Many people aim to become their own boss. They dream of running a business thanks to the flexibility, peace of mind, and, of course, the massive income that entrepreneurship offers. If you plan to go the self-employment route, you could join the over 582 million entrepreneurs in the world, as per The Hill.

Starting and running a business isn’t a walk in the park. For starters, you might need a college degree to run some firms. Think of an attorney, architecture, and health care service providers. The good news is that you can run incredible businesses without a degree. With a growing unemployment rate, running your business is a great way to offer services in an area you’re passionate about without relying on the mercy of established firms.

Remember, according to the UN, the number of unemployed people will hit 220 million in 2020. You don’t want to be part of these statistics. In fact, running your own business can offer employment opportunities, helping some people earn a livelihood. That sounds great, right? It is.

In this article, we’ll explore ten easy ways to start a small business without a degree. The goal is to serve the community with excellent services and build wealth. Let’s jump right in.

1. HVAC Contractor

An HVAC contractor offers specialized heating, ventilation, and air conditioning services ranging from repairs, maintenance, and installation. You can opt to focus on residential or commercial customers.

Commercial AC contractor services might require more expertise, specialized skills, and equipment. Besides installation and implementation, some clients might hire you to develop cooling and heating plans according to set regulations and codes.

How do you start an HVAC business? First, you can start a sole proprietorship or limited liability company. The latter suits bigger companies, especially if you plan to partner with other individuals. According to a survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, HVAC companies earn over $50 000 annually. According to House Call Pro surveys, the HVAC business has a high-profit potential.

You don’t need a degree to run an HVAC company. Certification is the education baseline required. You also need requisite licensing from the state’s board of Heating, Air conditioning, and Refrigeration contractors or the registrar of contractors to operate the business. The licensing bodies vary across states.

2. Towing Services

Another good small business to start without degrees is towing. 24 hour towing services involve lifting or pulling a faulty car from the road to a secure location. Providing towing services will rake in about $75 to $100. And the good news? You can start a business without a degree. How do you run a successful towing business? Here are important tips to help you.

  • Create a business plan – the plan should stipulate your budget, the clients you plan to serve, and pricing for your towing services
  • Register your business with a unique name
  • Get the requisite licensing and permits and insurance – for example, you should consider getting an indictment management, private property, and consent to tow permits.

You also need to decide which market to serve.

  • Long-distance service – requires you to tow the vehicle for over 100 miles
  • General towing service – this serves a broader market and involves offering towing services around the local area
  • Specialty towing services – involves towing exotic and high-end cars
  • Heavy towing duty service – also referred to as big rig towing. It involves towing massive vehicles like tractors that weigh over 17000 pounds

You don’t require massive capital to start the business. You can start a single truck company and increase your fleet as the company grows. A rear hook or flatbed wrecker will do the job. However, flatbeds are preferable because they can support any car, including three seriously flawed ones.

You will also require a yard with sufficient space to hold numerous cars for an extended time. In some cases, some people might fail to raise the towing fee immediately, which might require you to impound the vehicle for some time. It’s prudent to establish connections with local auto shops and authorities. They often require towing services and can be excellent sources of referrals. You should invest in a central dispatch center if you have a big fleet.

3. Tourism Company

A tourism business is one of the most interesting small businesses to start without a degree. If you are passionate about traveling and visiting different places, consider running a tour and travel company. It enables you to tour different places, and meet and network with many people from various cultures

As mentioned, you don’t need a degree to run a business. Simply conduct market research and find a suitable niche. The success will depend much on the branding. Therefore, you should aim to create a memorable brand, and offer unique services with a personal touch. For instance, enabling tourists to experience the local culture could be your selling point.

Next is dealing with the legal side. In the US, you’ll need a Seller of Travel license. Also, ensure you have a federal tax ID number. Moreover, invest in a website that offers information on how guests can book your services and what they can expect at home away from home.

You should also offer discounts or special deals, especially on local attractions depending on the season. For example, if it’s summertime, you could offer discounts for families with children or couples looking for romantic getaways.

The best part about running a tourism company is that you can learn about travel or tourism along the way. All you need is a good internet connection and some experience marketing products online before starting your new career path as an entrepreneur..

4. Auto Repair Shop

If you are looking for a small business to start without a degree, try creating an auto repair garage. It’ll suit you best if you are passionate about automobiles. You only need a mechanic certification to get started. To be specific, you can attend a vocational program. However, you might need to get the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence(ASE) to gain the necessary skills to get you a good stream of jobs. Alternatively, you could employ skilled mechanics in your shops. The point is, you don’t necessarily need a college degree.

Next, ensure you find the right location for your shop. Your shop should be in a busy area with massive car traffic.

Your next step would be creating an excellent advertising plan for your services. This should include a phone number where customers can leave messages about their vehicle’s needs. Online advertisements also work magic. You can invest in SEO services and target a potential audience using suitable keywords.

Consider including prices for different types of work, such as oil changes or brake repairs, along with hours of operation or opening times.

5. Insulation Contractor

In many cases, starting a small business without a degree can be challenging because the market is usually flooded. Luckily, some areas are quite specialized, with relatively fewer specialists. Insulation contractors fit this category. It is one of the in-demand jobs throughout the four seasons.

Insulation contracting jobs provide insulation services including spray foam insulations for homes and commercial buildings. You only need to attend a training program to start your own business. Usually, insulators receive on-job informal training or a formal apprenticeship program. A graduate high school diploma isn’t mandatory but boosts the chance of admission into an apprenticeship program and finding jobs.

