10 Profitable Ideas for Small Businesses

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Entrepreneurs are always on the lookout for business ideas and spotting profitable upcoming trends. They take advantage of current opportunities and sometimes have to create their own luck by researching small business ideas. Entrepreneurs first identify industries and sectors of activity they are familiar with, such as accounting, real estate, law, or design. Then, they dig to find out the needs and wants of the market. The goal of market research is to assess the viability of an endeavour by analyzing customer preferences for actual or potential products and services. Entrepreneurs then have to evaluate if they can give the market what it wants and solve its problems.

Introspection goes a long way when it comes to figuring out the purpose of a business opportunity and brainstorming ideas to start your own business. Who are you? What do you do? Why do you do it? Entrepreneurs are decision makers and status quo shakers. They are innovators and are capable of executing their vision in order to yield results. They are able to inspire and leverage their small business to fulfill a purpose and deliver meaning to its customers.

Now, let’s take a look at 10 profitable business ideas that successful entrepreneurs tackle in order to reach their goal of solving problems while making money.

1. Accounting Firm

Once an accountant has successfully finished their training and completed their licensing, they might consider going solo and opening their own practice. Accountants offer multiple services ranging from bookkeeping to tax preparation, advisory services and estate planning. In addition to keeping a business’ books, accountants also work up balance sheets, income statements, and other financial reports on a monthly, quarterly, and/or annual basis. Accountants take care of financial audits, assist companies with IPO planning and guide entrepreneurs when it comes to compliance and regulations.

Scaling an accounting firm is relatively easy and very profitable. A solo practitioner can either expand horizontally by teaming up with a partner to benefit from a wider expertize, or expand vertically by hiring bookkeepers and junior accountants to increase efficiency. Accountants benefit from scaling their practice by increasing profit margins, either from sharing fixed costs with a partner or from generating economies of scale when it comes to variable costs.

2. Event Planning Company

Countless events need to be planned, from birthday parties to weddings and corporate events. An event planning company is a very lucrative business that requires enormous amounts of planning and large doses of creativity. Event planners sell various types of packages and use a value-based pricing structure rather than billing using an hourly rate. Indeed, these entrepreneurs’ bill is based on their client’s perceived value of the service and the complexity of the event. This type of pricing structure offers several advantages for the client, such as remaining within budget and controlling costs. The event planner also benefits from this structure by controlling the scope of the project and managing time more efficiently.

3. Personal Concierge Company

A concierge business provides personal errand services to its clients, such as travel reservations, pet care services and shopping services. The goal of a personal concierge is to make every client feel like the most important person in the world. Entrepreneurs who run concierge businesses network extensively both with potential clients, who range from corporate millionaires to busy single moms, as well as with travel agencies and retailers in order to secure preferential rates and reduced pricing. Owners of concierge companies join professional associations, such as the International Concierge and Lifestyle Management Association.

4. Fitness Company

Personal trainers who work as staff in a gym might become tempted to start their own personal training business. The most successful entrepreneurs listen to their clients and put together programs that are embraced by their customers. It is crucial to establish a steady client base in this business, as high client turnover and low client retention rates make it impossible to operate a lucrative fitness company.

5. Graphic Design Company

Several graphic designers who work for large companies often aspire to start their own graphic design company. Designing their company website might be the most exiting aspect of the business, since graphic designers can showcase their creative portfolios. Appealing graphics and strong customer testimonials are absolutely necessary to secure new clients and guarantee recurring business. Efficient search engine optimization (SEO) makes it easy for search engines to find their website and list it in their results. A graphic design company that appears in the search engines’ top results will receive more traffic and benefit from a stronger client acquisition strategy.

6. Real Estate Company

Real estate brokers help first-time buyers find a home for life and assist seasoned entrepreneurs to invest in a profitable endeavour. Eventually, some experienced realtors will consider opening their own real estate company. These brokers then become entrepreneurs who purchase real estate either as a short- or a long-term investment.

