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How to start 12 small businesses from scratchwhether you're into copywriting, urban farming, or food trucks

Published by Business Insider on Sun, 02 May 2021


<p><img src="https://static5.businessinsider.com/image/608c4de535c46f0018c0bade-1501/how to start your own business 4x3.png" border="0" alt="Examples of how to start your business, including dog walking, a food truck, urban farming, hair care, and dyed yarn." data-mce-source="iStock; Insider" data-mce-caption="A record number of people started new businesses last year, including dog walking, urban farming, and food trucks."></p><p></p><bi-shortcode id="summary-shortcode" data-type="summary-shortcode" class="mceNonEditable" contenteditable="false">Summary List Placement</bi-shortcode><p>The pandemic upended many lives, but it didn't overturn the entrepreneurial dream.&nbsp;</p><p>A record number of people started new businesses last year. New applications for an employer ID in the US reached 1.1 million through September 2020, a 12% increase from the same time period in 2019, according to an analysis of US Census data by <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/is-it-insane-to-start-a-business-during-coronavirus-millions-of-americans-dont-think-so-11601092841">The Wall Street Journal</a>.&nbsp;</p><p>For those who want to chase their entrepreneurial passions, here are 12 guides on how to start a business, from a dog-walking empire, to a modest urban farm, and even a food truck.</p><h3>1. Copywriting business</h3><img src="https://static1.businessinsider.com/image/6070a9b34943790018bb1b74-400-300/1-copywriting-business.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Sarah Turner launched her eponymous copywriting agency in 2013, after leaving her job as a research assistant.</p><p><a href="https://www.writeyourwaytofreedom.co/">Sarah Turner Agency</a>&nbsp;offers freelance copywriting for clients in the medical and health sectors, content marketing strategy, and training programs for future copywriters. Last year, Turner booked $2.6 million in revenue, according to documents verified by Insider.&nbsp;</p><p><em><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-start-copywriting-business-from-scratch-2021-4">Read more about how Turner launched her copywriting business.&nbsp;</a></em></p></p><br/><br/><h3>2. Website flipping</h3><img src="https://static2.businessinsider.com/image/6087fbb10da8f40018033a6f-400-300/2-website-flipping.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chelsea Clarke is the founder of Blogs For Sale, a company that flips little-known websites into desirable online businesses that can generate $16,800 in a year.</p><p>Clarke said her startup took off last year as more people sought online revenue streams during the pandemic. In 2020, she earned $127,000 from flipping 13 websites and brokering sales for 50 more sites, documents reviewed by Insider verified.&nbsp;</p><p><em><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-start-business-flipping-websites-blog-broker-2021-3">Read more about how Clarke built her website-flipping business.&nbsp;</a></em></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p><br/><br/><h3>3. Instagram side hustle</h3><img src="https://static1.businessinsider.com/image/6039430605ddb100195f6787-400-300/3-instagram-side-hustle.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Christopher Griffin's Instagram account, which is under the moniker&nbsp;<a href="https://www.instagram.com/plantkween/'hl=en">Plant Kween</a>, is devoted to pictures of the 200 plants living in their Brooklyn apartment, tips on caring for the greenery, and useful botanical knowledge.&nbsp;</p><p>They started the account in winter 2016 &mdash; as a means of learning about something new after graduate school &mdash; grew it steadily to 311,000 followers and collaborates with brands like Spotify on curated content.</p><p>Griffin couldn't disclose what they earn with the music-streaming service but a partnership with the <a href="https://tonle.com/collections/plant-kween-x-tonle-collection">fashion line Tonle</a>, that sold $42,000 of non-binary clothing last year, netted them around $8,400, according to Tonle.&nbsp;</p><p><em><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/plant-kween-how-to-start-instagram-account-land-partnerships-2021-2">Read more about how Griffin built their Instagram side-hustle.&nbsp;</a></em></p></p><br/><br/><h3>4. Urban farm</h3><img src="https://static2.businessinsider.com/image/602e779331eb0600197c3f06-400-300/4-urban-farm.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Joanna Bassi turned her unused backyard &mdash; measuring 150 feet by 75 feet &mdash; into an <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-start-urban-farm-yard-sell-restaurants-host-events-2021-2">urban farm that could grow fresh produce</a> for local establishments.</p><p>Bassi started from the ground up in January 2018, and by the following year, she netted nearly $6,000 in revenue from selling at farmers markets and local restaurants, according to documents viewed by Insider.&nbsp;</p><p>In 2020, the pandemic temporarily closed Bassi's restaurant clients and hurt business. She still managed to book nearly $7,000 by creating new revenue streams.&nbsp;</p><p><em><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-start-urban-farm-yard-sell-restaurants-host-events-2021-2">Read more about how Bassi built her urban farming business.&nbsp;</a></em></p></p><br/><br/><h3>5. Pet care and dog-walking business</h3><img src="https://static5.businessinsider.com/image/60771805420615001817575a-400-300/5-pet-care-and-dog-walking-business.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Jill Nelson took over her friend's 15-year-old dog walking and pet sitting startup&nbsp;<a href="http://hotdiggitypetsitting.com/">Hot Diggity</a> in 2015. Since then, she's scaled the Seattle office, opened a Vancouver location, and purchased Hot Diggity's Portland, Oregon, outpost.&nbsp;</p><p>Revenue for Hot Diggity's three locations sank between 2019 to 2020 &mdash; Portland had the most drastic decline, falling from $2.1 million to $986,000, according to documents verified by Insider &mdash; but Nelson said the company weathered the storm and is already seeing an increase in bookings.&nbsp;</p><p><em><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-start-dog-walking-pet-care-business-from-scratch-2021-4">Read more about how Nelson built her dog-walking and pet care business.