Business Consulting 101: The Ultimate Guide

March 16, 2023

Business Consulting 101: The Ultimate Guide

Are you considering taking on consulting work? Every industry needs business consultants to help individuals achieve their goals. Your knowledge and experiences can make you the next rockstar business consultant, but first, we’ll help you learn how to help clients.

From OnStrategy to Restaurant Boss, marketing to sales, human resources, and more! Business consultants in all fields have found ways to make millions of dollars per year in the consulting field. We’ve interviewed business consultants in most fields to learn the secrets to their success. 

We’ve gathered information from those interviews to help you understand what a business consultant does. We’ll share information from companies making millions per year to help you decide if business consulting is right for you, and give you a guide on how to pursue your goals.

What Is a Business Consultant?

A business consultant provides advice or services to help organizations achieve their goals within a division of business such as:

  • Management
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Strategy
  • IT
  • Human Resources 
  • Pricing
  • Operations
  • Sales
  • Security
  • Law
  • Accounting
  • Data Analytics
  • Sustainability
  • Engineering
  • Science
  • Digital Transformation
  • Exit Planning

Many consulting services provide more than advice. A good business consultant goes beyond just offering advice to help their clients gain the most by helping implement the advice and train the company on how to make the most of the solutions. We’ll go into each of the types of business consultants next to help you understand what each does.

Types of Business Consultants 

Each field of business consulting has different aspects of business that are the primary focus of the business consultant. We’ll cover some of the common types of consulting options you will come across and what they do.

Type #1. Business Consultant

Businessman with laptop on his hand

“Business consultant” is the most generic of the consulting terms. People describe themselves this way primarily when they are giving a quick answer of what they do. A business consultant is focused on helping companies solve problems that the owner or team doesn’t have the knowledge, time, or experience to solve. They will normally fall into one of the other categories that we discuss below because one person can’t successfully solve all problems.

Type #2. Business Management Consultant

A management consultant focuses on solving a specific business problem that a company faces day to day. The consultant will perform tasks including:

  • Analyzing business data
  • Interviewing employees
  • Documenting recommendations
  • Helping an organization understand why the changes are important

Implementing a consultant’s recommendations may be part of the consultant’s job or may be handled by the client. The end goal is to help other businesses streamline operations.

Type #3. Industry Business Consultant

Some business consultants choose to focus on a particular industry. For instance, Ryan Gromfin started Restaurant Boss after he had a heart attack and a partnership ended. Now he is a business consultant focused solely on the restaurant industry. Ryan told us about the start of his journey:

I had to Google, ‘What is a consulting business?’

Today, he’s making $420K per year as a business consultant. Find out how in our podcast below:

Type #3. Financial Consultant

Businesswoman holding an hour glass

A financial consultant advises businesses and people on financial matters to help them better achieve their goals. They might provide services like:

  • Analyzing the financial performance compared to competitors
  • Suggesting ways to save money
  • Reviewing proposed executive payment packages
  • Valuing a business that a company is planning to purchase

Type #4. Marketing Consultant

A marketing consultant reviews current marketing efforts and identifies ways to improve the results. These consultants often help their client’s business with:

  • Creating a new digital marketing strategy
  • Running marketing campaigns
  • Implementing new marketing and analytics software
  • Training the marketing team

Hear from a marketing consultant who created Brandetize with nearly $5 million in annual revenue. The CEO Eric Berman told us:

I was consulting for renowned writer Brian Tracy to help build his brand, and people kept asking me to help them do the same thing. So I took the division helping Brian Tracy and started an agency to help others succeed.

Type #5. Strategy Consultant

Strategy consulting focuses on helping business leaders create plans that will help the company achieve success. Strategy consultants will often help companies focus of topics like:

  • Finding opportunities for growth
  • Improving efficiency
  • Implementing mergers
  • Reducing costs

They may simply provide strategic advice or help with the implementation process like OnStrategy CEO, Erica Olsen. Erica told us:

Having goals is great, but if you don’t have a strategy to get there, it’s hard to achieve them. That’s where we come in.

Find out how they make $6 million by offering consultation and software: 

Type #6. IT Business Consultant

Information technology (IT) consultants help businesses identify and utilize technology that will help the business scale more efficiently. These business consultants help companies with tasks including:

  • Identify pain points
  • Propose hardware and software solutions to eliminate or reduce the pain point
  • Help clients implement the software
  • Train clients’ employees on the new software

Type #7. HR Consultant

human resources consultant

A Human Resources consultant might help businesses:

  • Recruit new employees
  • Retain talent
  • Develop compensation packages
  • Recommend and implement new HR software
  • Train the HR team on new software and practices
  • Consult regarding how to address employee relations and compliance issues
  • Perform staff training on workplace policies and laws

Jessica Miller-Merrell is the CEO of Workology. She told us:

Entrepreneurs don’t go to school to learn how to start a business. We have to learn as we go. I take that same approach to helping companies hire. Look for people who have the basic skills and love learning. They’ll dig deeper to get the right answers.

Learn more about being an HR consultant from Jessica below:

Type #8. Pricing Consultant

Pricing consultants focus on helping companies find the right price point to maximize sales for their products and services. Companies hire this type of strategy consultant when they are struggling to encourage purchases through their pricing strategies. To ensure that the client is pricing their items right, these consultants review a variety of data including:

  • Economic trends
  • Consumer trends
  • Marketing strategies 
  • Competitor pricing and strategies

They then propose a path forward.

Type #9. Operations Consulting

An operation consultant specializes in operations management, which is finding the most efficient way to run the administrative portion of the business. This type of consultant may also be called a logistics consultant. Operational consulting will:

  • Analyze current operations
  • Recommend changes to:
    • Technology
    • Processes
    • Location
    • Job roles
  • Help implement changes
  • Train the client’s team on changes
  • Provide referrals to organizations that can help

Type #10. Sales Consultant

screenshot of winning sales techniques article

Sales consultants help businesses improve their performance by increasing the sales team effectiveness. These consultants will:

  • Analyze current sales techniques and processes
  • Provide recommendations to help the sales team increase revenue
  • Train their sales team
  • Improve sales processes
  • Adopt more successful sales team technology

Learn more about how to increase sales.

Type #11. Security Consultant

Security consultants help clients’ businesses with:

  • Performing threat analysis
  • Documenting risk management
  • Performing vulnerability detection
  • Providing recommendations
  • Designing a security protocol
  • Updating business systems and processes

Type #12. Legal Consultant

Legal consultants are lawyers that help companies with:

  • Regulatory compliance
  • Risk mitigation
  • Contracts
  • Negotiations

A legal consultant is especially beneficial for small businesses that do not have the budget for a full time lawyer. They are also used by larger organizations that need expertise that is beyond their on-staff legal council.

Type #13. Accounting Consultant

male accounnting consultant

Accounting consultants are similar to financial consultants because they advise companies on how to improve their financial position by:

  • Analyzing the client’s books and processes
  • Suggesting improved protocols, processes, and accounting tools
  • Helping prepare companies to go public or pursue funding
  • Providing tax advice
  • Auditing books for financial statements
  • Reviewing and reporting project financial results

Type #14. Data Analytics Consultant

A data analytics consultant helps companies improve their use of data through:

  • Analyzing current data collection and compliance with applicable laws
  • Recommending the structure of the collection and related policies
  • Implementing and optimizing information collection and access

Type #15. Sustainability Consultant

Sustainability consultants are rising in demand because consumers and governments expect businesses to reduce their environmental impacts. These consultants help companies identify areas to help:

  • Reduce transportation costs
  • Find more sustainable suppliers
  • Improve energy efficiency
  • Report the sustainability initiatives

If you start a sustainability consulting business, you might want to consider applying to become a benefit corporation. These corporations report on how they are positively impacting society.

Type #16. Engineering Consultant

An engineering consultant helps businesses achieve their design and construction goals. You’ll need an engineering degree, work experience, and potentially, any corresponding certifications. Many smaller construction companies do not have LEED APs on staff, so you can help businesses qualify for projects if you become one and work with them as an engineering consultant.

Type #17. Science Consultant

A scientific consultant helps business by:

  • Advising on specialized subjects
  • Performing research
  • Suggesting solutions to problems
  • Implementing scientific solutions beyond the client’s expertise

female scientific consultant

Type #18. Digital Transformation Consultant

Digital transformation consultants help companies adopt emerging technologies by:

  • Understanding the client’s business
  • Proposing solutions
  • Improving design and customer experience
  • Automating processes
  • Integrating systems for improved efficiency
  • Training clients on unfamiliar technology

For instance a friend of mine just became Chief Metaverse Officer, where he’ll be helping companies adopt virtual reality. Much of his work will be helping clients understand how to transition to the new technology and help improve customer experience.

Type #19. Exit Planning Consultant

An exit planner helps business owners create and implement a strategy to leave their business. Depending on the business owner’s goals this may mean:

  • Advising on what needs to happen to reduce tax consequences to both them and their kids
  • Helping create an alternate business structure
  • Connecting the business owner with a business broker 
  • Hiring a business manager

Every business is different, so you’ll need to help your clients figure out which exit strategy works best based on their needs.

Other Types of Consultants

Companies often also benefit from lesser-known consultants, like a business idea consultant that helps validate an idea and turn it into a reality. Service business consulting is another form of assistance that helps service entities like plumbers and cleaning companies optimize their business administration.

Ultimately, choosing the right business consultant company for your mindset can help you perform better with the same set of skills.

What’s the Difference Between Consultants and Management Consulting Firms?

Business consultants normally work for themselves or as an employee of a management consulting firm, while consulting firms are larger organizations that have a professional network of management consultants working for them.

If you just want to work for yourself, you’ll want to start a consulting business, but if you prefer to have a team and manage the operations of a business consulting service, you might want to consider starting a consulting firm.

What Does a Business Consultant Do?

