships to a brewing space. The idea is that brewing beer takes up space, which most Londoners don’t have in their homes!
This solves the problem by creating a place for people to brew their own beer.
Another friend of mine started Uki.be when she couldn’t find stylish teethers for her baby. Uki.be has now branched out into pram strings, toothbrush and spoons and teething necklaces.
The founder of Craft and Crumb started the business when she became frustrated at not being able to bake awesome birthday cakes for her children.
The online business sells ready-made cake kits for parents to make creative and fun cakes for their kids!
If you want to come up with a business for children, have a look at the Junior Magazine Design Awards for past winners and nominees.
It could spark an awesome business idea!
So, I hope this post has sparked some ideas for you. Before you start, make sure you do some research to make sure the business can make money.
What problem are you solving?
Does your customer have money?
Can you set up with business with little money to reduce the risk?
You do not have to come up with the perfect idea as your business will evolve – IMWLB Project started off as a personal finance blog and then pivoted into what it is today.
If you want to use a worksheet to brainstorm your idea further then you can get my free one here to download and use.
Another fantastic free resource I highly recommend is the Pop Up Business School. They run free 2-week workshops in the UK to help you start your business.
They also run a few workshops in the US as well. Attending one of their workshops is what finally gave me the kick up the backside to properly launch IWMLBproject.