Small Business Ideas, Big Dreams 5

Some business ideas come from a long-held dream to turn a fun hobby into a profitable life’s work. However, most of these small businesses require significant time, energy, and initial investment to begin, so think carefully about your commitment and do your research before you start.

If you are thinking about any of the following small business ideas, you’re not alone. These are some of the most frequently searched on Each section below includes sample business plans, business-planning tools, startup kits, and other online resources that are specific to each business idea.

Restaurant Small Business Ideas

From cafes to kiosks to fast food to takeout to full-service eateries, business ideas on how to start a small business involving food are our most frequently searched startup category. The following resources can help you turn your idea into a reality:

  • Sample Restaurant Business Plans
    We have over 40 different restaurant-style sample plans, and 20 of these restaurant plans can be read in full online. See the full list of restaurant sample plans.
  • Start a Restaurant Resource Page
    Our start-a-restaurant page contains a variety of resources and other tools that will help you effectively write a restaurant business plan and get your business cooking.
  • Other Restaurant Articles
    This article on marketing your business includes an example about obtaining statistical research on restaurants in your area, as well as suggested agencies to contact for more up-to-date information.

Clothing Small Business Ideas

Coming in a close second are requests for small business ideas involving clothing. And when you think of it, food, clothing and shelter are essential elements of survival, so it makes sense.

Photography Small Business Ideas

Some people have a natural eye for capturing images on film. If your small business idea involves photography, review the sample business plans for photography businesses. Also, since many budding photographers start out working from home, you should also review the following resources on home-based businesses. And the photograph studio resource page gives additional tools and kits that may be just the right fit for you.

  • Sample Photography Business Plans
    Check out the variety of photograph-related sample business plans available, including pet photography.
  • Start a Photography Studio Resource Page
    Our start-a-photography page contains a variety of resources and other tools that will help you effectively write a photograph business plan and get your business in focus.
  • Start a Home-Based Business Resource Page
    If you are thinking of starting a photography businesses from a home office, this resource page includes additional sample plans from a variety of home-based businesses, including photography, as well as information on start-up kits and articles specifically tailored for home-based businesses.

Salon Small Business Ideas

The hair and beauty salon industry has expanded dramatically from the early days of barber shops, beauty shops and nail salons. Check out the different salon-oriented small business ideas in these sample business plans, for inspiration. And the start a salon resource page includes tools and kits that can help you get your salon business up and running.

  • Salon Sample Business Plans
    Check out the variety of salon-related sample business plans available, including day spas, hair and beauty salons, and tanning salons.
  • Start a Salon Resource Page
    If you are thinking about starting a beauty salon or spa business, this resource page includes additional sample plans as well as information on start-up kits and articles specifically tailored for this business type.

Small Business Startup Articles

No matter which direction you are thinking about pursuing, the following articles give you general tips and strategies to help you get started with your business idea.

  • The Right Business for you by Nolo
    If you want to work for yourself, but don’t have a particular business in mind, you’re probably wondering what kind of business you should start. Fortunately, the answer is always the same: start a venture you know…
  • Top 15 Questions from SCORE
    Research of successful entrepreneurs has documented that successful small business people have certain common characteristics…
  • Business Startup Strategy
    …would-be entrepreneurs do a business plan. As a result of completing the plan you will be much better prepared and know whether or not your business idea is feasible…

About the Author Tim Berry is the founder and chairman of Palo Alto Software and Follow him on Twitter @Timberry. Follow Tim on Google+ Read more »

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