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Small Business Ideas In Canada
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Contrary to popular belief, there are actually many ways to start a business that allow you to focus less on logistics and startup costs and more on getting your ideas off the ground. Let’s get you over the first big mental hurdle of “I want to start a business, but I have no idea.”
These 26 small business ideas make a great entry point for beginners, bootstrappers, or anyone with a busy schedule, and allow you to get the business off the ground without having to give up everything else.
To help you find the inspiration to get started, we’ve compiled a list of 100+ wanted business ideas, divided into categories like fitness, clothing, and gaming.
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Whatever your type of business, you’ll need a good domain name (use our free domain name generator) paired with a great brand name and representative logo.
Buy stock, store, pick, pack, ship. Inventory management is a big commitment when running a business.
Dropshipping is an easy, low-cost business idea to start and the first of our top business ideas. Dropshipping is a fulfillment model where a third-party supplier stores and ships inventory to customers on your behalf. It’s one of the best businesses to start because it’s low-cost, open, and scalable.
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You don’t need to handle any products yourself – you just need to do the sales and pass the orders to your supplier. In fact, it is one of the fastest and cheapest businesses to start.
You can curate products from one or more suppliers in your online store under a theme that focuses on a specific niche, such as gear for yoga enthusiasts or water bowls for dog owners. When a customer buys a product from you, the order is sent to your supplier, who fulfills it on your behalf. However, you are still responsible for your marketing and customer service.
There are domestic and foreign suppliers you can work with, as long as you can build a relationship with them built on trust – an unreliable supplier will reflect poorly on your brand.
Dropshipping is a great way to test product-market fit and launch a business before investing in your own original products. Just make sure that you always order a sample for yourself to make sure that your supplier is reliable and that the quality of the products is suitable to sell to your customers.
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Another dropshipping model, print-on-demand puts inventory, shipping and fulfillment in the hands of a third-party supplier. But unlike the dropshipping business idea above, the focus here is on customizing products with your designs to create something original.
T-shirts, hats, phone cases, hoodies, skirts, tote bags and more become the canvas for your creativity. You might find witty slogans for developers or references that resonate with cat owners – if there’s passion and pride within a community, there’s a potential t-shirt business you can start.
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Even if you’re not a designer, you can find one to work with using freelance sites like Fiverr, Upwork, Dribbble, or 99Designs.
With many print-on-demand services, you’re paying per product, so the base price per unit will be more expensive than if you ordered in bulk. But the upside is that if a particular t-shirt design doesn’t sell, you haven’t yet paid for the item (just the design, if you’ve outsourced it).
You can even use T-shirt mockups so you don’t have to spend extra money on a full photoshoot for each new design.
There are a variety of print-on-demand platforms you can work with, many of which can be integrated with your store for seamless order fulfillment. However, be sure to always order a sample of your product (often offered at a discount) to make sure your custom products look good.
Small Scale Business Ideas
A book is just another kind of product when you think about it. As such, you can create one to serve a particular market demand.
Cookbooks, picture books, comic books, poetry books, photo books, coffee books and novels – if you have the knowledge or the creativity, there are a variety of original books you can bring to market. The options are endless – that’s why it’s one of the best small business ideas to start.
Print on demand is a relatively safe way to test the waters and get started with self-publishing. It also gives you control over the quality and appearance of your book.
Lulu xPress and Blurb are popular platforms to create, order and distribute your books as physical and digital products. You can also sell it on third-party marketplaces like Amazon or Powell’s.
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While you can order one book at a time, costs naturally go down when you buy in bulk. Consider pre-selling or crowdfunding your book idea to ensure demand and guarantee a certain number of sales so you can feel confident placing a bulk order.
Launching your own book can be a great way to monetize a blog if you have or are looking to start one.
Digital products like music, courses, podcasts and templates are unique in this list of low investment small business ideas. Unlike the others, they are not tangible. There are no recurring manufacturing or shipping costs to worry about, so your margins can remain high, making it another no-brainer to be one of the best businesses to start.
The trick is to find out what makes a good digital product. What is so useful that people are willing to pay to download it?
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The answers range from original instrumental beats to stock photos that can be licensed to other creators to information products and templates that help people grow their skill sets in a specific area.
If you have a talent that can be turned into a digital product, consider packaging it into a new revenue stream.
Has a free Digital Downloads app that allows you to offer digital products in your store just as easily as physical products.
If you’re artistically inclined or know your way around a camera, you can launch using a print-on-demand business model to let others physically own a piece of your work. Just make sure you have the rights to the content you want to print or are using public domain assets that you can freely monetize.
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If you already have an engaged online following — say you’re a cartoonist or an urban photographer — you’re in an especially good position to try this small business idea.
Depending on the printer you work with, you can turn your work into products such as posters or framed wall art, even greeting cards. There are plenty of low-cost digital mockups and mockup generators like Placeit that you can use to showcase your products without having to print every item and do your own photo shoots.
In our free 40-minute video workshop, we’ll take you from product idea to setting up an online store to your first print-on-demand sale.
Having a mission to go along with a business and setting aside some profits for a cause gives social entrepreneurs a unique way to position their company in the market by addressing the issues they care about most.
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While many social enterprises offer their own original products, you can also take any of the above low-cost small business ideas and partner with a non-profit organization or execute that social good yourself, as long as you are transparent about how you work.
As part of your marketing, you can share the impact your customers have by supporting your business, such as a blog post covering your community work or a real-time impact calculator on your website.
TheGive & Grow app makes it easy to partner with charities and incorporate your mission into your business. You can set it up to donate a certain amount or a percentage of sales, or ask your customers to add a donation at checkout.
Providing services is not passive, but it can certainly be a profitable way to gain self-employment. With service based small business ideas, “time” is your inventory and your biggest investment. You only have a limited supply of hours in your day. However, this makes it easier to get up and running if you have the required skills.
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Writers, graphic designers, virtual assistants, SEO practitioners, cleaning service providers, dog walkers, real estate professionals and more can build a business around their skills. You can offer these