The Most Profitable Businesses to Start in 2024

by Brandon Boushy
The Most Profitable Businesses to Start in 2024

We’ve interviewed over 300 businesses across our YouTube and podcast channels to establish which small businesses are the most profitable. In this blog, we’ll present the 55 most profitable businesses based on the average profit margin for each niche.

We looked at financial reports from early 2024 to ensure relatively recent data.

Each niche includes everything from the smallest business to the largest corporation, so some profit margins might seem much higher or lower than you’d expect when running a small business.

Some good news: When you run a small business that doesn’t aspire to be a megacorporation, you can often expect much higher profit margins.

Read from start to finish, or click on any of the links above to jump straight to info on the category of most profitable business ideas that interests you.

Industries With the Most Profitable Businesses

Bearded man at a laptop holding fans of hundred dollar bills and surrounded by stacks of cash

The most profitable industries include:

  1. Financials: The monetary sector leads the list of most profitable industries, with over 30% net income and gross profits for banks nearing 100%.
  2. Oil and gas: The oil and gas industry still has high net profits, with 28.26%, and a gross profit of 58.75%. This industry might be hard to get into, however.
  3. Tobacco: Selling addictive products pays off, with a 27.52% net profit and 61.25% gross profit. If you could start growing and selling your own tobacco, you’d probably make a killing!
  4. Transportation: This sector is likely here to stay. Even railroads still have an average net profit of 23.52%, and shipmakers also make a great living.
  5. Real estate investment trusts (REITs): REITs are big winners this year. They moved up from ninth place last year. Players in this industry earned 23.32% in net profit and nearly 78% gross margins.
  6. Software: Entertainment and system applications software companies are doing well, with 20% net margins. Entertainment software has gross margins of 63%, while systems and applications have around 72% gross margins.
  7. Investments and asset management: Managing other people’s money is an easy startup business. People with the right qualifications can tap into 19.82% net income and 67% gross margins.
  8. Water utilities: Providing water to municipalities can earn a sweet 19.34% net margin and 56% gross margin.
  9. Semiconductors: Producing parts for electronic equipment can earn 17.94% net profits.
  10. Computers: With 17.47% profits, computer and peripherals companies are similarly profitable.

But many of the most profitable businesses aren’t practical for people who want successful small business ideas for business owners.

Most of us don’t have access to venture capitalists or the ability to run a business for 10 years before it starts making money. So we’re constraining our list to the most profitable and best small businesses to start.

Graduation icon

Check Out Our Small Business Ideas!

We know the first part of starting a small business is coming up with a business idea, so we’ve collected 500 business ideas and provided in-depth information on each to help you choose—all accessible in the UpFlip Academy, a comprehensive solution for launching your own business from the ground up. In addition to business ideas, it offers courses, workshops, access to business coaches, and more.
See Our Business Idea Database + All the Courses We Offer!

What Small Business Is Good to Start?

Concept of a casually dressed young man using a laptop to research small business ideas with a graphical storefront and question mark hovering over his shoulder

A good small business to start normally has high growth opportunities and low barriers of entry, works well as a home-based business, and provides great profit margins. We’ve handpicked some of the most profitable small business ideas for you.

Source Disclosure

Our industry data is sourced from authoritative government agencies, industry federations, and key corporate reports, all compiled by IBISWorld. For detailed sourcing information, please visit IBISWorld.

#1. Residential Cleaning Service

Chris Mondragon putting on a cleaning glove in the foreground and a screenshot of one of his UpFlip YouTube videos in the background

• Average Annual Revenue: $53K+
• Average Profit Margin: 6.6%
• Average Startup Cost: $3.5K
• Average Time to Launch: 3 weeks
• Projected Market Growth: 2.4%
• Market Size: $18.8BN
• Best For: Self-motivated, independent, and detail-oriented entrepreneurs

We’re listing a cleaning service as the most profitable business because it’s easy to start on a low budget and has huge profit margins if you keep it small.

Cleaning businesses can be gold mines. They’re easy to start, and they have high success rates. Our friend Chris Mondragon pulls in over $125K monthly with his company, Queen Bee Cleaning. In his words:

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

Forty to fifty percent! Seasoned business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs know how significant that is. With those figures and only 13 weekly cleaning contracts, you can rake in $7,800—not in revenue, but pure profit. Now imagine signing 20 or 30 of these high-paying contracts.

Cleaning is a business built to scale. But be careful: You can’t scale to millions of dollars just anywhere. There’s a tried-and-true calculation that reveals the earning potential in your area. If the numbers line up, you can scale to seven figures.

If you’re curious about how to use the calculation and want to know how to start your cleaning business from scratch—no franchise required—check out our UpFlip Academy program with Chris Mondragon.

You can read Chris’s incredible story here or watch our exclusive interview below.

YouTube player

#2. Social Media Management

• Average Annual Revenue: $817K
• Average Profit Margin: 6.9%
• Startup Cost: $100-$10K
• Average Time to Launch: 1-6 months
• Projected Market Growth: 1.3%
• Best For: Social media experts, writers and content creators, people with search engine optimization (SEO) expertise

Social media marketing is a super complex field. And according to Statista, it accounts for a $153.7 billion industry. All you need to get in on it is a computer, some software, and to find some clients.

