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108 Best Business Ideas to Make Money

You may be dreaming of owning your own small business but don’t know where to start or what to choose to launch. We evaluated business ideas that anyone could realistically pursue with some training, experience, and startup capital. We also considered mostly low barrier, high-return businesses with low-cost and high-yield. Most of these business ideas can be launched with less than $7,000. Many of these ideas can be run from a home office, saving money on rent and a commute or are products and services that can be sold online.

Here are 108 business ideas to consider when starting your own enterprise:

1. Art Dealer / Broker / Corporate Art Consultant

  • Startup Costs: $1,300+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $130,000
  • It’s no secret that there is an incredible amount of money in art and its dealings. If you love art, then selling it may be right for you. Art is a commodity. You can keep costs low by starting out selling online as a dealer before renting a location. You can also consider a pop-up shop at key locations. Keep in mind that eventually having a physical location could play a central role in the success of the business, but so will your ability to make and keep professional relationships with industry contacts.
  • Related: How to Sell Art Online

2. Retail Bakery / Specialty Desserts

  • Startup Costs: $2,000+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $78,000
  • Have you always enjoyed baking and does everyone love your desserts? The decadence of a homemade cookie or cupcake is matched only by the tasty sum a successful bakery proprietor could rake in over time. It’s no cakewalk, though, so be sure to do your research, put in the time, and learn the skills. Consider starting your business from home or renting space in a commercial kitchen to save money on rent and to keep startup costs low. Make sure you understand Cottage Food Laws in your state first, if you start at home.
  • Related: How to Open a Bakery in 6 Steps

3. Cooking Classes

  • Startup Costs: $2,500+
  • Earning Potential: $26,000
  • Whether cooking classes are a full-time commitment, or you teach to supplement an existing culinary career, this is a relatively easy business to launch. This is especially true if you don’t need to rent or lease space but get paid by vocational schools and community organizations to teach on their campuses. For even more customers, consider offering specialized adult or children’s cooking classes. As you build a customer base and name over time, consider renting a location for your very own cooking school.

4. Costume Design / Rental

  • Startup Costs: $6,500+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $84,500
  • Though not a far cry from fashion design, costume design is not only a little more fun but fairly lucrative. If, in addition to designing costumes, a business owner can start, grow, and sustain a sizable rental business, then this business model will continue to regenerate itself. If you have a knack for creativity and can sew or source costume gear, this could be a successful venture over time.

5. Dance Lessons / Studio

  • Startup Costs: $2,000+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $65,000
  • Of course, starting dance classes at available local venues is going to be significantly less expensive than opening a full-blown studio. Consider, as with any business, starting small and setting yourself up for successful and sustainable growth once your good reputation precedes you.

6. Day Care – Children

  • Startup Costs: $1,300+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $52,000
  • Starting a day care from home might not make one a millionaire, but for someone who loves kids, it could be a rewarding career. Be sure to get licensed to operate and closely follow state and zoning regulations, especially for a low overhead home-based day care.
    Related: Day Care Insurance: Coverage, Top Providers and Costs

Did You Know?

In spite of downward pressure on profits in 2020 due to COVID, the day care industry profit was still 9.5% of revenue thanks to continued demand and revenue growth.

7. Adult Day Care

  • Startup Costs: $1,300+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $45,500
  • If you have a kind inclination toward the elderly, an adult day care could be a good use of time. With low startup costs for a home-based business, there’s plenty of room for revenue. However, “care” is the keyword, so be sure to have stringent employee screening and training that includes first aid and CPR certifications. This idea is among our Top 25 Crazy Business Ideas for Entrepreneurs.

8. Designer of Retail Items

  • Startup Costs: $13,000+
  • Earning Potential: $195,000+
  • Startup costs for designing retail items are high because of the IT equipment, which includes hardware and CAD software. People who pursue this field generally have worked for someone else first and learned the nuts and bolts of the profession. A career as a product designer can be extremely fruitful, with room to grow into a larger enterprise.

9. Dog Trainer

  • Startup Costs: $1,400+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $65,000
  • Not only are the startup costs for a dog training business extremely budget-friendly, but with a passion and love for dogs, acquiring helpful certifications and credentials will seem like a walk in the park. Word-of-mouth can be especially helpful in this business, so a track record of success will help build up the business.

10. Furniture Refinishing and Repair

  • Startup Costs: $6,500+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $78,000
  • Are you crafty and like to upcycle or restore original furniture? Become an artisan and historian all-at-once. Refinishing and repairing antique furniture can be expensive, with business owners commanding $50 per hour and up. When cleaning, stripping, repairing, refinishing, painting, and new hardware are all factored into the equation, you’ve got yourself a flourishing new business idea.

11. Home Staging / Interior Design

  • Startup Costs: $4,000+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $104,000
  • A passion for visual design, architecture, and real estate can lend itself to a very lucrative small business model. Few individuals do both home staging and interior design, but both can fetch over $100 an hour. Consider, though, whether you’ll want to use client furniture or your own furniture in the home staging process, as this will affect the associated startup costs. Read our guide on the Best & Worst States to Start a Home Staging Business.

12. Jewelry Designer

  • Startup Costs: $650+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $97,500
  • If you’ve ever purchased fine jewelry, you’re familiar with how a tiny piece of metal and stone can be thousands of dollars. That’s partly because markup in the jewelry industry is high (usually around 100%). If you’re crafty, you can start by creating designs from home using inexpensive elements and selling locally. If you want to learn in-depth design, consider looking into a Jewelry Design Certificate from the Gemological Institute of America as an investment in your business.

13. Nutritionist

  • Startup Costs: $650+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $52,000
  • If eating healthy were easy, everyone would do it. Not only that, but there would be no nutritionists needed. But there are, and for very little money down, a self-employed nutritionist can make a comfortable living. Not only can you do nutrition work for people all over the world via the internet, having strong industry connections can make for a maintenance-free referral network. Nutritionists also work in the health care industry at medical practices and hospitals.
  • Related: How to Start a Home Healthcare Business

14. Outdoor Adventure Guide

  • Startup Costs: $6,500+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $130,000
  • If REI is your favorite store and the Great Outdoors is your favorite travel destination, outdoor adventure guide tours could be the realization of all your dreams. Outdoor recreation alone is 2.1% of US GDP so the climate is ripe for an adventure guide. Whether you take folks rappelling down a nearby cliffside or shuttle them off to Argentina, just be sure to have safety protocols in place, really good insurance, and a legal waiver so that everyone is safe and protected.

Outdoor Adventures

15. Personal Chef

  • Startup Costs: $650+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $65,000
  • If you’re a whiz in the kitchen, no need to be a slave to the restaurant industry. Work with varied and diverse clients to whip up fresh, healthy, prepared meals bound for the freezer or fridge. Just be sure to have good record-keeping or a customer relationship management tool to record preferences, allergies, and dietary restrictions of each individual client and household. Most of your investment out of the gate will be in advertising your services and networking.

