56 Business Ideas for Artists and Musicians

Some people are just born with talent, whether it be in painting, singing, sculpting, or dancing. These people and the people who spend years developing their craft are extremely passionate and want to spend their time making the art they love. Unfortunately, it can seem that in order to be successful and financially stable, these people have to sacrifice doing something they love in order to do something more profitable. But, the good news is that’s simply not true!

The following is a list of art and music business ideas that will help artistically and musically talented people put their skills to use in a way that can bring them financial success. After reading this list, you’ll see that there are so many ways for people to make money without having to sacrifice their desire to do what they love.

As the old saying goes, if you’re good at something, never do it for free. So, put your talents to good use and start an art or music business!

1. 3D Printing Design Business

A 3D printing business is usually affiliated with a larger business such as Shapeways. The benefit to this is that you focus on creating 3D designs and taking orders while Shapeways prints the actual objects. The eventual profits are then split between yourself and Shapeways.

This business is great for artists, particularly those who have created physical works (such as statues and carvings) before. Arguably, the most important part of this job is being able to take a good idea and use a combination of software and artistic skill to make it into a reality.

2. Acting Classes Business

An acting classes business provides group or one-on-one classes in acting for adults or children. As the owner of an acting classes business, you’ll provide training, coaching and support to those who are considering getting into the acting business or those already in the business who would like to improve their chances of landing a role. Most business owners in this field will want to find a niche. For instance, you might work with children, or with a career-oriented adult audience interested in stage acting, film, commercials, voice-over work or other areas of specialization.

Credibility is critical, so it’s imperative that you have a connections in the entertainment business. You do not need to be famous, but you need to have relationships with others in the industry, so they can verify that you have the knowledge needed to teach others the art of acting. If your specialization is in film acting training, you should be a current or retired film or television actor, director, casting director or have similar industry experience. If you’re teaching commercial acting, you should have experience as a commercial actor, director or on the ad agency commercial production side. Your reputation in the acting community and how you promote your credentials will be critical to your success.

Image of Adult Coloring Book Company

An adult coloring book company helps provide grown-ups with a creative outlet by both designing and marketing coloring books. These coloring books are usually highly detailed.

People who are highly creative and have a knack for artistic expression may enjoy, and be good at running, an adult coloring book company. Business owners often design coloring books themselves, at least until their business is well established, and creating a coloring book requires a considerable amount of artistic skill.

A coloring book company doesn’t require a business owner to keep specific hours, so it’s possible to start a company while working at a traditional job.

Why we like this business:

This business is a great option because of the unique nature of its products. Adult coloring books offer people the opportunity to take space from their hectic schedules and demanding lives. Not only that, but they also provide customers with the chance to be reintroduced to creative tendencies that may have fallen to the wayside. By creating adult coloring books, you are appealing to a demographic that not only has interest in your work, but that also possesses the material means to purchase your products and support your business.

Read More

4. Art Consulting Business

Art consultants serve two separate (but related) business functions. They may work with artists to help them find their best target audience and to promote the artist's work to increase sales. An art consultant may also work with collectors who wish to acquire specific kinds of art or galleries who wish to commission specific work from specific artists. Either way, a consultant is an important way for a community's artistic presence to grow and thrive.

Needless to say, this job is best for those with an artistic background. This includes practicing artists and those with a formal education in subjects such as art and art history. This provides the necessary background to understand both how the art world and artists themselves function.

5. Art Gallery

Art galleries provide local artists an opportunity to gain exposure and profit from their work. While the primary goal from a business standpoint is to make profit based on art sales and special events, providing a vibrant art scene can help create a more vibrant community. Customers for an art gallery's work typically include collectors, investors, decorators, and private companies.

The best art gallery manager is an artist himself: someone who is aware of different modes and styles of art as well as its history and future trends. The manager should have a sense of individual style that the different works on display help accentuate, which helps the business stand out from its competition. Running a gallery means having a somewhat flexible schedule, but sales can be contingent on a willingness to deliver and display artwork to prospective buyers' homes, and often on short notice.

6. Art Lessons Business

Art lessons may target one demographic (such as children, teens, or adults) or be offered to all demographics. Similarly, your lessons may focus on a single specialty (such as painting or ceramics), though it is in the artist's best interest to teach in as many disciplines as they can.

Obviously, this business is ideal for veteran, practicing artists. It is also educational in nature, so it is good for those who have formal or informal experience with being a teacher or teacher's assistant. Finally, it's a job that is best for a “people person,” as your entire business model revolves around prolonged contact with strangers, so being able to engage and connect with them immediately is crucial.

Image of Ballroom Dance Lessons Business

A ballroom dance business provides ballroom dance lessons in a well-appointed studio. It can train teams that participate in national or regional competitions and also provide dance lessons for those who simply want to learn how to dance. A ballroom dance lessons business may be associated with a recreational center or a club, and may offer classes for both interested dancers as well as teachers.

