Everyone wants to be independent, at least to some degree. And if you’re here, that means that you wish for that too.
But how can you go from being confined to your job, or even without one, to running a business at your own will?
One sure thing is that you need a business idea.
If you are starting with little or no capital, then you’ll most likely need to start small.
But there are so many small business ideas out there, so how can you identify which of those ideas not only sound good but are profitable?
In this post, I have put together 45 profitable business ideas that you can consider doing in 2020, but first, I’ll show you how to analyze a business idea to determine its potential for success.
Analyzing the Success Potential of a Business Idea
There are many “awesome-sounding” business ideas out there, but sadly, not all of them turn out as expected.
There are several factors that you should consider when choosing a business to start. But we’ll focus on the three main factors.
Let’s begin with the first.
Before starting any business, you need to figure out who is interested in the products or services that you will be selling.
Ask yourself this question- “Who are my potential customers?”
When you have clearly defined your target market, then you need to move on to the next step, which is to know them better.
To find out more about your target market, you need to carry out market research.
This market research will show you the size, demographics, and other more specific information about your potential customers that can help you satisfy them better.
But it doesn’t even stop there.
Analyzing the information you get from the market research shows you the viability of your business. Cool right?
It is also important to mention that while researching your target market, you should look at not only the current information but also the trends over time.
Because the trends help you to predict the direction that the business is moving in, i.e., if the business has a higher chance at success or failure.
For instance, if you have a small market that is declining in size over time, then that might be an indicator that the possibilities of business success are decreasing.
If the trends show that the market size is growing positively over time, then it indicates increasing possibilities for business success.
Knowing your target market is very important, especially when starting a small business.
So don’t bother too much if it’s taking a lot of your time. That’s okay because it is one of the most important parts of planning your business and predicting its chances of success or failure.
What should you look out for when doing market research?
- The size of the market population.
- The age structure of the target market.
- The locations and geographical concentrations of your market.
- The significant changes in market trends and the innovations that the target market is adapting to.
This leads us to the next significant success/failure analysis factor.
So if you want to start a new business, there are chances that several people have already thought of the same idea as you.
That’s why you need to find out who your competition is.
How many people are already in the business that you are thinking of embarking on? Where are they located?
Find out the authority of your competition and their market shares. As a small business, how easy will it be to gain a significant market share?
Are there gaps in your competitors’ business that you can fill with your business’ services or products? If yes, then that’s a business opportunity for you and an indicator that your business can work.
But what if there are already several people in the business?
For sure, breaking into the market will be more challenging. Generally, it’s easier to go for a business that has relatively low competition.
However, here’s the good news.
By identifying the unique benefits that your business can offer your target market, you can significantly differentiate your business from that of your competitors.
What does all this mean and how does it predict business success or failure.
It means that with a Unique Selling Point (USP), your business has higher chances of success no matter what the competition is.
Giving your business a unique signature in the mind of customers goes a long way in ensuring the success of your business.
Share your unique story that resonates with your market and let them know how you can help them. Build a reputation that you always want to be known for and stand by your business’ principles.
When customers trust your business, they will patronize it more frequently.
Estimated Costs/Profits and Breakeven:
Although satisfying your customers is tremendously essential for the success of your business, making a profit equally is.
So, in analyzing the viability of a business idea, you need to find out the startup costs and the possibility of covering the costs over time.
If the business idea that you have is one requires a lot of time for the costs to be covered, then it may not be a good indicator for business success.
Why do I say this?
Let’s think of it this way. If the business isn’t making any profit (because the costs are yet to be covered), you still have to keep it running till it does.
The longer it takes to cover the initial costs, the longer you will be running at a loss, making no profit.
If this continues for too long, you may not be able to keep up with the running costs without external help, leading to business failure.
So before implementing a small business idea, think of how long it will take to cover the initial costs.
45 Most Profitable Business Ideas for 2020.
After doing the right analysis of any business idea, it stands a better chance at succeeding and making you good profits.
But of course, hard work, integrity, and research are vital in building any successful business.
Bearing all of this in mind, here are 45 successful small business ideas that you can start in 2020.
Many online platforms allow you to offer freelance services. Some platforms that you can try out are; Fiverr, Upwork, and Freelancer.
Freelancing enables you to sell services to clients based on your skills and interests and the demands of the client.
Every business faces competition, and for freelancing, it is no different. There will be other freelancers competing with you for projects and clients, but there is enough room for you to make sales and stand out.
There are a variety of skills or requirements needed for you to succeed at freelancing, and the skills you need are determined by the type of service you are offering.
What services can you sell on freelancing platforms?
- Writing: With the growing amount of online businesses, the need for content creators is similarly increasing.
This is an opportunity for you if you have profound writing or editing skills.
There are lots of opportunities for writing on freelancing platforms. So if you have excellent writing skills, some services you can offer are; blog post writing, copywriting, proofreading, and lots more.