A good business consultant will normally:

  • Meet with clients
  • Collect information about the client’s business
  • Perform market research
  • Review current operations
  • Analyze data to find areas for improvement
  • Organize and manage projects based on a client’s needs
  • Create recommendations and business plans
  • Present the recommendations
  • Help the client implement recommendations
  • Solve issues that arise during the implementation
  • Train employees on the newly implemented processes and procedures

How Much Does a Business Consultant Charge?

upwork business consultant graph

According to Upwork, the best business consultants will normally charge between $25 and $200 per hour. The chart below displays the range of hourly rates. Half of business consultants on Upwork charge over $85 per hour with an average of $92.04, but some charge even more.

When looking for a business consultant, IT can pay $500 to $1,000 per hour to find solutions depending on your skills. It’s far more important to be the right consultant than to set your hourly rate at market value. After all, if you can solve a problem in an hour that takes a lower-cost consultant a day, you should be able to make the same amount for solving the problem.

How Much Does a Business Consultant Make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a business consultant’s salary is between $50,000 and $160,000 per year. Business consultants who work for themselves can make far more than that because they also receive the profits from the business, and as a bonus, they can run their business from home. If you run a home-based consulting business, the areas highlighted in orange represent the business expenses that would effectively become income. Data is from IBIS Industry Report 54161.

The job outlook is also much higher than most industries, with a growth of 11%.

Dollars Percent
Revenue $388,439.00 100.00%
Wage $160,000.00 41.19%
Gross $228,439.00 58.81%
Rent $15,926.00 4.10%
Utilities $1,165.32 0.30%
Marketing $6,603.46 1.70%
Purchases $22,917.90 5.90%
Depreciation $3,884.39 1.00%
Other Costs $141,391.80 36.40%
Expenses (Excl. Wages) $191,888.87 49.40%
Profit $36,550.13 9.41%
Profit+Rent+Utilities+Dep $57,525.84 14.81%

How to Become a Business Consultant

You’ll need to develop a reputation to become a business consultant. Consultants normally have a mixture of:

  • Hands-on experience
  • Education 
  • Case studies and testimonials

Let’s look at how each of these can impact how to become a consultant in the business.

Hands-On Experience

There is no greater proof that you know what it takes to succeed in an industry than decades of experience. Many business consultants start by working with industry leaders, rise in the ranks, then enter business consulting. 

There are substantial benefits to saying and proving, “I helped businesses like Disney, Intel, Marriott, and Capital One achieve their leadership goals.” Find out how Libby Gill did just that in our interview below:

The most effective leader is the situational leader that can tap into the leadership style they need at a moment’s notice. The only way to do that is experience.

Take some time to learn how the industry works before jumping straight into offering business consulting services.


Another key portion of developing expertise is education. There are three main types of provable education for business consultants:

  1. Certifications
  2. Bachelor’s Degree
  3. Master’s Degree

Let’s look at some of the most in-demand education requirements for business consultants.

In-Demand Certifications

  • Industry Specific Certifications: There are numerous industry specific certifications that may be helpful to prove the consultant has the necessary skills. Check out Indeed’s list of 20 in-demand certifications.
  • Consulting Certifications: There are certification courses that require consultants to:
  1. Work a certain amount of time in the field
  2. Take courses (or self study)
  3. Pass a written exam
  4. Take continuing education courses

Some of the most popular certifications include:

  • Certified Management Consultant (CMC): The CMC certification requires three years of consulting experience, five client testimonials, a written exam, an ethics exam, and an application fee to join the ranks of certified management consultants.
  • Project Management Professional (PMP): Consulting success is often heavily tied into project management. That’s why the PMP is a common certification for business consultants. There are two paths to become a PMP:
    • Bachelor’s degree, three years leading projects, and 35 hours of project management education (or the CAPM)
    • High school degree, five years leading projects, and 35 hours of project management education (or the CAPM)
  • Certified Human Resources Consultant (CHRC): The Human Resources Management Institute requires 10 years of experience, four years in management, and passing an exam to become a CHRC.
  • Professional Certified Marketer: There aren’t requirements to take the PCM exam, but the American Marketing Association suggests a bachelor’s and seven years of experience for best results.
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional: This certification shows clients you have at least two years of cybersecurity experience. A bachelor’s degree counts as one year. 

Check out more certifications that impress recruiters and hiring consultants.

Bachelor’s Degree

screenshot of usnews website

Whether management consultants work for themselves or for a consulting agency, clients still view a bachelor’s degree as a minimum to establish you have the expertise, skills, and most importantly patience to provide consultancy services. Not all schools are created equal, however. Check out the U.S. News and World Report’s top business schools. Consider fields like business administration, data analysis, finance, marketing, HR, or economics.

Master’s Degree

Most professionals in the business world have at least a bachelor’s degree so many business consultant types are expected to have a master’s degree or even a PhD to help some of the top-tier clients. You can also find the top MBAs on the U.S. News website.  

While college is expensive, there are ways to cut costs. For instance, if there is a top-ranked college in your state, you might qualify for in-state discounts. I was able to use the Texas A&M online system to get an education that is valued at over $62,000 for around $25,000 by condensing my coursework into a year and enrolling through one of the satellite schools. This only works if the university system in your state shares online resources.

Case Studies and Testimonials

In addition to experience and education, you’ll want to have proof that you have helped others succeed. This can be in the form of:

  • Case Studies
  • Google Reviews
  • Upwork Reviews
  • Client Videos
  • Invoices
  • Partnerships

The main point is to show people that you have helped others as a business consultant.

Now that you know how to become a small business consultant, it’s time to discuss how to start your own business consulting.

How to Start a Business Consultant Business

steps for consultant business

You’ll want to perform the following tasks if you want to join the ranks of consulting companies.

  1. Do market research. 
  2. Write a business plan.
  3. Set your pricing.
  4. Form your business.
  5. Build a website.
  6. Create a client proposal template.
  7. Market your business. 
  8. Help your clients succeed.
  9. Measure customer satisfaction

Let’s look at each of these to prepare you for how to be a business consultant.

Step #1. Perform Market Research

At this point you should be able to answer, “What is a business consultant?” and know which type of business consultant you might want to be. So, now you’ll want to research two types of companies to establish how a consultant works. You’ll want to understand:

  • Publicly Held Companies: Use IBIS World Reports or the NYU Margins by Sector table to establish the major players in your field and industry benchmarks. IBIS World Reports is easier to use, but is a pay service with 40 consulting business reports. You’ll  probably want their reports for collecting data for clients, so I’d recommend asking about their monthly or annual plans.
  • Local Management Consultants: Business consultants work with companies all over the world, but when your company is just getting started, you’ll find it easier to compete in the local environment. That means you’ll need to know who your company is competing against and what others offer in-house.

Make sure to keep track of what McKinsey is doing. They are the biggest business consulting firm in the world and their reports can guide you to new opportunities.

Step #2. Put Together a Company Business Plan

A business plan is just to help you keep your company on track with its goals. You can have a plan that is informal or use one of our business plan resources:

  • One-Page Business Plan: Keep it short and simple. Learn how to write a one-page business plan.
  • How to Write a Business Plan: Mike Andes explains how he approaches business plans, and we provide a template based on his method.
  • Business Plan Template: We provide a template and walk you through how to write a business plan based on how I approach them.

Check out our interview with Mike below:

Step #3. Set Your Pricing

Your company’s finances will be impacted by your pricing. Price yourself too low, and you might not make enough money to survive, get burnt out, and decide to go a different way. Set your pricing too high and you won’t book jobs. Use some of the following tactics to establish a good price point.

  1. Check the BLS for consultant wages in your area.
  2. Call management consultants and ask them for a quote.
  3. Compare pricing on job boards (multiply wages by two then divide by 1,000 hours to get billable rate) and freelance websites. 
  4. Determine deliverables, and then calculate the time and expenses to give a fixed-rate price.
  5. Charge a retainer. Many consultants will charge a retainer on a monthly basis. This works best with previous clients who understand the value of your skills.
  6. If you can negotiate commission based on the value of a positive change, this can be lucrative (but this is rare).

Step #4 Get Business Licensing 

stamping approval for business license

You’ll want to perform the following tasks before operating a consulting business.

  1. Become an LLC
  2. Get Business Licensing
  3. Get Business Insurance 

Some states may require you to pay taxes on services or an income tax. Check with your state business bureau or a tax consultant to understand what you’ll need on a tax reporting basis. 

Step #5. Build a Consulting Website

Most companies today will have a website. You’ll want to create one so prospective clients can:

  • Learn about your services
  • Learn how you developed your skills as a consultant
  • Schedule a consultation
  • Pay invoices
  • Provide reviews
  • Get easy access to tools you regularly suggest (Make sure to use affiliate links to drive extra revenue.)

Learn more about website building.

Step #6. Create a Proposal Template

floating a4 proposal template

You’ll want a template for proposals that documents:

  • Your Logo: Include your logo in the top left or in another prominent location.
  • Both Parties Involved: Include the business name, authorized party name, address, phone number, and email information for both parties.
  • Contract Length: Is the project for a few hours, fixed price, or an undetermined length of time?
  • Project Scope: What will management analysts review before you propose solutions?
  • Deliverables: What will you provide to the business? Companies might offer a document with suggestions, install software tools, and provide training documentation.
  • Exclusions: What will not be included in the project? It’s common to exclude the ongoing costs of SaaS software, unless you will be providing ongoing support and billing monthly.
  • Payment Terms: How and when will your clients pay your business. Company payment standards should have been determined in Step #3.
  • Place to Sign: Include a signature and date block for each party at the bottom.

Step #7. Market Your Consulting Business

screenshot of business cards article

In addition to a website, you should market that you’re a consultant. Some of the ways you can market your business include:

  • Business Cards: You’ll need them to hand clients. Find out where to get low-cost business cards.
  • Blogs: Write about important subjects in your field and optimize it for SEO. 
  • Social Media: Share useful information from your social media profile. Participate in business owner groups, too.
  • Networking Events: Sure, digital marketing is a great way of reaching customers, but we connect way more with people in real life. Get out there and meet other business owners.

Step #8. Help Your Clients Succeed

Once you’ve booked a client, do everything you can to help your client succeed. You want to prove you are the right business consultant for them. Help them evaluate new systems, help them solve problems or find new clients. You always want to focus on what their needs are.