&nbsp;</a></em></p></p><br/><br/><h3>6. Hand-dyed yarn business</h3><img src="https://static1.businessinsider.com/image/604b9db0fea127001886a747-400-300/6-hand-dyed-yarn-business.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>In January, Jake Kenyon left his full-time job as a speech pathologist to pursue his side hustle: A <a href="https://kenyarn.com/pages/meet-the-maker">hand-dyed yarn business called Kenyarn</a>. The pandemic drove many consumers to crafts, like knitting and crocheting, which helped boost Kenyon's business.</p><p>Kenyarn's gross sales jumped from $33,000 in 2019 to $125,000 last year, and he's on track to surpass that figure this year, according to documents viewed by Insider.&nbsp;</p><p><em><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-start-side-hustle-business-earn-6-figures-hand-dyed-yarn">Read more about how Kenyon built his hand-dyed yarn business.&nbsp;</a></em></p></p><br/><br/><h3>7. Food truck</h3><img src="https://static4.businessinsider.com/image/608744ce0da8f400180339b3-400-300/7-food-truck.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Alessio Lacco and Sofia Arango launched <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-start-a-food-truck-and-find-your-customers-2021-3">Atlanta Pizza Truck</a>&nbsp;last August as way to make money during the pandemic.</p><p>In its first five months of business, the couple booked $82,000 in sales, according to documents reviewed by Insider. In the first three months of 2021, they netted $53,000 in sales and believe they are on track to at least double sales from 2020.</p><p><em><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-start-a-food-truck-and-find-your-customers-2021-3">Read more about how Lacco and Arango built their food truck business.&nbsp;</a></em></p></p><br/><br/><h3>8. Hair care business</h3><img src="https://static4.businessinsider.com/image/6087fc733f0560001881c360-400-300/8-hair-care-business.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Stormi Steele used to make hair care products in her kitchen while working in salon in 2012. She'd mix over-the-counter ingredients, such as flaxseed oil and&nbsp;<a href="https://www.insider.com/what-is-vitamin-e-good-for">vitamin E</a>, in an effort to create a solution that would help her hair grow.&nbsp;</p><p>Today, Steele is the founder of Canvas Beauty Brand, which booked nearly $20 million in revenue last year.</p><p><em><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-start-hair-care-business-stormi-steele-2021-4">Read more about how Steele built her hair-care business.&nbsp;</a></em></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p><br/><br/><h3>9. Pop-up bakery</h3><img src="https://static2.businessinsider.com/image/608745080da8f400180339b4-400-300/9-pop-up-bakery.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>When the opening of Abby Love's bakery was delayed due to the pandemic, she launched <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-open-pop-up-bakery-food-business-2021-1">10 pop-up bakeries</a> around Dripping Springs, Texas to keep her brand alive, attract new customers, and boost revenue.</p><p>Love partnered with local businesses for her pop-ups, choosing establishments that didn't sell baked goods and attracted the kind of customers who would appreciate her locally-sourced ingredients.</p><p><em><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-open-pop-up-bakery-food-business-2021-1">Read more about how Love built her pop-up bakery business.</a> </em></p></p><br/><br/><h3>10. Craft brewery business</h3><img src="https://static4.businessinsider.com/image/608745da3f0560001881c2bc-400-300/10-craft-brewery-business.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Christophe Gagne and Avery Schwenk are the cofounders of Hermit Thrush, a 7-year-old Brattleboro, Vermont-based brewery that exclusively makes sour beers.&nbsp;</p><p>Today the brewery has 21 taps and its canned varieties are sold in 9 states, plus DC. The brewery's most popular concoction, Party Jam, is a collection of&nbsp;<a href="https://www.hermitthrushbrewery.com/shop">fruit-forward sours</a>&nbsp;that typically sells for $19.99 on the company's website. What's more, Hermit Thrush booked $1.5 million in revenue last year, according to documents viewed by Insider.&nbsp;</p><p><em><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-turn-your-home-brew-into-brewery-6-months-2021-2">Read more about how Gagne and Schwenk built their craft brew business.&nbsp;</a></em></p></p><br/><br/><h3>11. Furniture maker</h3><img src="https://static1.businessinsider.com/image/6087fcdf0da8f40018033a73-400-300/11-furniture-maker.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>In 2002, Matthew Nafranowicz opened his furniture upholstery storefront, The Straight Thread, in Madison, Wisconsin.&nbsp;</p><p>Furniture upholstery represents an estimated&nbsp;<a href="https://www.statista.com/statistics/791781/upholstery-market-size-in-the-us/">$1 billion market</a>&nbsp;in the US, and government data shows it employs roughly&nbsp;<a href="https://www.bls.gov/oes/2018/may/oes516093.htm">30,000 people</a>.</p><p><em><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-start-furniture-repair-business-from-scratch-2021-2">Read more about how Nafranowicz built his furniture upholstery business.&nbsp;</a></em></p></p><br/><br/><h3>12. Self-published author</h3><img src="https://static4.businessinsider.com/image/608858273f0560001881c556-400-300/12-self-published-author.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Sally-Miller/e/B017HTJ65Q/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1'tag=bisafetynet2-20">Sally Miller</a> is a self-published author who's <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-self-publish-amazon-make-extra-income-writing-2021-2">written and co-authored 15 books</a> on Amazon. She made $9,000 in royalties in January, her highest amount to date, according to documents viewed by Insider.&nbsp;</p><p>"It meets my two criteria, which is that I'm making money and doing something I really enjoy," said Miller, who built a following through her subject matter, which focuses on how people can make money through various entrepreneurial ventures, like Airbnb and ghostwriting.</p><p><em><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-self-publish-amazon-make-extra-income-writing-2021-2">Read more about how Miller built her self-publishing business.&nbsp;</a></em></p></p><br/><br/>
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