Opening a small business doesn’t require that you have a specialized degree or any particular skills. Most small businesses start with an idea or an opportunity and a lot of hard work. Here are our top small businesses you can start today.
Each of these profitable small businesses have fairly low startup costs, which can get you making money quickly. With all of these services, you will want to check your local and federal regulations to understand whether you need a specialized license or permit.
- Online courses
- Mobile services
- Vacation rentals
- Courier and delivery services
- Rideshare services
- Social media, marketing, and copywriting
- The right technology can help you build a profitable small business
Do you know how to meditate, play the piano, or garden? How good are you at explaining your hobbies to others? For nearly every hobby out there, there are people who are looking to learn how to do it. And there are about as many ways to provide online courses as there are hobbies to teach online.
And you don’t need to build your own app to provide these services, although the mental health app market is expected to reach $3.9 billion by 2027. Some folks teach online courses through social media streaming platforms like Facebook Live, YouTube, or Instagram Live. Others offer their courses at a set time over a video conferencing software.
A time-saving option is to build a full course within a learning management system that you can offer on-demand. An LMS like Teachable can provide you with a website, payment gateways, and course hosting to support your business. And because people can buy it on demand, you can focus your energy on marketing your course or providing other services to your audience and still make money on your course passively.
Mobile services — companies that bring services to a customer’s home or workplace — have become very popular in recent years, especially as more people have moved toward remote work and the pandemic has kept people at home. These services require a vehicle and gas (unless you invest in an electric vehicle), but you can also charge a bit extra for the convenience.
Auto detailing, lawn care, pet grooming, and home cleaning are all common mobile services that people need in most places, and most of these do not require specialized training in many cases. You might even consider starting a small business that offers discreet services like lice removal.
A mobile service can grow quickly, so consider whether a field service management software with an integrated CRM will help you keep customers and technicians organized and on time.
Also Read: Housecall Pro vs. Service Fusion [field service management software comparison]
Do you have a little extra real estate lying around, an extra bedroom in your home, or some space in your backyard? Make money by renting out your space to people vacationing in your city. You can use one of the major networks like AirBnB, VRBO, or a local agency.
Some things to keep in mind with vacation rental by owner is that local regulations have cracked down in many places. Some cities require you to own the space you offer (sorry, renters), while others have specific restrictions about how many spaces or how often you can rent. You’ll also want to be cautious of disturbing neighbors or local businesses.
In addition to the real estate and regulatory conditions, consider whether you will want to manage the property yourself. You may want to budget for a cleaning crew and manager for your online accounts.
Courier and delivery services
Courier and delivery services help companies smooth the ever-difficult last mile of their logistics strategy that provides a vital service, especially in remote or rural areas. But even in dense urban areas, couriers can grow profitable small businesses with a combination of speed and accuracy.
Potential expenses include your car, bike, or other vehicle. If you’re not interested in growing your business from scratch, consider a service like WeDeliver, which can match you with companies needing local delivery services.
Rideshare services like Uber or Lyft and their related services like UberEats and PostMates provide individual contractors with opportunities to build a full-time business driving people or delivering food. Just like any small business, you’ll need to manage your accounting and balance the amount of time you can work, but these businesses have really become essential in the past several years.
Social media, marketing, and copywriting
With a little bit of writing skill, marketing know-how, and social media savvy, you can build a small business providing digital marketing services to other small businesses. Writing isn’t easy, but with a little bit of research and plenty of practice, these skills can be learned. Check with your local library for small business marketing courses, or learn online via Lynda.com or SkillShare.
In the beginning, you may offer to help out a local business to learn the ropes. Start building your portfolio with more jobs, and soon you can charge rates that will make your small business thrive.
The right technology can help you build a profitable small business
At the earliest stages of your small business, you can likely get away with running your business out of spreadsheets. You can easily track customers, income, and expenses in a set of spreadsheets. But as your business grows, you’ll want more robust software that can help you see your customer base and revenue more clearly. A couple of the types of software you’ll want to consider are:
- Customer relationship management software (CRM)
- Email marketing or marketing automation software
- Field service management software
- Small business accounting software
And of course, check your local, state, and federal regulations to ensure you have the correct permits to operate your business.