The 43 Most Profitable Businesses to Start in 2023

  • Brandon Boushy by Brandon Boushy
  • 2 months ago
  • Blog
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man showing a laptop with cash forming a dollar symbol

You want your time to be used wisely when you start your own business. That means you should know the most profitable businesses to start. Without knowing the most profitable ideas, how will you reap the rewards?

What’s considered ‘profitable’ is always changing, of course, and that’s why we continually update our rankings. Every year the most profitable businesses will change slightly as our economy evolves, products become obsolete, and technology advances. 

What follows is a freshly updated ranking of the most profitable small businesses, plus the info and resources you need to get started.

Industries With Most Profitable Business Ideas 

First, some context. We took a look at financial reports from January 2023 to get the most recent data. When you consider industries with the most profitable businesses in demand, you’ll find:

  1. Financials: The monetary sector leads the most profitable companies, with over 30% net income and gross profits for banks nearing 100%.
  2. Transportation Companies: Railroads are a close second with nearly 28% average net profit, 41% pre-tax and pre-stock compensation profit, and EBITDA of nearly 47%. Ship makers also have been making a great living.
  3. Energy: Whether they are solar, gas, refineries, or other aspects of the energy production market, companies focused on energy make up nearly 20% of the Fortune 500 and have record profits. Plus, almost all of them are short-staffed, which means they hire small businesses to help meet their ongoing needs
  4. Technology: Four companies in the top 10 and 47 of the top 500 companies are tech-related businesses like Apple, Amazon, and Tesla. Many software companies have taken a beating, but they are still some of the smartest business ideas.
  5. Healthcare: Four of the top 10 and 45 of the top 500 companies are in healthcare. On top of that, healthcare jobs are 19 of the top 20 jobs, according to the Bureau Of Labor Statistics. That means there is room for businesses to open.
  6. Investments and Asset Management: Managing other people’s money is an easy startup business with 25% net income. 
  7. Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs): Real estate is a necessity. Everyone needs a home, and businesses need buildings. With the spike in remote work, REITs are making more money than ever because rents and home prices are at historical highs. Just be careful about overleveraging yourself.

But if you wonder what the most profitable and successful small business ideas for small business owners to start are, that’s often a separate category. Most of us don’t have access to venture capitalists or the ability to run a business for ten years before it starts making money. So, I’m constraining the list to the most profitable and best small businesses to start.

We’ll identify what small businesses are most profitable, look at some of the most profitable small businesses to start from home, study the current small business landscape, and provide examples of successful business owners in those fields.

Let’s get started!

What Small Business Is Good To Start?

I love using NYU’s Margins by Sectors page for benchmarking. It makes it easy to categorize what are good businesses and what’s a good business to start or invest in. Profitable businesses include:

Top Industries By Net Profit Margin
Industry NameNet Margin
Banks (Regional)30.31%
Transportation (Railroads)27.65%
Bank (Money Center)26.96%
Financial Svcs. (Non-bank & Insurance)26.32%
Oil/Gas (Production and Exploration)26.01%
Utility (Water)25.12%
Investments & Asset Management24.93%
R.E.I.T.23.77%
Tobacco23.46%
Semiconductor22.74%
Semiconductor Equip22.27%
Shipbuilding & Marine21.55%
Software (Entertainment)20.91%
Coal & Related Energy20.44%
Drugs (Pharmaceutical)18.35%
Green & Renewable Energy17.77%
Computers/Peripherals16.68%
Information Services16.62%
Brokerage & Investment Banking16.01%
Insurance (General)15.21%
Oil/Gas (Integrated)15.17%
Real Estate (Development)15.04%
Steel14.70%
Software (System & Application)14.61%
Beverage (Soft)14.60%
Homebuilding13.98%
Telecom. Equipment13.29%
Chemical (Diversified)13.16%
Telecom. Services12.81%
Utility (General)12.68%
Real Estate (General/Diversified)12.67%
Broadcasting11.90%
Household Products11.25%
Shoe11.17%
Building Materials10.30%
Paper/Forest Products10.23%

Not all of these profitable businesses are necessarily profitable small business ideas. You’ll need to consider the startup capital and regulations to decide which types of businesses to start. Let’s look at  some of the most profitable small businesses and why they make the most successful business ideas.

