Business Insurance

25 Small Business Ideas for Ocean Lovers

Want to start your own beach business? Here are 25 great ideas for beachside towns.

Do you dream of working near the ocean with the sand between your toes and the wind in your hair? Being an entrepreneur allows you to create a business aligned with your interests and passions and gives you more control over your time and life. Here are 10 small business ideas to stir your entrepreneurial spirit. If you have any other ideas, please share them in the comments section below!

1. Beach House Rental

If you have a property near the beach, you can earn extra money by renting it out on sites like Airbnb, Beachlets or Simply Seaviews.

2. Bed and Breakfast

If you want a more hands on business and love putting out a breakfast spread then consider running a seaside bed and breakfast. You can even look to buy a property that's already operating as a bed and breakfast so there aren't any big renovations to do.

3. Tour Guide

Advertise in the local welcome centre or online at a site like Trip Advisor as a local tour guide. Find a specialty like finding fossils on the Jurassic Coast or becoming an expert in local wildlife or history.

4. Boat Trips

Depending on your skills and budget, you can offer small boat tours of local areas up to larger dinner cruises or even sailing excursions for beachgoers without a boat or experience.

5. Boat Rentals

A beachside boat rental business can cater to beach visitors who want to fish, explore and swim in nearby coves or just have a bit of adventure.

6. Surf Lessons

Avid surfers can turn their love of the water into a business teaching others to surf. You can teach locals through a proper, structured course and/or offer one-time experiences for people just visiting your town.

7. Surf Shop

You can think bigger an start a surf shop that sells boards and accessories (and runs surf lessons).

8. Watersports Rental

If there aren't enough watersports rental businesses in your town yet, these can be very popular with holidaymakers looking for an adrenaline rush.

9. Fishing Guide

Know the best local fishing spots? Whether from land or a boat, you can be a guide for people who don't know where to go. You can even rent out equipment.

10. Fisherman

If you would rather fish yourself than teach others how to do it, then fish for a living and develop relationships with local restaurants to buy your catch.

11. Swimming Lessons

Swimming in open water is more challenging than in a pool. Start a business teaching people how to handle ocean swimming safely and comfortably. You can even rent out wet suits as part of your business.

12. Bicycle rentals

Who doesn't love cycling along a boardwalk? It's a great way to travel around a beach town and get to know the local community. Set up a pedal cycle rental business.

13. Babysitting

Parents on holiday with their kids might want an evening out without the little darlings. Offer up your babysitting services, which you can advertise in local accommodation facilities.

14. Sandcastle lessons

Give parents a bit of R&R time at the beach. Start a sandcastle school where you look after children, supplying lots of great sandcastle building tools, assistance and inspiration.

15. Summer Camp

Start a summer and holiday camp for kids. Activities can include swimming, boating, fishing, snorkeling, sandcastle building and more.

16. Lemonade Stand

Ok, it doesn't have to be lemonade. Pick a refreshment of your choice and sell it under an umbrella beachside.

17. Cafe

Always wanted to run your own cafe? What could be better than an beachside cafe! From ice cream to coffees to paninis, beachgoers are a hungry and thirsty bunch.

18. Selfy Stand

If you're handy and creative, or know someone who is, then think of and build a clever selfy station. Think of a swing erected out over the water, or a lounger submerged just below the surface that people lay on to look like they're laying on top of the water. Or even a buried-in-the-sand box where people can look like they've been buried but they're really laying in a box covered with a dusting of sand. People will pay to take pictures using your equipment.

19. Portrait Artist

Turn your a natural artistic talent into a business by capturing people on their holidays, from caricatures to real-life portraits.

20. Henna Tattoos

A henna tattoo business to can be a fun offering for visitors to your seaside town.

21. Face Painting

Artists can also try their hand at setting up a face painting business, perhaps specialising in ocean themes like mermaids, fish and sharks.

22. Gift Shop

Rent a small shop near the seaside that sells locally-made products for visitors to help them remember their time in your seaside town.

23. Fitness Instructor

Run yoga, pilates or fitness classes on the beach.

24. Food Truck

From cold drinks to burritos to pizza, food trucks are usually quite popular in busy, beachside towns. Turn your love of cooking into a small business by starting your own food truck.

25. Summer Camp

Start a summer and holiday camp for kids. Activities can include swimming, boating, fishing, snorkeling, sandcastle building and more.

26. Market trader (one extra for good luck)

As a market trader you can sell goods you've made—from homemade scones to seashell sculptures—or sell items popular with beach tourists such as beach toys, towels, sun lotion, hats, balls and more.

Business Insurance

Regardless of the type of business you start, even if you operate as a self-employed sole trader, be sure that you have proper insurance in place. For example, public liability insurance is critical if you have any interaction with members of the public. And if your business grows and you hire anyone, you'll need employers' liability insurance.

Erin Yurday

Erin Yurday is the Founder and Editor of NimbleFins. Prior to NimbleFins, she worked as an investment professional and as the finance expert in Stanford University's Graduate School of Business case writing team. Read more on LinkedIn.