The 19 Best Service Business Ideas for 2024

June 2, 2023

The 19 Best Service Business Ideas for 2024

Looking for service business examples to give you the inspiration to start a service business? We’ll provide you with the best small service business ideas to start.

We spent thousands of hours interviewing business owners and analyzing businesses to help identify the best service to sell. You won’t believe which services make the list.

We’ve broken the service business ideas list into the following types of service businesses:

Discover which business ideas service industry professionals need most. Click any of the above links to jump ahead.

What Is the Most Profitable Service Business Idea?

#1. Car Detailing 

∙ Average Annual Revenue: $241,230
∙ Average Profit Margins: 16.1%
∙ Startup Costs: $1K-$100K
∙ Time To Revenue: 1-6 months
∙ Annual Market Growth Rate: 1.8%
∙ Best for: detail-oriented entrepreneurs, gearheads, and car lovers

There were more than
278 million cars in the United States in 2021, with more than 90% of U.S. households owning at least one vehicle. This makes a car cleaning service business one of the most profitable small businesses for entrepreneurs to open. 

Not only are car detailing services in demand, but it’s also a business with low overhead costs. Those costs are even lower if you start a mobile detailing business. Isaiah Barhoum started Big’s Mobile Detailing with just $500, and quickly grew to a revenue of $30,000 per month. 

Along with lower costs, a mobile detailing business is convenient for busy professionals who want to keep their vehicle in top condition. This can also be a great choice for a B2B car detailing business that services company cars or entire corporate fleets.

Car Detailing Pros:

  • High demand with lots of potential customers
  • Low startup and overhead costs
  • High profit potential
  • Doesn’t require any specialized skills or knowledge

Car Detailing Cons:

  • Business can vary depending on the season
  • Work schedule is dictated by customer needs

What Services Are In Most Demand?

Starting a service business isn’t just about your own interests. You’ll have to make sure there’s a market for what you’re offering. Let’s look at the most in-demand service businesses.

#2. Cleaning Services

∙ Average Annual Revenue: $74,880
∙ Average Profit Margins: 6.7%
∙ Startup Costs: $1K-$30K
∙ Time To Revenue: 1-6 months
∙ Annual Market Growth Rate: 1.2%
∙ Best for: self-motivated, independent, and detail-oriented entrepreneurs

The cleaning services market is a
$343 billion industry that’s expected to grow at a rate of 6.3% through 2030. Not only is cleaning among the most profitable service businesses, but it’s also an option with very low startup costs. 

Chris Mondragon started Queen Bee Cleaning Services with just a $5,000 initial investment and grew it to $1.5 million in revenue in 2021. He explains how to start a cleaning business step-by-step in his 7-Figure Cleaning Business Blueprint.

Watch our interview with Chris below:

As you start out, your profit margins could be as high as 60%. Learn more about the cleaning business here.

House cleaning is far from the only option in this niche. Commercial janitorial services are also in high-demand, as are exterior cleaning services like pressure washing, roof cleaning, or a window washing business.

Cleaning Service Pros:

  • No training or specialized skill sets required
  • Low startup costs
  • Wide variety of niches that are in high demand
  • Can be start and run from home as a solo entrepreneur
  • Easy to scale revenue by growing a team

Cleaning Service Cons:

  • Work can be unpleasant or labor-intensive 
  • Your schedule depends on when customers need you

#3. Automotive Repair Services

∙ Average Annual Revenue: $268,800
∙ Average Profit Margins: 6.1%
∙ Startup Costs: $1K-$100K
∙ Time To Revenue: 1-3 months
∙ Annual Market Growth Rate: -0.8%
∙ Best for: Automotive experts, mechanically-minded entrepreneurs

Not only do most households in the United States own a car, but people are keeping their cars longer than in the past. The average age of cars on the road was
12.1 years in 2021, which is 44% higher than the average car age of 8.4 years in 1995.

Keeping older cars running requires regular repair and maintenance, so it’s no surprise demand for auto repair service businesses has gone up in recent years, as well. 

There are multiple ways to get into the automotive repair industry. Lucky Sing opened his own repair shop, Lucky’s Auto Repair, and sees an average monthly revenue of about $40,000 today.

Other profitable business ideas in the auto repair niche include a windshield repair business, a mobile mechanic business, or a paint and body shop, just to name a few options. 

Repair Services Pros:

  • Increasing customer demand
  • High revenue potential 
  • Variety of niches and types of work you can do
  • Ideal for people who like working with their hands

Repair Services Cons:

  • Relatively high startup costs compared to other service-based businesses
  • Will need training in automotive repair  

#4. Accounting and Tax Services

screenshot of accounting and tax from accountingtoday website

∙ Average Annual Revenue: $1.57M
∙ Average Profit Margins: 18%
∙ Startup Costs: $500-$5K
∙ Time To Revenue: 1-3 months (not including time training as a CPA)
∙ Annual Market Growth Rate: 1.7%
∙ Best for: CPAs, finance experts, entrepreneurs with strong math skills

Every business needs to maintain good financial records and file their taxes correctly, but not all small business owners have accounting skills. Individuals sometimes need an accountant’s services, too, especially busy professionals who would rather spend their time making money than keeping track of it.

An accounting or tax service business is a great way for people with financial expertise to start their own business. It’s also a very profitable and in-demand industry, with the average income per partner of CPA firms at $521,000 in 2020, an increase of 4.8% over 2019. 

Data from Accounting Today supports the high profit potential of such services. Accounting-related services were ranked first among privately held companies based on profit margins, with an average net profit of 18.4% across the niche.

Accounting and Tax Pros:

  • High revenue and profit potential
  • Variety of services you can provide in the niche
  • Can be run from home by a solo entrepreneur
  • Work is usually independent and flexible 

Accounting and Tax Cons:

  • Requires training and knowledge in financial management
  • Can be difficult to build customer trust as a new firm 

More Ideas For Small Business Owners

Didn’t find an idea that suits you in the lists above? Keep reading for more ideas.

#5. Consulting Business

Laptop on a table with upflip podcast episode screenshot

∙ Average Annual Revenue: $1.4K
∙ Average Profit Margins: 6.4%
∙ Startup Costs: $100K-$3.5M
∙ Time To Revenue: 6-18 months
∙ Annual Market Growth Rate: 2.2%
∙ Best for: Teachers and educators, people with niche expertise and experience

Consulting is one of the most adaptable service business ideas because you can be a consultant in any area where you’re an expert. 

If you’re an IT whiz, you can be a systems consultant, advising clients on their tech stack and troubleshooting IT issues. Other services like marketing, business finances, and cybersecurity are also in-demand options for a consulting service business. 

Ryan Gromfin drew on his experience managing 5-star restaurants to start his own consulting business and now makes more money with less stress. You can hear how he got started in this podcast interview:

Consulting Pros:

  • Profit from your unique expertise
  • Affordable to start and run
  • Can be run from home or online
  • High revenue potential and scalability

Consulting Cons:

  • Some niches are very competitive
  • Can take a while to build a reputation and attract clients 

#6. Construction and House Painting

∙ Average Annual Revenue: $696,950
∙ Average Profit Margins: 3.4%
∙ Startup Costs: $1K-$100K
∙ Time To Revenue: 1-6 months
∙ Annual Market Growth Rate: -1.3%
∙ Best for: skilled tradesmen, people who like building and fixing things

It’s common for people to turn to a contractor service business when they need to repair, renovate, or build a home. While contractors do need to be licensed, learning the trade doesn’t take long. Avani Petras was only 19 when he started Petras Homes, and he first learned the trade as a part-time job.

There are also similar service businesses that don’t require licensing. Joshua Douglass makes about $25,000 a month with his house painting business (hear how he started it in this podcast interview).

Construction Pros:

  • Low initial and ongoing costs
  • High demand and profit potential
  • Great new business for people who like physical jobs
  • Variety of projects and work you can take on

Construction Cons:

  • Work is physically demanding 
  • Will need a contractor license for full home construction

#7. Landscaping and Lawn Care

∙ Average Annual Revenue: $272,790
∙ Average Profit Margins: 8.7%
∙ Startup Costs: $1K-$100K
∙ Time To Revenue: 1-3 months
∙ Annual Market Growth Rate: 8.1%
∙ Best for: designers, gardeners, people who like physical work and working outside

One reason lawn care is among the best service business ideas is that you can start small and scale a ton. You can get started with just a lawn mower and a few basic tools, then add other services as you grow. 

The main downside of a lawn care business is that work dries up in the winter. You can get around this by offering other services, like holiday displays or snow removal. 

Many landscapers also make enough during the summer to take their winters off. BL Landscapes makes over $50,000 a month, for example, so there’s a lot of profit potential in this industry.

Landscaping Pros:

  • Easy and affordable to start
  • Consistent demand in warmer months and regions
  • Work outside 
  • No specialized training or education needed

Landscaping Cons:

  • Is a seasonal business in many locations
  • Physical and tiring work

Online Service Business Ideas

Dreaming of working from remotely from anywhere in the world? These online businesses are for you.

#8. Graphic Design Business

graphic designer working on a computer

∙ Average Annual Revenue: $123,240
∙ Average Profit Margins: 13.5%
∙ Startup Costs: $500-$5K
∙ Time To Revenue: 3+ months
∙ Annual Market Growth Rate: 2%
∙ Best for: Visual artists, entrepreneurs with creative skills

Graphic design is one of the few industries where the majority of professionals are self-employed, with roughly
90% of graphic designers working independently.

There’s a good reason for this. Graphic design is a profitable service-based business idea with low upfront costs that’s easy to start and run from home as a solo entrepreneur. 

Demand for graphic designers is consistent, too, and there are multiple niches new designers can fit into, from website graphics and logo design to 3D animations for apps and video games. A strong portfolio is key, so if you’re new and haven’t done any paid work yet, creating samples to show your skills can help you attract prospective clients.