Jason Yormark of Socialistics told us:

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

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

Pro Tip: You can also learn from our blog on how to start a marketing agency.

#3. Accounting and Bookkeeping

Screenshot of an article on SOC 2 criteria

• Average Annual Revenue: $244K per employee
• Average Profit Margin: 18%
• Startup Cost: $500-$2.5K
• Average Time to Launch: 3-12 months (plus accounting degree)
• Projected Market Growth: 1%
Best For: Certified accountants, entrepreneurs with strong math and financial skills

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 annually by tax professionals, so there’s plenty of work.

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

Add in payroll, quarterly minimum filing, certifying businesses for SOC 2 compliance, managing business sales tax payments, and other business finances, and it’s obvious why working as a CPA is one of the most lucrative business ideas in 2022.

#4. TikTok Dropshipping

• Average Annual Revenue: TBD—niche too new for definitive data
• Average Profit Margin: TBD—niche too new for definitive data
• Startup Cost: $300
• Average Time to Launch: 2 months
• Projected Market Growth: TBD—niche too new for definitive data
• Best For: eCommerce entrepreneurs who don’t want to hold inventory

TikTok dropshipping can be highly profitable. Just ask Stone Ross, who has created multiple stores that earn $30K or more in the first two months. We share the strategies he uses to create these results in our dropshipping course so you can duplicate his results.

#5. Consulting

• Average Annual Revenue: $364K
• Average Profit Margin: 6.4%
• Startup Cost: $1K-$3.5M
• Average Time to Launch: 6-18 months
Projected Market Growth: 2.2%
Best For: Executives and business leaders, entrepreneurs with management or business expertise, people with strong analytic, problem-solving, and communication skills

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 own 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 who specialize in mergers and acquisitions can earn huge commissions.

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

#6. Face Painting Service

Average Annual Revenue: $42.5K
Average Profit Margin: 67.50%
Average Startup Cost: $2,750
Average Time to Launch: 3 months
Projected Market Growth: 5.78%
Market Size: $304.6BN
Best For: Artistic entrepreneurs who like being in crowded environments

Face painting and body painting services are offered at events like parties, festivals, and fundraisers. Face painting artists use non-toxic paint and glitter to create fun designs for kids and adults. This small business idea costs less than $3K to get started and can have profit margins of up to 67.5%.

#7. AI Company

Average Annual Revenue: $86.9BN
Average Profit Margin: 53%
Average Startup Cost: $55,000
Average Time to Launch: 12 months
Projected Market Growth: 20.40%
Market Size: $515.31BN
Best For: People who like to be on the forefront of technology

Small business ideas in AI (artificial intelligence) develop software solutions that seek to increase efficiency for other businesses using machine learning, databases, and prompts to help perform tasks quicker.

This fast-growing field has a 53% profit margin and is currently dominated by major businesses, but there is potential for profitable smal businesses to enter the industry and be highly successful.

#8. Homeschooling Service

Average Annual Revenue: $65K
Average Profit Margin: 50%
Average Startup Cost: $55,000
Average Time to Launch: 12 months
Projected Market Growth: 9.80%
Market Size: $5.41BN
Best For: People who have a passion for teaching and supporting student growth

Homeschooling services help parents and teachers support students learning via an online environment as opposed to a school environment.

Services may include lesson plans, curriculum, textbooks, tutoring, online courses, and consultations to help parents create personalized learning around their child’s interests.

#9. Coworking Space

Average Annual Revenue: $4.4M
Average Profit Margin: 49.30%
Average Startup Cost: $300,000
Average Time to Launch: 18 months
Projected Market Growth: 2.2%
Market Size: $24.6BN
Best For: Building owners, commercial real estate professionals, and small business owners with unused space

A coworking space offers a quiet, clean space for small business owners, freelancers, remote workers, and startups to work and receive their mail away from home.

These spaces normally charge a monthly fee and can be the most profitable small businesses because they can overbook spaces depending on the frequency at which each person actually uses the space they’re paying for.

#10. Snow Plowing and Removal Services

Average Annual Revenue: $285K
Average Profit Margin: 43.10%
Average Startup Cost: $15,000
Average Time to Launch: 6 months
Projected Market Growth: 1.1%
Market Size: $25.6BN
Best For: People who own a truck and like driving

Snow plowing services specialize in clearing snow and ice from roads, sidewalks, and residential and commercial properties during winter months. They may also be combined with snow removal providers that take the snow to another location.

These profitable small businesses often offer routine service contracts and mid-sized snow plowing companies can earn between $100K and $1 million, with an average profit margin of 43.1%.

#11. Hedge Fund

Average Annual Revenue: $34M
Average Profit Margin: 40.10%
Average Startup Cost: $550,000
Average Time to Launch: 27 months
Projected Market Growth: 2.0%
Market Size: $118.4BN
Best For: Accredited investors with business analysis skills and capital to invest

A hedge fund pools capital from accredited investors and institutions to pursue aggressive investment strategies, including long and short positions, derivatives trading, and alternative assets, with the goal of achieving high returns while managing risk.

Hedge funds are subject to significant oversight but are some of the most profitable small businesses with a 40.1% profit margin.

