20 Profitable Small Business Ideas for California

A food truck business in California

If you are in California and want to be your own boss, please go through these small business ideas, some of which you can start with nothing.

1. Start a Recycling Business

Have you seen people throwing away good stuff and felt bad about so much hard work going into the landfill?

Then you can start recycling like one of my Mexican did in Culver City, L.A.

He turned the trash he could find into treasure. Held garage sales anywhere. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

People stood for hours going through his collection to find something they wanted. A kodak camera cost 5 bucks and lots of bargains.

Does it sound like what you can do in these Corona days of unemployment?

No capital is required to start this business. Collect what the neighbours don’t want and start selling from your front yard.

There are many more recycling businesses are there that you can start with very low investment. Some of the very popular businesses are Aluminium can recycling and Waste paper recycling.

2. Start a Transportation Business

Do you own a van and have a strong body?

You could start earning by helping people to move. There are many women and elderly who find it hard to lift things and don’t own a vehicle.

Advertise in the local newspapers classified section. ‘A man with a van. $20 per hour.’ People will call you.

Weekends working?

People usually want to move on weekends when they are not working. You can take a week off if you work on the weekends. It’s up to you..you are your own boss!

In our previous article, we have covered 20 profitable transportation businesses that you can start now.

3. Start Small Scale Manufacturing Business

Can you make dresses? or are you interested in manufacturing of small daily use products like paper cups and paper plates. You should check our latest article on 20 small scale manufacturing businesses that you can start.

If you own a sewing machine, start making what you can. Baby dresses, skirts, tops, anything that’s easy; put up for sale.

Alterations of pants to cut off the length not needed and stitch them by hand would get you $10/15 easily.

Rent a shop if you can; or sell online through Amazon. Get a tailor to work for you if you don’t know how to cut the clothing.

Learn first and then you can make them yourself or employ more staff if you know how to sell. 

YouTube can teach you all kinds of dresses.

4. Become a Real Estate Rentals and Property Management Agent

People are looking to move to a better place or a smaller place when they can’t afford their present place.

You can help by starting a Real estate rentals office.

You will be surprised to see both owners and tenants will approach you!

Offer to manage property management by taking care of maintenance with small repairs for older people who cannot take care of their houses. Get them tenants, collect rent and you will get your percentage share.

You can also start house flipping business in California which is very profitable with less stress.

5. Start a Rental Business

Do you have some savings to invest in buying party rental items like slides, bounce houses or chairs and tables etc?

You can start a rental business sitting at home. Buy furniture or even books that are bound to go out of print. You will need a garage to store things.

Some books go out of print quickly as they sell like hot cakes and not everyone can afford to pay for them.

Those who have read it could rent them to others.

Buy them from those who have read it already and you could start renting them.

Many people will call you when you advertise your catalogue like a library and announce the rates per day etc.

Apart from book rentals, read 10 more rental business ideas that you might consider.

6. Start a Food Truck

Many Mexicans in LA and San Diego own a food truck and sell burritos and tacos which are very popular in California.

A trailer from which an ex-shariff was selling hamburgers cost only $10000.

If you know how to cook, it’s an easy way of making money. Some used food trucks and trailers come with a food licence.

All you have to do is to pass a food handlers like a driver licence test.

Very simple things you study from a booklet they will give you to study about washing hands etc just like we are doing now in corona times.

7. Become an Interior Designer

Do you enjoy decorating your home? Maybe you can take a course or just start interior decoration if you are talented.

Start with your own house and get some photos to advertise. People would love to call you and ask you to help them with their houses just like yours.

A lady vacated her one bed flat and her friend took it on rent.

She couldn’t believe it was the same house when she came back to visit her old house as she kept a lot of unwanted things and the place looked terrible.

A simple place throwing away things we don’t require can make it look elegant.

8. Start Businesses Targeting Students

Students are temporary tenants and are not troublesome. You could rent an extra room if you have one or two you don’t need.

They can be helpful too. Giving tuitions can go on for years. You can also provide food for extra income.

All the students manage to eat is from cans or student restaurants.

They would appreciate the whole food home cooked even if it’s just a soup. A sandwich or two can be packed for their school lunch to save them buying outside.

Read our previous article where we have discussed small business ideas for college towns targeting students.

9. Open a Photo Booth

Set up a photo booth in a municipal office in a corner or anywhere crowded and you can get permission from the City to earn dollars.

$5 for taking a few passport photos in an emergency is not much. But by the end of the day, you could have $100/200.

It may not cost much but can be a good earning point. 

Easy money with a little maintenance. $1000/2000 to set up a booth can be earned back in no time.

