Best Family-Friendly Business Ideas for 2020

1. Berry-Picking Farm

Berry-Picking Farm Image

Individuals with farming experience and the acreage to grow berry bushes and plants will be some of the best fits. Having experience or training in agricultural management and business is also a desired skill set. If you choose to open a pick your own (PYO) farm, experience in customer service and public speaking can also prove beneficial.

There are a number of factors that affect your berry farm’s profitability. For instance, how you structure your business, the health of your soil, the type of berry you grow, the weather, and your irrigation system all affect your annual profits. The average berry farmer reports a loss for the first few years. After that, however, average profits can go into the millions.

Learn how to start a berry-picking farm.

2. Campground

Campground Image

A campground business is perfect for someone who loves the outdoors and dealing with people. The right person for this business also has experience in management, including accounting, budgeting, hiring staff, and keeping inventory.

The charge per night depends on the amenities, the location of your campground, the location of the site and the type of site. Sites might go from $10 per night to over $100 per night. Primitive sites would be the cheapest, while sites that provide electric, water and WiFi hookups might cost more.

Learn how to start a campground.

3. Christmas Tree Farm

Christmas Tree Farm Image

Some families like to go out and find the perfect Christmas tree together. Anyone who enjoys working outdoors and with their hands might enjoy owning a Christmas tree business. Tree farms don’t require a tremendous amount of work, but most of the work involves tending to, cutting, and delivering trees. All of these tasks involve hands-on labor.

With 200 trees per acre ready for harvesting each year, a u-cut tree farm could theoretically bring in $9,200 per acre annually. Most farms don’t generate this much revenue, though. Many max out their profits between $15,000 and $20,000 because there is a limited demand for Christmas trees in any one area.

Learn how to start a Christmas tree farm.

4. Cider Mill Business

Cider Mill Business Image

People who appreciate all that goes into a quality apple cider can find joy in running a cider mill. They need to be willing to tinker with recipes to achieve the best possible flavors. Since cider mills can be frequented by families in the fall season, a love for serving the public can come in handy.

Considering apples can be purchased or grown for pennies, selling a single bottle for $3 can make for a profitable business. Assuming a 40% profit margin, you’d need to sell 1,000 bottles per week to make $1,200 in profits at that price.

Learn how to start a cider mill.

5. Corn Maze Business

Corn Maze Business Image

People with a passion for novelty entertainment might love operating their own corn maze. Another favorite in the autumn season, corn mazes are perfect for families to participate together in a fun, challenging activity. Owners should want to delight people with exciting twists and turns in the maze, giving customers a real challenge they'll want to tell their friends and family about.

Profits for a corn business will depend on how you structure your pricing. However, a private party that charges $15 a head can easily generate 50% profit margins or more. Because the maze has already been constructed, the party may just need a few employees and concessions to operate.

Learn how to start a corn maze.

6. Pumpkin Farm

Pumpkin Farm Image

The pumpkin farm business is great for farmers, Halloween-lovers, and those with a “green thumb.” If you like planting and selling crops, a pumpkin patch is a great business to own. Owners should be people-oriented, and they should love bargaining. A good pumpkin patch owner will also have a love for Jack-O-Lanterns and everything else Halloween-oriented.

The average, small pumpkin farm can make about $30,000 per year. Profit varies greatly, however, as all farms are different sizes. Farm tourism is a multi-million-dollar industry in the United States, so location matters a lot.

Learn how to start a pumpkin farm.

7. Summer Camp

Summer Camp Image

This business is a good choice for people who love teaching, but prefer a beautiful natural setting to a formal classroom. Those who enjoy working with and enriching the lives of children and families experience a high level of job satisfaction within this industry.

A summer camp business can be very lucrative. Well-managed camps usually enjoy a profit margin of between 25% to 40%. Whatever type of summer camp business you have, to ensure a steady source of income throughout the year, you can offer specialized day camps on weekends for both children and adults.

Learn how to start a summer camp.