16. Pet Sitter

  • Startup Costs: $200+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $32,500
  • The pet sitting industry has grown by leaps and bounds and busy professionals want to make sure their fur babies are taken care of while away from home. A good pet sitter will be flexible, have lots of experience with pets, and can pet sit at their home or at the client’s home. This is another business where it all depends on your employees, so be sure to carefully screen your team to build up a good reputation. This is just one of our 32 easy businesses to start. Most startup costs will be insuring your business and/or employees.

Did You Know?

In 2019, the pet sitting market was valued at $2.6 billion globally. It is expected to grow 8.7% from 2020–2027.

17. Professional Organizer

  • Startup Costs: $650+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $58,500
  • Even before Marie Kondo, the famous author, revolutionized home organization, it’s been a tidy industry with great margins. In addition to being a neat-freak, it helps to pursue a certification as a professional organizer. Then you’ll have a bright, shiny “CPO” behind your name. Educational costs will run from $350-$1,100.

18. Sewing / Tailoring Services

  • Startup Costs: $1,500+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $58,500
  • Here’s another business idea that comes with all kinds of options for diversification and expansion. You can start by offering tailoring and one-on-one sewing classes out of your home, a successful business owner then can consider launching a sewing shop location offering group training classes and fabric sales.

19. Sign Painting

  • Startup Costs: $2,500+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $100,000
  • Put that talent in drawing and painting to work. Believe it or not, in many parts of the country (and the world, for that matter), hand-painted signs are still preferred to printed ones—signs meaning hand-lettering, drawings, and murals (the last of which can fetch the artist over $55 per hour) for individuals, businesses, and more. Just be sure to give preliminary estimates that fairly compensate your time, talent, and materials and that you’ve got a legal contract in-hand before beginning the process.

20. Stylist / Image Consultant

  • Startup Costs: $2,000+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $65,000
  • Looking good will never go out of style, and that’s what keeps personal styling businesses intact. The open door with Image Consulting is that “image” can include everything from hair and makeup to the color that best complements the client’s skin tone. Therefore, products, services, and packages are all available as part of the business offering. Once things are in full swing, look into being added to the Directory of Image Consultants with AICI.

21. Travel Agent / Consultant

  • Startup Costs: $2,250+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $65,000
  • Another business with extremely low overhead and startup costs is putting those travel planning and logistical skills to work. Even though DIY travel planning is perfectly accessible, there’s still a need for agents with all the skills, resources, connections, and gumption to whip up the trip of a lifetime at a fair price. Any blogger can call themselves a travel agent or consultant, so consider backing up that title with certification from The Travel Institute.
  • Related: How to Start a Travel Agency From Home

Tip: 2020 was not the year to get into the travel agency or tourism business. However, now might be. After plummeting in 2020, tourism industry revenue is expected to rebound over the next four years at an annual rate of over 10%.

22. Upholsterer

  • Startup Costs: $1,300+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $58,500
  • With a good bit of artistry and business skills, an upholsterer can make a pretty comfortable living. This is the kind of trade that used to require apprenticeships, because quality counts. The right tools, equipment, experience, and training will get you well on your way in the upholstery business, and you can easily operate from a home studio or workshop. Assuming you’ve already got the skills, the best credential in this field is a good reputation, so starting small, attention to detail, and building up experience are the keys to success.

23. Accounting

  • Startup Costs: $2,600+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $104,000
  • Working as an accountant for any company can be a cushy job, but self-employment is certainly an option for accountants who would rather hold the cards. Small accounting firms can work directly with civilians and other small businesses. You can even do accounting for larger companies. Consider becoming a certified public accountant (CPA) so you are not limited in which services you can offer. It can take several years to earn a CPA on top of an existing accounting degree. Check out the options in your state on the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) website.

24. Advertising Agency

  • Startup Costs: $7,000+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $110,000
  • Setting up an Advertising or Marketing agency requires a couple of foundational basics. You should have a background in advertising already and have developed somewhat of a skillset and a network. You will need top-of-the-line IT equipment, software, and a sensational brand identity. Advertising and marketing are visual mediums, and the first way you’ll be marketing your own agency is by the brand you put forward. A portfolio of past work and success you garnered up to this point will also help you to gain new clients

Did You Know?

The US Advertising industry currently boasts over 71,500 individual agencies, representing an employed population of nearly 250,000 people.

25. Mobile Automotive Detailing

  • Startup Costs: $6,500+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $78,000
  • The only thing better than a place-based service is one that literally meets the customer where they are. While many service business enjoy low startup costs, if an automotive detailer is going mobile, they will have to invest in a reliable, reasonably nice-looking vehicle, tools, and equipment. Also, bear in mind that when driving around town, you’re inside a moving billboard, so be sure to have some great branding and contact information for the business on your automobile.

26. Bookkeeping Service

  • Startup Costs: $2,600+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $65,000
  • Bookkeeping is a skill that translates neatly and cleanly into a small business, be it home-based, out of a physical space, or exclusively conducted online. This is another business in which certification would benefit the owner, however. You might already be a certified bookkeeper though, so check out the next steps for moving forward with a bookkeeping business below.
  • Related: Part-Time Side Business Ideas
  • Related: How to Start a Bookkeeping Business

27. Business Consulting

Business Consulting

28. Carpet / Rug / Upholstery Cleaning

  • Startup Costs: $10,000+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $65,000
  • There is earning potential in carpet and upholstery cleaning. Most of the investment is in equipment. This is another business where reputation makes all the difference, and word-of-mouth can make or break the business. Consider whether you’d like to serve commercial or residential clients. With enough staffing and demand, a cleaning business of this nature could serve both markets over time. For reference, 56% of this industry’s services are rendered in a residential capacity and 28% in a commercial capacity among other smaller service segments. To compete in a major market, you may need to consider investing up to $30,000 to include a commercial vehicle.

29. Cleaning Company

  • Startup Costs: Varies depending on the type of company; minimum of $750+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $50,000
  • One of the best things about a cleaning company is the different areas of cleaning specialty. A small business owner can focus on a wide variety of service niches, including janitorial services, waste collection or waste removal services, hazardous materials removal, disaster cleanup/damage restoration ($15,000+; up to $65,000), or even apartment preparation ($500+; up to $35,000) for real estate or property management companies. To navigate these options and the other to-dos of starting a cleaning company, see our article below for all the details.
  • Related: 10 Best Cleaning Franchise Opportunities
  • Related: How to Start a Cleaning Business

Tip: When determining your target market, bear in mind that the cleaning industry market is divided up as follows: Commercial (69.2%), Residential (11.3%), Education (9.9%), and Government and Not-for-Profit Organizations (9.6%).

30. Commercial Photographer

  • Startup Costs: $3,900+
  • Earning Potential: $45,500+
  • The photography industry, for better or for worse, is a large unregulated one, which makes it relatively easy to enter. A new entrant into this field will do well to invest in high-quality equipment, along with finding a good niche. This industry is wildly competitive, so a new business owner will require flexibility in travel, adaptability in products and services, and good value behind their products, services, and prices. Because commercial photographers usually do work for marketing and advertising campaigns, a symbiotic referral and partnership network would help guarantee more opportunities.

