You may see yourself as a budding entrepreneur, but may be unsure about the exact nature of the business you want to run. There are hundreds of options, but what you decide will be governed primarily by several factors.
When starting up your first business, it is sensible to choose something which excites you and that you are familiar with. For instance, if you are a collector of stamps, coins etc, you could try a small mail order company dealing in these. If you are passionate about what you are doing, the business will be more likely to be successful.
Below are details of the 10 most profitable businesses to start. They are mainly business with low start up costs but potentially profitable.
1. Domestic Tourism – Bed and Breakfast
The last few years have seen most people’s disposable cash decrease and a drop in bookings for foreign holidays. This means that more people are choosing a break in the US. They may not be able to afford exotic foreign holidays, but may manage a week in the US. If you have a couple of spare bedrooms or an outbuilding which you can convert into accommodation, there is a business opportunity there. It can be hard work during the season, but if you are a capable cook and enjoy meeting people, it is a good choice.
You can set yourself up as a self-employed courier. Items always need delivering. All you need is a van. You will need to look for contacts with either the major carriers, or operate as an independent local courier.
3. Car Wash
More and more people are choosing to use car cleaning services. You will need to locate and rent suitable space for your business with access to water. Old garage forecourts are usually located in high traffic areas and are a popular choice. Apart from the rent, set up costs are low as all you need are washing detergents, cloths, industrial vacuum cleaner etc. Offer a free cash wash for every ten and supply customers with a free car deodorant. Contact your local council to determine whether you need a licence to trade. Employee costs are generally low.
A small catering business can be operated from your home or small external premises. People are always looking for caterers for birthday parties, anniversaries, Christmas and funerals. A lunch time sandwich and cake service can also be profitable. You must contact your local council to arrange for hygiene and health and safety certificates.
5. Gardening Services
Many people these days require gardening services. They may be old or disabled people, or busy families with little time to maintain their garden properly. Services you should offer include lawn mowing, planting, weeding, pruning and tree/shrub maintenance. You will need a few tools, but often you can use the customers’ equipment. Flyers posted through doors of likely residences in your local area can generate initial business.
6. Home and Commercial Services
This type of business can cover many areas, such as window cleaning, interior and exterior decorating, gutter cleaning, tree pruning or felling, knife sharpening and so on. You can target local small businesses and residential homes. Get yourself known and word of mouth should ensure you are always busy.
7. Internet Business
Running an internet business is becoming increasingly popular. You can often start by working from home. Whatever you are selling or providing, you will need a great website. It is sensible to employ the services of a web designer and SEO expert. Add an effective marketing and payment scheme and the world can be your oyster.
8. Professional Services
If you have a professional qualification, you can set up a business using your skills. Some options are accountants, solicitors, chiropractors, massage/beauty services etc. These are occupations which can be run effectively from home with little overhead costs.
9. Maintenance or Repair Services
This is another business which has benefited from the current tough economic times. People are choosing to repair and service their household appliances rather than buying replacements. If you are a skilled tradesman, such as carpenter, plumber, mechanic, electrician, you can start by targeting local residents with flyers and word of mouth.
10. Wedding Planner
Couples who are getting married are increasingly turning to the services of wedding planners. As anyone who has done it, planning a wedding is a time-consuming and stressful job. You must offer all the services required for a memorable day for the couple, including booking the venues, ordering flowers, photographers, catering, cars and honeymoons. Every couple will require some or all of the services, so be prepared to be flexible. Check if you need to be registered as a professional wedding planner.