These entrepreneurs can invest in real estate short-term by purchasing property in foreclosure and, even with no further improvements or investments in capital, relisting it shortly after at a higher price. Alternatively, entrepreneurs can purchase real estate property, invest in improvements, and quickly resell (or "flip") it for profit. These pros have a large network of renovation contractors, architects, landscapers and other home service professionals. They are also very well versed on current market trends and are well aware of clients’ needs.

Entrepreneurs can purchase real estate as a long-term investment and rent it to clients. They will then have to add property management to their long list of skills or outsource the responsibilities. Alternatively, these entrepreneurs can raise capital, buy land and create, design and orchestrate the process of real estate development from beginning to end. These entrepreneurs take the greatest risks and make the heftiest profits.

7. e-Commerce

Online stores are yet another channel entrepreneurs can use to sell their merchandise, in addition to stores, catalogues and infomercials. Entrepreneurs who own online stores face two choices: to be in possession of the physical inventory or to dropship from the manufacturer. Ordering batches of physical inventory requires an upfront investment in capital and generates monthly expenses such as storage fees. Alternatively, shipping products to the customer directly from the manufacturer eliminates the initial investment and the need for certain recurring monthly expenses. While being in physical possession of the inventory allows entrepreneurs to inspect the quality of their products and retain control of the shipping process, drop-shipping allows them to eliminate certain expenses, to outsource the shipping process and to focus on their core business.

8. Landscaping Company

Entrepreneurs who manage a small landscaping business offer basic gardening services such as mowing, weeding and fertilizing.  They can also extend their services to offer landscaping design and advanced installations. Moreover, once in the client’s yard, entrepreneurs try to upsell services that have nothing to do with plants, such as restoring stone walls, building fences and installing an irrigation system.  

9. Tutoring Services

Entrepreneurs who are interested in opening a tutoring business first start by proving their qualifications in their area of expertise. Hiring a music teacher who is the lead singer in a rock band or who graduated with honours from the music conservatory sounds much more enticing to clients than hiring a so-called music professor with no prior experience or education. Entrepreneurs also assess the demand for their services prior to marketing them, in order to determine which skills to put forward. For example, if an entrepreneur had a math degree and earned a Black Belt in Karate, but there are already several Karate schools in the area and nearly no math tutors, then this entrepreneur should definitely focus on marketing his skills as a math tutor.

10. Law Firm

Starting your own practice is always an option for lawyers with an entrepreneurial flair. Flying solo requires patience and persistence, as well as a well-thought-out plan that covers cash flows, budgets and client acquisition strategies. Cash flow may be negative in the beginning if the lawyer does not have an already established clientele. Therefore, it is important to have enough cash to cover the start-up costs, such as office space rental, software and administrative expenses. Moreover, it is necessary to factor marketing costs in your budget in order to successfully execute the client acquisition strategies. Marketing endeavours such as advertisements in trade magazines and online presence, are a great way to acquire new clients and ensure recurring business. The location of the office plays a major role in the success of the business, which is precisely the reason so many lawyers extend their presence online, thus taking advantage of a larger market and encountering better business opportunities.

In conclusion, entrepreneurs are always on the lookout for new business ideas and are ready to grab profitable opportunities by the horns. Pros follow a proven methodology in order to come up with business ideas. They read books and browse magazines in order to find inspiration. They watch videos and listen to podcasts in order to detect upcoming trends. Entrepreneurs network a lot in person and on social media in order to meet influential people and surround themselves with other successful entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurs think of solutions to problems that result in viable and scalable business ideas. They get inspiration from existing business ideas and challenge themselves to come up with better and more innovative solutions. They bounce ideas off other entrepreneurs in order to validate their ideas and potentially find a business partner. Entrepreneurs immerse themselves in a business atmosphere and thrive to create a circle of influence. Networking allows entrepreneurs to team up with people that share the same mindset and to reach out to business people who believe in their ideas and can assist them financially.