Starting a small business is no easy feat, but being your own boss has its perks. It's the American dream, after all.
Think about it: You get to decide how hard you work and what you do with the profits. Of course, along with these benefits come sacrifices – especially when starting. Businesses require a lot of upfront capital investment, and the failure rate of small businesses is about 50 percent.
Fortunately, there are plenty of business opportunities that promise a lot more success than risk.
The trick is to find an opportunity that interests you – something you're passionate and knowledgeable about – as well as one that has a proven track record of profitability. Start with these 33 profitable and proven small business ideas.
Most Profitable Small Businesses to Start With Little Capital
1) Woodworking business
If you're good with your hands and have a knack for woodworking, then you can make money constructing a variety of wooden items and projects for sale.
Since there are different types of woodwork items in the market, it is important that you choose what types will be most profitable for you.
You can start by gathering all the supplies that you need to start making wooden items.
You can sell your products in your local area or online through digital marketplaces like Etsy.
Here are some of the best woodworking business ideas you can start from anywhere. and sell for profit.
2) Local Gifts Store
If you're a crafty person, then this can be a perfect venture for making money at home.
With the holiday season just around the corner, everyone is looking for gifts to give.
Here's an idea of something you can do:
- Looking for a wholesale craft supplier and buy some small gift items from them.
- Taking pictures of the items and sell online or at a local market for a small profit margin.
Selling DIY kits as online novelty gifts can be a profitable venture if the items are unique.
This business is easy to start, and all you need to do is find some creative DIY kits like mini forts, terrariums and thrones.
3) Fitness Trainer Business
You don't have to be a certified personal trainer to make money training people in the gym or from their homes.
If you have a passion for teaching people how to exercise and maintain a fit and healthy body, then this can be a good home-based business opportunity for you.
To establish yourself as an expert personal trainer, you can take courses from an accredited institution.
You can also choose from different kinds of personal training, such as weight lifting, bodybuilding and yoga.
If you want to be a successful trainer, you should be able to communicate well with your clients and provide them with good service and expertise.
This is how you can start a personal trainer business from home:
- Select a specialization or method for your training.
- Set yourself up as an expert by taking certification courses and building your clientele in your area.
- Start looking for clients to serve.
Getting clients may involve advertising your services, visiting local gyms and placing ads near fitness equipment outlets.
4) Home Improvement Services
If you have a knack for home improvement and repairs and live in an area where there are many homeowners who need various repair services, then this business idea can be a great way of earning extra income at home.
Here's how to implement this idea:
When you start your business, invest in tools that will help you perform different types of home improvement services.
Note that you will not be able to start this idea until you get all the necessary permits from your local authority. Home improvements are a big investment for homeowners, so they always want to make sure they hire the right person.
Before providing any service to new clients, do some groundwork and investigate if they have any building permits and licenses required for the type of work they want you to do.
To build your customer base, you can create an online presence by developing a website to advertise your home-improvement services. You can also place ads in local newspapers and magazines and post these ads on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
A Home Depot store can be your best friend to save you from having to lug heavy tools and products around while working at a client's home.
5) Cake Making Business
One of the fastest-growing businesses today is a cake-making business.
If you're an avid baker with some marketing savvy, then this can be a great home-based business opportunity for you.
There are many people who have started making cakes as part of their home-based business and made it into a successful online venture.
To get started with this business idea, you first need to be good at baking.
You may also want to build your clientele through social media sites like Facebook and Instagram by sharing pictures of your awesome cakes.
6) Become a Computer Repair Technician
If you have excellent troubleshooting and problem-solving skills, as well as strong customer service orientation, then why not become a computer repair technician?
You can make money doing freelance computer repairs from home. All you need to do is build your personal network by getting referrals from friends, family and social media contacts.
You can also advertise your services on free classified sites like Craigslist, local newspapers, and online forums. In most cases, you won't need an official storefront or office space to make money doing this profitable home business idea.
7) Home Cleaning Business
Home cleaning is a very popular home business idea for stay-at-home moms who want to earn extra money by caring for other people's homes.
Home cleaning can be a full-time or part-time job, depending on the amount of effort you put into this business. It can also be a lucrative side business idea if you have a few people working for you.
To start a home cleaning business, buy equipment such as mops, brooms and vacuum cleaners.
Also, make sure to equip yourself with the proper tools and cleaning products to clean efficiently.
