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25 Most Profitable Small Business Ideas

Written by:

Reviewed by: Daniel Javor

Published on July 29, 2022

Updated on November 2, 2022

25 Most Profitable Small Business Ideas

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25 Most Profitable Small Business Ideas

Looking to make serious profits? You’ve come to the right place. Every entrepreneur is on the hunt for big money, but few know where to look. You could start a food truck, car wash or gym, get into consulting, accounting, cell phone repair, graphic design or copy writing, or go big-time and get into construction and real estate. 

The possibilities are nearly endless, though you’ll probably have to do some hard work before the cash starts rolling in. Check out our list of most profitable business ideas to get started.

1. Food Truck

How to start a food truck business

Who doesn’t love food trucks? They seem to be everywhere these days, at parks and street fairs, music festivals, beaches, private parties and community events. Industry revenue in the US tripled in the years before the pandemic, and now food trucks are coming back strong as the pandemic recedes. Now’s a great time to start your own food truck business and provide your community with delicious meals while grabbing a share of this growing market. 

The first step, of course, will be settling on a menu. The possibilities are endless, from burritos to barbecue, from burgers to sausages, and from smoothies and milkshakes to pad thai and pizza. You could even go seasonal, and offer frozen desserts in summer and gourmet soups in winter, and be able to draw a crowd year-round. The next major hurdle will be acquiring the necessary licenses and permits, which are absolutely crucial for any food-related business. 

Last but not least, you will need the food truck itself. It’s sure to be a significant investment, but you might be able to find a reasonably priced used truck to keep costs low. With a little luck, soon enough you’ll be up and running and making a nice return on that investment.

2. Car Wash

How to start a car wash business

Some people REALLY love their cars, and need to keep them looking beautiful in and out. That’s why the US is home to nearly 17,000 car washes and a growing $28 billion industry. With a decent-sized investment, you could start your own car wash business and make countless car owners beam with pride while making a good living. 

One crucial element will be location, as few people drive out of their way for a good car wash. So it’s important to find a location with ample space, steady vehicular traffic and easy access. Near malls and shopping centers, or alongside highway rest stops, are among the stronger options. Once you’ve nailed that down, you’ll need to invest in top-of-the-line car washing machines and fine-tune your knowledge of car detailing. Soon enough, you’ll be washing your way straight to the bank!

3. Car Repair Shop

How to start a car repair shop

At least 70 million vehicles in the US are more than 15 years old and potentially need to undergo repairs in the coming years. This means growth opportunities for car repair shops across the country. If you’re looking to start a car repair shop, now is the time to do it. The US automotive repair industry has seen steady growth and is predicted to earn nearly $60 billion by 2024. 

One of the challenges to starting a car repair shop is the high startup cost. You’ll need to invest in some tools and equipment like hydraulic lift, diagnostic machine, air compressor, jack and jack stands, and more. You’ll also need to undergo training in auto service and repair, which is a prerequisite for a National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification. This certification will give you an advantage and show potential customers that you have the skills to repair their vehicles. It will also make it easier for you to obtain liability insurance and find financing. With proper training and a lot of hard work, you should be able to get your business up and running.

4. Cleaning Service

How to start a cleaning business

Do you find yourself cleaning your home on the weekends? Do you have a knack for organizing and making things shine? If so, you might consider starting a cleaning business. It’s one of the easiest businesses to start, and cleaning is a $76 billion industry that has seen steady growth in recent years, so the opportunity is there for the taking.  

You just need some cleaning equipment and supplies and you could start offering your services on a popular app like TaskRabbit, until you set up your own website. You could offer a maid service, end-of-lease cleaning, carpet and upholstery service, or all of the above. You also have the option of working part-time at first to see how it goes before you jump in completely. 

Keep in mind, cleaning is often a dirty business involving demanding work, so it’s not for everybody. But if you enjoy making things look great, this could be the entrepreneurial niche for you.

