Chicago, renowned for its vibrant culture and dynamic economy, presents a plethora of opportunities for entrepreneurs looking to launch new ventures in 2024. As a city that thrives on innovation and diversity, it’s the perfect breeding ground for business ideas that cater to a wide array of industries and consumer needs. From tech startups to food and beverage industries, Chicago’s market landscape is ripe for exploring new concepts and business models. The city’s robust infrastructure, coupled with its access to a skilled workforce, makes it an ideal location for both budding and seasoned entrepreneurs.
In this exploration of the Top 100 Business Ideas for Chicago in 2024, we delve into a variety of sectors that promise high potential and profitability. These ideas are not just trends but are based on thorough market analysis and consumer behavior studies, ensuring they hold substantial promise for the coming year. Whether you’re interested in small budget ventures, digital innovations, or unique retail concepts, this guide will provide you with insightful and actionable ideas to kickstart your entrepreneurial journey in the Windy City. Here, you’ll find a blend of traditional business models infused with modern, innovative twists, reflecting the dynamic spirit of Chicago.
100 BEST CHICAGO BUSINESS IDEAS FOR 2024
1. Unique concept restaurant
Chicago, with its large and diverse population, has always been in high demand for interesting and innovative dining options. Unique restaurant concepts have a high chance of success and can generate huge profits. It’s important to offer customers something new and original. Food trucks and catering services are also interesting options to consider.
2. Online subscription services for homes
Every apartment in which a family, a group of friends, or even single people live needs certain fixed, repetitive goods that are used daily, weekly or every few weeks. To make life easier and save time, many such products can be subscribed to the home goods subscription business. Such services are already becoming popular, but will certainly become much more important in the future. Permanent subscription of recurring essential goods is also a great business idea aimed at businesses and organizations (such as schools or offices).
3. Secondhand retail
A great business idea in Chicago is second hand retail. Chicagoans buy and also dispose of masses of items. Many such items have value and can be repurchased and then resold at a high profit (you can find many e.g. on eBay, Poshmark, ThredUp, Bonanza or Facebook Marketplace). To succeed in such a business, it is advisable to start by specializing in one niche of such seconhand retail, achieve a high level of professionalism in it, and only then expand into other niches.
4. Organic baby food business
As the health consciousness of consumers in the US increases, so do the demands on organic baby food. A great business idea for Chicago in this niche could be not only organic baby food brand, but also organic baby food stores and online stores, as well as organic baby food catering.
5. Professional decluttering services
Many Chicagoans have a problem with too much junk and unnecessary items in the house. For many people, it’s also difficult to deal with such junk when moving house. The answer to these problems is professional decluttering and organizational services that make it easier to clear your home of unnecessary items. Yes decluttering company can also offer organization and management services for your home or office or business, for example, take care of cleaning, air conditioning repair or renovation.
6. Home repair and remodeling
With a growing housing market, there is a demand in Chicago for home repair and remodeling services. Such business can be very profitable due to aging housing stock in need of repairs, increasing home values and demand for upgrades, as well as growing population, and high disposable income among residents. Such a business may also offer related services such as: handyman services; landscaping and lawn care; painting and wallpapering; flooring and carpeting czy plumbing and electrical services.
7. Local food & grocery delivery services
Many large stores offer product delivery and there is nothing special about it anymore. However, most small local stores still do not offer such services, so this is a great niche for a profitable business. To make such business even more attractive it can also offer food or grocery subscription. All you need to do is organize a good network of professional and trustworthy shopping couriers and you can start such a business.
8. Boat tourism
Boat tourism can be a very profitable business idea in Chicago, as the city is located on the shores of Lake Michigan and has several waterways that attract tourists and locals alike. There is a growing demand for unique and scenic recreational experiences, and boat tours can offer a unique and enjoyable way for tourists to see the city from a different perspective. Starting such a business can also be challenging and requires a significant investment in terms of boats, staff, and marketing. To be successful, the business will need to offer a high-quality and unique experience, have a strong marketing strategy, and operate efficiently to minimize costs. Additionally, the business must comply with regulations and safety standards set by local and federal agencies.
9. Organic fast food
With the increase in socioeconomic status, people are becoming more health-conscious and more interested in sustainable lifestyle and cuisine. In fact, organic products have become a trend for middle and upper socioeconomic groups, who are interested in sustainable and healthy lifestyle. The demand for organic foods is expected to continue to grow in the future, that’s why healthy and organic fast foods once invented are very likely to become super profitable.
10. Drone store, services & consulting
Drones are still a relatively new technology that is already revolutionizing many areas of life. The demand for drones and related services continues to grow, so ideas such as a specialized drone store, drone repair and custom drone building services for given tasks, and drone consulting and education are all promising ideas for a successful business in Chicago.
11. Parking space or garage rental
It’s often a hassle to find a good parking space in Chicago, especially in the center, so businesses that facilitate parking and also rent and sell such spaces can make attractive profits and are in high demand.