If you focus on helping them, your business will grow. If you don’t know something or can’t figure it out, find someone who can help. Then, you’ve successfully helped two people and grown your professional network.

Step #9. Measure Customer Satisfaction

mobile phone with floating reviews

One of the keys to growth is showing how what you do helps others. There’s no better way to do that than to ask for feedback. Create a survey that you send with every invoice. Get feedback on what you did well and what you can improve. Don’t forget to include the Google Business Reviews link. 

If a project was something other customers would find interesting, turn it into a case study and use quotes from the customers. Check out this survey from Darby Consulting for inspiration.

Improve the World Through Business Consulting

At this point, you know:

  • What is a business management consultant
  • Types of business consultants and what they do
  • How to become a business consultant
  • How to start a business consultant company

The future is yours! Go forth and create a more efficient business. Your knowledge could change people’s lives.

What kind of consultants have you worked with before? Did you find them helpful? What tips can you share from your experiences?

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We’ve compiled a list of over 400 nail salon name ideas to help you find inspiration for your nail business name. In addition, we provide naming tips and information about how to register your nail salon business name once you’ve chosen one.

[su_note note_color="#dbeafc"] Click on any of the links below to jump straight to the nil salon name ideas you want to see.

What Makes Good Nail Salon Names?

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Good nail salon name ideas normally include some or all of the following:

  • Use a memorable name: The easier it is for potential customers to remember your nail salon name, the more people are likely to contact you.
  • Make it personal: Choose names that appeal to your client base and how their nails will make them feel.
  • Include keywords: Including words like nail, salon, studio, gel, boutique, and other words relating to your nail business can help with SEO and an immediate understanding of what your company does.

Keep reading for lots of nail business name ideas.

30 Nail Salon Names

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Consider some of these nail salon name ideas before you name your nail business.

1. Perfectly Polished
2. Artistic Touch Nail Salon
3. Glamourous Nails Studio
4. Whimsical Nail Wonderland
5. Elegant Tips & Toes
6. Beautifully Buffed Salon
7. Enchanting Nail Boutique
8. Chic & Unique Nails
9. Radiant Nail Reflections
10. Blissful Nail Haven
11. Divine Nail Creations
12. Serene Nail Sanctuary
13. Lavish Nail Oasis
14. Opulent Nail Emporium
15. Charm’s Nail Art

16. Majestic Tips
17. Exquisite Nail Salon
18. Gel Nails on the Square
19. Allure Nail Atelier
20. Flawless Nails Salon
21. Sassy & Classy Nails
22. Vivid Nail Dreams
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25. Royal Nails
26. Delicate Nail Delights
27. Dazzling Nails
28. Posh and Pampered
29. Enchanted Nails
30. Blissful Nails

Pro Tip: Using an adjective like perfect, artistic, glamour, whimsical, elegant, or beautiful along with nail, nails, or salon can be a great way to come up with good nail business name ideas.

30 Nail Salon Name Ideas

Closeup of rainbow and stars nail art manicure

There are plenty of other nail business name ideas. Consider some of these.

1. Polished & Poised
2. Gilded Tips & Toes
3. The Painted Palette
4. Mani Matchmaker
5. Blissful Digits
6. The Buff & Polish Bar
7. Bubbly & Beautified
8. The Polished Peacock
9. Glitter & Grace
10. Serene Sips & Tips
11. Brushstroke Brilliance
12. The Nailing Project
13. Bohemian Bliss Nails
14. Wink & a Mani
15. Classy Claws

16. The Tipsy Touches
17. The Quirky Cuticle
18. Polished to Perfection
19. Luxe & Lacquer
20. The Nail Foundry
21. The Pampered Paw
22. Fingertip Fantasy
23. The Art of Manis
24. The Royal Mani
25. Zen Polish
26. Vibrant Varnish
27. The Polished Posse
28. The Nailery
29. Nails, Chromified
30. Brushed with Brilliance

Pro Tip: Once you find nail business names you like, make sure they are available as web domains and trademarks.

Nail Salon Names And Logos

The best nail business name will also work well with a logo. Think about what the logo would look like for each of your potential nail salon names.

Your nail business name and logo will be used on everything from your website to invoices and will help potential customers remember your company. 

30 Good Nail Salon Names

You might want to choose a good nail salon name idea from the list below.

1. Rose Nail Lounge
2. Azure Nails & Spa
3. Willow Nail Studio
4. Sunbeam Nail Salon
5. Ocean Breeze Nail Retreat
6. Crimson Nail Boutique
7. Silk Nails & Beauty
8. Moonlit Nail Haven
9. Golden Nail Palace
10. The Nail Sanctuary
11. Pearl Nail Bar
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13. Midnight Nail Lounge
14. Serendipity Nails & More
15. Sapphire Nail Oasis

16. Emerald Nail Studio
17. Ruby Red Nails
18. Aura Nail Atelier
19. Lavender Nail Boutique
20. Crystal Nail Creations
21. Mystic Nail Spa
22. Coral Nail Paradise
23. Diamond Nail Haven
24. Enchanted Nail Escape
25. Charm Nail Studio
26. Secret Nail Hideaway
27. Orchid Nail Emporium
28. Ruby Nail Artistry
29. Siren Nail Sanctuary
30. Aurora Nail Boutique

22 Funny Nail Salon Names

Nail salons can sprinkle some humor into the name for their nail services. Consider some of these funny nail salon business name ideas.

1. Punny Nail Shack
2. Nail it or Bail it Salon
3. The Nailinator
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5. Nailed It!
6. The Fingernail Follies
7. Funny Fingers & Twinkle Toes
8. The Nail Nerd
9. Tipsy Tips Nail Bar
10. Claws for Celebration
11. The Mani-Mirth Manor

12. The Polish Parody
13. Snip ’n’ Snark Nail Salon
14. Whiskers Nail Den
15. Hilarious Hands
16. Nails & Nonsense
17. Cuticles Nail Club
18. Chuckle Nail Chalet
19. Tickled Pink Nail Bar
20. Puns & Polish Parlor
21. The Cuticle Cabaret
22. Sweet Feet Nail Boutique

Pro Tip: Nail business name ideas can incorporate some humor by using puns or alliteration. Figuring out what works for you and your clients’ senses of humor can make picking a name an even more exciting venture.

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When your nail business is a pressing matter, you might consider a company name from this salon name ideas list.

1. Press-On Perfection Boutique
2. Instant Glamour Press-Ons
3. The Quick Fix
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12. Peel & Play Press-Ons
13. Nail It Easy
14. Instant Chic Press-On
15. Peel, Press & Wow

16. Ready in a Snap
17. The Quick Press-On Studio
18. Click & Chic Nail Boutique
19. My Pop-On Polish
20. Insta-Glam Nailz
21. Simply Press-Ons
22. Click & Go
23. Snap-On Nail Shack
24. Click & Charm
25. Ready, Set, Glam!
26. Press-On Perfection
27. Click & Carry
28. Quick Glam Nail Quarters
29. Snap & Show Nail Retreat
30. Insta-Chic Nail Club

Pro Tip: Including keywords related to press-ons in your nail names is a great way to let people know that your nail artists focus on providing quick service.

30 Nail Art Salon Names

Nail salon client picking out a manicure color

Nail art is one of the most complex types of nail services in the competitive beauty industry. Consider some of these unique nail salon names to let people know you specialize in artistic nails.

1. Artistic Touch Nail Gallery
2. Creative Canvas Nail Studio
3. Masterpiece Manicures Salon
4. Vibrant Nail Atelier
5. Brush & Blush Nail Artistry
6. Palette & Polish Haven
7. Artistic Aura Nail Emporium
8. Canvas & Color Nail Lounge
9. Chromatic Creations Nail Spa
10. Brushstroke Nails Sanctuary
11. Artisanal Nails & More
12. Dreamy Nail Oasis
13. Eclectic Elegance Nail Gallery
14. Muse & Manicure Nail Chalet
15. Abstract Nail Retreat

16. Bohemian Nail Boutique
17. Kaleidoscope Nails & Spa
18. Serene Nail Emporium
19. Fusion of Colors Nail Atelier
20. Artistry Avenue Nail Sanctuary
21. Chromatic Canvas Nail Lounge
22. Vivid Visions Nail Gallery
23. Dreamy Designs Nail Spa
24. Enchanted Easels Studio
25. Palette Nail Haven
26. Rainbows Nail Chalet
27. Whirls Nail Boutique
28. Imagi-NAILS Oasis
29. Brush & Bling Nail Emporium
30. Abstract Nail Atelier

Pro Tip: Nail businesses specializing in nail art should use a unique nail business name that includes words relating to art like artistic, brush, canvas, or whatever style of art you specialize in.

30 French Nail Salon Names

French nails provide an elegant look, and you should have an equally unique nail salon name, especially if you specialize in French tips. Consider some of these nail company names for your French nail services.

1. Chic Clous Nail Salon
2. Elegance en Blanc Nail Parlor
3. Parfait Poli Nail Lounge
4. Ooh La La Nails & Spa
5. Belle Beauté Nail Boutique
6. L'Art de L'ongle Nail Studio
7. Blanc Brillant Nail Atelier
8. French Finesse Nail Haven
9. Rêverie de Roses Nail Retreat
10. Charme Château Nail Chalet
11. Magnifique Manicures Salon
12. Lueur de Luxe Nail Emporium
13. Parisian Perfection Nail Sanctuary
14. Beauteous Blanc Nail Gallery
15. Douceur de Diamant Nail Spa

16. Élégance Éternelle Nail Lounge
17. La Beauté Blanche Nail Boutique
18. L'Éclat d'Argent Nail Oasis
19. Doux Douleur Nail Atelier
20. La Fleur Fleurie Nail Pavilion
21. Charmant Ciel Nail Hideaway
22. Belle et Bien Nail Studio
23. Delicate Digits Nail Salon
24. Joie de Vivre Nail Emporium
25. La Lune Lumineuse Nail Boutique
26. Finesse Française Nail Retreat
27. L'Amour en Blanc Nail Chalet
28. Lumière de Lune Nail Lounge
29. La Vie en Rose Nail Spa
30. Doux Désir Nail Atelier

Pro Tip: Everything sounds just a little sexier when you use the French language. Consider beautiful French words to give your nail salon name some mystique.

