10+ Best Small Business Ideas to Start in Michigan [2023])

Explore our top picks for small business ideas in Michigan for 2023. Get inspired to start your entrepreneurial journey in the Great Lakes State!

By Nick Cotter
Updated Feb 07, 2024

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Hey there, future entrepreneurs! Feeling that itch to start something of your own? Have you been dreaming of being your own boss, setting your own hours, and making your mark in the world of business? Well, you've come to the right place! As we step into 2023, there's never been a better time to take that leap of faith and start your own small business. And if you're in the beautiful state of Michigan, you're in luck!

Michigan, with its diverse economy and supportive business environment, is a fantastic place to launch your entrepreneurial journey. Whether you're in bustling Detroit or the tranquil Upper Peninsula, opportunities abound for those with a keen eye and a brave heart.

In this article, we're going to explore over 10 of the best small business ideas to start in Michigan in 2023. Each one is a gem, waiting for the right person to bring it to life. So, buckle up and get ready to dive into a world of potential and possibilities. Let's turn those dreams into reality, shall we?

Craft Brewery Or Winery

Michigan is a great place to set up a Craft Brewery or Winery business because of its favorable climate, rich history in brewing and winemaking, and a large market of beer and wine enthusiasts. The state's unique geographical features and weather conditions allow for the growth of a wide variety of grapes and hops, which are essential ingredients in wine and beer production. Moreover, Michigan residents have a strong culture of supporting local businesses, making it an ideal location for starting a craft brewery or winery.

  • Michigan has a diverse climate that allows for the cultivation of various types of grapes and hops.
  • The state has a rich history and culture of beer brewing and winemaking, providing a solid foundation for new businesses in this industry.
  • There is a large market of beer and wine enthusiasts in Michigan, ensuring a steady demand for these products.
  • Michigan residents are known for their strong support for local businesses, which is beneficial for small and medium-sized enterprises like craft breweries and wineries.
  • The state offers numerous resources and incentives for entrepreneurs, making it easier to start and grow a business.
image of a Craft Brewery Or Winery

Specialty Food Store

Michigan, known for its diverse culture and rich agricultural heritage, is an ideal location for a specialty food store. This type of store can offer a variety of unique, high-quality food items that cater to the tastes and dietary needs of Michigan's diverse population. Additionally, the state's thriving agricultural sector provides an abundant source of fresh, locally grown produce that can be sold in the store.

  • Local Produce: Michigan is home to a wide variety of farms producing everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to dairy and meat products. A specialty food store can take advantage of this by offering local, fresh, and organic produce to customers.
  • Diverse Population: Michigan's diverse population means a wide variety of dietary preferences and needs. A specialty food store can cater to these needs by offering a range of products, including gluten-free, vegan, and ethnic foods.
  • Economic Growth: The food industry is a significant contributor to Michigan's economy. By opening a specialty food store, you can tap into this market and contribute to the state's economic growth.
  • Foodie Culture: Michigan has a vibrant foodie culture, with residents who appreciate high-quality, unique food items. A specialty food store can cater to these food enthusiasts by offering a wide range of gourmet products.
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Examples of successful businesses:

Michigan has been a hub for entrepreneurial success, with numerous small businesses flourishing in the state. From innovative startups to local enterprises, Michigan has seen a range of small business ideas that have thrived in its diverse economy. These successful ventures have not only contributed to the state's economic growth but have also created job opportunities and made a positive impact on their communities.

Here are some examples of small business ideas that have succeeded in Michigan:

  • Avalon International Breads: This Detroit-based bakery has gained recognition for its organic, artisanal bread and commitment to sustainable practices. With a focus on community engagement and social responsibility, Avalon International Breads has expanded to multiple locations and has become a beloved local brand.
  • Shinola: Founded in Detroit, Shinola is a luxury goods manufacturer known for its watches, bicycles, leather goods, and other lifestyle products. The brand has successfully combined craftsmanship, American manufacturing, and Detroit's rich heritage to create a globally recognized and respected company.
  • Founders Brewing Co.: This Grand Rapids-based craft brewery has experienced tremendous success, becoming one of the largest breweries in Michigan. With its wide range of flavorful beers and a commitment to quality, Founders Brewing Co. has grown its customer base and expanded distribution across the country.
  • Michigan Awesome: Started as a small online store selling Michigan-themed merchandise, Michigan Awesome has grown into a popular brand that celebrates the state's unique culture and pride. From apparel to home goods, their products have resonated with locals and tourists alike, making them a thriving small business in Michigan.
  • Zingerman's Delicatessen: Located in Ann Arbor, Zingerman's Delicatessen is renowned for its high-quality sandwiches, artisanal cheeses, and specialty foods. With a focus on exceptional customer service and a commitment to sourcing local ingredients, Zingerman's has become a beloved institution and a successful small business in Michigan.

