10 Business Ideas You've Probably Never Heard Of:
1. 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.
A crowdfunding campaign to open Café Chat L’Heureux in Montreal raised $45,000 in 40 days.
From Cat Town in Oakland, CA. to The Catcade in Chicago, IL., cat cafés are proving very popular in the US. 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.
Cat Town Café got 120 cats adopted in its first four months.
2. Home Energy Auditor.
There were roughly 120 million households in the U.S. in 2019. While the average electricity bill per U.S. household varies by state, the national average has been in excess of $1,300.00 per year for more than a decade. 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 a number of rules and regulations around energy auditing, and professional auditors must be certified.
Get the Skills
The Association of Energy Engineers has a Certified Energy Auditor (CEA) program.
Home Energy Auditors provide services using a bunch of tools you've not heard of but that are quite cool. They use infrared cameras, combustion analyzers, blower doors, manometers, watt meters, smoke machines, and even soap bubbles. Some may even go so far as to use pen and paper, too, just in case.
The top energy auditing company, CMC Energy Services, decreased carbon emissions by 203 million pounds in 2019. The woman-owned company was also selected for the 2020 Top Workplaces list in Philadelphia.
3. 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. So 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.
Sea Shanties to Learn and Sing
"It’s round Cape Horn we’ve got to go;
Chasing whales through ice and snow;
Oh, my old mother, she wrote to me;
My darling son come home from sea."
4. 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, there are many who refute it. Regardless, people pay between $25 and $500 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 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.
5. 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 potpourris and soap, and vegetables for local restaurants, among other ideas.
According to a report by IndustryARC, globally, urban farming revenues will reach $236.4 billion by 2023. While community gardens contribute the most to these revenues, home gardens will generate roughly $29.61 billion.
Small-scale Urban Farming Business Ideas:
Gardens can be started at any scale, with some farmers starting window and kitchen gardens, others starting large container gardens, and 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.
Resources for urban farming:
Success Stories in Cleveland
6. Content Translator.
Today, businesses can reach global audiences with their content but the language barrier still keeps content in smaller language silos. Not everyone speaks English, and people want content in their home language. As a freelance content translator, you translate people's blogs, ebooks, social media content, etc., from one language into another.
There are dozens of translation apps available but some are expensive and few can offer perfect translations because the software misses small nuances in language that are pivotal for meaningful translations. Of course, you have to know more than one language. In fact, you need to be fluent in two languages to offer these services.
Excellent communication and writing skills in the source language.
Professional training or a degree.
There are a lot of opportunities here when you consider internet usage per nation. The U.S. is the only predominantly English-speaking country among the top ten. China has 1.05 billion users, India has 692 million, Indonesia has 212.9 million, and Brazil has 181.8 million.
7. Expert Witness Services.
Ever wondered where these high-powered lawyers on these courtroom dramas find the wide range of bespectacled professors and doctors that provide testimony for their cases? Probably not. But this is a thing, and sourcing experts willing to testify seems to be a fairly lucrative business. The idea is quite arresting.
Expert witness services provide access to qualified specialists. To start a business like this you'll need to find these experts, and then represent them, like an agent. Or, if you are a specialist in a field, you could offer your expertise to law firms and insurance companies.
According to IbisWorld, the expert witness services industry experienced slow growth the past few years but shows no signs of decline and looks to be a viable market in the years to come.
8. 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.
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.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced some restaurants to embrace this new business model but those who have gone into it willingly are capitalizing on the low start-up costs, simple scalability, and very low overheads. However, these types of restaurants come with a dark past.
A few years ago, with news agencies finding a percentage of these restaurants operating without permits, many of them unregulated, and some three or four oily layers deep in health code violations, these businesses were seen as questionable at best. There were also reports of kitchen staff being forced to work in cramped, dark spaces.
Ghost Kitchen Example
The kitchen staff at Frato’s Pizza cooks dishes for four virtual restaurants at the same time. People seated in the restaurant can order one of their popular pizzas but, at the same time, people watching Netflix at home can order a spicy chicken gyro from Halal Kitchen, a grilled cheese sandwich from Cheesy Deliciousness, and a milkshake from Heavenly Shakes to be delivered.
9. Online Course Creator.
The global e-learning market is growing into an incredibly lucrative market, and online course creators have their chalky fingers all over it. Online course creators develop short courses that they sell via online learning platforms such as Udemy and Teachable. These courses are also a sort of long-form business card, acting as proof of expertise.
There are courses for just about anything these days. For example, Udemy has 13 categories starting with development and business, lurching through office productivity and personal development, and falling exhausted across music, health, and teaching. Ironically, there are online courses about creating online courses.
Online Course Examples
10. 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
Water filtration system
GPS tracking system
Maps of area
What are some unique business ideas?
What are the next big business ideas?
- Healthy fast food delivery business.
- Tiny houses design and construction.
- Virtual reality industry magazine.
- Educational technology.
- Build apps for quantum computers.
- Ghost restaurant.
What are the most successful small businesses?
According to our research, the most profitable small businesses are real estate, accounting and tax preparation, website design, warehousing, and legal services.
What is a fun business to start?
- Cat Café.
- Anger Room.
- Pre-packed Bug-out Bags.
What is the best business to start in 2023?
- 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.