8) Candle Making Business
Candle making is another hot home-based business idea for women, especially because candles are useful in many ways. For example, they can be used as home decorations or a romantic touch to add to date nights, weddings and special occasions.
It's not just about having the right tools and equipment – you also have to know how to make a candle.
But that's not an impossible task. It's easy to learn the basics of candle making, and practice can help you get better at it.
You can sell your candles online or in your neighborhood. Your options are limitless as long as you're willing to put in the effort and maintain high levels of quality and wide product ranges in your products.
If you want to succeed with this home business idea, set up your candle-making enterprise as soon as possible.
9) Start a Transcription and Data Entry Agency
Many people who work from home have the skills and expertise to do accurate typing. If you're one of them, then a transcription and data entry business is a great business idea for you.
This type of agency hires people with excellent typing abilities to complete projects such as transcribing notes from taped interviews, speeches or events.
You can start this agency with as little as $500 to $1,000 and grow it into a full-time profitable business in less than a year. All you have to do is find and train a few freelance transcribers and pay them per project.
As your business grows and brings in a couple of new orders daily, you can start thinking of getting a center and diversify your services to include options such as consulting, scoping etc.
10) Soap Making Business
This is another home-based business idea that's growing in popularity today. Soap making isn't as hard as you think, especially if you have a background in Chemistry or Pharmacy.
Soap-making can be a profitable home business if you're willing to put in the effort to research this craft to come up with flavourful soaps.
To start a soap-making business, first prepare all the materials and equipment you need, such as molds, fragrances, essential oils, dyes and bases.
You can start by making simple soaps for personal use initially and then expand your soap-making enterprise once you get better at it. Once you have a version that is ready to go to market, send it to your country's standardization body for evaluation.
You can then sell your approved soap either retail or wholesale to businesses like salons, supermarkets and spas.
11) Clothing and Footwear Customization Business
If you're good at sewing clothes, then this can be a lucrative home business idea for you. This is a one-of-a-kind home business idea because setting up your own clothing and footwear customization shop requires a lot of capital to start.
Not only do you have to invest in the necessary tools and equipment needed to produce beautiful customized clothing and footwear, but you are also going to spend a lot on rent or mortgage, marketing and other administrative costs.
To start this business as early as possible, you might have to deposit at least $50,000 into your bank account. You can start making money with this home-based business idea once the store becomes profitable after 6 months to 1 year.
To take this business even further, explore ways that you can start selling clothes online on marketplaces like Etsy, Poshmark and Depop.
12) Clothing Alterations Business
Another profitable home-based business idea is clothing alterations. You can start by offering your services to friends and family, who might need alterations done on their clothes.
If you're good at stitching, then take advantage of that talent and make some money out of it too. Offer simple services such as hemming pants, shortening sleeves and lengthening pant legs.
You can also offer sewing services by creating custom dresses, re-enforcing and mending garments.
13) Website Design Agency
Web Design is a service that would always be needed in the future. In this digitally driven generation, people will always need websites, whether they're personal or business-related.
You don't even need to know how to code in order to make money with this venture. There are several What You See is What You Get page builders like:
These tools enable you to create custom web pages using drag and drop elements.
Once you've mastered your skills, start by designing websites for friends and family members who own businesses related to banking, real estate, hotels, restaurants etc.
You can also customize some of the online templates, saving you time and enabling you to get started quickly.
Once you get good at it and gain some experience working on small projects, you can start creating designs for bigger clients. The fastest way to get web design clients is to head over to Fiverr and list your services.
Finding clients isn't hard, especially because website design is in high demand right now as small businesses are starting to embrace the power of online presence.
14) Local SEO Agency
SEO is another industry growing in popularity, and one of the services you can offer to clients is local SEO.
Start by doing some research online about your city or town and find out what kind of businesses thrive there. Then create a list of these companies and contact them with an offer to enhance their visibility online via search engines.
Some of the services you can offer include:
- Creation, updating and maintenance of Google My Business page
- Local directories listing
- Link building
- Local SEO keyword research
- Content Development
- On-page optimization
- SEO tools implementation (Google Analytics, Search Console, WordPress SEO plugin setup etc.)
With SEO being such a versatile service, you'll soon find yourself on your way towards building an impressive client base, and if you do your work right, you'll have diehard advocates of your brand.
