Shop Ideas: 11 Ideas to Make Money & Dominate Your City

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Have you ever wondered if you could make money as a shop owner? Well, as it turns out, you can. While running a bricks-and-mortar shop may seem like an archaic idea, there are thousands of small business owners out there doing it and making money.

Don’t know where to start from, I have compiled a list of the best shop ideas for you in this post. Some are easy to start while some are evergreen businesses that will never go out of fashion.

Let’s get to it.

1. Grocery Store

It will be difficult to overcome the lure of thinking about the best shop ideas without a grocery shop entry into the picture.

There is virtually no town or community that doesn’t have a grocery store. If you want to explore the option of starting a grocery store, your best bet is to stock inventories that are daily consumables.

This will ensure that you maintain a healthy cash flow and be able to keep the shop running. If you reside in a tourist town, you can incorporate some gift and souvenir items into your grocery store.

In the event that your town already has a thriving grocery store, it is best to niche down. This means that you should consider the option of starting a specialty store instead.

2. Specialty Food Store

Instead of competing with big grocery stores, you can decide to niche down and sell some specific type of food.

A perfect idea for a specialty food store is to either focus on selling fruits or vegetables. This way, you’ll be able to attract a specific set of buyers and cave out a niche for yourself.

You could, on the other hand, decide to concentrate your efforts on selling imported foods. If you live in a city with a large overseas population, this will be a great shop idea.

The opportunities with this business are endless. In addition, you could decide to be a shop that sells local farm produce if reside in an agricultural area.

That been said, if you are able to niche down, this is one of the most profitable shop ideas that will turn you into an industry leader.

SEE: Best food business ideas

3. Unisex Salon

Irrespective of age and gender, we’ll always visit the salon several times a year. Now let me give you a fair idea of how viable this shop idea can be.

Look around in your city or where you reside, and get a rough estimate of the population of both men and women.

And if you intend to set up a salon for women, there are other services involved aside from making their hair. These additional services include manicure, pedicure, nail fixing, makeup, etc.

As for men, the average adult male should have a haircut at least once a month. While the cost of a haircut varies by location, this should be within the region of $50 if you are an experienced hairstylist.

You must keep in mind that there are additional operating expenditures in this area of business. You’ll have to commit more money on equipment repairs if it breaks down.

In addition, there is also the cost of constantly purchasing other necessary cosmetics and chemicals used for the trade.

4. Tattoo Parlor

With celebrities in the musical and sports world showing off their body tattoos, their fans have followed suit. Just to have a body tattoo of their favorite star, these fans are ready to spend and be spent.

In addition, having a tattoo is more like a social status accomplishment for some people. All of these have therefore made starting a tattoo parlor one of the profitable shop ideas to consider.

However, to be successful in this business, creativity is needed as a major factor. Oftentimes, you will be required to make a tattoo of either an animal, a human, or some still life object.

While your store location may not be a thing to bother about, hygiene should be looked into. Since you’ll be dealing with piercing body parts, you wouldn’t want to be a person who aids the transfer of infectious diseases.

SEE: How to Make Money with Art

5.  Bookstore

Don’t let big names like Walmart, Kobo or Amazon, scare you away from establishing a bookstore. Just like myself, there are people who find it more convenient to read paperback books.

While sales of books are the obvious means of making money with this idea, other means abound. Your bookstore can serve as a point for the sales of the local newspapers.

In addition, you could adopt the option of book rental and swap. This will help to attract people who just need a particular book just for the moment or for certain projects.

Furthermore, your bookstore could as well, serve as a point for the sale of event tickets for a certain commission. If you reside in a town with lots of educational institutions, your bookstore can sell stationeries and textbooks to cater to this set of book buyers.

6. Spa Studio

While owning a unisex salon is one of the most profitable and evergreen shop ideas, owning a spa studio isn’t an exception.

This business should be considered majorly if you reside in a commercial or large city. That’s necessary because the expected customer base for this business is those with high spending power.

Since this is a niche business idea with a much-targeted customer base, a spa parlor should be your option where there is little or no currently existing spa parlor.

Try to use digital marketing channels to source for clients and also Craigslist ads. Local events like weddings and graduations will also help to boost your bottom line.

