The Three Most Profitable Small Businesses

Starting a small business takes courage, some funds, and a good sense for business. A majority of small businesses fail within the first two years of operation, and you don't want that to be you. But even if you do everything "right," you still may not see the success you want if your business is not in demand.

The most profitable small businesses to start fall into three categories: low overhead, high demand, and what's considered a "permanent skill." (A skill that will not become obsolete within the next few years.) Below we take a look at the three most successful types of small businesses and what you need to get started.

Accounting / Bookkeeping / Tax Services

profitable small businesses-accounting

If you're well organized and have a head for numbers, then you can't go wrong with doing math for other people. Becoming an accountant (or bookkeeper or tax professional) is one of the best ways to start a small business.

What do you need? Besides a tolerance for math and good organizational skills, most professionals only need a good computer and the associated software. Many newbies get started right out of their own homes, either seeing clients in their dining rooms or a converted office. Right away you're looking at little to no overhead.

The hardest part is getting your name out there. Almost every business is going to outsource their accounting needs, so we recommend hitting the pavement and stopping in at the local businesses to introduce yourself.

Manual Trades


There is a lack of tradesmen these days, especially in more suburban and rural areas. If you're good with your hands, you can start a business doing plumbing, electric, small repairs, and even small construction jobs. All you need to get started is transportation and some good tools. Oh, and some training wouldn't hurt either. Luckily you can take trade classes at community colleges for little to no money, and have your coursework done in as little as a year.

Filling A Niche


The most profitable small businesses are those that fill a need in the community. If your town already has seven bookkeepers, you may be up against some stiff competition. Same for the plumbers and electricians. Every area is different in terms of its history and cultural identity. What one area desperately needs is something another area is flooded with.

Take a look around your town and neighborhood. What are the people asking for? What do they desperately need in terms of services? Is everyone lamenting a lack of a Mexican restaurant? Do the seniors wish they had someone to run their errands for them?

You are also not limited to the real world. Virtual jobs are bigger than ever, and you may know some groups who are calling for a good virtual assistant or designer in their field.

Ultimately, the most successful businesses are those that fill a need in a community. When you open, you'll automatically have a built-in customer base ready to patron you as long as you do a good job.


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