31. Computer Repair and Maintenance

  • Startup Costs: $6,500+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $91,000
  • As consumers and companies rely more and more heavily on complex technology to operate, IT-fixers remain a commodity. However, as electronics are made and sold cheaper, electronics and hardware become replaceable rather than repairable. Therefore, it is crucial that computer repair business owners have strong supply chain contracts in place, good value on products and services, superior technical knowledge, and skillful inventory management. Not to mention that there are many IT certifications that would not only enhance the business owner’s technical skills and training but would also serve as a stamp of approval.

Common Forms of Small Business Financing

32. Computer Literacy and Skills Training

  • Startup Costs: $600+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $70,000
  • Since 16% of US adults are considered digitally illiterate, there continues to be a need for those that can teach essential skills and training to 53 million Americans. Community organizations, nonprofits, and libraries are good places to start out offering computer classes. And with advanced video conferencing technology, online coaching and training has become easier than ever before.

33. Direct Sales

  • Startup Costs: $1,000+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $65,000
  • Advancing technology is hindering the growth potential of many small businesses and industries, but sales is not one of them. There has always been—and foreseeably will be—a need for good salespeople to sell products. If you can source a product that people want at a price they can afford and can display or demonstrate in a convincing manner, then your business might be one of the sales success stories. Some examples of direct sales would be Avon, Mary Kay, Amway, and Herbalife Nutrition.

Did You Know?

The most successful direct sales company of all time is consumer product company Amway, founded in 1959. The company reported sales of $8.4 billion in 2019.

34. Environmental Consultant / Contractor

  • Startup Costs: $4,500+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $130,000
  • This growing field has tons of attractive earning potential for minimal startup costs. What an “Environmental Consultant / Contractor” actually does is ensure that private and public institutions are abiding by increasingly rigid environmental regulations in all that they do. The downside is that this is a surprisingly complex practice that requires an Environmental Science degree (or related) and diverse experience to truly qualify the business owner, along with a solid reputation.

35. Executive Recruiter

  • Startup Costs: $6,500+
  • Earning Potential: $200,000+
  • Colloquially known as “head hunters,” these kinds of businesses make money by being paid a percentage of the salary of the person placed with the client. That is, for only placing a single well-paid executive at a salary of $100,000, the Executive Recruiter will be paid anywhere from $20,000 to $30,000 for that placement. The startup costs are mainly due to office rent, equipment, and advertising costs, however, if one starts from a home office, then advertising would be the main cost. To outperform the industry, tap into LinkedIn and other sites that make headhunting easier and faster.

36. Financial Planner

  • Startup Costs: $6,500+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $150,000+
  • While it comes with hearty earning potential, financial planners and advisers are heavily regulated under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. Additional regulations may apply depending on the specific financial services offered by your business. Education certification costs and advertising your services will come into play for startup costs. If you want a location to meet with clients, you may want to consider an office or you could save by meeting at their home.
  • Related: 25 Creative Financial Adviser Marketing Ideas & Strategies

Did You Know?

Employment of financial planners is expected to increase 7% by 2028 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

37. First Aid/CPR Classes

  • Startup Costs: $400+
  • Earning Potential: Up to: $26,000
  • For pennies on the dollar, many individuals trained in emergency care could make a business of teaching it. This is another business that is most wisely (and affordably) run from home and instructed from rented or community spaces. If you want to start a stand-alone school, however, the startup costs will be multiplied many times over. The medical-specific prerequisites for successfully starting this kind of business are CPR and First Aid Certification, Child and Infant CPR, Automated External Defibrillator (AED) use, and American Red Cross instructor training.

38. Fundraising Consulting Service

  • Startup Costs: $2,600+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $45,500
  • Just like a salesperson, there will always be a demand for professional fundraising. Nonprofit organizations, in particular, are funded by their activities, grants, and fundraiser and donations, so with over 1.5 million nonprofits currently operating in the US, there is no shortage of customers. Additional target industries would include charities, various service organizations, and government-funded groups. While there is no formal certification required, a networking and a reputation is key here, as a successful campaign can make or break an organization relying on a consultant.

Tip: Find and research target nonprofit organizations on GuideStar.org. The database shows nonprofit gross receipts, assets, and 990 documentation.

39. Genealogy

  • Startup Costs: $650+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $52,000
  • With your brain, tools, and Rolodex of the primary assets of the company, startup costs are extremely low to launch a business one-upping Ancestry.com. Some of the best contracts can come from B2B deals with law firms and banks seeking heirs or forensic genealogy services. Also, bear in mind that while not required to start and run this business, a startup business owner may want to investigate the handful of certifications offered by the Board for Certification of Genealogists and look into joining the Association of Professional Genealogists.

40. Grant/Proposal Writer

  • Startup Costs: $2,600+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $200,000
  • This type of service-based business runs alongside fundraising consulting; both organizations are helping other companies raise money in one way or another. Because your work will focus heavily on comprehensive grant proposals complete with graphics, charts, tables, and more, a comprehensive office space (from home or elsewhere) along with all the necessary hardware, software, and printing equipment will comprise the startup costs here.

Tip: If you need a grant or proposal writer for your own business, check out Fiverr.com, a collection of freelancers offering everything from design to grant writing to logo illustration.

41. Graphic Designer

  • Startup Costs: $7,800+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $98,000
  • If you guessed that the startup costs here are thanks to state-of-the-art design technology and hardware, then you guessed right. This would likely include a high-end computer, Adobe Creative Suite, color scanner, and laser printer. In addition to a degree, training, or a background in graphic design, this field requires true artistic talent, creative thinking, and strong business and people skills.

42. Handyman Network

  • Startup Costs: $650+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $58,500
  • Home improvement and construction activities ebb and flow, but handyman services are always in demand. Not only could anybody with home improvement, organizational, and people skills develop a small network of contractors, but they could also launch solo for less than $1,000. The prerequisite for this enterprise is skill, but good marketing and quality services at a fair price will also shape the business’s future success. And in this industry, decent insurance and workers’ compensation will be must-haves early in the game.

43. Builder/Construction Services

  • Startup Costs: $30,000+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $85,000+
  • The beauty of starting a home building or construction service business is that the size of the job directly correlates to how much money the business brings in. Not only could a new business focus on big-ticket items like building and home construction projects, but you could also offer smaller remodeling and niche home improvement services to make ends meet in the interim. You’ll also thank yourself for investing in a robust project management software to keep organized.

Did You Know?

Home improvement, remodeling, and construction are some of the few industries that experienced financial increase as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Big retailers and online home improvement resources have experienced double-digit growth over 2019.

