When building a business, profitability is an important piece to keep in mind before you swim to the deep end as an entrepreneur. I believe you should understand how you plan to make money at some point in your journey. There is nothing wrong with making money! Here are what I believe to be the most profitable business types you can start today, given that you can avoid serious expenses for physical inventory and location on each:
If you can solve problems for a business, starting a consulting business might be right for you. All it takes is being knowledgeable in something to help someone out. Plus you can do everything from a laptop! I see a lot of social media consultants out there these days, assisting with growth on platforms like Instagram and Facebook. To get clients from scratch, Craigslist is honestly a huge market of opportunities. I would suggest reaching out to relevant job posters in your niche, offering to solve their problems.
Coaching is really an extension of consulting, except you might provide more high-level guidance here in the form of video chats or in-person “therapy” sessions. Most coaches I come across are motivational by nature, and may not necessarily be specialized problem-solvers like the consultants. That’s okay, because sometimes people just need a coach to have them listen and support goals and objectives. Life coaches, fitness coaches and business coaches are all common specialties in this arena.
3. Information products (courses, eBooks).
I love information products because you can literally make money while you sleep, unlike the first two options here (unless you’ve hired a team of coaches/consultants to do the work for you). Online courses and eBooks can be lucrative if you are really solving a pain point for your audience. All it takes is marketing and promoting to prospects and your profit margins are golden. Many people have built course and eBook businesses into passive income businesses. The scalability is limitless.
4. SaaS (software as a service).
SaaS businesses are even more lucrative, because you can offer monthly subscriptions to keep the revenues rolling. The up-front costs to develop a SaaS product will certainly cut into your time to launch, while also making this a riskier business if you need to hire a developer. Try to build something yourself if you can, to save on expenses. There are many resources to learn how to code now.
5. Influencer (social media).
If you are skilled at building a social media following, you can convert that into brand deals and sponsorships as an influencer. So…earning money for being popular? Sign me up! Instagram has ushered in the age of the influencer, as models and fitness trainers are capitalizing on viral product endorsements to make a living. You could be an influencer for anything! Ideally, you should believe in the product you are endorsing.
6. Affiliate marketing.
Similar to influencer marketing, affiliate marketing is about promoting someone else’s products. Here, you are typically given a percentage of the sales as a commission, as long as your marketing efforts land the sale. Common platforms to be an affiliate marketer include ClickBank and Amazon Associates.
A freelancer is similar to consultants in coaches, except they might be 100% task-oriented. A freelance client needs a logo design, and you deliver on the task, for a fee. Of all the business types listed, this would be the most hands-on one. There are always excellent opportunities for freelance writers, developers and marketers. To find gigs, definitely check out platforms like Upwork, Fiverr and Craigslist.
All of these business types can be scaled with teams, marketing, automation and outsourcing. This allows you to optimize your time commitment, rather than trade it for revenues. At the start, especially for coaches, consultants and freelancers, expect to get your hands dirty by trading your time for money. As you learn and grow, you should find ways to automate your work or build templates so your clients can do the work themselves (information products!). This is how you can scale and maximize profitability.