The most profitable businesses you can start this year

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Will the start of a new year mean the start of a new business for you? If so you will likely have some questions.

Where do you begin? Starting your own business is a large task. What if after all that work you don’t have anything to show for it?

There’s one somewhat easy way to avoid that kind of disappointment – look for businesses that are nearly guaranteed to be profitable. Let’s examine some small business ideas for 2019, what it takes to really get them going, and discuss the best way to pick one that’s right for you.

The most profitable businesses of 2019

When choosing a small business to start there are two elements you’ll want to analyze to determine profitability: revenue potential and start-up costs.


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New businesses can be expensive and starting off with tens of thousands of dollars already sunk in equipment, licenses or insurance, will make profitability seem like a pipe dream.

What businesses have a low financial entry threshold?

Business-to-business services: This category covers everything from website design to accounting to payroll management. For the most part, the most important thing you’ll need to get this type of business up and running is your brain and your previous experience. We’ll discuss the nitty-gritty of actual physical investments later. But when looking at the whole, starting a B2B company can require less overhead.

Personal services: Chances are the things you need for this job – a smartphone, working vehicle – are things you already have. Personal services run the gamut from dog-walking to grocery shopping to errand running.

Real estate services: No matter what, people will always buy and rent houses and commercial property and the earning potential for realtors and lessors remains high. Aside from securing your license and some marketing, the overhead costs are again very low for this type of endeavor.

Here is a breakdown of each of these categories and a few more details on what it actually takes to start one of these businesses.

Business-to-business services

In 2017, Sageworks (via Forbes) noted that some B2B services, like payroll, accounting, bookkeeping, and tax preparation have the highest net profit margin of any other industry.

This bodes well for any math geniuses or accounting gurus who are looking to start up their own business and offer their services to companies that really need them. It’s also a great industry to dive into due to low overhead.

Primarily, when starting one of these businesses, you’ll need:

Accounting, payroll, bookkeeping or tax preparation software: Depending on your clients, you may be able to manage with Excel and a few pivot tables. (Check out this tax calculator.)

However, you’ll want to invest fairly quickly in software that connects to the Cloud. This will ensure you have easy back-ups of everything and allows for collaboration between you and your client.

CPA or CPB license: Securing your certified public accountant (CPA) or certified public bookkeeping license (CPB) will reassure clients that you have the expertise to help them.

According to the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), securing your license requires a combination of education, testing and experience. Click here for more details on when and how to take the CPA exam. Click here for more information about the CPB license requirements.

While the cost to sit for exams and secure your license can cost up to $1,000, the ability to secure more clients will be invaluable. In the long run, this is a nominal start-up cost that will pay off.

As for other B2B opportunities, if you have a specific talent or passion, you can easily hang a virtual shingle and get your business going. Some skills that are expected to be in high demand – and demand a decent salary – including SEO expert, data analyst and digital marketing campaign specialist.

These jobs are results-oriented, and often it doesn’t take long for clients to see if you know what you’re talking about or not. The biggest barrier to getting this type of creative small business idea started is securing your initial clients. You’ll need some referrals or a strong portfolio of past successes to make the case that you’ve got the goods.

Personal services

For the most part, these are high demand jobs. Everyone could use an extra pair of hands, a few more hours in the day or someone willing to schlep around town, wait in traffic and find parking to pick up the dry cleaning.

Similar to gig economy standouts like Uber and Lyft, your initial start-up requirements will rely on items you probably already have: a smartphone, a working vehicle, car insurance, and a valid Driver’s license. Start-up costs so far: $0 making it the cheapest business to open.

However, it’s important to note that these types of jobs may not net you the revenue you’re looking for. While people value their own time – and having more of it – they don’t always value the folks who enable them to get more important things done.

Below are a few personal services business opportunities that are low in cost to start and have the potential for higher than average revenue.

Pet daycare: You can probably lump pet sitting into this category as well. Pet owners will often go out of their way to make sure their pets are safe and comfortable when they can’t be with them.

Due to the problems inherent with some kennels (i.e., kennel cough), pet owners would rather leave their pets with individuals and not in an institution. Start-up costs: A cache of dog and cat toys; a fenced in or penned area for animals to roam.

Sustainable landscaping: This one requires a certain type of expertise, but not too much else. As environmental concerns grow, including water shortages, higher than average temperatures and urban sprawl, the ability to maintain and promote sustainable landscapes has grown in popularity.

Some counties and cities even reimburse residents for transforming their yards into an eco-friendly space. Start-up costs: Knowledge of sustainable landscaping techniques; truck or large van to haul materials.

There is another twist to personal service businesses that might generate more revenue – mobile services. More people are looking for the added convenience of people coming to them for tasks or jobs they made have had to travel to before.

Personal trainers, pet groomers and hairdressers are a few jobs where people might be willing to pay a premium for access from the comfort of their own home.

Real estate services

Lessors of real estate were the second most profitable business of 2017 according to Forbes and Sageworks. With a 17.9% profit margin, real estate only falls behind accounting, bookkeeping et al. for the highest profit margin.

Leasing agents are not required to have a real estate license, but only if they work under a licensed real estate broker. As you are looking to strike out on your own, securing your own real estate license is a must.

Your initial start-up costs will encompass the cost to take the real estate licensing classes, get your business cards printed and promote yourself as a lessor.

Choosing the business that’s right for you

When starting a business, you want it to be successful, but above all, you want to enjoy the time you spend working. If a new business will result in a career change for you take the time to consider what you want to do.

Why are you looking to leave your current position? Are you looking for more flexibility or the chance to work more closely with clients? Or maybe the opportunity to work with fewer clients — whatever your motivation, take time to consider it so you don’t sink all of your time and resources to make a business work that you’ll eventually want to leave.

To learn more about starting your own business, check out this guide

This article originally appeared on the Quickbooks Resource Center and was syndicated by

Featured Image Credit: Depositphotos.