12. Personalized pet services
Start a business that offers personalized pet services, such as dog walking, grooming, and pet-sitting. Many Chicagoans have pets and a lot of money, which they are willing to spend to take care of their pets. To increase the number of customers, it’s a good idea to use good advertising strategies such as posts and videos with pets uploaded to social media, and paid advertising.
13. Online florist & flower and gift delivery
Flower and gift delivery is another small business opportunity worth to be tried in Chicago. Many people think about how to thank someone, surprise them or express love. Such flower and gift delivery is a great idea to do it. In order to succeed with such a business, it is worth using the most innovative methods, offering the maximum good customer experience and also delivering gifts in such a way that the recipient of the gift feels as comfortable as possible.
14. Security personnel services
Since security is something very valuable that many Chicagoans are willing to pay a lot for, security personnel services can also be a very profitable business idea. Offer security personnel services and provide trained and licensed security personnel for events, buildings, and individuals. Such a business can also offer corporate security; residential security; retail security; executive protection; industrial security and construction site security.
15. Electric vehicle charging station installation & services
EV charging stations are a new niche in the business that has been growing very rapidly in recent years. Such stations require installation and, as they are used, maintenance and repair services as well. EV charging stations also provide a good opportunity to sell the most popular products, for example, in vending machines standing next to such stations.
16. Aromatherapy business
A small business based on aromatherapy can be a profitable venture. This type of business can offer many benefits to both the company and its customers. A formal marketing plan can help you develop a distribution and branding strategy. The plan should be tailored to the needs of your potential customers. You will want to identify your target market during the research phase.
17. Start a dog clothing brand
Dog clothing brand business can be profitable if done the right way. Setting up a business requires a professional approach, which is not easy if you’re just starting out. However, it’s possible to expand your business with a bit of hard work and a good sense of business. Getting started requires you to have the right skills and knowledge about the market and the locality, as well as follow the licensing laws and work with suppliers in a professional manner.
18. Online content production
There are a number of reasons why an online content production business is a profitable and future-oriented business idea. For one, people don’t need much initial capital to create content, so it might be relatively easy to start such business. The most successful content creators play the long game, and they have goals beyond just growing their audience. They create content that people follow, and they become “avatars” for specific ideas on the web. However, people can tell when someone is just hacking it, so they need to make sure they’re genuine about what they’re doing. To do this, you’ll need a good system and a good toolkit.
19. Medicinal herbs store
Herbs and natural medicine is an interesting field that attracts many customers. To be successful, it is worth offering the highest quality products (such as organic herbs) and also professional customer service. Proper online marketing and social media advertising will be very useful.
20. Membership clubs
Another of the very forward-looking Chicago business ideas are subscription-based membership clubs, such as those offering exclusive deals or unique experiences. Such businesses are already becoming a popular business model.
21. Smart security systems installation
Security is one of the most important human needs. This is also the case for Chicagoans who are concerned about the security of their nearby homes and businesses. One of the best ways to ensure this is by installing professional home security systems and also offering security services.
22. Fishing charter & fishing boat trips
An interesting business idea in Chicago, as well as in other areas of the US, is to organize fishing expeditions and various activities for beginners and advanced anglers. From training and educational cruises, to professional fishing expeditions for experienced anglers. Such attractions can be ideally combined with tourism. It is good idea to promote them by cooperating with hotels and restaurants and also by advertising on social media.
23. Mobile clinic
Mobile medical and health services is another of the more innovative and interesting Chicago business ideas that has great potential. People are becoming more and more concerned about their health, and at the same time becoming more and more convenient, so such a business has a good chance of success. Such a business could, for example, offer oxygen, CPR, medicine, doctor, nurse.
24. Junk removal service
Often people or companies want to dispose of a large amount of junk, or something that is too large or heavy to remove without the help of a professional company. If there isn’t one in your area, you may want to consider starting such a business.
25. Artisanal marketplace
An artisanal marketplace business is a platform that connects local artisans, craftsmen, and creatives with customers who are interested in purchasing handmade and unique products. This type of business idea focuses on showcasing and selling handmade items, such as jewelry, pottery, clothing, and home decor, made by skilled craftsmen and artists. The goal of an artisanal marketplace is to provide a platform for artists to showcase their work and reach a wider audience, while also providing customers with access to unique, high-quality products that are not typically found in large retail stores. The artisanal marketplace business model often involves taking a commission on each sale made through the platform, helping to cover the costs of running the business and providing a revenue stream for the entrepreneur.
26. Video editing agency
There is a huge demand for professional video-editing services in Chicago. Such services are needed by various companies, marketing agencies, influencers, as well as numerous individuals and organizations, among others.
27. Energy auditing & efficiency services
If you’re looking for a profitable and future-oriented business ideas for Chicago, you may want to consider starting an energy auditing company. Not only can this business help homeowners reduce their energy bills, but it can also help businesses reduce their carbon footprint. In addition, energy auditing companies can help businesses improve the energy efficiency of their buildings.