15) Customized Jewelry Shop
If you're good with a hammer and enjoy working with metal, then you might want to try making customized jewelry as a home-based business.
Customized jewelry is handcrafted by skilled artisans who can create pieces of jewelry using materials such as silver and gold. You'll be able to sell your custom designs online through various social media sites.
All you have to do is promote your products well because once you create a beautiful design, the only thing left to do is wait for interested buyers.
You can also increase the range of your sales by purchasing and reselling second-hand vintage or antique jewelry items.
16) Resume Writing Agency
Another of the best home-based business ideas is a resume writing business
As long as people are looking for jobs, then there will always be a need for resumes no matter where they live or what industry they're in.
Hiring a top-notch resume writer can cost clients thousands of dollars, so if you know how to develop impressive and professional resumes for clients, this is a great business to start.
Some of the resume services you can offer with your agency include:
- Resume writing
- Resume grading and analysis
- Cover letter proofreading
- Resume builders etc.
Since resume writing is such a popular service, you should be able to find lots of clients quickly. Once you get started, focus all your efforts on creating outstanding resumes and only hire employees when demand becomes more substantial.
17) Start a Content Development Agency
If you're good with words, then why not try making online content for others?
You can start a business creating customized blog posts, articles and ebooks. You may also offer to rewrite or edit existing pieces of content that companies have already created.
There are many people who hire freelance writers to create engaging and compelling copy for their websites. However, coordinating one-on-one with freelancers may not be effective for clients with a high demand for content.
This is where your agency comes in. You take care of the entire process, from creating blog posts and articles to finding the right writers for each client. You can take this even further by introducing a fully-fledged blog management service, enabling clients to outsource every aspect of their content development and publication needs to you.
18) Start a Carwash Business
You don't have to own a large piece of property to start a carwash business.
You can actually get started by providing washing services for other people's cars at their homes or offices. You need not invest in expensive equipment because you'll only be doing simple carwashing procedures, such as cleaning the exterior and interior of vehicles.
With time, look for a strategic spot to set up a carwash center and invest in the more effective equipment.
19) Party Planning Service
If you have a knack for planning parties and people always tell you that your events are really amazing, why not start a party planning service?
You can plan everything from birthdays and weddings to birthday bashes for kids. Market your business by offering samples of your current services, as well as invitations to previous events that you've organized.
You can also offer some discounts because most people love a good bargain. As long as they're happy with your work, then it'll be easy for you to get more clients.
20) Graphic Design Business
Believe it or not, most people are always looking for quality graphic designers to help them with their projects.
You can get started by offering freebies such as social media covers and profile pictures that you've created on your own.
Once you build a reputation online, potential clients would be glad to hire you to create stunning designs for their websites, business cards and banner ads.
21) Auto repair business
If you love cars and know how to fix them, then you might want to consider starting an auto repair business.
You can get started by working with your family or friends who own their own vehicles. You can provide basic services such as changing brakes or replacing headlights for free to build a reputation in the neighborhood.
Once people start coming to you for repairs, you'll have an easier time getting new clients.
22) Photography Business
You don't need a big budget to start your own photography business. In fact, most people can get started by simply investing in the equipment they need and then selling their services at lower prices than most competitors.
You might want to sell photos online or take up projects that'll allow you to travel around the world. If you're good with taking pictures of nature, then you can even start a business that caters to people who love outdoor activities.
23) Food Truck Business
Food truck businesses have become very popular over the past few years.
If you think your city is ready for a food truck business, then think of starting one.
You can drive around town selling food to hungry passers-by. You can also set up a food truck at festivals and fairs and make some good money.
Food truck businesses do well in cities where there are lots of people and events to attend.
23) Electronics repair business
Repairing electronics has become very popular over the past few years, and many people are willing to pay good money just so that their gadgets can be repaired as soon as possible.
You do, however, need a background in electronics to get started, as well as an operational permit.
Once you have that, you can start your own electronics repair business.
26) Bookkeeping Agency
If you have a knack for numbers and love working behind the scenes, then you might want to consider starting up your own bookkeeping agency.
You can get started by simply reaching out to people in your neighborhood who need help with their financial records, as well as potential clients who are looking for skilled bookkeepers online.
With time, you'll be able to build a good reputation in the industry and grow your business.
27) Virtual Assistant Business
Whether you have experience working as a personal assistant or not, starting up your own virtual assistant service is worth looking into if you're a self-starter who loves having lots of clients at once.
