What inspires you about the business

31 business ideas - inspiration and tips for your independence

Many people have a great desire to become self-employed. Just try something different and break out of the boring day-to-day work. Challenge yourself and dare to start your own business. The step out of a secure job and into self-employment is usually associated with a great deal of risk. And very few would like to face that. The solution: side business!

Side business is a great opportunity to take the first steps towards self-employment without taking too much risk. But in addition to the full-time job, that means: Less free time and more work. With the right idea, however, that also means: Earning more money and a secure start to self-employment.

There are endless ways to start a business. Are you still looking for the right business idea? Then read this post! Among other things we have 31 different start-up ideas listed. Maybe there is something for you too.

Here is a brief overview:

31 business ideas for your independence

To make it easier for you to find the right business idea, you will find 31 different ideas for self-employment here.

1. Web design

With so many websites to choose from, a good design is an absolute must to stand out from the crowd. As a freelance web designer, you improve the design of unsightly websites - visually, functionally and structurally.


The blog of the successful freelance web designer Jonas Hellwig reports on current trends and tips in web design. Skillcrush offers online courses that provide you with knowledge quickly and make your customers happy.

2. Web development

As a web developer, you have skills that are in high demand. You can quickly familiarize yourself with the subject with the help of various inexpensive and free programs. As soon as you have the knowledge, you can tackle your first projects and set up a side business.


Codecadamy and Treehouse are two websites that will help you learn to code for free. You will also find a large number of jobs for self-employed people on various project exchanges.

3. Affiliate Marketing

Successful affiliate marketing means: Have a website that is so interesting that companies want to place their advertising on your site. You earn money as soon as visitors to your website interact with the advertising placed.


The best-known example of affiliate marketing are probably test or comparison sites that link to Amazon. The site tests corresponding products, for example headphones, and links to the headphones that have just been tested on Amazon so that the customer can order them directly. The site operator receives a fee for each item sold.

Affiliate marketing is also possible on YouTube by including links to partner sites in the video description.

4. Virtual assistant

As a virtual assistant, you will independently support companies and private individuals in their organization. The decisive advantage: It doesn't matter where you are. Communication takes place over the Internet.


There are various platforms such as Cloudsecretary that provide you as a virtual assistant.

5. E-learning

Are you an expert in a particular area or program? If so, create an online course and pass on your knowledge. E-learning is playing an increasingly important role. If you have any questions, the internet is often the first point of contact and nothing stands in the way of your path to self-employment.


In addition to LinkedIn Learning, many other platforms are always looking for new experts for online training. Regina Anaejionu gives you tips on her website on how to best build your business and become a founder.

6. DropShipping

Have you ever thought of dropshipping? What does that mean? In short: you are a dealer of goods and sell them to your customers without having physical contact with the goods. This makes it possible to set up an online shop relatively quickly. You also save storage and transport costs.


Here are the ten most common mistakes to avoid when choosing your DropShipping supplier.

7. Open a deli

Wine from Chile, cheese from France or spices from India. Gone are the days when food from the discounter around the corner was preferred as cheaply as possible. The trend is towards special and unusual foods, of the highest possible quality and, if possible, from sustainable production. If the advice is also correct, people are also willing to spend a few euros more on their food and drink.

With your own delicatessen shop you can use this trend for yourself: high-quality products, a pleasant ambience, extensive product knowledge, small bites to try and every now and then an event, perhaps with a local chef. These are the ingredients of success for your own deli around the corner.


You can find out what else to look out for when opening your own delicatessen shop here.

8. Write texts

Do you always like to write? How about a side business as a copywriter? The demand for good copywriters in the online and print sectors is great.


You will always find interesting job offers at twago and other project exchanges.

9. Fitness coach

If you already spend your free time in the gym, a side business as a fitness coach might be right for you. Once you've proven yourself as a coach, your customer base will slowly but surely grow.


There are tips for great personal trainers on Bernd Stoesslein's website.

Good to know!

Are you already active as a fitness coach and want to reach for the stars? We'll show you everything you have to consider if you want to open your own gym!

