If you need a side hustle or a way to test the waters before becoming an entrepreneur, here are some business proposal ideas to earn more money and learn how to work for yourself. As a bonus, we’ve also added successful entrepreneurs behind these businesses to inspire you to start working for yourself.
Business Proposal Ideas and Entrepreneurs to Inspire You
1. Annie Leibovitz: Photographer
You’ll easily be able to tell an Annie Leibovitz celebrity portrait when you see one. She got her start in music magazine Rolling Stone but is famous these days for her Vanity Fair portraits.
A photo tells many stories. A good photographer has a keen eye for detail and knows the right way to capture a moment.
2. Liz Steel: Artist and Online Class Creator
Do you specialize in a particular skill (maybe art like Liz Steel)? You can develop and market online classes to teach other people new skills.
You’ll need to invest time and money up front, but this gamble can pay off well. Since you retain 90% of the information you learn by teaching them, you get an ROI both on your knowledge as well as the money you invested once students start pouring in.
3. Ginny Sidell: Social Media Marketing Manager
Not even a year after social media manager Ginny Sidell hopped onboard KFC, its Twitter account engagement rose by 300%, and its Facebook page reached 1.5 million likes. With tweets like this from National Hugging Day, it’s evident Sidell has mastered the art of social media posting.
Many companies, especially small businesses, rely on social media to get new customers and reach a wider audience. You get a say on the brand’s voice and get paid to do so.
4. Safiya Nygaard: Content Creator
Content creator Safiya Nygaard left Buzzfeed in January 2017 to start her own YouTube channel. Since then, she’s posted countless videos, ranging from Amazon hauls to (most famously) mixing lipsticks together.
Content creators may get a bad rap for selling impossible dreams to people, but marketing your brand can pay off — the more people you reach, the more money you can make. If you build your brand to a certain point, you can earn more through sponsorships and collaborations.
5. James Altucher: Angel Investor
Yes, giving money can earn you money. Angel investors know how to spot business proposal ideas with the potential to become bigger and get higher returns than what they’d get from the typical ways of investing.
Because you become a part-owner of a company, you also get a say in the business. This allows you to experience how small business ideas can bear fruit in a short period.
6. Preston Bailey: Event Planner
Preston Bailey is known for his penchant for intricate floral arrangements for weddings he plans. His signature style is to bring the outdoors inside.
Planning for weddings can get hectic, so it’s not a job for those who struggle with juggling several things at once. A good event planner can help sort out what people need for a successful wedding that everyone can enjoy.
7. Jillian Michaels: Personal Trainer
Fitness buffs like Jillian Michaels have built empires on their personal training businesses. With many people looking to get into shape, you can give your clients the push they need to meet their business goals.
You can make even more money if you decide on a specific niche – this can range from strength training, weight loss, and mobility building.
8. H.P. Lovecraft: Ghostwriter
H.P. Lovecraft may be known for his horror stories, but did you know he was also a ghostwriter? Ghostwriting is a good business proposal idea for people who have a way with words.
Because ghostwriter content gets published under another name, clients compensate for this with higher rates. With the right clients and a watertight contract, this can turn into a lucrative business as long as you maintain a high standard of quality.
9. Chip Kidd: Graphic Designer
Graphic designer Chip Kidd is known for his book designs for the Alfred A. Knopf publishing house. Since then, he has shared his expertise through books like Go: A Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design.
Have an eye for good design? Learn how to use apps like Sketch or Photoshop so you can use your skills in graphic design.
Because the design market is quite saturated, you can get a leg up by targeting a specific industry or niche, like creating marketing collaterals or logo design.
10. Sara Soueidan: Web Developer
This web developer boasts companies like Netflix and Smashing Magazine among her clientele. Her main philosophy is to make designs that are as responsive and accessible as possible.
Any brand in this day and age needs a good website to get a blip on the radar, but many don’t have the skills to do it themselves. As a web developer, you can help these brands create a great website that best reflects their brand.
Another good business idea related to web development is website flipping. With a trained eye, you can spot a good deal and make strategic changes that can turn up some cash.
What is website flipping? This is a practice where you take an existing website, make some improvements, and sell it to clients for a profit.
11. Stephen Ross: Real Estate Sales
Some people like Stephen Ross make a living out of real estate sales and development. If you have more money to invest in, you can buy a property and rent it out. Just make sure you do your homework and get your ROI within a reasonable timeframe.
12. Arianna Huffington: Blogger
Arianna Huffington started a blog called the Huffington Post and covered mostly politics and other life events. Now, it’s one of the biggest media companies in the world and enjoys both commercial and critical success (it won a Pulitzer in 2012.)
Blogging doesn’t need a lot of capital to start. All you need is a website, a computer, and a specific niche you want to write about.
13. Ankur Patel: SEO Consultant
One client and $200 were all Ankur Patel took to establish his agency Vernce. You don’t need to spend a lot to set up an online business — just get the minimum viable product you can produce to be able to sell and market it.
There are many business proposal ideas out there for anyone. Find something you’ll enjoy doing and with some hard work and the right opportunities, you can make a living out of it.
Are you currently running your own business? What business ideas have you thought of pursuing? Share your experiences in the comments section below!