10 ideas for small businesses that can bring profit in the first year

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There is no need to wait years to make a profit.

Key points

  • There are many reasons why Americans choose to be entrepreneurs.
  • You don’t always have to wait more than two years to earn.
  • Some businesses require little or no upfront costs, making it easier to turn a profit faster.

Bitten by the entrepreneurial bug but don’t want to wait years before seeing a profit? The good news is that there are some businesses that can turn a profit much sooner.

Why open a small business?

Since nearly half of all small businesses fail within five years, why do so many people start small businesses?

Because they want to be the boss.

A Cox Business survey recently found that 66% of new business owners started their business because they wanted to be the boss. And there is no shortage of new jobs. 5.4 million small businesses were launched in 2021, up from 4.4 million in 2020 and 3.8 million in 2019. If you’re ready to leave corporate America behind and embark on a new journey as an entrepreneur, you’re definitely not alone.

In addition to the desire to be their own boss, small business owners were motivated to start a new business because:

  • They were dissatisfied with corporate America
  • They wanted to follow their passion
  • We got a chance to do that
  • Had inspiration for a new job

Regardless of your reasons for starting a new business, it can be difficult to turn a profit in the first year of business, and common wisdom says that it usually takes up to two years for a business to become profitable. But you don’t have to wait that long if you start one of these 10 businesses that can become profitable in their first year of operation.

Companies with minimal start-up costs

One of the easiest ways to become profitable quickly is to start a business that requires minimal start-up costs, with some of these top five businesses requiring little more than a fast computer, a smartphone and some software.

1. Social media management

If you are a pro at navigating social media sites, social media management may be the job for you. Many fellow small business owners are trying to stay active on sites like Facebook and Twitter, and your expertise may be just what they’re looking for.

2. Online courses

Do you consider yourself an expert in something? Regardless of where your expertise lies, if you have the skills, there are a variety of tools available to help you create and sell online courses. The best way to do this is not to be a jack of all trades, but to stick to a specific niche and target your audience.

3. Graphic design

Do you consider yourself a pro in Adobe Photoshop or InDesign? If so, becoming a graphic designer could be a profitable venture. Whether you’re creating a simple website or a beautifully illustrated catalog, graphic design skills are in demand and expected to remain so in the future.

4. Bookkeeping and accounting

Are you a CPA or accounting professional who wants to do things your way? If so, there are many opportunities for you. With revenues from accounting and bookkeeping services expected to reach $203.8 billion by 2024, this can be a lucrative business. Bookkeepers can handle standard transactions like invoicing customers and paying bills, while CPAs can take on more advanced tasks like tax preparation and financial projections.

5. Counseling

Consulting is an excellent opportunity for those with demanding knowledge. From recommending the right accounting software for a new business to helping business owners with HR issues, find your niche and start offering your expertise.

Jobs that require more investment

The following five businesses require more startup capital, but they can also help you turn a profit in the first year.

6. Food truck owner

Food trucks are everywhere. Whether you’re offering tacos or more upscale cuisine, the food truck industry could be right for you. Startup costs are higher, and you’ll need to factor in the costs of a special business license and insurance. But if cooking is your passion, a food truck offers flexibility and creativity, at a third of the cost of opening a brick-and-mortar restaurant.

7. Car repair

If you are a licensed mechanic looking for new opportunities, opening your own repair shop can be profitable. And if you’re interested in more flexibility, consider offering mobile mechanic services to your customers, who are likely willing to pay more to come to them.

8. Child care

If you love children and are an experienced childcare professional or early childhood educator, opening a daycare might be a good fit for you. The cost of setting up an outside babysitting facility can be high and you’ll need to factor in licensing fees, but with the demand for babysitting services growing every year, you’ll likely turn a profit before the end of your first year.

9. Car wash and detailed services

As owners keep their cars longer, the demand for car washes has increased, and the market is expected to grow until 2028. But this niche can become even more profitable if you offer mobile car washes and details, as owners will pay more for personalized services.

10. Cleaning service

Although the initial investment in a cleaning service is less than some others, you will still need to purchase cleaning suppliers, an industrial vacuum and a truck or van to transport them. Specialize in cleaning offices or apartments, or offer services for both.

Owning a business offers flexibility and the opportunity to be your own boss. Do your homework, find a job that suits you and jump into entrepreneurship.

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