10. Translator

Interpreters are needed almost everywhere. If you are already fluent in Chinese or another exotic language, it is worth using this skill and becoming self-employed!


The Twago project exchange has some interesting offers for translators.

11. Open the food truck

Maybe your dream has always been to own your own restaurant and cook for people. Try your luck first with a food truck and find out if the demand is high enough.


On the Imbisskult website there is some information that you might need when starting your own food truck.

12. PC and smartphone repair

Do you love tinkering with all technical devices? Then start your own business with a PC and smartphone repair service. At the beginning you can try yourself out with your friends.


A good example of a successful repair site is handyreparatur123.de.

13. Become a music teacher

Do you have a particularly good command of your voice or a musical instrument? How about a side business as a music teacher? The rush in music schools is always great. If you get yourself a good reputation as a private music teacher, you will quickly have enough students.


You can find out how much a music teacher earns by comparing salaries.

14. Program an app

There is now a suitable app for almost everything on the smartphone. Maybe you have the idea that no one before you had! All you need then are the necessary programming skills.


The article by Starting Up gives you tips that you might need from the idea to the marketing of an app.

15. Become a dogwalker

While dogwalking has long become a trend in the USA, there is still plenty of catching-up potential in this country - so your chance! But what exactly is dogwalking? The dog, also known as man's best friend, is one of the most popular pets in Germany. In 2018, an estimated 9.2 million dogs lived in German households (source: statista.com) and each of them needs a lot of attention and exercise. However, not every owner has the time to go for a walk three times a day or to play with their four-legged friends in the park.

And this is where the dogwalker comes into play: he takes the dog for a walk for a fee, plays with him and takes care of him.


Dogument offers special courses and events for dog walkers and those who want to become one.

16. Become a franchisee

The number of franchise companies in Germany has risen sharply in recent years. They are now available in almost every industry. Do you fancy your own branch? Then franchising could be the solution for you!


In the article on franchising you will find interesting facts and figures. To find the right franchise company, franchisedirekt has a clear directory of the most important companies.

17. Wedding planning

Anyone who is enthusiastic about organizing birthday parties and other festivities could start their side business as a wedding planner. The demand is great and the pay is good.


The Traumhochzeit agency is a franchise company and is always looking for wedding planners.

18. Computer training for seniors

Older people in particular need support to find their way around in our digital world. Do you know a lot about technology and the internet and are you good at explaining things?


First, ask your friends whether there is a need for tutoring. Alternatively, adult education centers are always looking for interesting courses.

19. Open the unpackaged shop

Would you like to do something for the environment and declare war on the packaging mania? How about a store where all items are unpacked and plastic is a no-go? Is not there? There is! And more and more often. Demand, especially from environmentally conscious people who value sustainability, is growing every day. Bulky stores are the latest craze and maybe your new business?


Is there already an unpackaged shop in your area or is there still potential to catch up? You can see it on Zerowastemap!

20. Fulfillment by Amazon

Have you always wanted to start your own online shop? With the help of “Fulfillment by Amazon” (FBA), the shipping and everything related to it are taken over cost-effectively. This will make it easier for you to focus on other things.


Amazon FBA has been extensively tested on the Sidepreneur website.

21. Photographer

Do you like to take pictures in your free time and your pictures hardly differ from a professional photographer? Combine your hobby with a side business. So you can, slowly and without risk, create a second mainstay.


You should consider these steps on the way to self-employment as a photographer.

22. Catering

If you love to cook and enjoy being responsible for the food at family gatherings, catering services might be the business for you.


On the chef.one platform, you can invite strangers to dinner and even earn money with it.

23. Sell handmade products

After a long day in the office, manual labor can be a good balance. Crafting, crocheting, knitting. There are many portals online through which you can sell homemade items. This is how you can test how high the demand for your products is.


With Etsy you can create your own online shop and sell your products securely.

24. Tour guide

Do you live in a city that you love, but where you meet thousands of tourists every day? Use the interest of the tourists! Meet new people and show them the city from your perspective.


With GetYourGuide you can offer your tours worldwide.