What Is The Best Business To Start? 

#1. Vending Machines

Drink companies are the 11th most profitable business, so it might seem strange that you’ll see many opportunities to fill those positions with vending machines on lists of open job positions. . Jobs like cooks, cashiers, servers, and baristas could all be replaced by vending machines. That’s why we put this small business idea at the top of the list.

Adam Hill told us he makes nearly 30% profit with Hill Vending. Find out how he makes nearly $15K net income monthly from his vending machine routes.

He’s been so successful with his small business plan that we partnered with him to create an online vending course to help you get into one of the most profitable businesses.

#2. Investment & Asset Management

A small business managing assets can easily grow because it’s in the most profitable industry. Fortunately, it doesn’t require enormous amounts of startup costs. You’ll need to comply with state and federal regulations, but most businesses charge a percentage of all assets managed. Most Asset Managers make between $60K to $160K per year, but the sky’s the limit, depending on how many assets you manage.

#3. Real Estate Investment Trust

A REIT is one of the best businesses to start from home. REITs are a unique business structure that pools multiple investors’ money together to buy real estate. Most REITs don’t have to pay business taxes because most profits are paid to investors and taxed personally. Find out how Thach Real Estate Group earned $100 million in real estate investment properties.

#4. Gaming Software

Video game companies are great businesses to start. Most games have recurring revenue through monthly subscriptions, add-ons, and other monetization strategies. With a 21% net profit margin, gaming studios are one of the best start-up business ideas.

#5. Renewable Energy

If you have electrician skills, renewable energy is one of the most profitable small businesses. It has an expected 9% compound annual growth rate. With a nearly 18% net income margin and lots of government subsidies, green energy will be one of the in-demand businesses for years.

#6. Computers & Peripherals

sets of computer parts on the table

17% after-tax profit makes creating computers and computer accessories one of the most profitable businesses to start. Peripherals include items like fun keyboards, mice, external hard drives, and other accessories that people use with computers.

#7. Information Systems and SAAS Companies

Profitable online businesses tend to have a ‘build once and sell many times’ model. This works because the cost of goods sold goes down each time you sell a digital product. The businesses that are most in demand include AI marketing services, industry-specific Customer Relationship Management software, and other unique solutions to solve small business owners’ problems. 

As a great example, check out how Pace Ellsworth started Bestimate below.

#8. Business Consulting

A consulting business is focused on helping other business owners solve their problems. You can choose a niche if you have a specific area in which you are an expert, or you can be an all-in-one solution. 

When I initially started my consulting business, I was consulting on everything. One day I’d analyze payment processors, and the next, I would look for good influencers for a brand. I eventually gravitated to writing about business and technology because it makes it easier to pass knowledge on to thousands of people per month.

Business consultants can make anywhere from several hundred per day to billions per year. Consultants that specialize in mergers and acquisitions can earn huge commissions.

Check out this interview with Ryan Gromfin, who makes $35K/month with his consulting business:

Learn more in our article on business consulting.

#9. Real Estate Agents

While only ⅙ of real estate agents become successful, those that do can maintain a lucrative business. Santino Fillepelli told us:

I’ve been in the real estate industry as both an agent, broker, and investor, and make over $2 million a year.

Check out our interview with this legendary real estate broker, where he also shares how he built his agency:

As a next step, find out how award-winning real estate agent Paul Balzotti, was able to built his real estate business in our exclusive interview.

#10. Cleaning Services

One of the easiest businesses to start is a cleaning service. Whether you choose a housekeeping service or a more specialized niche like carpet or corporate cleaning services, you can make great money in the cleaning industry.

Chris Mondragon started Queen Bee Cleaning Service in 2015 and today makes over $125K/month with his cleaning business. He told us:

As you start out, your margins are 40-50%.

His strategies have created opportunities to help other cleaners through speaking engagements and training programs.

Get Chris Mondragon’s FREE training for starting your own cleaning business. You can read his incredible story here or watch the interview below.

#11. Social Media Management

Social media marketing is a vast industry. According to Statista, it is a $153.7 billion industry. All you need is a computer, some software, and to find some clients. 

Jason Yormark told us:

You can expect each client to be around $2,000-5,000 per month and require 20-40 man-hours to give them proper service.