26 Classy Nail Salon Names

Closeup shot of a glittery blue and pink-with-blue-flowers nail art manicure

Nail business names can reflect class to help present a high-end reputation. Consider some of these classy nail business names.

1. Classique Couture Nail Salon
2. Opulent Obsessions Nail Atelier
3. Sophistique Salon & Spa
4. Eclat Elite Nail Lounge
5. Regal Reflections Nail Boutique
6. Luxe Legacy Nail Studio
7. Prestige & Polish Nail Parlor
8. Grandeur Nail Emporium
9. Decadence Nail Retreat
10. Noble Nails & Spa
11. Haute Heritage Nail Chalet
12. Majestic Manicures Salon
13. Refined Radiance Nail Haven

14. Timeless Temptations Nail Oasis
15. Exquisite Elegance Nail Gallery
16. The Nail Pavilion
17. Elegant Edge Nail Boutique
18. Polished Panache Nail Studio
19. Sovereign Styles Nail Atelier
20. Elite Nail Lounge
21. Regency Refinement Nails
22. Magnificent Manicures & More
23. Royal Ritz Nail Retreat
24. Grandiose Nail Emporium
25. Prestige & Panache Nail Studio
26. Elegant Nails

Pro Tip: Once you have the perfect cute nail salon name, consider how you will make the atmosphere a match.

30 Catchy Nail Salon Names

Unique nail salon names should stand out from the pack. Consider some of these catchy nail salon business names.

1. Glam Pop Nail Studio
2. Sparkle & Shine Nail Bar
3. Chic Flicks Nails
4. Trendy Tips & Toes
5. Sizzle & Spark Nail Lounge
6. Lush Luxe Nails
7. Bliss & Bling Nail Haven
8. Dazzle Drive Nail Emporium
9. Radiant Nail Retreat
10. Urban Edge Nail Boutique
11. Vivid Vibes Nail Palace
12. Funky Fingers & Toes
13. Groove & Glam Nail Club
14. Pizzazz & Polish Nail Spot
15. Mod Manicures & More

16. Pop & Polish
17. Hip Hop & Nails
18. Glitz & Groove Nail Junction
19. Flash Nail Studio
20. Fab Fusion Nail Oasis
21. Snazzy Nail Salon
22. Bold & Beautiful Nails
23. Verve & Vogue Nail Plaza
24. Funky Nail Chalet
25. Bounce & Bling Nail Salon
26. Snazzy Nail Lounge
27. Finesse Nail Retreat
28. Chic Clicks Nail Boutique
29. Groove & Glisten Nail Emporium
30. Trendy Tints & Tips

Pro Tip: The best nail salon names are colorful and catchy. Think about your brand identity and brand values when considering nail name ideas. Then use fun adjectives to make the name unique and memorable.

30 Cool Nail Salon Names

Owner-operator sitting at a gel manicure station and pointing to a sign that reads "Nail Palette" hovering behind her

1. Frostbite Nails
2. Rebel Polish
3. Ice Cold Tips
4. Razor’s Edge Mani
5. Urban Matrix Nails
6. Neon Pulse Nails
7. Chrome Crush Nails
8. Arctic Aura Manicures
9. Stiletto Nails
10. Electric Elegance Nails
11. Midnight Mirage Manicures
12. Thunderbolt Tips
13. Cosmic Nail Creations
14. Tropical Wave Nails
15. Nova Nail Studio

16. Quantum Quirk Nails
17. Blaze & Ice Nails
18. Cyber Chic Nails
19. Aurora Borealis Nails
20. Nail Palette
21. Eclipse Elegance Nails
22. Celestial Sleek Nails
23. Zenith Nail Pro
24. Stellar Shimmer Mani
25. Ignite & Inspire Nails
26. Enigma Nails
27. Supernova Nails
28. Matrix Manicures
29. Pulse Perfection Nails
30. Sleek Nail Story

26 Creative Nail Salon Names

1. Chromatic Nail Odyssey
2. Kaleidoscope Nail Nirvana
3. Celestial Mani Universe
4. These Whimsical Nails
5. Voyage Nail Escapade
6. Friends, Family, Nails
7. Euphoria Nail Soiree
8. Illusionist's Nailscape
9. Artisanal Nail Fantasia
10. Surreal Salon Odyssey
11. Mirage Manicures & More
12. Ethereal Nail Adventure
13. Fantasia Fingers & Toes

14. Symphony of Style Nail Soiree
15. Divine Digits
16. Enchanted Nail Extravaganza
17. Reverie Nail Soiree
18. Mirage Magic Mani
19. Surreal Nail Nirvana
20. Artful Nail Voyage
21. Dreamy Delight Mani Adventure
22. Radiant Reverie Nail Oasis
23. Whimsy & Wonder Nail Gala
24. Celestial Canvas Nail Odyssey
25. Ethereal Essence Manicures & More
26. Surreal Nail Serenade

30 Professional Nail Salon Names

Manicurist smiling at the camera while completing a basic manicure

1. Elite Nail Creations Co.
2. Premier Nail Innovations Company
3. ProNails Solutions Inc.
4. Eminent Nail Artistry Co.
5. Signature Nail Designs Company
6. Apex Nail Studio
7. Prime Polish Pro Co.
8. Paramount Nail Solutions Company
9. Apex Artisan Nails Co.
10. Vanguard Nail Crafters Company
11. Executive Edge Nail Designs Co.
12. Noble Nail Studios Inc.
13. Precision Nail Art Co.
14. Sovereign Nail Coatings Company
15. Regal Nail Aesthetics Co.

16. Superior Nail Art Company
17. Pinnacle Nail Artistry Co.
18. Empyrean Nail Creations Company
19. Distinctive Nail Innovations Co.
20. Supreme Nail Solutions Company
21. Eminent Nail Atelier Co.
22. Vanguard Nail Artisans Company
23. Prominent Nail Crafters Co.
24. Illustrious Nail Designs Company
25. Noble Nails Co.
26. Paramount Nail Artistry Company
27. Sterling Nail Solutions Co.
28. Royal Nail Studios Inc.
29. Top Tier Nail Designs Co.
30. Premiere Nail Artisans Company

32 Personal Nail Salon Names

If you never intend for your nail business to expand beyond yourself, your name might be the best nail salon name. Alternatively, you could name your salon after a loved one or person who’s inspired you. Consider some of these examples:

1. Bella’s Lavish Nails
2. Lily’s Beauty & Nail Boutique
3. Olivia’s Elegant Nail Lounge
4. Emily’s Opulent Nail Oasis
5. Ava’s Sophisticated Nail Salon
6. Sophia's Artistic Mani
7. Amelia's Magnificent Manicures
8. Mia’s Artisanal Pedi
9. Artistic Nail Salon by Gloria
10. Evelyn's Haute Nail Haven
11. Harper’s Exquisite Nail Designs
12. Chloe’s Stylish Nail Studio
13. Scarlett's Chic Nail Creations
14. Grace's Nail Stop
15. Nora's Nail Retreat
16. Riley’s Noble Nails

17. Cherry’s Nail Zenith
18. Zoe's Lush Nail Lacquer
19. Aurora’s Nail Spa
20. Kaylee’s Luxe Nail Lounge
21. Hanna’s Lavish Nail Locale
22. Bonnie’s Nail Garden
23. Violet's Polished Toes Nook
24. Pen’s Vivid Nail Varnish
25. Hazel’s Nail Design Emporium
26. Eleanor’s Nail Hideaway
27. Luna's Luminous Nail Nook
28. Brooke’s Stylista Nail Salon
29. Savanna’s Blissful Nail Boutique
30. Carly’s Nail Palace
31. The Nail Pallete by Muriel
32. Bobby’s Manicure Addicts

Pro Tip: Nail shop names with your first or last name in them might create an expectation that you’ll be working with all the clients. If you intend to sublet to other nail technicians, you might not want to use your own name.

30 Location-Based Nail Salon Names

Good names for nail salons can be as simple as providing a location indicator. Just be careful when choosing a name for nail business operations. If you get too specific you might have to change the name if your shop front moves to another location.

1. Central Park Nails
2. Sunset Strip Salon
3. Broadway Beauty Co.
4. Golden Gate Glamour
5. Beverly Hills Nails
6. Magnificent Mile Manicures
7. Hollywood Hills Nail Studio
8. Times Square Tips
9. Rodeo Drive Nails
10. Mile High Mani-Pedi
11. Miami Beach Manicures
12. Vegas Strip Salon
13. SoHo Chic Nails
14. Napa Valley Nail Retreat
15. Santa Monica Shoreline Salon

16. Sunset Boulevard Nails
17. Alamo City Artistry
18. Windy City Nails
19. Bourbon Street Beauty Co.
20. Silicon Valley Salon
21. Riverwalk Nail Studio
22. Music City Manicures
23. Emerald City Elegance
24. Rocky Mountain Retreat
25. Key West Kanvas
26. Palm Beach Polish Co.
27. Ocean Drive Oasis
28. Liberty Bell Nails
29. Painted Lady on the Promenade
30. Hollywood Boulevard Beauty

Pro Tip: Including the city, county, or references to local landmarks can be a good way to indicate your new nail salon is a local business. Make sure to check keyword volumes to see what people are searching for before choosing the best local indicator.

How to Register Your Nail Salon

UpFlip’s Start Your Business blog on a laptop

After you have found some unique nail business names, you’ll need to:

  1. Perform a Name Check: Check for available domain names, trademarks, and social media accounts.
  2. Get an LLC: You’ll want to register your creative name as an LLC.
  3. Get Your Business License: Your business will need a license to operate legally.

Learn more about starting a business.

Next Steps After Naming Your Nail Salon

There’s still a ton to do after brainstorming and choosing from your favorite nail names. You’ll want to make sure you’re licensed and insured, find a great location, and start marketing to your target audience.

What kind of nail name ideas do you like?