25. Start a YouTube channel

If your videos are so entertaining that you have a few thousand subscribers following you, you can make good money. You make money from the ads that appear before your video.

sevDesk customer Hendrik Klöters showed how it works. His Youtube channel Unternehmerkanal now has over 74,000 subscribers.


You can find out how to best prepare your videos in this blog post.

26. Apartment rental

If you travel a lot for work and hardly use your apartment, why not rent it out to tourists? So you can earn money and meet new people without much effort.


At Airbnb you can create your own profile and thus easily organize the placement of your apartment.

27. Offer yoga classes

Like hardly any other sport, yoga has become a trend in recent years. Whether young or old, male or female, sports enthusiast or couch potato - yoga is so versatile that there is something for everyone. The demand for courses continues to boom and so it is not surprising that more and more people are taking the step into self-employment and training as yoga teachers. Is yoga your passion too? Come on, what are you waiting for?


You can find a small overview of the course and training opportunities here.

28. Bake

Has it always been your dream to have your own pastry shop? First start small and ask your friends if there is a need for your delicacies. Birthdays, weddings ... Give yourself a try and turn your hobby into a profession.


You can find out how you can run a business in your private kitchen on the Register business website.

29. Fashion label

Starting your own fashion label is associated with many risks. But in addition to a full-time job, this is easy to implement. Test how well your fashion items are received by customers and slowly start your own business.


At Mein Fashionabel you can have textiles printed cheaply and easily.

30. Modeling

Have you always enjoyed being in front of the camera? If so, a side business model could be right for you. This side business can be easily combined with your full-time job. Besides that, you also earn good money.


You can find out how the payment of a model usually works on the everyday website of a photo producer.

31. Coach sports teams

Do you miss the sports field? Then the side business as a team coach could be just the thing for you. After all, what could be better than pursuing your favorite sport and making money in the process?


Ask at the nearest sports club whether they need coaches.

Find your own business idea

If you've made the decision to set up for your own business, then you need one first brilliant business idea. And one that also works well in the long term in order to be able to earn you a permanent living.

What is important is the idea suits you as a person. In addition, the Market big enough to be able to generate enough profit. You can use existing ideas, because proven things are always needed (banal example: groceries). A good and safe idea in this case would be a franchise company, for example.

But you have the better chances with one improved product. And it's even better if yours Product innovative and you can offer something that is not yet on the market, but for which there is a need. In other words, a product that finally offers solutions to existing problems, for example. These can be simple but helpful improvements like the zip lock bags compared to traditional freezer bags.

Ideas workshop

At the beginning there should be brainstorming. Of course, you yourself know your inclinations best. Which industry would you enjoy? Where do you have the greatest chances based on your previous knowledge and professional skills? Then you should find out which trends are currently popular and what a large market exists for. But niche products, where you will be one of the few suppliers, are also a good idea.

Then you should consider whether you can implement the idea on your own or bring business partners on board. If you want to pursue a completely new idea, you have to keep a low profile so that it doesn't get stolen from you. Then it would be helpful if you first had this idea protected by a trademark or patent.

Check business ideas

So that you can start your own business with a clear conscience, you have to be able to identify with your idea. You have to be like that yourself enthusiastic and so convinced be of her, that you are happy to take on the initial dry spell and the hard work, and yours motivation nevertheless not subsides.

You also have to be sure that it really is a profitable market for your idea, otherwise the best motivation won't help you. The 10th kebab shop on the same street just isn't spectacular enough to draw people in in droves - unless you had attractions that aren't available anywhere else.

And please remember that you absolutely have the idea too be able to implement technically, professionally and financially have to, otherwise it will be of no use to you.

There are several theoretical approaches to testing and evaluating business ideas, which we will explain to you below.

