Most Profitable Businesses: Startups, Online & Home Based Options

Understanding some of the  profitable business options you can choose when starting up your own venture

by Rod Dunne on March 10, 2011

in Creative, Entrepreneurial, Innovation

If you are chasing down the most profitable business ideas for starting up your own small company using then you’re not alone. The economic downturn caused many larger companies to downscale, causing mass redundancies.

And for many entrepreneurial individuals, this downturn actually becomes a great opportunity to start up for themselves.

In this article I’ll show you some great ideas for small businesses, Internet business opportunities and setting up a business of your own.

Most profitable small business ideas

The major area of opportunity is still in the services and professional services sectors. In particular any areas that offer need-to-have solutions (e.g. dentists, income tax preparation) will always be able to weather economic storms much better than those nice-to-have services (e.g. restaurants).

You have to really focus your small business strategies around a couple of key elements. In particular, pick services that have high barriers to entry and low fixed/variable costs.

If you have the time then this means having to do some training in order to get into the sweet spot of need-to-have solutions with high barriers to entry (e.g. dentists, GP’s, speech therapists, chiropractors, etc.; in fact anything in health and social services for people).

Many of the most profitable small business ideas center on our knowledge-based economy. Anywhere that you can provide training, consulting, professional services, education or any technical skills that involve highly trained knowledge will prove to be in demand to the point where you can start setting higher price levels.

You still however need to evaluate whether these are simply nice-to-have services (e.g. performance tuning automobiles) or essential.

Think outside the box as regards the most profitable small business service in support activities (e.g. for oil/gas operations), consulting (e.g. online marketing consulting, investment advisors, financial consulting, mortgage/debt consolidation, preparation services, accounting), agencies (e.g. insurance agencies and brokers; though not employment agencies) and property lessors.

Some people may wonder why franchises are not being included in these lists (e.g. some of the most profitable franchises such as fast food outlets).

You should also not forget the various social service entrepreneurial ideas that abound these days. In this case, establishing charitable organizations for helping the homeless/poor/etc. can be profitable with a view to benefiting the less fortunate in society.

Most profitable online business trends

The most profitable business ideas online will relate back to services, naturally. You don’t necessarily have to think about software products that you can offer individuals either. Services can just as easily be provided.

All you actually need to create one is your own website and start using online marketing tools (e.g. using SEM, social media, etc.) to start promoting your websites and services.

The two main ‘non-product’ areas to consider when starting a small business involve freelancing services (e.g. copywriting, marketing, etc.) or blog monetization (making money from blog advertisements around a specific niche area where you provide information).

FYI: My post on how to write a business plan for small startups goes into greater detail about some of the pitfalls and dangers your initial plan needs to consider.

The choice of niche is completely up to you what you choose, though there are a number which are completely over-saturated with online vendors/services so are best avoided (e.g. making money online, finance, weight loss, insurance, technology, dating).

If you do have a product to sell then try creating your own product innovation/development strategy to market and promote the product. Some of the most profitable online business ideas can flourish since opportunities abound for using auction sites (e.g. eBay) to initially gauge what sort of pricing strategy you could apply and levels of demand.

Long-term, you should be looking at e-commerce websites that can provide access to a larger audience. In addition, affiliate networks (e.g. Commission Junction) allow sellers to quickly and simply resell your products as affiliates for commissions all via the web.


Most profitable home business options

It should be apparent by now that profits can really be found in the service sector so ideas for the most profitable business opportunities that can be run from home are going to be no different. Moreover, all self employment ideas offer you the opportunity of being your own boss and ultimately becoming the owner of your own business.

You can always avail of many of the web-based business opportunities listed above and should also consider working as a virtual assistant for others. Many times this can involve simply needing to have organization skills and good typing abilities (e.g. for transcriptions, translations, etc.).

Working in computer consulting or business computer support services is also a viable option. All you need is a computer connected to the web then you can provide e-mail/phone support for specific commercial products by establishing partnerships with the vendors. Alternatively, you could provide repair and computer consulting services to your local community.

If you don’t mind doing a little travel then one of the most profitable home business ideas is to work in lecturing or public speaking if you have specific technical skills that would prove invaluable to higher level education/seminars/business communities. This can often pay very well and may even take the form of multiple day seminars.

If you live near a wealthy area then perhaps working as a personal organizer would suit you. All you need is time management skills, good communication capabilities and some flexibility around work hours in order to act as an assistant to individuals.

This type of role can vary drastically and may often overlap with being a virtual assistant. It invariably means needing to act as a personal assistant and be on the client site for some periods of time.

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Author Rod Dunne...

Blog owner and sole writer Rod DunneI am the owner and sole writer on This is my personal blog detailing troubleshooting tips for small businesses. Posts are based upon 2 decades in consultancy & innovation management within startups/maturing companies.

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