Unique business ideas across sectors and industries are waiting to be discovered. These businesses might cater to niche markets, invent and sell new products, or offer a traditional service in a new way.

Finding the right unique business idea can be a balancing act. You want to be different enough to stand out from the crowd, but not so different that there’s no market for your product or service. We’ll discuss the unique small business ideas that hit that sweet spot.

[su_note note_color="#dbeafc"] Click on any of the links below to jump straight to the section you want to learn more about, or just continue reading.

Top 21 Unique Business Ideas 2024

  1. Dog walking business
  2. Fingerprinting business
  3. Personal chef
  4. Remote cleaning business
  5. Ewaste collection and recycling
  6. Window cleaning business
  7. Flower shop
  8. Mobile veterinary services
  9. Specialty food store
  10. Virtual interior designer
  11. Online bakery
  12. Voiceover business
  13. Transcription business
  14. Pet sitting services
  15. AI book business
  16. Axe throwing business
  17. Sensory deprivation tank business
  18. Cat cafe
  19. Drone photography
  20. Furniture restoration business
  21. Custom treehouse business

You’ll find more information on each of these small business ideas, along with more unusual business ideas, in the article below.

Unique Service Business Ideas

Smartly dressed young woman using a tablet to search for unique service business ideas

1. Dog Walking

Average Annual Revenue: $34K+
Average Profit Margins: 16%
• Startup Costs: $500-$5K
• Time to Revenue: 3+ months
• Annual Market Growth Rate: 1.7%
• Best For:
Animal lovers and experts, pet owners, people who like working outdoors

High demand puts a dog walking business among the best small business ideas for animal lovers to start in 2024. As of 2023, 65.1 million households in the U.S. own at least one dog, and many of those need help taking care of them. That’s a lot of potential customers for your new business venture.

Another plus of dog walking is the potentially low startup costs compared to other businesses. You can set up a profile on a site like Rover and start providing services locally right away with a very small budget.

2. Fingerprinting

Average Annual Revenue: $132K+
Average Profit Margins: 9.1%
Startup Costs: $500-$250K
Time to Revenue: 6-18 months
Annual Market Growth Rate: -0.6%
Best For: People with high professionalism, a commitment to security, and strong organization skills and attention to detail

Fingerprinting is another unique business idea with a potentially low initial investment.

These services have a broader customer base than many people realize, from criminal investigations to employment background checks and security clearances. If you’re able to attract customers and are skilled at providing customer service, fingerprinting can be a very lucrative business.

Dan Jurkowitsch is an expert in this unique niche market. He teaches people how to use this business model to start successful businesses. Hear his advice in this podcast interview:

3. Personal Chef Services

Average Annual Revenue: $129K
Average Profit Margins: 51.7%
Startup Costs: $500-$5K
Time to Revenue: 1-6 months
Annual Market Growth Rate: 0.9%
Best For: Culinary experts like chefs, cooks, and bakers with strong customer service skills

Being a personal chef is a great business idea for chefs who want to avoid the stress and high startup costs of food trucks and restaurants.

Since you work one-on-one with customers, it’s much less hectic and demanding, and you won’t need a brick-and-mortar space.

Connecting with your target audience is often the trickiest part of starting a personal chef business. Having an online presence for your business, including a website and a strong social media following, can be the best way to grow small businesses in this niche.

You can even expand this online presence into another revenue stream by offering online courses in cooking techniques or connecting your chef services to an online store selling ingredients or cooking supplies.

Unique Cleaning Business Ideas

Cleaning business owner in a plaid button down holding a sponge up in one hand and a bucket of cleaning supplies in the other

4. Remote Cleaning

Average Annual Revenue: $74K+
Average Profit Margins: 6.7%
Startup Costs: $500-$30K
Time to Revenue: 1-6 months
Annual Market Growth Rate: 1.2%
Best For:
System-driven and organized entrepreneurs who are tech-savvy with strong digital marketing skills

Offering cleaning services may not be a unique business idea on its own, but it is when you run that company completely remotely. You can set up an online booking system, hire remote team members, and run a cleaning business without ever setting foot in a customer’s home.

Neel Parekh launched his cleaning company, MaidThis, in 2013. Today, it brings in an average revenue of $166,000 per month using a 100% remote business model. Learn how Neel started and grew this unique business idea in the interview below:

5. E-Waste Collection and Recycling

Average Annual Revenue: $5.7M+
Average Profit Margins: 2.9%
Startup Costs: $100K-$3.5M
Time to Revenue: 6-18 months
Annual Market Growth Rate: 1.9%
Best For:
People who like physical work, entrepreneurs passionate about sustainability and the environment

Electronic waste, also known as e-waste, has been a growing problem over the past decade. Roughly 6.9 million tons are generated in the United States alone each year, of which only about 17% is properly recycled. Part of the problem is that many people don’t know how to properly dispose of electronics or lack services in their area to do so.

This makes an e-waste recycling service both a unique business idea with potentially high demand and a much-needed service to safeguard our natural resources.

This is another unique small business idea that could be done remotely. Kyle Landwehr started a junk removal business and has turned those systems into six-figure remote trash hauling businesses through the Junk Academy. Find out more in this podcast interview:

6. Window Cleaning

Average Annual Revenue: $64K
Average Profit Margins: 8.8%
Startup Costs: $200-$5K
Time to Revenue: 3+ months
Annual Market Growth Rate: 0.9%
Best For:
Detail-oriented and hands-on entrepreneurs who excel at customer service

One way to stand out with a cleaning services business is to focus on a niche. Window cleaning can be an extremely profitable option because it’s a relatively untapped niche with a potentially wide customer base.

Both residential and commercial customers have a need for window cleaning services. This is also something many people can’t do themselves, particularly for multi-story buildings.

On The Spot Window Cleaning has grown to a $45,000-a-month business since its founding in 1998. Learn how owner Jeremiah Hickey started and grew this small business idea in his podcast interview:

Unique Business Ideas for Small Towns

Flower shop owner holding a bouquet next to a sign that reads "Flower shop"

7. Flower Shop

Average Annual Revenue: $262K+
Average Profit Margins: 5.4%
Startup Costs: $100,000-$3.5M
Time to Revenue: 6-18 months
Annual Market Growth Rate: 2.8%
Best For: Gardeners, florists, and other plant care professionals, creative entrepreneurs with a green thumb

A flower shop is among the best small-town business ideas. People everywhere love getting beautiful, sweet-smelling flower arrangements as a gift, but smaller towns often don’t have local businesses that provide the service.

Small business owners in the floral niche also have several options to add revenue streams. For example, you could sell herbs, potted plants, seeds, bulbs, and gardening supplies. You can also expand your customer base by selling edible flowers to local restaurants or partnering with other small businesses in the gift niche.

It doesn’t take much experience or business savvy to start a flower business. Dylan Capshaw started a flower business online when he was only 16. He’s since expanded it into a unique business, Stemistry, that combines a flower shop with a cafe. Hear his story in this podcast interview:

8. Mobile Veterinary Services

Average Annual Revenue: $72K
Average Profit Margins: 11.5%
Startup Costs: $1K-$100K
Time to Revenue: 6-18 months
Annual Market Growth Rate: 1.1%
Best For: Veterinarians, dog breeders and trainers, and other animal care experts

Being a veterinarian isn’t necessarily a unique business in its own right, but it is once you put it on wheels!

This is an innovative business idea for a small town or rural area. Pet owners in lower-population areas often have to travel a long distance to access vet care. Mobile services go to them, making transactions more lucrative because you’re giving customers much-needed convenience.

Granted, this unique business idea isn’t for everyone. You’ll need extensive training in animal healthcare. For those who already have this training, though, a mobile business model can be a great way to start a successful business venture.

9. Specialty Food Store

Average Annual Revenue: $9.3M+
Average Profit Margins: 1.8%
Startup Costs: $100K-$3.5M
Time to Revenue: 6-18 months
Annual Market Growth Rate: 0.8%
Best For:
Foodies, cooks, and food service professionals with strong organization and inventory management skills

People who live in small towns still enjoy unique food, but it can be hard to come by outside of large cities. This is why a specialty food store is an excellent small business idea for small-town entrepreneurs.

Successful business owners in the specialty food niche need to be responsive to customer demands. The key is to find out what items are missing from your local markets and fill that gap.

Communicating with locals, both in person and through social media, is a great way to predict which specialty foods will fly off the shelf in your town.

Unique Online Business Ideas

Woman using a smart phone while sitting at a desk with a laptop, boxes ready for shipping, stacks of cash, and a miniature shopping cart

10. Virtual Interior Design

Average Annual Revenue: $168K+
Average Profit Margins: 10.6%
Startup Costs: $1K-$100K
Time to Revenue: 1-3 months
Annual Market Growth Rate: 1.2%
Best For: Designers, artists, and creative entrepreneurs, real estate industry and home staging professionals

The expansion of virtual tools has created lots of opportunities for unusual business ideas, one being virtual interior design. Designers in this niche use virtual design software to make furnishing and decoration recommendations completely remotely.

Having a website and a strong social media presence is crucial for success as a virtual designer. You can demonstrate your authority and aesthetic with an online portfolio, virtual design workshops, or online courses that teach interior design basics.

11. Online Bakery Business

Average Annual Revenue: $1.52M
Average Profit Margins: 5.4%
Startup Costs: $100-$3M
Time to Revenue: 1-6 months
Annual Market Growth Rate: 1.1%
Best For: Cooks, bakers, and food experts who are system-driven, organized, and tech-literate

Similar to a cupcake food truck business or bakery catering service, an online bakery business can be a great way to profit from your baking skills without the expense of a brick-and-mortar space.

Instead of buying products at a bakery, customers order their baked goods through an online interface and then get products delivered, either through the mail or local delivery.

Along with lower expenses, this mode allows the business owner to work at their own pace. It’s also easier to control inventory when you’re preparing baked goods to order rather than trying to anticipate the demands of hungry customers.

