Business Ideas for Women: 22 Ventures and Projects to Try in 2020
By Georganne Bender
Sometimes you find a career and sometimes a career finds you.
I once held a senior management position at a retail company. I worked a lot of hours, and I loved every minute of it. I thought I’d be there forever. Then a co-worker and I were invited to participate on a panel discussion at a tradeshow. Afterward, the meeting planner asked if we would come back and do a presentation together at another event. Sure, we said in unison and not long afterwards we decided to ditch our 9 to 5’s and become a speaking team. 29 years later KIZER & BENDER Speaking is still going strong.
You may have already figured out that this article isn’t about how to get a job; it’s about using your talent and creativity to do what you love and get paid for doing it. Before you start your search you will want to answer these two questions: What are you passionate about? And what talents do you have that others will be willing to pay for?
Finding what you love
A quick google search of “business opportunities for women” resulted in about 413,000,000 results. Do it and you’ll find the standard list of franchises and other indie business ideas that have been around for a very long time – think bookkeeping, admin services, childcare, food prep, and cleaning.
I decided to investigate things that women are doing right now to create a new career. Some are side hustles to help supplement your income, while others are talents that can quickly become a cottage industry. So, if you want to set your own hours, stay at home with your kids, or have more time to travel the world, there is something out there for you. Start here.
1. Marketing/Graphic Artist/Logo Design
2. Freelance Writer | Copywriter | Editor
If you haven’t written professionally blogging is a good place to start. You’ll need to choose a platform – WordPress and Blogger offer theirs for free – create a template and choose a topic. As you gain followers the opportunities to monetize your blog will grow.
4. Professional Proofreader
This gig requires an eye for detail and a strong English and/or communications background. You’ll proof everything from email blasts to books and articles to websites and everything in-between.
Are you fluent in other languages? Put that talent to work translating documents, books, instructions and more.
6. Resume Services
People always need help updating their resumes – sometimes it’s hard to say good things about yourself, let alone put them to paper. If you are a creative and persuasive writer this career could be the one for you.
This gig offers lots of choices. Some, like medical and legal transcription, require certification. You also need equipment necessary to do the job. Check out Transcribe Anywhere, a company that offers various courses in multiple types of transcription.
8. Web Design
If you have the background and skills necessary to build or update websites, you’ll be in-demand because every business needs one. Websites are today’s business cards.
9. Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is an important part of running a businesses these days – it’s how you connect with both potential and current customers. But it takes time and talent to do it right, that’s why many companies rely on those outside their firms for help. You’ll need to understand Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media as they pertain to business. You must also be adept at running ads that get results.
10. Virtual Assistant
The internet makes it easy for business owners to work with people who are not close by. Virtual assistants provide everything from administrative services to web design, travel planning and everything in-between to other business owners.
11. Mystery Shopper
Put that black belt in MasterCard to work! Yes, mystery shopping is a legit business, so if you like to shop and want to get paid for it, companies like IntelliShop can make that happen.
12. Wedding | Event Planner
We all saw the movie – what a cool job. Seriously, my daughter planned her own backyard wedding and could have booked two gigs that day. Start by working for a caterer or hotel that’s popular for weddings and events to see if this is a career you should pursue.
13. Funeral Planner
People often need help when they are most vulnerable. Funeral directors take care of the body; funeral planners take care of the family responsibilities, like the luncheon after the funeral, flowers, eulogy, etc. A caring disposition and desire to help is a must.
Celebrants offer alternatives to services provided by clergy for families who are not affiliated with a church, or who do not wish to have a traditional religious funeral service. Celebrants work with families to create personal remembrances for their loved ones. Visit the In-Site Institute to learn more.
15. Ecommerce Entrepreneur
Are you a crafter? Maker? Jewelry, home decor or apparel designer? Open an Etsy shop and sell your handcrafted goods online. If your closets are overflowing, check out Poshmark, the self-proclaimed number one place to sell fashion online. And if your home is loaded with things you had to have, but no longer need, then selling on eBay or may be right for you.
16. Hair Stylist
If working in someone else’s salon isn’t for you consider the many other avenues available to qualified hair stylists. After completing cosmetology school start by renting a chair in a salon, open one in your home, or become a visiting stylist who specializes in weddings and other special events.
17. Stylist | Personal Shopper
Are you a fashionista? Do you like to shop? This career allows you to use your fashionable talents to help others get it together.