8. Waterpark

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Frequented by families of all kinds in the summer season, waterparks are a great business for entrepreneurs who want to give customers a fun time. Entrepreneurs with previous small business ownership or management would be best suited for this business venture. Innovators who enjoy a fast-paced atmosphere and are dedicated to reinvesting a portion of their profits can turn a small waterpark into a million dollar enterprise in a matter of years.

This industry has realized significant growth over the last decade and is expected to continue at approximately 3.5% annually. Research indicates that over 375 million guests visit these establishments in the United States each year. With a meticulous operational strategy in place, your park can earn a piece of this multi-billion dollar industry’s profits.

Learn how to start a waterpark.

Find a Web Domain For Your Family-Friendly Business

Securing a web domain and creating a quality website is important for the overall success of a family-friendly business. You can search for an available domain below:

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After registering a domain name, consider setting up a professional email account (@yourcompany.com). Google's G Suite offers a business email service that comes with other useful tools, including word processing, spreadsheets, and more. Try it for free

9. Baby Food Business

Baby Food Business Image

Anyone who enjoys young children and isn’t afraid to experiment in the kitchen may like running a baby food business. Coming up with unique recipes requires creativity. Being fond of babies helps business owners connect with parents they hope to sell baby food to.

Baby food businesses can be highly profitable. Even just selling baby food at local farmer's markets can bring in up to $30,000 a month. Businesses that get their foods into national retailers can bring in millions each year.

Learn how to start a baby food business.

10. Baby Store

Baby Store Image

If you enjoy working with families and children, and also relish the challenge of maintaining a retail establishment, you may enjoy operating your own baby boutique. Business management will be a large part of your day, so the right person will have some solid knowledge or experience in that area.

Hugely profitable international children's stores can generate an annual income of up to $5 million per location, but a small boutique may see annual sales of around $150,000. The average personal income for a boutique owner is around $50,000 per year. The average net profit for apparel is between 5% and 10% while furniture offers better profit per piece, but a much lower volume of sales.

Learn how to start a baby store.

11. Candy Store

Candy Store Image

Individuals who are passionate about becoming confectioners or chocolatiers and enjoy sharing their decadent creations with others would be an ideal fit for this business venture. With so many specialty candy options available, long-term success is reliant on your ability to determine what sweet treats are valued most in your community and creating a business plan around those desires.

The average American consumes about 24 pounds of candy annually. Candy shops earn a profit based on revenue generated, minus all overhead and labor costs. Averages vary depending upon geographical location and your specific business model.

Learn how to start a candy store.

12. Children's Book Business

Children's Book Business Image

Most people who start a children’s book business have either already written or plan to write their own children’s books. Some business owners first try to publish their stories through traditional publishers, and others go directly into self-publishing. While appealing to kids is a must, they are not the target market for children’s books. Instead, it’s parents, schools, and libraries - the ones who actually purchase books.

With a successful title (think If You Give a Mouse a Cookie), a children's book business can bring in six-figure revenues. Depending on how you choose to release your books - whether it be hardcover, paperback, or Ebook - you can see your profits increase accordingly.

Learn how to start a children's book business.

13. Cloth Diaper Service

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As cloth diapers become more popular among young families, so does the need for cloth diaper services. Anyone who is personable and also self-motivated may enjoy running a cloth diaper service. Business owners interact with clients on a periodic basis, as new people sign up and others need to change their plans.

A cloth diaper service makes money by charging for the rental and laundering of cloth diapers. Most services charge a flat weekly or monthly fee. How much a cloth diaper service can make depends entirely on how many clients it has. Some reports show that services can have annual revenues of around $25,000 with 20 clients.

Learn how to start a cloth diaper service.

14. Custom Playsets Business

Custom Playsets Business Image

Many business owners who start custom playset businesses enjoy woodworking and being outdoors, which makes creating swing sets in backyards a natural choice. The joy of seeing happy children using their creations is no doubt a happy bonus.

The profit potential for a custom playset business is substantial. If you sell 700 playsets in a single year, you could have generated revenue between $262,500 and $2.1 million depending on how fancy those playsets were.

Learn how to start a custom playset business.

