Austin, located in Texas’s heart, is one of the United States’ major metropolitan centers. It is home to a diverse mix of business people, students, government employees, musicians, artists, engineers, doctors, and entrepreneurs.
Nicknamed “the Silicon Hills,” this city is considered a hub for high-tech. In 2013, Austin was ranked No. 14 on Forbes’ list of the Best Places for Business and Careers, and by the Milken Institute, it was ranked No.12 in biotech and life science centers in the U.S. The city primarily flourishes in the domain of engineering, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, and biotechnology.
In addition to being a tech-town, Austin is famous for its live music, creative food trailers, films, theatre, museums, sports events, parks, and recreation. It attracts tourists from all over the world because of its picturesque beauty, pleasant weather, and architecture. Moreover, some of America’s top-ranking universities in the region attract many ambitious students from all over the world.
Best Small Business Ideas for Austin in 2023
Austin was recently named one of the 10 best cities for tech start-ups in the US. In addition to large national and global corporations, the city habitats a strong and rapidly growing network of independent, locally-owned businesses.
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In short, if you’re aiming to build your business from scratch or looking for a destination in Texas to expand your business, then Austin is one of the best places for you. Following are a few quick, easy business ideas for you:
1- Web Development:
The internet today is widely being used for businesses, online marketing, freelancing, and online trade. The field of web development is growing and flourishing worldwide. As the web comes with easy access, the demand for web developers is increasing by the day. It is a career-based lucrative business idea that can financially make you stand out from others.
2- Electronic Sales & Repair:
Electronic devices have become a necessity in every house. And by their nature, they break down and need repairing now and then. With a little experience and study of these devices, a business can be set up that repairs device and sells second-hand electronics.
3- Solar Panel Installation Business:
The city of Austin is famous for its sun and heat, and more households and businesses want to go green. This opens many doors for a business where solar energy can be put to good use. This can range from full-fledged general solar installations that generate electricity to simple solar walkway lighting. This business has high possibilities of expansion.
4- Engineering Consultancy Firm:
As said earlier, Austin is a tech-hub. It holds numerous opportunities for engineers. An engineering consultancy firm may help young engineers struggle to make out their way into the high-paced world outside. Your expertise and experience in the field will bring you more customers.
5- Hostel for Students:
If you’re looking for easy business ideas for Austin, consider a hostel. Austin, being home to various universities, attracts students not just from within America, but from all parts of the world. Hostels, in that respect, are a cash-cow in this city. Buy a place and set it up as a hostel. If you can’t buy one, you can always rent one.
6- Child Day Care:
While at work, many people prefer their child being cared for in a home environment instead of a more institutional-like setting. So if you love children, then you can start your daycare business right from your house without any capital investment. Indeed a very profit yielding idea.
7- Event Planners and Managers:
Event planning and management can be a hectic business, but it has high returns. Moreover, Austin hosts many music shows, concerts, and sporting events along with the usual conferences and symposiums. With the right marketing, this business can become a lottery ticket. The better your services, the quicker you’ll be the dominant one.
8- At-your-home Car Wash and Service:
A car wash facility at your doorstep comes in very handy for people with a busy routine. Such a business can be expanded by increasing the area of operation and increasing the services provided. Bringing a service station at the customer’s house is the main idea; though you cannot bring the service station at home, you can certainly pick the car, service it and deliver it back!
9- Lawn Landscaping and Maintenance Service:
Lawn landscaping and maintenance service, in addition to the mowing of the lawn, watering, and planting, can include maintenance of a kitchen-garden, fencing, tree care, pest control, etc. It all depends on what lengths you and an entrepreneur are willing to go. An excellent idea for those who love horticultural activities.
10- Private Transportation Service:
Austin’s public transportation system is very notorious, and like most of the cities in TX, it is spread over a vast area. However, many people look for private transport that can pick them from home and drop-in office and vice versa. A business in private transportation services can flourish under these circumstances. You will need an investment initially, but you can start micro with a single vehicle, and gradually you can make up for more.
If you do not have much to invest in the infrastructure, you may start small by signing up with rideshare services like Uber and so on.
11- Rent-A-Vehicle Service:
An interesting business idea is a rent-a-vehicle service. You can keep vehicles like bicycles, cars, motorcycles and rent them to your customers for some time. The more you’ll invest, the greater the profit earned, but starting small is highly recommended! This is one of the lowest-cost business ideas for Austin.
12- Cleaning Services Provider:
Cleaning businesses cover everything from one cleaner with a couple of domestic properties to maintain each week to a large commercial business with thousands of staff on the books. You can start with an office cleaner and expand to domestic, hospital, and school cleaners. The possibilities in this field are vast and wide.
13- Dry Cleaners, Laundry Service:
A laundry business is easy to start, even if you don’t have experience in the field. It can further be expanded to dry cleaning, which generates much more profit than ordinary laundry cleaning services. Adding more to your services will attract more customers and hence more business.
14- Take-Away Delivery System:
The delivery service is one of the best business ideas for Austin. This business’s concept is to take orders from restaurants for customers and then deliver them to their homes. You can set up this business on a small scale with a tiny investment and slowly expand it.
