Are you ready to take the first steps in your entrepreneurial journey? For inspiration, check out our list of profitable small businesses.
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People who are able to see clearly the future of entrepreneurship can be successful. They have a clear vision of what industry they want and how they will get there. It can be hard for new entrepreneurs to decide how to start a company, and which type of business to invest in.
We have compiled a list to help you start your journey. It includes factors like industry growth and competition, startup costs, barriers and profitability potential.
What amount do you need?
Any business idea can be successful and profitable if it is supported by a solid business plan and hard work.
However, businesses in high-growth sectors with lower startup costs may be more profitable. You’ll likely have greater success opening a virtual assistant company than opening a grocery shop, thanks to the advancement of technology.
While some businesses are online-based, some offer in-person services. Some are great for entrepreneurs who are constantly on the move. This is our list of the top small businesses.
1. Food trucks
Grand View Research’s 2021 report shows that the food truck market has experienced steady growth over the last five years. A food truck company can be started for a fraction of the cost of opening a brick-and-mortar restaurant. You also have geographical flexibility, high returns on investment, and the ability to create your own menu.
Remember that larger, more trendy cities such as San Francisco, Boston, and Washington, D.C. already have a saturated food truck market. There are also stricter regulations for getting started. This could make it easier to start a business in a smaller metropolis.
Food trucks are also subject to their own set of regulations, business licenses, and safety compliance standards. You will also need food business insurance. Contact your local health department for more information.
2. Services for car washing
According to Consumer Reports’ 2020 study, car owners are keeping their cars longer due to the rising cost and increased features of new vehicles. Businesses like car washes, which help owners maintain their investment in their automobiles, are expected to continue growing.
The International Carwash Association estimates that 66% of Americans wash cars at least once per month. On average, they wash it 13 times per year. According to the International Carwash Association, the car wash market will grow from $14.7 billion to $20.7 billion from 2021 to 2028.
A mobile service can make a car washing business more profitable. A car wash that is delivered to customers may be more expensive, particularly if the customer has a luxurious car or prefers a personalized service. You can also use a mobile car wash or auto detailing service to avoid the startup and overhead costs associated with having a physical location.
3. Auto repair
According to IHS Markit, which is now part of S&P Global, the average age for cars and light trucks in America rose to 12.1 years in 2021. This was an increase of 9.6 years from 2002. The fact that people are keeping their cars longer suggests there is a lot of opportunity in the maintenance and repairs business.
Additionally, car owners are more likely to visit a small business for repairs; according to the Auto Care Association, more than 70% of repair business is captured by independent repair facilities compared with dealerships or manufacturer-authorized repair facilities.
A business that offers auto repairs is a great option for those who are skilled in mechanics. You could offer oil changes, fluid fills, battery swaps, and headlight repair. You might consider making it a mobile service to help you save overhead costs. This will allow you to travel to your customers and perform repairs in their garage or office parking lot.
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4. Personal trainers
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the growth in the employment of instructors and trainers of fitness is 39% between 2020-2030. This is much faster than the average rate for all occupations. You don’t need to work in a large corporate gym to make your passion for fitness a career. Nor do you have to own your own facility to train clients. You can take your fitness show to the next level by packing a few yoga mats, weight bands, and other equipment in your car.
Personal trainers can offer one-on-one training sessions at your clients’ homes, or advertise group classes at local parks or community centers. Your clients may be able to make fitness more accessible to them.
5. Services for newborns and post-pregnancies
While millennials may be delaying parenthood longer than other generations, many want to have children. According to the Pew Research Center’s analysis of government data, more than half of millennial women had had children by 2018.
Both Generation Z and millennials are now considering parenthood. The demand for child-oriented businesses, especially in the post-pregnancy or newborn-related areas, is increasing. According to a 2018 Research and Markets report, the North American maternity care market will reach more than $3 billion by 2023.
New mothers are increasingly looking for doulas or lactation consultants. Both business options require relatively little overhead beyond certification and education.
Get the cash you need to get started: Compare the top small business loans available right now.