5. Ecommerce Business

How to start an ecommerce business

Do you have a great business idea, but don’t know where to start? These days, the best way to get started is often by turning to the internet, where a wide variety of ecommerce businesses have found great success in recent years. Of course you know about Amazon, but there are also millions of smaller businesses that make up what is now a $4 trillion global industry. 

With countless people stuck at home, ecommerce revenues increased by more than a quarter in 2020, and they’s still growing, so opportunity in this market remains strong. You will need an appealing, in-demand product, a simple, easy-to-use website, and a sharp marketing plan, but if you’re willing to invest a good chunk of your time and money your new ecommerce business will have a great shot at success. Somebody’s got to be the next Jeff Bezos, right?

6. Dropshipping

Dropshipping

Dropshipping is an increasingly popular business model in which online stores sell products without carrying inventory. Instead, when the shop owner receives an order, she simply contacts the supplier and relays the product order, which is then shipped directly to the customer. Already, advanced dropshipping apps like Oberlo have begun to emerge, allowing business owners to simultaneously offer a variety of products from several different suppliers. 

The market is growing fast and offers great opportunity for the bold entrepreneur. Yet because a dropshipping business is relatively easy and inexpensive to launch and operate, the competition is getting intense. In order to stand out, your dropshipping business will need to offer either uniquely appealing products or, more likely, a one-of-a-kind customer service experience, from order placement through delivery. 

It’s not easy becoming the next Jeff Bezos, but right now is a great time to give it your best shot.

7. Web Design

How to start a web design business

Do you know of any legit business that doesn’t have a website? That’s right — in today’s digital world, businesses need to have a decent website if they expect to be taken seriously. That’s why web design is a $40 billion industry that’s seeing steady growth as the number of new US businesses hits record highs. All those new companies will need websites, which means right now is a great time to start your own web design business and design a bright future. 

First, if you’re not already an established graphic designer, you will need a bit of training. But there are many helpful options out there, including online educational platforms that offer subscriptions that allow you to take as many classes as you want. Alternatively, many universities offer affordable website design certification courses. Once that’s sorted, the next crucial step will be building your own website, which has to be fantastic or nobody will trust your skills. 

With some quality social media marketing, you should be able to rope in a client or two. Impress them and you’ll be on the road to design success.

8. T-shirt Business

How to start a t-shirt business

Just about everybody loves a good T-shirt, which is why the US’ online T-shirt industry has more than doubled in the past decade and expected to see continued growth in the coming years If you’re into fashion and have some unique design ideas, you could start your own T-shirt business and grab a slice of that market while giving consumers cool shirts that start new trends. 

Getting started is probably easier than you think. You’ll need some high-end design software, to create new and appealing styles, and you’ll need to find a reliable manufacturer with which you can partner. But at least initially, you can work from and don’t even need your own website; you can sell your T-shirts at online platforms like Amazon and Etsy. Then, once you’ve established a strong reputation, you can launch your own website, open your T-shirt store and start building your casual clothing empire.

9. Pet Store

How to start a pet store business

With people stuck at home during the pandemic, the number of pet owners skyrocketed. Over the past decade, Americans’ spending on pets has more than doubled to $110 billion, and pet stores, also growing quickly, represent about a fifth of that total. If you love animals, you could start a pet store, give lots of cuddly cuties new homes and help people better take care of their pets, all while making a good living.  

Of course, you’ll need to decide which pets you’ll offer and how broad your variety of products will be, from food to toys and accessories. Another crucial step will be ensuring you meet all regulations and obtain all the required licenses and permits required for pet sales. Starting a pet store is not easy, but it’s far from impossible. With a bit of luck and determination, you can start your own and ride Americans’ love of animals to prosperity.

10. Gardening

How to start a gardening business

Four in 10 American millennials are engaged in indoor garden activities, such as growing sprouts in jars and herbs in pots, while around a third of baby boomers grow indoor plants as a way to relieve stress. If you have a green thumb and love growing your own plants, starting a gardening business and helping people garden could be very fulfilling. It’s also a fun way to turn a hobby into a money-making venture. 