15- Mobile Food Truck/Restaurant:
The inhabitants of Austin are famous for being food lovers. One of the most successful business ideas is setting up a restaurant, bakery, a canteen, or an eatery because people love to eat no matter their financial situation. Zagat’s blog recently named Austin, one of the top ten cities for food trailers. Having a mobile canteen will increase your business area as you can move around the city and target a greater audience.
16- Cinema/Theater Deals:
The people of Austin are big in movies, live theater, and live music. Opening doors to cinema houses and theaters for them in some unique way, i.e., discounts, rewards, etc., can be profitable. Yes, it does involve strategy and connections to build something that allows people to enjoy the cinema in a much better way.
17- Swimming Coaching:
Austin hosts several swimming contests around the town. It is home to more than 50 public swimming pools. The swimming coaching business can be extended to life-guard coaching, diving practice, and many more. If you have the skills go for it, or else you can always rent the professionals.
18- Sports Camps:
Sports gets a lot of encouragement in Austin. A business organizing an evening sports camp for kids and teenagers requires fitness, skill and knowledge, and experience in various sports. The sports camps can be extended to summer camps for kids during their vacations.
19- Home Based Health Club:
Even with the profound love for food, Austin was ranked one of the fittest cities in America by Shape Magazine. A small scale health club business that provides the members with assistance in exercises, workouts like yoga, Pilates, aerobics, and cardio can work really well.
20- Tourist Guide:
Austin attracts many tourists throughout the year with its live music, concerts, art galleries, and sports events. So if you live in Austin and know the area well, you can set up a business starting as a personal guide and increase your services. It has the potential of producing an income that can exceed $50,000 annually.
21- Beauty Salon, Spa Combo:
Usually, salon owners have a wealth of experience in the beauty industry and are fully-qualified beauty therapists. Many salon owners will also have management training to manage the business effectively. However, if your background is not in beauty, you don’t necessarily have to rule it out. It is possible to employ a beauty therapist as a day-to-day manager as a partner. It may be a hefty investment in the beginning, but it has the potential to pay off. After all, everybody wants to look good and feel good as well.
22- Second-Hand Book Shop:
Book shops bring regular customers. You can start with unused books in the house and set up a small book shop. Make your shop known for a specific category (or two) of books, having some first editions for sale. Maps, illustrations, postcards, greeting cards, and magazines are good sidelines to include in your shop.
23- Frozen Food Providers:
The frozen foods business is one of the most lucrative branches of the food business because many people are too busy with work that they find it difficult to spend a lot of time cooking or searching for fresh ingredients to cook with. You can start it off at home with a small investment and still expect a handsome turnover.
24- Property Business:
Development and sale of property and apartment leasing are two very profitable areas in the real estate business. Although it requires a large investment capital, it has high returns, and finances can be recovered within a short period of time. In a growing city like Austin, property business has very high chances of flourishing.
25- Wedding Planners and Photography:
A wedding planning business requires you to stay up-to-date with the latest trends in fashion, décor, styles, colors, food, i.e., almost everything under the sun. Also, you need to understand the demands of your customer fully. A little skill in photography adds a cherry to the top.
If you are good at managerial skills and love to set up the new couple’s venue, this business idea is for you.
26- Marketing Agency:
If you’re looking for the best small business ideas for Austin, TX, a marketing agency is a great place to start. Basically, if you can craft narratives for products and services that get people to buy them, you could do super well in the marketing realm.
Austin boasts a huge population of eager young people moving to the area as well as people who’ve lived there for generations. The audience is diverse, which means your marketing tactics can vary based on what you do best. If you put together a small agency of people who can sell an idea, you might have businesses knocking on your door in the future. It helps that Austin is home to so many businesses!
27- Procurement Firm:
Procurement is an often-overlooked profession that could prove to be super lucrative in the long run. One of the best business ideas for Austin, procurement fills a role that’s missing in so many companies, especially ones just starting out. So, what is it? Procurement is basically the action that happens when a company needs certain supplies. For example, let’s say a company needs office chairs for its employees.
Your job would be to analyze the company’s needs: for example, do they want to shell out more money on comfort, or do they take the “utilitarian” approach? Are they willing to flex their budget a bit if there’s a good discount you can find? These are the questions you need to ask. Then, you should research a ton until you match them with the best possible deals, quality, etc. When you place an order, they might pay you on commission or pay a flat rate.
28- Moving Company:
Since Austin is one of the most up-and-coming cities in Texas (and the South altogether!), people are constantly moving in and around the area. So, why not help them out a bit? One of the lowest-cost business ideas for Austin is starting a moving company.
It requires very little capital and you can expand pretty organically. You can see the business models of a few Austin Texas moving companies.
Basically, you need to buy or rent a van or two and hire some employees with the strength to move heavy items. Once you have these, it’s all up to marketing and performance.
The Bottom Line:
We hope this list has helped you! Surely now you’re more familiar with the best business ideas for Austin, TX. It’s an up-and-coming city, so get in while it’s hot!
We wish you the best of luck in your endeavors, and we’ll see you back here next week with another article.