44. Human Resources Service

  • Startup Costs: $6,500+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $90,000
  • There are plenty of Small-to-Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that can’t afford to bring executive services in-house, but they can afford to contract key services out to another business like a human resource consulting service. You would be advising companies of many sizes on hiring practices, payroll, time-tracking, benefits, incentives, health insurance, and more. A degree and proven track record in HR would be beneficial, as would strong referrals that show how HR services translate to long-term gain for SMEs. SHRM or PHR certifications are advised especially when going solo.

45. Invention Consulting / Brokerage

  • Startup Costs: $3,900+
  • Earning Potential: $65,000+
  • Many inventors struggle to get their product to market or just let their ideas fall through due to the cumbersome patenting process. That’s where a skillful invention consultant or brokerage comes into play. A good consumer product can bring in tens- or hundreds-of-thousands of dollars over its lifetime, so an investment in your consulting services to the tune of $650 to $2,000 (plus 15% to 20% of invention’s final sale price) should be a worthwhile investment for a savvy inventor. A degree or extensive background in product development and consumer trends will take this business type to the next level, and present unlimited earning potential in the long run.
  • Related: Trademark vs Copyright vs Patent and How Much Does a Patent Cost?

46. Translation Service

  • Startup Costs: $2,500+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $40,000
  • As the world grows smaller in terms of access and communication, translation services become even more essential. And considering that only 20% of Americans can speak more than one language, a bilingual or multi-lingual individual is an increasingly hot commodity. Whether you choose to offer written translation services or verbal interpretation (or both), a translation service company stands to gain its fair share of this $5 billion industry.

Did You Know?

Increasing globalization and immigration are key indicators of industry revenue growth, which is expected to exceed 8.9% annually through the year 2025.

47. Paralegal Service

  • Startup Costs: $2,600+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $85,000
  • With demand for paralegal services increasing at the astronomical rate of 10% from 2019 to 2029, a stand-alone paralegal service provides a skillful business owner with countless customers in law firms. This field does require a relevant degree; either an Associate’s or Certificate in Paralegal Studies.

48. Liquidation Service

  • Startup: $10,000+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $78,000
  • Every time a business faces the misfortune of a store closure, especially in the case of national chains, the assets are likely liquidated. And with all the red tape involved in closing out a store location or entire business, many choose to hire a liquidator to handle that process for them. And once again, the larger the liquidation, the higher the percentage of earnings for the liquidator. This business should be a consideration for any good salesperson.

49. Locksmith

  • Startup Costs: $6,500+
  • Earning Potential: $45,500
  • If you’ve ever been locked out of your house or car, you understand the value of a locksmith. It’s also a feasible business idea. In opening this kind of business, consider starting from home or by car/van before investing in a storefront or if at all. With the right equipment and training, anyone can make a go of a locksmith business.

 50. Maid Service

  • Startup Costs: $2,000+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $195,000
  • What separates this from the cleaning company previously on this list, is that maid services are almost exclusively residential and are usually consistent, reliable, and scheduled. Few maid services can operate successfully with one employee. However, with a reliable crew, this business can be an extremely fruitful one that presents few prerequisites. Do yourself a favor and look into bonding and insuring the business, including workers’ compensation.
  • Related: 5 Best Janitorial & Cleaning Business Insurance Companies

51.  Management Consulting

  • Startup Costs: $6,500+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $78,000
  • “Management Consulting” is pretty broad. It can therefore be whatever you make of it, varying by market, niche, and client needs. Examples of niche focuses can include government compliance, the introduction of new technologies, and strategic planning. Some 80% of this industry’s service offering is comprised specifically of strategic planning, marketing, and human resources consulting. Consider what your expertise is and find the audience that most needs that problem solved.

Management Consulting

52. Mobile Hair Salon

  • Startup Costs: $1,300+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $65,000
  • The world has gone mobile; that’s not news. Hence, it’s why we took the ideas of automotive detailing and hair salon services on the road. Folks expect increasing conveniences, and that includes bringing the service to the customer. Depending on the age and quality of the vehicle of choice and the necessary buildout, startup costs will run at least $1,300, but the payout can be an attractive trade-off. And if you don’t already have a license, you’ll need to get some professional training to gain a qualifying license to offer cosmetology services. Click below to read more about cutting-edge methods to market your hair salon business, whether stationary or mobile.
  • Related: Top 17 Hair Salon Marketing Ideas (& How to Implement Them) and Hair Salon Insurance

53.  Moving Company

  • Startup Costs: $2,000+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $26,000
  • The startup costs of starting a moving company will depend almost exclusively on whether or not you need a van or truck. If so, the startup costs are going to go higher. If you already have a vehicle, the equipment costs are otherwise modest. Because your company will inevitably be handling precious assets, you’ll want to consider looking into local options for bonding and insurance, as well as workers’ compensation insurance if you hire workers, which will likely happen early on if the business is going to be successful.
  • Related: 15 Best Franchises

Did You Know:

The moving industry’s success is typically defined by general economic wellness, and is expected to grow with the economy post-COVID at an annual rate of 4.8% through the year 2025.

54. Packing / Unpacking Service

  • Startup Costs: $650+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $52,000
  • If the vehicle and full-blown moving company aren’t in the financial cards, a related and equally profitable idea is to simply do the packing and unpacking part of the move. The investment in dollies, ropes and bungee cords, moving pads, furniture belts, tools, tape, moving boxes and Bubble Wrap, and workers at a rate of around $12 per hour, startup costs can top out around $2,000.

55. Wallpapering / Interior Painting

  • Startup Costs: $2,600+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $65,000
  • Even as DIY becomes increasingly popular, people still find painting or wallpapering their homes a challenge. Of course for this business, you’ll need a vehicle, but if a personal vehicle will suffice, the cost of equipment doesn’t need to break the bank. Quality work and accurate, written, in-person estimates will help the business get a fair shot. Be sure to protect yourself by reviewing our article on insurance specific to painting companies.
  • Related: 5 Best Painting Insurance Companies

56. Private Tutor

  • Startup Costs: $650+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $26,000
  • When tutoring a child of any age—from kindergarten to high school seniors—you may find yourself providing both educational and emotional guidance, as learning disabilities or learning deficiency can be a result of some sort of emotional block. This is a service you can offer in-person or virtually across the globe, and experience or a degree in teaching and/or your area of expertise will be a major benefit.

57. Product Development Service

  • Startup Costs: $3,900+
  • Earning Potential: $33,000+
  • “Product Development” is another broad category, defined by the business owner’s niche and chosen market or industry. This can include everything from product/prototype design (see Design of Retail Products) and/or 3D CAD Modeling to the logistics of manufacturing. It’s the business of taking a product idea and bringing it to reality for either individuals, small businesses, or corporations whose entire business model relies on product development.

Did You Know?

CAD and other design software services comprise 27% of the product development industry, which grosses $12.3 billion annually.

58. Property Management Service

  • Startup Costs: $2,600+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $65,000
  • Landlords don’t always want to be property managers. Owning a piece of real estate is very different from screening tenants, collecting rent payments, property inspections, and back-and-forth tenant issues and communication. But if that’s your thing, this service-based business requires little startup costs and can turn a fine profit by managing one or more properties. While a variety of skills will lend themselves to a property manager’s success, a related degree is helpful but not mandatory. Dig in deeper with our related article below about property management.

