If you’re a guy looking for ideas on how to start a small business, you’ve come to the right place. This site deals only with problems and solutions for things that affect men, meaning all the ideas and theories listed below are going to be written from your perspective.
We’ll also address the question of why certain ideas are more interesting to guys and how to start a business that plays to your advantages.
List of Small Business Ideas for Guys
The following is a list of online-based businesses that anyone can do:
#1 Business Idea: Start a Website About Your Favorite Topic
The easiest, fastest and most straightforward thing to do in your situation is to start a website on your favorite topic. However, choosing the right topic, and implementing a monetizable solution that creates a hefty profit is a bit of an art.
Trust me on this one – I’ve had over 10 different failed projects, so I know the hallmarks of what makes a good idea, and what makes a bad idea. Probably over 95% of the people out there are enthusiastic about ideas that have no way of succeeding.
So, here is a short intro on how to choose an idea that has a good chance of working out:
- List 7-8 topics that interest you at least remotely. Yes, it’s better to try to make money with a hobby that is more profitable, than with one that makes you happier. Success breeds happiness.
- For example, I’d list the following possible startup ideas: Computer hardware, car parts, video games, operating system maintenance, NoFap, and travel.
- Out of those topics, research what the competition does (a quick Google search will suffice) and imagine what you can bring to the market. “Bringing to the market” means what can positively separate you from the others. What is your unique value proposition (UVP)? Copycat businesses never work out.
- Continuing with the imaginary example: Car parts are a multi-billion dollar business, however, the barrier to entry is huge. There are thousands of big businesses already making money, and local presence is important. A simple website would not be enough.
- The video games niche seems “easier” than the car parts niche, although monetization may be problematic. The only way I can see you making money is with ad monetization (with Google Adsense perhaps) and the Amazon Associates affiliate program.
- Operating system maintenance, on the other hand, sounds dull but may be a goldmine. Here’s why:
- Less competition than the other listed ideas
- Multiple paths to monetization. I can make money with ads, with affiliate links and even with selling my own expertise
- It’s an evergreen niche. No matter which operating system (Windows, macOS or Linux) is trending at the moment, you can always easily adjust to the market
- Low barrier to entry. There is no mega-corporation to compete against. You’ll be competing with other small business owners, meaning you’ll be at a level playing field with the other founders.
- It takes technical know-how to succeed and to be able to write good guides. The number of people in the world that can compete with you is less than 1%.
If this got you interested in starting a web-based business, that’s great. However, you are going to need a hosting company to run your website. Bluehost is one of the most popular and recommended hosting companies for small businesses. Check it out by clicking on our link and get the special discount offered to Antidopamine readers and a free domain name.
If you liked this way of thinking about business, don’t worry – I’ll write a longer, more specific dedicated article about this soon. Now continuing with the other business alternatives:
#2 Do a Freelance Side-Hustle
Realistically, most small businesses fail, which isn’t as terrible as it sounds if you handle things right.
In order to do proper risk management and not get burned, you should try to first get your feet wet in the market. This means that you should have an average, stable paying job, while you are experimenting with different side income sources.
The best way to do this is to have a freelance side-hustle. This means that during the day, you are an ordinary 9-to-5 dude, but once your shift is over, you are working on a different project. These projects don’t have to be your own – you can have an easier time making money by working on other people’s websites.
Think about it: someone else can live with the problem of a failing business or trying to think of a monetization method – your only issue is to complete your freelance task and get your payment.
The best websites for freelancing are UpWork and Freelancer (in that order).
#3 Build a Web-App
If you are a decent programmer or web developer, then you can try your hand at building a web app. Another way to enter this market is if you have a surplus of capital. In that case, you can pay a local or freelance developer to create the web-app for you.
Personally, I think anyone with an average IQ and drive can be at least an intermittent coder. You don’t have to be a genius to create web apps. If a website you create takes off, then you’ll easily earn enough money to finance developers to create a better version of your project.