28. Mindfulness and self-care retreat
Create a mindfulness and self-care retreat that offers a peaceful and rejuvenating escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. As part of such a business, you can offer, for example. meditation retreats; nature retreats (where individuals can connect with nature); spa and wellness retreats; detox retreats (to help individuals detoxify their bodies); silent retreats; creative retreats; adventure retreats or mindfulness and self-care workshops.
29. Custom scent creation
A business that works with clients to create unique, personalized scents for perfumes, candles, and other products. Such fragrances can be particularly atraytic for various businesses where customers come in such as stores and hotels.
30. Handmade crafts
The demand for craft and handmade products is still high. They are ideally suited for gifts or home decorations. A particularly good idea for such a business is to sell craft products typical to various other countries (especially craft products in the style of those from distant and non-American countries can attract a lot of interest).
31. Open a start-up hub
Such start-up hub can support small businesses and entrepreneurs with various programs, workshops, and collaborative spaces. Think of it as the revolutionizing incubator for Chicago’s next generation of tech entrepreneurs.
32. Privacy protection agency
Privacy in today’s digital world is under threat like never before. Many different sites, companies and devices threaten the privacy, secrets and security of many Chicago and people around the world. Many people don’t have the time to deal with it, or don’t know how to do it, which is why privacy protection agencies are becoming increasingly popular, and can be a very profitable business to start in Chicago.
33. Chauffer & vip transportation services
The demand for transportation services continues to grow in Chicago. Both normal and premium transportation is in demand. Such services are needed by people who have a lot of money, want to feel safe, want to transport valuable products, or are tourists who want to feel luxurious.
34. Small business marketing services & consulting
Chicago is not only one of the largest cities in US, but also one of the most important business centers of North America. A mass of small, medium and large companies have their headquarters here, so it’s a really good place for companies offering professional marketing services. If your marketing company is just starting out, it’s a good idea to focus on one or a few niches of marketing at first so as to gain recognition and become very professional in this one field. Then you can expand your offerings to other marketing services as well.
35. Luxury pet products & services
Many pet owners want the best for their pets and want to give them as good and special a life as possible. For this reason, luxury pet services such as luxury pet sitting for clients with high-end needs and preferences, as well as luxury pet clothes, ornaments, beds and toys, are becoming increasingly popular in the USA.
36. Small scale manufacturing
Small scale manufacturing may be a good idea for a profitable business to start in Chicago. It’s important to make a business plan and analyse the market and your competitors. There are a number of very profitable products to manufacture which can generate a lot of money. Examples of such products include: shoes, soap, furniture, scented candles, cookies, home decorations, toys (e.g. teddy bears) and many other items.
37. Food hall business
Create a food hall that combines street food, local cuisine, and artisanal food products, providing a one-stop-shop for food lovers. Such a business requires more capital, but can be very profitable. Food halls make money by renting space for restaurants and cafes and can generate additional profits by also offering other attractions such as bars, stores and even small theaters, cinemas or museums.
38. Personalized jewelry creation
A popular business trend in recent years is the personalization of personal items such as jewelry. If you offer unique opportunities for such personalization, and a convenient and easy way to do it, you can be very successful. It is worth keeping innovation and new technologies (such as smart jewelry) in mind when doing this business.
39. Renewable energy repair & maintenance
Green energy involves a lot of installations, connections and technical conversions. Renewable energy also requires maintenance and service, and sometimes repair of used equipment. Since this field of energy is currently developing a lot, the demand for this type of repair and maintenance services will increase. Selling and installing green energy can also be a good business idea.
40. Cybersecurity agency
Cyber security is becoming an increasingly important security sphere of strategic importance in the 21st century. More and more small businesses as well as individuals need such professional services and consulting. Examples of cost-effective cybersecurity sevrices include cybersecurity audits for private and business clients, cybersecurity education and the installation of cybersecurity protection software, and the development of professional cybersecurity strategies for companies and private clients.
41. Niche products print on demand
In recent years, one of the increasingly trending new business ideas is printing on demand on t-shirts, caps, mugs, pillows, tiles, bedding, and many other products. There are many possibilities here. If you choose the right niche and advertise your business properly, you can expect big profits.
42. Portable pressure washing services
Pressure washing is not only washing cars and sidewalks, but also sanitation, washing houses, roofs or commercial buildings. In order to be as successful as possible in this business, it is worth using a variety of marketing and advertising methods such as promotions and social media ads.
43. Glamping (sale & organization)
Everyone needs to get out of the city sometimes and get closer to nature. Glamping is a great way to relax, unwind and get some peace and tranquility. The area around Chicago is full of beautiful, peaceful natural places that are perfect for glamping. You can advertise your glamping business using social media to show future customers pictures and videos of your glamping business.