SEE: How to make money as a massage therapist

7. Mobile Store

The buzz of owning the latest smartphone is something that isn’t dying down soon not even among the youths of the present day.

While setting up a mobile phone store is a viable venture, do note that it requires a substantial amount of investment to get started.

In addition, the dynamics of the mobile phone industry are something that can throw an inexperienced business owner out of a trade. This is simply due to the number and brands of phones being released yearly. A newly released phone invariable put an existing one out of fashion.

Understanding the market and gaining a firm grasp on the precise brand of phones being used by customers in your shop location is important to your success in this business. It is also critical to understand these people’s purchasing power.

Armed with all of this information, it will help you to stock your shop with the brand of phone people in your location will be able to buy.

8. Mobile Phone Repair Shop

Majorly, electronic products are known to easily develop faults and malfunctions unexpectedly. The mobile phone is never an exception.

In addition, the knowledge of mobile phone repairs is something that is not the forte of most people. Therefore when the mobile phone in our hands develops any fault, we tend to easily run to a technician for repairs.

The good side of this business is that the tools for the trade are not too expensive. Furthermore, it is a business that can be started from the home and can also serve as a side business.

You can even add to your business the opportunity for people to trade their old phones for a little cash. Another thing you can do is to collect dead phones from dumpsites.

After collecting all these old and dead phones, you can just refurbish them and still sell them. This will help to boost your revenue potential.

9. Flower Shop

Although this is an obvious thing, a flower shop is both profitable and inexpensive to set up. Your major cost with this business will be the cost of shop rental and the purchase of a cooling device to keep your flowers fresh.

While it is nice to have a physical store nearby that sells flowers, do expect competition from online flower stores.

This is because before setting up your flower shop, your potential client is already familiar with buying flowers online.

Just to add, seeing that forming a new habit is a difficult thing, fair pricing is one of the major ways you can compete with your competitors.

In addition, things like home services and excellent customer service will help to win over some customers to your business.

10. Cosmetic Shop

Think you don’t have much technical skill, but you are an outgoing person with a knack for entrepreneurship, a cosmetic shop business idea is best for you.

The market size for this is huge. Though your customer base will be dominated by women, people of all gender and age are still your target customers.

In addition, since we all want to appear neat and clean, that puts this business idea as one of the most profitable and evergreen shop ideas.

Furthermore, before launching your cosmetic shop, please ensure that proper feasibility studies are conducted. This is mainly to ensure that you are putting your best foot forward.

Also, the location of your shop is another factor you must consider. Note that people will not want to travel a far distance for something they can easily get downtown.

SEE: Cosmetic business ideas that you can start with little capital

11. Fitness Center

It is fairly difficult to run a fitness center without having a space for your client to work out. This is due to the fact that people who visit gyms only do so because they want to get results. That means to do so, an accountability partner is needed.

Other than that, anyone could have bought gym equipment and carry out their workout routine at home. In addition, gym equipment needed to be fitted in a place before it can be used.

Moreover, the membership retainer for gyms and fitness centers is a minimum of six months. All of these make this business one of the best shop ideas you should consider.

To get clients for your fitness center business, you can utilize Facebook ads and target people within a drivable mile radius of your business. Sites like Groupon and Craigslist can also serve as a hunting ground for clients.


What is a shop business?

A shop business is simply any business that can be operated from a physical location. A grocery store, specialty store, cosmetic shop, etc. are all examples of a shop business.

Is a retail store a business?

Yes. This is because retail store deals with the sales of goods and services to consumers. In addition, most times retails store operates from a physical location and are subject to taxes.

Since these taxes are computed after total sales for the tax period are considered, it is best to say that a retail store is a business.


Most people devote a significant amount of time contemplating which business is best to start. However, this post has given you an insight into the best shop ideas you can launch today and make a profit.

The best approach to take is to start small and then scale up from there, especially if it’s your first time. This is because there are certain uncertainties you can’t avoid in business.

Out of the shop ideas listed above, the one I recommend is to get started with mobile phone repairs if you have the skill. In the event that you don’t have the skill for a mobile phone repair business, then start a specialty food store.

Finally, if you are on a shoestring budget, it is best you check out this post on the best businesses to start with low startup costs.

Thanks for reading.