This business is good for a person who has experience and knowledge of ballroom dancing, both competitive and social, and has access to a commercial space, preferably with hardwood floors. A person without the necessary experience to teach but who has a strong interest in dance could hire a few well-trained professionals to give the classes.

Why we like this business:

Ballroom dancing is known for its class and elegance. Many people wish they could improve their dancing skills, whether it be for competitions or simply for fun. Opening a ballroom dance lessons business is a perfect way to share your other ballroom dancing skills with others who are seeking to better theirs. This business offers flexibility in that it can be run as a full-time business or a side business whenever you have the time.

Read More

8. Bronzing Business

In an era when everything seems to be digital, physical keepsakes still have a special place in people’s hearts. Preserved baby items, in particular, are tangible mementos that stand out from many of the gifts that are available today. Bronzing businesses preserve cherished keepsakes in bronze and other platings, offering people a way to keep hold of cherished items from their children’s and grandchildren’s youngest years.

The bronzing business is far from an up-and-coming industry. One of the two largest companies in the industry, American Bronzing Co., has closed its doors, and so have many other established bronzing businesses. As larger businesses close, however, new opportunities open for small businesses that can operate in this industry while maintaining a lower overhead.

A bronzing business is suitable for anyone who enjoys working with their hands, for bronzing is a hands-on process. This is also a possible business for people who have day jobs, as the bronzing work can be done any time. There’s no need to work traditional office or retail hours.

9. Calligraphy Business

Many people primarily rely on calligraphy businesses to create unforgettable wedding invitations or other special event stationery that they want to have a personal touch. However, others want to be able to write in calligraphy themselves, and they will look to your business to teach them.

Obviously, this business is best for someone that is highly skilled in calligraphy. Since much of the business comes from designing things like wedding invitations, this job is also good for artists or those with an artistic vision. For both the event-planning and instructional aspects of the business, being a “people person” is very helpful.

10. Candle Making Business

Candlemakers are artisans who pay critical attention to the sensory aesthetics of their product line and pragmatic business people adept at enticing buyers through smart marketing strategies.

The ideal candlemaker should love the craft of candle making and have skills involved with sales and marketing. Candlemakers can begin modestly—in the kitchen and storage space of your home or apartment, and with a limited budget and inventory. Since candles are often thought to be commodity products, you must constantly seek ways of branding your line to differentiate yourself from competitors. Showcase your product line attractively through excellent image photography, a strong online presence and savvy sales skills.

11. Caricature Business

Whether at an art fair, business convention, or community event, caricatures are a fun way to lighten the mood and get people to laugh at themselves. Caricatures are spontaneous illustrations that exaggerate or “cartoonize” the individual’s features. Initially, this artistic expression was simply done on ink and paper. The tradition has now grown to include digital illustrations, with a variety of printing options available.

Artistically inclined individuals who possess the drive and tenacity to manage their own stable business would be best suited for this business venture. As a caricature business owner, you must be both creative and business savvy, making critical financial and marketing decisions that will help your organization sustain long-term growth.

12. Cartoon Service

As the owner of a cartoon service, you can take your talent for drawing and perhaps writing cartoons in a number of directions. You could create art for greeting cards, books and magazines, digital clients, animation studios, ads, comic books, merchandise, cartoon syndicates and almost endless other sales channels both online and off.

First and foremost, you must have a talent for cartooning. For many kinds of assignments, the ability to write—especially in a humorous vein—is also necessary. Beyond that, your marketing skills and self-promotional instincts will help you commercialize your talent in a number of ways.

13. Commercial Photography Business

Commercial photographers capture artistic photographs with an emphasis on marketing and selling products and services. Photographs can be used in advertisements, brochures, leaflets, and even restaurant menus. 

The creative individual that is passionate about photography and inspiring others through their work is drawn to this profession. Those entering this specialized field often do so because of their passion and eye for both fashion and photography. The combination of these two art forms serves as a creative outlet. Successful photographers are often able to travel the world, earning an income that supports them, as they work to fulfill their dreams. 

Image of Craft Store

Craft store businesses provide the necessary supplies for creating unique handmade items for shoppers who prefer originality over mass production. A craft store business can exist online, in a physical location, or both. Some craft store businesses sell a wide range of various types of arts and crafts supplies, while others cater to specialized niche markets.

This type of business is ideal for people who enjoy providing supplies for people to participate in creating various types of arts and crafts.

Why we like this business:

No matter where you are looking to start your business, there are people in the area who are passionate about arts and crafts. When you open your business, your customers will be looking for a place that has all of the craft materials that they desire. Offer a wide variety of options, and be willing to make special orders for customers who are looking for something you don’t have. Great customer service and friendliness is the way to craft store customers’ hearts.