44. Virtual coworking space
Virtual coworking spaces provide similar benefits to regular offices, but their advantage is that you can work in them regardless of the location you are in. Such virtual coworking spaces often have virtual floorplans, kitchens and conference rooms so that by using such a place you can feel like you are in an office and meet people who will be working next to you. This is still a young niche in business that is expected to grow intensively in the coming years.
45. Luxury reusable grocery bags & high quality reusable grocery bags
Reusable shopping bags are things that hundreds of millions of people around the world use. These bags are usually boring, simple, banal and not very distinctive – this is a great business opportunity – offer such bags in a luxury version, in an ultra-convenient version, or in a compact version so that it is easy to fold such bags. The potential for improvement of such bags is very wide, and there will certainly be many people willing to buy such a bag.
46. Niche online store
Choosing a good niche is the key to success in any business! This is also the case for online stores with a very narrow, specialized and yet rich profile of products in a particular field. Think about what niches don’t yet have professional online stores in the USA Perhaps niches such as breeding rare species of animals, collecting specific products, or accessories for the latest technological innovations are areas in which you can succeed?
47. Virtual property management & services
Chicagoans are owning an increasing number of virtual properties and many of them require management, care, audits and advice. Examples of such services include taking care of someone’s account in an online game during his vacation and in other fields of gaming industry, as well as in online trading, online business management, metaverse property management, NFT related services and many more.
48. Custom product boxes & packaging
More and more companies selling products want to offer them in unique and brand-specific boxes or packaging. The demand for customizable boxes and packagin is really high and will most likely grow intensively in the coming years. In order to stand out in this niche, it is worth offering attractive innovative and convenient tools and features for the customer, such as the ability to view packaging designs and designs online, or using VR.
49. Market research & surveys agency
Real, reliable information is at a premium. Many companies and organizations, and sometimes individuals, sometimes need such research, for example, to understand given market mechanisms, for investment purposes, or for scientific purposes. To make a name for yourself in this niche, you can start with specializing in one particular type of market research.
50. VR testing services
VR testing services is the next big niche in the business that will grow intensively and is already starting to become popular. Examples of such VR testing services include clothing try on apps, 3D real estate or hotel virtual tours. Testing in VR can also be very useful in architecture, space business, urban planning and construction. It can be a great business to both offer services for such product testing, and to design such applications and programs that allow such VR testing to be as convenient as possible. A very good business idea can be also virtual interior design consulting.
51. Food and wine tours
An important part of Chicago’s economy is tourism, with up to more than 30 million tourists arriving annually (source). Tourists need not only a hotel, but also interesting experiences. One of the best of these is unique, interesting organized food & wine tours. Offer food and wine tours that take customers on a culinary journey, exploring the city’s finest restaurants and wine bars. Such business is worth targeting both group and individual clients. To increase profits, you can also sell local delicacies, drinks or souvenirs to tourists.
52. Personalised phone cases
The trend for personalised phone cases has continued to grow in recent years, with customers looking for something that is unique to them. While this is primarily the domain of high-end brands, personalised phone cases can can also be a great idea for small and start-up brands.
53. High-end home cleaning services
Many wealthy Chicagoans need help with house cleaning, cooking or childcare, but they require truly professional and trustworthy people who will do it. The answer to such needs is a high-end home cleaning company that will offer the highest quality, handle precious items in the right way and, most importantly, offer 100% security and discretion so that the homeowner does not have to worry about their safety, privacy and expensive items.
54. Urban farming
A viable small business idea to start in Chicago is urban farming. There are many types of urban farming to consider, the most profitable of which include microgreens farming, mushrooms farming, or auaponic farming, vertical farming or greenhouse farming. Agricultural products produced in this way are ideal for nearby restaurants, stores and individual customers (you can find them through social media, among other things!). Such a business lends itself well to scaling. You can even start it in the basement of your own home, or in your garden, and then gradually expand it.
55. Surveillance systems installation
Since crime is a significant problem in recent years in Chicago, the demand for security services is high. One of the best ways to increase security is to install surveillance, cameras, sensors, security systems and access control systems for homes and businesses.
56. Rich people daily life outsourcing
Another interesting idea for business in Chicago is to offer specialized assistance and outsourcing services for rich people and VIPs who need, for example, someone to do their shopping for them, wash their car, mow their lawn or perform some other task. Wealthy Chicagoans need professional and trustworthy associates, so if you are able to gain the trust of such clients and offer them the highest possible level of professionalism, you will be able to make some really big money.
57. Virtual assistant services
With the increasing use of technology in business operations, virtual assistants are in demand for tasks such as scheduling appointments and managing social media accounts. The range of services that such virtual assistants can provide is very wide. It is especially profitable to provide highly specialized and professional services.
58. Smart jewelry (startup or a store)
Intelligent jewelry is a combination of beauty, prestige and advanced wearable technology that improves life. Smart rings, necklaces and bracelets have become increasingly popular in recent years, but the market is still underdeveloped and full of numerous opportunities.
