Business Ideas

Most new entrepreneurs who launch a successful business venture begin with a good idea, a self-assessment and some basic market research. Some entrepreneurs may know their exact business model while others may only know they want to start a home-based business. Whatever you venture may be, often it can be very advantageous to explore and consider potential variations to your business idea and/or model. By exploring all your options you may discover a better idea or another way your current idea can generate more revenue. For example, people who love animals may consider a pet store. If your market research suggests poor revenue, you may also consider pet boarding, pet washing, pet grooming, pet obedience school, specialty pet food, and various other ideas as additional revenue streams or as a different but related business venture.


The following collection of business ideas are meant to help you brainstorm ideas that may work in your community. Community Futures has not attempted to discover which business ideas are viable in a given area due to the diverse nature of the communities within our service area, so it is up to you to research what may or may not work in your particular community. Whatever your business idea may be, make sure it is something you are passionate about. Doing something you love is far easier than something you dread, and chances are you're better at it as well.

Potential Business Ideas by Category


Check into zoning regulations and the Residential Tenancy Act.

  • Basement suites in private homes.
  • Converting apartment building to condominiums.
  • Hostel
  • Mobile home park.
  • Renting parking lot space in your yard-check local bylaws.
  • Rent out space in your home as a meeting place- check local bylaws.
  • Room and board for foreign or college students.
  • Rooming houses.


Businesses are always looking for new ways of advertising that have greater


  • Bulk mailing of flyers and ads for retailers.
  • Calenders for businesses using a picture of the business. Custom post cards, business cards, christmas cards etc. could also be done up in the same manner. New inexpensive computerequipment will create opportunities in this area.
  • Community newspaper or newsletter.
  • Coupon book-packaging coupons and ads together from local businesses together for sale or delivery to homes and motel rooms.
  • Renting space on billboards and other eye catching displays-parked trucks, mini- billboards, etc.
  • Rent window, roadside and building wall space to local businesses.


length of growing season and soil conditions affect the types of crops

that can be grown. Recommendation: find crops offering high profit margins.

  • Agricultural supplies -compost, manure, sawdust, peat moss, top soil, bark mulch, etc.
    Cultured Christmas trees-it takes several years to harvest a crop. BC Hydro leases areas to tree farmers.
  • Food Drying and preserving service.
  • Garden seed and/or wild flower seed sales-mail order business?
  • Ginseng - are local conditions right? Four years to harvest each crop. Operations near Salmon Arm, Keremeos and Kamloops.
  • Greenhouse operations producing vegetables, poinsettias, bedding plants, house plants, etc. Winter heating costs are high, however a hot water heating system using waste wood such as cedar buts would provide cheap heat. Cooling systems needed during the summer months unless operated at higher altitudes.
  • Hay and Forage farm.
  • Herb growing and speciality crops offering higher profit margins.
  • Hog or other suitable animal farm using waste food from restaurants and institutions as feed. The Regional district may provide recycling funds to subsidise the cost of picking up the waste food so that it does not end up in a landfill.
  • Making and selling Maple syrup. Other hardwood trees such as birch will also produce a syrup.
  • Mushroom farm.
  • Organic farming-free of pesticides and chemical fertilizers.
  • Pesticide applicator.
  • Picking wild fruit and fruit from private lands and abandoned orchards and then processing this fruit into juices, pies, jerkies, etc.
  • Picking wild flowers and plant parts for drying and wholesaling to craft stores, etc. check into environmental regulations.
  • Vegetables, berries or orchards-retail sales often regulated by marketing boards.
  • Winterization service for plants.



Agriculture Canada and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food

are excellent sources of information.

  • Animal and pet breeding-pure breed dogs, cats or horses, exotic birds or mammals, tropical fish, reptiles, pigeons, ostriches, mink farming, etc.
  • Aquiculture - trout farming.
  • Beekeeping - honey making, bees wax for furniture polish and candles, rental to farmers.
  • Dairy farm or livestock.
  • Farm equipment, animal feed and supplies sales-only a sideline operation since local farming is limited.
  • Growing exotic animals for food, furs, animal products - gourmet snails, frogs, buffalo, angora rabbits, fallow deer, pheasants, ostrich, elk, quail, mink etc.
  • Worm and bait farming- a smelly business!
    ** NOTE the soil that the worms are raised in is very salable as potting soil.

Apparel Retailing and Repairs

Start up costs for a retail store are typically in the $30,000 - $200,000

range. Retailing options are limited in smaller communities due to sizes

of local markets and existing shopping patterns. Lower cost alternatives

- direct sales, kiosks, trade show exhibits-or wider product lines some

times offer an answer. Clothing retailing is highly competitive and store

inventory is difficult to finance.

  • Athletic shoes and clothing store.
  • Alternative clothing such as the Grunge look, Guatemalan etc.
  • Children's clothing shop.
  • Clothing accessories kiosk.
  • Clothing alternation, repair & tailoring service-monogramming, invisible mending, special order clothing (ie. Party dresses, uniforms, usual sizes, handicapped needs), etc.
  • Consignment and/or used clothing. It may be useful to specialise into areas such as women's professional clothing or children's clothing.
  • Cotton apparel shop.
  • Costume rental and costume making-best combined with operations with more steady cash flow.
  • Fabric, wool and/or sewing supplies shop-could be combined with sewing machine sales & servicing and classes in making your own clothing.
  • Family clothing store.
  • Family or specialty shoe store.
  • Fashion boutique.
  • Jeans and accessories shop.
  • Junior department store.
  • Leather and fur shop.
  • Lingerie and hosiery-direct sales, home parties or as part of a women's clothing store.
  • Mail order sale of sewing patterns.
  • Shoe repairs and custom shoe/boot making.
  • Sport apparel store.
  • T-shirt and silk screening shop.
  • Unisex clothing.
  • Unusual Sizes (ie. Big, Tall, Small, etc.) apparel shop.
  • Wedding supplies, wedding planning and formal wear rental service-often combined with other retail activities or run as a part-time home-based business.
  • Western wear store.
  • Women's clothing store.
  • Work and casual clothing store.

Arts and Crafts

Past experience shows that many operations end up as part-time, low income

businesses. The Key to success is mass production of unique, hard to copy

items and outstanding marketing and self-promotional skills. Artisans

should not depend on the local market place to support them.