Graphic Design Pros:

  • Work hours and location are flexible
  • Low upfront and ongoing costs
  • Variety of work that you can do 
  • Steady demand 

Graphic Design Cons:

  • Less creative than some think since you’re designing to a client’s needs
  • Can be a competitive industry

#9. Virtual Assistant Business

service business virtual assistant

∙ Average Annual Revenue: $35K-$50K
∙ Average Profit Margins: 10.5%
∙ Startup Costs: $100-$200
∙ Time To Revenue: 1-3 months
∙ Annual Market Growth Rate: 1.9%
∙ Best for: Outgoing and social entrepreneurs; those with strong scheduling, time management, and problem solving skills

As a virtual assistant, you provide a valuable service to other professionals by helping them take care of necessary logistical tasks, letting them focus on more important things. 

Typical tasks a virtual assistant will do include managing and replying to emails, scheduling meetings, arranging travel, making dinner reservations, or helping manage a person’s or business’s social media accounts. 

If you have other skills, you can leverage them to add value to your services as a VA. For example, some assistants also provide graphic or web design services or help with bookkeeping and managing finances.   

VA Business Pros:

  • Can work from anywhere that you have a reliable internet connection
  • Work is usually independent and flexible 
  • Easy to start and run from home

VA Business Cons:

  • Lots of competition for the best-paying roles
  • May need to work on the client’s schedule 

#10. Digital or Content Marketing

woman holding a laptop with social media icons floating around

∙ Average Annual Revenue: $817K
∙ Average Profit Margins: 6.9%
∙ Startup Costs: $1,800-$16K
∙ Time To Revenue: 1-6 months
∙ Annual Market Growth Rate: 1.3%
∙ Best for: Social media experts, writers and content creators, people with search engine optimization (SEO) expertise

Most successful small businesses use social media and other online content to engage with their customers–but business owners don’t necessarily have the time or skills to use these platforms to their full potential. 

This is where a freelance marketer or third-party marketing firm can be a huge asset. Digital marketers help other businesses create and execute a marketing strategy by helping with social media marketing, writing blog posts, creating email marketing materials, and designing other online content.

There are also niches you can explore in this space. If you excel at social media management, for example, you can niche down as a social media consultant.

For those with search engine optimization, graphic design, writing, and data analysis skills, digital marketing can be one of the most lucrative service business ideas. Eric Berman’s digital marketing agency Brandetize averages $400,000 in revenue every month. You can hear how he did it in this podcast interview:

Marketing Pros:

  • Cheap to start and run
  • Work is independent and flexible
  • Can scale revenue by expanding into an agency
  • High demand 

Marketing Cons:

  • Can be difficult to build client trust if you don’t already have a big online presence 
  • Need to stay current with marketing trends

Home Service Business Ideas

If you’d like to stay close to home while running your business, check out the following options.

#11. Photography Business

∙ Average Annual Revenue: $50K
∙ Average Profit Margins: 7.3%
∙ Startup Costs: $1K-$10K
∙ Time To Revenue: 1-6 months
∙ Annual Market Growth Rate: 0.3%
∙ Best for: Visual artists and photographers, outgoing and social entrepreneurs

There are a lot of ways to start your own photography business, and many of them can be run from home. You can start a mobile event photography service business, an at-home portrait studio, or sell your photos as stock images for ads and online content. 

Your options expand further if you also do videography. Mile High Productions offers both photography and drone videography, working with real estate agents as well as documenting events and creating photos and videos for commercials and marketing materials. You can hear how they got started in this video:

Check out our interview with a wedding photographer that makes $2 million per year.

Photography Pros:

  • Can be run out of a home or as a mobile service
  • Wide variety of work available
  • Make a living from your artistic talents
  • Meet and interact with a lot of new people

Photography Cons:

  • Photography and videography equipment can be expensive 
  • Schedule and workload are dependent on your clients

#12. Dog Walking Business

cute dog with a leash on its mouth with cbsnews website screenshot

∙ Average Annual Revenue: $34,380
∙ Average Profit Margins: 16%
∙ Startup Costs: $500-$5K
∙ Time To Revenue: 3+ months
∙ Annual Market Growth Rate: 1.7%
∙ Best for: Pet owners, animal lovers, those who like working outdoors

Lots of people got new pets during the pandemic, with
23 million households adopting a pet in 2020. Now that workers are being called back to the office, that’s driving up demand for people to care for these beloved pets when the owners can’t.

Walking dogs can be physically demanding and require a lot of stamina, along with knowledge of pet care, but if you both love dogs and want a job that keeps you moving, dog walking is among the best business ideas. 

Dog Walking Pros:

  • Make a living hanging out with animals
  • High and increasing demand
  • Stay active while you’re working 

Dog Walking Cons:

  • Less scheduling flexibility than other service businesses
  • Work can be physically demanding or in unpleasant conditions

#13. Personal Fitness Trainer

∙ Average Annual Revenue: $16,867
∙ Average Profit Margins: 10.9%
∙ Startup Costs: $500-$5K
∙ Time To Revenue: 1-6 months
∙ Annual Market Growth Rate: 0.6%
∙ Best for: Fitness buffs, exercise experts, people who excel at motivating others

Personal trainers aren’t just for athletes. People who want to lose weight, get healthy, or are recovering from an injury may also hire a personal fitness trainer to help them reach their goals. 

There are many ways you can start your own service business as a personal fitness trainer. You can work with clients in their homes, rent space in a gym or community center, or even have an online business and work with clients through Zoom.

Millionaire Bedros Keuilian has built an empire with programs like his Fit Body Bootcamp. While that’s just one of the revenue streams that generates him over $200 million a year, it goes to show how profitable this service-based business can be (hear Bedros’ advice in this YouTube interview).

Personal Trainer Pros:

  • Help others improve their lives while building a successful business
  • Multiple ways to provide services to clients
  • Very low to no initial investment required

Personal Trainer Cons:

  • Can be physically demanding and exhausting work
  • Often need to adjust when you work based on client needs 

#14. Event Planning

man is explaining an event plan on a whiteboard in front of an audience

∙ Average Annual Revenue: $34,380
∙ Average Profit Margins: 12.2%
∙ Startup Costs: $500-$5K
∙ Time To Revenue: 3+ months
∙ Annual Market Growth Rate: 1%
∙ Best for: Strong networkers, great party planners, outgoing and social entrepreneurs

Planning an event can be stressful and time-consuming, whether it’s a large business conference or a celebration with family and friends. This is why people often hire a professional to take care of the logistics.

One reason event planning is among the best service business ideas is that there are lots of niches you can choose from depending on your interests. From wedding planning to corporate events to a children’s party planning business, there are many ways to get started in this industry. 

Event Planning Pros:

  • Low upfront investment 
  • No specialized training or certifications needed
  • Meet lots of new people
  • Work is varied and interesting

Event Planning Cons:

  • Can be a high-stress business 
  • Often need to work evenings and weekends

#15. Handyman Business

∙ Average Annual Revenue: $204,700 per employee
∙ Average Profit Margins: 5.4%
∙ Startup Costs: $500-$5K
∙ Time To Revenue: 3+ months
∙ Annual Market Growth Rate: 0.7%
∙ Best for: fixers and repair experts, entrepreneurs who like working with their hands

Unlike home construction, you don’t need a license to offer basic home repair services or take care of odd jobs around a home. Homeowners often need these services, too, putting this among the most in-demand service business ideas that can be started for cheap. 

Handymen make more than you might expect, too. North Seattle Handyman makes an average of $1,000 a day working as a solo entrepreneur. Hear his story here:

Handyman Pros:

  • Easy to run from home as a one-person operation
  • High demand for services
  • Doesn’t require licensing or training
  • Work when and how often you want to

Handyman Cons:

  • Physically demanding work 
  • Work can be inconsistent

4 More Unique Service Business Ideas

#16. Personal Chef

∙ Average Annual Revenue: $129,000 per employee
∙ Average Profit Margins: 51.7%
∙ Startup Costs: $500-$5,000
∙ Time To Revenue: 1-6 months
∙ Annual Market Growth Rate: 0.9%
∙ Best for: Cooks, chefs, bakers, and other culinary experts

This is one of the top service business ideas for culinary experts looking to get out of the notoriously high-stress restaurant industry. A personal chef prepares meals for individuals or small groups, so you can still profit from your food expertise without the demands of restaurant life. 

Personal Chef Pros:

  • Less hectic than a restaurant
  • Doesn’t require formal licensing or training, but is helpful

Personal Chef Cons:

  • Less demand than a restaurant
  • May have scheduling conflicts if you serve multiple families

#17. Life Coach

two people sitting on a chair while having a conversation

∙ Average Annual Revenue: $63,400
∙ Average Profit Margins: 10.5%
∙ Startup Costs: $500-$5K
∙ Time To Revenue: 1-3 months
∙ Annual Market Growth Rate: 1.5%
∙ Best for: therapists, productivity experts, people who love helping others

With a life coach service business, you offer your personal services and expertise to clients who want to improve their lives. The most difficult part of getting started is establishing yourself as an expert. While you don’t need to be a licensed therapist, organizer, or other professional, that can help build client trust to attract those early clients. 

Life Coach Pros:

  • Build-once-sell-to-many business model
  • Multiple streams of revenue
  • Great for charismatic people

Life Coach Cons:

  • Differentiation may be challenging
  • People become immune to strategies
  • Many social media platforms will cancel people’s accounts

#18. Mobile Veterinary Services

veterinary van emerging from a smartphone screen illustration

∙ Average Annual Revenue: $72,390
∙ Average Profit Margins: 11.5%
∙ Startup Costs: $1,000-$100K
∙ Time To Revenue: 6-18 months
∙ Annual Market Growth Rate: 1.1%
∙ Best for: Veterinarians, animal care experts

A mobile vet service is a convenient way for pet owners to get their four-legged loved ones the care and attention they need. This is another service business idea that will require extensive training to start. However, if you’re a trained vet and want to start your own business, it’s a great business idea.  

