Home Business 26 Small Business Ideas in the Netherlands! Online Business?

26 Small Business Ideas in the Netherlands! Online Business?

by Rafal Sulowski

I am an entrepreneur living in Amsterdam and this blog is one of my projects. Blogging is definitely a good idea for small business and I recommend it. If you have any questions about blogging feel free to contact me. Today I will share with you some ideas for small businesses in the Netherlands. I think that the Netherlands is an amazing country when it comes to business. There are many possibilities and it’s also a very wealthy nation so it’s much easier to sell your products than in the poorer parts of the world.

Construction Company

You don’t need much to start a basic construction company. Don’t offer too many services and focus only on 1 thing. The easiest thing to start is painting and it’s also easy to scale. You can hire more employees and search for more jobs. It’s quite easy to teach someone how to paint and you don’t need much money for the initial investment. How to find the first job? I recommend you to offer your services on a local supermarket advertisement board, facebook groups and also there is a website called Werkspot.nl. After a year of hustle, you won’t need to promote your services anymore, because you’ll get most of the new clients from testimonials.

Tour Guide

They are loved and hated at the same time. Tourists swarms come to the Netherlands year by year. Some people are tired of that and actually the municipality of Amsterdam is trying to change the image of the city. “We don’t want drunk tourists in our beautiful city,” they say and I agree. When it comes to Amsterdam there is much more than partying, and there are many people coming here only for bachelor parties.

There are plenty of guided tour companies in the Netherlands, but you must be aware that at this age it’s all about marketing. Every year there are new marketing opportunities. Today internet marketing and social media are huge!

Sometimes it’s also about a business model. Have you heard of free walking tours? Since a few years, they take over the market!

Photo courtesy of Floris Oosterveld|| Flickr

As long as the Netherlands is a touristic country, you can earn a living by organizing tours. If you would like to start that kind of business I recommend you withlocals.com. You can place there your offer and tourist will book a tour with you.

Mobile Bike Repair

According to the last research from 2016, there are 847 000 bicycles in Amsterdam and 23 million bikes in the whole Netherlands. That’s quite a lot and it gives many business opportunities. Someone who owns a truck and is a handyman can start a mobile bike repair business. I have seen something like this in the past. I would even think of an app where people can request a repair, they place details of the repair and they know what time someone will come to repair their bike. That’s surely something more complicated than regular mobile bike business but if you do not have enough money for investment, a regular Bike Repair could be also a good small business idea.

Bike Repair

I mentioned already a mobile bike repair but I have also another idea. It’s actually a case study because I know a guy who rents a little garage in Haarlem and he repairs bikes. All-day long he’s busy. He has his bike repair garage in one of the neighborhoods, quite far from the city center. He isn’t cheap and still, he has a lot of clients.

Catsitting / Dogwalking

Catsitting and Dogwalking are getting more and more popular. Especially in cities such as Amsterdam where so many internationals travel all the time. If you build a good relationship with some dog/car owners you can count on recurring customers. There are already some services such as Cat in a flatPetbnb, Pawshake and DogBuddy.

Photo by Humphrey Muleba on Unsplash
  • Cat in a Flat – someone can find a loving cat sitter in their area
  • PetBnb – “Find a dog lover in your neighborhood to care for your dog”
  • Pawshake – “Find a dog walker to collect your dog from home and take your dog for a 30 min walk”
  • DogBuddy – Another dog sitting service in Amsterdam.

As you can see there are multiple pet sitting services in the Netherlands and I didn’t mention all of them. Pet owners want to hire dog/car sitter to avoid kennels. No one really wants to leave their beloved pet in a steel crate.

Cleaning Service

The Netherlands is a wealthy country and people value their time. They often don’t want to spend a few hours cleaning their houses. It’s very popular to pay someone for doing that. Even young people, who start their careers hire some cleaning services.

You may say: I don’t want to be in a cleaning service industry! I advise you to start with any high ROI business so later you have more options and choices.

Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

You can “buy houses” from other cleaning services. Have you heard of that? You pay let’s say 200 euros and you takeover a house from another cleaning service. You can find that kind of offers online, on facebook groups or on advertisement boards in supermarkets.