  • Antique style art.
  • Art and craft classes.
  • Bird Feeders, cages and houses.
  • Blacksmith service and ornamental metal work.
  • Calligraphy.
  • Cartoon drawing for newspapers, children - check into copyright restrictions.
  • Carving products such as jack-o'-lanterns from plant materials.
  • Create and sell corsages.
  • Creating board games, jigsaw puzzles, with a local twist as souvenir items.
  • Custom bumper stickers and license plate frames.
  • Custom and decorative lamps, shades, clocks, screens, etc.
  • Custom sewing - quilts, pillowcases, kitchen table covers, etc.
  • Custom weaving - rugs, mats, sweaters, etc.
  • Decorating shopping centres and building Christmas displays and other seasonal/cultural themes.
  • Doll-related products-collector dolls, doll houses, doll furnishings and clothing.
  • Do-it-yourself kits to be assembled by the buyers-carvings, doll furniture, ship in bottles, etc.
  • Dried flower arrangements and crafts.
  • Fishing lures and flies.
  • Gift baskets as presents, real estate agent gifts, etc.
  • Glass making - art, engraved crafts, industrial and medical products, stained glass windows, etc.
  • Handicraft co-operatives - joint retail sales or marketing at gift- trade shows, etc.
  • Hand painted t-shirts and sweat shirts.
  • Sketches or charcoal sketches of store fronts, people, caricatures, wildlife scenes, etc.
  • Ornaments cast from concrete.
  • Leather craft-wallets, pocket books, belts, etc. The money is in specialty, custom pieces where the margins are higher.
  • Painting or sketching buildings for construction developers based on blue prints.
  • Painting commemorative or personalized china plates.
  • Painting greeting cards, stationary postcards, posters, etc.
  • Painting names and addresses on the sides of buildings, mail boxes, curbs, and front doors.
  • Painting murals on buildings or designs in swimming pools.
  • Portraits of people, pets, etc. with unusual or imaginary backgrounds behind them. One artist takes old portraits and replaces the faces of dogs!
  • Pottery, particularly specialty styles and products.
  • Products and art using wild plants materials, rocks, soil, etc.
  • Renting paintings.
  • Sculptures.
  • Silk plant arrangements.
  • Souvenirs and fun novelty items for tourist attractions.
  • Speciality woodworking-bird decoys, rocking horses, wild animal scenes, folklore/mythical figures, classic cars, decorative trays, etc. for direct sale or wholesale to gift stores.
  • Stuffed animals and do-it-yourself kits for assembly by buyers.
  • Textile painting.
  • Unique Christmas decorations.
  • Unusual forms of art-a guy in Victoria makes paintings using spray cans. It is quite entertaining to watch him paint them!
  • Wildlife and nature photography or painting.
  • Wooden Toys.

Audio-Visual and Photography Services

Past experiences shows that many end up as part-time, low income businesses.

Your services should be unique, hard to duplicate and high value added

as many people have cameras and videotaping equipment.

  • Aerial or underwater photography. Arial photography of farms and businesses is especially good.
  • Antiquing recent photographs and restoring old photos.
  • Community cable television channel.
  • Camera, photography equipment and supplies shop.
  • CD-Rom recording. Copying photo albums and large amounts of information onto CD-Rom.
  • Dating service-videotaping dating interviews.
  • Design, layout and editing - creative services in producing audiovisuals.
    Desktop video-slide show and animation productions can be done on microcomputers. Possible uses include: illustrated lessons and tutorials for educators, sales presentation tapes, audiovisual graphics for videotapes, graphics for television network productions, in-store demonstration tapes, accident recreations for lawyers, etc.
  • Film Festival.
  • Media productions and services.
  • One hour photo processing.
  • Professional photography services/studio.
  • Production of documentaries, television show pilots, movies or filler pieces for television networks.
  • Production of "how to" videotapes, nature, travel pre-view and educational tapes for sale through retailers or mail order.
  • Rent time on your darkroom and photo studio to amateur photographers.
  • Scouting sites for film production.
  • Video for tourism industry-promotional tapes for tourism associations, tourist attractions, video productions of places to visit in an area, as souvenirs, etc.
  • Videotaping personal effects in case of later insurance claims.
  • Videotaping services-video wills, weddings, community events, promotional and employee training tapes for businesses.
  • Video transfers-transferring 8 mm film to video tape.


The industry is less profitable than in the past due to environmental

regulations, changes in auto insurance and the level of competition. The

use of computers in automobiles and light trucks create opportunities

and the need for skills upgrading. The high price of new vehicles is creating

a bigger market for used automobiles and auto repair services.

  • Antique and classic automobile restorations.
  • Automobile diagnosis service.
  • Automobile finding and negotiating service.
  • Automobile body repair service-often combined with towing and painting services.
  • Automobile sound systems.
  • Automobile tune-ups in 30 minutes and quick lube Centre.
  • Automobile and truck rental lots.
  • Automobile and truck parts supply store.
  • Automobile pick up and delivery service.
  • Automobile upholstery and vinyl repair.
  • Brake repair and replacement services.
  • Car and truck dealership.
  • Car wash
  • Driving school-automobiles/commercial truck drivers.
  • Do-it-Yourself auto repair shop.
  • Gas Station-full service or self service. Best combined with other operations.
  • Mobile auto cleaning and detailing.
  • Mobile tool and parts sales van.
  • Muffler and exhaust systems shop.
  • Parking lot striping service.
  • 24 hour towing service
  • Sun roof installation and repairs
  • Tire shop.
  • Transmission repairs and replacement.
  • U-haul trailer rental.
  • Used auto parts reconditioning and sales.
  • Used car lot and consignment sales-most autos are not sold privately for sales tax reasons.
  • Van interior and motor home customizing service.
  • Windshield and glass repair and replacement - mobile operation possible.
  • Dismantling, parts salvage and sales-check into environmental regulations.

Business Services

The type of business services that a community can support will depend

on the size, delivery and types of local businesses. People with highly

specialized skills can treat BC and Western Alberta as potential markets

for their services. Success depends on credibility, reputation, personal

presentation skills and industry contracts. Franchises are often available.

