Successful small business ideas

5 Most Profitable Small Businesses

Even just running a small business is a risk – and starting a small business can be an enormously risky venture. It’s never easy to tell, early on in the life of a small business, whether or not it will be profitable.

Unfortunately, this is mostly unavoidable. If you’re going to start a small business, whether it’s a vintage clothing shop or a tech startup, you risk facing huge challenges – even failure. Something can always go wrong with your business model, or fail catastrophically during the growth of your business.

But some businesses are safer than others, and often lead to massive success. The safety of a business mostly has to do with startup cost – a lower initial investment means that, if things do go south, you won’t be affected too badly.

A low initial investment also means that you have huge scaling capability – if your costs are low, you can increase the size of your company quickly, especially if you become more successful than you anticipated.

So whether you’re interested in starting a new small business, or just curious which types of small businesses are thriving in this economy dominated by giant corporations, read on.

1. Graphic Design

Graphic design is not an easy industry to get into – in fact, many people go to school for Bachelor’s degrees just to do graphic design.

However, anyone with a basic knowledge of graphic design principles, an understanding of the necessary tools, such as Adobe Creative Suite, and a passion for learning can easily begin to learn about graphic design in their spare time. This knowledge can be used to start a small freelancing business, selling their services to either local businesses who need graphic design services, or on online marketplaces that connect designers to clients all around the world.

The startup cost of doing so is negligible – if you already have a computer, all you need is an Adobe Creative Suite subscription, which will run you about $75 a month.

2. Web Design

Web design is another area of incredible growth in today’s small business market. Think about it – every company needs a website. Every business needs a website. Even individuals need websites, especially if they’re in the creative industries.

If you understand the basics of web design, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, you can start a small web design consultancy and make quite a tidy profit – Front-End Web Developers generally make an average salary of around $76,000 a year.

There are many online resources that you can use to learn how to code in HTML and CSS, such as Codecademy. Startup costs are minimal – if you already have a computer, you’ll just have to invest in some books and other resources to help you learn how to code.

3. Blogging

Blogging is a great small business because startup costs are low, and it can be kept as a “side business” until it becomes profitable.

Pick something you’re passionate about – say, hot rods or gardening. Start a blog for it – Wordpress is inexpensive and easy to use – and start writing about whatever you’re passionate about! If you write great content and you can attract users who love the same things as you, you can build up a big reader base.

Blogs can be monetized in many ways – ads, corporate sponsorships, or affiliate marketing, just to name a few, so if you end up building a successful blog, you can make a good bit of money – and even invest that money into another blog to expand your small business.

Startup costs are, again, nearly nonexistent – you’ll simply need to pay for a domain and hosting services.

4. Cleaning Services

Cleaning services are a great alternative if you’re not too tech-savvy – everybody knows how to clean, and probably has all of the resources they need to start a cleaning service in their own home. Soaps? Windex? Rubber gloves? Rags? A mop?

If you’ve got those, you’re basically covered for startup costs. Place some local ads on Craigslist and the newspaper to gain a customer base, and then watch as word-of-mouth of your services allows your business to grow.

5. Home Care And Senior Services

Baby boomers are aging rapidly, and will soon become the largest generation of elderly people in America – ever. Worldwide, there are more aging people than ever before, and they all need care.

This doesn’t just mean medical care – senior services can be as simple as accompanying a senior to the grocery store, or spending some time reading with them. Running errands and transportation are huge needs for seniors.

If you have a car, a loving heart, and a good head for scheduling and prioritization of tasks, you have everything you need to start your own senior services company.


While starting one of these businesses won’t guarantee your success, the massive demand and low startup costs associated with our top 5 picks will certainly be beneficial to you as you grow your small business – and if things do go south, you won’t have to worry about losing your house. Sounds like a win-win to us!