If you want to create more financial stability for your loved ones, you might consider starting a small family-run business. Together, you can found a startup rooted in shared values, unified leadership, and a commitment to long-term success that can carry on for generations. Starting a business as a family can also be a lot of fun — if you choose a fitting business model.

Read on for a list of some of the best family business ideas.

Why Start a Small Family-Run Business?

A family business offers a few distinct advantages. You will benefit from:

  • Decreased costs: Family members involved in the business may be more willing to make monetary sacrifices to support the business' big-picture success — for example, by accepting lower pay in exchange for a stake in the business.
  • Increased loyalty: Your family has a strong bond and an innate commitment to togetherness. This loyalty can carry over into business life. Family members may be less likely to seek opportunities elsewhere, minimizing human resources hassle.
  • Greater commitment: Family members involved in a business are also likely going to be more committed in general. They may be willing to put in extra hours or pick up shifts in emergencies — something that can be more challenging with traditional employees.

These benefits aside, family businesses also face unique hurdles. Favoritism or family conflicts can cause a dischord, for example. Succession planning is another issue; if there are many children and grandchildren, who will inherit the family business? Considering these points in advance will help avoid tension down the line.

Finally, some family businesses may face setbacks if the family members they employ lack the necessary experience or skills to do the job well. While you can outsource some tasks — like SEO marketing and freelance writing to generate content for your website — you likely want to be able to handle your core business competencies within the family.

21 of the Best Family Business Ideas

To increase the odds of long-term success, a family-run business will ideally consist of a concept that doesn't require a high degree of specialization, niche skill set, or advanced educational credentials. This makes it easier for more family members (current and future!) to actively contribute. Small business success is also easier when overhead costs are kept low.

This list of the best family business ideas takes these points into account. Whichever option you choose, write a detailed business plan in advance to get organized and determine who will do what and how involved various family members will be (e.g., whether they work full-time or part-time). Read on to determine what type of business is right for your family.

1. Landscaping

A gardening, lawn care, or landscaping business can be a rewarding option if your family enjoys working outside. You'll need to invest in some lawn care equipment to get started, but the overhead costs should be fairly low in the long run.

2. Handyman Services

Handyman and repair services are another option for families that like to work with their hands. Again, this low-cost business model will require some upfront purchasing of tools. However, you should enjoy relatively low overhead after that.

3. Child or Elder Care

A child care or daycare business is fantastic for those who love to work with kids. Alternatively, there is also a need for elder care services — especially as the global population continues to age. This can be a wonderful way for your family to support and connect with your local community.

4. Pet Care

If you'd rather cater to the needs of animals than people, a pet care business might be right for you and your family. There are many possible business ventures, including pet sitting, dog walking, and pet grooming.

5. Cleaning

A cleaning business is another good business model with low overhead costs. Plus, there are no educational requirements for providing cleaning services, so anyone in the family who is willing to work can get involved if they want to earn extra income.

6. E-Commerce

The global e-commerce market will continue to grow in the years to come, making this a great time to set up an online retail shop. There are many platforms that make it easy to set up a digital storefront for your online business, including Amazon, eBay, and Etsy.

7. Real Estate

There are many ways a family can make money from real estate. With the right licenses, you can set up a real estate agency. You can also rent properties out via a platform like Airbnb. Another option is to flip houses. The perfect business model will depend in part on your local real estate market. If you live somewhere with a lot of tourists, for example, Airbnb rentals are a great pick.

8. Rental Business

Home and apartment rentals are only one type of rental business. You can also rent goods like bicycles, cars, equipment, and event supplies (like tents and chairs). Do some research before you set up your own business to figure out your community's needs.

9. Restaurant

If your family loves to cook, why not start a family-owned restaurant? There are diverse jobs for all, from cooking to cleaning, waitressing, and hostessing. Planning a family restaurant, from the culinary concept to the interior design, can also be a lot of fun.

10. Catering

If you want to expand on the restaurant concept, you can also open up a catering business. Consider what type of catering you want to pursue. For example, catering business lunches for offices will be very different from catering major events like weddings.

11. Farmers Market Vendor

You can sell all kinds of goods at a farmers market, from home-grown produce to handcrafted foodstuffs like jams. If you're not interested in selling food-related items, you might consider crafts instead. Farmers markets are also a great way to generate word-of-mouth marketing for a broader business, like your e-commerce store.

12. Tutoring

A tutoring business can operate in-person or online, making this a great option if your family wants flexibility. Similarly, the range of topics tutoring can cover is immense, allowing different people to handle different areas of expertise.

13. Event Planning

Event planning requires a lot of attention to detail and many hands on deck. From coming up with concepts to planning food and the aesthetic appearance of the occasion, event planning has jobs for all tastes. If you have a big family, you can handle multiple events in a single weekend.

14. Delivery

A delivery business is flexible and can be tailored to your family's preferences and your community's needs. For example, you might set up a grocery delivery business for elderly individuals or a courier service for local businesses.

15. Dropshipping

Dropshipping requires a minimal upfront investment. With this business, your family will manage the shipping process for online retailers who get their goods from wholesalers. This business model allows you to start small and then scale up, offering great versatility for a family.

16. Moving Company

A family-run moving company can be extremely marketable. Moving companies are in great demand as they're needed by businesses, families, singles, and students alike. That said, you'll have to factor in the overhead costs of trucks. Plus, you need people who can move heavy items.

17. Custom Printing

Many businesses need custom-branded items. You can cater to this demand with a family business that prints personalized t-shirts, caps, sweatshirts, and more. You can also create your own unique designs to sell online.

18. Fitness Business

If your family is the sporty type, a fitness-based business may be appealing. You could open up a traditional gym, for instance — or a yoga or Pilates studio. Fitness businesses can also operate online. For example, you might offer virtual training or sell items in the fitness space.

19. Subscription Boxes

These days, there are subscription boxes for pretty much every niche, from food to makeup, toys, and more. A subscription box business can be lucrative if you find a unique niche in a market that hasn't been filled.

20. Photography

Photographers are needed for events, family portraits, business pictures, and more. Your family can run a thriving photography business — and not everybody has to be a shutterbug. Others might handle tasks like scheduling photo shoots, setting up lighting, etc.

21. Tour Operator

If your family is proud of the place they call home, they might want to share it with others. You can offer local tours in your area to share highlights with visitors. Again, diverse family members can fill diverse roles. For example, while one person may act as the tour guide, another may drive a tour bus and another may handle scheduling and ticket sales.

Skynova Supports Family Businesses Like Yours

Whichever family business idea you settle on, you want to implement a clear and transparent bookkeeping system. Skynova's accounting software can help you track invoices, expenses, and more in one simple, streamlined system. Accurately tracking costs will keep your business from running into possible financial issues, like cash-flow problems. Find out how we help small business owners with their money management.

Notice to the Reader

The content within this article is meant as a general guideline and may not apply to your specific situation. When starting a new business, consult a business attorney to ensure that you are meeting your state's legal requirements in terms of business licenses, entity registration, tax regulations, etc. Further, when implementing accounting and bookkeeping tools and practices, consult a professional accountant to ensure that you're meeting accounting standards.