#12. Podcast Production

Average Annual Revenue: $3.2BN
Average Profit Margin: 39.10%
Average Startup Cost: $5,500
Average Time to Launch: 3 months
Projected Market Growth: 29.80%
Market Size: $17.59BN
Best For: People with a good public speaking voice or who enjoy managing the marketing side of podcasts

Creating podcasts, hosting podcasts, and marketing podcasts are all extremely profitable small business ideas. The largest players make billions of dollars providing the software to host podcasts while small business owners can publish their own podcasts and make up to 39.1% profits.

#13. Warehouse

Average Annual Revenue: $136K
Average Profit Margin: 35.90%
Average Startup Cost: $550,000
Average Time to Launch: 18 months
Projected Market Growth: 1.7%
Market Size: $23.1BN
Best For: People with a logistics or real estate background

A warehouse stores products and materials then fulfills orders. The revenue earned will vary based on the size of the warehouse, the services offered, and the location. Business owners typically make around a 35.9% profit margin on $136K revenue, making owning a warehouse a highly successful small business idea.

#14. Storage Unit Facility

Average Annual Revenue: $136K
Average Profit Margin: 35.90%
Average Startup Cost: $300,000
Average Time to Launch: 18 months
Projected Market Growth: 1.7%
Market Size: $23.1BN
Best For: People with a logistics or real estate background.

Storage unit facilities rent space to people and small businesses who need to store property. These businesses can be largely automated to generate a source of income. In addition, they may provide living quarters for the small business owner or a property manager.

Successful storage units earn annual revenues between $100,000 and $1 million depending on the amenities, security, and other services offered.

It is commonly better to purchase an existing small business that you have the opportunity to update than to build a storage facility from scratch.

Pro Tip: Learn more about purchasing a business like a storage unit facility from our Ultimate Turnkey Business Guide.

#15. Venture Capital Firm

Average Annual Revenue: $6M
Average Profit Margin: 34.80%
Average Startup Cost: $2,750,000
Average Time to Launch: 30 months
Projected Market Growth: 3.2%
Market Size: $61.8BN
Best For: Investors with large amounts of capital and business connections

Venture capital firms are financial companies that provide funding, expertise, and support to startups in exchange for equity ownership. Their goal is to achieve maximum returns through initial public offerings (IPOs) or acquisitions.

These small businesses have significant startup costs and will likely invest in multiple failed business ideas, but they still see a 34.8% profit margin because the winning investments tend to provide oversized returns.

#16. Investment Company

Average Annual Revenue: $13M
Average Profit Margin: 23.20%
Average Startup Cost: $275,000
Average Time to Launch: 30 months
Projected Market Growth: 3.8%
Market Size: $392.8BN
Best For: Financial advisors, stock brokers, and other licensed individuals

An investment company manages assets for investors and institutions to make it easier to invest. This highly regulated financial service will normally require years of experience in the financial field, but the 23.2% profit margin is high for a small business considering investment companies normally take a percentage of all trading fees.

#17. Finance Company

Average Annual Revenue: $6.1M
Average Profit Margin: 22.60%
Average Startup Cost: $550,000
Average Time to Launch: 18 months
Projected Market Growth: 1.5%
Market Size: $6TR
Best For: Financial advisors, stock brokers, and other licensed individuals

A financial services company offers financial products like credit cards, investment management, leases, and loans to individuals and businesses. This is one of the largest industries in the country, but the barriers to entry are high due to more regulations.

#18. Real Estate Investing

Average Annual Revenue: $94M
Average Profit Margin: 22.30%
Average Startup Cost: $10,000
Average Time to Launch: 9 months
Projected Market Growth: 1.3%
Market Size: $249.4BN
Best For: Anyone with a 20% down payment

Real estate investors buy, manage, or sell properties for profit. Returns on investment can vary, typically ranging from 5% to 15% annually, depending on the location, property type, and market conditions.

There are other types of real estate investing companies that go beyond a small business. A real estate investment firm will require about $300K and another three months startup time, while a real estate investment trust normally requires over $5.5M in startup costs and 18 months to start.

#19. Laundromat

Average Annual Revenue: $330K
Average Profit Margin: 22.20%
Average Startup Cost: $350,000
Average Time to Launch: 9 months
Projected Market Growth: .2%
Market Size: $6.6BN
Best For: Anyone with the 20% down payment

The laundromat industry plays a vital role in providing convenient laundry services to communities across the United States.

The laundromat sector is growing slightly, but a small business that offers diversified services and amenities can see stellar profits of 22.2%.

Pro Tip: Join the UpFlip Academy to learn how Dave Menz makes over $1.8 million annually in the laundromat biz.

#20. Urgent Care Clinic

Average Annual Revenue: $7.4M
Average Profit Margin: 22.10%
Average Startup Cost: $750,000
Average Time to Launch: 18 months
Projected Market Growth: 2.9%
Market Size: $46.7BN
Best For: Healthcare professionals

Urgent care clinics provide walk-in medical services for non-life-threatening illnesses and injuries. They help with services that require a quick doctor’s appointment but not an ER visit.

They provide services like diagnostic tests, minor procedures, and vaccines. Like most medical facilities, they tend to be highly profitable, with a 22.1% profit margin.