  • Blue-collar career counsellor.
  • Billing and involving services for doctors, lawyers and other professionals.
  • Collection agency-check into BC regulations.
  • Commission sales of professionals, tradespeople and students.
  • Compact office sized vending machines.
  • Comparison shopping service-how does a retailer's prices compare to its competition.
  • Courier and messenger service.
  • Dictating service by telephone - dictations left on your answering machine.
  • Drafting and/or computer assisted design (cad) service.
  • Designing window and in store displays for retailers.
  • Employment agency for resorts, etc.
  • Government service - subcontract as a local representative for a provincial of federal ministry.
  • Graphic artist.
  • Grocery cart maintenance and retrieval.
  • Invention broker-taking other people's products to market.
  • Janitorial services - cleaning offices, floor waxing, etc.
  • Landscaping service-designing, levelling and installation.
  • Land surveying service.
  • Meeting, industry trade show and conference organizer.
  • Motel, restaurant and janitorial equipment and supply store.
  • Newspaper and magazine clippings service-keeping business up-to-date on news stories in their industries - could be combined with an information brokerage service (ie database searches, government contacts, periodical index searches, etc.)
  • Notary public service.
  • Office equipment sales.
  • Office furniture and supplies store.
  • Used office equipment and office furniture sales.
  • Other services for offices (ie plant care, coffee services, office overload, etc.)
  • Packaged offices - sub-leasing space in a commercial building to several tenants with common secretarial services and office equipment.
  • Packaging service for local manufactures (ie crates, pallets, bundles, etc.) And "Breaking Bulk", sorting large quantities into smaller ones and repackaging them for sale.
  • Packing and shipping service.
  • Parking lot cleaning, re-striping with paint and patching service.
  • Pressure washing, steam cleaning and/or sand blasting service.
  • Print shop.
  • Private investigator.
  • Private waste collection service.
  • Purchasing service for businesses.
  • Quick print shop - often combined with graphic design, do it yourself photocopying, instant sign making, etc.
  • Rubber stamp and engraving service.
  • Service, contract work or supplier of products to government agencies- national parks, school districts, municipalities, Indian Bands, etc.
  • Security service-consulting, alarms sales, installation and monitoring, security patrols, security dogs, regular telephone calls, security guards.
  • Sign painter, instant signs, magnetic signs & logo design
  • Sub-contract operations typically performed within a business - data processing, office support, collections, etc.
  • Temporary employment agency
  • Traffic control and flagging service.
  • Trade association.
  • Tree removal, trimming, land clearing and salvaging services- bids for BC Hydro and Telus (BC Telephone Company) contracts.
  • Tree stump removal service.
  • Time management service for self-employed people.
  • Underwater diving and salvaging service.
  • Used office equipment sales.
  • Wash room cleaning service.
  • Water systems design, installation and repair (ie. Irrigation, sewage and water systems).
  • Window and building washing service.

Children-Related Services

Hard to predict future growth. Aging of population and fewer children

per couple is not encouraging. However, more is being spent per child

and dual income households are on the rise. There is a large demand for

daycare but affordability is a major problem.

  • Baby and child sitting coordinator.
  • Bedside stories on audio or videotape.
  • Children's books.
  • Children's colouring books.
  • Children daycare service-best as a second income for a household.
  • Children's party service and entertainment (ie. Clowns, magicians).
  • Children's used clothing.
  • Diaper service.
  • Fitness and play centres, mini theme parks or carnival like centres with activities for young children. Several recently appeared in Richmond in the larger shopping malls. Liability insurance is very costly.
  • Kids only market-a public market with booth rentals to retailers offering kid- related products.
  • Organize non-alcohol teenage dances and events.
  • Paid parent or nanny.
  • Petting zoo and pony rides.
  • Toys, educational games and children book shop.
  • Welcome baby service for drug stores-pulling together packages of gifts from local merchants for the parents of newborns

Computer Services

Kootenay-based operations can service clients anywhere in the world.

  • Computer assembling.
  • Computer parts and equipment mail order sales.
  • Computer programming - writing applications programs for small, growing markets or to meet the needs of specific industries.
  • Consulting: trouble shooting, system design, microcomputer networking, purchasing computer systems for novices.
  • Convert files from one machine format to another.
  • Creating and maintaining Web sites on the Internet.
  • Custom computer programming and modifying off the shelf packages for specific businesses.
  • Data processing service - a current trend is for medium and large businesses to out source their data processing.
  • Electronic bulletin board services.
  • Easy to understand "how to" books for commercially available software programs.
  • Internet Consultant.
  • Manage other people's data (i.e. after hour back ups, data base management, off site archiving in case of disasters, microfilming paper records, digitizing maps, etc.)
  • Modifying existing computer hardware/software to add value or for use in ways unanticipated by its manufacturer - an agreement is required.
  • Renting computer equipment or time on computer systems.
  • Shareware packaging and distribution.
  • Technical writing: preparing "How to" manuals for using computer software for developers.
  • Write software for educational purposes or games (risky).


This sector is positioned for growth in the Greater Trail area. The recent

availability of serviced lots coupled with a demand for housing more suited

to seniors plus the growth due to the Red Mountain expansion, increased

population due to lifestyle choices and renovation work should provide

expanded opportunities in this area. Volume of sales is highly dependent

on the economy and interest rates. Housing starts were very low in The

Greater Trail area until three years ago.

  • Alternative utility sources. Present migration trends are a movement to rural areas. A substantial number of individuals are constructing new houses in remote locations where utilitiy hookup to existing grids is not feasible. These individuals will need alternate energy sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, hydro etc. As well they will need selfcontained sewage systems as septic field permits will be hard to obtain in the future. There will also be opportunities for alternate energy sources with urban users (especially commercial) as utility rates rise.
  • Buying run-down older homes and renovating them for resale.
  • Construction clean up service.
  • Construction equipment rental-portable toilets, etc.
  • Construction project management service.
  • Construction supplies store or wholesaling.
  • Converting buildings to other uses.
  • Concrete forms, concrete laying and stone work.
  • Drywall and plastering.
  • Electrical contractor.
  • Excavating service.
  • Exterior & interior painting - commercial & residential.
  • Fence and gate installations and repairs.
  • General contractor.
  • Glaziers - commercial and residential windows, solariums, patio enclosures, sky lights, green house sales, installations and repairs.
  • Heating, refrigeration and ventilation systems sales, installation and repairs.
  • Home construction/renovation - framing and general carpentry.
  • House design service - designing customized houses and buildings for others.
  • Local manufacture of construction-related products now shipped in from out of town - trusses, stair cases, railings, etc.
  • Lumber yard.
  • Manufactured home contracting.
  • Mobile brick and paving stone marker.
  • Patio decks, raised porches and gazebos.
  • Paving service.
  • Plumbing service.
  • Prefabricated and temporary building rental and sales.
  • Ready mix concrete.
  • Renovating old mobile homes and motor homes for owners or resale.
  • Roofing and gutter installations, cleaning and repairs.
  • Siding sales and installations.
  • Well drilling and plumbing systems.
  • Used Lumber yard and "odd lot" yard - smaller pieces than are typically available.


Professional services consulting is one of the fastest growing areas

of the economy, stimulated by the lay offs of white collar staff and contracting

out of many activities traditionally done in house. Typically, consultants

offering specialized services must be prepared to travel as even the regional

market may not offer a large enough target market.