59. Innovative entertainment
Chicagoans love entertainment fun and excitement. This is a very important and broad area full of many great business opportunities. Examples of such entertainment business ideas for Chicago include clubs, restaurants and bars in which people wear VR googles, entertainment lounges in which robots work, mobile sauna and cold showers and other mobile entertainment services, drone display or augmented reality games set in Chicago (like the well-known Pokemon Go). Emerging new technologies are creating a whole lot of good opportunities for a new profitable entertainment business.
60. Virtual events management
Virtual events are becoming more and more popular. There are not yet many companies that provide virtual event management services. And the demand for them is growing rapidly. There are many reasons why people and businesses would choose to have a virtual event instead of an on-site one. One of the most popular reasons is that it is cheaper to have a virtual event than an on-site one. Another reason could be that you want the event to be accessible for your participants no matter where they live or what time zone they live in, which can’t be done with an on-site event.
61. Vending machines business
This is one of the most profitable and forward-thinking Chicago business ideas. Such a business has great potential, is highly scalable and is still relatively underdeveloped in Chicago. Such machines can offer hot food like soups, pizza, panini or even ice cream) also healthy and organic food vending machines can be very profitable business. If such a business seems interesting to you, be sure to read more about it below.
Read also: 75 TOP Vending Machine Business Ideas
62. Virtual reality therapy
Virtual reality technology is being used in various industries, including healthcare for therapy and treatment purposes. VR therapy allows for example for exposure therapy to mimic any triggers, stressors that the patient has. In this way, the patient can gradually become accustomed to the stressors. Therapy using VR can also promote relaxation, strengthen the patient’s resilience, and teach the patient new positive responses and behaviors. These are just a few examples of how therapy with VR technology can work. There are many more possibilities, and demand for them is sure to grow.
63. Organic beauty products
In recent years, more and more consumers in the US have been paying more attention to the quality of products and how they affect their health and the planet. For this reason, organic beauty products such as organic facial oils; organic body wash; organic body scrubs; organic soap; organic tanning lotions and organic make up products are increasingly in demand. It’s a niche business that is still relatively young and has very high potential for growth in the US.
64. Pet food delivery services
Pet food subscription, animal food catering, and organic pet food are new businesses gaining popularity in the USA. It’s a convenience for owners who thus don’t have to spend time buying food for their pets.
65. On-demand personal concierge services for busy individuals
Chicago is full of business and busy people. Many of them run companies or hold important positions and sometimes need help. The ideal solution for them is to enlist the help of an on-demand personal concierge. concierge services for busy individuals are designed to provide a range of services and assistance to help individuals manage their daily tasks and responsibilities. These services can include scheduling appointments, arranging travel and transportation, grocery shopping, meal delivery, running errands, and much more. The goal of these services is to help busy individuals save time and simplify their lives, while also providing peace of mind and convenience. With the rise of technology and the gig economy, these services can be easily accessed through a mobile app or website, and customers can choose the level of support they require, whether it be on a one-time basis or through a monthly subscription.
66. Anti-aging & skincare services on demand
American residents are statistically living longer and longer, which is associated with a growing population of elderly and old people. Many older people, especially women want to look young and beautiful. Such people are able to pay really a lot for effective skin rejuvenation improving appearance and professional rejuvenation. There are already a lot of such offerings on the market, but there is still a lot of space for new businesses using innovative methods. Such a business could be, for example, offering such rejuvenation services and treatments with home delivery, or at another place tailored to the customer.
67. Farm-to-table meal delivery
The idea of farm to table food and meals has become increasingly popular in recent months. The idea is to eat locally grown and produced foods made in the US (preferably made near Chicago). By choosing such products, consumers are supporting local brands, as well as getting fresher, less chemical-laden food (which doesn’t have to be as preserved as, say, the same food produced in Asia or South America). A major advantage of farm to table food is also its climate friendliness. Such food does not have to be transported as far thanks to which less fuel is used.
68. Urban farming consulting, accessories sale & related services
Urban farming is a new business niche gaining a lot of popularity. However, urban farmers need to acquire knowledge, buy necessary accessories (such as lamps, racks, irrigation systems or pots for urban farming), and some of them probably also need some services and consulting. This is a very forward-looking niche full of many opportunities. Another example of a business in this niche could be a store selling products, accessories and seeds for urban farmers.
69. Drone surveying
Surveying with a drone is a new and very promising business that is already in high demand. Drone surveys are very useful in land surveys, 3D mapping, photogrammetry, and topographic surveying. Such drones equipped with the right sensors are also finding applications in many new fields. Companies offering such drone surveying services can certainly count on many customers today and in the future.
70. Drone videography & photography services
A business that is in growing demand in Chicago and across the US is professional drone photography and videography. Such footage is especially needed by business owners, advertising producers and has applications in many other fields. Examples of services that such a business can offer are luxury real estate photography & videos, event & festivals photo and film making or construction drone film making.