Mobile Vet Pros:

  • Lower cost of doing business than renting or buying stationary space
  • People love the convenience
  • Premiums can be charged for non-traditional hours

Mobile Vet Cons:

  • Less space to work
  • Inclimate weather
  • Mileage costs 

#19. Fingerprinting Business

∙ Average Annual Revenue: $132,700 per employee
∙ Average Profit Margins: 9.1%
∙ Startup Costs: $500-$250K
∙ Time To Revenue: 6-18 months
∙ Annual Market Growth Rate: -0.6%
∙ Best for: detail-oriented entrepreneurs

Some industries require fingerprinting for employees, so this isn’t just a service used by law enforcement. You can learn how to start a fingerprinting service business in the
podcast interview below.

Fingerprinting Pros:

  • Crime never stops
  • Some businesses require fingerprints

Fingerprinting Cons:

  • Working with criminals is dangerous 
  • Businesses will need less fingerprinting during recessions

Start Your Own Business

After you’ve chosen the type of service businesses that work for you, it’s time to do some market research.

Then you’ll need to write a business plan and a list of business services. After you’ve written your business plan, then you can get started.

What are some good service business ideas that you want to start?

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.


Brandon Boushy

Related articles

More people are thinking about starting a business than ever before. In fact, nearly 5.4 million businesses were started in 2021, so how much does it cost to start a business? The answer is different for every business, but many small business owners spend less than $5,000 on startup costs. We’ve talked to a ton of small business owners about how to start a business and we’re going to share what we’ve learned from them. We’ll break down the business startup costs into upfront costs, one-time costs, and recurring expenses for each type of business. Let’s look at how we classified each type of cost.

Typical business startup costs

We’ve broken down the startup costs into fixed costs and variable costs. We’ll discuss each below.

Fixed Costs

Calculator and notes in blue a background Fixed costs are business costs that do not change as sales increase. The following items are common startup costs that are fixed costs:
  • Office Space (Recurring): This includes both rent and utilities. Most small business owners start with home office space and deduct the percentage of space from their taxes as a small business cost.
  • Legal Fees (Upfront): These are recurring costs that you have to pay to run a business legally, which usually include business formation, business licensing, and other professional fees to comply with regulations.
  • Software Costs (Upfront and Ongoing): These business startup costs include payment processors, websites, CRM, accounting software, and more. You can find some that would be one-time costs, but most are recurring charges.
  • Equipment Costs (Upfront): This includes machinery, vehicles, and other costs to meet the mission critical aspects of the business.
  • Insurance Costs (Upfront and Ongoing): If your business requires insurance, make sure to keep it continuous. If it doesn’t, you may want to consider it anyway.
As time goes on, some businesses may find that a few fixed costs only remain fixed up to a certain volume. After that, they might see a drastic increase to add more volume and then it will become a fixed cost again. Adding a second service truck is one of the typical costs that work like this. The other type of small business startup costs are variable costs, which we’ll discuss next.

Variable Costs

Variable cost There are business costs that vary based on the volume the business does. These startup costs are called variable costs. Common startup costs in this category include:
  • Shipping Costs (Variable Expense): Shipping costs are included in variable costs because you only pay for them if you order materials or ship products to a customer.
  • Marketing Costs (Ongoing Costs): The Small Business Administration suggests spending approximately 8% of desired revenue on marketing. The advertising costs seem to be one of the defining factors as to whether a business succeeds long term.
  • Material Costs (Varies): The time and materials that go into offering a product or service will affect your revenue.
  • Supplies and Packaging Costs: Items you use for running the business must be considered early in the game. This startup cost may include computers, cleaning supplies, business cards, packaging for products, and other items that help your business.
  • Wages: Most wages will vary with the amount of business you have. You have to pay employees for their time regardless, but you’ll schedule less hours when you have less business.
  • Unexpected Costs: You should always leave a little wiggle room for unforeseen events. I’d suggest at least a 10% slush fund for unexpected startup costs and operating costs.
  • Other Costs: This is a catch all for spending you can forecast, but are not sure which cost categories to include them in.
Now that you know the costs we’ll be analyzing, let’s look at the average start-up costs for businesses.

How much does it cost to start a business?

I broke down the average costs of starting a business into four different classifications: [su_note note_color="#dbeafc"]
  1. Low Cost: start a business with a shoestring budget and figure out the ongoing expenses along the way.
  2. Average Cost: start a business with the money to cover the first year of organizational expenses.
  3. High Cost: business owners interested in the startup costs to guarantee they stay in business for five years.
  4. Franchise: business owners who want to buy a franchise.
[/su_note] [su_table responsive="yes" alternate="no" fixed="yes"]
Low (Just Startup) Average (Home-Based for 1 Year of Expenses) High (Store Location with 5 Years Expenses) Franchise
Office  $0.00 $1,800.00 $30,000.00 $21,600.00
Legal Fee $500.00 $2,000.00 $10,000.00 $3,500.00
Software  $200.00 $1,000.00 $135,000.00 $1,000.00
Equipment $300.00 $3,000.00 $125,000.00 $4,800.00
Insurance $0.00 $1,200.00 $25,000.00 $5,400.00
Shipping  $2.99/item $6.99/item $500/item $6.99/item
Marketing $0.00 $24,000.00 $1,440,000.00 $24,000.00
Material  $0.00 $10,000.00 $50,000.00 $10,000.00
Supplies $300.00 $2,000.00 $10,000.00 $1,500.00
Wages $0.00 $0.00 $200,000.00 $0.00
Unexpected $300.00 $1,000.00 $5,000.00 $1,000.00
Other  $0.00 $2,000.00 $10,000.00 $89,950.00
Total $1,600.00 $48,000.00 $2,040,000.00 $162,750.00

How much does it cost to start a small business?

According to the Small Business Administration, one out of every four businesses start with less than $5,000, and over half of small businesses have startup costs of under $25,000. But the median is just over $24,000, and the weighted average would be between $72,000 and $276,000.  [su_table responsive="yes" alternate="no" fixed="yes"]
Small Business Start Up Cost Analysis
Low High Midpoint Percent Low Weighted Average Midpoint Weighted Average High Weighted Average
$0.00 $4,999.00 $2,499.50 24.10% $0.00 $602.38 $1,204.76
$5,000.00 $9,999.00 $7,499.50 11.70% $585.00 $877.44 $1,169.88
$10,000.00 $24,999.00 $17,499.50 15.10% $1,510.00 $2,642.42 $3,774.85
$25,000.00 $49,999.00 $37,499.50 12.00% $3,000.00 $4,499.94 $5,999.88
$50,000.00 $99,999.00 $74,999.50 12.80% $6,400.00 $9,599.94 $12,799.87
$100,000.00 $249,999.00 $174,999.50 12.80% $12,800.00 $22,399.94 $31,999.87
$250,000.00 $999,999.00 $624,999.50 8.90% $22,250.00 $55,624.96 $88,999.91
$1,000,000 $5,000,000.00 $1,000,000.00 2.60% $26,000 $26,000.00 $130,000.00
Source: ABS Total $72,545.00 $122,247.01 $275,949.03

How much does it cost to start an online business?

Laptop on a table with online business concept Online businesses are normally some of the lowest in cost to start. You can start most of them for under $1,000 without any educational expenses.They require a computer, internet, business licensing, and some software. Businesses in this category might include:
  • E-commerce stores
  • Graphic design
  • Blogging
  • YouTube content creators
  • Virtual assistants
  • Marketing agencies
  • Software developers
  • And more
When people ask “how much does it cost to start a business online?” search results will normally provide answers about ecommerce stores. We’ll discuss those next.

How much does it cost to start a t-shirt business?

T-shirt companies are fairly easy to start. For example, you can start with a $30 Shopify, some design software, and a print-on-demand provider. If you really want to make money on it, you have to get good at SEO and marketing, which will increase your costs. [su_table responsive="yes" alternate="no" fixed="yes"]
T-Shirt Business Startup for Revenue of $350,000 per Year
Low (Just Startup) Average (1 Year Cost) High (5 Years)
Office (Homebased) $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Legal Fee $0.00 $1,000.00 $5,000.00
Software $50.00 $6,000.00 $30,000.00
Equipment (Print-on-Demand (POD) + Dropshipping) $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Insurance (Optional) $0.00 $1,000 $5,000.00
Shipping $5.99/item $59,900.00 $299,500.00
Marketing $0.00 $24,000.00 $120,000.00
Material $20.00 $200,000.00 $1,000,000.00
Supplies (Optional) $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Wages (POD built into material costs) $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Unexpected $0.00 $1,000.00 $5,000.00
Other $0.00 $1,000.00 $5,000.00
Total $70.00 $292,900.00 $1,464,500.00
Content Throwback NW Urbanity Big Frog
[/su_table] Check out our interview with the owner of Urbanity to learn more: [su_youtube url=""]

How much does it cost to start a landscaping business?