Read More

15. Custom Doll Business

The demand for dolls has fluctuated over time, but they do continue to withstand the test of time. A custom doll maker will handcraft dolls for clients based on either public demand or personalized requests. For example, they may create dolls that reflect current pop culture or political icons, or they may handcraft dolls that resemble the client who ordered it.

Doll makers typically start off as hobbyists who make dolls for their friends, families, or even just for themselves. But a doll maker should also be creative enough to put clever spins on the general dolls they sell or custom requests.

16. Custom Phone Case Business

If trends hold steady, there will be an estimated 6 billion smartphones in the world by 2020. This is an incredible opportunity for those who want to break into this market, as there will be increased demand for products to protect these expensive investments from dents, scratches, and breaks. The majority of phone cases are sold online to decrease overhead costs. However, retail storefronts can be a good investment for entrepreneurs depending on the target customers.

This business is good for people who are both creative and practical. There are an infinite amount of design options for phone cases, but some will be more popular (and profitable) than others. A good business owner can both narrow down the choices, and predict trends to gain a market edge. Owners will also need some customer service and advertising experience as well.

17. Custom Portrait Business

A custom portrait business specializes in creating portraits in a variety of styles and mediums for a diverse array of clients. Your custom portrait business may specialize in mediums such as pencil, paint, or even crochet. You may run a business where customers order a portrait in advance, or you may offer to create a custom portrait on the spot for them.

Obviously, this is a business designed for an artist. However, not just any artist: you must be comfortable doing a lot of interaction with many kinds of customers (especially if you are doing portraits on the spot), and you must be able to work quickly, both to achieve customer satisfaction and to increase your margin of time and profit.

18. Custom Treehouse Business

Since the beginning of time, trees have been used by humans as a form of shelter. In more modern times, treehouses have become fun places for children and even adults to spend their time. Tree house builders design and build treehouse structures in trees. This includes everything from a child’s tree house fort, complete with zip lines and rope bridges, all the way up to small family homes.

Individuals with a sound understanding of tree growth patterns, structural engineering, and a construction background are often a great fit for this type of business. Those who possess this knowledge and who enjoy being one with nature become the best candidates.

19. Dance Studio

Dance instructors have the experience and knowledge required to offer dance lessons, but they need a venue to teach their craft. A dance studio provides instructors with space to offer dance lessons, including both group classes and private sessions.  

There are many ways to start a succesfull dance studio. However, most studios fall into one of two categories:

  • Traditional Studio: traditional dance studios provide an educational space for movement arts, such as ballet, jazz, or even hip hop. While lessons can be offered to customers of all ages, many studios specialize on group or private lessons for children and teens. In addition to offering lessons, studios often organize dance performances or competitions for their students. 
  • Active Lifestyle Studio: a growing number of dance studios offer an alternative to hitting the gym. These studios offer intructor led sessions in active dance styles, stuch as Zumba or Aerial Silk. This style of studio appeals to adults looking for an fun way to lead healthier, more active lifestyle.

Identifying your niche will put you in the right position to start your own dance studio.

Anyone with access to a commercial space that can be adapted into a couple of classroom sized rooms and a larger performance area might consider opening a dance studio.

A passion for and knowledge of dance is helpful, but not necessary because the studio owner doesn’t necessarily have to be the instructor, but can hire or lease space to one or more instructors.

20. Dinner Theatre

Bring all your talents together as the host of a quality restaurant while putting on a fun musical, drama, or dazzling circus show with your own dinner theatre business. Whether you are targeting tourists or neighbors, it's a challenging undertaking that blends business, theater, and food service all under one roof.

For the multi-talented entrepreneur, a dinner theater business feeds your desire to work in a constantly changing landscape as you swap out menus and productions every few months. Your business will serve customers from every walk of life even as you work to bring together stage talent and service staff equally motivated to excel in this unique workplace. However, you should expect to keep a hectic schedule. If you value your nights, weekends, and holidays, this may not be the job for you.

21. Drone Photography Business

Drone photography involves the taking of photos or videos by an autonomous UAV or one controlled by a person who manually operates it via remote control. Commercial drone photography plays a role across a wide range of industries including real estate, farming, films, advertising, and much more.

A drone photography business is a wonderful opportunity for anyone who wants to make good money by combining their love of photography or videography along with their passion for flying. There is a high technical barrier to the business, so it is critical that potential business owners are dedicated to achieving a high degree of technical fluency. A drone photography business usually requires a lot of traveling to clients, so you will need to be comfortable with possible overnight travel.

22. Fashion Photography Business

A fashion photographer is responsible for capturing images at fashion shoots and editing the photos they’ve captured. While they’re not usually involved in directing the shoot, they utilize their knowledge of lighting and eye for design to provide creative direction.

Those entering this specialized field often do so because of their passion and eye for both fashion and photography. The combination of these two art forms serves as a creative outlet. Successful photographers are often able to travel the world while earning an income that supports them as they work to fulfill their dreams.