#21. Law Firm

Average Annual Revenue: $896K
Average Profit Margin: 20.50%
Average Startup Cost: $75,000
Average Time to Launch: 6 years
Projected Market Growth: 1.7%
Market Size: $381BN
Best For: People who have attended law school and passed the bar

Law firms provide legal services for people, companies, and other organizations. Many law firms specialize in a specific segment of law. As a small business, the profits average 20.5%, which makes it a great profit margin if you have a law degree and professional license. Paralegals can also start a law firm, but they can not give legal advice.

#22. Credit Union

Average Annual Revenue: $25M
Average Profit Margin: 22.20%
Average Startup Cost: $5.5M
Average Time to Launch: 30 months
Projected Market Growth: 1.5%
Market Size: $124.8BN
Best For: People looking for a community-oriented, customer-focused banking experience

A credit union is a financial services cooperative that allows its members to own the profits and services. Credit unions function mostly like banks, providing financial products and services including savings accounts, loans, and credit cards.

Credit unions make profits from the fees they charge to customers for holding their money and offering loans. The profit margins average 20.2%.

#23. Tax Service

Average Annual Revenue: $112K
Average Profit Margin: 19.80%
Average Startup Cost: $6K
Average Time to Launch: 17 months
Projected Market Growth: 0.10%
Market Size: $13.9BN
Best For: Certified accountants and tax professionals, people who are good with math, numbers, and finances

Becoming a tax specialist doesn’t mean you have to be an accountant, but it definitely helps. You just need a PTIN or to become an enrolled agent, according to H&R Block.

These businesses make 19.8% profit margins, and you can start for under $6K. Of course, the most profitable businesses include accountants, too. You’ll be able to make way more if you are a CPA or work with someone who is.

#24. Energy Drink Company

Average Annual Revenue: $111M
Average Profit Margin: 19.60%
Average Startup Cost: $275,000
Average Time to Launch: 15 months
Projected Market Growth: 1.5%
Market Size: $21BN
Best For: Marketing professionals, product innovators, and individuals with strong distribution networks and regulatory knowledge

Energy drinks have replaced coffee for many younger people. These companies use a combination of caffeine and other energy-boosting vitamins and minerals to help people get through their days.

The manufacturers of these drinks make an average of $111M per year with 19.6% profits, making it one of the most profitable small businesses to start.

#25. Estate Sales

Average Annual Revenue: $193K
Average Profit Margin: 19.40%
Average Startup Cost: $6,000
Average Time to Launch: 8 months
Projected Market Growth: 0.7%
Market Size: $236.4BN
Best For: Antiques enthusiasts, experienced appraisers, and individuals with strong organizational and marketing skills

A small business that manages estate sales helps a homeowner sell all their possessions. Their clients are normally people who inherited a property from a deceased relative—or a business or government agency that has claim to the property.

The small business may earn a flat fee for its services plus commission on all sales. The more valuable properties tend to have higher profit margins, but the average estate sale business makes approximately 19.4%.

#26. Real Estate Agency

Average Annual Revenue: $193K
Average Profit Margin: 19.40%
Average Startup Cost: $55,000
Average Time to Launch: 18 months
Projected Market Growth: 0.7%
Market Size: $236.4BN
Best For: Outgoing and friendly people who are skilled communicators and salespeople

Real estate agents help people buy, sell, and lease residential or commercial properties. You’re required to have a real estate license to become a real estate agent or broker, but the average agency makes $193K per year with a 19.4% profit margin, which makes it a highly profitable small business to start.

#27. Hotel

Average Annual Revenue: $2.1M
Average Profit Margin: 19%
Average Startup Cost: $2,750,000
Average Time to Launch: 30 months
Projected Market Growth: 2.3%
Market Size: $239BN
Best For: Hospitality managers, real estate developers, and individuals with strong customer service and marketing skills

The average hotel makes $2.1 million per year with a 19% profit margin. You’ll benefit from being in a high-traffic location for business travelers or tourists. It should be noted that tourism tends to be seasonal, which means you’ll need to save some of the money from the busy months to cover the slow season.

#28. Business Loan Services

Average Annual Revenue: $2M
Average Profit Margin: 18.7%
Average Startup Cost: $60,000
Average Time to Launch: 9 months
Projected Market Growth: 1.3%
Market Size: $23.5BN
Best For: Financial analysts, credit officers, and individuals with expertise in risk management and financial technology

Business loans are a highly profitable part of the financial services industry. The average business loan servicer makes more than $2 million per year with 18.7% profits.

You’ll need proper licensing and strong knowledge of risk management, but if you can provide innovation in the industry, it can be even more profitable.

#29. Check Cashing Service

Average Annual Revenue: $2M
Average Profit Margin: 18.7%
Average Startup Cost: $125,000
Average Time to Launch: 9 months
Projected Market Growth: 1.3%
Market Size: $23.5BN
Best For: Individuals with a background in retail banking, customer service, and financial management

Cash checking services help people who don’t have bank accounts cash checks in exchange for a fee—typically a percentage of the check.

These services may be combined with a payday lender. The average cash checking service makes more than $2M per year with a 18.7% profit margin.

