10 Best New York Small Business Ideas in 2017
The number of people choosing self-employment is rising, as more small business owners are realizing their wildest professional dreams on their own. The potential for profit is one appealing aspect of becoming an entrepreneur, along with the flexibility afforded by making your own schedule. Personal fulfillment has never been more possible beyond the walls of a greying cubicle.
Like we mentioned in the last article in this series, “10 Best Seattle Small Business Ideas,” we witness the power of the entrepreneurial spirit every day at Townsquared. Many Townsquared members have left their day jobs and risked it all to start a small business. Sometimes these business schemes started in their playground days. Their passion inspires us, and we consider it a privilege when we become a part of their stories.
New Yorkers have always fancied their city to be the center of the world. How do you open a new, small business in the center of the world? With a reputation for having the entire universe at its fingertips, the New York City business community offers more than even the most business-minded individual can imagine. A better question is: how do you open a new, small business in a city with every business imaginable?
To help you get started, we did some research and came up with the 10 best New York City small business ideas right now. If you’ve ever considered becoming an entrepreneur or starting your own business in New York City, we recommend you do your own research too. While we aren’t the experts, we know a lot of them, and are happy to refer you to our best resource – our members – if you have any questions.
10 best New York City small business ideas right now:
1. Instagram Consulting: Niche is good. In an oversaturated market, specializing in one area of social media, especially one that’s popularity continues to grow, is smart. Instagram’s new photo story feature is poised to be a more user-friendly version of Snapchat, with an interface that’s more intuitive and many of the same features (minus the flower crown and puppy tongue filters). New York small business owners are notoriously short on time and many cannot commit to the learning curve of trying and mastering these new tools. The channel also recently introduced Shoppable Instagram, a new e-commerce platform that is catching the attention of many retailers.
2. Women’s Health & Wellness Platform: Women entering the workforce are mobilizing in new ways to support each other and navigate the particular challenges of being a female entrepreneur. Being a small business owner can be isolating for anyone, especially those who are bound to a storefront. In most major metropolitan areas, the challenge of distance and transportation is an additional hurdle. A New York small business that creates a web-based platform for women in any field, including Health & Wellness, opens up more opportunities for connection and solidarity.
3. Health Clubs for Millennials: Millennials are obsessed with self-care, and they are raising the bar for what that term means. Many seek out activities that are simultaneously experiences. A health & fitness pop-up or studio that makes exercising a fun and social activity, rather than a rote routine, has the potential to garner the attention of those born between 1980 and 2000. This population is also often very mobile, with a more flexible schedule and disposable income.
4. Box Subscription Services: You can find any product or cuisine that you want in New York City, as long as you are willing to travel up to two hours on the subway or shell out serious cab fare. With a box subscription, your desired items or special menus arrive at your doorstep, are customized to your tastes and preferences, and are a special surprise every month. The variety of box subscription services is growing, everything from pet food to makeup to coffee beans, so identifying an untapped market for a subscription service in New York City is the first step.
5. Software Training: Provide training in specialized software programs as a service that will give other professionals and small business owners a competitive edge. Depending on the field, many jobs assume that applicants will be proficient in programs like QuickBooks or Final Cut Pro. YouTube can be helpful to an extent, and beyond that there are expensive courses, sometimes even college classes, that provide training, but they can be really expensive.
6. Freelancing: Businesses rely on freelancers and contractors to temporarily fill the gaps in their staffing, identifying exactly what their needs are and for how long they will need those particular services. Freelancing can be incredibly flexible and allow you to build a large portfolio of work in a short period of time. Plus it will allow you a window into many different businesses and work environments, should you decide to pursue a position as an employee of a company.
7. Translation Services: New York City is a global city, and leveraging cross-cultural communication skills is one way to meet a growing demand for businesses. Entrepreneurs who are also speakers of many languages can provide vital services in the global marketplace.
8. Traveling Salons: Traveling salons, or pop-up salons, go the distance, arriving at people’s homes and places of work, so that it’s not just goods that are delivered to your door front, but also services. In an era of convenience, where people will pay for everything they want to come to them, a traveling or pop-up salon caters to those expectations and busy lifestyles.
9. Healthy Vending Machines: Speaking of convenience and busy lifestyles, the majority of working professionals will confess to occasionally eating on-the-go. A healthy vending machine could providing healthy eating options through an outlet that is notorious for showcasing the worst.
10. Mobile Consulting: Another opportunity for providing specialized services through consulting is advising on mobile technology. Finding ways to translate their business onto mobile devices is an ongoing need for New York small business owners, as more and more consumers own smartphones.