15. Custom Treehouse Business

Custom Treehouse Business Image

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. In much the same vein as custom playset businesses, seeing children enjoy your creations is always a benefit.

Treehouse builders are part of a highly specialized field. It requires a great deal of knowledge and experience to be successful. Therefore, there’s a small pool of builders for clients to choose from. Your profit is directly tied to your marketing efforts, how many custom jobs you take on each year, and how much of the process you perform yourself.

Learn how to start a custom treehouse business.

16. Educational Toy Store

Educational Toy Store Image

This business is great for someone who understands and is passionate about educational toys. Every potential customer has a different skill set they want to exercise when buying these toys. For example, a more verbal person will gravitate towards certain games over others. An understanding of different learning styles is a definite plus.

Profits may be slim for the first year or so. If you franchise a toy store at the low end of the business model, you would need to make around $16,000 a month in sales simply to break even. Anything after this can be used as profit or reinvested into the company. Depending on the demand in your area, you could stand to make between $15,000 to $30,000 in profit a month.

Learn how to start an educational toy store.

17. Family-Style Restaurant

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Family-style restaurants are specifically designed - both in the menu and in the decor - to appeal to families. Owners should have a deep understanding and respect for what American families want today. They should also have a knack for bringing people together, and a desire to create a strong sense of community in the restaurant.

Profits are generally low. Assuming you make 2.5% profit per check, your profits will be $5,000 for every $100,000 worth of business you do. However, you will likely make enough to cover your costs (and your own yearly salary).

Learn how to start a family-style restaurant.

18. Fidget Toy Business

Fidget Toy Business Image

Fidget toys - and most famously fidget spinners - are designed to help alleviate and channel nervous energy in children. Inventive entrepreneurs with a knack for marketing may find success in finding and creating the next fidget toy fad.

Your profits are directly tied to your cost per item, the price you set for consumers and the amount you are able to sell, minus overhead costs. The lower your ongoing expenses, the higher your profits will soar. There are a number of entrepreneurs who have seized this fidget trend, yielding over $500,000 in just a year's time.

Learn how to start a fidget toy business.

19. Inflatable Bounce House Business

Inflatable Bounce House Business Image

If you want to specialize in the movement and setup of bounce houses, it is essential that you have the individual strength or manpower to deliver the equipment on a regular basis. If your dream is to have a storefront filled with inflatables, you should be prepared to work mostly weekends and summers to hit your target audience.

Industry research indicates an average of 1.5 rentals per week, which comes out to $188 per week per bounce house. If you invest in 4 bounce houses, your business will draw in about $750 per week.

Learn how to start an inflatable bounce house business.

20. Skate Shop

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Skateboarding is an activity that can be fun for the whole family. Successful skate shop owners are fully immersed in the skating community. They are passionate about sharing their wisdom and love of the sport, as well as offering skaters a place to interact with like-minded individuals.

Skate shop owners report a profit ranging from $30,000 to upwards of $200,000 annually. Revenue generated is largely dependent upon the community you’re a part of, the location you decide on for your storefront, and the quality of products you maintain.

Learn how to start a skate shop.

21. Toy Store

Toy Store Image

First and foremost, this job is for those who love toys. The ability to research the toy market and network with others that do so allows you to get the inside track on what will be the latest upcoming toys. This is a job for a “people person,” as it involves both understanding what children want and what their parents want and figuring out how to accommodate both demographics.

The overall profit of the toy industry has been variable in recent years. Much of this is determined by the different big box stores competing with one another as well as competing with the online world, and opening a local retail store with ties to the community can help you build a steady stable of regular customers.

Learn how to start a toy store.

22. Amusement Park

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Amusement park owners must be highly motivated individuals ready to sink a large initial investment into the concept, design, and implementation of an amusement park. You may need extensive knowledge in the operation of rides, restaurant and guest services, landscaping design, business practices, and have significant leadership skills.

A busy small indoor park can see profits of $100,000 to $200,000 per year while the large outdoor venues can generate millions in revenue during the season. If you see a service that a customer may want, they are probably willing to pay for it. These services may include no-waiting for rides, collectible drink cups, photo-ops, loyalty programs, and season passes.