Canvas model

The Canvas Model or actually the "Business Model Canvas" (BMC) was designed by Alexander Osterwalder and enables the entire business idea to be structured and developed using 9 important sub-points. The idea can also be easily sketched on a large sheet of paper. This involves the following 9 points:

  • Customer segments / target group: Who will be the target group of customers who need or want the product or service? How big is this group?
  • Value propositionn: What are the advantages or more precise benefits do customers have when they buy your improved, innovative, new product?
  • Channels / sales and advertising channelse: Through which channels or media do customers find out about the new product or service and how and where can they buy it?
  • Customer relationship / customer relationship: An important sticking point is the service that you have to offer your customers. Can you score points in this area through the use of special services, the use of modern software that makes it easier for the customer to contact you, or similar offers?
  • Revenue Streams / Sources of Income: How can money be made with the business idea? About the one-time sale of licenses or the regular sale of products? About affiliate models? But not only the question of customers' money comes into play here. You also have to ask yourself: where does the money to fund this idea come from? About sponsors? Loans? Funding? Business partners and their deposits?
  • Key Resources: At this point, it's all about your resources. Where do you get the financial as well as physical or human resources for your company?
  • Key activities: What are the main areas of activity that you need to keep your business functioning and running continuously?
  • Key partnerships / strategic partnerships: Which partners do you need and from which areas to keep your business running? Which suppliers, banks or service providers are important to you?

On the basis of these points you can not only check whether you have considered all relevant points, but you can also see what is still missing and also have a basis for your business plan.

Stratechi's business model

This alternative is a bit simpler and more pragmatic, but otherwise leads to the same result as the canvas model. But it only consists of five points:

  • The first question is: Why does your company exist? What is your mission or what are your goals?
  • Then you have to ask yourself what you want to manufacture or offer and what target group your products are suitable for.
  • This is followed by two equally important questions that go hand in hand here. For one, you have to ask yourself what you can offer the customer. In the sense of the benefit he gets from it.
  • And the second question would be about the value that jumps out for you. Which markets are available to you? How can you cover purchasing, sales and trading?
  • At the end you ask yourself the question of the HOW. How will you implement your business model? How can you structure your company organizationally and financially and with which personnel, which suppliers and partners and also where the company should be strategically located.

Gassman's Magic Triangle

This model comes from Oliver Gassmann, Michaela Csik and Karolin Frankenberger from the University of St. Gallen. They wanted to simplify the Business Model Canvas and define it more precisely. The central questions are simplified to just four points:

  • WHAT do you want to offer the customer?
  • HOW do you manufacture a product or service?
  • WHO are your target customers?
  • How can the company's earnings be assessed?

Found a business idea? - Start business start-up!

If your business idea is well thought out, you have to think about a few more important requirements that concern yourself. And for the necessary financing, you still have to take care of your business plan.

Requirements for founders

In order not only to successfully found a company, but also to be able to manage it successfully later with good opportunities, you must have personal, professional, technical and legal requirements.

personal requirements

This means whether you are physically able to cope with the stressful everyday life as a start-up. But also whether you have the necessary important qualities such as perseverance, motivation, thoroughness or organizational talent. You also need the important start-up know-how so that you don't miss a single step on the way to your own company.

Professional qualifications

This requires that you understand some of the business that you want to build. You need sufficient professional experience in the chosen area. In addition, you absolutely need commercial knowledge. Unfortunately, this area is often neglected, so that there are problems with financing or accounting. Unfortunately, many overestimate themselves with “I'll manage it.” It is therefore essential to have professional advice from a tax advisor and good accounting software to avoid the worst mistakes.

Legal requirement

Different legal requirements are necessary depending on the industry. In any case, the following formalities are important:

• Choosing the right legal form for your company
• The business registration and compliance with the chamber obligation
• Registering with the tax office and applying for a tax number
• Possibly industrial property rights, licenses, brands and patents
• Often an entry in the commercial register
• Correct contracts or powers of attorney with business partners in joint ventures
• Hiring employees

Technical Equipment

You also need the right equipment in the workplace. Not only your office, but also important protective and safety devices or other mandatory equipment (depending on the industry) can be part of it. For example, important devices for immission control or environmental protection.

Work out business concept - the business plan

Without a sensible one Business plan you cannot create a mature concept for your company. We have dedicated various helpful articles to this central point on our website in which we show you:

In these articles, we will show you in detail what you need to consider in a business plan.