#30. Software Company

Average Annual Revenue: $10.6M
Average Profit Margin: 18.3%
Average Startup Cost: $55,000
Average Time to Launch: 18 months
Projected Market Growth: 1.8%
Market Size: $528.5BN
Best For: Coders and developers adept in programming languages, independent and self-motivated entrepreneurs with strong communication and project management skills

A software company creates and sells applications, platforms, and solutions to people and businesses. The average profit margins are 18.3% on $10.6 million in revenue, but many of the most profitable companies on the planet are in this sector.

#31. Drug Testing Service

Average Annual Revenue: $200,000
Average Profit Margin: 22.10%
Average Startup Cost: $250,000
Average Time to Launch: 20 months
Projected Market Growth: 16.6%
Market Size: $8.3BN
Best For: Medical professionals, compliance officers, and individuals with expertise in laboratory science and regulatory compliance

Drug testing is part of the healthcare industry that focuses on screening people for substance abuse. Their main clients are other small businesses and government agencies. Drug testing facilities make an average revenue of $5 million with a profit margin of 17.5%.

#32. Campground

Average Annual Revenue: $698K
Average Profit Margin: 16.2%
Average Startup Cost: $550,000
Average Time to Launch: 18 months
Projected Market Growth: 2.1%
Market Size: $10.7BN
Best For: Outdoor enthusiasts, hospitality managers, and individuals with experience in property management and outdoor recreation

Campgrounds are recreational areas for people to camp, park their RVs, and rent cabins. These vacation destinations may also provide opportunities for boating, hiking, and other leisure activities.

In addition to charging for the space, you can also set up a shop and rentals to increase your earnings. A campground normally makes over $698K per year with a 16.2% profit margin.

#33. RV Park

Average Annual Revenue: $698K
• Average Profit Margin: 16.2%
Average Startup Cost: $300,000
Average Time to Launch: 42 months
Projected Market Growth: 2.1%
Market Size: $10.7BN
Best For: Entrepreneurs with a hospitality background, real estate investors, and individuals with experience in campground management and outdoor recreation

While an RV park may be part of a campground, some locations have RV parks for people who live full time in their RVs. Even if you’re in a concrete jungle, you can still offer these services.

You’ll need hookups in every parking space and should offer amenities to make your location more attractive than parking in the free space at Walmart and other locations.

RV parks average $698K per year with a 16.2% profit margin.

#34. Car Detailing Service

Average Annual Revenue: $272K
Average Profit Margin: 16.1%
Average Startup Cost: $6,000
Average Time to Launch: 4 weeks
Projected Market Growth: 2.1%
Market Size: $17.3BN
Best For: Car enthusiasts, detail-oriented entrepreneurs, and those who enjoy working with their hands

The car detailing industry focuses on the thorough cleaning, restoration, and finishing of automobiles. The U.S. market for car detailing was valued at over $12 billion in 2023 and is growing, driven by increasing luxury car sales and consumer awareness about car maintenance.

Detailing businesses can make between $50,000 and $500,000, with the average car detailing company making $272K per year and earning 16.1% profit margins.

#35. Car Wash

Average Annual Revenue: $272K
Average Profit Margin: 16.1%
Average Startup Cost: $267,500
Average Time to Launch: 8 months
Projected Market Growth: 2.1%
Market Size: $17.3BN
Best For: Car lovers, detail-oriented entrepreneurs who like working with their hands

Car washes are similar to car detailing, but they’re mostly stationary. You might start a hand-washing, self-service, or automated car wash. Either way, they’ll be more expensive to start than a car detailing company, but they’ll still average around $272K per year with 16.1% profits.

#36. Dog Walking Service

Average Annual Revenue: $39K
Average Profit Margin: 16.1%
Average Startup Cost: $2,750
Average Time to Launch: 4.5 months
Projected Market Growth: 1%
Market Size: $1.3BN
Best For: Pet owners, animal lovers, and those who like working outdoors

Lots of pet owners need someone to walk their dogs when they aren’t home. You’ll mostly be working with affluent customers in your local area. The average pet walker makes $39K a year with 16.1% profit margins, but if you have a full calendar, you can make way more.

#37. Equipment Rental Business

Average Annual Revenue: $13.5M
Average Profit Margin: 16%
Average Startup Cost: $150,000
Average Time to Launch: 9 months
Projected Market Growth:1.3%
Market Size: $47.8BN
Best For: People who own rentable assets, collectors of cars, boats, or other equipment

An equipment rental company can be a successful business. With a 16% average profit margin and average revenue of $13.5 million annually, the average equipment rental business is making nearly $2.16 million in profits each year.

The type of equipment, your location, and your competition will impact the amount your small business will make and what equipment performs best.

Pro Tip: Make great money renting out your stuff with inspiration from our profitable rental idea list.

#38. VPN Solutions Provider

Average Annual Revenue: $9.8M
Average Profit Margin: 15.8%
Average Startup Cost: $55,000
Average Time to Launch: 9 months
Projected Market Growth: 2.7%
Market Size: $5.2BN
Best For: Technology entrepreneurs, cybersecurity experts, and individuals with expertise in network infrastructure and software development

Many businesses and people use Virtual Private Network (VPN) solutions to protect privacy. Offering software, services, and technologies to help protect other small businesses can make an average of $9.8 million annually with a 15.8% profit margin.