59. Restoration Service

  • Startup Costs: $6,500+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $58,500
  • Houses and basements flood every year for many reasons and people need service fast. This type of service business tackles damage from fires, floods, general water, or sewage damage. Whether it’s a burst pipe or a storm, removal of water and drying flood damage is essential and needed fast. These services are in high demand especially during rainy seasons. Part of this business can include removing hazardous materials, consider the costs of removal and disposal in your overall budget.

Did you know?

The Restoration Service industry’s overall revenue has grown annually 0.5% to $4.0 billion in more than five years; it jumped 3.2% by 2021.

60. Tax Preparation Services

  • Startup Costs: $2,000+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $130,000
  • Tax preparation services can be tacked onto an accounting business as mentioned above, but there’s also enough demand to stand alone. The type of services offered will determine whether or not a related degree or credential is necessary for the business. Because prerequisites vary by state, check out your state’s mandates. Regardless though, you’ll need to register for a valid Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) with the IRS. Start your application on the IRS website.

61. Technical Writing

  • Startup Costs: $500+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $98,000
  • Starting a technical writing service includes writing for product manuals, proposals, software documentation, and technical guides. This typically requires a good amount of research and time, along with quality computer systems. More than any certification or degree, this business requires a very specialized skillset of being able to take extremely complicated and technical information and translating it into commonplace language and digestible information. Previous work experience in this area will help launch a successful business.

62. Test Preparation Services

  • Startup Costs: $1,300+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $58,500
  • Along with tutoring, this is a business that can be operated from a home office, where you can engage with clients virtually, as well as in-person in their own homes or at public places. Your best audience for test prep is soon-to-be high school graduates looking to prepare for standardized tests such as the SAT, ACT, GRE, MCAT, and LSAT. This business can also lend itself to one-on-one coaching as well as group training classes. A degree in a related field can be helpful, and some states will require some sort of teaching certificate.

63. Virtual Assistance Service

  • Startup Costs: $1,500+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $58,500
  • The beauty of this business is that by its very nature, it’s a strictly virtual engagement, meaning that anyone seeking a Virtual Assistant (VA) worldwide is a potential customer. Bear in mind that most people or businesses requiring an assistant largely need help organizing—be it reports, databases, customer Rolodexes, and receipts—so a highly organized, excellent communicator will thrive best in this field. Eventually, the owner should aspire to hire additional VAs in order to scale the business, at which point business growth would be limited only by demand.

64. Web Design

  • Startup Costs: $1,500+
  • Earning Potential: $130,000+
  • Why does web design have so much earning potential? Because every single business on this list should invest in a website at launch. That’s 129 business sectors—among countless others—that require web design services. A related degree would help credential the business, but your best assets at the start are a remarkable website of your own (it’s your best advertising), experience in coding and programming, good marketing and business instincts, and all the right equipment and software to work your magic.

65. Writing Services

  • Startup Costs: $500+
  • Earning Potential: $78,000+
  • This business type would include everything except the technical writing and grant writing services mentioned above, especially including creative writing, copywriting, journalism, ghostwriting, and writing for hire. As with many new businesses, a related degree, experience, and strong referrals would help get this business off the ground. Most writers start by applying to freelance writing positions online. Work on developing an online writing portfolio that showcases your ability as a writer. At first, you may have to take lower rates or to get examples of work and then find better-paying clients. Many writers run their own freelancing business and market their services through a variety of freelancer sites such as Upwork or Fiverr.

Freelancers Industry Statistics

 66. Disability Consultant

  • Startup Costs: $2,600+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $98,000
  • As the world attempts to become more inclusive, the need for disability consultants is on the rise. Companies are expected to meet Americans for Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations for their buildings and employee relations but don’t necessarily know how to. Therefore, a major function of this business would be helping companies manage disability claims filed by its employees, reasonable accommodations, and general compliance. Experience and a related degree in this field will be necessary to bring to this business.

67. Medical Billing or Transcription

68. Personalized Children’s Books

  • Startup Costs: $6,500+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $52,000
  • Striking out on one’s own to write and illustrate personalized children’s books requires a very specific set of skills: creativity, artistic ability, excellent creative writing skills, and an understanding of and appreciation for children. If this sounds like you, this may be your niche. The best news is that once you have a few beautifully illustrated templates that customers respond to, you can use these templates over and over again, customizing by simply changing the names.

69. Software Developer

  • Startup Costs: $1,500+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $130,000
  • Also referred to as software engineering, front end development, and web development, this can be a profitable business whichever way you slice it. This is not the kind of business one can open right out of school; experience will be the key to this business, along with training in several computer languages and platforms and the ability to clearly and concisely convey technical information to the client. Top-of-the-line web hosting, software, and hardware will be your greatest startup expenses.

70. Systems Integrator

  • Startup Costs: $1,300+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $130,000
  • Another fruitful IT endeavor in which the entrepreneur can make a more independent living working for oneself and practically never run out of work. Advanced and more robust IT systems can take businesses to the next level, but integrating these systems across equipment, departments, individuals and existing systems old and new requires advanced technical and communication skills. Knowledge in a variety of systems, software, and equipment is a must, and training and/or education will be a foundational prerequisite.

71. Vacation Rentals Broker/Agent

  • Startup Costs: $650+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $78,000
  • See Property Manager listing above. Similarly, a Vacation Rentals Broker or Agent is dealing in short-term rentals, not purchases. He or she keeps track of all the details related to renting property for absentee owners, including finding renters, writing rental contracts, ensuring the property is protected, collecting rental payments, checking for damages, dispensing keys, communicating with renters, and just generally keeping an eye on things. The amount of work available will depend on your geography … more potential lies in areas with high appeal for renters and heavy inventory of summer/winter homes for rent.

Did You Know?

The vacation rental industry has seen exponential growth over the last several years due to online advertising and searches through vacation rental sites. The vacation rental market is predicted to boom at a compound annual growth rate of 3.4% from 2019 to 2027 to reach $113.9 billion by 2027.

72. Agricultural Marketing

  • Startup Costs: $6,500+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $160,000
  • For a marketing expert who happens to find agriculture, farming, and the food chain of interest, this could be a very interesting niche. It’s exactly how it sounds—in order to make money, a farm needs to sell product, but farming is very much a full-time job and doesn’t typically call for any marketing expertise. This business will involve building up a supply chain, marketing campaigns, advertising and sales outlets, and becoming a product specialist. A commodities background would be extremely beneficial in this unique field.

73. Decks and Custom Outdoor Furniture

  • Startup Costs: $5,500+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $85,000
  • In addition to the necessary transportation and storage of materials, business owners should look into state and local requirements for a contractor’s/carpenter’s license to start out and stay legal.