10. Start Making Luxury Candles

Many Mexicans make candles at home using old tins on a little stove and pour it into moulds to sell them.

If you are creative you can add colours and flavours.

These luxury candles poured into decorative moulds can fetch you good returns. 

Pour melted wax into an orange peel half cup after the fruit is eaten and watch it burn with an aromatic smell.

Restaurants in Venice beach would buy them for romantic dinners with messages like ‘Love’ etc painted on tealights.

11. Start Making Customised Cakes

Some vegans want an eggless cake. But can you imagine a milkless, sugarless cake? 

Everything is possible if you look up on YouTube University.

Just mango fruits and semolina cooked in the oven or bread crumbs or biscuit crumbs could make your sugarless cake with dates etc without any milk or butter.

Beat it up together and set it in the freezer.

You could make customised cakes as the diet requires. Top it with nuts and plums.

Start marketing your business with the help of social media. Instagram paid ads is very effective for this type of business. You can show ads to selected audience in you target market.

12. Start Babysitting Service

Do you have patience with kids?

Can you tell them stories and they would fall asleep in your lap to surprise their mothers when they return to pick up the child who cannot stop screaming at home for attention.

Are these the same kids who would be so noisy and turn the house upside down? If you are good with kids, you can enjoy being a babysitter in your free time.

Sometimes you can get a live-in job and save your rent and food money if you are a student.

You can still get some pocket money on top for your bus pass etc.

13. Beauty Services

Every girl wants to look beautiful.

Why not help them if you enjoy dressing up and putting on makeup? Older women feel younger just to get a pedicure done.

There was a 80 year old woman who loved to visit a pedicurist every month and have her toes painted.

But what about those who cannot get out of their houses?

Especially in Corona days, older people are scared to go out even if they can. Lots of them have money and can afford your beauty services.

You could offer your home visiting services to a wedding where the bride and her friends would not be able to get out to a beauty parlor.

14. Start a Mobile Parlour

If you own a little van, you can set it up like a mobile parlor so you could save the trouble of setting up in a home visit.

Even a lady in a wheelchair can be pushed into the van if it’s equipped and she could get a haircut etc sitting comfortably.

Set up pedicure manicure tables and tubs with hot water to soak their feet before you wear a pair of gloves and scrub them thoroughly before cutting their nails.

Expect big tips!!

15. Start Senior Care Businesses

Many Russian and Hungarian ladies in Europe come to USA looking for senior care jobs. Why not start a business in senior care industry?

It’s not an easy job because the old ladies are not just physically weak and docile.

They can be bossy and dominating. You could be a companion to an old lady only for the nights. 

Understand their loneliness and you can get along fine.

You can save on your rent because you work during the day. Get paid well on top of that. All you have to do is cook them a light dinner to eat together.

If there is a day duty carer who takes care of cleaning the house and washing her clothes etc. you won’t have to do anything much.

16. Provide House Cleaning Services

These services are highly paid like $10 per hour minimum but the employer can be bossy and pushy if they are always picking fault with your job.

However if you are a professional, you will find it easy to clean houses in a short time.

You can have the rest of the day free after you have earned 50bucks a day in 5hours.

Do what you can when you can.

17. Start Paying Guest Services

You don’t have to leave your home if you have a paying guest service.

Make them breakfast and lunch etc just as you cook for yourself and share with them. Have a maid to clean up the rooms etc.

Usually paying guests would wash their own clothes if you have a washing machine and a dryer.

Food is kept on a table and served as a buffet or you can serve them at their tables.

You can sit back and enjoy your income once a paying guest accommodation is set up. It’s not difficult to manage.

You will need a license and insurance etc. Also get a tax number registering a business name or you can get into trouble.

18. Open a Day Care Centre

Open a daycare centre if you have a nice home and you love kids. It needs to be licensed and certified.

You have to have some experience in caring for babies. Cleaning their nappies and feeding them milk and food is not easy unless you want to hire a staff.

Good income can be expected from working parents who can trust you with their kids.

19. Start an Artist Agency

Many artists know how to paint a picture or a portrait but they have no idea about marketing.

You can help if you are good at digital marketing. 

Artists can sell their art with you and have food on their plates because of you.

You will get a good share to take care of yourself if you know how to sell artwork displaying in galleries or online by approaching such customers.

There are many business ideas for artists that made millions.

20. Start Home Catering

Start cooking at home if you like cooking and catering.

People would like to try out what you make to give you orders.

You could make more than $100 a day easily. Start with confidence and offer it online. The elderly would be very happy to see a plate of authentic food at their doors.

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