  • Acoustics.
  • Actuarial services.
  • Advertising agency.
  • Architecture.
  • Association management.
  • Automation.
  • Business information consultant/broker: Hard to make money at this type of service.
  • Business/Management Consultant - financial forecasting, market research, feasibility studies, business plan preparation, organization analysis and development, analysis of business operations, etc.
  • Career guidance.
  • Communications - electronic or interpersonal.
  • Conference and convention planning and management.
  • Curriculum development.
  • Economic research, analysis and forecasting.
  • Energy management and conversation.
  • Engineering consulting - aeronautical, chemical, civil, electrical, electronics, environmental, industrial, mechanical, mining, preventive maintenance, nuclear, petroleum, etc.
  • Foreign licensing.
  • Franchising.
  • Government relations consultant - government policy research, briefing preparations, representation for special interest groups, etc.
  • Grant and non-profit society consultant - how to organize new societies, where to find grants and preparing applications.
  • Group facilitator - organizes and facilitates at conferences.
  • Heating and cooling systems.
  • Human resources - employee benefit planning, pensions, employee selection, training or relocation, executive development, employee surveys, WCB consulting, labour relations, etc.
  • Hospital and health services administration.
  • Immigration and nationalization.
  • Image consultant - wardrobe, communication, customer service, and workshops.
  • Import/export consulting.
  • Industry specific consulting - food facilities design, food services, hotel management, retailing, professional practice management, etc.
  • Industrial psychologist.
  • Inventory control, materials handling, etc.
  • Land use planning.
  • Licensing.
  • Lobbyist.
  • Marketing and public relations consulting - preparing press releases, market research and surveys, workshop and conferences on related topics, one-to-one coaching on customer service, direct marketing, selling skills, etc.
  • Mediation and arbitration service.
  • Nutrition.
  • Office management.
  • Political campaigning.
  • Property Tax auditor for business and private.
  • Public building design and lay out - libraries, museums, etc.
  • Safety services - expert witness, fire protection, product liability, program design and installation.
  • Sales forecasting, management, staff recruiting, etc.
  • Salvage and reclamation.
  • Sanitation.
  • Statistical services.
  • Shareholder relations.
  • Technology transfer, foreign licensing, etc.
  • Urban renewal.
  • Urban transportation.
  • Utilities design and management.
  • Utility and Telephone bill Auditing.
  • Venture capital.
  • Women's issues and concerns.


The trend towards more home entertainment creates opportunities but could

hurt other forms of entertainment services. New technology will allow

for consumers to rent movies and receive services directly from home which

will adversely affect businesses such as video rental stores.

  • Agent for entertainers or sports figures.
  • Bingo Hall.
  • Bar, tavern or neighbourhood pub - declining alcohol consumption and an aging population is a concern.
  • Beer pub - sales of specially beers (ie. Fogg 'N Suds restaurant concept) or brew on site pub (ie. there is one in Coeur 'd Alene).
  • Billiards and video arcade.
  • Booking agent.
  • Casino.
  • Clown.
  • Comedian.
  • Entertainer for parties.
  • Mobile disk jockey and/or karioke service or rentals.
  • Movie theatre, mini-theatre or drive-in theatre.
  • Musician or musical band.
  • Non-alcohol bar.
  • Pool/Billiard table repair, restoration, sales and rentals.
  • Promoter - organizes, markets and runs special events.
  • Singing telegrams.
  • Rifle, Archery, Skeet range - take it past the normal club owned range with moving targets, specialty events and multiple exciting events.
  • Talent or sports scout.
  • Ticket sales kiosk.
  • Travelling carnival or circus.

Environmental and Recycling

Check into government regulations. high shipping costs, limited demand

for recycled materials and limited local supply. (Ie. Relatively low population

base) of recyclable items affects viability. Recycling operations are

low margin, high volume operations. Research suggests that people will

not pay extra for products made from recycled materials.

  • Battery, motor oil or tire recycling.
  • Cardboard box salvage/recycle.
  • Cloth diapers.
  • Copper and aluminum recovery.
  • Deposits on cans and bottles - there is talk of expanding deposits to a wider range of juice, pop, milk and alcohol containers.
  • Environmental consulting.
  • Food Broker.
  • Fish Rancher.
  • Glass recycling.
  • Indoor air specialist.
  • Paper recycling - regular visits to large offices and paper drop off points.
  • Public relations firm specializing in helping businesses that face environmental image problems.
  • Scrap wood salvage/recycle.

Financial, Insurance, Real Estate, and Professional

Success depends on credibility (having the right credentials), reputation,

industry certification and contracts, good presentation skills and the

ability to network.

  • Accident investigator.
  • Bookkeeping services.
  • Financial and estate planning - professional certification available.
  • Financial or business broker.
  • Income and sales tax preparation services.
  • Insurance agent/agency - life or other insurance. Industry certification is required.
  • Insurance adjuster. Certification required.
  • Insurance claim negotiator for victims.
  • Legal practice.
  • Personal fiduciary services.
  • Professional accounting/auditing practice.
  • Property management residential and commercial.
  • Real estate agent/agency. Certification required.
  • Real estate appraiser. Certification required.
  • Real estate auctioneer.
  • Real Estate listing service on the Internet.
  • Rental property listing on the Internet.
  • Storage and disposal of damaged goods for insurance companies.

Fitness-Related Services and Facilities

Aging of the population suggests a long-term trend towards lower impact,

less energetic activities. At present hockey, curling and swimming facilities

are mostly civic owned and operated. The present trend is for these facilities

to be built and operated with private money . There may also be opportunities

for present facilities to be purchased and/or privately managed.

  • Bowling alley.
  • Curling rink.
  • Fitness classes - aerobics, weightlifting, maternity fitness, etc.
  • Fitness centre/weight room - ones providing a wide range of services best in smaller communities.
  • Hockey-multi use facility.
  • Indoor racket courts, tennis courts or other facilities combined with a private club house.
  • Indoor swimming facility.
  • Summer sport camps for children - hockey schools, etc.

Food Services, Restaurants and Stores

Most communities are well serviced with restaurants. The restaurant market

is highly competitive with a high failure rate for new ventures. However,

there are many success stories in the region. Many of the following ideas

are only viable in larger centres. Check into health regulations and business


  • Bakery shop.
  • Barbecue speciality restaurant.
  • Box lunches for busy people.
  • Bulk or specialty candy shop.
  • Bun shop.
  • Butcher/meat market - supermarkets offer fierce competition.
  • Caramel corn or candy apple stand.
  • Catering and speciality cooking services (gourmet, ethic and regular meals for special events, parties, picnics, conferences and home deliveries.)
  • Chocolate/hard ice cream kiosk (ie. Purdy's Chocolates).
  • Cinnamon roll shop.
  • Convenience food store - a good location is vital.
  • Coffee shop - cappuccino, specialty coffees and teas, pastries.
  • Cookie shop.
  • Dial-a-lunch for offices.
  • Delicatessen.
  • Donut shop.
  • Ethnic food restaurant.
  • Family/home cooked meals restaurant.
  • Fast food franchise.
  • Fish and Chips restaurant.
  • Food fair at a shopping mall.
  • French fries kiosk.
  • Fried chicken restaurant.
  • Gourmet or low calorie food store, stand or home sales.
  • Health food store.
  • Home-based bakery - baking out of your home for direct sale, specialty products may offer possibilities: non-wheat, additive free, low salt, etc.
  • Home delivery service for restaurants and caterers.
  • Home-made or premium candy/chocolate kiosk or production for wholesaling.
  • Home-made pies, pastries, cakes, etc.
  • Coffee/luncheon van for industrial parks, construction sites, festivals, etc.
  • Mobile hotdog, hamburger or gourmet hotdog stand.
  • Ice cream shop, booth or cart.
  • Independent grocery, discount food store or supermarket.
  • Invent edible packaging - get rid of the pizza box and name your price.
  • Menu planning service - planning menus and recipes for households.
  • Mexican food restaurant.
  • Omelette restaurant.
  • Pancake restaurant (ie. International house of pancakes).
  • Pick up and home delivery fast food restaurants - fast growing sector as people are spending more time at home.
  • Pizza, pasta and/or Italian food restaurant
  • Prestigious, upper end restaurants - taken a real battering since 1989.
  • Roadside fruit and vegetable stands.
  • Rural rustic dining.
  • Salad bar restaurant.
  • Sandwich shop.
  • Seafood restaurant or vending.
  • Snack bar/new stand.
  • Specialty or ethnic food store.
  • Submarine sandwich shop.
  • Soup bar.
  • Services for restaurants - lard and oil pick up service, knife sharpening, supplies, etc.
  • Steak house.
  • Trailer restaurant - travel with a carnival or attend sporting events regional festivals.
  • Twenty-four hour restaurants.
  • Vegetable or fruit store.
  • Yogurt shop.