#39. Bail Bonds Service

Average Annual Revenue: $238K
Average Profit Margin: 15.7%
Average Startup Cost: $55,000
Average Time to Launch: 9 months
Projected Market Growth: 0.6%
Market Size: $2.4BN
Best For: Legal professionals, licensed bail bond agents, and individuals with expertise in finance and risk management

Bail bond companies are small businesses that help people get their loved ones out of jail at a fraction of the cost. They make money by requiring a percentage of the total bail and then put up the rest.

When the person appears in court, the bail bond company gets all the money back and the retainer is their profit. When someone doesn’t show, they pay a head hunter to find them, and take them out to the middle of the desert…err…back to jail to get their bail money back.

The average bail company makes $238K annually with a 15.7% profit margin, but successful ones can make much more.

#40. Radio Station

Average Annual Revenue: $17M
Average Profit Margin: 15.6%
Average Startup Cost: $275,000
Average Time to Launch: 30 months
Projected Market Growth: 0.1%
Market Size: $5BN
Best For: Media professionals, broadcast engineers, and individuals with experience in advertising sales and content production

Radio stations are part of the media and broadcasting industry focused on music, news, and talk shows. This includes podcasts and streaming services.

The average radio station makes $17M annually with a 15.6% profit margin—primarily by selling ads and sponsorships.

#41. Trailer Rental Service

Average Annual Revenue: $3.6M
Average Profit Margin: 15.4%
Average Startup Cost: $150,000
Average Time to Launch: 9 months
Projected Market Growth: 1.7%
Market Size: $37.1BN
Best For: Entrepreneurs with a background in logistics, fleet management, and customer service

This segment of the logistics and transportation industry focuses on renting trailers to contractors, moving companies, and other people.

Trailer rental companies average $3.6M in annual revenue at 15.40% profit margins.

#42. Cargo Van Rental

Average Annual Revenue: $3.6M
Average Profit Margin: 15.4%
Average Startup Cost: $30,000
Average Time to Launch: 4 months
Projected Market Growth: 1.7%
Market Size: $37.1BN
Best For: Entrepreneurs with a background in logistics, fleet management, and customer service

Buying cargo vans and renting them to people has a 15.4% profit margin, with the average cargo van rental company making $3.6 million per year.

You can rent them out as is or convert them into camper vans for vacation rentals.

#43. Mobile Oil Change Service

Average Annual Revenue: $360K
Average Profit Margin: 15.3%
Average Startup Cost: $30,000
Average Time to Launch: 7 months
Projected Market Growth: 1.4%
Market Size: $10.8BN
Best For: Automotive technicians, entrepreneurs with a background in vehicle maintenance, and individuals with experience in mobile service operations

Business professionals are busy and don’t have time to take their cars to a physical location for preventive maintenance. That’s why many companies have started offering mobile oil changes and vehicle maintenance.

The average oil change company makes $360K per year with a 15.3% profit margin. Best of all, this portion of the industry has low startup costs and a small skill set you need to learn.

#44. Barbershop

Average Annual Revenue: $32K
Average Profit Margin: 15%
Average Startup Cost: $87,500
Average Time to Launch: 6 months
Projected Market Growth: 0.6%
Market Size: $4.9BN
Best For: Beauticians, barbers, and hair stylists with excellent customer service, communication, and organization skills

A barbershop is part of the personal care industry that focuses on cutting men’s hair and beards. The industry can be extraordinarily profitable when you rent a chair or open your own barbershop.

Most places require education or an apprenticeship, but the average barber makes $32K and 15% profit. Once you develop a reputation, get a full calendar, and learn to charge right, it can be much more.

#45. Event Venue

Average Annual Revenue: $73K
Average Profit Margin: 15%
Average Startup Cost: $275,000
Average Time to Launch: 15 months
Projected Market Growth: 0.7%
Market Size: $6.9BN
Best For: Strong networkers, great party planners, outgoing and social entrepreneurs

Providing space for gatherings like corporate events, concerts, and weddings can be a highly profitable industry. The average event space makes approximately $73K per year with 15% profit margins, but if you offer additional services related to the industry, you can increase your profits dramatically.

#46. Crime Scene Cleanup Service

Average Annual Revenue: $100K
Average Profit Margin: 30%
Average Startup Cost: $100,000
Average Time to Launch: 16 months
Projected Market Growth: 6%
Market Size: $24BN
Best For: Entrepreneurs with experience in biohazard remediation, individuals with a background in hazardous materials handling, and professionals with expertise in property restoration

If cleaning homes and businesses sounds boring to you, consider your own business doing crime scene clean-ups.

You’ll get to clean the mess left behind from murders, suicides, and biohazard incidents. There’s nothing boring about these cleaning companies. They make an average of $500K per year, almost 10x the average residential cleaning company. Plus, they have a 5.2% profit margin.

#47. App Development Company

Average Annual Revenue: $30M
Average Profit Margin: 14.6%
Average Startup Cost: $55,000
Average Time to Launch: 18 months
Projected Market Growth: 1.8%
Market Size: $178.1BN
Best For: Tech entrepreneurs, software engineers, and individuals with expertise in mobile technology and digital product development

Web development companies that focus on building applications make an average of $30M annually with 14.6% profit margins. Whether you have a web development background, have offered consulting services, or are just good at hiring and managing people, you can make a great living with this small business idea.

