Food trucks: one of the most profitable small businesses
Suanny Garcia
By: sgarcia
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25 Most Profitable Small Businesses

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Are you exploring the idea of starting a new business or expanding yours? Do you need some good ideas to start your own business? In other words, what are the most profitable small businesses out there?

Sometimes it’s useful to see what businesses are thriving to get some guidance on where to go next. There are certain small business industries that see higher profits than others. Accounting, for example, is always among the most profitable small businesses. Others, like the food truck industry, are up and coming, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see an increase in its profits as years go by.

Are you afraid of starting your own business because it requires a large budget? Are you yearning to run one of the most profitable small business but still struggling to decide on what would be the best fit for you? Take a look at 25 of the most profitable small business and industries over the last years.

 25 Of the Most Profitable Small Businesses

Accounting & Tax Preparation

Every year, accounting makes the list as one of the most profitable small businesses. This category also encompasses payroll services and bookkeeping. Most people would rather pay someone than do it themselves or learn how to do it. Anything from a small accounting firm to a tax accountant will always be in style.

Auto Repair and Auto Leasing

Car emergencies happen 24/7: oil needs changing, headlights go out, you get a flat tire, you name it. Reportedly, auto repair companies made big bucks in 2017. On the other hand, with the rise of ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft, consumers are more hesitant to buy cars. Although it was down by 2.4% net profit, the automotive industry still made the Entrepreneurs 2017 list, making it one of the most profitable small businesses.

Food Trucks

The foodie movement continues to grow! A few years back consumers were hesitant to buy food from a truck parked in a parking lot. Now, there are actually food truck festivals for foodies who can’t get enough. If you have a mouthwatering recipe and want to make a business out of it, the days of brick-and-mortar are over. You can pick a truck, paint it your favorite color and get to ridin’ and cookin’. Before you begin considering a food truck business, head to your local health department to inquire about the required permits.

Catering services

Like the previous one, you don’t need a large investment to start your own catering business. If you have a suitable kitchen, equipment, and a recipe book worth-sharing, you can operate your service from home. If you are extremely well organized and can count on a pair of extra hands to help you (as well as suitable transportation), this is a good way to set a foot on the food industry. Think that those requesting catering are willing to pay well for this type of service since it serves in celebrations, important events or meetings. If you are willing to maintain a high standard not only in your food but also in your customer service and every single small detail, this could be one of the most profitable small business for you. Learn here the 5 steps you need to take to start your own catering business.

Dental Offices

Smile big — dental offices are high up on the list of the most profitable small businesses in 2017. Yes, the overhead costs to set up this type of business are high, but with returning patients and good referrals, the practice will pay for itself. Additionally, there’s the added benefit of cosmetic tooth bleaching being a booming business (a $3.2 billion dollar industry to be exact). If you got it, flaunt it — whether that’s pearly whites or a successful dental practice.

Warehouse and Storage

Time and space tend to be some of the factors most people lack. When people have to move, or when they go through a life change, they need the extra space for storage. This industry solves that problem of space. There will always be a need for storage!

Property Maintenance

Are you a handyman (or woman!)? If you can multitask and are willing to get your hands dirty, this could be a good choice for you. There is and there will always be a demand for people who can repair lighting, fix plumbing problems, clean gutters and pools, paint fences, replace doors and carpets… you name it. While the hourly rate for property maintenance is not high, this can turn into one of the most profitable small businesses if you live in an area where apartment complexes and rentals abound.

Cleaning Services

Like the previous one, other than the right attitude, you don’t need much to start this business. All you need is basically some good cleaning equipment and products, a vehicle, and a catchy website to attract potential customers. If you already do your own cleaning at your own home and people praise your place for being spotless, why not turning this into one of the most profitable businesses you can find?

Child-Oriented Businesses

Whether is newborn or post-pregnancy services, enrichment activities or daycare, babies are everywhere. The beauty of child-related businesses is that if you’re a true fan of children, you won’t work a day in your life. This business is less likely to suffer as there will always be a need for childcare.


This can go many routes: graphic design, freelance writers, and social media gurus. The outsourcing services are continuing to make a difference in the way companies interact with their employees. Which means more opportunities for freelancers to take on projects. Websites such as UpWork and Creative Circle make it much easier for freelancers to become visible.

Website Design

This falls into the previous category, but it’s worth highlighting. Provided you are technology savvy and creative, this could be an excellent choice to run one of the most profitable small businesses. Every single company, big or small, has its own website, and the demand for good website designer is only increasing. Consider the low cost of starting your own website design service company, since you can run it from home. If you think you need some extra education on technology, you can find a course that suits you on this list.

Logo Design

Again, another freelance position worth considering. You need to be a visual type of person and highly creative, and be able to show a shining portfolio. Make sure you can come up with unique ideas, and do the homework of researching the potential market: while the demand for logo designers is high, also is the competition.