Starting a gardening business is relatively simple and doesn’t require a lot of overhead costs. This type of business can also be run from home. You can host in-person and virtual workshops on gardening, design or maintain gardens, and provide other services like lawn mowing or outdoor repair. It’s a good idea to research the market first and find out what your competitors are offering in order to find clients. With your passion for nurturing plants and persistence to keep going, you can easily grow your gardening business.

11. Furniture Store

How to start a furniture store business

Who doesn’t love comfortable, appealing furniture? These days, when most of us are spending more and more time at home, it’s no surprise that the furniture industry is seeing strong, steady growth. A furniture business is a great way to earn a living because you get to work with your hands and be creative and build products that help people live in a more comfortable home. 

But it’s not an easy business to get into. It takes a great deal of time and determination, as well as a good amount of money, to determine your offerings and prices, produce and buy inventory and rent out a quality space. You also need to have an eye for detail and a high level of patience because customers rarely buy a bed set or dresser on a whim. 

But if you do everything right, you may find your products in demand sooner than expected! You could also refurbish and refinish aged and antique pieces, which often go for very high prices. There’s a lot of opportunity in furniture for the sharp entrepreneur.

12. Real Estate Sale

how to start a real estate business

The US real estate market has been booming in recent years, and is now worth nearly $400 billion and expected to see further growth in the years ahead. As an entrepreneur, you’re probably always on the look-out for new opportunities. Right now, with sales totals and home prices at record highs, real estate ranks among the largest and most promising markets. And best of all, you’ll be helping families settle down and build homes and communities. 

Of course, starting a real estate business isn’t as easy as getting out of bed. You’ll need to educate yourself about the market and obtain a real estate agent’s license. You’ll need to familiarize yourself with all of the relevant online tools and information to keep you updated on market trends, and find a local broker to partner with. Finally, you’ll need to set up a website and successfully market your home buying and selling abilities in order to stand out in a crowded marketplace. 

All that done, you’ll be ready to start building your real estate empire.

13. Construction Company

How to start a construction company

If you’re looking for a venture that will make big profits and create jobs, then consider starting a construction business. The US construction industry was estimated to be worth $1.4 trillion and employed more than seven million people as of 2020. Although it suffered a slump in the last two years because of the pandemic, it is anticipated to rebound strongly as the government’s stimulus package is expected to boost infrastructure spending. 

There are a few things you need to know first, like choosing a business structure. You’ll need to comply with legal, insurance, and other requirements to avoid legal issues later on. It’s also a good idea to prepare a business plan, which will include your financial and marketing plans, to give you a clearer picture of what your company needs and how it will operate. It would also be wise to contract the services of a lawyer to help with crafting contracts, agreements, and other legal documents before moving forward with any construction projects. Starting a construction business can be challenging but you can make it work if you plan carefully and invest time and money in it.

14. Personal Training

How to start a online personal training business

Thanks in part to the pandemic, Americans are more concerned about fitness and health than ever before. The US gym and fitness industry has been growing for years, and personal training has expanded more quickly than the industry as a whole. On top of that, with more people staying at home, online personal training — providing instruction virtually, over an internet video connection — has absolutely exploded and is forecast to expand 10-fold from 2019 to 2027, hitting $60 billion. 

If you’re a fitness nut, now is the perfect time to take advantage of this trend. You could launch your own personal training business from the comfort of your own home and help countless people in your city and beyond get the fitness instruction and insight they need while making a good living.  You’ll need to get certified as a personal trainer and decide exactly which services you’ll offer. This might include weightlifting, yoga, pilates, stretching exercises, and dietary and nutritional guidance. 

Once you’ve got all this nailed down, just start advertising your services on the leading online fitness platforms and you’ll soon be sweating your way to success.

15. Wellness Center

How to start a spa business

If you’re passionate about health and want to help other people improve their lives, a wellness business might be best for you. It can be financially rewarding, too. As the world emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, the global wellness industry is expected to recover from the slowdown and projected to grow nearly 10% annually to approach $7 trillion by 2025. This presents an opportunity for you to start a wellness business. 