Pro Tip: Want to make an app? Check out our How to Make an App: The Ultimate Guide.

#48. Coffee Brand

Average Annual Revenue: $972K
Average Profit Margin: 14.50%
Average Startup Cost: $55,000
Average Time to Launch: 18 months
Projected Market Growth: 0.9%
Market Size: $13BN
Best For: Baristas and coffee experts who excel at customer service

Coffee brands roast, package, and sell coffee and coffee products through a physical location, food trucks, or an online store. The average coffee shop makes around $972K in revenue annually with a 14.50% profit margin.

#49. RV Rental Service

Average Annual Revenue: $425K
Average Profit Margin: 14.50%
Average Startup Cost: $150,000
Average Time to Launch: 10 months
Projected Market Growth: 1.9%
Market Size: $829.7M
Best For: Entrepreneurs with a background in hospitality, tourism, and fleet management, as well as individuals with experience in outdoor recreation and customer service

RV rental services provide short-term and long-term rentals to people who want to use recreational vehicles for their outdoor adventures and road trips.

You can start with one RV or a whole fleet. This profitable business idea makes an average of $425K per year with a 14.5% profit margin.

#50. Billboard Advertising

Average Annual Revenue: $605K
Average Profit Margin: 14.2%
Average Startup Cost: $55,000
Average Time to Launch: 8 months
Projected Market Growth: 7.2%
Market Size: $7.9BN
Best For: Entrepreneurs with a background in marketing, outdoor advertising, and real estate, as well as individuals with experience in sales and client management

Billboard advertising has been going strong since 1835. Think about all the changes in technology and digital marketing over that time, and that shows some real staying power. Billboard companies make an average of $605K per year and 14.2% profit margins.

If you’re trying to build generational wealth, starting a billboard company might be the right move for you.

#51. Escape Room

Average Annual Revenue: $182K
Average Profit Margin: 14.1%
Average Startup Cost: $18,500
Average Time to Launch: 4.5 months
Projected Market Growth: 1.1%
Market Size: $654.5M
Best For: Entrepreneurs with a background in entertainment, game design, and customer experience, as well as individuals with expertise in event management and marketing

Escape rooms are entertainment businesses that give people the opportunity to solve a series of interactive puzzles to find their way out of a staged scenario. These themed rooms charge by the hour and make additional revenue from selling merch, food, and drink on the side.

The average escape room makes $182K per year with a 14.1% profit margin.

#52. PR Agency

Average Annual Revenue: $418K|
Average Profit Margin: 14%
Average Startup Cost: $55,000
Average Time to Launch: 10 months
Projected Market Growth: 1.8%
Market Size: $20.4BN
Best For: Entrepreneurs with a background in communications, marketing, and media relations, as well as individuals with expertise in strategic planning and client management

Public relations companies focus on helping businesses and governments manage their reputations through communication. These companies may work with their clients on an ongoing basis or just when critical events occur.

The average PR company makes $418K annually with a 14.00% profit margin.

#53. Dental Practice

Average Annual Revenue: $845K
Average Profit Margin: 14%
Average Startup Cost: $625,000
Average Time to Launch: 18 months
Projected Market Growth: 2.9%
Market Size: $154.9BN
Best For: Dentists, dental hygienists, and individuals with experience in healthcare management and patient care

Oral healthcare is crucial for people’s physical and mental health. Providing these crucial services can be highly profitable, with an $845K average revenue and 14% profit margin. You’ll need eight years of higher ed to become a dentist, though.

#54. Amusement Park

Average Annual Revenue: $45M
Average Profit Margin: 13.9%
Average Startup Cost: $5.5M
Average Time to Launch: 48 months
Projected Market Growth: 2.3%
Market Size: $29.9BN
Best For: Entrepreneurs with experience in entertainment management, hospitality, and customer service, as well as individuals with expertise in theme park operations and event planning

Amusement parks are one of the more costly businesses on this list. Expect to spend $5.5 million to start an amusement park, but know that the average annual revenue is $45M with a 13.9% payback.

That means you’ll likely make your money back each year after you develop a reputation.

#55. Funeral Home

Average Annual Revenue: $846K
Average Profit Margin: 13.9%
Average Startup Cost: $550,000
Average Time to Launch: 18 months
Projected Market Growth: 1.20%
Market Size: $19.1BN
Best For: Entrepreneurs with a background in funeral services, mortuary science, and grief counseling, as well as individuals with experience in customer service and event planning within the funeral industry

Death is the only thing that is inevitable. Even taxes can be avoided. There are laws about handling dead bodies that most people are ill-prepared to handle. That means every year, there are a potential 2.9 million customers across the U.S. prepared to spend an average of $8K each.

The funeral home industry makes an average of $846K annually per home with a 13.9% profit margin.

Least Profitable Industries

Dismayed-looking business owner holding a laptop and a smart phone in front of a red background with a downward-trending arrow

There are some industries that are really struggling right now. You might want to avoid these industries if you want to make a profit fast.