Forestry or Mining-Related

Reductions in the allowable cut suggests a long term decline in the primary

side of the forest industry. There will be exceptional opportunities in

the secondary processing side of mining and particular forestry.

  • Drilling and blasting service.
  • Horse logging - difficult to compete with logging contractors.
  • Find uses for waste materials from local manufacturers.
  • Forestry consulting.
  • Logging Contractors.
  • Logging truck operators.
  • Post, pole and wooden peg manufacturing.
  • Pressed wood fire logs.
  • Sand or gravel pit.
  • Shake and shingle.
  • Small sawmills - surveying, land clearing, fertilizing and other services associated with reforestation.
  • Wood pellet manufacturer.
  • Wood preserving service.

Furniture and Appliances

Furniture and large appliance sales have really dropped since the start

of the last recession.

  • Antique restoration.
  • Antique store.
  • Catalogue sales of furniture and appliances.
  • Consumer electronics repair and servicing.
  • Furniture store ( or discount store).
  • Furniture and appliance rental store.
  • Large appliance sales and servicing.
  • Piano tuning, restoration and sales.
  • Small appliance/yard equipment sales and servicing.
  • Spot finishing - repairing scratches, dents, cigarette burns on furniture.
  • Television/stereo/consumer electronics store.
  • Used/Consignment furniture store.

Health and Medical-Related

Good growth potential due to aging population and eventual privatization

of some medical services. See section on seniors for other ideas.

  • Denture clinics.
  • Diet and weight loss centres.
  • Drug store and pharmacy.
  • Eye glass and contact lens store - dispensing optician.
  • Medical, dental or industrial lab.
  • Medical equipment broker - rent out unused items owned by other people.
  • Industry consultant - assisting hospitals restructure their services.
  • Massage.
  • Medical and dental clinics.
  • Medical supplies store and equipment rental.
  • Mobile personal services
  • Orthopaedic appliances.
  • Physiotherapy.

Household/Building Services and Supplies

The number of housing starts and retired people moving in from larger

centres has created opportunities in the area.

  • Apartment preparation service (ie. Cleaning up after a renter moves out.)
  • Awning and canopies.
  • Bedroom stores.
  • Boiler maintenance.
  • Building maintenance service for apartments, rental properties and commercial buildings.
  • Building supplies centre.
  • Carpet, rug and floor covering sales and installation.
  • Carpet and upholstery cleaning and damage restoration services.
  • Chimney and gutter cleaning.
  • Cleaning and maid service.
  • Closet organizers.
  • Concrete/foundation repairs. New technology such as polymer concrete will create opportunities in this area.
  • Concrete slab jacking.
  • Custom cabinet and furniture making, sales and installation.
  • Custom drapery maker.
  • Do-it-yourself woodworking shop.
  • Door sales, installation and repairs - rolling, sliding, metal, overhead doors, etc.
  • Drapery and curtains store.
  • Driveway repair and sealing.
  • Energy store - wood, natural gas and electric heaters.
  • Fireplaces and accessories.
  • Firewood and kindling sales and wood splitting - home delivery.
  • Floors -hardwood floors, tiles, linoleum, etc.
  • Garden centre store.
  • Garden planting and maintenance service.
  • Handyman service
  • Home decorating centre - offering a wider range of supplies than a paint store.
  • Home inspection service for prospective buyers - check into liability insurance - you will need it.
  • Home insulation sales and installation.
  • Home-related services - home sitting, small repairs, routine maintenance.
  • Hot tub and sauna sales and service.
  • Hot tub rentals.
  • Interior office design, sales and installation.
  • Kitchen and bathroom design, sales and installation.
  • Lawn and garden equipment sales and servicing.
  • Lawn care - mowing, aeration, fertilizing, weed control, and planting.
  • Lighting fixtures and lamp shop.
  • Mini-warehouse and self-storage centre.
  • Moving and storage service.
  • Pest control.
  • Plumbing and electrical supplies shop.
  • Preparation work for people painting their own homes -cleaning, scraping, stripping , repairing damage to walls, etc.
  • Relocation consultants.
  • Septic systems installation and cleaning.
  • Snow removal service.
  • Swimming pool sales, installation and repairs.
  • Swimming pool cleaning and water testing -households, resorts, motels, etc. Monthly service contracts are the norm.
  • Tree planting, pruning, removal and chipping service.
  • Tool and equipment rental.
  • Wall coverings and paint store.
  • Wall printing - a low cost alternative to wallpapering.
  • Waterproofing service. New materials and technology will create opportunities in this area.
  • Window Cleaning.
  • Wood decks.


Opportunities for industrial equipment, supplies and services largely

depends on the size of the local businesses and their purchasing policies.

  • Control systems and regulators.
  • Diesel equipment parts, servicing and repair.
  • Fire prevention, fire fighting and safety equipment and clothing.
  • Forklift sales and servicing.
  • Hydraulic and pneumatic equipment parts, supplies and servicing.
  • Industrial cleaning equipment and supplies.
  • Industrial/manufacturing services - industrial classification, industrial development, testing and production management. New product design and introduction, research and development, quality control systems, etc.
  • Industrial safety consulting and training.
  • Industrial supplies - abrasives, lubricants, etc.
  • Machine shop.
  • Mobile radio equipment sales, installation and servicing.
  • Pollution controls - air, noise, water, soil, etc.
  • Portable electrical generating systems sales, supplies and services.
  • Welding and fabrication service - very competitive sector.


Product manufacturing is extremely competitive industry. Small scale

operators can not compete based on price against offshore producers and

heavily automated plants. Best to seek out specially niches too small

to interest large scale manufacturers. Ideal products would be highly

innovative (but not revolutionary) or custom made. Products to be marketed

locally should be hard to duplicate, offer high mark ups and be costly

to transport.