Bike Tour Guide

You don’t even need to cycle. You just hire a guide and focus on marketing. You can even start it based on the free walking tour model but in this case free bike tour. The initial investment includes a few bicycles, website and marketing costs. Marketing is your most important investment. With a good marketing, you can take over clients from other tour agencies.

A Bike Tour in Amsterdam || Photo Courtesy of Hans Splinter

Flip Things

If you don’t know what I am talking about you better watch one of Gary Vee episodes: Trash Talk. This guy drives from one garage sale to another, he buys things cheap and then sells them on eBay. That’s actually fun to do!

In the Netherlands, I would actually run my own website. It’s very easy to create an easy online shop. I can even help you with that. If you want to try it out without a website, you should start with Facebook Marketplace, it’s the easiest and free online way of selling. Most importantly it’s effective.

Find some cool things to flip on markets and your best place to go is Ijhaalen.

Souvenir Shop

There are already too many souvenir shops in cities such as Amsterdam. I wouldn’t really open another souvenir shop but I would definitely think of some new hot souvenirs that tourists can be interested in. If you find a good product you could actually bulk sell it to many different souvenir shops with a big profit. Think of arbitrage – it’s powerful technique.

Delft Blue, famous Dutch pottery || Image by Mabel Amber, still incognito… from Pixabay

Your winning product can be a Tshirt with some catchy phrase. Follow trends- you can create a product that sells during one summer and make this way a lot of money.

Home Brewery

That sounds like fun. I’ve bought a beginner brewery kit for my aunt. It costs me only 50 euros and with this set, you can make 50 bottles. After that, you need only some extra hop extract, etc. In the beginning, you can just make a few bottles and give it to your friends, if they like it and they want more you can brew more and more, and then you can start with your company.

Actually, I think this is a great business idea!


That’s one of my businesses and if you are interested in creating a blog you should consider signing up for this course. Jim and Ricky do a great job when it comes to blogging and they teach how to make a living out of a blog within 24 months. That’s a fair period of time and if you work hard on your blog for 2 years you will surely make a full-time income on that.

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

People aren’t aware of how much money one can make on a simple blog. To be honest, if you have an audience of 1000 dedicated followers you can already earn some exponential money.

I am so grateful for today’s world because it gives you unlimited opportunities and you can scale your business like never before. Depends on what you like you can write articles, record videos or open an online shop. There are many different options that are good for different people.


There are many different things that you can do as a freelancer but in this case, I mean an online Freelancer. I like idea of this job because it gives you freedom. You can work only on projects of your choice and you don’t need to stick to one place. The only thing you need is your laptop so you can constantly travel. You can be a freelancer in:

  • Design
  • Writing
  • Transcription
  • Illustration
  • SEO
  • Coding
  • Consulting

Have you heard of Fiverr? or Freelancer? You can sign up for these services and put there your offer. I also like 48 hours logo and I used them in the past. In this service, you organize a contest for the best logo. You give designers some guidelines and then you ask them for offers. You get, for example, 50 designs and then you can choose 1. This designer gets paid. It’s a good option for someone who starts as well as for an experienced designer. The winner gets approximately $100.

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Dog Groomer

Dog Grooming course may be quite expensive, but after you get some experience you can make quite a lot of money. Start a home-based business and promote your services locally. In this case your biggest expense is going to be salon rental. That’s why you should start small, at home, and when you’ll be ready to hire someone and go full time, then you can think of renting a bigger place.

Photo by Александр Гросс on Unsplash

Online Dating Consultant

Online dating is more popular than ever before, especially in big cities such as Amsterdam. Online Daring Consultant teaches people how to create successful dating profiles. As an online dating coach, you can do a photo session for your customer and help him craft the most appealing profile description possible. If you are good in-game you should also share some texting tips and tricks.

Photo by Andrej Lišakov on Unsplash

Actually I’ve been talking to the guy who is a Dating Coach in Amsterdam and he shared with me some Online Dating tips and tricks. I think if you make an online course on how to craft a 10/10 Tinder profile.

Boat Restoration Service

There are thousands of boats in the Netherlands, so there is also a space for boat restoration services. Boats must be check every year and often they need some basic restoration work.