How to open a bank account for your business: Information on how to obtain a free checking account.
Accepting credit cards and other payments: What options are available and how to use point of sale systems.
Get started tracking your profits with simple accounting software.
6. Enrichment activities for children
Americans are still having children. However, decreasing education budgets mean that traditional academics, as well as enrichment subjects such as music, art, and athletics, take a substantial hit.
One way to make a business a success is to teach enrichment activities to children. A 2018 U.S. Census Bureau survey found that children are as active in extracurricular activities as they were fifteen years ago. Research shows that almost half of American parents spend over $1,000 annually on their children’s activities.
You can open a music school or gymnastics gym, teach swimming or yoga to children, or concentrate on other child-oriented activities. You might have a skill that can be taught to children, and a business idea is possible.
7. Apps and entertainment apps for mobile devices
You might be interested in engineering and development if you are a developer. Research has shown that children are increasingly looking for apps, tablets, and mobile entertainment — particularly if they’re education-focused.
Grunwald Associates’ Learning First Alliance report, which examines mobile devices and early childhood education, found that more than 60% of parents believe that apps and mobile devices can be beneficial for teaching children skills in reading, math, and science.
Have you got an idea for an educational app that parents or children would love? Do you have a bright idea for an educational app that parents or children would like to use? If so, it’s time to make your business profitable.
8. Accessory and attire for sharing
Gwynnie Bee and Rent the Runway have embraced the concept of the sharing economy. We want less stuff so we share our resources.
These companies rent or lease clothing and accessories for a fraction of the cost of purchasing them. Additionally, because the same inventory generates multiple revenue streams, they can be very profitable. A 2021 study from Mercari shows that the market for secondhand clothing is expected to triple by 2030.
Are you fashion-conscious and have a unique sense of style that isn’t offered by rental agencies? Perhaps you are ready to be the next big thing.
Even if your budget is not sufficient to start a multimillion-dollar fashion company, it’s possible to make a profit by sharing fashion at the local level. Before the next formal dance, gather your favorite accessories and clothing items and hold a borrowing party where customers can borrow or purchase them.
Greek life formals, if you live in a college city, are another way to make money from the shared economy fashion. You can make even more money if you take shipping costs out.
9. Equipment for home improvement shared
Do you have the reputation of being the local expert on every aspect of lawn, garden, and home repair? You can turn your tools into a business by promoting your equipment to people outside your immediate circle.
You may even consider investing in more expensive, more specialized equipment that will be of benefit to others. You can even combine equipment rental with mobile service if the customer isn’t familiar with how to use it.
According to Home Advisor, home improvement spending has increased significantly since the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, the average American household spent $8,305 per year on improvement projects. This could be a huge opportunity as more people remodel and fixer-upper homes.
10. Vacation rentals
Renting out space in your home to tourists is a great way to make a living if you live in a desirable tourist area. It’s now easier than ever for you to make a profit on your vacation property or extra bedroom with sites like VRBO and Airbnb. Airbnb claims that the average cost in America earns over $13,800 per year.
It is easy to become an Airbnb host. The demand for these rentals has increased in recent years. Airbnb booked 356.9 Million nights in 2021 a significant increase from the 251.1 million nights booked in 2020. Airbnb and other rental platforms are subject to local laws. Before you start, you should check these guidelines.
11. Electronics repair
The Pew Research Center reports that 85% of Americans have a smartphone and 75% of Americans have a laptop or desktop computer. With more workers working remotely, the reliance on electronics is growing.
This means that people seek help as quickly as possible when something goes wrong. Electronic repair is a lucrative business opportunity. The Business Research Company’s 2022 report states that the global electronics repair market will grow from $8 billion in 2021 to $9.6 million in 2026.
This service could solve every problem with an iPhone screen, laptop battery, or Wi-Fi card. You might even be more successful if your customer is willing to travel with you. Apple stores and other electronics retailers have been under fire for their long wait times. This could be a boon for mobile providers.
Even though a mobile electronics repair company requires overhead in the form of supplies purchases, it is much cheaper than having to be physically present.