Image of Furniture Upcycling Business

Part of upcycling can be simple refurbishment, and part of it is re-styling it. New covers, new coats of paint, and other new changes can make something old and worn down into something chic and modern. The business also scales nicely, letting you grow from a solo operation to a team, if necessary.

This business is great for veterans of yard sales and thrift shops—basically, anyone with a good eye for finding surprising items at low prices. It's also good for those with an eye for style and design, so you are able to see not just what the worn down furniture is but what it could be after some modifications. Finally, it's good for those with sales experience, as the job may involve a lot of individual interaction with a variety of customers.

Why we like this business:

The great thing about furniture upcycling businesses is that much of the furniture that you work on, if not all can be acquired for extremely cheap prices or even for free. Most furniture upcycling businesses are relatively small in scale, so yours can be run out of your house, garage, or workshop if you have one. Since rent and furniture prices will be so low, and all you will pay for is the material you use to make the old furniture new and beautiful, almost all of the money you make on each piece will be money in your pocket.

Read More

24. Glass Blowing Business

Art comes in all forms. A glassblower uses techniques that have been around since the first century BC, shaping the glass into their creative vision. They sell their work in online stores and local galleries. Many also take on commissioned work.

Glassblowing is perfect for the individual who likes to work alone to turn their creative visions into works of art. It requires hard work, innovative instincts, and an entrepreneurial spirit. If you exhibit these qualities, glassblowing might be the career for you.

25. Graphic Design Business

Graphic design professionals create or maintain a visual look that might be carried out in signage, letterheads, ads, sales collateral material, website and digital content and virtually all other internal and external communications. This can involve logo design, fonts and typography, color and imagery selection and layout. The owner of a graphic design studio might work alone or have one or more employees to generate new business, work on existing projects and support the enterprise.

Ownership of a graphic design studio is ideal for artistically minded people who are adept at managing the aesthetics of the way their business and organizational clients address their various markets, communicating creative ideas and executing design decisions independently or through employees or vendors.

You should be able to work alone and in a collaborative environment as you grow or work alongside clients. And you must feel confident in both worlds—business and creative expression—because your work will span both.

26. Greeting Card Business

A greeting card business sells greeting cards to customers. These greeting cards can be for a number of occasions, including birthdays, holidays, reunions and even funerals. Cards can either be sold directly to customers or to retail dealers. If they’re sold to a retail dealer, the dealer then sells the cards to customers. Some greeting card businesses operate online, selling cards to shoppers and shipping them.

The greeting card business is great for those with a taste for design, poetry, celebratory occasions and creative expression. It’s also a fantastic business choice for those who want to become printing specialists.

Ideally, a greeting card business owner will be good at marketing different cards. From “everyday” cards to special occasion cards, each will need to be trendy, relevant and memorable. For this reason, a greeting card business owner needs to be culturally aware, have a knack for humor and be a decent marketer.

27. Ice Sculpture Business

Ice sculpture business owners are typically adept at sculpting, from clear ice, figures for weddings, parties and other social events. Their finished work might include animals, logos, abstract shapes—anything requested. There's also a market for creating larger-scale sculptures for winter outdoor events. The business owner might be a sole proprietor or could employ others, including salespeople, other sculptors and support staff to load and deliver ice figures and help operate the business.

Many owners of such businesses are artistically inclined, skilled sculptors or graduates of ice-sculpting classes. They should be able to work quickly (before the ice block melts) and fulfill the design intent of the client.

Many ice sculpture businesses today use CNC machines for computer-aided carving and more are getting into robotic carving. With these technologies, even individuals with less artistic ability can get into the business. However, using these technologies can become very expensive.

Whichever approach you take, you should be a good salesperson to develop business relationships with caterers, restaurateurs, wedding planners and other prospective customers and influencers.

28. Illustration Business

Illustrators provide their artistic talents to a range of clients, including advertising agencies, publishers, stock image services, web content providers, and other businesses.

As a freelance illustrator, you can take your skills in a number of directions. You might work for advertising agencies, stock image houses, magazine or book publishers, record labels, greeting card companies, digital properties, merchandisers, or other businesses. Some illustrators serve such narrow specialty niches as courtroom sketch artists, or niches in fashion, medicine, or technology. Or you might primarily work in fine art to be sold to customers directly or through galleries or agents.

You must have artistic talents and an entrepreneurial drive. This means that your skill set must encompass both the ability to continually find work, to complete it to your clients’ satisfaction, and to continually find new clients.

29. Jingle Company

Jingles are short songs that usually contain a memorable line that serves as a slogan to help popularize a brand, product, or company. The power of music is used to create familiarity that leads to brand loyalty among consumers.

This business is ideal for musically creative people who enjoy using their talents to promote business ventures.