12. Voiceover Business

Average Annual Revenue: $73K+
Average Profit Margins: 3.7%
Startup Costs: $100-$500
Time to Revenue: 1-3 months
Annual Market Growth Rate: 9.12%
Best For: Actors, singers, and performers who are patient, detail-focused, and excel at time management

If you’ve ever been told that you have a great voice for radio, then a voiceover business should be on your list of top small business ideas.

Voiceover artists take on a range of assignments, from voicing characters in cartoons and video games to reading audiobooks or content for apps like GPS systems. The main skills you’ll need are a clear speaking voice and the ability to read from a script.

The easiest way to start an online business in voice acting is to sign up for a freelance platform focused on the craft. Snap Recordings, Filmless, and Voice123 are among the most popular sites for building a career in this industry.

Unique Business Ideas for Students

TranscribeMe! homepage on a laptop

13. Transcription Business

Average Annual Revenue: $25K+
Average Profit Margins: 9%
Startup Costs: $0-$5K
Time to Revenue: 1-3 months
Annual Market Growth Rate: 1.9%
Best For: Good listeners with fast typing skills

Students need a business with low startup costs—and it doesn’t get any lower than 0. While some new transcription business owners pay for advertising to attract customers, you can start for free by taking jobs through sites like TranscribeMe or Rev.

If you can type at a speed of at least 60 words per minute, transcription can be a good business idea. You can also find free and low-cost software to make the job easier. Typically, transcriptionists work at their own pace, so this is also an easy business to schedule around your classes and other activities.

14. Pet Sitting Services

Average Annual Revenue: $34K+
Average Profit Margins: 16%
Startup Costs: $500-$5K
Time to Revenue: 3+ months
Annual Market Growth Rate: 1.7%
Best For: Animal lovers, pet owners, people who are patient, organized, and great communicators

Many students need to fit their small business ideas around studying and homework time. This is what can make pet sitting a perfect fit. While you’ll need to feed and care for the animals, a lot of your work is just keeping an eye on them—basically, you can get paid for hanging out with cats and dogs.

Building your client base can be the tricky part of getting started in this niche business. Many small business owners in the pet sitting niche build a client list through websites like Rover, Wag!, and PetSitter. You can also connect with clients through social media sites like Nextdoor.

15. AI Book Business

Average Annual Revenue: Unknown
Average Profit Margins: 23.3%
Startup Costs: $500-$5K
Time to Revenue: 1-3 months
Annual Market Growth Rate: 7.80%
Best For: Strong editors with knowledge of generative AI and digital marketing skills

Generative artificial intelligence (AI) has opened up a host of new business ideas. Using AI to generate books is one way to leverage this new technology into a lucrative business opportunity.

The key to success with an AI book business is knowing how to identify your target audience and market to them effectively. That’s how Joe Popelas made over $1M in his first year selling AI-generated books. Hear his story and advice in this podcast interview:

Unique Brick-and-Mortar Shop Ideas

Mature cat cafe cat wearing a scarf and sitting on a bookshelf next to a sign that reads "Cat Cafe"

16. Axe Throwing Business

Average Annual Revenue: $454K
Average Profit Margins: 9.91%
Startup Costs: $100K-$3.5M
Time to Revenue: 6-18 months
Annual Market Growth Rate: 1.9%
Best For:
Outgoing and fun-loving entrepreneurs with strong system-building and marketing skills

If you want to provide your area with a unique entertainment option, starting an axe-throwing establishment can be both a very fun and an extremely profitable business opportunity. Originating in Canada, this is a relatively new industry that’s skyrocketed in popularity over the past decade.

Along with charging customers for axe-throwing sessions, you can expand your revenue streams by hosting tournaments, selling memberships, or having an on-site shop that sells refreshments and merchandise.

17. Sensory Deprivation Tank Business

Average Annual Revenue: $1.1M+
Average Profit Margins: 12.07%
Startup Costs: $100K-$3.5M
Time to Revenue: 6-18 months
Annual Market Growth Rate: 1.1%
Best For:
Wellness-oriented entrepreneurs with strong customer service and marketing skills

First developed in the 1950s, sensory deprivation tanks (also known as flotation tanks or isolation tanks) have seen substantial growth in popularity in recent years. They can help people unplug from the distractions of modern life, so it’s no surprise that so many of them have popped up across the United States since 2020.

Ryan Duey’s transformative experience in a float tank led him to open his own flotation therapy spa, Capitol Floats. He’s since built on that business by making and selling his own cold plunge tanks and sensory deprivation tanks. Hear how he built his business in this podcast interview:

18. Cat Cafe

Average Annual Revenue: $865K+
Average Profit Margins: 5.8%
Startup Cost: $1K-$100K
Time to Revenue: 3+ months
Annual Market Growth Rate: 1.2%
Best For: Animal lovers, baristas and food service professionals

Some of the top unique businesses are twists on old classics. Cat cafes are one example of this, putting a new spin on the classic coffee shop.

Connecting with other businesses is a critical first step to opening a cat cafe. Primarily, you’ll need an animal partner that can provide well-socialized cats for guests to interact with (and adopt, if they fall in love with a floof during their visit).

Cat cafes can set up multiple revenue streams to increase their odds of success. This can include selling merchandise and pet-friendly snacks in addition to the typical cafe offerings. They can also charge an entrance fee for the cat space.

Unique Business Ideas From Home

Woodworker staining a stool in his workshop

19. Drone Photography and Videography

Average Annual Revenue: $50K
Average Profit Margins: 7.3%
Startup Costs: $1K-$10K
Time to Revenue: 1-6 months
Annual Market Growth Rate: 0.3%
Best For: Photographers and visual artists, tech-literate and creative entrepreneurs

Drone photography is a relatively new industry, and that’s part of what makes it a good small business idea. While the market for photography services can be crowded, most photographers can’t take overhead shots. Offering that unique service can help a new small business owner stand out in their local market.

This niche business in the photography industry is often in high demand as a B2B business. For instance, real estate industry professionals use drone photography to sell their properties, while advertising professionals use it in commercials and other marketing materials.

Mile High Productions built a strong customer base of real estate agents, earning an average revenue of $35,000 a month. Learn how it grew in this YouTube interview:

20. Furniture Restoration and Flipping

Average Annual Revenue: $111K+
Average Profit Margins: 1.9%
Startup Costs: $100K-$3.5M
Time to Revenue: 6-18 months
Annual Market Growth Rate: 6.55%
Best For: Woodworkers, interior designers, creative entrepreneurs who like working with their hands

Furniture restoration is among the best home business ideas for makers, tinkerers, and other hands-on entrepreneurs. It lets you make a living from breathing new life into old things, which makes it sustainable and eco-friendly, as well.

The best business plan for a furniture restoration business often includes multiple services. You can restore pieces for clients or buy, fix up, and flip old furniture you find at thrift stores, flea markets, and antique stores.

Jennifer Beck started in furniture retail sales, then built on her passion for restoration into her own business with Saved By Design. Learn how she got started in this podcast interview:

21. Custom Treehouse Business

Average Annual Revenue: $696K+
Average Profit Margins: 3.4%
Startup Costs: $1K-$100K
Time to Revenue: 1-6 months
Annual Market Growth Rate: -1.3%
Best For: Carpenters, designers, and construction professionals with strong customer service and communication skills

Treehouses aren’t just for kids anymore. From unique Airbnbs to fun home offices and entertainment spaces, there are a variety of reasons people add custom treehouses to their properties.

You don’t have to only build treehouses, either. Often, business owners in this niche market build other backyard spaces for customers, like decks and sheds.

Anthony and Jamie Taylor-Weber and started their innovative business, Outdoor Office, from their home garage. Now, it brings in a revenue of $1.2M a year. See how they did it in this YouTube interview:

Unique Business Development Ideas

Having a unique business concept doesn’t need to mean you’re inventing a completely new thing from scratch. Here are some tips on ways to turn any concept into a unique business idea.

Take Your Business on the Road

Convenience is king in the modern world. Taking your product or service straight to customers can give you a definite leg up on your competition.

Mobile vet services are one example of this, and you can apply the concept to just about any niche. From food trucks to mobile clothing boutiques or hair salons, there’s a way to take just about any type of business on the road.

This approach has benefits for business owners as well as customers. It often costs less to start, for one thing, and has lower overhead expenses compared to brick-and-mortar shops. It also makes any type of business super-scalable—just buy another truck for the fleet, and you’ve effectively doubled your capacity.

Combine Compatible Ideas in New Ways

One of the businesses referenced above is Stemistry, a combination flower shop and coffee shop. By bringing these concepts together, Dylan Capshaw expanded his revenue streams and target audience.

A cat cafe is another example of this. People love cafes, and they love playing with pets—so why not put the two together into one place?

You can take the same approach with other business ideas. This can be a way to put a new spin on a familiar concept, or it can add profitability to a new idea that may take a while to gain traction otherwise.

Share Independent Research and Education Resources

You might think that teaching other people about your industry is counterproductive for growing business revenue. After all, if your customers know how to do things themselves, why would they pay you?

But think about it: most people know how to clean a home, but cleaning businesses are still very profitable.

Providing educational resources, like online courses, white papers, infographics, or how-to videos, establishes your authority in your industry. You can also use these as an additional revenue stream or as marketing materials to attract new customers.

Finding the Right Unique Small Business Idea

This list of unusual business ideas certainly isn’t comprehensive. There are unique business ideas not yet implemented in every industry. Now it’s time for you to go out and find the right one for you.

What is your favorite unique business idea? Let us know in the comments!

The restaurant industry is highly competitive. Restaurant marketing is no different—you’re competing against restaurants in your niche and in every niche.

There are so many ways to promote your restaurant that you need a well-laid marketing plan. We’ll explain the goal of restaurant marketing and provide restaurant marketing tips, sample marketing plans and budgets, and software recommendations.

[su_note note_color="#dbeafc"] We’ll cover the following topics:

Click on any of the links above to learn more about how to promote a restaurant, or just continue reading.

What is restaurant marketing?

Restaurant marketing focuses on identifying the ideal clients for a restaurant, getting them to try your restaurant, collecting data, and creating loyalty. It can increase your restaurant's brand reputation, revenue, and profits.