Learn how to start an amusement park.

23. Batting Cage Business

Batting Cage Business Image

Entrepreneurs who are passionate about baseball and/or softball are best suited for this type of business. To build a successful business, firsthand knowledge of the sport would prove beneficial.

While it’s recommended that you set aside nine to twelve months of cash to carry your business the first year, many batting cage owners have reported a profit at the end of their first year. $40,000 is the average first-year annual profit, with profits jumping to over $70,000 by the end of year three.

Learn how to start a batting cage business.

24. Bowling Alley

Bowling Alley Image

If you enjoy bowling, interacting with customers, and are well-versed in the business of entertainment, a bowling alley can be a great opportunity. Customers are looking for a clean, family-friendly environment, where they can find lots of entertainment options.

The profitability of a bowling alley will depend on your demographics and additional services you offer. Once you have covered your start-up expenses, much of the money will be spent on preventative maintenance, supplies, and payroll. Annually, a successful bowling alley/entertainment complex can generate upwards of $300,000.

Learn how to start a bowling alley.

25. Circus Business

Circus Business Image

Those in the circus should be able to handle a lot of stress in a short amount of time. You must handle the schedule of each act and hire people who are charismatic enough to put on a show without crumbling under the weight of the multiple performances. Owners also need to be inherently creative to conceive of performances that will satisfy a modern audience.

Circuses can make considerable profits once they find their market. If a small circus charges $2,000 a night to perform at clubs and operates at a 15% profit margin, they’d make around $108,000 a year in pure profit if they performed every night.

Learn how to start a circus.

26. Escape Room Business

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Those who enjoy playing escape games themselves are prime candidates for starting this type of business. It’s also a good business for creative people with a flair for the dramatic who enjoy designing their own games and providing others with enjoyable gaming experiences.

The escape room business can be extremely lucrative. Some escape rooms have reported profits into the six-figure range in a short period of time. The best way to make your escape room business more profitable is to open more than one room with more than one game.

Learn how to start an escape room.

27. Football Bowling Business

Football Bowling Business Image

Anyone who likes to have a good time and connect with people might enjoy running a football bowling business. The game brings together groups and is highly social, and it helps to have a business owner who’s also social.

How much a football bowling business can make depends directly on how many hours it can book its lanes. At an average of $60 per hour, however, businesses don’t need to book a lot of lanes to bring in thousands of dollars each week.

Learn how to start a football bowling business.

28. Go-Kart Business

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Go-kart business management is highly flexible, and it’s suitable for a number of individuals. Car enthusiasts, carnival workers, maintenance operators, and those with a sense of excitement can benefit greatly from owning a go-kart business. A go-kart business should be run by someone with a keen eye for auto mechanics, driving safety, and safe entertainment.

While a go-karting business can cost a lot to open, its profits can be large. LLC go-kart businesses can make between $500,000 and $700,000 yearly, if they’re smart about attracting and retaining visitors. However, it’s a good idea to join a franchise to increase service reliability. Individual facilities can spend thousands of dollars on financial and marketing advice.

Learn how to start a go-kart business.

29. Ice Skating Rink

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Anyone who has a passion for ice skating may enjoy running an ice skating rink. While knowing how to skate won’t help balance the business’ financial sheet, an enthusiasm for ice skating and related sports can help business owners connect with customers.

Ice skating rinks can bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars annually, but much of their revenue goes towards operating expenses. Many ice rinks aren’t profitable unless they’re debt free, which is why municipalities often run or subsidize rinks. Ice skating rinks can increase their revenue by offering concessions, leagues and clinics. They may also offer events like birthday parties.

Learn how to start an ice skating rink.

30. Kids Taxi Service

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Anyone who has personally struggled with the challenges of getting kids where they need to be on time may have the insights necessary to run a kid taxi business. Having personal experience arranging children’s transportation helps business owners anticipate the needs and concerns of parents who might use a kid taxi business.

