Finding profitable business ideas and kick-starting your entrepreneurial journey can be a rewarding life experience. For a start, it guarantees flexibility, job security, and other long-term benefits you can only dream of when working a full-time job. There's no greater joy than being a small business owner, especially if it's something you're passionate about.

With around 31.7 million small businesses in the U.S. and more being added every day, it can feel like all the best small business ideas are already being executed by somebody else. However, while this may be subject to debate, there are still many ideas you can jump into and, with the right approach and commitment, reap lifetime benefits.

Managing a startup can be hard, but the potential for a fat bank account and freedom that comes with running your own business and being your own boss makes it worth it. That said, if you're thinking about starting a small business, we've detailed some great small business ideas for your consideration.

11 of the Most Profitable Small Businesses

The pandemic changed the small business landscape such that most business models that would have been adaptable and flexible pre-pandemic aren't so post-pandemic. Nevertheless, regarding profitability, flexibility, and non-capital intensive, the criteria remain the same. A low-cost business that can be run remotely (full time or part time) and have a potentially high profit margin makes for a great business opportunity. Many online businesses meet these criteria, although some offline service businesses still qualify. Without much ado, let's dive into some great ideas.

Affiliate Marketing

If you have a blog that attracts a significant audience, then affiliate marketing is a good business idea worth considering. With affiliate marketing, you earn commission promoting and driving sales on a company's products or services. Becoming an affiliate requires little or no capital investment. You only need to work on driving significant traffic to your blog. A blog income study showed that bloggers who make between $7,500 and $25,000 monthly make 38% of such earnings via affiliate marketing. That goes without saying that you stand to reap a great bottom-line if you're able to build your brand and join the right affiliate program in your niche. Some popular affiliate websites you can get started with include ClickBank, ShareASale, Awin, Skimlinks, and Rakuten.

Online Marketing and Social Media Manager

A recent report shows that at least 60% of the global population is now online. For context, that's roughly 4.72 billion people. Also, according to Statista, 85% of Americans have internet access and 82% have a social networking profile. The reality is that social media has become a viable tool for brands to reach out to their target audience. Suppose you know how to navigate the online environment; in that case, you can leverage popular social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok to create content for brands, advertise their products and services, and tweak campaigns to help them reach more audiences. The profit margin for an online marketing and social media manager is around $250 to $5,000 monthly, depending on your influence. You only need a computer, a stable internet connection, and the right social media tools to get started.

Digital Marketing Business

As more brands set up e-commerce shops to establish their digital presence. The need for a digital marketer to help such brands build their online image has increased over time. Therefore, establishing a digital marketing agency can earn you a lucrative return. Running a digital marketing agency doesn't require an Ivy League education and an expensive office. With basic education, you can get started with a makeshift home office in your garage and grow from there. Specific services you'll offer include:

  • Copywriting
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Social media ads
  • Email marketing
  • Landing pages
  • Content creation
  • Graphic design
  • Creative consultant

Web Development Services

Every business needs a digital presence and that starts with having a functional website. Web development is one of the most lucrative small businesses if you wish to be your own boss. However, even though it requires no formal degree, you need to be skilled in programming languages like HTML, CSS, JS, Python, PHP, MySQL, etc. With commitment, some of these skills are easy to pick up. There are coding boot camps and other free online courses that can get you started with the basics. You can charge up to $75 per hour, depending on your skill level. To maximize the profit, you can develop custom iOS and Android apps for new and existing businesses at a relatively lower price until you earn a loyal customer base.

House and Office Cleaning Services

House cleaning is an essential household chore. However, most people don't enjoy doing it or have insufficient time to get to it. In addition, both big and small businesses with office complexes need the service of a cleaner. This creates an opportunity for enterprising entrepreneurs to leverage and reap returns.

For residential cleaning services, you can arrange with your clients to visit once or twice a week depending on their choice. Commercial cleaning will probably have to be daily, especially if it's a very busy place. This business requires no formal education and the cost of cleaning equipment is low. You can gradually transform the business into a more lucrative business plan as your customer base increases.