Image of Karaoke Bar

A karaoke bar business provides a location where individuals can sing their favorite songs in front of a sympathetic audience. There are different forms of karaoke bars. Some are “open” bars in which singers perform for all of the occupants of the bar, while others provide small rooms for people to perform in with friends and family. In each case, the bar provides the music and lyrics necessary so the performer can concentrate only on singing.

Above all, this is a business for those who love both music and people. You must be a good “people person” who can make assorted individuals feel comfortable performing, and you must be someone with a thorough knowledge and appreciation of music. Prior experience working in bars that do karaoke is also very helpful.

Why we like this business:

Though karaoke bars are most popular in Asian countries like China and Japan, they are growing in popularity. Opening a karaoke bar will give people in your area a fun place to relax and sing their favorite songs while spending time with friends and loved ones. Proper advertising and pricing is sure to attract many people who love to sing their hearts out to their favorite songs.

Read More

31. Live Band

Live bands are paid to perform music professionally before audiences in bars, nightclubs, concerts, private parties, corporate events, and other public venues. Peripheral revenue can be generated through the sale of recordings and merchandise. In addition to the group’s musicians, ownership in the business can include its manager and anyone else with a financial stake.

Ownership of a live band usually includes the actual musicians. Owners generally have a passion and instinct for music, a great deal of energy and motivation, and a talent for crafting a group style and sound that appeals to audiences. In addition to their performance skills, live band owners must be able to sell their services to booking managers at venues and to the audiences who watch them perform.

32. Longarm Quilting Business

Longarm quilting businesses offer a unique set of services, assisting hobbyist quilters with the parts of their quilts that require a special, larger machine, called a longarm machine and frame. Many longarm quilters will also sell their own artistic creations, accepting custom work when a customer comes to them with an inspiring piece.

Those who enter this industry truly enjoy the process of helping fulfill someone else’s vision. They enjoy working with their hands, adding the finishing touches to their clients’ artistic fabric pairings, which tell a story. Most quilters have spent years sewing quilts for family and friends and, at the encouragement of others, are ready to take their hobby to the next level.

33. Makeup Artist Business

A makeup artist specializes in changing the appearance of various customers. These changes are created by a combination of makeup, specialized tools, and artistic talent. Such businesses are an essential part in filling a community with confidence, spirit, and pride by making them feel better about their appearance or achieve a particular look.

First and foremost, this job is ideal for those who are very skilled in applying makeup to themselves and others. Those with artistic skills find it easier to transition into this line of work, while anyone with previous work experience in the cosmetic industry will be able to start their own business much easier.

34. Mural Painting Business

Mural painters are artists who specialize in painting works of art on such physical structures as the interior walls, ceilings or floors of private, corporate, nonprofit or governmental settings. Muralists can also work on the exterior sides of buildings, or on gates, roofs or other surfaces.

Muralists should be talented artists who can (usually, but not always) work in oversized imagery. You should also be able to sell yourself on the basis of your talent and portfolio.

35. Museum Consulting Business

Museum consulting is the business of assisting museums in attracting customers and developing captivating spaces and exhibitions. Museum consulting businesses offer their clients consulting services that are relevant to the museum. The scope of museum consulting can range from museum planning, exhibition development, and interior design to marketing support, project management, and a litany of other tasks.

This profession is recommended for those with an understanding of the art and design world. If you possess this knowledge, as well as a keen eye for style and forward-thinking trends, museum consulting might be your niche.

Image of Music Lessons Business

Many people’s interest in music goes beyond just listening to it. A lot of people who enjoy listening to it are also interested in learning how to play an instrument. A music lessons business gives novice musicians a way to learn to play an instrument, and it provides more seasoned musicians with advanced training to help them improve their musical abilities. A business may offer private or group lessons in home or classroom settings.

People who are passionate about music and can play at least one instrument well may be interested in starting a music lessons business. Music teachers in schools and band members are especially qualified, as they both have credentials and connections to people who love music. People don’t have to be a music teacher or in a band to start a music lessons business, though.

Business owners should have a significant amount of time available for teaching lessons, but this time doesn’t need to be during typical business hours.

Why we like this business:

Music lessons businesses are great because they offer flexibility similar to that seen in ballroom dancing lessons businesses. Your business can be structured around any time you have available, and it can be run out of a storefront or even your own home if you’re looking to save money on rent. The only thing you’ll need is an understanding of how to play a musical instrument and good business sense, and you’ll be well on your way to having a successful music lessons business.

Read More

37. Musical Instrument Repair Business

Musical instrument ownership in the United States is high. According to a 25-year-anniversary report from the International Music Products Association, about half (52 percent) of U.S. households have at least one instrument-owning musician. Of those that have a musician, about half (48 percent) have two or more family members who play something.

Although this report is from 2003, instrument ownership has remained high since the report was issued. Lots of people in the U.S. own instruments -- and some of those instruments break down.