We’ve interviewed multiple business owners who have started landscaping companies. It’s one of the easiest types of businesses to start. You can even start a business for as little as $300.  The table below shows the breakdown of the business expenses a small business owner should expect when starting a landscaping business. [su_table responsive="yes" alternate="no" fixed="yes"]
Landscaping Startup Costs
Low (Just Startup) Average (Home-Based for 1 Year of Expenses) High (Store Location with 5 Years Expenses) Franchise
Office Space $0.00 $1,800.00 $9,000.00 $0.00
Legal Fee $0.00 $2,000.00 $10,000.00 $3,500.00
Software  $0.00 $1,000.00 $5,000.00 $1,000.00
Equipment  $300.00 $25,400.00 $127,000.00 $4,800.00
Insurance  $0.00 $1,800.00 $9,000.00 $5,400.00
Shipping  $0.00 $0.00
Marketing Costs $0.00 $24,000.00 $120,000.00 $24,000.00
Material $0.00 $10,000.00 $50,000.00 $10,000.00
Supplies $0.00 $4,000.00 $20,000.00 $1,500.00
Wages $0.00 $60,000.00 $300,000.00 $0.00
Unexpected  $0.00 $1,000.00 $5,000.00 $1,000.00
Other  $0.00 $15,000.00 $75,000.00 $15,000.00
Total $300.00 $146,000.00 $730,000.00 $66,200.00
YouTube Video Plan-It Vision Augusta Lawn Care Franchise Augusta Lawn Care
[/su_table] Check out our most recent YouTube video with a small business owner who started Plan-It Vision with only $300: [su_youtube url=""]

How much does it cost to start an eyelash business?

An eyelash business is one of the most commonly searched small businesses. To get started, you may need to go to cosmetology school. Many states require school, but some do not.  If you haven’t already gone to cosmetology school, starting a small business will cost more than $20,000.  Most eyelash small businesses run as a combination of brick and mortar business and traveling to their client’s location. We’ve provided you with estimates of how much to expect startup expenses to cost based on the assumption you haven’t already gone to cosmetology school. [su_table responsive="yes" alternate="no" fixed="yes"]
Eyelash Business Startup Costs
Low (Just Startup) Average (Home-Based for 1 Year of Expenses) High (Store Location with 5 Years Expenses) Franchise
Office $0.00 $7,800.00 $39,000.00 $100,000.00
Legal Fee $2,000.00 $2,000.00 $10,000.00 $3,500.00
Software  $0.00 $1,000.00 $5,000.00 $1,000.00
Equipment  $300.00 $300.00 $1,500.00 $300.00
Insurance $1,200.00 $1,200.00 $6,000.00 $1,200.00
Shipping $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Marketing $0.00 $24,000.00 $120,000.00 $24,000.00
Material  $50.00 $8,000.00 $40,000.00 $8,000.00
Supplies $0.00 $4,000.00 $20,000.00 $4,000.00
Wages (assuming no employees) $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Unexpected  $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Other $20,000.00 $30,000.00 $70,000.00 $55,000.00
Total $23,550.00 $78,300.00 $311,500.00 $197,000.00
Schools and Franchise Opportunity Cosmetology School Lash Bar Franchise
[/su_table] Subtract $20,000 from any of these numbers if you have already gone to school. I included legal fees and insurance costs in the low cost startup funding because you don’t want your new business to be slapped with a major fine for operating illegally.

How much does it cost to start a cleaning business?

Cleaning businesses are great for startups. You can even start your own business for as low as $300 if you just buy the cleaning supplies. Almost all the costs are variable expenses.  However, you should get the business license and the insurance as soon as possible if you decide to get them after you get started. The ultra low cost way assumes you rent any equipment after booking a job that needs equipment. [su_table responsive="yes" alternate="no" fixed="yes"]
Cleaning Business Startup Costs
Low (Just Startup) Average (Home-Based for 1 Year of Expenses) High (Chris Now)
Office $0.00 $3,000.00 $9,000.00
Legal Fee $0.00 $2,000.00 $13,200.00
Software $0.00 $2,400.00 $12,000.00
Equipment $0.00 $4,000.00 $20,000.00
Insurance $0.00 $1,200.00 $112,000.00
Shipping $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Marketing $700.00 $24,000.00 $50,550.00
Material  $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Supplies $300.00 $15,600.00 $56,544.00
Wages $0.00 $0.00 $565,448.00
Unexpected $0.00 $10,000.00 $10,000.00
Other  $0.00 $0.00 $132,000.00
Total $1,000.00 $62,200.00 $980,742.00
YouTube Videos Spruce Clean South Sound Janitorial Queen Bee Cleaning Service
[/su_table] Check out our interview with Christopher Mondragon below or sign up for our cleaning business course that covers pricing, business credit, Chris’s marketing scripts, and automation templates: [su_youtube url=""]

How much does it cost to start a jewelry business?

Many people enjoy doing arts and crafts like making jewelry. You can start a business out of this fun hobby for less than $100 and build your business as you grow. Premade findings are typically more economical, but creativity is often the joy of this type of business owner, so you might want to make your own pieces. If you are trying to make gold and silver jewelry, you can expect the cost to be much higher. A troy ounce of gold varies based on market conditions, but has been between $1,000 and $2,000 over the last 15 years. It will only make about five to 16 rings, and you still have to have the tools to melt it. 

How much does it cost to start a storage unit business?

The answer to this isn’t particularly clear cut. If you are wanting to buy storage units that are selling people’s stuff to recoup the costs, you should plan to bring at least $500 to the auction. Then, hope you find a gem and recoup your investment. If you are talking about building storage units and renting them out, you’ll need to:
  1. Buy land (acres range from $1,600 to millions, with an average of $12K over the continental U.S.
  2. Build storage space for $25 to $45 per square foot.
  3. Run the property for $2 to $4 per square foot of operating expenses. 
Check out Love to Know’s blog for more detailed information.

How much does it cost to start a food truck business?

You might be able to start a food truck for as low as $10K, but I’d expect to spend more like $20K to get started. You’ll probably need around $156K to make it through the first year and around $670,000 to make it through the first five years. If you figure out a winning recipe, it can lead to a million dollar business, though. [su_table responsive="yes" alternate="no" fixed="yes"]
Food Truck Business Startup Costs
Low (Just Get Started) Average (Full Year Costs) High (5 Years)
Space $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Legal Fee $2,000.00 $6,000.00 $30,000.00
Software $0.00 $2,400.00 $12,000.00
Equipment $8,700.00 $27,200.00 $27,200.00
Insurance $2,000.00 $24,000.00 $120,000.00
Shipping $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Marketing $3,000.00 $36,000.00 $180,000.00
Material $1,000.00 $12,000.00 $60,000.00
Supplies $2,000.00 $24,000.00 $120,000.00
Wages $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Unexpected $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Other $2,000.00 $24,000.00 $120,000.00
Total $20,700.00 $155,600.00 $669,200.00
Content Food Truck Blog Vet Chef Abyla Grill
[/su_table] Check out our video below to find out how Saied Samaiel makes more than $600K per year with his food truck: [su_youtube url=""]

How much does it cost to start a dropshipping business?

The cost of starting a dropshipping business can vary dramatically because you may have to design a product and purchase inventory. If you are using print-on-demand with dropshipping, it is often fairly cheap.  Expect to spend at least $80 getting started, but if you are sourcing materials and manufacturing, it could be more than $30,000 to make your products. Through the course of a year, you might spend up to $180,000. [su_table responsive="yes" alternate="no" fixed="yes"]
Dropshipping Business Startup Costs
Low (Just Startup for Print-on-Demand) Average (Design a custom product, manufacture it, and sell for a year.) High (5 Years)
Office $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Legal Fee $0.00 $2,000.00 $10,000.00
Software $50.00 $2,400.00 $12,000.00
Equipment $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Insurance $0.00 $1,200.00 $6,000.00
Shipping $5.99 $6,000.00 $30,000.00
Marketing $0.00 $24,000.00 $120,000.00
Material $20.00 $140,000.00 $700,000.00
Supplies $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Wages $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Unexpected $0.00 $1,000.00 $5,000.00
Other $0.00 $1,000.00 $5,000.00
Total $75.99 $177,600.00 $888,000.00
Content Shed Defender Blog Shed Defender YouTube Beard Head
[/su_table] Check out our interview with Casey about how he created and dropships Shed Defender: [su_youtube url=""]

How much does it cost to start a candle business?

You can start a candle business for less than $200. The materials and a Shopify account are all you need to get started. The numbers below are from our interview with Jazmin who started the company in 2020 and is making more than $150K per year. [su_table responsive="yes" alternate="no" fixed="yes"]
Candle Business Startup Costs
Low (Just Startup) Average (Home-Based for 1 Year of Expenses) High (5 Years)
Office  $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Legal Fee $0.00 $2,000.00 $10,000.00
Software $30.00 $1,000.00 $5,000.00
Equipment $0.00
Insurance $0.00 $1,200.00 $6,000.00
Shipping $0.00 $24,000.00 $120,000.00
Marketing $0.00 $24,000.00 $120,000.00
Material $10,000.00 $50,000.00
Supplies $80.00 $0.00 $0.00
Wages $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Unexpected $0.00 $6,000.00 $30,000.00
Other $0.00 $0.00
Total $110.00 $68,200.00 $341,000.00
Content BLK Sunflower Blog BLK Sunflower YouTube BLK Sunflower
[/su_table] Check out our interview below: [su_youtube url=""]

How much does it cost to start a towing business?

A towing business can be started for under $10,000. It has special licensing requirements that raise the cost and most people don’t own a tow truck. You can typically make around $100,000 per truck––if you do it right.  [su_table responsive="yes" alternate="no" fixed="yes"]
Towing Business Startup Costs
Low (Just Startup) Average (3 Trucks) High (5 Years)
Office $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Legal Fee $2,000.00 $3,500.00 $17,500.00
Software $300.00 $3,600.00 $18,000.00
Equipment $6,000.00 $25,000.00 $125,000.00
Insurance $1,000.00 $12,000.00 $60,000.00
Shipping $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Marketing $0.00 $24,000.00 $120,000.00
Material $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Supplies $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Wages $0.00 $109,500.00 $547,500.00
Unexpected $0.00 $6,000.00 $30,000.00
Other $100.00 $10,000.00 $50,000.00
Total $9,400.00 $193,600.00 $968,000.00
Content K.O. Towing Blog K.O. Towing YouTube Sant Lines LLC Podcast
[/su_table] Check out our interview with a towing company business owner to learn more: [su_youtube url=""]

How much does it cost to start a painting business?