  • Add value or new uses for products manufactured by others.
  • Auto parts/systems design and manufacturing. Computerized components are probably the best option.
  • Become a supplier of parts: contact purchasing agents, request for supply notice in newspapers and trade journals, etc.
  • Battery Manufacturing. All materials required to manufacture lead - acid batteries are available locally at wholesale prices with no freight cost. There are also other possibilities such as zinc - air and lithium batteries.
  • Boat, canoe, kayak, or sail boat manufacturing.
  • Book publisher or producer - fiercely competitive.
  • Bottled water producer.
  • Canvas products.
  • Compost bins.
  • Cosmetics - check into health and labelling regulations.
  • Custom-made wooden crates for shipping local products.
  • Customizing trucks and vans for commercial uses - coffee/luncheon trucks, ambulances, etc.
  • Electronic product assembly for other manufacturers - watch out for scams.
  • Ice maker for local retailers.
  • Environmentally friendly products and ones containing recycled materials - people will not pay a price premium for products containing recycled materials but its a good selling feature.
  • False teeth.
  • Fishing rods, equipment or lure manufacturing for sale through local retailers, industry trade shows or mail-order.
  • Furniture manufacturing - must be unique and hard to copy to compete against the mass producers. There are tremendous opportunities in this value added business . The two areas of most importance are design and marketing.
  • Gourmet food producer - check into health and labelling regulations.
  • Green House and other pre-fabricated outside structure kits.
  • Hot Tub and sauna kits.
  • Identify imported products - look at import publications - that could be produced in Canada.
  • Light assembly and packaging for other manufacturers-watch out for scams.
  • Manufactured homes (ie. Mobile homes) production.
  • Manufacture and market under licence.
  • Medical equipment, aids and furniture designed for people with disabilities and senior citizens.
  • Metal creations.
  • Micro-brewery.
  • Musical instruments and custom music cases.
  • Pallet manufacturing - new industry standards required for shipping many types of products.
  • Pre-fabricated concrete products.
  • Pre-fabricated log house kits.
  • Products (ie. Custom or specialty) to meet the needs of local businesses.
  • Reusable grocery bags.
  • Specialize in small production runs that larger companies can not handle profitably or markets discarded by other companies.
  • Specialty carpets, mats and rugs.
  • Specialty jam and jelly production.
  • Specialty bicycle production and bicycle parts-the margins on precision bicycle parts is quite high.
  • Specialty clothing manufacturing. Our experience suggest that opportunities exist in market niches. For example, western wear or golf clothing. Home-based businesses can not handle large enough production runs to be cost effective.
  • Specialty wood products - doors, windows, fencing, etc.
  • Specialty and custom sporting goods manufacturing. For example, snow boards or custom golf clubs.
  • Sub-contract fabrication work for other local businesses.
  • Unique lawn ornaments.
  • Utility or tent trailers.

Personal Services

This type of business is very dependent on the local market place. It

is vital to find out if the local market place is large enough to support

the business and to justify its start up costs. In smaller communities,

several services are often offered from the same household. Franchises

are often available. Direct sales to households is provincially regulated.

  • Barber
  • Barter middleman
  • Beauty salon
  • Book Bindery - professionals, schools, and public libraries are other markets.
  • Body Care Boutique
  • Bronzing service
  • Cheque cashing service - often combined with several related services.
  • Chauffeur
  • Credit counselling.
  • Dry cleaning service (or take orders and handle deliveries for communities too small to support a dry cleaning service).
  • Educational Consultant.
  • Engraving service - marking household goods for identification in case of theft.
  • Family hair salon.
  • Finder service/swap magazine.
  • Foot massages
  • Funeral service
  • Gift and package wrapping services.
  • Home delivery service.
  • Hospital or home care.
  • Image transfer service to imprint names, images, or pictures on mugs, t-shirts, key chains.
  • Introduction service - putting together people with similar interests (ie. Dating service, business networking, sporting clubs, etc.)
  • Laundromat - could be combined with home delivery services, ironing service or on site social activities.
  • Local map (is there a good map of your community?). If not, create one for local distribution and sell space on its margins to local businesses.
  • Locksmith
  • Manicurists, massage or electrolysis service.
  • Neighbourhood concierge
  • New age service (ie. Book store, mail order, memorabilia, personal consultations, psychic advice, dream analysis, astrology, palm reading, etc.)
  • Odd job agency - supplying people to do small, odd jobs for households.
  • Personal chef
  • Personal fitness trainer
  • Picture framing shop - often combined with an print/art gallery.
  • Private post office, mail box service and home delivery.
  • Remembrance service - reminding people of anniversaries, etc.
  • Romantic adventures.
  • Sharpening service for knives, skates, lawn mower blades, etc.
  • Shopping service - shopping, errands and home deliveries for others.
  • Skin tanning service.
  • Social get together organizer/professional host and toastmaster.
  • Special event organizer (ie. Weddings, office parties, conferences).
  • Taxi , Limousine service or local bus service.
  • Tattoo parlour
  • Transportation coordinator
  • Videotape and CD rental shop
  • Water testing, water conditioner sales and installation.
  • Welcome wagon service.


Most likely a spare time business opportunity in smaller communities.

  • Animal training and obedience school.
  • Dog/Cat grooming service.
  • Pet Kennels and hotels.
  • Pet and pet supplies store.
  • Pet rentals.
  • Pet cemetery.
  • Pet sitting and walking service.
  • Veterinarians/animal hospital.

Repair Services

As the cost of new goods have not changed much since 1989, consumers

often find it easier to replace a damaged product than to repair it. High

failure rate.

  • Aircraft maintenance and painting.
  • Boat painting, repairs and engine servicing.
  • Computer and related hardware repair and upgrading.
  • Counter top repair and kitchen cabinet door replacements.
  • Fibreglass repairs.
  • Furniture upholstery service.
  • Furniture stripping and repairs.
  • Gun repairs.
  • Small appliance repair.
  • Small engine repairs.
  • Sport goods and equipment repair service - tennis rackets, golf clubs, ski equipment repair.
  • Television/stereo repair service.


Start up cost for a retail store are typically in the $30,000 - $20,000

range. Retailing options are limited in smaller communities due to sizes

of local markets and existing shopping patterns. Lower cost alternatives

- direct sales, kiosks, trade show exhibits - sometimes offer an answer.

Retailing is highly competitive and store inventory is hard to finance.

Other retail ideas are listed in the other sections. Franchises are often

available. Direct sales to household is provincially regulated.