74. Exterior House Painting

  • Startup Costs: $2,000+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $98,000
  • Unless you’ve hired someone to paint your house, you may not realize what a pretty penny they can charge when the alternative is to paint the thing yourself. Charge by the hour or the square foot and start by using your personal vehicle, and a smart business owner could eventually break into six-digit revenue. There is a fair amount of regulation though, so be sure to check on state requirements for painters.

 75. Flower Scaping

  • Startup Costs: $6,500+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $58,500
  • Flower scaping is rarely referred to as anything other than a service under the “Landscaping” umbrella. However, it’s a viable business idea in its own right, leaning further to the ornamental end of the spectrum dealing only with flowers and flowering plants. This service can act as a supplement to existing landscaping or landscape design services and also can serve events. You’ll be wise to enter this enterprise with a degree or training in ornamental horticulture and extensive knowledge of flowering plants.
  • Related: 27 Unique Landscaping Business Card Ideas & Examples and How to Start a Lawn Care Business

76. Junk Removal

  • Startup Costs: $6,500+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $52,000
  • While this is obviously another business that requires a vehicle (a large one, in this case), the startup costs are otherwise minimal. At hundreds of dollars a haul, the quantity of junk hauled can quickly translate to revenue earned. No other qualifications or prerequisites apply; once you get your hands on a large vehicle, your greatest hurdle in starting a junk removal service is behind you.

77. Herb / Flower Farming and Nursery

  • Startup Costs: $1,300+ (unless you need land)
  • Earning Potential: Up to $78,000
  • The nature of your startup costs depends on the nature of your farm and nursery. If you’re in it just to grow and sell wholesale or to restaurants, you can start pretty affordably with the land and the seeds. However, if you’re trying to open a business for retail access and direct-to-customer sales (like a nursery or garden center), you may need to invest in some sort of shelter, like greenhouses or a shop. Along with growth comes expense, and this business could lend itself to acres of land, various crops, retail, wholesale, restaurant supply, and even food delivery complete with company vehicles. For starters, though, check out the USDA First Steps for New Farmers Checklist to get your ducks in a row.

78. Food Manufacturing Consultant

  • Startup Costs: $2,000+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $104,000
  • The food-product equivalent of a product development consultant, and once again, you’re trying to create a marketable, profitable food product from something whipped up in a home kitchen somewhere. This involves everything from branding to marketing to production and manufacturing sourcing, presenting a fun and challenging career path. If you haven’t already, it would be smart to obtain a related degree, experience, and an Associate Membership to Foodservice Consultants Society International.

Tip: A Food Manufacturing Consultant can command an average hourly rate of $150.

79.  Packaging and Labeling Services

  • Startup Costs: $10,000+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $100,000
  • In the same vein as a Food Manufacturing Consultant, a Packaging and Labeling Service also works to bring a food product to market, but with a special focus on the package and labeling. This service works on finding packaging suppliers and packing facilities. Part of that process is locating packaging that’s appropriate to the shelf-life of the product, attractive to the customer, and meets legal nutritional labeling requirements. Some businesses of this nature are involved in the brand and label design process for a wide variety of industries, not just food. Any good packaging and labeling consultant, particularly those focused on food, will need to maintain familiarity with FDA (Food & Drug Administration), FPLA (The Fair Packaging & Labeling Act), and FSMA (The Food Safety Modernization Act) regulations and indications.

80. Specialty Food Production

  • Startup Costs: $5,000+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $98,000
  • “Specialty Food Production” references a wide variety of food products, including beverages, sweets, cookies, crackers, pasta, nutrition products (shakes, powders, and bars), seasons, sauces, condiments, and snack foods. Any food producer is subject to a host of regulations, certifications, and licenses. Because this industry sector is so regulated, it’s best to start with the authority: the FDA’s Guide to “How to Start a Food Business.”
  • Related: 19 Insightful Food Industry Statistics
  • Related: How to Open a Juice Bar

 Specialty Food Production

81. Vending Machine Company

  • Startup Costs: $3,000+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $52,000
  • With few qualifications necessary, a vending machine business is a manageable one in terms of startup costs. Your costs will be based on how many machines you buy, new or used, and what you stock them with. Also consider vehicle costs and locations where you will place your machines. Keep costs low by investing in smaller or used machines—as well as maintaining them—and making inventory.
  • Related: How to Start a Vending Machine Business

 82. Auctioneer

  • Startup Costs: $650+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $13,000 per auction
  • In this particular case, we’re not referencing online auctions but rather “auctions” in the more traditional sense, which continue to happen all around us. Even if you start out slow and small, the startup costs are so minimal that this is easily the kind of business you could start part-time under tutelage until it becomes self-sustaining. It’s not an easy profession, however, so be sure to visit Auctioneers.org to review the eight different auctioneer designations and the five classes offered on the subject.

83. B&B or Boutique Hotel

  • Startup Costs: $13,000+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $230,000
  • Not to be confused with Airbnb, a bed-and-breakfast or Boutique Hotel present a very tidy earning potential when executed properly by savvy business owners. The greatest barrier to entry being, of course, a piece of real estate that is not only appropriately zoned in a desirable community, but that would also draw weary travelers time and again. Meaning that $13,000 in startup costs assumes you already have the property. If the idea of housing, feeding, and accommodating guests in a beautifully appointed property sounds appealing to you, there’s a lot of research you can do to further investigate this small business opportunity at a wide variety of resources, including a very affordable online certificate course with IAP Career College and resources offered by trade and industry associations like the Association of Lodging Professionals (ALP) and the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA).
  • Related: Hotel Marketing Strategies to Increase Your Bookings

84. Messenger/Errand/Courier Service

  • Startup Costs: $1,300+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $70,000
  • As people get busier, more services come available to manage our lives for us. That’s good and bad for a budding errand business. Competition is stiff with companies like Uber Eats and TaskRabbit infiltrating the marketplace, but there is still market demand to justify starting up with a niche service. Get your piece of this $116 billion industry by offering differentiated and niche services, maintaining high volume, and tapping into technology at every turn.

85. Importing / Exporting

  • Startup Costs: $6,500+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $130,000
  • Facilitating the transport of international goods in and out of the country is a very lucrative business for individuals with education, training, and experience in international trade. Any commodity is up for grabs from office supplies to packaging materials to fashion apparel to fine art. There are various trainings, certifications, and textbooks for those entering the industry, but the best place to start is browsing the SBA’s Office of International Trade Online Resource Center, followed by finding your local Trade Assistance Center in the SBA resource network.
  • Related: 20 Most Profitable Items to Import from China

86. Life Coach

  • Startup Costs: $2,600+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $100,000
  • Life coaches are all about all-around, holistic, sustainable personal improvement for their clients, with focuses on support in relationships, career, health, organization, and more. Other than some basic tech equipment and skills like listening, people, excellent organization, and communication, a life coach should consider general liability insurance because of the gravity of the work, as well as International Coaching Federation (ICF) Credentials to help establish expertise early on.