You should expect to spend $5,000+ to start a painting business because you’ll need a contractor’s license in most states to start a painting business. Contractors’ licenses have financial requirements that make them more expensive. States may require:
  • Background checks
  • Surety bonds
  • Multiple years of experience 
  • Licensing exams
[su_table responsive="yes" alternate="no" fixed="yes"]
Painting Business Startup Costs
Low (Just Startup) Average (1 Year Cost) High (5 Years)
Office $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Legal Fee $4,000.00 $4,000.00 $20,000.00
Software $100.00 $6,000.00 $30,000.00
Equipment $300.00 $5,000.00 $25,000.00
Insurance $1,000.00 $2,000.00 $10,000.00
Shipping  $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Marketing  $0.00 $24,000.00 $120,000.00
Material  $100.00 $10,000.00 $50,000.00
Supplies $100.00 $500.00 $2,500.00
Wages $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Unexpected  $0.00 $1,000.00 $5,000.00
Other  $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Total $5,600.00 $52,500.00 $262,500.00

How much does it cost to start a detailing business?

You can start a mobile detailing business for as little as $300, but you should probably expect the annual costs to approach $53K to really grow. That includes licensing, insurance, a vehicle, upgrading your website, and spending $2K per month on marketing. Check out the breakdown below: [su_table responsive="yes" alternate="no" fixed="yes"]
Detailing Business Startup Costs
Low (Mobile with Car to Get Started) Average (Mobile, Vehicle Purchase and 1 Year Expenses) High (5 Years)
Office $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Legal Fee $0.00 $1,200.00 $6,000.00
Software $0.00 $5,000.00 $25,000.00
Equipment $200.00 $6,000.00 $30,000.00
Insurance $0.00 $1,200.00 $6,000.00
Shipping $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Marketing $0.00 $24,000.00 $120,000.00
Material $100.00 $0.00 $0.00
Supplies $0.00 $5,000.00 $25,000.00
Wages $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Unexpected $0.00 $1,000.00 $5,000.00
Other  $0.00 $10,000.00 $50,000.00
Total $300.00 $53,400.00 $267,000.00
Content Attention 2 Detail Blog Attention 2 Detail YouTube Slide In Mobile Detailing

How much does it cost to start a trucking business?

Trucking businesses will normally cost around $10,000 to start in-state or $20,000 for interstate operations, but you can expect to spend $100K to $250K per year to run a trucking business.  Make sure the truck you buy is less than 10 years old because most companies require a newer vehicle when hiring you to haul their products. [su_table responsive="yes" alternate="no" fixed="yes"]
Trucking Business Startup Costs, Making $10K per Week
Low (Just Startup) Average (1 Truck, 1 Year) High (1 Truck, 5 Years)
Office  $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Legal Fee $3,000.00 $3,500.00 $17,500.00
Software  $300.00 $3,600.00 $18,000.00
Equipment $6,000.00 $41,500.00 $41,500.00
Insurance $4,500.00 $20,000.00 $100,000.00
Shipping $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Marketing $0.00 $24,000.00 $120,000.00
Material $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Supplies $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Wages $0.00 $0.00
Unexpected  $0.00 $6,000.00 $30,000.00
Other  $5,000.00 $250,000.00 $1,250,000.00
Total $18,800.00 $348,600.00 $1,577,000.00
Content Attention 2 Detail K.O. Towing YouTube Sant Lines LLC podcast
[/su_table] Check out our interview with Mikael Sant. He averages $75K a month running Sant Lines LLC: [su_youtube url=""]

How much does it cost to start a taxi business?

Taxis are a dying business in most places. The business structure is antiquated. You have to register with your city’s transit authority, hire dispatch, and buy a bunch of taxis. We’ve provided an estimate for starting with five taxis running 24 hours a day. If you already have a car, you can start driving for Uber or Lyft. All you have to do is get a business license, pass a background check, and have a current car inspection. You can run a successful business fairly easily. The startup costs for this kind of business is around $300. [su_table responsive="yes" alternate="no" fixed="yes"]
Taxi Business Startup Costs
Low (Lyft or Uber) Average (Taxi with Dispatch and 5 Vehicles) High (Taxi, 5 Years)
Space $0.00 $700,000.00 $875,000.00
Legal Fee $300.00 $4,500.00 $22,500.00
Software $0.00 $3,000.00 $15,000.00
Equipment $0.00 $45,000.00 $225,000.00
Insurance $0.00 $40,000.00 $200,000.00
Shipping $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Marketing $0.00 $24,000.00 $120,000.00
Material $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Supplies $0.00 $0.00
Wages $0.00 $438,000.00 $2,190,000.00
Unexpected $0.00 $20,000.00 $100,000.00
Other $50.00 $116,343.75 $581,718.75
Total $350.00 $1,390,843.75 $4,329,218.75

How much does it cost to start a laundromat business?

Starting a laundromat can cost nearly $1 million to get started and about twice that over the first five years. The building, equipment, and utilities are most of the cost. [su_table responsive="yes" alternate="no" fixed="yes"]
Laundry Business Startup
Low (Go to people's homes and do their laundry for them.) Average (Laundromat, 1 Year Expenses) High (Laundromat, 5 Years)
Space $0.00 $700,000.00 $1,100,000.00
Legal Fee $0.00 $1,200.00 $6,000.00
Software $0.00 $3,000.00 $15,000.00
Equipment $0.00 $45,000.00 $45,000.00
Insurance $0.00 $1,200.00 $6,000.00
Shipping $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Marketing $0.00 $24,000.00 $120,000.00
Material $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Supplies $100.00 $5,000.00 $25,000.00
Wages $0.00 $62,400.00 $312,000.00
Unexpected $0.00 $20,000.00 $100,000.00
Other $0.00 $200,000.00 $200,000.00
Total $100.00 $1,061,800.00 $1,929,000.00
Content Laundromat Blog Ferndale Laundry YouTube Rosie Wash Express
[/su_table] Check out our interview with Justin Pike of Ferndale Laundry: [su_youtube url=""]

How much does it cost to start a photography business?

You can start a photography business for as little as $500, which includes the price of the camera, a website, online photo gallery, and Adobe Photography Suite. If you want to upgrade to a higher end business with better equipment and a good marketing budget, you should expect to spend around $45,000 the first year. It’s even higher if you want a good studio, however. [su_table responsive="yes" alternate="no" fixed="yes"]
Photography Business Startup
Low (Low End Camera) Average (High End Camera, Full Year Expenses, Full Licensing and LLC) High (5 Years)
Space $0.00 $3,000.00 $15,000.00
Legal Fee $0.00 $1,000.00 $5,000.00
Software $100.00 $2,000.00 $10,000.00
Equipment $500.00 $10,000.00 $15,000.00
Insurance $0.00 $1,000.00 $5,000.00
Shipping $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Marketing $0.00 $24,000.00 $120,000.00
Material $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Supplies $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Wages $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Unexpected $0.00 $3,000.00 $15,000.00
Other $50.00 $0.00 $0.00
Total $650.00 $44,000.00 $185,000.00
Content UpFlip Photography Blog Mile High Productions Video Pt. 1 Mile High Productions Video Pt. 2
[/su_table] Check out our interview with a couple that started their own photography company: [su_youtube url=""]

How much does it cost to start a handyman business?

Most places require handymen to be licensed contractors, so you can get started for as low as $2,750 without risking violating laws, but you can expect to spend around $40,000 during the first year if you really want to do it right. [su_table responsive="yes" alternate="no" fixed="yes"]
Handyman Business Startup Costs
Low (Just Get Started) Average (Full Year Costs) High (5 Years)
Space $0.00 $3,000.00 $15,000.00
Legal Fee $1,000.00 $1,000.00 $5,000.00
Software $0.00 $2,400.00 $12,000.00
Equipment $500.00 $10,000.00 $15,000.00
Insurance $1,000.00 $2,400.00 $12,000.00
Shipping $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Marketing $0.00 $7,200.00 $36,000.00
Material $200.00 $12,500.00 $62,500.00
Supplies $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Wages $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Unexpected $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Other $50.00 $1,800.00 $9,000.00
Total $2,750.00 $40,300.00 $166,500.00
Content North Seattle Handyman Blog North Seattle Handyman Youtube Modern Realty Uses Similar Skills Investing in Real Estate
[/su_table] Check out our interview with Caleb to find out how he makes $125K per truck: [su_youtube url=""]

How much does it cost to start a soap business?

Soap businesses are fairly inexpensive to start. You could start making soap for under $100 and build from there. Successful business owners will spend nearly $70K in their first year of business to make around $200K. Check out the TruIC blog for the steps to start a soap business.

Small Business Owners Funding Resources

Now that you know the costs associated with starting a business, check out some of our resources for finding funding. 
  • Business Credit: Check out our preferred lending partners to get small business loans or a business credit card.
  • Business Hub: Learn how to start a business entity, get insurance, and estimate a company’s revenue in our hub.
  • Small Business Administration: Get information from the SBA on grants, loans, and local business resources.
  • Evaluate Funding Options: Whether you are using a personal savings account or looking for alternative funding methods, check out our funding blog.

What Type of Business Will You Start?