  • Antiques store.
  • Art, craft and hobby supply stop.
  • Auction house.
  • Beer and wine.
  • Bicycle shop - often combined with sales of winter sporting goods.
  • Bargain or discount store - new or used.
  • Canned gifts and balloon vending.
  • China, crystal and utensil shop.
  • Christmas ornament shop.
  • Collectibles and nostalgia items shop.
  • Comic book and sports card shop.
  • Computer store-often combined with consulting and computer training.
  • Used Computer and related accessories store.
  • Consignment and used goods store - hard to compete with garage sales, flea markets and thrift shops.
  • Cook ware shops.
  • Cosmetic, beauty supplies and scented soaps - body care boutique, home parties or door to door sales.
  • Costume jewellery vending.
  • Delivery service for local retailers.
  • Electric gadget shop.
  • Flower shop and floral arrangements - shop, booth, vending or direct sales.
  • Franchise your business concept - selling the rights and support systems for your business concept to people in other communities.
  • Gift store - how is it different from all the others? High failure rate.
  • Greeting card, games and party supplies shop.
  • Hardware store.
  • Home brewery, on site wine making and supplies.
  • Imported goods store.
  • Inexpensive goods store (ie. $1 store).
  • Inventory service - retailers must count their stock at regular intervals, a boring and tiresome task. Why not do it for them?
  • Jewellery goldsmith service and custom jewellery shop.
  • Left hand shop.
  • Liquidation store - selling discounted products, inventories from bankrupt retailers, etc.
  • Lottery and magazine kiosk.
  • Men's products and toys store.
  • Musical instruments sales and repair shop.
  • Music tape, CD and videotape shop.
  • Natural and biodegradable alternatives for chemical based products shop (ie. Soaps, household chemicals, repellents, etc.).
  • Nearly new shop - a consignment shop specializing in quality used goods.
  • Novelty, unusual items and tacky gift store.
  • Outdoor equipment sales, RV's, ATVs, motorcycles, snow mobiles, etc.
  • Outdoor sports store, Bicycles, skiing equipment, pack packing equipment, outdoor apparel, etc.
  • Pawn shop.
  • Public market - renting booth space in an empty building to crafts people, specialty food vendors, food fair tenants, etc.
  • Pushcarts - communities not large enough to support a retail store may support a pushcart vendor.
  • Printer and photocopier cartridge re-inking.
  • Rental equipment store for do it yourselfer's and for commercial applications.
  • Sport memorabilia shop.
  • Sporting Goods - new.
  • Sporting goods - used, consignment, exchange.
  • Sub-leasing space to another retailer or acting as the drop off point, satellite operation or catalogue outlet for a retailer in another community.
  • Stationary shop.
  • Stuffed toy vending.
  • Vacuum cleaner repair and sales.
  • Water sports sales - boats, skidoos, sailing boats, canoes, safety and navigational supplies, etc.

Sales, Marketing and Distribution

Direct sales to households is regulated by the BC Government.

  • Commission sales of ticket for out of town sporting events, plays, theatre productions, nightclub acts, etc.
  • Consumer show and trade show organizer.
  • Customer lists compiled and maintained on a data base.
  • Discount sales of discontinued items (ie. Books from publishers, etc.)
  • Door-to-door and home party sales - small items with big markups (ie. Cosmetics and jewellery) and large ticket items with unique features requiring demonstrations work best.
  • Export distributor or agent - promotes and ships products or services from Canada to other countries for distribution and resale.
  • Flea market, swap meet or craft show organizer or booth rental.
  • Flyer delivery - try to deliver several different flyers at the same time.
  • Food products broker and wholesaler.
  • Fund raising - assisting schools and non-profit societies with fund raising activities. Possibilities: Representing lines of fund raising products for commission sales, organizing fund raising events for a fee or conducting fund raising on behalf of organizations for a percentage of profits.
  • Imprinted items for fund raising or business promotions.
  • Import distributor or agent - brings products or services from another country into Canada for distribution and resale.
  • Interactive sales kiosks on the street, in airplanes, washrooms, waiting rooms, librairies etc.
  • Leads supplying - letting insurance and real estate agents know of potential clients in exchange for a share of their commissions.
  • Local or regional distributor for several lines consumer or industrial products or supplies - set up territories and find people to sell for you through classified ads.
  • Local advertising representative for television stations, newspapers or magazines.
  • Local representative/consultant for out of town specialty printers.
  • Mail order catalogue order taking.
  • Mail order as a means of selling your products - should be unique items with high mark ups, potential for repeat sales and easily shippable. Long time needed to build up a client list.
  • Manufacturer's representative for several businesses.
  • Network marketing - organizing a sales network within the area for a product line.
  • Odd lot dealer.
  • Product demonstrations at local retail stores.
  • Professional word of mouth advertising.
  • Promotional service - representing consumer products (ie. Beer, pop) at fairs, festivals, sporting events, etc.
  • Sales representative for local artists and crafts people.
  • Sales representative for out of town consumer or business products suppliers.
  • Selling subscriptions for magazine publishers by telephone.
  • Trade show booth design and rental.
  • Vending machine route.

Senior Services

Growing number of senior citizens is creating opportunities for services

and products designed to meet their special needs.

  • Check up service-telephone elderly one or two times per day to see if they are OK.
  • Day care for seniors.
  • Grocery shopper.
  • Household management service - can handle all aspects of running a household from buying a washing machine to planning a party.
  • In home or hospital hair cuts and styling.
  • In home health care services.
  • Live in attendant.
  • Medical alarm service for seniors.
  • Nursing care in your home
  • Professional companion visiting shut ins.
  • Seniors chauffeuring service and group shopping trips to other communities.
  • Specialty products for seniors.


One of the fastest growing areas of the economy.

  • Answering service.
  • After hours telephone orders service.
  • Appointment scheduling by telephone service.
  • Local sales representative for discount long -distance telephone companies.
  • Paging service.
  • Phone service for self-employed professionals and consultants using call forwarding.
  • Service bureau/order taking/customer complaint services for medium or large sized companies.
  • Tele-marketing services.
  • Telephone promotions - letting people know by telephone of upcoming sales at local retailers.
  • Telephone market surveying service.
  • "1-800" line management for other companies.
  • "1-900" information service.