Real Estate Agent and Consultant

One of the resultant effects of COVID-19 is the need for bigger and more spread-out housing. This has created a housing shortage that, combined with low mortgage rates, seems to be driving prices up. Additionally, remote work is driving people out of big cities to suburbs. However, the real estate industry is always in a state of flux; while this may not last long, it presents an opportunity for enterprising entrepreneurs to jump in and earn some return.

Thanks to online platforms like Skillshare, it is much easier now to get a certification. It requires no formal education and you can work anywhere, making the overhead cost very low.


The photography business is another type of business that can earn you great returns. If you want to go the portrait route, you can sign up on Shutterstock and upload your stock photo. You earn money when people download it. You simply need a high-quality smartphone to get started. However, a more professional approach will require a professional DSLR camera, which, on average, costs $719.

Wedding photography, however, is one aspect of this business that is booming at the moment, since the pandemic is slowly fading and social gathering is now allowed in many states. As a professional, you can charge between $2,500 and $10,000+ per photoshoot. To access a wider client base, you can advertise your services on social media or sign up on platforms like MyWed. With hard work and dedication, you'll build a loyal customer base and reap the benefits that come with it.

Remote Tutor

With the COVID-19 pandemic comes remote education, which created challenges for most students. Starting a tutoring service is an excellent way of helping the struggling and gaining mastery of specific fields while getting paid in the process. It can be fully or partly remote depending on the arrangement with your students. Either way, the startup cost is little to nonexistent. In the remote case, you only need a computer or tablet and a stable internet connection.

Some subject areas you can consider are:

  • Sciences (physics, chemistry, biology)
  • College essay prep
  • SAT/ACT prep
  • History
  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Foreign languages

You can charge around $25 per hour offering your tutoring services to students.

E-Commerce Business

Retailers are moving online at a more rapid pace than before. Gone are the days when Etsy, eBay, and Craigslist used to wield powerful influence in the e-commerce market space. Although these platforms still dominate, the trend has shifted. As such, instead of relying on them to sell your products, you can create your own space and become part of the e-commerce revolution. Easy-to-use platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, PrestaShop, and Square Online enable you to tailor your shop to your specific needs so starting an e-commerce business has never been easier.

With your e-commerce site, you can go various routes — dropshipping, Amazon FBA, or selling unique, high-demand products to people in need of them. As your business becomes popular online, you can also open retail storefronts around your neighborhood and further grow from there. Be sure to integrate wireless payment processing technology in the online store so you can accept debit and credit cards. This gives you a competitive edge over others. With time, you'll build a loyal customer base.

Accounting and Bookkeeping

A bookkeeping business is among the best business ideas on this list that'll guarantee you a fast return. Both businesses and individuals depend on accounting services to file tax returns and other financial necessities. However, the requirements for this business are high, as you need an undergraduate degree to get started. In addition, some businesses may require you to have an IRS-enrolled agent certification or a CPA license. However, this makes sense since we're talking about money here. Once you have the requirements, the overhead cost is little to nonexistent.

General Home Improvement Services

More people are buying homes. In 2020, real estate witnessed its highest growth pace since 2005. The increase in homebuyers, especially in the suburbs, is creating a demand for home improvement services. The reason is that most homeowners lack the requisite skill sets to renovate their new homes and, therefore, look for professionals that can handle it.

Some key aspects of home improvement services include:

  • Interior design
  • Carpentry
  • Contractors
  • Landscaping
  • Plumbing

Some of these services may require some training and access to equipment and tools, so startup costs may be high. However, for your initial capital, you can consider an SBA-backed small business loan.

Stay on Top of Your Business Finances With Skynova

Running a successful business can be tasking. This is especially so for a new business where you have to give attention to various aspects. For example, juggling customer acquisition, retention, and managing your finances can be cumbersome. With Skynova's accounting software, we'll help you take care of your business finances while you concentrate more on growing your small business. Our software helps you keep track of your business's financial activities, such as generating invoices and providing proper business audits. With this, you have enough time to become more productive with your new business.

Notice to the Reader

This content details business opportunities budding entrepreneurs can leverage to earn extra money and may not work in your specific situation. Seek an expert opinion if you're looking to start a small business.