12. Academics courses
Online entrepreneurs can offer courses via educational platforms or on their own websites. According to Technavio’s 2020 report, the U.S. market for e-learning has seen a rapid growth rate since the COVID-19 pandemic. It is expected to grow by $21.6 billion by 2024.
Your business could offer courses in traditional academics or online instruction in science, math, history, and standardized test preparation. A review course could be created for parents to help teens with their algebra homework. The possibilities are endless if you’re imaginative.
Academic courses do not have to be at the college or high school level. Online courses can be created to share your passions for political history, Buddhist Theology, or rocket science. There are likely to be others who are interested in the same subject as you.
13. Language courses
Based on Census Bureau data, approximately one-fifth of American families speak another language than English. Online language learning courses are becoming more popular as there is an increase in the number of languages spoken across the country. According to Technavio’s 2022 report, the market will grow by $5.7 billion between 2021 and 2026.
You can learn Swahili or English online, and someone will want to learn it from you.
Online-based language classes could prove to be a profitable venture if you are fluent in one of the most sought-after languages such as Arabic, Spanish, or Mandarin.
14. Marketing or business courses
Participation in career-focused online courses has increased significantly since the COVID-19 pandemic. This is especially true as more people look to work remotely or change jobs. LinkedIn, for example, saw a 53% rise in global learning hours between 2020 and 2021.
Recent months have seen companies expand or launch new tuition reimbursement coverage, which means that workers can now spend their money on these classes. Fortune’s 2022 Harris Poll found that 14% of employees said their company offers tuition reimbursement or coverage. In addition, 10% of employees indicated that their employer has expanded or launched new coverage in the last six months.
You can create online courses if you have a lot of career experience. Bookkeeping, QuickBooks accounting software, and WordPress web development are some of the most popular topics. You can also learn how to create a cover letter or resume.
15. Personal Wellness
Do you want to be a counselor, a yoga teacher, a life coach, or a long-time meditator? You might find a way to help others if you are passionate about personal well-being.
According to a 2019 report from Allied Market Research, the U.S. accounted in 2017 for almost 50% of the global yoga market. According to the same report, the U.S. yoga market will grow at a compound annual rate (or CAGR) of 11% between 2019 and 2025. According to Eventbrite and OnePoll, Americans who practice yoga average $90 per month. The number of people who take part in online wellness activities has increased significantly. Yoga, which saw a 25% increase of reservations than in 2019, was the most-requested ClassPass digital workout.
As with many other options, starting a personal health and wellness business is affordable as long as you have the right knowledge.
Everyone has the desire to improve themselves. That’s why online courses exist. You could make your expertise a profit by sharing it.
16. Study courses on your hobbies and interests
Many courses are intended to help you make major life decisions or improve your career prospects. However, it is possible to create an online course that focuses on any interest or hobby.
Are you passionate about calligraphy? Do you know how to play a particular video game? It’s amazing how many people are willing to pay for information on topics that interest them. Udemy’s most popular courses include web development, cryptography, Photoshop, drawing, and ethical hacking. They sell for as high as $150 per class.
Are you unsure how to create your online course? There are online courses that can help you create your online course. These courses can be used to launch your online course business.
17. Bookkeeping and Accounting
Business ownership requires accounting and bookkeeping. However, for many business owners, managing money is the most difficult part of running a business. This is why some business owners outsource these tasks.
You might be a certified public accountant or just a QuickBooks expert. This could make you the ideal candidate for starting your own bookkeeping company. According to Sageworks’ 2017 report, bookkeeping, tax preparation, payroll services, and accounting have been among the most lucrative businesses for entrepreneurs.
You can prepare expense reports, and process payroll, and invoices as a bookkeeper. A CPA license allows you to help clients file taxes, create balance sheets, and make professional recommendations regarding their bottom line.
People may be looking for your expertise and knowledge in your field if you have been in business for a while. You can turn your business knowledge into an independent consulting career.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (Board of Labor Statistics), there is a growing demand for consulting services, especially among smaller businesses that specialize in specific industries or business functions. The projected growth in the number of management analysts, which includes consultants from different industries, is 14% between 2020 and 2030, faster than the average for all occupations.
