Best Businesses To Start in 2024 To Make a Profit

Best Businesses To Start in 2024 To Make a Profit

Starting a successful business can begin by tapping into a long-held passion. For instance, an athlete could turn a sports obsession into a business venture centered on athletic apparel, or a devoted knitter could generate profitable small business ideas by considering selling custom items online.

However, many business owners start from a different perspective. They begin by thinking about business finances and brainstorm the most profitable small businesses they could imagine starting. They then use those small business ideas to create a company that can reliably produce profits over a long period of time.

Here are some of the most profitable businesses to start as an entrepreneur.

Most profitable businesses

If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur seeking the most profitable business ideas, take heart. There are lucrative business opportunities in many different industries. Whether you’re starting small with low-cost business ideas or you have a big budget that lets you aim high, here are some of the most potentially lucrative businesses to start:

Technology services and software development

The tech and software sector has accounted for an outsized portion of the US stock market for years. Big tech businesses like Microsoft and Apple are among the ​​most profitable companies on the planet, but small software developers can also gain a toehold in this industry.

If you have an idea and strong coding or development skills, you could consider launching your own startup—a high-risk, high-reward option. Or you can start a potentially profitable business offering tech consulting or tech support.

Real estate

The real estate industry includes everything from developing properties to property management and brokerage services. For many aspiring entrepreneurs, becoming a real estate agent is the most affordable way to enter this industry, and it offers a flexible schedule. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) offers detailed information on real estate agent salaries and employment trends in the US.


An ecommerce business is any business that sells goods and services over the internet. It takes little more than an internet connection to establish your own business online, but most profitable online businesses use a customer relationship management (CRM) platform to streamline operations. Starting an online store lets you tap into a rapidly expanding market. In fact, the total US ecommerce market revenue increased for the 10th consecutive year in 2023.


The business consulting industry consists of firms and individuals guiding business managers on corporate strategy, growth, human resources management, optimization, and more. There’s no specific requirement for becoming a business consultant, but it helps to have a bachelor’s degree and relevant experience in the field where you offer consulting services.

Digital marketing

A digital marketing business may include copywriting, content creation, social media management, pay-per-click (PPC) ad management, and graphic design services. Profitable companies in this sector often home in on a particular market niche—which could be anything from high-end apparel to the food truck industry—and cultivate a set of loyal clients. As your marketing business grows, you can potentially expand to new business categories and serve more niches.

Fitness coaching

Research firm IBISWorld estimates that the US personal training market generated $14 billion in 2023. This figure includes plenty of trainers or fitness coaches operating their own small business out of their home or in shared spaces. Like many fields in the wellness industry, fitness coaching comes with relatively few startup costs aside from education, unless you’re pursuing a niche like Pilates that requires investment in expensive equipment.

Home cleaning services

You can start a home cleaning business by either doing the cleaning yourself or by hiring a team of cleaners to work while you handle marketing and booking. You can promote your cleaning business on your own website or you can use third-party sites like Craigslist and Taskrabbit to advertise your services.

Event planning

If you’re organized and outgoing, you might consider starting an event planning business. One potentially profitable business model is to focus your event planning on weddings—in the US, the average cost of a wedding is $30,000. Other event services businesses focus on corporate gatherings, which may have large expense accounts, thus boosting your bottom line as a planner.

Online courses

High on the list of potentially successful small business ideas is the concept of selling courses online. There’s little overhead involved in offering an online course, but you’ll need to market yourself and build a following. Aim to teach classes that match your known skill set and résumé. Established graphic designers can offer graphic design courses, while successful entrepreneurs may offer online business courses.

Logistics and transportation

You can run a successful business by handling logistics for other companies. This can include inventory management, warehousing, shipping, and courier services.

Car washes

As long as people own cars, they will need a place to wash them. This can make car washes a highly profitable industry. Grand View Research estimates that the global car wash market will exceeded $32 billion in 2023.

You’ll have to spend money on real estate, equipment, and water, but car washes don’t require many employees—particularly self-service washes—which makes them cheaper to operate than many other businesses.

Fashion and apparel

If you have an eye for design, a cogent business plan, and sound business structure, you can start your own fashion or apparel company. You’ll need to research wholesale suppliers and select the right sales platforms to ensure the most profitable business outcomes.

Whether you sell online via your own ecommerce store, through ecommerce marketplaces, or in brick-and-mortar stores, you can turn a passion for fashion into a successful venture. Demand for apparel remains robust.

Bookkeeping and accounting

Most successful business owners need accounting services, payroll services, and many other services related to finance. You can make these business owners your clients by creating a bookkeeping, accounting, or payroll business. This can be a sound business idea for a sole proprietor, or you can hire staff and scale up.

Vacation rentals

If you own real estate or have the means to invest in it, you can make money renting those properties to vacationers. Though the initial time and monetary commitment is high, in the long run, these rentals can bring in passive income while you work on other projects.


Insurance is a highly profitable business that encompasses everything from giant international corporations to small businesses focused on local markets. One way to measure the size of the insurance industry is a metric called gross written premiums (GWP). S&P Global Market Intelligence estimates the US property and casualty insurance market GWP hit $1.3 trillion in 2023.

You could start a local insurance brokerage and connect it to a larger insurer (e.g., Allstate or State Farm) and potentially earn a sizable profit—making this one of the best small business ideas for driven entrepreneurs.

How do you start a profitable business?

Here are five essential steps for entrepreneurs to consider when starting a profitable business:

1. Conduct market research. Understand your target market, customer needs, and competition. Identify opportunities and gaps in the market that your business can address.

2. Draft a solid business plan. Develop a comprehensive business plan outlining your goals, target audience, value proposition, revenue model, and marketing strategy. A well-thought-out plan helps guide your business decisions.

3. Manage your finances. Set a realistic budget, carefully manage expenses, and ensure that you have adequate funding. Keep a close eye on cash flow because it’s crucial for sustaining and growing your business.

4. Build a strong online presence. Establish a professional and user-friendly online presence through a website and social media. Utilize digital marketing strategies to reach and engage with your target audience.

5. Remain focused on customers. Prioritize customer satisfaction and build strong relationships. Listen to customer feedback, adapt to their needs, and provide excellent products or services to create loyal customers who can contribute to your business’s profitability.

Most profitable businesses FAQ

What businesses earn the most money?

Finance, law, real estate, health care, and software development are among the most profitable industries in the US. If you’re looking to make as much money as possible, consider starting a legal services business, a brokerage, a healthcare company, or a software-based venture like a virtual assistant business.

What professions earn the most money?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ list of highest-paying professions is topped by several types of physicians, notably surgeons. The types of jobs that pay the most vary based on region and market conditions.

What is the easiest business to start?

The easiest business to start is likely to be one where you are a sole proprietor and can work from home. When you add employees and physical locations, you must navigate more complicated regulations and logistics.

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