How to market a restaurant

Restaurant owner surrounded by marketing icons using a tablet in an empty dining room

The four Ps of marketing are product, price, place, and promotion. So essentially, marketing should have a role in nearly every decision you make as you start a restaurant.

To effectively market your restaurant, follow the following steps:

  1. Dream up your restaurant.
  2. Choose a restaurant marketing strategy.
  3. Create a marketing plan.
  4. Prepare a marketing budget.
  5. Market your restaurant.

Let’s look at each of these steps to understand how to market a business in the restaurant industry.

Step #1. Dream up your restaurant

Before your restaurant is even open, you’ll need to make decisions that affect your restaurant marketing, like:

  • The type of food you’ll serve
  • How much you’ll charge for food
  • The location of your restaurant
  • Your menu design
  • Whether you’ll provide dine-in, carry-out, drive-thru, delivery, or other methods

These decisions will impact everything you do. It’s essential to think about them before you start spending money.

Once you’ve thought about the big picture, you need to narrow it down to the restaurant marketing strategies you want to use.

Step #2. Create a restaurant marketing strategy

You can choose a combination of traditional and digital marketing strategies. Some restaurant marketing strategies include:

1. Style of restaurant
2. Brand
3. Location
4. Pricing
5. Menu design
6. Visually appealing dishes
7. Online food delivery system
8. Online booking platforms
9. Customer loyalty programs

10. Coupon-based discounts
11. Promotions
12. Paid advertising
13. Print/free-standing inserts
14. Events (like soft openings and a grand opening)
15. Search engine optimization (SEO)
16. Local SEO
17. Influencer marketing
18. Social media marketing

Let’s look at how each of these restaurant marketing ideas helps you market your business.

#1. Style of restaurant

This decision is more of a business decision than a restaurant marketing strategy, but you’ll need to decide it before you do anything else. This will help you do competitor research and target market research.

Of course, if you have a themed restaurant (like Noah’s Ark, a former St. Louis-area restaurant shaped like a massive wooden boat), your style of restaurant will be closely related to your marketing.

#2. Brand

Restaurant owner brainstorming brand ideas at his laptop

It’s essential to establish your brand. A restaurant brand includes:

  • Restaurant values and mission: Your values and mission statement should explain how and why you do what you do.
  • Restaurant name: Your restaurant's name will be on countless marketing materials, including its logo, website, and social media accounts. It will appear on ordering apps as well.
  • Restaurant logo: The visual representation of your restaurant will be used just as much—if not more. If your logo becomes iconic—think the McDonald’s Golden Arches—you won’t even need the name for people to know what company it is.
  • Color palette: The colors you use help create a brand image. Think of some of your favorite restaurants. What colors do they use? The colors can be used for everything from uniforms to marketing materials and even the restaurant’s interior. Dig into color theory here.
  • Font: Different fonts are interpreted in different ways. Learn more about font psychology here.
  • Communication style: How does your restaurant communicate with the public? A bar or neighborhood grill might want a friendly vibe, while a fine-dining establishment may use more formal communication.
  • Slogans: Is there something you want your company to be known for? These are commonly used with fast food. For instance, what restaurant comes to mind when you see the words “I’m lovin’ it”?

#3. Location

Your restaurant location doesn’t inherently seem like a marketing decision, but it is.

The placement of your restaurant can make or break it. It could be in an area with a perfect vibe, or it could be a mismatch for your target audience.

Make sure the restaurant location is:

  • Easily accessible from all directions
  • Near your target market
  • Convenient for employees who need to ride a bus

Learn more about choosing a location.

Note: Many modern-day point-of-sale (POS) systems make it easy to implement restaurant marketing strategies #4 through #9.

#4. Online food delivery system

An online food delivery system is a marketing strategy that connects you with outside companies such as Uber Eats, DoorDash, and Grubhub.

Lightspeed HQ expects a 20% or higher compound annual growth rate in food delivery between now and 2030.

You can’t really afford to ignore these restaurant marketing channels anymore, but you need to be aware that each delivery company has different commissions they take for their services.

You should assume that 30% of the total ticket price will be spent on delivery. That means if you need to make $15 on a meal to stay in business, you need to charge $21.99 for the meal to cover the delivery costs.

Failing to factor in these costs could cause your restaurant to fail, as the average restaurant has a slim 9.08% net profit margin. Make sure you get this right. Hire a restaurant consultant if you need help.

Hear from a restaurant consultant below:

#5. Online booking platforms

In addition to online deliveries, you can also take online orders or reservations through marketing channels like OpenTable, Resy, and Reserve with Google.

These restaurant marketing strategies increase your digital footprint and make it easier for customers to book reservations and orders. They might also increase productivity by reducing incoming phone calls.

#6. Customer loyalty programs

Another marketing strategy that every restaurant owner needs is a customer loyalty program. Rewarding loyal customers encourages people to keep coming back. It also helps you gather data about your customers to create better customer avatars.

Whether you’re using branded punch cards or digital rewards programs, business owners who implement loyalty programs could see up to 67% increased customer spending.

#7. Coupon-based discounts

Customer using discount QR code

Offering physical or digital coupons is another of the restaurant marketing ideas that may be included in your point-of-sale system. You can use coupons as a way to bring in first-time clients, encourage birthday meals, or reward loyal customers.

Make sure to calculate the cost of the discounts and include them in your restaurant marketing budget plan. As a good rule of thumb, don’t make coupons greater than the expected gross profit from the purchases.

#8. Running promotions

Promotions are similar to discounts but cover a broader range of strategies. They might include discounts, buy-one-get-one, giveaways, or other restaurant marketing strategies that help increase awareness of the restaurant on social media and other marketing channels.

#9. Pricing

Restaurant owners need to get the price of the food they are selling right. Too expensive, and you’ll scare off most customers; too inexpensive, and you may lose money with every item sold. The sweet spot will attract customers and allow for profit.

#10. Menu design

Your menu is part of your restaurant marketing strategy. Will it be professional looking in a leather-bound protector or laminated with lots of pictures? Maybe it will be on the wall.

Consider what your competitors do before making a decision. It would be weird to go into fine dining and see a fast food-style menu above the hostess stand.

#11. Visually appealing dishes

Smart phone showing a restauranteur holding a gyro and a plate of pasta and a lentil dish on the surface next to the phone

While you might not think of the plate layout as part of marketing, impressed customers might share photos of their dishes on social media. Take a food-styling course, plan out your food presentation, and train your employees to duplicate it with every dish. Just remember to be reasonable.

#12. Paid advertising

Restaurant advertising can take on many formats. In a search engine, you might have text-based advertisements, while you might prioritize pictures or videos when advertising on social media.

Make sure that you are narrowing your restaurant advertisement to people who live near the restaurant or travel to the location consistently. Otherwise, online advertising platforms can become prohibitively expensive.

#13. Events (like soft openings and a grand opening)

A great restaurant marketing strategy is to host soft openings and a grand opening. New restaurants can use these to get a lot of attention, especially if you combine them with promotions.

A soft opening also acts as a low-pressure environment for your staff to prepare for the grand opening by only serving friends and family. The grand opening is a more formal event that should include media and influencers.

Talk to people with PR credentials in your area to maximize the results.

#14. Search engine optimization (SEO)

Optimizing your restaurant website for search engines is a great way to bring more awareness to your business. You’ll want to research keywords for your type of restaurant, create pages that describe each item, provide an online menu, and make it easy to place online orders and provide reviews.

Check out TouchBistro’s blog about restaurant SEO.

#15. Local SEO

You’ll need to use local SEO techniques and directories, including:

Learn more about starting a Google Business Profile for your restaurant.

#16. Social media marketing for restaurants

Laptop showing Odd Pizza owner holding two boxes of pizza surrounded by social media icons including X, Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram

Social media marketing will require you to:

  1. Create a social media restaurant profile on all social media platforms.
  2. Add your business information.
  3. Invite your friends to like the page.
  4. Share posts about the food and restaurant.
  5. Use QR codes to make it easy for guests to find your socials in your restaurant.
  6. Encourage people to share pictures and tag your business.
  7. Ask people to provide reviews. You can even offer incentives or discounts to provide reviews.
  8. Consider using social media ads.

Suppose you don’t love being on social media. You might find a friend or family member who enjoys social media and have them manage it. Alternatively, you could pay a restaurant marketing company to manage your social media marketing.

#17. Influencer marketing

Another social media marketing strategy is inviting influencers to eat for free. If they enjoy your restaurant and provide a stellar review, it can help drive new customers.

There are keys to making this marketing strategy effective, including:

  • Brand goals: Before hiring any influencer, define what you want to achieve by hiring them.
  • Target audience: The influencer should share your target audience.
  • Engagement rate: An influencer’s engagement rate, or how many people interact with posts, is more important than how many followers they have. Customer engagement is a sign that the influencer isn’t buying followers.
  • Content alignment: If the influencer style and content don’t align with your brand identity, it could turn off potential customers.
  • Cost: User-generated content helps attract customers, but the prices for influencers can range from free products to a percentage of sales to a flat rate per post. Learn about influencer pricing.
  • Platform: Make sure your restaurant has a presence on the platforms the influencer works on.
  • Reach: Pricing may be partially based on how many potential customers will see the user-generated content. If you take online reservations, you can use a promo code to tie the influencer directly to the revenue and then pay them a percentage.
  • Search and discovery tools: How does the platform allow the content to be found by your target audience? Some platforms are more successful at bringing in new customers than others.
  • Influencer vetting system: Each influencer has their own requirements for who they work with. You should also have requirements because digital marketing for restaurants can have unintended consequences if the influencer is involved in a scandal.

Klear and Traackr are influencer marketing tools that match influencers with businesses.

#18. Restaurant email marketing

Restaurants use email marketing to offer discounts, offer birthday gifts, notify people about new products, or confirm online orders. The more ways you use email marketing to communicate with your audience, the more you’ll stay in their mind.