We’ve covered the typical expenses associated with the costs of starting a business. Now it’s time to examine your personal expenses and cash flow to cover the filing fee and other business costs. Make sure to follow our YouTube channel and blog for more great information on how to start a business. Which business do you think is a worthwhile investment? How will you manage the financial implications of starting a new business? 
More data is coming out to suggest that an economic slowdown is occurring. Gas prices are rising. The Federal Reserve is raising interest rates the fastest since the 2009 recession. Small business owners are increasingly concerned about rising inflation. It’s going to be okay. You just need to recession-proof your business. We’ve talked to many business owners who found ways to beat the odds when federal and local governments closed down the economy during the pandemic. One of my favorites is Jazmin Richards, who started Blk Sunflower with less than $100 after losing her job at the beginning of the pandemic and made $300K in less than 18 months. We’ll share insights about preparing your small business for an economic cycle with slowing growth. We’ll discuss what to do when a recession hits by discussing: [su_note note_color="#dbeafc"]
  1. What happens during recessions
  2. The definition of recession-proof 
  3. Recession-proof Industries, companies, and jobs 
  4. What to do in a recession
  5. What to do with your money
  6. How to protect your money
  7. How to make money during a recession [/su_note]

What happens in a recession?

A recession is typically considered at least two consecutive quarters of declining GDP growth, which means that the U.S. economy is currently in a recession.  Recessions have occurred when the economy falters, and you will normally see:
  • Eight to 12 months, or three quarters of declining demand. (The longest was the Great Recession at 18 months.)
  • Unemployment rising to over 5.5%, but potentially as high as 10.8% 
  • A 4% to 6% decline in year-over-year GDP, which is calculated on a modified income statement.
The nationwide shutdown in 2020 was an exception to the rule because it was only two months long, but unemployment rose to over 15% and GDP dropped 3.5% in 2020 because of the closures. Screenshot of BEA website During recessions, businesses and consumers change their behavior to adjust to the downturn. Economic research shows that people and businesses tend to make the following changes:
  1. People and companies reduce discretionary spending.
  2. People look for ways to earn extra income.
  3. Some increase their savings if they have extra income, then savings account balances decrease.
  4. Companies reduce hiring and then cut jobs when they cannot cut costs any more.
  5. The stock market declines.
  6. Banks increase requirements for loans and reduce lending to prevent defaults.
  7. Total personal income decreases.
  8. The Federal Reserve normally lowers interest rates, but interest rates, gas, and supply chain issues are responsible for the current decline in GDP.
Next, we’ll discuss how businesses can make it through recessions.

What is recession-proof?

Recession-proof is a term used for a company, job, or industry that is considered less impacted by a downturn in the economy. Business owners, investors, and consumers will tend to gravitate towards the sectors of the economy that are not impacted by a recession. These businesses include: [su_note note_color="#dbeafc"]
  • Consumer staples like hygiene products
  • Discount retailers
  • Food 
  • Gas
  • Utilities
  • Investments like bonds
  • Education[/su_note]
These are all industries that see stable or increased demand. Other industries would be recession-resistant because they are less damaged by recessions than others. For instance, health care has a certain resistance level because essential care will never disappear. A diabetic that stops taking insulin will die, so they keep taking it even if they can’t afford the medication.

What jobs are recession-proof?

For people looking for long-term job security, you might want to consider these investment-proof jobs when you fall on hard times:
  • Teachers: Elementary through high school education doesn't stop because a recession occurs. According to Capital News Service, most recessions create increased demand for higher education because more consumers want to increase their job prospects by investing in their education. 2020 was an exception because people were worried about the transmission of COVID.
Screenshot of CapitalNewsService website
  • Health Care Professionals: Nurses, doctors, and specialized care providers are also recession-proof careers. This goes for therapists, psychiatrists, and social workers, too.
  • Government Employees: Jobs like firefighters, police, first responders, and social workers that work for the government are normally recession-proof jobs because the demand for their services stays the same or increases during a recession.
  • Public Service Jobs: People still need garbage pickup, electricity, water, and other essentials to keep their home and community livable so these services make it through a rough patch virtually unscathed.
  • Financial Service Providers: Taxes still have to be made, and auto insurance is still required by law. There have been two bank runs in the last hundred years, and the last one saw massive numbers of bailouts. Make sure to go with a conservatively run financial institution, and you should be fine.
When a recession hits, you won’t want to be heavily invested in new construction, home furnishings, car sales, travel, and printing businesses because they are the least recession-resistant services.

What companies are recession-proof?

Companies that do well during inflation tend to supply needs, not discretionary goods and services. Investors tend to look for recession-proof stocks during recessions. These will normally be companies that are in the industries mentioned above. They may also look for stocks with low debt-to-income ratios or investments with better interest and dividends. U.S. News recommends these electronically traded funds to get stock picks that are recession-proof investments:
  • Vanguard Total International Stock ETF (VXUS): Every country has different economic conditions. International investing can be done at a discount when the dollar is strong. When the dollar weakens again, you can see huge gains in these stocks.
  • Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC): These are a mix of Procter & Gamble, Coke, Pepsi, Costco, Walmart, and other companies that people buy from regardless of uncertainty. Economic data show that these companies have built a recession-proof business.
  • iShares 0-3 Month Treasury Bond (SGOV): Short-term bonds are currently performing better than long-term bonds. The peak levels are at the two-year mark. You can buy them on Treasury Direct if you prefer.
  • Schwab U.S. Dividend Equity ETF (SCHD): Dividends are like interest paid on stocks, but you can opt for dividend reinvestment to increase your equity. When the prices go back up, you have more stock.
  • Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLV): Healthcare spending is a major piece of the economy, regardless of what the rest of the market is doing.
  • Vanguard Utilities Index Fund ETF (VPU): As we’ve mentioned previously, utilities are recession-proof businesses.
  • SPDR Gold MiniShares (GLDM): Many people invest in gold to hedge against inflation when they see uncertainty.
  • Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO): Recessions often occur in different areas at different times, so investing in international stocks might pay off.
Coin laundromats also do well because people still need to wash their clothes. Watch our interview with a laundromat owner below. [su_youtube url=""]

What are recession-proof Industries?

Industries that do well in a recession include: 
  • Grocery stores: They sell food, and it’s the absolute last thing in life people can give up.
  • Convenience stores: People always need gas to get to their job, and most gas stations have a contract with the gas company where the gas company keeps the gas revenue, and the market keeps the profit from the products in the store.
Check out our interview with a gas station owner who turned a $1 million investment into eight gas stations in three years. If you have the funds to invest, it’s one of the industries that do well in a recession. [su_youtube url=""]

What to do in a recession?

During a recession, you want to pay more attention to market data. The average duration of a decline is short enough that most businesses can ride it out and make a profit over the long run. To make sure you have the best chance of navigating a down market, consider the following ideas:
  1. Save money as soon as your company is running a profit.
  2. Create a subscription service; it tends to increase the average revenue per client.
  3. Pay off debt every month so you can ride out a down market.
  4. Keep a look out for amazing investment opportunities for your portfolio. Sometimes people sign over their business just to keep from declaring bankruptcy.
  5. Sell underperforming assets.
  6. Renegotiate with vendors and landlords.
  7. Don’t buy anything you don’t need.
  8. Ask your employees to help. Dan Price almost had to lay off 20% of his company, but his employees opted for pay cuts. Everyone kept their jobs, and he paid them back after they weathered the storm.
  9. Lower profit margins if necessary. Sometimes lower prices will matter enough to keep customers you would lose otherwise. Remember when everywhere offered $10 pizza? Pizza places used that strategy to protect their stores from closing. Then, after the 2009 recession passed, pizza prices gradually doubled.
  10. Consider reducing the products and services you offer. Alternatively, add products and services businesses have requested.
Each business is different, but you should always be prepared for a recession. Industries tend to consolidate during recessions. The smallest businesses shut down and bigger businesses look for merger opportunities. During the great recession, banks holding 6% of total deposits shut down, leaving greater profit opportunities for the ones that took over their assets. During the same time, 2.4% of small businesses shut down. If you have the funds, a recession can be a great time to expand. Next, we’ll examine what to do with your money during a recession.

What to do with your money in economic downturns

WHAT CAN YOU DO? sketch on notebook I don’t think anyone would advise hiding your money in a mattress. If you need it quickly, leave it in your savings account. Otherwise, you can consider investing in stocks, bonds, or businesses. 

Stock Market

One common reason why people lose their retirement funds is they pull out of their portfolio when it’s too late. Don’t do it. If you’ve already lost more than you are comfortable with, ride it out. If you think your portfolio has reached an all-time high, just turn it into cash and wait until the market hits a bottom. All time highs are the safest time to pull out. Like Warren Buffet said: [su_quote] A simple rule dictates my buying: Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful. [/su_quote] Look for great buys after leading indicators show a sign of change. Leading indicators are business statistics like:
  • Purchasing Managers Index: Shows companies are buying materials.
  • Durable Goods Orders: Shows demand for industrial products.
  • Jobless Claims: Weekly and monthly reports that show how many unemployment claims are being filed. When both weekly and monthly align, it is a good thing. Weekly will show changes first, but monthly will show confirmation that the weekly wasn’t an anomaly. 
  • Consumer Confidence Index: This shows how confident consumers are. If consumers are confident, the economy will likely trend higher unless unforeseen events occur.
You can find most economic reports on the Census website.


Treasury bonds have durations of one month to 30 years. They are some of the safest investments in the world because the faith of the U.S. government backs them. Treasury Direct also sells TIPS, which tracks the consumer price index, and I-bonds, which are a combination of fixed rate and variable rate.  They are both long-term bonds, but TIPS can be sold on the open market. These are the best options if you want to earn some interest in safe investments.

Buy Businesses

When businesses start going under, it’s your chance to get assets at ridiculously low prices. People who bought neighborhoods in Las Vegas for $50K per house have turned $1 million investments into $8 million or more.  The same can be done with businesses. Just make sure you are analyzing the business strategically. Be cautious when they don’t have documentation of their debts. Read our blogs about buying a business, including: Next, we’ll discuss how to protect your business during a recession.