87. Personal Shopper / Stylist

  • Startup Costs: $650+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $45,000
  • An interesting follow-up to life coaching is a personal shopper who essentially serves as a life coach but in a shopping-only capacity. This could include shopping for a client’s wardrobe, gift shopping, or simply picking up their groceries for them. And as with courier and life coaching services, the key to this business model is finding a niche and differentiating yourself from the competition such as Stitch Fix. One of the best places to begin is by calculating and setting your hourly rate to make sure you’re fairly compensated for your time, transportation, and skill.

88. Personal Trainer

  • Startup Costs: $130+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $85,000
  • With low barriers to entry and startup costs, high earning potential, and an expected annual growth rate of +3.2% through the year 2025, this industry is an appealing one to enter as a small business. In addition to being a fitness and nutrition guru, one could benefit greatly from adequate certification. Check out our comprehensive article below with a full guide on starting a personal training business.
  • Related: How to Start a Personal Training Business [With Plan]

89. Photocopying Service

  • Startup Costs: $6,500+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $78,000
  • Offering full color and black and white copy services can average about 49 cents a copy and up. Offering computer terminals, faxing, and shredding are also additional services you can offer. The only necessary qualifications for this business are good visibility in your chosen location, high quality, high capacity equipment, and a high volume of customers. Bear in mind that rent costs will likely apply for this kind of business, as well as an expensive startup inventory of robust, quality, top-of-the-line equipment.

90. Public Relations

  • Startup Costs: $6,500+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $98,000
  • Public Relations professionals and firms are in the business of “image.” Whether it’s promoting products and services on behalf of a firm, monitoring media coverage, or writing press releases, a public relations firm serves the client’s best public interests. This industry is largely self-regulated, and a startup PR firm would be wise to have a related degree or training, experience, and a trade association membership to the PR Council, and an acute knowledge of FTC regulations that apply to public relations, marketing, and advertising activities.

91. Wedding Planner

  • Startup Costs: $2,600+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $78,000
  • Weddings are a booming, $55+ billion industry expecting skyrocket growth at an annual rate of 6% over the next five years. It may sound like a cakewalk, but with so much competition, quality service, flexibility, organizational skills, a glowing reputation, a strong online presence, and a strong in-industry network will be necessary components of the business. If you don’t have a degree in event planning, consider shopping certificates and memberships to sharpen those skills.

Did you know?

27% of couples used Wedding Planners in 2019. In 2020, the industry did drop 33.9% due to COVID-19.

92. Antiques / Consignment / Resale

  • Startup Costs: $26,000+ depending on size of inventory and shop location
  • Earning Potential: Up to $104,000
  • One of the nice things about an antiques dealer business is that there are countless sales channels; in-store, via consignment, a rented booth at an antique mall, online shop, and online auction sites. The possibilities are endless, and so are the inventory options. The keys to success in this business are consistent with any retail establishment: strong inventory management, merchandising, product selection, and quality control—and, of course, an eye for discarded treasures at a great price. You’ll also want to familiarize yourself with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Reseller Guide.
  • Related: How to Start a Consignment Shop

Tip: Don’t buy your inventory from other retailers; they’re pricing with a markup to ensure a profit margin. Auctions, liquidators, and estate sellers will price items to sell.

93. Art Gallery

  • Startup Costs: $19,500+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $91,000
  • The location of your gallery, whether you rent or own, whether buildout is required, whether the art gallery features a storefront, and inventory acquisition will all play a significant role in what your startup costs actually are. Your customers will likely be art collectors, investors, decorators, and private companies.

94. Brew Pub/Microbrewery

  • Startup Costs: $130,000+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $2.6 million
  • Enjoying increasing popularity, distilleries, breweries, and brewpubs are exploding across the country, in some cases enjoying unlimited earning potential. One of the main hurdles—aside from acquiring and retrofitting the real estate—is the liquor license situation. Check out our article below to determine if the red tape is worth the effort.
  • Related: How to Get a Liquor License + Cost

Did you know?

According to the Brewer’s Association, while beer sales volume declined by nearly 2% in 2019, Craft Beer enjoyed a bump in sales of nearly 4%. Craft beer now comprises 13.6% of the total beer market share.

95. Catering

  • Startup Costs: $19,500+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $104,000
  • The cost here, for obvious reasons, is the purchase and build-out of a commercial kitchen. Even though you might begin from a home or co-working kitchen, the hope is that the business outgrows that space quickly. Keep your startup costs low by leasing kitchen equipment that will be necessary to your success. Some 30% of industry services are food served at events on customer’s or third-party’s premises, so food transportation, a reliable team, and flexibility of products, services, and markets are key to this enterprise.
  • Related: Catering Insurance: Types, Cost, & Top Providers
  • Related: How to Start a Food Truck Business

96. Coffee / Tea Shop

  • Startup Costs: $26,000+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $52,000
  • A consistent trend in the coffee, tea, and snack shop industry is diversification of product offering. That is, very few coffee shops serve exclusively coffee; they offer tea, frozen and blended beverages, pastries, and even sandwiches and salads to appeal to a wide variety of customers. Think about the menu and display case on your last visit to Starbucks, the obvious industry leader at a staggering 28% market share. Starting any kind of restaurant is complex, heavily regulated, and immensely competitive. Something to consider is partnering with an existing business to open your coffee shop there. The complementary products and services could be a win-win for everyone involved if a coffee shop moves into a bookstore, gift shop, library, or furniture store. See our comprehensive guide to starting a coffee shop below.
  • Related: How to Start a Coffee Shop in 13 Steps: The Ultimate Guide

Coffe and Snack Shop Market Size Snapshot

97. Custom Cabinetry and Furniture

  • Startup Costs: $19,500+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $85,000
  • As the construction industry continues to enjoy steady growth, so does its suppliers, including cabinetry builders and manufacturers. Whether you sell direct to the customer, to furniture stores, or to contractors and designers, depending on whether you’ll need a storefront or not, there’s a pretty penny to be earned here for craftspeople. Keep the high costs moderate by purchasing used equipment, tools, and vehicles. Look into a Certificate of Occupancy for your locality, Labor Safety Requirements for your employees, and business liability insurance.

Definition:

A Certificate of Occupancy is exactly what it sounds like—it certifies your legal occupancy of a physical business. Without it, you’d be operating illegally, even if you own the property free and clear. It affirms that your building meets zoning and building codes and laws, and that it is safe for occupancy. This is issued by your local building department.

98. Dating Service

  • Startup Costs: $19,500+
  • Earning Potential: $130,000+
  • It might sound downright absurd to start a dating service business in the online dating environment, but some people are still old-fashioned romantics who don’t care to meet someone on an app. This is your customer. The main services rendered to these individuals are “matchmaking” services and “singles events.” These aren’t dying services, either. Matchmaking services represent over $485 million in revenue, and singles events represent nearly $160 million nationally. Find your niche, market to it, and build a stellar reputation.