Musical instrument repair businesses service and repair instruments when they need routine maintenance or break. With so many people owning instruments, there is high demand for repair work.

Anyone who enjoys music and is mechanically inclined might like running a musical instrument repair business. Business owners regularly interact with people who are passionate about music, and fixing instruments is a hands-on, mechanical process.

38. Musical Instrument Store

Musical instrument stores sell new and used instruments to customers. They offer instruments used in traditional music ensembles, including brass, percussion, wind, and string instruments. Some stores also offer electronic keyboards, upright pianos, and classical grand pianos. They may also sell musical instruments for rock bands such as guitars (acoustic and electric), bass guitars, and drum kits.

Music instrument stores typically also carry sound reinforcement equipment such as speakers, amplifiers, mixing consoles, and microphones. Music accessories are also offered. This includes many items such as sheet music, song books, guitar effects pedals, replacement strings, rosin, reeds for wind instruments, picks, drumsticks, training guides, and music software.

It helps tremendously if the business owner has a love of music in many styles. It is important to be able to work well with all types of customers, no matter what level of musical expertise they have, including those just starting to learn as well as top professionals.

Most musical instrument stores are fairly noisy environments with customers trying out the equipment/instruments that they are thinking about buying. You will have to be comfortable dealing with all the sounds that are ongoing during the store’s operations. The outgoing cacophony might include a guy banging on a drum set, another wailing on an electric guitar, and another blasting out on a tuba.

39. Pet Photography Business

With pet specialty stores and dog-friendly restaurants becoming the new norm, more and more families are embracing the idea of openly expressing their love for their pets. Pet photographers, whether working in teams or as individuals, are there to catch a family’s four-legged loved one in action. Whether at an adoption event, dog show, horse race, or private photo shoot, these moments are captured on film, delivering pet lovers a keepsake they’ll cherish forever.

Pet photography is the perfect career for an individual who understands, and is inspired by, a family’s love for their pets. Whether photography is your hobby or your current chosen profession, uniting your passion for both is the ideal way to venture out on your own professionally.

40. Pet Portraits Business

People love their pets, and many pet owners want to memorialize their non-human friends through artwork. Pet portraits businesses create custom portraits of pets for customers. Many businesses are run by a single artist, but businesses can also have several artists on staff. The mediums these artists create offer a different feel than photographs -- which pet owners can take themselves -- provide.

Anyone who is artistically inclined and enjoys animals may like running a pet portraits business. For those who like to draw, paint, or work with another medium, doing commissioned portraits is a great way to earn an income creating art. Loving animals helps business owners stay interested in their work even when they’re working on animal portraits several days in a row.

This is a business that can be started as a part-time business. It’s easy to schedule taking orders, working on portraits and shipping completed pieces around another work schedule or a class schedule. Ramsey Beyer, for instance, go into this line of work as a “side hustle.”

41. Photography Business

Photography is essentially an art form which captures the moments in life we cherish. If you are thinking about sharing the beauty of your work with others while generating some cash flow, a photography business might be right for you. There’s a need for professional photographers in every market, but the majority of photographers make money either by serving individual clients or by working as a freelancer for magazines, websites, and other venues. Here is an overview of each type of photographer:

 

  • Client-based: These photographers are hired by different clients and charge a certain rate per hour or per session. Their clients range from individuals, couples, families, advertisement companies, fashion brands, travel agencies, schools and corporations, etc. For instance, wedding, portrait, and headshot photography are all client-based business models.
  • Freelancer: These photographers envision themselves primarily as artists and see their own self-expression as the core of their work. Their source of income often comes from selling or licensing photos to various stock image companies, magazines or books, and also from making large prints to sell at craft shows, art fairs, private galleries, etc.

This business is great for people who have a creative eye, like flexible work schedules, and enjoy creating and editing photography of all kinds.

42. Piano Tuning Business

Piano tuners are generally mobile service technicians that complete simple repairs and routine tuning for a wide variety of pianos at the piano owner's home, business, or school. They are knowledgeable in the construction of pianos, and they can repair felt, keys, minor wood damage, and replace wire as needed to maintain action and sound.  Pianos used in a commercial or academic setting can be tuned after being moved or on a regular four month, six month, or yearly basis. It is a service that relies on the tuning technician’s expertise and experience.

If you are an individual with a great appreciation for the function, construction, and general maintenance of fine instruments, as well as a basic understanding of music, this business may be a good fit for you. Generally, piano tuning businesses are one-man operations, so you must enjoy working alone and you must be self-motivated.

43. Portrait Photography Business

A portrait photography business provides high-quality, professional photos of individuals and families. Many businesses offer specialized services for things such as school photos, holiday cards, and family portraits. Because of the ability to offer these useful services year-round, portrait photography businesses play a vital role in the communities that they are located in.