Anyway, you may be wondering what is the difference between a web app and a website? By “web app,” I’m talking about an online service that solves problems for people. For example, YouTube is a web app, since it is a platform for hosting videos. Until recently, YouTube didn’t actually produce any content. It just hosted software on hundreds on cloud servers that made it possible for others to upload and watch videos.
So, if you create an automatic tool that solves a problem, that means you’ve created a web-app. If you have a web page that has various content (articles, reviews, videos, music, etc.) and information about what you’re selling, then you’ve created a website. Most affiliate and eCommerce projects are websites, not web apps.
#4 Offer Copy-Writing Services
If you find that you are good at writing, you can become a copy-writer.
A copywriter is a fancy way of saying “writer,” with the added difference that a copywriter is usually focused on writing sales pages or other direct marketing material. In a way, a good copywriter becomes the voice of a company.
As the years go by, there is more and more competition in this market, so although being a copywriter isn’t as lucrative as it used to be, it’s still a pretty good job. I know a few guys in this industry that are traveling around the whole world while making big money by just typing on their laptops.
#5 Offer Content-Writing Services
A content writer is a similar job position to a copywriter, with the difference being that in most companies, it carries less weight and may be involved in more menial tasks. This doesn’t mean that all companies work this way, or that the life of a content writer has to be dull.
It just means that statistically speaking, content writers are paid less than copywriters.
If you feel that your writing skills need a bit of work, there is no shame in becoming a content writer for a blog or website, and then working your way up the ladder.
Everyone has to start somewhere.
#6 Do Graphics and Web Design
If you feel that you are not good at programming and that you are not good at writing or management/consulting, then there is another alternative for you – being a graphics designer.
I don’t have personal experience in being a designer, so that’s why I might not be able to provide as much information as possible.
Anyway, the best way to try out this market is to start with freelancing (on the freelance platforms mentioned earlier in this guide) or by looking for companies that are hiring remote employees.
#7 Become an SEO Expert
A good, proper SEO (search engine optimizer) measures his value in gold.
That’s because most of the people that operate in this market have no idea what they’re doing. This problem is further compounded by the fact that it is difficult to tell which SEO is good and which is bad.
The reason for this difficulty is that the results of SEO efforts take time. Sometimes companies may need to wait up to three months for results to come in.
Plus, it is not possible to control all the different factors that affect a website’s SERP (search engine results page) ranking. That means that a bad SEO may get two things wrong, but if in the meantime the website itself got three things right, the website is actually going to move up on the SERP.
Making $5,000-$10,000+ a month is realistic and achievable for seasoned SEOs.
#8 Be a Performance and Optimization Expert
Websites and companies that are already making money pay top dollar for IT experts that can optimize and increase the performance of their platform stacks.
For example, most blogs and company pages use WordPress as their default front-end and back-end platform. WordPress is a good CMS (content management system) out of the box, but it can easily get hunkered down if it’s filled with plugins and bad settings. Most companies have no idea of the hardware requirements needed to run an optimal WordPress install.
That means that if you have some knowledge of computer systems, you can work your way up to becoming a website optimization expert. Note: you don’t have to limit yourself to WordPress. I just used it as an example. There are far more lucrative platforms to optimize out there (like Shopify and Woocommerce).
#9 Provide Security Solutions to Other Businesses
Just as performance optimization experts work on making a website load faster, a security professional works on making a website (or a business’ internal network) be safe from intruders and attackers.
The web goes through millions of attacks every year. And profitable websites can easily lose thousands if not millions when they suffer from downtime.
Many of these attacks are automatic, while some are manual and based with manipulating company employees into giving valuable information (that type of attack is called “social engineering“).
What all of this means is that there are plenty of opportunities for people that are able to protect websites from attacks and downtime. The internet is full of security issues that someone needs to solve.
#10 Dropshipping Might Work for Some People
Dropshipping means selling e-commerce products to end users, but instead of having a product inventory, you just order and deliver items at the time of purchase.