99. Health Club / Fitness Center / Studio

  • Startup Costs: $65,000+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $110,000
  • Whatever your fitness routine of choice, the fitness industry normally experiences growth outside of a pandemic. The obvious expense here is the space, equipment, buildout, and employees. This is undoubtedly a costly endeavor depending on scale, but with lots of earning and growth potential and customers flocking equally from all age groups. Bear in mind that most industry revenue comes from membership fees, so that might be a necessary piece of the business model. Depending on the services offered, any trainers or instructors may require licenses and certifications (or at least benefit from them). Check with your state and local regulating bodies to confirm.
  • Related: Gym Insurance Cost, Coverage & Providers

100. Landscaping Design / Architecture

  • Startup Costs: $19,500+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $65,000
  • Unlike landscaping services, landscaping design is just that—planning, design, and formulation—not execution. Just like an architect draws up the plans but doesn’t build the building, such is the path of a landscape designer. A landscape designer will not be likely to make a healthy living from residential contracts alone and should be marketing and selling to earn business contracts as well. The main focuses of a landscape designer would include recreational areas, airports, highways and schools, and land subdivisions in commercial, industrial, and residential areas. New entrants to the field will likely require a related degree, a license via the Landscape Architect Registration Examination (L.A.R.E.), and portfolio of prior work.

101. Nanny Service

  • Startup Costs: $19,500+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $90,000
  • Unlike day care services, a nanny is usually an in-house employee that cares for children in only one or two households at a time and also assists with chores and child-related transportation. These are longer-term, contract-based jobs. The earning potential is limited by the number of nannies, so the more nannies employed by your agency, the more revenue you’ll see as a result. The startup costs are high due to payroll and employee benefits (where applicable), liability insurance, and office overhead.
  • Related: Babysitting & Nanny Insurance: Cost, Coverage & Providers

102. Pet Taxi

  • Startup Costs: $19,500+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $40,000 (with just one vehicle)
  • In addition to the booming pet boarding, grooming, training and medical services in the industry, there is surfacing a need for pet-related transportation services. As pet ownership and spending continues to increase, so is the growth potential for an industry focused on shuttling pets to and from vet appointments, grooming, and day care. This can be a pricey endeavor though, and one that is surprisingly regulated. Do your due diligence by researching a vehicle, location or service area, bonding and insurance. It will also depend on the type of animals you transport and for what purpose. Use the USDA Animal Care Licensing and Registration Assistant to determine the appropriate registrations and licenses that apply.

103. Pressure Washing Service

  • Startup Costs: $19,500+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $85,000
  • The costs represented by a pressure washing enterprise are namely the equipment and the vehicle, both of which can be either purchased or leased. The market for pressure washing is vast: residential property owners and managers, vehicle owners, government agencies, and commercial businesses. Building cleaning, be it one-time or a repeat, can be extremely lucrative when the operator charges by square footage of the surface being cleaned.

104. Rental Business

  • Startup Costs: $19,500+
  • Earning Potential: $130,000+
  • Successful rental businesses tend to benefit from niche rentals in which they become the authority. Examples include rental of DVDs, bicycles, tuxedos, cars, cameras, tools, appliances, and home, event, and party decorations. What kind of product are you an authority on? Becoming known as the local destination for specific product rental can provide a monopoly for a savvy rental business owner. Some major rules of thumb to get a fair shot in this industry are checking on rental license requirements for your state and locality, implementing a rock-solid contract, smart pricing policy, and determining the necessary insurance (in addition to General Liability) to protect your inventory.

105. Retail Establishment

  • Startup Costs: $78,000+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $260,000
  • Just like you can rent out whatever you’d like, if you have the money, the acumen, and the desire to jump into retail, the options are limitless. You could open an art supply store, liquor store, clothing store, book store, bridal shop, grocery store, or gift store. The bestselling product categories in the entire retail sector are motor vehicle parts, general stores, building materials and garden supplies, food and beverage stores, health and personal care, and gas stations. A good rule of thumb is to work in a retail establishment before starting one, but if that’s not possible, conduct market research to ensure that there is a local want and need for your product.
  • Related: 17 Customer Engagement Strategies & Tips to Boost Sales
  • Related: How to Start a Retail Business

106. Shipping / Freight/ Trucking Service

  • Startup Costs: $104,000+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $2.6 million
  • The potential growth for a trucking company is limited only by the investment you’re willing to put into the trucks and the drivers. Because there tends to be a shortage of drivers, a professional relationship with a trucking school would benefit a small trucking business looking to grow and hire new drivers. Ecommerce is making trucking evermore necessary, so it’s no surprise that earning potential is through the roof and the industry employs over 1 million drivers in the US alone. Obtaining a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) in your state is a must-do if the business owner hasn’t already. Additionally, it’s worth looking into membership with America’s Independent Truckers’ Association Inc. or The American Trucking Association, and the below information on trucking business loans to get started with.
  • Related: Trucking Business Loans: Costs, Terms & Requirements
  • Related: FedEx Routes for Sale

107. Office Staffing and Temporary Employment Agency

  • Startup Costs: $78,000+
  • Earning Potential: Up to $260,000
  • Staffing agencies can go a long way to save client companies large sums on hiring expenses. As unemployment rates rise, the demand for this type of business increases as well. But because this industry has very slim profit margins at 2.7%, a high volume of clients and workforce access is essential to a temp agency’s success. The most frequent jobs filled by these agencies are industrial staffing, office and clerical work, professional and managerial staffing, and IT staffing.
  • Related: Staffing Agency Insurance: Cost, Coverage & Providers

Definition:

Profit Margin is a key indicator of how well a business is doing above and beyond its costs. This is calculated by subtracting Costs from Revenue and Dividing by Revenue.

108. Micro Winery

Did You Know?

In 2019 alone, American wineries produced 409 million cases of wine, 85% of which were produced in California.

Bottom Line

As you can see, this sampling of business ideas ranges in expense, expertise, potential revenue, requirements, industry sector, and more. But all that proves is that there’s a business idea for every aspiring entrepreneur to pursue. Whether you choose to follow your passions, skills, or even the call of the great outdoors, there is a way to turn your career into a way of making money for yourself. Starting a business will cost you, but it takes money to make money, and doing something you love is worth its weight in gold.

Related:

Sources:

  • Adams Businesses You Can Start Almanac. 2nd ed., Adams Media, 2006.
  • Entrepreneur.com Staff. “Start a Business.” Entrepreneur, 2021, www.entrepreneur.com/businessideas/.
  • Fit Small Business Staff. Fit Small Business, 2021. www.FitSmallBusiness.com.
  • Next Insurance Staff. “Blog.” Next Insurance, 2021, www.nextinsurance.com/blog.
  • SBDCNet, 2021, www.sbdcnet.org.
  • TRUiC. “How to Start an LLC.” Howtostartanllc.com, TRUiC, 2020, howtostartanllc.com.
  • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021, www.bls.gov.
  • IBISWorld Staff. “US INDUSTRY (NAICS) REPORTS.” IBISWorld, 2021.

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