Step #3. Create a restaurant marketing plan

Cafe owner working on a marketing plan at his laptop while having an espresso

Restaurant owners need to create a marketing plan (a document) for handling each of the marketing efforts (time and resources put into marketing), including:

  1. The marketing strategy (the goals and process), including a step-by-step process
  2. How much to spend on the marketing efforts
  3. The restaurant marketing software that will be used
  4. Who is responsible for implementing the restaurant’s marketing strategy
  5. Metrics to measure the marketing strategy success
  6. How often to optimize the marketing strategy

These will help provide a restaurant marketing plan that drives your marketing decision-making and efforts as you run your restaurant.

Steal restaurant marketing ideas from the big guys

There are two lists you might want to look at to get an idea of what the most successful restaurants do:

  1. Independent restaurants
  2. Chains
Independent restaurants

Restaurant Business estimated the earnings of the top 100 independent restaurants. Below, we did some calculations with the figures to help guide your goals.

Independent Restaurants
  Sales Average Check Meals Served
 Sum  $1,505,018,003    30,220,154
 Average  $19,802,868  $50  302,202
 Median  $19,102,119  $70  241,289
 Minimum  $11,155,420  $18  32,786
 Maximum  $45,298,122  $230  1,001,254

To be one of the top 100 restaurants, you’d want to serve $20M in food at a price between $50 and $70 per person. Not feasible to start, but something to shoot for.

Look at restaurants on Restaurant Business’s list to see which are comparable to your restaurant, then research their marketing.


We also gathered some data about the top chains in the U.S. You can view the full list on Nation’s Restaurant News, but it’s most important to understand that there are 500 chains with a combined 230,250 locations and that you’ll want to aim for at least $1.5M in revenue to be among the top 50% of performers.

  Sales Units Sales/Unit
 Sum  $391,164,100,000.00  230,250  
 Average  $783,895,991.98  461  $1,698,866.88
 Median  $136,400,000.00  89  $1,506,060.61
 Minimum  $47,300,000.00  13  $272,210.53
 Maximum  $48,672,700,000.00  20,576  $12,612,019.23

You can review our calculations here.

Check out restaurants with Instagram followers

Another easy way to learn how to market a restaurant is to look at what the restaurants in your area are doing. Delicious has a great list of the “most Instagrammed restaurants” by state.

Step #4. Prepare a restaurant marketing budget

Restaurant owner holding a pan of cash in front of a screenshot of UpFlip’s How to create a marketing budget blog

A restaurant marketing budget is normally only 2% of revenue, according to the Small Business Administration (SBA). This number is less than 25% of what the SBA suggests.

Based on IBIS World’s industry revenue and number of businesses, the average revenue for a restaurant is nearly $1.67M. That means your marketing budget should be somewhere between the values in the table below.

Marketing Per Year$33,371.43$133,485.71$500,571.43
Marketing Per Month$2,780.95$11,123.81$41,714.29

Some recommend spending up to 30% on restaurant marketing strategies during the first year to help develop brand awareness at a much quicker base. If you decide to take such an aggressive strategy, monitor your marketing campaigns to verify that they are bringing in new customers and increasing customer retention.

If they are not, we highly suggest optimizing the strategies by focusing your spending on campaigns that are outperforming the others.

Learn how to prepare your marketing budget here.

A powerful restaurant marketing plan will encompass many of these strategies. You’ll also need to collect important marketing campaign data to refine your approach.

Step #5. Buy restaurant marketing software

A key component of collecting valuable customer data is using marketing software to collect and optimize marketing strategies. A restaurant marketer will need several hardware and software solutions to serve their customers best.

You’ll need a:

  • Website
  • Social media
  • POS and restaurant management system
  • Customer relationship management software
  • Analytics software
  • Accounting systems
  • Keyword research tools

You’ll want to consider how each tool fits into your restaurant marketing plan, business goals, and marketing campaigns. In addition, you’ll want to consider costs, integration with other software, and online reviews when making decisions on marketing tools.


When you create a restaurant website, you’ll want to consider what new and repeat customers need when they visit your website.

Take a minute to think about what you do when you are researching a restaurant. What did you want when you were a first-time customer? What did you want as a repeat customer?

The table below includes some restaurant marketing tools people expect to see when they visit a restaurant website. Can you think of more?

New Customers Repeat Customers
 Pictures of Food  Customer Loyalty Program
 Positive Reviews  Online Ordering
 Links to Directions  Ability to Order Previous Orders
 Phone Number  New Menu Items
 Menu  Saved Account Details
 Ordering Platform  Discounts
 Discounts Promotions

In addition, you’ll want the website to link to your social media, restaurant management software, and analytics software.

Restaurant social media marketing software

In addition to social media accounts, some tools can help with social media marketing for restaurants.

Agorapulse (“agora” means meeting place) helps you track 10 social media platforms, providing analytics, scheduling, and responding. There is a free 30-day trial, and many other features depending on your plan. It’s the preferred social management platform for industry behemoth McDonald’s.

Learn about other social media tools.

POS and restaurant management system

Remember all the marketing strategies that were part of a POS system?

You can use POS or restaurant management systems like Toast to get all those features. Find out how Toast stacks up against competitors. You can get started for free, but the paid packages range from $69 and up, depending on your desired features.

Customer relationship management (CRM) software

OpenTable, Upserve, Toast, and Sugar CRM are some CRM software for restaurants. Many CRM software platforms will also serve as POS and online ordering systems. Before you mix and match software, make sure it works together.

Analytics software

Posist and Restaurant365 are top performers in small restaurant analytics software. Analytics software combines revenue, employee scheduling information, and food inventory to help local businesses and major corporations in the restaurant industry manage their costs more effectively.

You may be able to access analytics with your POS system, but make sure to check each provider to see what is included.

Accounting systems

Restaurant marketing tips are great, but you’ll have no idea how well you’re doing unless you can tie the marketing to financial results.

Most small businesses use QuickBooks, but restaurants can also use the POS systems to monitor financial performance for quick managerial decisions.

Keyword research tools

Another helpful tool is keyword research software. You can use software like SurferSEO or Ahrefs to find online search keywords.

A good rule of thumb is to go for high-volume, low-difficulty keywords, and as you increase your authority, progress to high-volume, high-difficulty keywords.

Step #6. Implement the restaurant marketing strategies

Odd Pizza owner holding two stacks of pizza boxes with website, internet, and social media icons in front of him

During this phase, you will set up all the software, create your restaurant marketing campaign, and monitor it to see whether it meets the goal of bringing in potential customers.

Even the most effective marketing strategies require time to work. In our courses, Joshua Brown explains that you’ll generally want to start email marketing and paid ads between one and three weeks before you want to earn revenue from new or existing customers.

Should I hire a restaurant marketing agency?

Restaurant marketing agencies can be tremendously helpful. They can help you establish your restaurant’s brand identity, advise you on the best software, set up effective marketing strategies, and monitor and optimize your campaigns.

Despite the benefits of hiring a restaurant marketing agency, a local restaurant may be better off hiring them for specific tasks than to manage everything.

When a single company does all your restaurant marketing, they might claim ownership of assets, like your Google Business Profile or website. If you want to fire them, you must find new, effective restaurant marketing strategies.

Be prepared to spend over $1K monthly if you’re looking for full-service marketing agencies. You’ll want to check their online reviews to see what their customer base likes and dislikes about the company.

Step #7. Optimize your restaurant marketing strategies

When you market a restaurant, you’ll adjust your marketing budget for each channel's spending based on how well they attract customers. Most small restaurants find local online and Google Ads to be the most effective.

Approximately once per month, you’ll want to adjust each marketing strategy for restaurant operations. But another business owner warned us:

[su_quote] You can’t throw $100 at ads for a month and decide it didn’t work. Give marketing for a restaurant a few months to adjust how to market your restaurant. [/su_quote]

When you find that marketing ideas for restaurants are not getting the results you want, you have a couple of options:

  1. Change the call to action.
  2. Change the offer.
  3. Reduce the spending on the marketing channel.

Brandon told us you must track everything to see where you lose your customer base.

Suppose you get many potential customers from a source, but they aren’t ordering food at the same rate as other restaurant digital marketing campaigns. In that case, it’s probably not the right marketing channel.

Stop wasting money marketing a restaurant to the wrong people. Likewise, shift the budget to restaurant ads you know work.

The best restaurant marketing campaigns will be able to scale and attract more customers. No matter how well the campaign attracts customers, there will be a point where your returns start to drop. When this occurs, you’ve hit the point of diminishing returns and should stop increasing the allocation to those local ads.

How to advertise a restaurant

Restaurant owner creating a Google Business profile on laptop

Advertising a restaurant should use a combination of traditional marketing strategies, paid digital ads, and customer retention methods. Restaurant advertisement examples will normally include:

  • Google Business Profile: Provides location in Google Maps. This will help people see your food, restaurant, business hours, and location.
  • Google Ads: Run paid advertisements on Google Ads. Help people find your restaurant when they search for the type of food you serve, or simply “food near me”.
  • Social Media: Social media ads are the best place to increase brand awareness because you can narrow your audience to people in your location and show them videos.

On any of the platforms, you’ll want to:

  1. Create a business account.
  2. Sign up for ads.
  3. Specify your goals.
  4. Create the ad copy and/or designs.
  5. Specify your budget.
  6. Monitor the performance.

Restaurant marketing companies can help you market your restaurant online to help remove the learning curve, but the saved time comes with higher upfront costs.

How to promote a restaurant

There are numerous ways to promote a restaurant. Consider some of the following ideas:

  1. Schedule a grand opening and publish it in places that announce local events.
  2. Run local online ads with a promotional offer or discount for new customers.
  3. Make it easy for people to provide positive reviews.
  4. Respond kindly to negative reviews to show you care about the customers’ experience.

What are your favorite restaurant marketing ideas?

At this point, you should know what to do to prepare to market your restaurant. It’s up to you to choose the best strategies for you.

What restaurant marketing appeals most to you? Let us know in the comments.


Lindsey@ 2024-01-25 21:20:14

Hi Brandon, I think there’s a typo in you bio: “He consistently excelled at everything he did, but preferred to make the rules rather than follow him.” I’m guessing you meant “…rather than follow THEM.” Thanks for all the interesting info!

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