Outdoor Adventure Guide Service

If you are an adventurer at heart and have a passion for exploring the great outdoors, our Outdoor Adventure Guide Service is the perfect choice for you. Our experienced guides are here to ensure that you experience the best of what nature has to offer, while also ensuring your safety and comfort. Here's why choosing our service is a good idea:

  • Expert Guidance: Our guides are experienced outdoor enthusiasts who have extensive knowledge about the local terrain, flora, and fauna. They can help you navigate through challenging paths, identify interesting wildlife, and share fascinating stories and facts about the area.
  • Safety First: The safety of our clients is our top priority. Our guides are trained in first aid and emergency response. They carry essential safety equipment and are always prepared to handle any situation that may arise.
  • Customized Adventures: We understand that every adventurer has unique interests and preferences. We offer a variety of adventure packages and also provide the option to customize your adventure based on your specific interests and fitness level.
  • Convenience: With our guide service, you don't have to worry about planning and logistics. We take care of everything from providing necessary equipment and food to arranging transportation and accommodation.
  • Responsible Tourism: We are committed to preserving the natural beauty of our adventure destinations. Our guides educate clients about responsible tourism practices and ensure that our adventures do not harm the environment.

More resources:

Local Artisanal Goods Store

Setting up a Local Artisanal Goods Store in Michigan is an excellent business venture due to several reasons. Michigan is known for its rich history of craftsmanship and artisanal goods, making it a perfect location to start this kind of business. The state is home to a large number of artists and craftspeople, providing a wide range of unique, high-quality products.

  • Support Local Economy: By selling locally made goods, the store will help to boost the local economy by providing a platform for local artisans to sell their products.
  • Unique Products: Artisanal goods are known for their uniqueness and quality. Customers will be able to purchase one-of-a-kind items that they can't find anywhere else.
  • Sustainable Business Model: Artisanal goods are often made using sustainable practices, which is becoming increasingly important to consumers.
  • Tourist Attraction: The store can serve as a tourist attraction, drawing in visitors who are interested in purchasing local goods as souvenirs.
  • Cultural Preservation: By supporting local artisans, the store will also contribute to preserving the culture and traditions of Michigan.

Farm-to-table Restaurant

A Farm-to-Table Restaurant in Michigan is a stellar concept due to a variety of reasons. The state's rich agricultural background and the growing consumer interest in healthier, locally sourced food make it an ideal location for such an establishment.

  • Michigan is one of the most agriculturally diverse states in the U.S., producing over 300 different commodities. This allows a Farm-to-Table restaurant to have a wide array of fresh, local ingredients to choose from.
  • Having a Farm-to-Table restaurant helps support local farmers and the local economy. It ensures that the money spent on food stays within the community.
  • Consumers are becoming more health-conscious and are interested in knowing where their food comes from. A Farm-to-Table restaurant provides transparency and trust in the food supply chain.
  • Locally sourced food is generally fresher, as it doesn't have to travel long distances. This not only improves the taste and quality of the food, but also reduces the restaurant's carbon footprint.
  • Seasonal menus can be utilized, allowing customers to experience a variety of dishes and flavors based on what's currently being harvested.

Related business ideas:

Independent Bookstore

Opening an independent bookstore in Michigan is a great idea for several reasons. The state has a rich literary history and a thriving community of book lovers who would appreciate a local, independent bookstore. Additionally, Michigan's diverse population means there is a wide range of interests to cater to, which can lead to a broad and eclectic book selection.

  • Michigan has a high literacy rate, indicating a large potential customer base for a bookstore.
  • The state is home to numerous universities, colleges, and schools, all of which would provide a steady stream of customers looking for both educational and recreational reading material.
  • Independent bookstores can offer a personal touch that larger chains often lack, such as staff recommendations, author events, and a carefully curated book selection.
  • They can also contribute to the local economy by creating jobs and keeping money within the community.
  • Michigan's vibrant arts scene, including its literary scene, would be further enhanced by the presence of more independent bookstores.

Home Or Office Cleaning Service

A Home or Office Cleaning Service in Michigan is an excellent idea for a multitude of reasons. With our busy lives, who has the time or energy to clean? Professional cleaning services offer a convenient solution to keep your living or working space clean and comfortable. They provide a wide array of services tailored to meet your specific needs and preferences.