Life Coach

In big cities such as Amsterdam, where professionals live there is a high demand for personal development. Big cities work like magnets for high-quality people. This kind of person know how important is to work with a life coach. High-achievers focus a lot on becoming the best version of themselves.


Where are you from? Do you know any foreign language? You could become a translator or teach your language in the Netherlands. Maybe you can even start an online language course or a translation agency.

Car-detailing specialist

My friend works in Car-detailing industry he makes a good money but it’s definitely a difficult job. He does mobile car detailing and he visits his clients every day. That’s not an easy job.

Pests Cleaning Service

There are many rats and mouses in the Netherlands. Of course, it’s under control and surely there are not that many of them as in the past. But in the area where I live, Amsterdam Zuidost there is plenty of rats and they are huge. Another big problem are bed bugs. Hotel owners pay a lot of money if you effectively fight these little pests. People travel like never before in history and Amsterdam is a global city, so bed bugs are constantly brought here from different parts of the world. Also in Rotterdam, there is the biggest harbor in Europe and that’s another cause of that many pests.

Photo by Sandy Millar on Unsplash

Personal Chef

People want to eat healthily, but they don’t have time for it. There is a place for a personal chefs who visits families and teach them how to cook healthy food. You can also cook for your clients, but probably you’ll make more money on courses.

Personal Trainer

If you want to become a personal trainer I encourage you to watch a few YouTube videos of Elliot Hulse about being a personal trainer and about the fitness industry. Be aware that’s a very difficult job and it’s not easy to scale it. Big gyms take over the market and good trainers have their own business so it’s difficult to find a good employee. If you are a 1 person company keep in mind that most people want to exercise early in the morning before work or in the evening. You also won’t have free weekends. It’s a highly competitive niche but if you are the best you can make a lot of money. The best way to monetize fitness is to recommend products, sell your own products, online courses, diets, and training plans.

Social Media Manager

If you were selling something 30 years ago, you only had access to some local people. Today with the help of the internet anyone can sell globally. In a matter of days, you can set an online shop and promote your products on social media. But people want to do their business and they don’t have time to be busy both with their business, internet website and social media. That’s why they need someone who will create their social media and promote their brand. Social media agencies make a lot of money.

There are new trends in internet marketing every few months. It’s impossible to run a proper 1 person business and focus on it’s marketing at the same time. You need someone who completely focuses on internet marketing and who knows what it’s effective. There are many strategies that bring 0 results. Some strategies are good for one business but do not work for another business at all.

Photo by Merakist on Unsplash

Moving Company

That’s definitely a good business in the Netherlands. It’s surely not easy. If you know how Dutch staircase look like you know what I mean. Often it’s impossible to bring something downstairs and you need to use a hook and a rope. That’s why people need professional help with that. But you can’t start it alone, you’ll need some employees or friends.

Online Shop

Dropshipping is a very popular and easy way to start an online shop. If you don’t have a product you can sell someone else products. If you have your own products you should start your webshop. There also many internet services which help you find clients. If you sell some handmade stuff you can sell on Etsy.


The wooden lettering below is my work. I’ve done it a few years ago. Back then that was my business idea but I gave up. Now I think that I could continue working on that, but that’s how I see it today with my current knowledge. A few years ago I didn’t have knowledge of how to sell it, today it would be much easier. I would start an Instagram account, I would share my woodwork on Facebook groups. I would also make an online shop.

Back then I had a problem finding clients and that was a bit of a headache. There is also Etsy. Maybe some companies would like to have a wooden logo like that. Probably you are curious about how I’ve done these lettering. I used a scroll saw, and it’s much easier than you think. It was a cool experience and if you have a skill like this definitely keep on working on that.


If you don’t have an idea for your business and you would like someone to share his whole know-how you may be interested in Franchise. Have you heard of the Franchise business model? Basically, someone shares with your know-how, procedures, intellectual property, use of its business model, brand, and rights to sell its branded products. You pay for the license to do so. For example, you can start your own Burger King or McDonald based on Franchise license. You can find some franchise-based businesses here.

Wrap Up

If you’ve read a full article it means you are very dedicated to starting your new business. Keep in mind that beginning is the most difficult, procrastination is a silent dream killer, so choose something that you resonate with and hustle. It’s simple but not easy. Give yourself time and you will be successful!

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