Industry Net Income
Entertainment -0.23%
Telecom Services -0.28%
Chemical (Diversified) -1.01%
Broadcasting -1.41%
Furniture & Home Furnishings -2.24%
Rubber & Tires -2.53%
Electronics (Consumer & Office) -3.05%
Real Estate (Operations & Services) -3.14%
Precious Metals -4.26%
Drugs (Biotechnology) -11.88%
Software (Internet) -14.32%
Real Estate (Development) -16.35%

Most of these industries are tied to big purchases. We’re seeing losses tied to inflation of expenses like materials and wages, combined with people cutting back on making new purchases. This is expected when discretionary income decreases.

Pro Tip: Assuming wage growth continues and outpaces inflation, we should see these return to profitability in a few years. Until then, our blog on recession-proof businesses can provide even more inspiration for getting started in a bad (or questionable) economy.

So What Are the Most Profitable Businesses to Start?

We’ve discussed the most profitable business ideas from multiple vantage points. Some are easy businesses to start from home, and some are not as easy to get into because of education requirements or other barriers to entry.

Graduation icon

Explore Our Courses & Exclusive Database!

Discovering the right business idea is the first step to starting your own venture. At UpFlip Academy, we’ve gathered 500 unique business ideas, each with detailed insights to guide your decision-making. Our platform is your all-in-one resource for launching a successful business, featuring not only a vast idea database but also expert-led courses, interactive workshops, personal business coaching, and much more.
Check Out Our Extensive Business Idea Database and Full Range of Courses!

When it comes down to it, 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.

You can make any of your favorite 2024 business ideas one of 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: Check out 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?


80% of businesses fail... Learn how not to.

Learn from business failures and successes in 5 min or less. The stories, frameworks, and tactics that will make you a 10x better founder.


Author

Brandon Boushy

Our lead writer, Brandon Boushy, has been a business consultant, business owner, and marketer since 2017. Brandon is committed to the pursuit of knowledge and continuous improvement. He measures his success based on how many business owners he helps succeed. Brandon started Raising Daisy Photography in 2017 with Stephanie MacIver. His role was focused on marketing, estimating, and managing customer interactions. He is also a freelance business researcher and has provided over 3,800 hours of business research for more than 50 clients. His blogs are read by over 2 million people every year. Brandon told us: "My motto is never quit learning. I bring this motto to everything I do, and find writing the best way to help share the data I obtain to assist business professionals pursue their dreams." He empowers companies to improve their communication and brand awareness through creative content strategies and blog writing.

Related articles

Marketing is essential for any small business that wants to grow and succeed. We surveyed our large audience and analyzed over a dozen high-impact reports to establish how small businesses approach their marketing. Our original surveys were presented as multiple-choice questions; each received a minimum of 500 unique responses. [su_note note_color="#dbeafc"] Table of Contents Top…
What podcasts do CEOs listen to and what is the number one business podcast out there today? We set out to answer both of those questions with our list of the top business podcasts. Each podcast offers fresh insights that can help you grow as a business owner and person. Fortune 500 executives, aspiring startup…
Do you love dogs? What if you could harness your affection for animals to provide a fun and safe place for pets to hang out while their owners go about their routines, vacations, and unexpected events? According to the latest statistics, Americans recently adopted new pets at a staggering rate, especially dogs. Rover.com reports that…

Comments

jason@ 2024-04-21 23:07:50

ok, it is good idea, it can help me. thank you https://cncpartsxtj.com/

Aniruddha@ 2024-02-04 19:31:10

I want to start Event Management Buisness in India, requirement to start the buisness, how to run and profited marzine

Shema@ 2024-01-21 10:01:38

I'm college student wishing to have first business idea to be funded by our college, can you help?

Shema@ 2024-01-21 09:56:09

Very contributing and interesting. Whatever one is interested in, this information gives practical guide on what provides much hope, so choice remains yours.

Serrunkuma Allan@ 2024-01-13 02:31:06

I want to start a business

Ringu@ 2023-11-15 03:42:56

There's more profitable business : The scientifical publication domain is about +31% marging and scamming everyone. Not paying anyone and make profit on volunteers, so of course this domain is more profitable than any other domain.

Dea Amanda@ 2023-08-28 06:25:46

The most profitable business to start in 2023 depends on various factors, such as interest, expertise, capital and market demand. However, some businesses that are predicted to remain profitable in the future are online businesses such as e-commerce, food and beverage businesses, and technology businesses such as application and software development.

Ruhul Amin@ 2023-08-25 20:09:29

Great information guys, very nice sharing thanks

World Startup Convention@ 2023-03-14 01:23:17

"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"

selena emani@ 2022-09-30 01:20:27

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.

Brandon Boushy@ 2022-10-13 16:16:39

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

John@ 2022-09-15 21:51:26

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

Brandon Boushy@ 2022-10-13 16:33:12

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.

Sam@ 2022-08-26 21:43:07

Oh. Just become a doctor. Brilliant!

Brandon Boushy@ 2022-10-13 17:03:34

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.

Kindalem Minasie@ 2022-08-09 07:11:38

BEST

Become a business owner in less than 90 days

Start your 10-day free trial of the UpFlip Academy and learn how to start your own business from scratch.

Get business advice straight to your  Inbox 

Learn from business failures and successes in 5 min or less. The stories, frameworks, and tactics that will make you a 10x better founder.