That means a single person can make up to $40K per month from home without investing in inventory. Find out how Jason turned hist company Socialistics into a $500K per year social media marketing agency:

You can also read our blog about how to start a marketing agency.

#12. Creating Online Courses

Another of the most profitable businesses involves creating online courses. E-learning is expected to grow at a 14.6% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) and reach $374.3 billion by 2026.

Developing an online course can cost as little as a few hundred dollars if you know how to do it yourself, or it can be up to $20,000, if you are paying others to create it. 

Not only is it relatively inexpensive to start, but people are willing to pay for online courses if they add real value. Some of the most recognized learning courses charge up to $5,000, but most are under $300.

Check out our interview with Jacques Hopkins, who started an uber-successful online piano course:

#13. Start a Small Business that Makes Candles or Soap

One business owner that I have found most impressive since I started writing for UpFlip is Jazmin Richards, the owner of BlkSunflower. She started her small business in early 2020 with $100 and has grown it to over $200K in annual revenue.

Most candle makers have a 40-60% margin if they sell in bulk, and even more if they have businesses that are in demand and direct to consumers. If you’re asking yourself what is a good business to start, consider this highly profitable venture. Check out our interview with Jazmin:

#14. Payroll Services

Payroll services charge a monthly fee for their time plus an additional cost per employee. There are two routes to go:

  1. Buy the software, onboard clients, and manage them yourself.
  2. Become an affiliate and get commissions for encouraging people to use the provider’s software. You can do this with a variety of tech companies.

You can become an affiliate with some of them fairly easily, help people register for the services, set them up, and earn a commission on their monthly fees.

I am personally signed up with Gusto‘s referral program. It offers:

  • $500 sign-on bonus for each client (each client also gets a sign-on bonus)
  • Up to $360 per year for each client 
  • $2.40 per year for each employee on your clients’ payroll

This can be a highly profitable business, especially if you combine it with something like accounting or tax preparation because it’s extra money to make your job easier. 

Check out our blog about the 15 best HR outsourcing companies to learn more about payroll services.

#15. Delivery Services

Delivery services can be some of the most successful small businesses. While the major players like Uber and DoorDash take the lion’s share of the delivery service revenue, the industry is expected to grow to $192 billion by 2025.

According to Uber’s annual report:

  • Delivery service gets 19.3% of the total bookings for each delivery. (This number has increased from 18% the previous year.)
  • Drivers pay Uber, so their earnings are excluded from revenue.
  • They spend 27% on marketing (approximately 3X what most businesses do). This number has decreased from 32% the previous year.
  • They spend 12% on research and development (unnecessary for most small businesses). This number has decreased from 20% the previous year.

If you start something similar, focus on the local area only, and find a better way to market the business, you can reach around a 17% net profit with a high margin business. If you’re wondering what are good business ideas, this explains why delivery services are one of the most profitable business ideas.

#16. Graphic Design Services

computer on the table with color pallete

If you enjoy creating websites, logos, and marketing materials, graphic design might be a good fit because it is always in demand. You can start with just your computer and some design software. Find customers on Fiverr or Upwork and start a profitable business from home.

Below is an example of the pricing people charge for different kinds of graphic design work.

Not too bad, given that many of these projects only take a couple of hours to complete. 

#17. Food Truck

Many people start food trucks because they are more profitable than owning a restaurant. You save money on:

  • Employees
  • Costs associated with a building
  • A more focused menu

Kyle Gourlie, the owner of Vet Chef, told us:

To get started, it cost me around $41,200. Today, I am making $417K/year and aim to keep my food costs under 35%.

Check out our interview with him below to learn how to start a profitable food truck business.

Keep reading for more top 10 small business ideas, the most profitable best business ideas for 2023.

#18. Personal Training

Personal trainers make a great living too. They can earn between $50 and $250 per hour while training people to reach their fitness goals. While a personal trainer does not have to have  formal training, income tends to be up to 140% more with a master’s degree as opposed to a high school education.

Given people are paying for your knowledge, the main costs are business licensing and marketing. If you are passionate about fitness, maybe training is right for you.

#19. Manufacturing Construction Supplies

The construction supply industry has a 22.73% gross margin and a 7.92% net margin, but companies that do it well can make far more. Paul Akers started FastCap when he was a cabinet maker and needed something to quickly cover the holes from screws.