Delivery Services

Some restaurants or other local business in your area may provide a delivery service to customers. If you go this route to start a profitable business as a self-employed delivery person, other than a reliable vehicle you don’t need a large budget. However, make sure you research the demand in your area. And of course, that your vehicle (car or motorcycle) is in excellent condition and up to date regarding inspections.

Vacation Rentals

You don’t need to have all your ducks in a row to put together a business. You can make some extra cash by renting out a spare room. Many rent out their space to Airbnb users to make a living. But it can be as simple as renting out a bedroom once a month for extra income.

Personal Training

If you have a passion for helping others feel like their best self, personal training is the route for you. This is last on the list because although it is a booming small business field, it’s also not a field for those who are shy or not willing to get out there. It’s all about networking and sharing your passion. Helping others look better is not a simple task; so be proud of your work, get out there and train hard.

Business Consulting

If you’re an expert in your industry and have been working at it for years, consider consulting. Consultants who are most successful tend to embark on the journey later in their careers, have niche expertise and are incredibly organized and well-connected. Plus, they know how to scale a business and have the keys to keeping clients happy. Just like other types of freelancing, being an independent consultant is a business and requires networking and negotiating.

Courier Services

A courier service is a service that allows someone to send a parcel or consignment from one location to another. Courier services are distinguished from ordinary mail services by features such as speed, security, tracking, signature, specialization, and individualization of express services, and swift delivery times. Delivery doesn’t cost much — other than gas. However, getting contracted by a large firm, such as Amazon, can prove to be profitable for couriers. You can even go fully independent if you have established the right connections of people who will use your services, especially if your fees are more affordable than the fees at larger companies.

Real Estate and Real Estate Brokering

If you have a wide network, this business is especially for you. Apart from setting your own schedule and working on your own time as a realtor, you can also acquire a broker license and establish a brokerage firm. Brokers act as an intermediary between sellers and buyers. With an average net profit margin of 17.4% for leasing and 14.8% in sales, real estate has a lot to offer and once you have aquired experience it can turn to be one of the most profitable small businesses. 

IT Support

As we become increasingly technologically inclined, the IT field is one of the more profitable careers. Those who know how to deliver IT support are in high demand in every industry and can charge high fees for their services.

Gardening & Landscaping

Calling all Southerners and Californians — we love our gardens! If you live in warmer weather states, gardening can be a lucrative business. Take it a step further and go for landscaping — you’ll not only be contracted by homeowners but also by hotels and larger businesses who love a beautiful outdoors.

Because no commercial space is required outside of storage space, it’s possible to start a landscaping business with a modest investment of up to $15,000 for landscaping equipment.

Funeral Homes

They say there are two things you can’t escape from: death and your taxes. As morbid as it may sound, we’re all going out to pass someday and funeral services will always be a booming market. Funeral homes generally see a steady stream of customers, providing a largely recession-proof business model for business owners who don’t want to experience of economic downturns. Do the research beforehand because getting started requires at least a Bachelor’s degree and be prepared for a high overhead cost.

Party Services

We all love a good party, and even better — a good party planner. Even in times of economic despair, weddings and birthday celebration still happen. Party services can be flexible and versatile, covering planning, catering, bartending, and serving, among other functions. Since you can use contractors for most of these services, the overhead costs can be as low as you negotiate them.

Health Food Kitchen & Delivery

As we become increasingly busier, the time to cook becomes slimmer and slimmer, yet we become bigger and bigger if we don’t make sure to feed our bodies the right nutrients. That said, individuals are always looking for healthy food options that are already prepared. Setting up a service that caters to health-conscious individuals, or perhaps vegan or vegetarians (niche markets), can be profitable if you know how to market the services.

Marketing & PR Services

Speaking of marketing services… Every brand has a story but not every business owner knows how to tell it. Here is where marketing gurus enter. Marketing & PR professionals have the skill-set and tools to tell your brand’s story and make sure the right audience hears it. It is an ever-changing field with the rise of influencers and the decline of print media, but lucrative nonetheless within the new avenues that are at the marketer’s disposal.


You’d be surprised at the number of individuals who don’t know how to change a light bulb — or simply don’t have the time! If you’re an expert at building and know your way around a well-manned home, this is definitely the job for you. Handymen are usually paid by the hour and can have multiple clients at once. You can also partner with larger handymen companies as an employee or franchise partner, meaning they will take a percentage of your pay, but give you loads of work in return, generally.


We hope this gave you an insight of the most profitable small businesses currently out there. Did this give you some ideas? Maybe you found the inspiration you were looking for, but if you need more useful information, learn here about the businesses you can start with a small budget and the resources you need to start a small business.

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