Small businesses that don't have enough time to handle their daily operations will gladly hire virtual assistants who can help them with several VA tasks, including bookkeeping, sending out emails and making appointments.
You'll have an easier time getting new clients once you've built a reputation in the industry.
Here are VA jobs for beginners that you can apply to right away.
28) Pest Control Service Business
Believe it or not, some people are actually willing to pay good money just so that pesky pests such as mice, cockroaches and ants can be removed from their homes.
If you have a background in business management or pest control, starting up your own pest control service business might be the thing for you. You'll need to provide clients with a free estimate before getting started.
Once you have a strong reputation in your area, you can make even more money by offering other services like installing pest control systems.
29) Moving Service Business
Moving businesses are another type of service that people are willing to pay for.
If you have a truck or van and can provide good services, then starting up your own moving business isn't as difficult as it sounds.
You'll need to do some research to come up with an affordable quote, though.
Once you get started, you'll have an easier time getting new clients who need help relocating their offices or homes.
Keep in mind that your moving business will need to provide:
- Moving dollies
- furniture belts
- Moving boxes
- Moving pads
- Packaging and wrapping materials
- Moving crew
Running a moving business can be hard, but it pays well if you have lots of clients.
Just make sure that your truck is in good condition and that your employees are properly trained before getting started.
30) Start a Fashion boutique
Despite the rise of online shopping, brick-and-mortar fashion boutiques are still doing well even in this day and age.
Start a boutique in your local area if you have a good sense of style and an eye for what people might want to wear.
You can get started by selling clothes, shoes or accessories that you buy from wholesale suppliers. Once your boutique starts making money, you can start thinking about expanding to a bigger location and hiring more employees.
31) Tax preparation service business
If you're good at math and filing tax returns is something that you enjoy doing, then starting your own tax preparation service might be a good idea.
It's another type of service that people are willing to pay for.
You can get started by reaching out to people in your neighborhood who need help filing their taxes and creating an online presence via social media and directories.
Getting new clients will be easier if you have a good.
32) Image Consultancy and Personal Branding Agency
After starting up your own image consultancy and personal branding agency, you'll be able to work with different people in all kinds of industries.
In the past, companies who wanted their employees to have a professional appearance would need to hire an image consultant for themselves.
However, that's not necessary when an external agency can provide the same services to everyone in the company.
If you're not shy about giving your two cents on someone's wardrobe or how they should handle themselves, then starting up an image consultancy and personal branding agency might be a good idea.
You'll need to have extensive experience in this field before getting started, though.
33) Consultancy Business
If you have a business background and feel like you could give some valuable advice to entrepreneurs, then starting up your own consultancy business might be a good idea.
Since most entrepreneurs are always on the lookout for ways to improve their businesses, having an external consultant who can provide them with advice might come in handy.
You'll need to have extensive experience in the fields that you're offering your consultancy services in, though. These areas could include:
- Loans and Savings
- Angel Investors
- Social Media Marketing
- Branding etc.
5 Steps to start a profitable business
1. Find Your Passion and Purpose
This sounds easier than it actually is, but you need to find a business that will make you happy.
Maybe you are good at taking pictures of nature or people, and this skill can be turned into a business for selling photobooks on Amazon. Look at the different areas you are good at and put them to use in your own business.
2. Do Your Research
Once you have an idea of what kind of business you want to start, it's time to develop a plan. You need to know how much money you will need for the business and how you will market it. It's also a good idea to choose something that has nothing else like it in your area.
3. Start Slowly
Starting a business is an exciting adventure, but it is also scary at first. You don't need to start full force; give yourself time to adjust and work your way up. Starting slowly will allow you to test out your ideas and make adjustments if needed.
4. Create a Website
You need a place for people to go when they want more information about your company. A website will help you build traffic, establish yourself as an expert and even allows you to sell your product or service with an online store.
5. Find a Business Mentor
You want to learn from someone who has been there and done that, which is why you need to find a business mentor. A business mentor can show you the ropes, give you advice and answer any questions that you may have in the future. You don't want to make costly mistakes, so hiring a business mentor can help you avoid them.
I hope you enjoyed exploring this list of 33 of the most profitable small businesses worth starting this yea.
Before trying any of the business opportunities above, make sure to do your due diligence on the market that you're entering. This will help ensure that you are going into this venture with a positive outlook and opportunity for success!