Obviously, this business is perfect for photographers. By extension, it is also great for those who have some formal training in photography or have any formal education in photography. Finally, because the job involves interacting with many different demographics, the job is ideal for a “people person.”

Image of Pottery Business

Many potters dream of turning their talents into a full-time business venture; of ditching the suit and corporate world to spend their days in the studio creating pieces that will bring joy to others for years to come. Such a business leaves the soul fulfilled and offers the opportunity to interact with other artists within the community.

Being able to craft a quality clay piece is only half the challenge. You must also possess the creativity and drive to continuously seek out new avenues for displaying and selling your work. An artist who has a knack for self promotion and networking amongst other artists and clients is an ideal match.

Why we like this business:

Pottery businesses are great because they can be structured differently to suit how you want your business to be run. If you want to involve other people, you can open a pottery studio that allows people to come in and create their own works of pottery for a fee, or you can simply create and sell your own pottery if a more social business isn’t your thing. Pottery businesses also allow you to express your artistic talents by creating pottery for people who love to purchase and display your works of art.

Read More

45. Quilt Business

A quilting business translates customer’s ideas, fabrics, and other materials and transforms them into beautiful and functional pieces of art. Through the process of creating the quilt, the quilter and customer decide an overall pattern and color scheme and the quilter then completes the quilt by hand or on a consumer or “domestic” machine.

For individuals who enjoy sewing or seamstress work, have some artistic talent, or have an eye for patterning and organizing ideas into a tangible object, quilting can be the perfect career. A background in sewing is preferable, although some quilters started because of a love or passion for creating and quickly found their niche in the quilting community.

46. Radio Station

Many radio stations choose to specialize in a specific kind of format, such as music. The revenue model for radio stations depends on making money via advertisements, so it is important to cater your programming to the specific demographic you are trying to appeal to.

Running a radio station is definitely a job for a “people person,” as you will eventually be hiring a wide variety of different personalities to work different shifts and hosts different programs, so it's important to be able to relate to a diversity of people. The job is also good for someone who is a “jack of all trades,” as running a successful radio station involves skills in management, advertising, and programming.

47. Real Estate Photography Business

This business consists of an individual, or a team, who are hired to take quality pictures of properties for sale. The purpose is to attract potential buyers who view the property online. Due to the competitive nature of the real estate industry, the demand for quality property photos is elevated and perpetual. Proper lighting and point of view helps a property stand out above the competition, driving potential buyers to view the property.

Ideally, individuals with photography experience and an eye for architectural detail will be the best fits. Contacts in the real estate industry are an added bonus. It is also beneficial for the person to enjoy working outside or away from an office setting. Being in the field requires reliable transportation and an ability to transport gear, sometimes on foot for extended amounts of time, as well.

48. Record Label

Do you have a passion for music? Do you love discovering new and original bands and solo artists? Perhaps you should start your own record label and present your new finds to an equally appreciative audience. With the Internet, it can be easier than ever to start at least a tiny independent, or indie, label and generate a response.

You must love and recognize your definition of good music. Your communications skills are equally important since you’ll need to get unsigned bands to share your enthusiasm and be able to sell your music to listeners and possibly distributors, entertainment venues and other players in the field.

49. Record Store

Due to the growth and success of digital and streaming music services, such as Spotify and iTunes, record stores no longer appeal to most mainstream consumers of music. Today’s successful record store businesses serve as a resource for individuals with a deep interest in a particular musical style or styles. In a record store, one can find rare albums and collectibles that are not found elsewhere easily. The customers may be collectors or just ordinary music lovers. Vintage record players are usually on display for sale. The record store owner(s) and staff are like walking encyclopedias about favorite music styles and their enthusiastic love for music is contagious.

Do you like listening to music? People attracted to this business love listening to music. They enjoy understanding the detailed history of music (“musicology”). They know how the creation of a music style happened, who performed it, and how popular a style became. They enjoy serving as an authority/guide for others as a curator for specific styles. Independent record stores are not particularly lucrative and are best suited for music lovers, who are content with marginal profits.

50. Recording Studio

A recording studio is useful for recording music, sound effects, and voice-overs used for advertisements, animation, and soundtrack dubs in different languages. A recording studio may also serve as a place to teach and train others the audio-engineering skills necessary to make quality recordings.

People who love music and like to be around music typically gravitate to this business. It helps to have computer skills and to enjoy working with music recording software and electronic equipment.

51. Sports Photography Business

Have your family pics of your kids playing soccer always garnered oohs and aahs from your friends? Maybe it's time to turn that past time into a business by launching a sports photography business. Snap team photos, fun action shots, and cover local Little League excitement. Sell print packages to loving parents, local newspapers, and schools.

A sports photography business owner should find excitement in watching all types of sporting events. An owner should get a thrill from capturing awesome action shots that freeze important moments in sporting history. If you share these passions and would like to share your excitement with all those who see your photos, then starting a sports photography business is perfect for you.