71. One niche oriented co-working space rental
Coworking space rental is a very good business idea in Chicago. Many companies, freelancers and entrepreneurs, as well as artists and scientists need such spaces to maximize their potential. A good way to strike out with such business is to offer coworking space for specific sectors of business, art or science. Many people prefer to work among people in similar fields, so they can exchange valuable information and learn from each other.
72. Robots store
Robots are still in the early stages of development, but more and more of them are in demand. A great business idea for Chicago could be a specialized store that sells robots, or some specific species of robots. Already very popular are cleaning robots, robots for children, articulated robots. Also very interesting types of robots are cobots, which are robots created to function alongside or directly with humans, as well as industrial robots, and robots used for entertainments.
73. Personal shopper services
Many Chicagoans love to shop and buy new clothes they do not have enough time to do so. The solution to such a problem is personal shopping services. Such services can be provided directly or over the Internet (e.g., in the form of video chats and also uploading photos or videos). This business has especially great potential in the age of VR and the Internet. Innovative offers and attractive advertisements will be very useful for success in this business.
74. Go direct to consumer products
Many original and unique products are characterized by availability only in certain places or in a few stores. Such products are often rarities that customers would be willing to pay a lot for, but they can’t buy them at their local supermarket, grocery stores or local market. The solution to this problem is a go-direct-to-consumer business that delivers customers their favorite products even from remote locations. Examples of such products include e.g. : lobsters from Alaska for consumers in Chicago or Swiss cheeses for consumers in New Jersey.
75. Smart homes development
Whether you’re an IT specialist or want to start your own smart home company, there are many reasons to pursue a career in smart home technologies. The first benefit is the potential to become an important part of a rapidly growing industry. Smart homes can provide a lot of benefits to the homeowners and can help businesses minimize their costs and waste. In addition, more and more new advanced technologies used in smart homes are being developed every year, so demand for this type of service will increase.
76. Mobile hair styling services
Chicagoans love to look good and take care of their hair. Many don’t have time to go to a salon so a great solution to this problem can be a mobile hairdresser and mobile hair styling services. This will give the customer beautiful hair when and where it is most convenient. To maximize the success of such a business, it is a good idea to advertise such a business well on social media, local press and Google Ads.
77. Marina and boat rental services
A very profitable business idea in Chicago is to rent boating equipment and offer boat services, docking in the harbor and sailing on Lake Michigan. Such business can offer a wide range of boats, including fishing boats, pontoon boats, and speed boats, to meet the needs and preferences of different customers.
78. Minority store
Chicago is full of various minorities. This creates many opportunities to create unique businesses with the profile of a particular minority, offering unique products or services that are hard to find in other stores pubs or restaurants. Uniqueness is a very profitable trait in business, so such businesses can be very successful and attract many customers with its uniqueness (even customers who do not belong to a given minority)
79. Agritourism & ecotourism business
Many Chicagoans need a break from city life or work, or want to show their children what a peaceful rural and natural life looks like. A great way to do this is to take advantage of agritourism or ecotourism services. Such businesses can offer customers contact with rural animals, the opportunity to try rural work, accommodation in the countryside or in attractive natural locations, and natural organic food (as well as natural preserves and rural meats). These are just some of the attractions that can be offered. To maximize the number of customers, it is worthwhile to properly advertise such a business online and on social media.
80. Home-brewing kits & subscription boxes
The popularity of home-brewing has increased in recent years, with the trend being driven by a desire for artisan quality beers with a variety of flavours. Craft beers are now available from a wide range of suppliers, but many people are still making their own at home to save money or brew unusual styles.
81. Mobile manicure & pedicure services
Beautiful nails are something that many women in Chicago love. However, many ladies sometimes don’t have the time or inclination to go far to a beautician. An interesting solution to such a problem can be mobile manicure and pedicure services.
82. Subscription boxes
The subscription business model is on the rise, with more consumers wanting convenient and personalized purchasing experiences. Businesses in various industries can capitalize on this trend by offering subscription box services.
83. Energy efficiency consulting
Energy efficiency consulting is a new very fast-growing business sector that is sure to play an increasingly important role in the future. Saving energy and reducing energy costs is something that most businesses and organizations as well as many individuals care about. Services related to energy efficiency inspection can also be energy measurement & verification; energy audits; energy efficient building construction and construction or Energy & Daylight Modeling.
84. 100% organic grocery store
If you want to start an organic grocery store, you need to know some important factors. The most important factor is sourcing the best suppliers for your products. This should be done by contacting the major organizations that favor organic products and ask them to provide you with better bulk deals. Next, you need to educate your staff on the benefits of organic products.
