Small Business Ideas

Hi all!  I'm just doing a little brainstorming today and would love your input. 

Spring/Summer weather has finally hit here in Ohio and seems to be staying around!  That alone is cause to rejoice!  The problem?  With nice weather comes SPRING FEVER!  Getting up and going to work everyday is just not so appealing.  Don't get me wrong, I love my job but I don't love the hours or the being trapped inside Cubicle Land all day when I would much rather be at the Lake enjoying the summer breeze.

Apparently my neighbor feels the same way because this morning he was saying how he would like to retire and not be going to work.  :)

I've actually been thinking about opening some type of business so that I can "retire" from Cubicle Land early and enjoy a little more of my life.  I have money squirreled away and some side hustles so I should be able to live pretty nicely on about half of what I make now at my regular job.  But what business should I open?  My criteria are minimal risk low-ish start up costs (let's say $150K or less), able to do part-time, able to do on my own or with minimal employees, and did I mention not a lot of risk?

Here are some small business ideas I've brainstormed on my own:

Rentals - In my current "get out of Cubicle Land" plan, I already have one duplex accounted for.  However, buying one or two more duplexes should bring in enough income to more than cover my living expenses each month. 
Pros - Easy schedule, low risk, tax benefits, stable income. 
Cons - higher start-up costs, tenants can be a pain, either I need to hire a good handyman or be prepared to be called out in the middle of the night to fix broken pipes, etc.

Freelance - I am a graphic designer by trade, so they idea of expanding my freelance business is appealing. 
Pros - Almost no start-up costs, already have the necessary skills, easy job, make my own schedule. 
Cons - These kinds of jobs tend to be feast or famine and at times I might get very busy while others I am without work, very similar to "Cubical Land" and I am liking the excitement that comes with doing something different

Storage Lockers - People have way too much junk and so the storage locker business is booming! 
Pros - Proven business model, could be done with little additional staffing
Cons - Super high start-up costs

RV/Boat Storage - If you aren't familiar with these, they are basically fenced in parking lots where people can store their boats, RVs, trailers, or extra cars. 
Pros - Lower start-up costs than a traditional storage facility, low staffing needs, minimal time requirements on my part
Cons - The only con I can think of at this point as I haven't done a lot of research into my competition in my area to determine what need, if any, exists for such a business.

Mini Golf - Don't laugh, but I have always thought this would be an awesome business to have! 
Pros - You get to play all the free mini golf you want, low staffing costs (high school kids work cheap), ow start-up costs, opportunities for extra income from concessions.
Cons - VERY seasonal... would I make enough in four months to support me all year long?, busy season is in the summer when I want to be enjoying myself... even with cheap labor I'd need to be on-site a lot to help manage operations

Those are five of my own small business ideas.  Right now owning rentals seems to be the best fit for me, though I'm still brainstorming.  What small business ideas do you have?  Ay suggestions for me?  I'd love to hear them!


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