  • Professional Quality: Cleaning services employ trained professionals who deliver high-quality results. They know the best cleaning techniques and use specialized equipment to ensure your home or office is thoroughly cleaned.
  • Time-Saving: Hiring a cleaning service saves you time. Instead of spending hours cleaning, you can focus on your work, family, or hobbies.
  • Customized Services: Cleaning companies offer a range of services and flexible scheduling options. Whether you need regular weekly cleanings or a one-time deep clean, they can accommodate your needs.
  • Healthy Environment: Regular cleaning reduces dust, allergens, and bacteria, creating a healthier environment for you and your family or coworkers.
  • Stress Reduction: A clean home or office is a less stressful environment. With a professional cleaning service, you can relax knowing your space will be clean and organized.

Personal Fitness Training

Personal Fitness Training in Michigan is a great idea for various reasons. It provides a unique, personalized approach to health and fitness, taking into account each individual's needs and goals. It's not just about physical fitness, but also about promoting a healthy lifestyle and mindset.

  • Personalized Approach: Personal trainers create a unique workout plan to meet your specific goals, taking into consideration your current fitness level and any medical conditions.
  • Motivation: Personal trainers provide the encouragement and motivation you need to push past those self-imposed limits, encouraging you to lift heavier, go longer and challenge yourself more than you would on your own.
  • Education: They educate you about the fundamentals of exercise and nutrition, ensuring that you have the right knowledge to reach your fitness goals.
  • Accountability: Personal trainers hold you accountable to your fitness goals, helping to prevent the excuses that often lead to skipped workouts.
  • Variety: Personal trainers help to change up your workouts to keep them interesting, which can help you to stay motivated and avoid hitting a plateau in your progress.

Graphic Design Or Web Development Firm

A Graphic Design or Web Development Firm in Michigan is a good idea for a multitude of reasons. This region is home to a diverse range of industries, providing a wide client base for such a firm. Moreover, Michigan has a growing tech scene with numerous tech startups and established companies, creating a demand for professional design and web development services.

  • Wide Client Base: Michigan is home to various industries ranging from automotive to healthcare, providing a diverse client base for a graphic design or web development firm.
  • Growing Tech Scene: With a burgeoning tech scene, there's a high demand for professional web development and graphic design services in Michigan.
  • Access to Talent: Michigan has several top-rated universities and colleges that produce talented graduates in the field of graphic design and web development every year.
  • Supportive Business Environment: Michigan provides a supportive business environment with various incentives for startups and established businesses.
  • Geographical Advantage: Located in the heart of the Great Lakes region, Michigan offers easy access to major markets in the United States and Canada, making it an ideal location for a firm that may have clients across North America.

Mobile Food Truck Or Catering Service

Michigan, with its diverse population and vibrant food scene, is an ideal location for a Mobile Food Truck or Catering Service. The state's numerous festivals, outdoor events, and bustling city centers offer ample opportunities for a mobile food business to thrive. Moreover, the changing seasons and associated food preferences provide a unique chance for such a business to offer a varied menu that caters to different tastes throughout the year.

  • Michigan's diverse food culture allows for a wide variety of cuisines to be served, catering to different tastes and preferences.
  • The state hosts numerous festivals and outdoor events throughout the year, providing ample opportunities for a mobile food business to serve large crowds.
  • City centers like Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Ann Arbor have a high demand for quick, convenient, and tasty food options, making them ideal locations for a food truck or mobile catering service.
  • The changing seasons in Michigan offer the opportunity for a mobile food business to adapt its menu to include seasonal produce, attracting customers with fresh and unique offerings.
  • With a mobile food truck or catering service, you have the flexibility to move to different locations based on demand, ensuring a steady stream of customers.


Founder and CEO

I'm Nick, co-founder of newfoundr.com, dedicated to helping aspiring entrepreneurs succeed. As a small business owner with over five years of experience, I have garnered valuable knowledge and insights across a diverse range of industries. My passion for entrepreneurship drives me to share my expertise with aspiring entrepreneurs, empowering them to turn their business dreams into reality.

Through meticulous research and firsthand experience, I uncover the essential steps, software, tools, and costs associated with launching and maintaining a successful business. By demystifying the complexities of entrepreneurship, I provide the guidance and support needed for others to embark on their journey with confidence.

From assessing market viability and formulating business plans to selecting the right technology and navigating the financial landscape, I am dedicated to helping fellow entrepreneurs overcome challenges and unlock their full potential. As a steadfast advocate for small business success, my mission is to pave the way for a new generation of innovative and driven entrepreneurs who are ready to make their mark on the world.