Dropservicing is a business model where a company outsources services to contractors or freelancers, acting as a middleman for customer acquisition, pricing, and billing. This model can be highly profitable in Chicago, with its thriving economy and demand for specialized services, large pool of skilled professionals, and thriving business community that offers opportunities to market services and reach a broad customer base. The prevalence of technology and competition in the city also makes dropservicing an attractive business opportunity. One of the best places to sell such services include Upwork and Fiverr.
86. Senior at-home care
Chicago’s population is aging and people are living statistically longer, so various elderly care services are in high demand. Likewise services offering for care for people with disabilities. Many such elderly or disabled people need assistance or care in their own homes (where they feel more comfortable than in a retirement home, for example). Such professional services tailored to clients’ needs in their homes is a great business idea that can bring in very high profits.
87. Property management & maintenance services
Chicago’s housing market is one of the largest of its kind in the USA. With a population of about 10 million people in Chicago metropolitan area there are huge needs and demand for housing and all the related services such as maintenance, housing search, matching, finding clients, tenants and also renovations, refurbishments or furnishing. The use of the latest technologies, innovations and trends such as micro-apartments is the key to success in this field.
88. Automated cafeteria
Robotization is one of the most important trends that are currently advancing in the economy. Robots can also be an interesting attraction and a unique element that will give a unique character to a business. An interesting idea for such a business in Chicago could be an automated cafe with robot employees. Such an unusual form of cafe is sure to attract many customers. Another idea could be a bar or restaurant in which customers will be served by robots.
89. Mobile dry cleaners
Mobile dry cleaning services are a great way to save customers time and make it easier for them to clean their clothes carpets and other fabrics. A great way to entice more customers, for example, is to offer free pick up & delivery for orders over $100.
90. Artificial Intelligence services & software
This is a huge niche that is already finding its way into many types of business. Lucrative examples of such types of business are: AI in recruitment; AI in customer service; AI in customer acquisition; AI in ecommerce; AI in customer retention; AI in marketing automation; AI in seo; AI in ppc campaigns; AI in crm; AI in customer feedback and reviews.
91. Solar panel cleaning & related services
In recent years, solar panels have become very popular in Chicago and throughout the US. They require professional maintenance, service, cleaning, repair, and sometimes disposal, recycling, or transportation. These and other needs create a sacred opportunity for a profitable business.
92. Monitoring gadgets & robots for the elderly
Many seniors need care, some of them need someone to watch over them even 24 hours a day. It can be very difficult and expensive (if a human is to do it), so advanced gadgets and robots for monitoring and contact with seniors can be a big help here. Such robots can remind seniors when to take drugs or when to eat. Such robots or gadgets can also monitor the behavior of the elderly, their safety and health (using appropriate cameras and sensors).
93. Advanced machines & tools rental
The US economy is full of businesses and people who need to rent various types of machinery and tools. A good example in the case of some advanced and expensive machines might be to offer to rent such machines with service. Examples of such machines include vending machines, various types of office machines such as scanners and photocopiers, coffee machines, as well as all kinds of industrial machines. The list of such rental machines is really long and creates great opportunities for a profitable business in Chicago.
94. 3D printing business
Although 3D printing is already quite popular, there are still many niches related to 3D printing that can be a very profitable business idea in Chicago. Examples of such niches include customized product manufacturing, prototyping, 3D-printed replacement parts, architecture and construction models, medical devices and prosthetics, art and design, or education and training (e.g. 3D printing workshops & courses for schools, universtities and businesses)
95. 3D scanning & modelling
3D scanning and modeling are other very forward-thinking business ideas that are already in high demand. Such scanning has applications not only in industry and manufacturing, but also in games, animation or movies. Such scanning can also play a very important role in the metaverse, NFT and in many new technologies.
96. Eco-friendly products
As environmental consciousness continues to grow, there’s increasing demand for eco-friendly products and services. Consider starting a business that sells sustainable products or offers green services like recycling and composting. There are many such eco-friendly products that are in growing demand and can be a great business, such as biodegradable packaging, eco-friendly clothing, and organic pet food.
97. Virtual interior design
Implementation of virtual reality technology offers the ability to aid clients in presenting their homes to prospective buyers without the need for physical rearrangement of furnishings. A promising business opportunities relared this niche include the creation and commercialization of virtual home staging software, as well as the delivery of virtual home staging services utilizing this software, for example, through VR.
98. Metaverse marketing company
It is already apparent that the metaverse is becoming a huge market that will play a tremendous role for humanity in the future. The metaverse while attracting millions of users, will also become a natural place for business and advertising to be displayed and shown in the metaverse in a unique way, and advertising rights in the metaverse will probably be less regulated and more free at first. Ideas for such a business could be an advertising agency displaying ads in the virtual world of the metaverse, as well as various forms of advertising and selling goods and services in the metaverse aimed at individual customers. These are just a few of the possibilities, and there are a whole lot of them.