Before you get started, it’s a good idea to decide on your niche market. Are you thinking of simply selling health and wellness products? Perhaps you could focus on providing health and wellness services. Would you open a massage or yoga studio? How about a retreat center or treatment spa? Find the answers to your questions as you research more on the subject. Keep in mind that every business is different, so you’ll need to tailor any tips to fit your specific situation.

16. Gym

How to open a gym business

As the US economy recovers from the pandemic, gyms and fitness centers are also expected to reopen and bounce back. The gym, health and fitness clubs industry is poised for a modest growth and expected to earn more than $36 billion in 2022. Starting your own gym business can be very profitable and rewarding, too. 

Setting up a gym can be a breeze if you’re motivated and have a clear idea of what it will offer and what you want to achieve. You will need to invest in exercise equipment, choose a location that is accessible to potential customers, and secure the necessary permits and certifications. An option is to get a franchise or buy an existing fitness center. You will also need to identify a target market. There’s an increasing number of younger people who want to get fit and healthy, so you might want to direct your advertising and marketing efforts to this demographic. Don’t forget the older fitness buffs, though. Their number is also increasing.

17. Makeup

How to start a makeup business

Four in 10 Americans between the ages of 30 and 59 years wear makeup every day, according to a 2017 survey. The number is probably higher now as more men, perhaps inspired by Kpop idols, are also wearing makeup even if it’s just a bit of concealer or foundation. 

So if you’ve been considering starting a makeup business, now is the time to do it. This type of business can be fun and rewarding. You will not only be making some cash, but you will also be helping your clients improve their looks and boost their self-confidence. 

If you’re coming up with your own product line, you will need to strictly follow Food and Drug Administration regulations. The rules make sure that any cosmetics sold in the market are not adulterated or misbranded. These should also meet ingredient labeling requirements. An easier way to start a makeup business is by being a distributor of established brands. With careful planning and aggressive marketing, your makeup business can be a success.

18. Appliance Repair

Appliance Repair

Are you looking for a business opportunity with low overhead costs? Consider starting an appliance repair business. The market suffered a decline because of the pandemic but recovered in the latter half of 2020 because of low consumer confidence and supply disruptions. The market is expected to continue growing because of these disruptions that make it difficult for consumers to get new appliances. 

Before you get started, understand the market and know that an appliance repair business covers household appliances like television, washing machines, dryers and refrigerators. You may also repair and maintain garden equipment like lawn mowers, but automotive or computer repairs are not included. You will need to check out licensing and other regulations, prepare the basic tools that you need for repairs and maintenance, and advertise your business to find customers. You can start small and work by yourself, or hire an assistant as your customer base grows. With a little planning and preparation, you can be on your way to running a successful appliance repair business.

19. Accounting Firm

How to start a accounting firm

If you’re an accountant, why not consider launching your own accounting business? It’s one of the most lucrative small businesses and there’s always a demand for accounting services. As the US economy improves, corporate profit is also expected to increase, presenting vast opportunities for accounting businesses. The accounting services market in the US is worth more than $140 billion and still growing.

Before you get started, it’s important to have a clear vision of your purpose and a firm grasp of the risks involved in starting a business. In some states, you may not need to be a certified public accountant to start an accounting firm. You just need to register it as a business and comply with all applicable laws and regulations. But getting certified will allow you to offer some services that only CPA businesses can. With the right skills, a good marketing plan, and a lot of hard work, you can make your accounting business incredibly rewarding.

20. Cell Phone Repair

How to start a cell phone repair business

At least one smartphone screen breaks every second in the US, a cell phone repair company says. Not all Americans, however, can afford to toss their damaged smartphones, and buy a new one or upgrade. That’s why the cell phone repair industry has continued to thrive, earning around $4 billion a year. If you are skilled at fixing cell phones, this may be your chance to set up your own business.