Kid taxi businesses are still fairly new, and they’re growing in popularity. The upper limit of their profit potential probably hasn’t been reached by any business yet. If companies like Uber and Lyft are an example, these kinds of ride-sharing businesses could eventually grow to have millions of dollars in revenue.

Learn how to start a kids taxi service.

31. Miniature Golf Course

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This job is definitely for someone who is enthusiastic about mini-golf. This helps you to not only enjoy your job but to facilitate minor repairs and maintenance of the course as needed. The job is also best for a “people person,” as you will be dealing with individuals and groups of very different ages, personalities, and temperament.

The profit your business makes greatly depends on the region as well as what the local competition is. However, the relatively low ongoing expenses means that a steady stream of customers can easily make you six figures annually, and some mini golf course owners report being able to pay off their initial investment within the first few years of opening this business.

Learn how to start a miniature golf course.

32. Nerf Arena

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An individual who enjoys working in a fast-paced, entertaining environment would be the ideal candidate for this business venture. Nerf arena entrepreneurs should enjoy interaction with customers of all ages and backgrounds, bringing out the kid in all of us.

Annual profits depend upon a number of factors. A well-designed facility of 3,000 square feet, has the potential to generate profits upwards of $50,000 annually in the first three years. To maximize profits, maintain a facility that keeps up with the latest trends and a course consistently changes.

Learn how to start a Nerf arena.

33. Paintball Field

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This is a great business for people who enjoy physical activity and promoting exercise and teamwork. If having fun and teaching others to have fun is as important to you as earning money, this might be the perfect business for you.

With a good business plan, paintball business owners earn an average of between $20,000 and $30,000 per year. That amount increases in direct proportion to the amount of community participation in your business and the number of arenas you operate.

Learn how to start a paintball field.

34. Petting Zoo

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Obviously, this business is perfect for those who love animals. It is also good for those who like children, as they will be a major part of your visitors. Most petting zoos make money by charging a fee at the door. If you do “rent out” animals to parties and other events, that should be charged as a separate, higher fee.

The exact profitability of a petting zoo is difficult to gauge. Some zoos are much more profitable than others, and there is little research about average petting zoo income. You can potentially increase your revenue by selling animals, growing and selling crops on your land, and otherwise taking advantage of the land you have access to.

Learn how to start a petting zoo.

35. Roller Skating Rink

Roller Skating Rink Image

To build a successful skating rink business, it’s important that you not only enjoy skating, but are knowledgeable in every facet of the business. This is a very social profession, so someone who genuinely enjoys being around people, particularly school-age children. Your job is also to be in party mode, while still ensuring the safety of every skater.

Your annual profit is defined by your fee structure, demographic, and what other activities the facility offers. Those who have found success in this industry suggest offering enough activities to attract consumers who are interested in more than skating. Entrepreneurs who have found the right balance have reported an annual profit of over $200,000 after just a few short years.

Learn how to start a roller skating rink.

36. Whirlyball Arena

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This business is ideal for individuals who are looking for a way to promote a sense of community and to help people stay active and have fun. Whirlyball games promote social interactions, involve physical activity, and provide plenty of excitement. This is the type of business that can bring a community together and establish or reinforce social bonds.

The best whirlyball centers net in excess of $100,000 per month, and it is possible for a whirlyball business to make more than a million dollars in a single year. The whirlyball business's profit depends on the popularity of the activity in the area in which the facility is located. Profit level also hinges on marketing efforts and the quality of the whirlyball court/equipment.

Learn how to start a Whirlyball arena.

37. Zoo Business

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Zoos are excellent for those who love animals and want to protect them from environmental dangers. The idea of the attraction is to pass a love of planet Earth down to younger generations. However, zoos can be incredibly expensive to run, meaning an owner will need to have a knack for business.

While most zoos are technically nonprofits, they can make enough money to generate sizable salaries. However, on the whole, zoos have been cutting back on their exhibits as of late due to inordinately high bills and cuts in city or donor funding. Zoos have been steadily adding attractions like water slides or other types of rides for their patrons. These attractions are not only fun, they also allow owners to raise the cost of admission without threatening ticket sales.

Learn how to start a zoo.