99. Ethical hacking agency
With the increasing frequency of hacking attempts and the consequent risk posed to businesses and personal wealth, the demand for ethical hacking services and security audits of secure systems has risen dramatically. This presents a prime opportunity for tech-savvy and challenge-seeking IT professionals and programmers in the US, who possess expertise in information security systems. By offering their services, they can leverage their technical knowledge and meet the pressing demand for reliable and secure technology solutions.
100. Digital schools & professional virtual education
While there are already many online education apps and programs out there, this niche still has many business opportunities ahead of it. Examples of such profitable education businesses include learning niche skills online , niche schools, learning using VR technology (e.g. a metaverse school where students participate in VR lessons and lectures), or customizable online schools where the student can choose exactly what they want to learn.
Other business ideas to start in Chicago:
- Art and technology education center
- Personalized nutrition services
- Local history tours
- Technology startup hub
- Lakeside resort or hotel
- Guided kayaking tours
- Snow removal services
- Baby-sitting services
- Heating and insulation services
- Winter sports gear rental
- Hostel or hotel
- Bed & breakfast business
CHICAGO MARKET ANALYSIS 2024
Chicago continues to stand as one of the largest and most influential cities in the United States, serving as a critical hub for an array of industries such as finance, technology, manufacturing, healthcare, and more. In 2024, it remains crucial for entrepreneurs to understand the evolving conditions and needs of the Chicago market. Identifying market gaps and trends is vital for determining the types of businesses that are poised for success in this dynamic city.
As of 2024, Chicago’s population remains robust, with over 2.7 million residents, maintaining its status as the third most populous city in the U.S. This substantial population size presents a diverse and ample market for businesses across various sectors. Chicago’s demographic landscape is characterized by a mix of income levels. While high-income neighborhoods predominantly lie in the North and West, areas with lower-income levels are more common in the South and West. This demographic distribution is essential for businesses in pinpointing and catering to their target markets.
The city’s industrial landscape continues to be diverse and thriving in 2024. Key sectors include finance, healthcare, manufacturing, and technology, each showing varying degrees of growth and transformation. Staying informed about the size, growth trajectories, and key players in these industries is more crucial than ever. This knowledge not only helps in spotting the most lucrative opportunities for business ventures but also aids in understanding the competitive landscape, which is essential for strategic planning and positioning.
Some of the most important Chicago market gaps:
- Underserved neighborhoods – there may be certain neighborhoods in Chicago that are not being adequately served by existing businesses, providing an opportunity to target that area.
- Affordable housing – with a high cost of living in some areas, there may be an unmet need for affordable housing options.
- Emerging industries – keeping an eye on emerging industries and being the first to offer products or services in that area can give a business a competitive advantage.
- Health and wellness – there is a growing demand for health and wellness products and services, providing an opportunity for businesses to cater to this trend.
- Green and sustainable products: Consumers are becoming more conscious of the environmental impact of their purchases, making green and sustainable products a growing market gap.
- Convenient and accessible transportation – in a city like Chicago with a large population and significant traffic congestion, there may be a market gap for businesses offering convenient and accessible transportation options.
- Unique dining experiences – with a thriving food scene, there may be an opportunity for businesses to offer unique and innovative dining experiences to stand out in the market.
- Experiential retail: In the age of online shopping, there may be a market gap for brick-and-mortar stores that offer an immersive and interactive shopping experience.
- Work-life balance services – with a growing emphasis on work-life balance, there may be a market gap for businesses that offer services and products to help people better manage their personal and professional lives.
- Technology solutions for small businesses – small businesses in Chicago may be in need of technology solutions to help them stay competitive in the market, providing an opportunity for businesses that offer these types of products and services.
- Luxury experiences – in a city like Chicago with a high-income population, there may be a market gap for businesses that offer luxury products and experiences to cater to this demographic.
The most important business trends in Chicago include:
- Health and wellness – the health and wellness industry is also growing in Chicago, with a focus on preventative care, alternative medicine, and fitness. This includes businesses such as gyms, wellness centers, and health food stores.
- Projections for the labor market in the City of Chicago indicate that the healthcare and education sectors are expected to see the most growth in the near future. (source)
- Tech innovation – Chicago has a thriving tech scene, and there is a growing trend of businesses using technology to improve and streamline traditional industries. This includes areas such as real estate, transportation, and retail.
- Food and beverage – the food and beverage industry continues to grow in Chicago, with a focus on farm-to-table and locally-sourced ingredients. There is also a growing trend towards healthier and more sustainable food options.
- Sustainability and environmental awareness – many new businesses in Chicago are focusing on sustainability and environmentally-friendly practices, such as using recycled materials, reducing waste, and incorporating green technologies.
- Co-working spaces – the trend towards remote work and flexible work arrangements has led to a growth in co-working spaces in Chicago. These spaces offer a collaborative work environment and provide businesses and entrepreneurs with flexible and affordable office solutions.
And what do you think? What are the most profitable business ideas for Chicago? What businesses are in the greatest demand? Share your opinion with us in the comments section below!
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