More recently, he manufactures over 600 products, has only increased prices three times in 21 years, and has never laid a person off. Check out our interview with Paul to see how he does it.

#20. Catering Business

If you are a foodie, this one might be for you. Running a catering service allows you to prepare delicious food and take it to events like weddings and corporate meetings. At the events, you’ll either set up a buffet or serve the food in whatever capacity you select. You may also serve alcohol to increase the profit margin dramatically, as long as you have a liquor license.

According to Cater Source, catering averages 7-8% pre-tax margins. In addition, the market is supposed to grow to $328.11 billion in 2025. That means there might be between $85 and $97 billion of pre-tax profit to go around.

If you enjoy cooking and serving customers, catering might be right for you.

#21. Post-Pregnancy Services

woman carrying a baby

Post-pregnancy services, sometimes called postpartum services, are a type of business that helps moms recover after childbirth. If you aren’t familiar with them, it’s part of the medical field and can help with things like:

  • Medications women need after giving birth
  • Therapy
  • Help with siblings
  • Light housework and other responsibilities
  • Teaching life hacks to adjust to being a new parent

According to the Health Care Cost Institute, it is estimated that women spend an average of $3,100 on their care during the first year after giving birth. If someone created an Uber-style post-pregnancy care service, it could be a multi-billion dollar achievement. For example, medical and other visits could happen directly in the home and simplify the lives of women, perhaps by providing a postpartum doula via an app service.

#22. Start an eCommerce Business

The current small business landscape is favorable to eCommerce. The startup costs are low (less than $1,000), and you can make more than $120K per month. In our interview with Marcus Harvey, owner of Portland Gear, he told us:

Get a domain for $10, a Shopify for $30 a month, do your marketing on social media, and buy like 50 shirts for $9 each, then build from there.

Hear more from him below.

#23. Courier Service in Major Cities

Courier services can be highly profitable if you have the right professional network to get clients who need paperwork and other items delivered quickly. Courier services can be operated with motor vehicles or bikes. 

A courier service will typically charge a fee that is based on $1.50-$1.70 per mile, plus additional fees for reasons such as:

  • Multiple stops
  • Delivery out of the normal area
  • Rapid 1-hour service
  • Notarize and return service 

Courier Services are expected to reach $68.48 billion in 2025 at a CAGR of 14%.

Becoming a notary would be an excellent ancillary service to this business. Let’s discuss notaries next.

#24. Mobile Notary or Remote Notary

screenshot of become a notary from nationalnotary.org website

Becoming a notary is usually a simple addition for a business owner. It often costs less than $1,000 to get:

  • Business licensing
  • $10,000 Surety bond
  • E&O insurance
  • Certified as a notary
  • The notary stamp and notary journal

Most states allow you to charge a small fee for the notary service and additional charges for the drive time and other expenses incurred. The clients will be real estate agents, legal firms, accountants, and financial institutions that need contracts signed and notarized.

Find out what your state requirements are on NationalNotary.org.

#25. Mobile Car Wash Services

Some of the most lucrative businesses we have interviewed have been mobile car wash and car detailing companies. Mobile car washing and detailing businesses can cost about $2,500 to start and might make $40K a month. 

Abu Waggeh turned a $300 investment into a $40K per month car washing business and told us:

Approximately 1/3rd of the revenue goes to overhead with the biggest cost being labor.

Watch our interview with Abu to learn how a mobile detailing and business plan can make you $480,000 a year.

#26. Copywriting, Blogging, and Content Marketing

As far as home-based businesses go, this is one of the best ones if you want to be your own boss. The pay can be pretty fair. For example, you might find content marketing professionals making up to $1 per word. More commonly, this work lands around $50 and $200 per 1,000 words.

While I wouldn’t recommend doing so, you could operate your entire business from your cell phone with modern technology. All you need is an internet connection, a computer or tablet, and some software. My annual expenses land around $5,000, and everything else is profit. That is why it’s one of the very best online business ideas.

#27. Landscaping Business

Lawn care and other landscaping companies can be a highly profitable industry too! We have interviewed a ton of lawn care professionals over the last couple of years, but one of the most successful is Mike Andes, the 26-year-old CEO and Founder of Augusta Lawn Care.