How to protect your money in an economic downturn

Calculator, money and notes on table Protecting your financial stability is critical during recessions. We’ll discuss a few options to protect your business funds. 

Increase Savings Rate

Reduce your salary and keep the savings in an interest-bearing account. It may not save a ton, but you'll weather the downturn if you save more money.

Decrease Unnecessary Spending

Everybody has waste. Whether it is making your employees drive the vehicle back to the shop, buying too many supplies, or having weekly team meetings with a huge lunch budget, there are bound to be expenses you can cut.

Reduce Employees Hours

If your business has multiple employees, you can reduce their hours. Try to do it fairly because nobody likes being singled out. If you value the employees, you want them to stick around until the money starts flowing again. Some air conditioning companies offer pay packages that allow you to bank your overtime for the slower months. It helps your employees maintain a more simple budget year round. It also helps you earn more interest.

Reduce Employee Pay

Most employees would rather take a pay cut than find another job. If you do this, try to reward them when the business recovers by paying them more than when they agreed to the pay cut. If you don’t, you’ll be hiring just when you thought you had weathered the storm.


Nobody loves firing people, but you can lay off people. If you have to do this, you’ll still be paying a percentage of their wages. They might even come back if you invite them back when business picks up.

How to make money during a recession

Man working on a computer Making money during a recession is the same as any other time. You just have to be more determined.  Assuming you meet normal business profit margins, you’ll probably barely make a profit. There are some things you can do to help prepare to make more profits once the recession passes.

Systemize Your Business

Make the best of a slowdown. Recessions are times to look at how you can improve your business. Start with these:
  • Automate accounting and bookkeeping.
  • Improve your marketing strategy.
  • Add a subscription plan.
  • Review your services to see which ones lose your money.

Get Rid of Underperforming Assets

Look for items you don’t use and get rid of them. Some low-hanging fruit might be:
  • Work vans that are in the shop too often.
  • Scrap metal you never took to the recycling yard.
  • Equipment you bought thinking you need it, but you never use.

Run Promotions

You can run promotions to current customers if you aren’t getting enough business. You can also visit sites that help customers find skilled contractors or freelancers. It might not pay as much upfront, but it will help make money while business is slow.

Develop New Skills

There are a lot of businesses that have similar skills and tools. For instance, a pressure washer that does driveways could also wash cars or building windows. Taking on new skills will diversify your income and help you be better insulated for the next recession.

Keep Your Morale Up

During downturns, people tend to have more anxiety, depression, and sometimes a single rough spot can destroy a person’s life. Don’t let that happen to you. If you feel down, go for a walk, see a friend you haven’t seen recently, or get a therapist to help you think through your experiences.  Just do something to keep your mind off your struggles. Some things are beyond your control. I hope this blog has helped to give you some ideas about how to recession-proof your business. What strategies have worked best for those of you who have run a business through multiple recessions?

Be prepared when you join a mastermind group: It can help you make meaningful changes and advancements in your professional and personal life. In the business realm, flourishing mastermind group meetings often combine successful business leaders and a group of small business owners focused on bringing their creative ideas to life.

[su_note note_color="#dbeafc"] There are numerous mastermind group options that you should look at to decide whether a given mastermind is right for you. We also talked to a member of the UpFlip team who’s been masterminding for seven years and share her tips and takeaways.

Read our mastermind insights from start to finish, or click any of the links above to jump straight to the mastermind info you need right now.

What is a Mastermind Group?

Concept of an online mastermind group showing a man using a laptop and headshots of his mastermind group members hovering around it

A mastermind group is a small, structured group of people who come together to support and encourage each other in achieving their goals. Mastermind groups typically meet regularly, either in person or online, to share ideas, provide feedback, and hold each other accountable.

The concept of mastermind groups was popularized by Napoleon Hill in his 1937 book Think and Grow Rich. Hill believed that mastermind groups could help individuals achieve success by leveraging the collective power of the group's members.

Mastermind groups can be beneficial for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Increased motivation and accountability: A mastermind group can help you stay motivated and focused on your goals. Knowing that you have a group of people who are cheering you on and holding you accountable can make a big difference in your ability to achieve your goals.
  • Shared ideas and feedback: Mastermind groups can be a great source of new ideas and feedback. When you share your goals and challenges with the group, you can get valuable insights and suggestions from others who have been there before.
  • Networking and relationship building: Mastermind groups can help you build strong relationships with like-minded individuals. These relationships can be beneficial both personally and professionally, as you can learn from each other, support each other, and help each other grow.

If you're looking for a way to accelerate your success, joining a mastermind group could be a great option. Mastermind groups can provide you with the support, encouragement, and accountability you need to achieve your goals.

A mastermind group might also be referred to as a mastermind event, especially when it is hosted in person as opposed to online.

What is a Mastermind Class?

A mastermind class is a type of educational program that brings together a small group of individuals to learn from each other and collaborate on projects. Mastermind classes are typically led by an experienced facilitator who guides the group through a series of learning activities and discussions.

The goal of a mastermind class is to help participants develop their skills, knowledge, and networks in a supportive and collaborative environment. Mastermind classes can be beneficial for a variety of people, including entrepreneurs, business professionals, and creatives.

Some of the benefits of participating in a mastermind class, which might be a one-time event or more limited in scope than an ongoing mastermind group, include:

  • Rapid learning: Mastermind classes provide participants with the opportunity to learn from each other's experiences and perspectives. This can help them to develop new skills and knowledge that they can apply to their own lives and careers.
  • Enhanced collaboration: Mastermind classes encourage participants to collaborate on projects and ideas. This can help them develop stronger teamwork skills and build relationships with other professionals.
  • Increased motivation: Being part of a mastermind class can help participants stay motivated and focused on their goals. Knowing that they have a group of people who are supporting them and holding them accountable can make a big difference in their ability to achieve their goals.

If you are looking for a way to learn and grow in a supportive and collaborative environment, a mastermind class might be a good option for you.

How to Find Mastermind Groups

Man at a laptop pointing to a clipboard with masterminding tips that read "network", "online", and "aim high"

Mastermind groups can be a great way to accelerate your success. They provide support, encouragement, and accountability to help you achieve your goals. If you're interested in joining a mastermind group, there are a few things you can do to find one:

  1. Talk to your network. Ask your friends, family, and colleagues if they know of any mastermind groups. You can also reach out to local business organizations or associations and inquire about mastermind groups in your area.
  2. Get online. There are a number of online platforms that list mastermind groups. Some popular options include Meetup, MastermindMatch, and Mindmixer. You can also search for mastermind groups on social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook.
  3. Invest in personal development. Look for retreats and programs that incorporate a mastermind component. You’ll meet people who are committed to challenging and expanding themselves just like you are, and the facilitators will guide you in establishing a well-structured mastermind. This is how one of our team members wound up in her masterminds, which we share more about below.
  4. Aim high. When you're looking for a mastermind group, it's important to find one that's a good fit for you. Consider your goals, your level of experience, and your personality. You want to find a group that will challenge you and support you on your journey.

Mastermind groups can be a powerful tool for personal and professional growth. If you're looking for a way to accelerate your success, I encourage you to find a mastermind group today.

Case Study: Our Editor’s Mastermind Experience

One of our editors, Linsey Stevens, has been masterminding for over seven years and has been working with the same group of mastermind partners—all small business owners—since October 2020.

She was introduced to Think and Grow Rich by her father, a Boeing missile defense site manager, when she was a teenager, but didn’t think much of it until her late 20s when the idea of the “master mind” emerged as a central theme in a series of Personal Transformation Intensive (PTI) retreats she’d enrolled for with award-winning author, artist, and psychotherapist Erick French.

Group members were required to find a mastermind group and participate in a weekly or biweekly mastermind meeting with other members of the PTI for the duration of the five-month program.

Initially, the mastermind group definition threw Linsey a little. She admits that committing to a very specific meeting structure, reading from Hill’s text aloud with the whole group, and working with specific accountability structures “felt a little culty.” As a definite introvert, she was also unsure about whether she could have fruitful discussions with people she’d just started getting to know over a long weekend.

Despite her hesitation, Linsey’s first mastermind wound up being a success that lasted the duration of the PTI and actually continued on for a whole year.

Since then, she’s participated in a group that formed during PTI 2 (another five-month series of retreats open to PTI 1 grads), a Wellness Institute Internship mastermind, and now, her own mastermind comprised of three women business owners with different PTI and Wellness Institute experience.

Linsey’s Top Mastermind Wins

Linsey credits committing to her own group masterminding experiences with

  • Working her way up in her editing career, from accepting a junior editor role (she was a career changer) to earning her target salary as a full-time managing editor
  • Meeting health and wellness goals
  • Joining an invitation-only volunteer board and cochairing (so far) two multiday conferences
  • Doubling her freelancing hourly rate, taking her private editing business from a side hustle to her primary gig, and leaving her 9-to-5 behind

Mastermind Groups, Creative Ideas—Linsey’s Masterminding Nonnegotiables

In Linsey’s seven years of masterminding experience, she’s arrived at some nonnegotiables she shared with us.