The International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators posits that courses like physics and algebra set a good foundation for insulation jobs. However, you should be able to lift at least 50 pounds as per Insulation Outlook. You might also want to get Certified Insulation Energy Appraiser training from The National Insulation Association. In fact, some states might require you to complete training courses. Lastly, get a company or individual license, and you’ll be good to go.

6. Painting service

Experts have varying opinions on when you should repaint your home. However, they all agree that five years is ample time to consider paintwork. Painting services are always in high demand if you consider the new building coming up daily.

If you have good artistic skills and experience with painting, this is one of the most popular small businesses to start without a degree. Independent contracting gives you the flexibility to work on various projects if you have no artistic ability but want to get into painting.

You don’t need a college degree. Many online courses offer guides on how to offer painting and staining services without formal training or certification requirements.

The profitability of the business depends on various factors

  • How many employees will you have?
  • What are the typical charges in your locality?
  • What is the demand in your area?
  • How much can you invest in advertising?

According to Forbes, a new paint job will cost between $3 and $6 for an exterior paint job, while Angi estimates that you will earn about $955 to $2890 for interior jobs. A painting job is one of the simplest to start. Here is a checklist of what you need.

  • Register your business – some states allow you to register online on the secretary of state website (get an appealing business name)
  • Invest in a website
  • Get two ladders – a 24-inch extension ladder and a 15-inch step ladder
  • Caulking gun
  • Paint sprayer
  • Pressure washer
  • Masker
  • Scrapper, roller, roller extension, and brushes

You also need insurance coverage.

7. Restaurant

Many people can’t have enough of a sushi meal. The Japanese delicacy is tantalizing and mouth-watering. It is also endowed with beneficial nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins, and proteins. For this reason, sushi restaurants are one of the most popular small businesses you can start without a degree. You only need to hire skilled cooks. It can be very profitable, especially if you have a good location. You can also make a lot of money by investing in a franchise business.

Here are some tips if you’re interested in starting your own sushi restaurant.

  • Research the area where you want to open your restaurant. You’ll need to know what types of businesses operate in that area and what customers they attract.
  • Decide whether or not you want to franchise your restaurant before deciding on its location (or not). If so, find out how many locations are currently open, their financial status, and their organizational structure (who owns them and what percentage of each location’s profits go back into the company).
  • Get references from any existing locations that are successful and known for quality service and food quality (and don’t get ripped off).
  • Make sure there is room for parking since it’s one of the biggest challenges for sushi restaurants – finding space for customers who want to eat in their cars or take-out orders!

8. Photographer

Remember when people argued that the advent of phone cameras would deal a blow to photography? Fast forward, several years later, photography is growing with no signs of stopping soon. It’s among the best small businesses you can start without a degree. You only need to invest in a quality camera and have a knack for capturing great photos.

However, some successful photographers go on to earn degrees in photography or art. You can offer myriad services as a professional photographer, ranging from business headshots to digital images of people’s faces. The more personalized the idea is, the more likely it will sell. You can also set up a website where clients can order portraits.

Essentially, ensure you find an ideal location – you might want to open a studio. Then use software such as Photoshop Elements to edit the photos before uploading them to your website. Who knows, you could be photographing big-shot celebrities next.

9. Moving Company

People are always moving to new areas for work-related reasons or to find new experiences. You can tap into this market and offer relocation services to businesses and individuals. You don’t need a degree to start an excellent small business for local moving services. However, you must have a commercial driving license and licenses from the US department of transportation (USDoT) if you will be moving across states. You will also need a license from the Federal Motor Carrier safety administration (FMCSA).

In addition, you’ll require the following.

  • Spacious cars. Some clients will have huge parcels to carry.
  • A good customer service experience. Top-notch customer service experience guarantees you repeat business, so make sure you spend time and effort creating a great first impression.
  • Professionalism. Your company should look professional and presentable at all times, including getting rid of the trash and lining dumpsters neatly.

Moving companies are one of the areas where it is mandatory to have insurance to cover. The insurance should cover the following critical areas.

  • Workers Compensation
  • Automobile liability
  • Cargo coverage

You should also get a general liability insurance policy to cover legal defense fees, property damage, bodily injury, and medical bills. Moreover, an umbrella policy comes in handy if the compensation surpasses the amount covered by general liability insurance.

10. Janitorial Company

Janitorial companies offer cleaning services in offices, schools, and hospitals. They ensure the space is well maintained and cleaned regularly. Janitorial services are one of the most common businesses to start without a degree in the United States and can be very lucrative. The best part is that it doesn’t require special skills or education, just time and hard work.

According to Method, you can earn $35 000 to $50 000 annually. The best part is that you don’t require capital-intensive tools. Below is some essential equipment you need.

  • Sponges
  • Dusters/microfibre cloths
  • Glass polishing materials
  • Cleaning brushes
  • Mop and bucket
  • Dustpan and brush
  • Protective gloves
  • Detergents

Final thought

You don’t necessarily have to graduate from college with a business degree to succeed as an entrepreneur. If you are willing to put in the time and effort, there are several careers you can launch right out of high school or trade school.

We have compiled a list of ten businesses that don’t require a degree but will provide you with the perfect opportunity to launch a successful business. With passion and driving desire, there is no reason you can’t achieve your dreams.