We followed him and one of his franchisees, Nic Reed, for a year. Nic told us:

My margins are around 27%, and hiring employees has actually increased my margins.

Nic is making over $200K a year as a franchisee, while Mike makes over a million per year selling lawn care franchises and operating his own locations.

Check out our video with Mike below.

#28. Tax Preparation

Zip Recruiter estimates that an independent tax preparer makes a median salary of $53,767, but some make over $100K. You’ll need to:

  1. Take tax prep courses
  2. Get a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN)
  3. Take a test at a Prometric location
  4. Apply to become an enrolled agent and pay a fee, which may be subject to inflation-based increases
  5. Help people and businesses file taxes
  6. Conduct 72 hours of continuing education every three years, including:
    1. A minimum of 16 per year
    2. Two ethics-focused hours per year
  7. Reapply every three years.

If you are already an accountant or bookkeeper, I strongly recommend adding this to your offerings to increase your value to your clients. Others can tremendously benefit if they can offer competitive rates.

If you are interested in helping people with their taxes, get started in the spring so you’ll be certified by the next tax season. Between the training courses, testing, and application processing time, it may take several months to get approved. 

Don’t assume you can get the idea during the holidays, take the courses, pass the tests, and get certified in time. Prometric administered tests are some of the hardest tests I’ve taken.

This can be a seasonal career or year-round, depending on how you structure it and whether you have consumers or businesses as clientele.

#29. Start a Photography Company

man in a studio holding a dslr camera

Photographers can make a great living as entrepreneurs. Korbin and Whitney Korzan, owners of Mile High Productions, make over $400K per year, and they told us:

You can get fully going in this business—photo, video, and drone—for $2,000 or under.

They also told us:

Up until just a couple of months ago, we did not do any paid advertising. It was all through networking. It was all through social media. It was all through sending emails ourselves, so that didn’t cost us any money.

That coincides with my experience in the photography industry. It’s one of the best small business ideas because it’s fun, has a low barrier to entry, and most of the work can be accomplished using social media and marketing services that offer free plans. You can do it from home too.

Check out UpFlip’s interview with Korbin and Whitney:

#30. Web Development

Web developers create software for businesses, governments, and non-profit organizations. Given this is a technology job, the profits can be huge. 

InfoWorld estimates that people who develop software make between $70K and 200K per year as employees. It’s even more if you own an app development company. If you know how to develop software, I highly recommend it. Technology has been the number one creator of wealth since 2000.

Put your app development skills to use and build a technology empire. If you don’t have coding skills but love technology, keep reading because there are still good business ideas and tremendous opportunities to discover.

#31. Technology Consulting

screenshot of tech affiliate categories from highpayingaffiliateprograms website

Many of the major tech companies rely on small business owners to help drive the adoption of their software. Whatever industry you are in, you might want to consider adding tech consulting to your offerings.

You can make substantial money by referring people to other businesses, even if it is just sharing your referral code with other people in your industry. High Paying Affiliate Programs have lots of recommendations of software and hardware you can earn recurring commissions on when you refer people to use their products.

#32. Property Management

Property management is possibly the easiest business to start and run if you want to start a business that makes a profit, involves lots of interaction with people, and requires supervising subcontractors and finances.

You’ll be responsible for ensuring property maintenance is performed on commercial properties or home rentals.

There are over 275,000 property management companies in the US, and most property management companies make about 10% of each rental payment plus additional fees. Small businesses can expect around a 20% profit margin, making it a profitable business idea.

#33. Start a Handyman Business

A Handyman business can make more than $250K per year with only one employee and only costs $5,000 to start. Northern Seattle Handyman makes between 50-60% gross margin while charging $100 per hour.

Check out our interview with the owner below.

#34. Personal Chef

Another business idea that can be highly profitable is a personal chef. According to Indeed, this small business idea has an average salary of nearly $100K. Being a personal chef includes:

  • Creating meal plans
  • Shopping for ingredients
  • Monitoring trends and cooking techniques
  • Preparing and serving meals
  • Maintaining the kitchen
  • Preparing snacks
  • Traveling with the client if desired

This business idea is mostly labor, so you can reach levels of profit of nearly 70-80% if it’s only you. The margins may drop to 40-50% if you hire employees, but that is made up for by freeing up more time for you.