  1. The Magic Number: Linsey won’t participate in a mastermind with fewer than three members, and she considers three the ideal number. If someone misses occasionally, a 1:1 meeting of the other two members is fine, but too many 1:1 meetings, and they’ll start to feel like chats. She suggests the best take on Napoleon Hill’s call for “two or more people” is actually exactly three.
    Four members can feel like too many. One of her masterminds initially had four people, but when one of them dropped out of the internship program they connected through, and the others agreed that they needed to proceed without that member.
  2. Definite Purpose: If you’re masterminding to augment participation in a specific program, everyone needs to be participating fully in that program. If you’re forming a business mastermind, everyone needs to be a business owner—or at least be actively working on a business idea. If the mastermind is for personal growth, all members should be involved in personal development activities beyond the mastermind so they bring something to the table.
  3. Biweekly Meetings: Some masterminds meet weekly. That hasn’t worked well for Linsey or the other group members she’s masterminded with, given their busy schedules. Instead, they’ve met biweekly.
    She’s found that monthly meetings aren’t a good fit as too much happens in between, and meetings turn into catch-ups and tend to stray from the agenda.
  4. Confidentiality: Whatever members share—whether it’s financial or personal life struggles, business setbacks, wins, or beyond—members agree that the topics covered and details shared during any mastermind meeting are confidential unless someone gives their express permission to share with others.
  5. Ideal Members: No one person has all the answers to your life and business questions, but you should have confidence that the other members in your group have the temperament and experience to contribute to your growth, especially if you are considering how to run peer led mastermind groups like Linsey has participated in.
    When she formed her first mastermind, the group collectively declined to accept a fourth member who was shopping for a home group because it was unclear how they would contribute.
    Ask questions, go with your gut, and be selective. If you want to facilitate mastermind groups that will last, saying “yes” to avoid hurting someone’s feelings is a no to winning agendas in the weeks, months, and possibly years to come.
  6. The Agenda Belongs to Everyone: An enduring group makes time for everyone. The agenda should be agreed upon by all group members and be predictable each time. Linsey’s current mastermind opens and closes with readings written specifically for the group. They do timed shares with no cross-talk, give feedback, and read through a series of Napoleon Hill’s steps for success, which she prefers to read exactly as they were originally written as she believes they contribute to the very “invisible intangible force” Hill refers to in Think and Grow Rich.
  7. In-Person or Online: Linsey’s first two groups met in person. Her current group uses video conference, and she loves that it means the mastermind can include a member who’s on Vancouver Island while the other two are in the Midwestern U.S. She’s also found that video conference leads to more focused meetings than she’s had at coffee shops, where there are inevitably distractions (like another cup of coffee!).

Think you (and your business!) could benefit from masterminding or mastermind coaching? Read on for the best mastermind groups for business owners, based on our research.

Best Mastermind Groups for Entrepreneurs

The following list of business masterminds is considered the best because they are limited in scope, have longevity, and have proven success records. Anyone can start a mastermind group, but a great mastermind group enhances the results of other business owners by sharing ideas.

When you combine small groups with peer support and a highly successful entrepreneur sharing knowledge, inevitably you should expect to pay more.

We realize that many UpFlip readers may find these groups out of their current budget (many are out of my budget, too). We strongly recommend following these thought leaders on social media, joining any free Facebook groups they offer, and building to where you can afford the benefits of mastermind groups, whether it’s one of these or another offering.

GrowthMentor Mastermind Groups

Price: $49, $99, $249
• Mastermind Groups: 25 City Squads with up to 75 members each
Mentorships: 1-hour call for entry-level plan, unlimited for others
Members: 600+

GrowthMentor is a website that offers three tiers of mentorship and local mastermind groups. The pricing starts at $49 per month and goes up from there. The unlimited calls for $99 is by far the best value.

Note that the calls are 1:1 with expert mentors, whereas the City Squads you can attend in person are GrowthMentor’s answer to masterminding. They also host Slack groups you can participate in between meetings. 

Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO)

Man in a tweed sport coat standing in front of a screenshot of Entrepreneurs’ Organization’s Membership page

Price: Accelerator is $1,750—otherwise undisclosed
Mastermind Groups: 60 chapters in 17 time zones
Mentorships: Yes
Members: 2,375

The Entrepreneurs’ Organization provides peer groups and a year-long accelerator program. This organization dates back to 1988, so there are decades of experience among these group members.


Price: Undisclosed
Mastermind Groups: 17 “tribes”
Mentorships: N/A
Members: Undisclosed

Eccountability lists 17 mastermind tribes that are specialized for accountants, business authors and coaches, consultants, podcasters, marketers, real estate agents, cryptocurrency experts, and more.

Business Network International (BNI)

Price: Free
Mastermind Groups: 10,900 local chapters
Mentorships: Based on your ability to network
Members: 318K

You have to attend a local BNI mastermind group, then go through an interview and reference check to see if you are eligible to join a local chapter. There are also options for members to start a mastermind group.

Dan Sullivan Strategic Coach

Dan Sullivan next to a laptop showing the Strategic Coach Membership Program’s dates, fees, and registration page

Price: $12,500
Mastermind Groups: Hosted online, and in the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom
Mentorships: 2-year membership with an invite-only additional 2 years
Members: Undisclosed

The Strategic Coach offers a mastermind group that lasts for years. The first year is focused on developing your time management and vision, then the second year focuses on creating and innovating. If you’re invited, year three focuses on building business culture and preparing for growth.

Those who rock the first three years can enter the 10x Ambition Group. If you excel in the 10X Ambition Group, you may be invited into the exclusive The Free Zone Frontier hosted by Dan Sullivan, a leadership coach with over 40 years of experience.


Price: Undisclosed
Mastermind Groups: 7 different mastermind group offerings
Mentorships: Check for executive coaching opportunities in your area
Members: 45,000

Vistage is an organization that leverages mastermind principles and has a diverse array of offerings. It has been around for over 65 years and reports that its members improved their incomes by 4.6% in 2020, while most businesses saw a revenue decline of 4.7%.

In addition to their mastermind groups, they have local executive coaching opportunities, too.

Bright Strategy + Solutions

Price: $500 per session or $750/month with a 3-month minimum
Mastermind Groups: 7- to 10-member mastermind groups
Mentorships: 2- to 5-hour sessions
Members: Undisclosed

Bright Strategy +Solutions offers a general interest mastermind, a leadership group, a women in business group, and a new business and entrepreneur group.

The general interest mastermind is a one-time, five-hour session for $500, while the leadership group is $750 for two hours per month with a three-month minimum. 

The other two groups involve three-hour monthly sessions for $750 per month with a three-month minimum.

John Carlton Coaching’s Platinum Mastermind

Price: Undisclosed
Mastermind Groups: 2-day marketing mastermind group
Mentorships: $1,500 phone consultations
Members: 12 per meeting

The Platinum Mastermind is a two-day marketing mastermind group that focuses on solving your biggest marketing problems. You’ll gain tremendous insights, but prospective participants are screened by phone call, and only 12 are selected to participate.

Lewis Howes Summit of Greatness

Lewis Howes standing in the foreground and a screenshot of his Summit of Greatness 2024 page in the background

Price: TBD
Mastermind Groups: 2-day conference
Mentorships: No
Members: No

The Summit of Greatness replaced Lewis Howes’ previous mastermind group. This is the first year he is hosting it. Given the summit is not until September 2024, the pricing has not been disclosed yet.

Russell Brunson’s Inner Circle

Price: $50K, $150K, or $250K
Mastermind Groups: 3 levels based on income thresholds ($1M, $10M, $25M)
Mentorships: Monthly calls
Members: 100, 14, or 6 per mastermind group

Russel Brunson’s Inner Circle mastermind groups offer access to supportive colleagues at the same level of success you have reached. Before you can join the mastermind program, you have to have made more than $1M in ClickFunnels. This is for the most elite entrepreneurs given the specific barriers to entry and the membership fees.

Young President’s Organization (YPO)

Price: $49, $99, $249
Mastermind Groups: Local and global networking groups
Mentorships: Yes
Members: 34,000

A YPO group member has to be under 45, have reached certain positions, have more than 50 employees (or 25 employees with more than $2.5M in compensation), and at least $12 million in revenue. Get accepted, and you’ll have access to dozens of ways to connect and benefit from high-level mentorship.

Joe Polish’s Genius Network

Genius Network webpage on a laptop

Price: $35K, +$15K, +$20K, for a total of $70K
Mastermind Groups: Undisclosed
Mentorships: I hope so.
Members: Unknown

Joe Polish’s Genius Network focuses on more than just marketing. If focuses on changing your personal life and creating success. A person’s participation starts with a $35K-per-year fee, then you can go to conferences for $15K and purchase a Genius Network membership for $20K.

Indie Brand Builder

Price: Free newsletter
Mastermind Groups: Mastermind group currently has a waitlist
Mentorships: Yes, SEO consulting
Members: 1,250 newsletter recipients

This mastermind group is focused on digital marketing and SEO for entrepreneurs, but there is a waitlist to join. Think a spot could be right for you? Check out Indie Brand Builder today.

More Tips for Finding a Mastermind Group

  • Be clear about your goals. What do you want to achieve through your participation in a mastermind group? Having a clear sense of your goals will help you find a group that's aligned with your interests.
  • Be open to feedback. Mastermind groups are a great way to get feedback on your work and ideas. Be open to receiving feedback from your peers, and use it to improve your performance.
  • Be a contributor. Mastermind groups are a two-way street. Be willing to share your ideas and experiences with the group, and be supportive of your peers.
  • Be patient. It takes time to build relationships and trust within a mastermind group. Don't get discouraged if you don't see results immediately. Keep showing up and contributing to the group, and you'll eventually start to see the benefits.
  • Know that you may not have to pay ongoing fees. A lot of big-name mastermind groups involve membership and per-meeting fees, but if you form your own mastermind or join one as part of a retreat or training, you may be able to agree to share your time with one another at no ongoing cost.

Who Are Your Ideal Mastermind Group Members?

When you get in a mastermind group, you’ll be focused on improving both your personal and professional life. There may be a mastermind group facilitator, then you and your fellow group members will wind up doing the bulk of the group coaching.

You’ll also normally have a forum, Facebook networking group, Slack channel, or good old-fashioned email thread where all the mastermind members will interact as a peer group between meetings.

Who would you love to join on a mastermind call, and if you mastermind now, what are your top takeaways?


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