10 Business Ideas You've Probably Never Heard Of:

1. Goat rental.

Goat landscaping, AKA goatscaping, is an environmentally friendly form of landscaping that eliminates the need for gas-powered machines and harmful pesticides. Goats are known for their iron stomachs and tendency to eat pretty much anything they can get to.

Given the choice though, goats tend to prefer grazing on many of the invasive species that people spend a lot of time and money trying to get rid of.

Goats are also incredibly nimble and get to places where no man or machine would like to venture. Goats can be used to clear a patch of grass for fire management, get rid of weeds, or kill invasive species. The ecological and financial benefits are easy to see, which is why goatscaping has become a profitable business for those who own livestock.

Finding Success:

Goat rental is a niche business that requires one or more goats that are well-kept and easy to handle. If you have the space, the ability, and the desire to farm goats, this is a good business to start. In the U.S. many goat landscaping businesses have popped up, including Goats on the Go, HireGoats.com, and Goats R Us.

2. Cat café.

Cat cafés offer people a place to drink a cup of coffee and eat a light meal while watching, cuddling, and playing with cats. For those who are unable to keep pets, these establishments offer them the opportunity to interact with animals.

These businesses have also proved very successful in improving cat adoption rates in the U.S., and some have partnered with shelters and rescue organizations.

Although no one can be certain, it is generally agreed that the world's first cat café opened in Taipei, Taiwan in 1998. It was called the Cat Flower Garden. Six years later, the idea of cat cafés pounced over to Japan, where they became extremely popular.

Over the next five years, 79 cafés purred into existence throughout the island. From there, they spread across the globe. The first cat café on the North American continent was Le Café des Chats in Montreal, Canada.

Finding Success:

From Cat Town in Oakland, California to The Catcade in Chicago, Illinois, cat cafés are proving very popular in the U.S. However, getting approved in the past has been difficult. Most health departments want to wedge a gulf between the area where food is prepared and served and where the cats are kept after hours. Fair — no one wants a hairball on their plate.

3. Moirology.

A moirologist is a professional mourner — someone who is paid to attend funerals and mourn for the deceased. While this may sound macabre, it's a traditional practice that dates back to ancient Egypt and continues to this day.

People would hire mourners to show deep sorrowful and often over-the-top mourning for the dead, thereby indicating the importance and social significance of the loved one no longer in this world.

Today, things are a bit different, with professional mourners often leading specific funeral activities and helping maintain an atmosphere of respect during services.

Finding Success:

One does not need any formal education or experience to be a professional mourner. A dignified manner, a professional look, and a compassionate heart are the keys to success here. In the U.S. professional mourning is not as popular as in some cultures, but the industry is growing and often suggested by funeral homes.

4. Home energy auditing.

There were roughly 241 million households in the U.S. in 2023. While the average electricity bill per U.S. household varies by state, the national average was $146.45 in September 2023. Roughly half of the energy used by U.S. households is for heating and cooling alone.

If you can save people up to 30% on their bills, you're in business — that's what home energy auditors do. By applying their understanding of how energy is consumed in a building, they suggest ways to reduce this consumption and, in turn, save people money.

There are several rules and regulations around energy auditing, and professional auditors must be certified.

Get the Skills:

Home energy auditors provide services using a range of tools. They use infrared cameras, combustion analyzers, blower doors, manometers, watt meters, smoke machines, and even soap bubbles.

The Association of Energy Engineers has a Certified Energy Auditor (CEA) program.

5. Professional friend business.

A professional friend is someone who is paid to fulfill the role of friendship with those seeking advice, companionship, or support. It is important to note that this is on a purely platonic level, with zero romantic involvement. This business can be split into two categories, virtual friends and IRL (in real life) friends.

Virtual friends or cyber friends are people who are paid to connect with others online. They may be asked to video chat, play games online, help with social media profiles, and generally answer questions and engage with a "matched" client.

IRL friends are people who physically meet with their matched clients and do things normal friends would do like go to a sports game, go shopping, learn to surf, go wine tasting, visit a museum, or go clubbing.

Finding Success:

Becoming a professional friend does not require any education or training. If you are a naturally bubbly person who gets along well with others, this could be a good way to make money. While some people are independent contractors, the majority of professional friends are registered on sites like Rent a Friend and FriendPC.

6. Boat cleaning.

Boat-bottom barnacle busting is quite a lucrative industry with relatively little competition. As the ever-popular outdoor activities of water sports, leisure boating, and deep-sea fishing continue to attract great interest, particularly from consumers with high disposable incomes, niche services within this market offer profitable opportunities.