#35. Pet Sitting Business

woman with group of mixed breed dogs

Pet sitting makes the list of most profitable businesses for a couple of reasons:

  • Startup costs: You don’t technically need a business license for pet sitting, but if you get a license, you can deduct expenses such as mileage, insurance, and commission to third-party apps from your income.
  • Time spent: It can take less than two hours per day to take care of an animal. The rest of the time is yours to do as you wish.
  • Options: Rover has options for boarding, dog walking, doggy daycare, drop-in visits, or staying with the pet at the owner’s home.
  • Pay: Typically $20-30 per visit or up to $375 a week if you stay at the owner’s home. Annually, it can be approximately $15,000-25,000, but it’s extra income and exercise if you have a remote job or businesses you can manage from anywhere.

If you own a dog boarding business, it can mean up to $750K per year. Find out how Metro Dog Seattle does it.

#36. Virtual Assistant to Executives

Becoming a Virtual Assistant for clients you choose is a profitable business to start. Some of the top virtual assistants on Upwork make $85 an hour. That’s up to $152K per year for things like scheduling appointments, sending emails, completing research, and other jobs you can do remotely. 

Like other jobs that use a knowledge-based business model, the main startup costs are licensing and software. If you want to make more than that, you can start a VA agency and hire other people to help with this small business idea.

#37. Open a Gas Station

Gas stations are highly profitable if you want your own small business to make money. There are no educational requirements to start the business, and the in-store sales have 30-40% margins. Buying a gas station has a startup cost of up to $3.5 million, but they can make $37 million per year.

Read our blog about how to start a gas station, or watch the interview below.

Start a Business That Requires an Undergraduate Degree or Higher

Many small businesses that experience success and increased profits need at least some level of education. Professional skills and education are typically valued more for their expertise.

Great business ideas that require a bachelor’s degree or higher include:

  • Accountants
  • Lawyers
  • Doctors
  • Financial advisors 
  • Stockbrokers
  • Engineers

If you don’t already have a degree in these fields and are willing to spend money just to take academic courses, you can often choose from online courses, in-person college campuses, or a combination to get your degree. The government offers student aid to help people pay for school.

In addition, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that the median weekly income is twice as much for a person with a bachelor’s degree rather than a high school diploma.

Let’s look at each of these high-demand fields and how to get into them:

#38. Become a Certified Public Accountant

screenshot of CPA license from us.aicpa.org website

To become a certified public accountant, you will need 150 hours of education in accounting. That’s a bachelor’s degree and passing the CPA exam, which is a test for proficiency created by the American Institute for Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). 

Once you have a CPA license, you can start a company and make a great living. There are only 40,000 AICPA members and over 80 million tax returns filed every year by tax professionals, so there’s plenty of work to go around. 

Granted, some of those are done by tax prep services, but CPAs do the big ones. Even at the low end of $100 per tax return, that’s still $8 billion in revenue, and that is just part of what CPAs do.

Add in payroll, quarterly minimum filing, certifying businesses for SOC2 compliance, managing business sales tax payments, and other business finances, and that makes working as a CPA one of the most lucrative business ideas in 2022.

#39. Become a Lawyer

Starting a legal services business can be accomplished in two ways. The easiest way is to become a paralegal, but paralegals aren’t allowed to give advice on the law. To provide legal advice, you have to pass the bar exam.

Unfortunately, Frank William Abagnale Jr. (the main character from Catch Me if You Can) ruined it for everyone. People used to study and take the Bar Exam, but now you have to either:

  1. Go to law school to earn a Juris Doctorate, or 
  2. Perform a 3- to 10-year apprenticeship to take the exam (only allowed in Washington, Vermont, California, and Virginia)

Upon passing the exam, you can practice law and make a median pay of $127K (even more if you start a highly successful firm), making it one of the ten most successful businesses to start in 2023.

#40. Become a Doctor or Other Medical Professional

male doctor holding a stethoscope

Business is Booming! The Covid-19 pandemic caused a considerable uptick in long-term care. Given that nearly one in five people living in the US have gotten Covid and 50% of people who survive it claim to have new ongoing health issues, we need doctors.