Steps of business start-up

If you want to build your own existence, then you should definitely observe the following important steps, some of which result from the legal and factual requirements:

  1. Is self-employment really the right thing for you? Ask yourself that before you invest too much time and money and then give up.
  2. Put the business idea through its paces, every mistake can cost you dearly later.
  3. Both before the start and later, you should seek professional advice (tax advisor, business development agency, lawyer ...)
  4. You need bomb-proof planning and a solid business plan.
  5. With the business plan, you have to approach suitable financiers and raise the necessary start-up capital. Check banks, private donors, investors, and public funding.
  6. Observe all legal regulations, tax dates and official documentation requirements as well as the necessary insurance for your company. After all the documents have been brought in and all formalities have been completed, you can finally get started.

Checklist for founders

The checklist also depends on the industry and type of company. In principle, however, you can check the following points to make sure that you have not forgotten anything (the points are not exhaustive):

  • Is the business idea (including financing and location) ready and have you checked it carefully?
  • Do you have your founding team together if you are not planning a sole proprietorship?
  • Have you decided on the appropriate legal form?
  • If your company has several shareholders, you have to remember to draw up appropriate articles of association, draw up the articles of association and the shareholders' agreement and appoint the managing director. In addition, there is the payment of the share capital, the necessary notary visit with all shareholders and the entry in the commercial register.
  • Have you completed all the necessary formalities (registration with the trade office and tax office)?
  • Did you find a tax advisor?
  • Have you hired employees and registered with the health insurance company and professional association?

Startups - that's why they're trendy

Startups are young companies with mostly revolutionary new ideas that do not cling to tried and tested structures. The entrepreneurial teams use well-used networks or, if necessary, crowdfunding to find investors and supporters who can move them forward quickly. An “ordinary” company has a harder time. Because it cannot benefit from the investors' insider knowledge, but has to establish itself in the traditional way.

5 successful startups

Examples of well-known and popular startups that started small and quickly grew to a high company value include:

  • Airbnb - a portal through which one can offer and also book private accommodations worldwide.
  • Android - the well-known operating system for smartphones, owned by Google since 2005.
  • Dropbox - innovative, modern online storage that allows multiple people to work together.
  • Twitter - the most popular online news service, originally called Odeo, which focused on podcasts.
  • Zappos - the world's largest online shoe store, which was acquired by Amazon in 2009.

5 crazy business ideas from around the world

Crazy business ideas can go wrong. But there are also successful examples. We have listed the 5 craziest business ideas. Maybe they will inspire you in your search for ideas.

1. Cats card game

The card game Exploding Kittens is one of the most successful campaigns held on Kickstarter to date. Instead of the $ 10,000 required, the project raised $ 7.8 million. In the meantime, there is no longer just the card game but also the appropriate app.

2. Air - bottled

The enterprise Vitality Air was founded in 2014. The business idea: Air from the Canadian Rockies, filled into spray bottles. It's hard to believe, but within four days the first shipment of 500 bottles was sold. So far, China has been the main consumer of the bottled air.

3. Coffee and cake for free

The cafe Ziferblat was founded in 2011 by Ivan Meetin in Moscow. The crazy thing about it: Everything in coffee is free. You only pay for the time you spend there. So many people liked the idea that there are now branches all over Europe.

4. Travel offers for cuddly toys

The Japanese travel agency Unagi offers trips for cuddly toys - without their owner. From a day trip to a multi-day trip, everything is possible. What the cuddly toys experience is then documented with the camera.

5. The divorce photographer

Instead of photographing wedding couples in their immaculate clothes, the divorce photographer set a different goal. Photographing women tearing or staining their wedding dress.


Many people are afraid of failing when they take the step into self-employment. With the right pinch of inspiration and our tips, you can first develop your own business idea and then check whether it is steadfast. So you can realistically assess and plan possible successes. Note, however, that this process usually takes a little longer to complete.

So if you are ready to invest a lot of time and passion, you too can make the step into self-employment!