The most creative photos at my daughter’s wedding came from a friend who casually took photos for fun. If you are good with a camera – or your iPhone – give it a try. In addition to weddings, showers and other events you can connect with real estate agents to provide photos for listings. Contribute your photos to websites like Shutterstock and Adobe Stock you’ll make money each time someone downloads your content.
19. Interior Designer
Joanna Gaines, of Fixer Upper fame, doesn’t have a formal degree in design – she learned on the job. If you can put together fabrics, furniture, colors and accessories this might be the business for you. You’ll need to create a portfolio to show potential clients what you can do.
20. Home Stager
A well-staged home is a standout, but not every home is ready for sale; decluttering and furniture rearrangement has to happen first. When homeowners can’t do this themselves they seek help from a pro.
21. Pet Care and Dog Walking
Pets are important members of the family who need attention when mom and dad aren’t available. Somebody needs to check in on Fido, so why not you? Think potty breaks, overnight care, day checks and daily walks. Even yard cleanup.
Can you sew? There’s a reason every dry cleaner offers alterations. Take it further and offer garment creation, custom embroidery on clothing, and even sewing badges on scout uniforms and letterman jackets.
There are so many opportunities out there, you are only limited by your own talents and imagination. You will need to consider how much time you have to devote to your business, how much money you want to invest, and how much you need to earn in each month. You can do it! Believe the hype and buy the t-shirt: The future is female.
SPOTLIGHT: Anna Woodward Retail Display
View this post on Instagram
Fa-la-la-la 🎶 It’s almost Christmas time! We spent some time preparing the floor at @choicesbookstore and it’s really put me in the holiday spirit! 🎄 Need help preparing your store? Now’s the time to schedule a day for holiday support with product placement, merchandising, or decor. ⏰☎️🎁 #annawoodwardretaildisplay #holidaytime #christmasiscoming #holidaydecor #holidayseason #shopsmallbusiness #shopsmall #supportlocal #shoplocal #downtownholiday
Anna Woodward is a visual merchandiser, working as a contract worker employed by retailers to make their interior and window displays pop. Her company, Anna Woodward Retail Display came into being as freelance opportunities became more and more frequent. Anna enjoys the flexibility business ownership offers, enabling her to contribute to her family and be available to them. She thrives on the professional goals she sets for herself. Her current project is the downtown revitalization of a small community where nearly 75 percent of the business’s women-owned, and the driving force behind the downtown revitalization and retail resurgence.
SPOTLIGHT: Laura Witlox
Laura Witlox made the courageous leap from salaried career to the launch of The Persistent Assistant after four years of working for a toxic boss – a risky move for a single mom of three with just $300 in her bank account.
The Persistent Assistant provided high quality, individualized assistance; everything from marketing to organization to housekeeping. Laura was Marie Kondo before Marie Kondo, a “Gal Friday” temporary assistant, without the temp agency.
The business grew on word of mouth – free publicity that included writing a column for a local newspaper and growing her social media presence.
Laura donated her services as auction items at community fundraising events, printed fliers to leave around town, and networked like crazy. She volunteered to maintain a presence and joined the local Chambers of Commerce.
And then Laura’s life changed again when a client was so impressed with her skills he recruited her to run operations for his film and entertainment company.
I asked her what advice she has for a woman just starting out.
“Easy, she said. “Don’t limit yourself to too a small geographic area. Branch out. Don’t undervalue what you do – it’s easy to charge a low fee when you are starting out. Instead, do the research to find out what similar companies charge. You can’t be all things to all people, so find a niche and fill it. And don’t worry if you mess up, that’s how you learn.”
Ready to start your own biz?
Whether you’re looking for a new side-hustle or want to build an empire, there are a ton of business ideas and ventures that you can tap on. Hopefully, this post points you in the right direction.
And when you’re ready to start your biz (or if you already have one), make sure you have a good payment processor in place. Your customers and clients will want to pay using their credit cards, so having a merchant provider that offers low and fair rates is a must.
It’s important to align your business with a credit card processing company you can trust… one that is forthcoming about rate increases and the reasons for them, so you aren’t hit with nasty surprises on your bill.
Payment Depot has an A+ Better Business Bureau rating and saves merchants an average of over $400 a month on credit card processing. No hidden fees. No surprises. Click here to speak with one of Payment Depot’s award-winning customer service representatives today.