We’re not here to discuss politics, but there’s a huge market for all medical professionals when you combine that with our aging population. If you’ve ever wanted to be a doctor, now is the time to spend a decade in school, then become a small business owner.

Doctors make $208,000 median pay, and healthcare makes up 20% of GDP. That’s $1 in every $5 of economic activity. Get your share.

If becoming a doctor sounds like too much time in school, there are plenty of medical professions that can be started as jobs or independent businesses. You can get into:

  • Caregiver: Formally called Personal Care Aides by the BLS, they help people with medical conditions by performing tasks such as running errands, cooking, and cleaning. The BLS estimates the median earnings land around $27,000.
  • Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA): You’ll need seventy-five hours of training, and you can expect median pay around $31,000.
  • Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN): LPNs perform all the duties of a CNA, plus administering medications. They need to pass an exam and take continuing education (CE), but it can mean about $49,000 median pay.
  • Registered Nurse (RN): Requires an associate’s or bachelor’s in nursing, licensure, and CE. RNs can do everything an LPN does, plus supervise other nurses, and they make a median of $75,330.
  • Nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, or nurse anesthetist: These are similar to doctors, but depending on your state, may require the supervision of a physician. See the scope of practice from Simmons University. They make a median of $118K.
  • Phlebotomist: They draw blood and do transfusions. This position requires a certificate and makes a median of $37K. If you know vampires in need of human blood, it can be one of the 5 most profitable businesses to start in 2023.

There’s a lot more! Check out an article from nurse.org for ideas.

#41. Personal Financial Advisors

people doing a business meeting in office with tablet

Financial advisors help entrepreneurs and other high-net-worth individuals increase their wealth through various financial instruments. They focus on establishing goals for entrepreneurs, developing a strategy to help them reach success, and managing their financial investments.

You’ll need a bachelor’s degree in business, finance, mathematics, or other applicable fields and licensing from state and federal agencies. The median pay is around $90K, but many operate on commissions based on the value of funds managed. 

#42. Stock Brokers

If you have a firm grasp of finance, mathematics, and economics, starting a stock brokerage can be an excellent way to invest business capital, capitalize on your knowledge, and help other families build wealth.

Brokers typically have an MBA, but you can get started with a bachelor’s degree. You’ll need to pass several tests and complete the registrations with FINRA.org, but once you’re fully approved, you can sell stocks and bonds. The barriers to entry on this one are higher than some categories, and there are plenty of risks, so make sure you have some experience before you start asking families to invest with you. Median base pay is around $65,000 according to the BLS, but commissions can lead to brokers making millions.

#43. Sell Insurance

woman-on-computer-accessing-an-insurance-website

Selling insurance can make a great living. Over half of insurance agents make around $50K, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Combine that with a 15% profit margin, and it could be a new business opportunity. In fact, you can sell insurance as an affiliate. It’s actually our blog’s second most clicked affiliate link. Because insurance agents sell subscriptions, they may even qualify for recurring income.

Most Common Business Models to Make a Profit

If you want to start one of the best small business ideas we mentioned, you should know which business models will help you increase your profit margins. Here are some more at-home business ideas:

  • Direct Sales: Skip selling to retailers and sell your products direct to consumers. Good for physical and digital products.
  • Retail Sales: Sell others products in your physical store.
  • Manufacturing: Sell your product to distributors and retailers.
  • Ecommerce: Sell your product online
  • Distribution: Help manufacturers sell their products to retailers.
  • Product-to-Service: Sell a product then provide service for it.
  • Subscriptions: Sell products in routine intervals
  • Tiered pricing: Sell high, medium, and low levels of products to encourage customers to upgrade.
  • Revenue from Advertisers: Provide free service in exchange for ad dollars.
  • Franchising: Sell your business model to other users.
  • Crowdsourcing: Get startup costs from people who want your product to be created.
  • Freemium: Provide a free product and paid upgrades in the tech industry.
  • Peer-to-peer: Create a service that lets everyone share directly and get a percentage of each transaction. This is common in crypto.
  • Affiliate Marketing: Can be used by business owners to both sell their products and earn revenue helping others sell products.
  • Dropshipping: Pay for the product to be created after order is placed.

So what are the most profitable businesses to start?