52. Tattoo Parlor

Dr. John Martin, a professor at London’s University College, once said, “Life depends on science but the arts make it worth living.” One of the most popular modern forms of expressing ourselves and sharing our love of art is through tattoos. Tattoo artists turn their client’s visions into reality through the process of inserting pigment into the skin’s dermis with needles.

Tattoo shop owners who have found the most success are fully engulfed in the art community. They value free expression and recognize that art comes in many different forms. Tattoo artists with an entrepreneurial spirit and the drive to take their career to the next level should consider opening their own studio.

53. Theatre Company

While motion pictures and television dominate much of the American entertainment industry, millions of people still enjoy live theatrical productions. Broadway alone attracted 13.27 million people in 2016-2017.

Theatre companies present plays and theatrical productions for live audiences. Some companies offer shows only at a specific theatre, which the company may own. Other companies tour to different theatres, putting on performances in many cities.

Anyone who is passionate about theatre but also has a strong business mind may be well-suited for running a theatre company. A love for theatre is necessary because starting a theatre company is hard work and frequently doesn’t return a profit for several years. Being well-versed in running a business helps keep a company financially viable.

54. Vintage Maps Store

The vintage maps businesses is a niche market of collectibles, including old, historic, rare, unusual and one-of-a-kind maps. Some vintage maps business owners start out as hobbyists and then go on to establish galleries that house large collections of vintage maps.
Common types of vintage maps include star maps, antique railway and road strip maps, military battle maps and celestial maps. Geographical vintage maps cover all categories, such as archipelagos, world oceans and groups of islands.

One of the keys to any successful business is to choose one that you’re passionate about. You should really have a love of history and heritage of old maps when considering opening a vintage maps store. There’s an awful lot to learn about antique maps, and it’s a business that is well suited for amateur collectors of maps. An amateur collector will have a base knowledge of different types of antiques maps, such as celestial maps and geological maps. An amateur collector will also have knowledge of how to price vintage maps, considering rarity, age, size, condition, historical importance and decorative value. It’s also important for a vintage maps store owner to know special requirements for framing and storing vintage maps.

55. Wedding Photography Business

There are few things more important to a bride and groom than their wedding photos. Each photo takes them back to that special day surrounded by all their loved ones. The wedding photographer is an integral part of the process, there to capture the little moments the couple was too busy to enjoy at the time. Many couples also hire their wedding photographer for the events leading up to that special day, such as the engagement photos and engagement party.

Individuals who have gained firsthand experience in the photography profession and are confident enough in their skills to venture out on their own will realize the greatest success in this business.

Image of Woodworking Business

Wood, being both beautiful and practical, has always been a popular material to make products from. Today, many people continue to seek out -- and pay good amounts for -- wood products. A woodworking business specializes in producing such products, carving furniture or other items from wood.

 

Anyone who is detail-oriented, decent at math and skilled with their hands may be well-suited for running a woodworking business. These skills are necessary when carving wood and building products.

Why we like this business:

Woodworking is a great business to start if you are crafty and like building beautiful things from wood and other materials. A woodworking business can be run out of your garage or shed, so you can save a lot of money on rent. Other ways to save money can include using salvaged or scrap wood that you get or find for free. Being able to see your customers’ reactions when you finally finish their piece will be a great reward for all of your hard work.

Read More

Popular Categories


A woman sitting at a desk in front of a computer talking on a cell phone

Home Business Ideas

Looking for a flexible work environment? Want to be your own boss? Starting a home-based business can be a great way to launch your new company.

Hands holding a cell phone and mouse in front of a laptop

Online Business Ideas

An online business is one that is primarily web-based. This type of business is a great option for someone looking for a business idea that will be easy and fast to setup and have low startup costs.

A knob with the word costs written on it being turned toward the min setting

Low-cost Business Ideas

Do you always need to "spend money to make money," as the saying goes? We don't think so. Often a good idea and hard work can get your business up and running with little to no startup costs.

A woman sitting using a tablet while holding a cell phone

Side Business
Ideas

Starting a side business while working a full-time job can be a great way to test out a new business idea and gain invaluable experience as an entrepreneur.

A field of yellow tulips stretching towards the horizon with a single red tulip in the foreground

Unique Business Ideas

One of the best parts of being an entrepreneur is the sense of adventure in taking a risk for the sake of a great idea. But don't think you'll make it big without working hard to achieve your goals.

Three children lying in the grass on a sunny day with one raising his legs in the air

Summer Business Ideas

If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, starting your own business can be fun, profitable, and a great learning experience. Being your own boss sure beats working at the local community pool or fast-food joint.

A young man sitting in a button down shirt and tie smiling and pumping his fists behind a laptop

Teen Business Ideas

Being an entrepreneur can be an incredibly valuable experience, in more ways then one. For teens who have an inclination for it, starting a business might be a great way to spend their time.