Tourism/Recreation Operations and Services


  • Abattoir (meat cutting) service for hunters.
  • Adventure tourism and soft adventure tours (ie. White water rafting, boat, kayak or canoe trips, scuba diving , fishing and fly fishing trips, trail rides, back packing, snow shoeing trips, heli-hiking, heli-skiing, cross country skiing, mountaineering, wildlife viewing and photography, archaeological digs, orienteering competitions, parachuting, hang gliding, bungy jumping, plane and helicopter tours, gold prospecting, four wheel drive, motor cycle or mountain bike trips. In BC a Commercial Backcountry Recreation Tenure must be applied for. While this isa time consuming process to go through it is worthwhile as these land tenure permits will restrict access by other commercial operators to your area.
  • Air tram service.
  • Auto/animal racing track.
  • Beach snack booth.
  • Bed and Breakfast Inn - best as a secondary source of income.
  • Botanical garden.
  • Boat marina and wharf.
  • Bumper boats.
  • Cabin rentals.
  • Campsite and RV park - best combined with other activities as income is highly seasonal.
  • Children's theme park.
  • Cross country skiing, competitions and lessons.
  • Cultural contact/translation service for international tourists and business travellers.
  • Driving range for golfers.
  • Festival and special events organizer.
  • Fishing camp/resort.
  • Fishing pond for children.
  • Go-cart track (or smaller type of activity for children).
  • Golf caddy contractor.
  • Guest ranch.
  • Guided tours using recreational vehicles.
  • Guide services on ski hills and ski waxing service.
  • Health/weight loss farm.
  • Horse-drawn carriages and sleigh rides.
  • Hotel maid contractor service.
  • House boat rental (Arrow, Kootenay, Slocan, Trout lakes or the Columbia river.
  • Hunting guide/outfitter - need a territory.
  • Made in the Kootenays handicraft store.
  • Mapping of backcountry roads and trails using modern inexpensive GPS satellite locator systems for use by backcountry enthusiasts.
  • Meeting agendas and minute taking.
  • Miniature golf course.
  • Native Indian art/craft shop.
  • Outdoor equipment rental (ie. Downhill and Nordic ski equipment, snow mobile, horses and supplies, skidoos, mountain bikes, RV vehicles, boats, ATVs, etc).
  • "Outward bound" type of programs.
  • Play gym - fun gym and activities for young children - would tie in nicely at a ski resort.
  • Professional fishing guide.
  • Recreational property management, maintenance and security.
  • Rental of camping equipment, swap meets or broker service - renting unused equipment owned by private individuals, school boards and other organizations.
  • Restoring or replicating a historical site.
  • Riding school - trail riding tours, after school classes, horse rentals and summer riding school for children - would tie in nicely with a bed and breakfast guest ranch.
  • Small, specialty destination resorts.
  • Souvenir shop.
  • Specialty accommodations - designed for seniors, handicapped, hunters, etc.
  • Storage facilities for boats, RVs.
  • Taxidermy service.
  • Theme or specialty golf courses.
  • Theme or specialty ski hills.
  • Theme summer camps for children.
  • Theme tour packaging - golf and ski trips, rock climbing, bed and breakfast, etc. - check into BC regulations.
  • Travel agency - check into BC regulations.
  • Tour Books, audio or videotapes on hiking trails, local tourists attractions, special events, etc.
  • War and survival game park.
  • Indoor War and Survival park. (Similar to facilities in Kelowna and Spokane)
  • Water slide park.
  • Water sports equipment rental.
  • Wildlife game farm - either as a tourist attraction or for hunters - pheasants, etc.
  • Windsurfing/water skiing school and rentals.


Many opportunities exist with the trend towards do-it-yourself and self-improvement

courses. Once a workshop is developed, it can be presented in other areas

or packaged as a do-it-yourself book, audio-tape or videotape for wider


  • Aerobics and exercise instructor.
  • Adult learning centre.
  • Aircraft flying school.
  • Ballet and dancing instructor.
  • Business-related workshops, seminars, conferences, etc.
  • One-to-one coaching for job interviews, sales training, customer service, etc.
  • Craft and art instruction.
  • Computer camp for children.
  • Computer training including potential uses, software applications and the Internet.
  • Computer training for related hardware maintenance and repair.
  • Designing a correspondence course.
  • Do-it-yourself workshop - gardening, home maintenance for women, gourmet, cooking classes, etc.
  • English language school for foreign nationals, children and recent immigrants.
  • First aid and industrial first aid training.
  • Foreign language instruction.
  • Golf classes and personal tutoring.
  • Gourmet, microwave or ethic food cooking classes.
  • Hospitality industry worker trainer.
  • Learning skills training.
  • Literacy training.
  • Martial arts instructor.
  • Music teacher.
  • School tutor.
  • Vocational school - secretarial, cosmetology, travel agent training, etc. Post- secondary training must now be registered through the BC government.


Extremely competitive industry facing dramatic restructuring. Opportunities

for north-south trade are huge.

  • Chartered bus operator.
  • Custom broker.
  • Fleet car and truck cleaning.
  • Freight transportation and shipping consultant.
  • General freight trucking.
  • Highway, street and bridge maintenance.
  • Mini-bus shuttle service between communities or from the airport.
  • Specialized trucking services - traditional trucking companies have high failure rate.

Writing, Editing and Publishing

Past experience shows that many writers and desk top publishers end up as part-time, low income businesses. Your service(s) must be unique and high value added.

  • Book publisher.
  • Author - hard to get distribution. Self publishing is hard to do - must be a good promoter.
  • Book writer for the Self-Counsel Series.
  • Desktop publisher - flyers, menus, letters, business forms, banners, price tags, newsletters, catalogues, resumes, cover pages, address typing on envelopes, etc.
  • Design and lay out: creative services in producing documents and reports.
  • Editing and proofreading for authors and book publishers.
  • Foreign languages translation of technical journals, etc.
  • Freelance researcher for authors, book publishers, etc.
  • Graphic and computer generated art.
  • Magazine publisher.
  • Newsletter publisher.
  • Mail order services - selling mailing lists, compiling and updating lists for organizations, mail merging, composing sales letters, envelope stuffing, etc.
  • Publicist - speech preparation for politicians, business executives, etc.
  • Research specialist for writers.
  • Screen manuscripts for book publishers.
  • Song writing and comedy material for professionals.
  • Technical writing and editing - training and seminar materials, technical specifications, product use instructions, computer software instructions, product use instructions, computer software instructions, product packaging, prospectuses, proposals, reports, etc.
  • Transcribing medical or legal dictation/court recorder.
  • Word processing and editing - rush jobs and office overflow.
  • Writing a cookbook - one of the most lucrative sectors for publishers.
  • Writing memoirs for others, eulogies, personalized poems, real estate ads, ghost writing term papers and lecture summaries for college courses.

Additional Printed Resources in the Regional Business Library

These are several books that you may find helpful in brainstorming ideas and performing market research. Most of these books are available on loan from the Regional Business Library located at Community Futures on the top floor of the same building as Canada Post in Trail.

  • The Entrepreneur's Complete Self-Assessment Guide by Douglas Gray. This book, published by the Self-Counsel Series, offers a step-by-step approach to finding out if you are suited to running your own business.
  • 1001 Businesses You Can Start from the Home by Daryl Hall. Published by John Wiley & Sons, the book provides brief descriptions of over one thousand business ideas.
  • 555 Ways to Earn Extra Money by Jay Levinson. A good source of hundreds of business ideas. Published by Henery Holt and Company.
  • Trend Tracking: The System to Profit from Today's Trends by Gerald Celente. One of the few books we have found that actually helps you find trends in the market place. Publisher: John Wiley & Sons.
  • Starting a Successful Business in Canada by Jack James. Published by Self-Counsel Series, its a good general guide to the steps of starting a successful business.
  • Marketing: Researching & Reaching Your Target Market by Linda Pinson & Jerry Jinnett. Publisher: Out of Your Mine and Into the Marketplace.
  • Look Before you Leap: Market Research Made Easy by Don Doman. A Self-Counsel Series book, it is one of the best books on market research that our office has found.