We’ve discussed the best businesses to start from home and looked at the most profitable businesses. Some are unusual but profitable business ideas, some are easy businesses to start from home, and some are not as easy to get into because of education or barriers to entry.

If you want low-cost business ideas with high profit, go with blogging, social media management, or other marketing and business consulting ideas. 

If you want to work with the most profitable types of small businesses that make money to start with $200K, get into real estate or bookkeeping.

If you want the businesses with the lowest failure percentages, they are:

  • Grocery stores
  • Local trucking
  • Plumbing, heating, and air conditioning
  • Security brokers and dealers

Honestly, the most profitable business for you to start is one you have knowledge in, you know how to find customers for, and you want to spend the rest of your life exploring and working with.

Any 2023 business ideas can be the most profitable and successful business ideas if you:

  1. Create a business plan: Read our guide if you’ve never created one.
  2. Provide excellent customer service: Read HelpScout’s blog on what makes great customer service.
  3. Educate yourself on the industry: Follow our blogs and Youtube.
  4. Don’t give up: Many business owners give up right before they hit exponential growth. Learn how to run a business.

What other profitable and successful small business ideas are you thinking about starting?

Join The Discussion

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11 thoughts on “The 43 Most Profitable Businesses to Start in 2023”

  • Kindalem Minasie

    BEST

    Reply
  • Sam

    Oh. Just become a doctor. Brilliant!

    Reply
    • Brandon Boushy

      Sam, I’m not saying it’s easy, but I can’t ignore careers like lawyers and doctors that can make a great living. Some people love medicing and are willing to go through the years of school to become a doctor. I hope you found others that were more to your liking.

      Reply
  • John

    Hello,
    perfect blog!! we can start Alcohol Delivery app as a business as huge profitable business with brand visibality.

    Reply
    • Brandon Boushy

      John, Alcohol delivery is definitely something that is highly profitable. When I delivered UberEats and DoorDash, I would sometimes get alcohol runs. They were normally the most profitable runs. If you decide to start this business, I would recommend getting experience with the other delivery services to see what they do poorly and improve the service.

      There are extra considerations for starting any kind of business that involves the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives(ATF) or similar foreign agencies. If you are in the U.S, make sure to talk to the ATF, local health district, and state regulatory offices because 30+ states have 3rd party laws about alcohol sales.

      We’d love to hear more about your experience.

      Reply
  • selena emani

    Leverage the technical expertise of our highly skilled iOS app developers to build innovative iOS applications that help your business reach new heights. At Mobisoft, you can hire iOS app developers part-time, full-time, or on contract to take your idea to the next level.

    Reply
    • Brandon Boushy

      Hi Selena, We’re glad you enjoy our content! Unfortunately, we try to keep the comments clear of links that have not been approved. If you would like to share what you do, you can fill out a more extensive member profile or fill out our interview form: https://www.upflip.com/youtube-questionnaire

      Reply
  • World Startup Convention

    “24-26 March, 2023 at India Expo Centre & Mart World Startup Convention is the world’s largest startup funding festival to be hosted in India that aims to bring together growth-minded entrepreneurs and investors across the globe to put their energies together and move to the next level. 50 Countries, 75000+ Startups, 1500+ VCs, 9000+ Angels and much more #AbFundingKiBaariHai”

    Reply
  • carmelia wood

    Businesses in the financial sector are more successful than those in other industries. This is as a result of their capacity to produce goods and sell them for high prices.

    Businesses that sell goods or services can increase their profits by expanding their consumer base. If they have a concept for a brand-new good or service, they can also increase their earnings. Do my online course because they can invest and start their firm from scratch, which would be quite expensive for businesses in other industries.

    Over the years, the financial industry has expanded quickly, and numerous companies have appeared in this field of commerce.

    Reply
  • carmelia wood

    Companies in the monetary sector are more profitable than companies in other sectors. This is due to their ability to create a product and sell it at a high price.

    Companies that sell products or services can make more profit if they have a larger customer base. They can also make more profit if they have an idea for a new product or service. Do my online course for me because they have the ability to invest and build up their business from scratch, which would be very costly for companies in other sectors.

    The monetary sector has been growing rapidly over the years, with many startups emerging in this area of business.

    Reply
  • Aleza Shrestha

    Thank you so such an insightful article. You might also be interested in Payroll software in Nepal

    Reply

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