You can speak at industry events or serve as an advisor to a new business. Or, you can offer your expertise on a contractual basis to help shape its strategy.
No matter your skills, starting a business consulting firm is a great way for you to earn the income you desire while working at your own pace.
19. Support IT
IT support is a viable business idea because of our dependence on technology. This is especially true considering that the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that IT professionals will grow by 9% between 2020 and 2030. You can assist customers with issues related to their internet or software. Additionally, you can install security programs and network upgrades.
If you are a patient person and technology is easy for you, then you may be able to start a business with mobile IT support. A service you can provide to counter the lack of chat support offered by technology companies, which often leaves customers unanswered and has long wait times.
This low-overhead business model can be nearly profitable if you have your own knowledge and transportation.
20. Graphic design
Small businesses need to present a professional image in order to stand out from the crowd of brands competing for their attention. Adobe research shows that 73% of companies who invest in design do so to be different from their competition.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, graphic designers are expected to see a 3% increase in employment from 2020 to 2030. However, there are still opportunities for those who work independently, as 90% of the graphic designers in this industry do according to an IBIS World report.
Are you proficient in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign? Do you know how to design? Have you taken some design classes? Are you a good brand strategist? As a freelance graphic designer, you can turn your talents into a business. This will allow you to help small-business owners create amazing marketing graphics with virtually no overhead.
21. Management of social media
Customers expect businesses to have strong social media presence and be responsive to customers via social media.
Many small-business owners are aware that social media marketing is important, but few have the time or expertise to manage all their accounts.
If you are fluent in Twitter and live your life on Facebook, and have been offered every job through LinkedIn, it might be worth considering starting your own solopreneur company to help business owners manage their social media channels.
There are very few expenses to get started if you own a laptop, smartphone, and social media account. Also, the industry’s projected job growth of 11% between 2020 and 2030 is faster than that of all other occupations.
22. Copywriter for marketing
You can write copy for different companies if you are a skilled writer.
According to data from LinkedIn, the number of digital marketing professionals hired grew by 33% from 2019-2020. It grew 49% for content creators, including roles like blogger, creative writer, editor.
You’ll need very little startup cost, regardless of whether you’re creating a catchy slogan, or writing a detailed description of a company’s offerings. You’ll soon be able to make a profit once you get started with your clients.
23. Virtual assistant services
Businesses can benefit from having an assistant who is as flexible and adaptable as their employees. You don’t have to be present with clients every day at the office. Instead, you can work remotely as an assistant for your client in Florida.
ZipRecruiter estimates that the average U.S. remote assistant earns $63,500 per year.
You can pick your clients and set your own schedule. This includes managing emails, booking travel, and scheduling meetings.
You only need a computer and an internet connection to launch this business.
How to start a successful business
These ideas for profitable business ventures are available in a wide range of industries and require varying startup costs and time commitments. To make any profits, however, your business must be launched.
These are the steps that will help you get started.
1. Do your research
You can choose from one of these ideas or create your own. However, you should do your research before you commit to any idea. To validate your business idea, you will need to do market research and financial feasibility analysis. This will help you decide if your proposal is viable.
2. Get organized and make it official
After you have chosen a solid business idea, it’s time to start creating a business plan. Your business plan will detail your company’s goals and show you how to achieve them. It will also provide a roadmap that you (and potential investors), can follow for the next three- to five years.
Once you have completed your business plan, it is time to start the steps necessary to officially launch your small business. After choosing a business structure, you will apply for an employer ID number, register your “Doing Business As”, if required, and obtain the registrations and licenses that you need to open up your business.
3. Finance the right project
Startups may not be able to get traditional business loans because they require a lot of business history. New business owners may instead consider other funding options such as crowdfunding, microloans, and grants.
For everyday business purchases, business credit cards can also be used for short-term financing. You can get perks and rewards for your purchases, as well as build your business credit history, by getting a business card.