Before you promote your services, it’s important that you decide what you’re going to offer. Will you be doing screen repair and replacement, battery replacement, or software-related repairs? Do you plan to set up a shop, or just work from home and promote your business online? You will find the answers to your questions as you research and assess the market. What’s important is that you are able to offer reliable and value-added services so you can quickly build up a loyal customer base.

21. Consulting Company

How to start a consulting business

Business is revving back up as the pandemic recedes, and one of the industries best positioned to take advantage is consulting, which is worth more than $250 billion in the US and recorded strong growth in 2021. If you have an area of expertise — finance and budgeting, technology, operations, or management — you could start up your own consulting firm and help businesses improve their efficiency and profitability while also making a good living. 

Starting a consulting business is difficult, and will require hard work and determination, as well as a decent amount of red tape. Beyond building up a strong network and reliably providing value to your clients, a key element of your success will be understanding what sets you and your firm apart from your competitors and finding ways to promote that message to your target market and deliver on your promise. Accomplish this and you’ll soon build a reputation and, with a bit of luck, seven-figure revenues.

22. Graphic Design

How to start a graphic design business

Strong graphic design is a crucial element of nearly every business’s branding and marketing strategy, which is why it’s always in great demand. After years of steady growth, the US graphic design industry is worth nearly $14 billion and offers real opportunity for the bold entrepreneur. You could start your own graphic design business from home and work with clients around the world, generating good money and turning your creative passion into a successful career. 

You will, however, need to have a strong creative streak and some skill and experience with graphic design software and tools. If you don’t have a related degree, you could brush up on your graphic design skills by taking courses at an online platform like Udemy. Next, it’s a good idea to research the market, see what sort of graphic design is trending lately, and keep an eye out for a market gap that might fit your skillset. 

Understanding and clarifying what you will offer, which businesses you are targeting and how you’ll stand out from the competition will be crucial elements to your success.

23. Virtual Assistant

How to start a virtual assistant business

The job didn’t even exist 20 years ago, but now, thanks to new technologies and the sharp increase in remote work during the pandemic, the virtual assistant industry is booming. After years of strong growth, the market is expected to be worth more than $4 billion by 2025. That means now is a fantastic time to start your own virtual assistant business. 

To be clear, we’re talking about a human, not a digital or AI-powered, assistant, who provides administrative, technical, and creative services to clients remotely, via the internet. If you have a strong business skillset, you can get started with a minimal investment and run the company out of your own home while serving clients anywhere in the world. You could also add more skills over time, increasing your revenue streams and the rates you’re able to charge. 

With hard work and a bit of luck, you’ll soon be helping businesses run more smoothly and efficiently while making good money for yourself.

24. Copywriting

How to start a copywriting business

Can you whip up a compelling article under time constraints? If so, you may want to consider starting a copywriting business. Copywriting can be a lucrative and rewarding career, and it’s an ideal business for entrepreneurs who are creative and have a strong command of the English language. Demand for copywriters is high as their services are considered essential in marketing and advertising. More than 15,000 job openings for writers, including copywriters, are expected each year through 2030 in the US. 

The biggest barrier to entry is finding clients, but it shouldn’t be difficult. Consider building your personal brand on social media by using captivating headers with great text and visuals, regularly sharing content, and keeping your posts positive and engaging. If you want to work with more than one client at a time, start by building your client list and your portfolio before taking on new projects. With a lot of creativity, you’re ready to begin your copywriting business.

25. Social Media Management

How to start a digital marketing agency

Social media is among the world’s fastest-growing industries, with its 20% annual expansion in the last five years expected to increase to stunning 25% annual growth through 2026. By then it will be nearly a trillion dollar industry, which means that now is a great time to get in on the action and ride this wave.

Starting a social media business can be as simple as starting a blog about the media industry on LinkedIn or as complex as creating a fully-fledged Instagram business with lots of people using your content and products. With any social media business, the marketing will be absolutely crucial. The primary goal will be to connect with your target audience on the relevant platform. This means that before you even get started, you should do some research and experimentation to decide which platform and its user profile best fits you and your interests. From there, you’ll just need to find your niche to start building a respected brand.