This means that the people that buy from you have no idea that you are not actually the producer or retailer for the product you’re selling. You’re just a middleman that takes money from the buyer, get a cut, and then sends the money to the original product producer or retailer.
Personally, this sounds tedious and uninspiring, but there are many people on forums and on Reddit that swear by this online money making method.
#11 Sell Hand-Made Items
Typically, “hand-made” items are not something that people associate with guys, but that’s not true.
In fact, there is nothing more manly that knowing how to use tools and having good work ethic.
If you are handy at home and know how to deliver an outstanding product, selling hand-made items has never been easier.
eBay is not the only game in time. These days there is Etsy, and you can even sell directly on Amazon. Finding buyers is easy – creating a unique product that catches people’s attention is the difficult part.
#12 Sell Online Courses
If you are knowledgable on a topic (and this doesn’t have to be about IT-related topics), you can easily make money selling courses on websites like Udemy.
Of course, just making a few videos and PDFs may not be enough to start earning. Just like the first part of this guide, you’ll first have to research the competition. You have to find out what people are buying on places like Udemy, then see how your competitors is producing the content, and then finally decide if you are up to the challenge.
Don’t try to halfway sell courses only to fail and waste your time.
Only enter this market if you are 100% sure that you have a unique value proposition and you can out-deliver your competition.
#13 Become a Consultant
Becoming a consultant is easier, more lucrative and fulfilling than selling online courses.
A consultant does not record videos or sell PDFs. He doesn’t care about trivial things like that. A consultant is a person that is good at a given task and is on retainer for a company that needs his services.
You don’t have to be a consultant about the usual topics – finance and tech. Even a nutritionist is a type of consultant since he is paid for sharing his knowledge.
If you have even a single hobby that you’ve read a few books about – that means you know more about that topic than 99% of the people in the world.
Never underestimate how little other people know about things that interest you.
#14 If All Else Fails, Do a Career Switch
This isn’t exactly a business idea, but it should be a part of this guide. Some guys aren’t yet in a financial situation where it is possible to finance a small business.
If you’ve tried your hand at a few of the outlined ideas, and haven’t had success, that’s not the end of your journey.
Failure just means that your time hasn’t come yet and that you have to keep trying.
However, you do have to live in the time you are trying to start your business, which means you need an income.
If you are currently unemployed (or underemployed), your best bet is to start investing in the knowledge needed to make a career switch. You need to be reading about topics that companies are currently hiring. Digital marketing us huge for example. Once you have at least beginner level knowledge and a sense of the industry terminology, you can try getting a job as an intern.
An intern isn’t a fancy position, but you have to start somewhere, and there is no shame in working your way up.
#15 *Bonus* Cut Expenses and Live a Frugal Lifestyle
Here’s a small bonus that can easily allow you to try more different types of money making ideas, or at least buy you more time to try the small business ideas listed in this guide.
The bonus is this: always focus on spending less money, rather than trying to earn more.
With the internet, all the knowledge in the world is free today. Don’t spend your hard-earned cash on expensive training courses when you can buy a PDF. Don’t join membership clubs for things you can discuss on Reddit. Try to keep your home expenses down to a minimum. Eating at home is much cheaper than eating outside. Fast food costs more than supermarket food.
Be smart with your money, and you’ll have the financial freedom to grow and experiment with your own business.
How to Choose the Best Business Idea
This part of the article is going to be expanded, but here’s a quick outline.
A good small business idea must have some of the following attributes:
- Ideas that take a lot of time to implement are good ideas. This cuts down the number of possible competitors.
- Ideas that require skills that other people don’t have are good ideas.
- Ideas that sound like they are solving a problem are good ideas.
- High-profit margin is crucial. That’s why online companies make more money than offline companies.
- Knowing how to flip money is essential. Once you are earning a few hundred bucks a month from your business, knowing how to re-invest and outsource tasks will make or break your enterprise.