Everyone needs a clean boat. Boat owners know that cleaning prevents rust and decay and preserves their investments. Thus, boat cleaning companies provide these services at marinas with their kits of mops, brushes, towels, polish, vinyl, and wax.

What an appealing thought: to clean a boat, rid it of barnacles, and mend and caulk its hull while singing sea shanties.

Finding Success:

A person can start as a simple boat cleaner with a few cleaning items, some instructions, and a basic knowledge of boats. However, if you want to set up a boat detailing business, some sort of certification is required as well as the more advanced cleaning equipment. Companies like Deckhand Detailing offer boat detailing courses.

7. Anger room.

Another import from Japan, anger rooms, also called rage rooms and smash rooms, are places that charge people to break stuff. The idea is that people can vent their rage and frustration, but while many claim this is an excellent form of therapy, many refute it. Regardless, people pay between $25.00 and $500.00 for up to 60-minute sessions.

Some of these businesses set up scenes and replicas of household rooms or offices, some offer custom setups, and others provide little more than a four-walled room in the warehouse district. People pay to demolish televisions, furniture, printers, clocks, wine bottles, etc. Some companies even allow customers to bring their own breakables.

This makes a smash room quite an affordable business to start. You need a room, some breakable stuff you can pick up at dumps or on the street, and things like crowbars, baseball bats, table legs, etc. You may also consider providing protective gear.


Clearly demarcate the lobby from any smash rooms.

8. Small-scale urban farming.

With a little bit of land and some know-how, a green thumb can quickly reap some good money and do good for society. Small-scale farming is becoming very popular, and there are many options. One could grow herbs for food and medicine, flowers for potpourri and soap, and vegetables for local restaurants, among other ideas.

Small-scale urban farming business ideas:

Finding Success:

Gardens can be started at any scale, with some farmers starting window and kitchen gardens, and others starting large container gardens or small greenhouses. There are larger-scale options like vertical farming, but starting a business growing plants doesn't have to cost a lot of money. You do need to know what you're doing, though.

9. Pre-packed bug-out bags.

Come earthquake, hurricane, flood, wildfire, horde of trolls, Vikings, or zombies, whatever the disaster, survivalists believe the first 72 hours are pivotal. Get through those and you may have a chance. To get through them, you need a bug-out bag.

Bug-out bags contain basic tools and supplies that aid survival in an emergency. Where survival kits have everything you need to set yourself up nicely next to some idyllic river for three and a half months, a bug-out bag gives you 72 hours. The focus is on evacuation.

Most of us don't believe disasters happen to good people, and even more couldn't be bothered to prepare for one. Some also over-prepare. One bug-out bag checklist had the number of items at 50. So, some companies, driven by love for humanity, pre-pack bug-out bags.

What's in a Bug-Out Bag:

Air filtration mask

Mini shovel



Sleeping bag


Water filtration system

Folding saw

Emergency cash

Pepper spray



Fishing kit




GPS tracking system

Head gear

Maps of area

Waterproof jacket

10. Ghost restaurant.

Also known as dark kitchens, cloud kitchens, virtual kitchens, or headless restaurants, ghost restaurants are delivery-only restaurants with no seating, dining areas, or waiters. Customers order food through third-party services or directly from the restaurant.

The online food delivery market experienced a considerable upturn during the pandemic and is expected to continue on a strong growth trajectory. It seems people prefer to order in from a ghost restaurant than visit their favorite haunt.

Finding Success:

According to Valuates Reports, a market research company, the global ghost kitchen market is projected to be a $71.4 billion industry by 2027, with the U.S. expected to have the largest market share.

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What are some unique business ideas?

Unique ideas for a business include becoming a professional friend, opening a cat cafe, renting out goats, starting an urban farm, or becoming a professional mourner.

What are the next big business ideas?

  • Tiny houses design and construction.
  • Healthy fast food delivery business.
  • Apps for quantum computers.
  • Educational technology.

What is a fun business to start?

  • Cat café.
  • Anger room.
  • Selling pre-packed bug-out bags.

What is the best business to start in 2024?

  • Dropshipping.
  • Virtual assistant services.
  • Online tutoring.
  • Ghost restaurant.
  • Online store.
  • Data analysis services.
  • Small-scale urban farming.

What are some million-dollar ideas?

  • Build chatbots.
  • Boat cleaning and repair.
  • Data analysis services.

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