- Graphic Design: Another highly demanded service on freelancing platforms is graphic design. The average hourly salary of a freelance graphic designer is $27 , which is not bad at all. Needless to say that as you grow in experience, your hourly wage increases as well.
- Photography: You can also sell high-quality photography services to clients.
Some services that you can sell are; photo editing, working as a hired photographer, or even selling photos in a particular niche, say, beauty and makeup.
As an average freelancer, you can make as much as $39,000 annually, working 36 hours per week, which is not a bad annual wage for a start.
Freelancing is worthwhile and still pays off in 2020, and if it is something that you see yourself doing, then, by all means, go for it.
Dropshipping and E-commerce:
There are lots of popular online e-commerce stores like Amazon and Shopify. You can sell a variety of products on these online stores and let them handle shipping and delivery for you.
Sounds cool, right? And it is.
But what’s even more cool is that you can start your own e-commerce store and sell unique products, giving you more control of profits.
To learn more about starting an e-commerce business, check this out.
Having an online store is a neat way to make money online independently and a good business idea for you, especially if you have a targeted audience.
Although building products is a sure way to make money as a small business, not everyone has the time or resources to make products.
This is where affiliate marketing comes into play.
Promoting others’ products is also a great way to make money online and build a small business.
Affiliate marketing is basically about recommending products to people that trust you, so you should promote only products that you genuinely recommend.
Promoting terrible products to your audience easily breaks their trust in your recommendations, and they’ll probably never come back for more of your suggestions.
You can get outstanding commissions ranging from a few dollars to thousands of dollars by doing affiliate marketing.
These are websites that are loaded with information.
The anticipated members have to pay a fee to get access to the valuable content on the website.
Owning a membership website is an excellent way of making money online if you have a valuable idea or skill to share with your targeted audience.
The success of your membership website lies in the value you provide to your members and the reviews they give about your website.
To learn how to create a membership website, check out this post.
Similar to membership websites, online courses are a great way to make money online.
You could make a digital course and sell it on platforms like Udemy and Coursera.
Or better still, you can sell your courses on your website.
Selling courses on your website gives you more control of your courses and the revenue you make from them than selling them on third-party platforms.
Learn how to make an awesome online course here.
Fashion, business, sports. There are lots of topics you can blog about.
Anything is okay with the proper research, of course. However, it’s best to choose more specific niches so you can reach a more targeted audience.
By owning a website, you can share ideas with your unique audience.
There are a vast number of ways that you can earn money on your website -ranging from Ads to selling digital and physical products.
Blogging gives you more freedom and helps you connect more reliably with your audience.
Find out how to build a successful blog here.
In 2020, the demand for website development is still going strong.
Many people want to take their ideas or businesses online. If you have the skills to help them do this, then you can get good pay for it. That’s for sure.
So, how can you turn your web development skills into a profitable small business?
You can offer personalized web design services or set up a web development agency to design and build websites for clients.
You could also make useful consultations and recommendations to help them kickstart their website.
Sell homemade products:
Do you have a hobby in making creative, home-crafted products? Then It’s time to convert this hobby to a money-making machine.
It all boils down to targeting the right audience and offering them genuine help with a problem using the product you make.
With a good website and some samples, you’re pretty much ready to go.
Some examples of home-crafted products that you can sell are knits, homemade soap, or anything creative and homemade that can effectively solve people’s problems.
No doubt, planning events is stressful.
Lots of people are willing to pay for some extra help in planning and making arrangements for events.
Below, you can see the search trend for event planners within five years.
The search trend shows that the demand for event planners is generally stable for five years.
So if planning and organizing is your thing, then this is a great business idea that you can consider turning into your business.
If you have a knack for graphic design, then there are a lot of opportunities for you.
You can make personal consultations with customers or set up a graphic design agency that can help clients design logos, banners, flyers.
Although graphic design is becoming more and more popular over the years, the demand for outstanding graphic designers is still high. So it remains one of the best business ideas that you can try out.
There are lots of online courses that can help you build this on-demand skill and claim this business opportunity.
Wanna learn how to start your own graphic design business? Check out this article.
Make custom Tees and Mugs:
Lots of people are willing to buy custom mugs and tee shirts, especially on trending topics or whatever interests them.
This is where targeting an audience comes into play.
Find out what your audience loves, and if you’re going for something more general, find out what is trending or simply find an amazing, relatable, but broad design.
A camera, along with some photography and editing skills, can do wonders in turning your small photography idea into a successful business.
There are many ways that you can make turn photography/videography into a small business. One way to do this is by selling your photos or videos to stock photography websites.
You can get high commissions from selling photos. Also, you can turn this into a business by selling your photography/videography services in freelancer.
Another cool way to transform this into a business is by selling your pictures directly on your website or by offering photography/videography services outside freelancing platforms (could also be on your site).
Electronic Device Repairs:
Electronic devices require the services of a device repairer when they develop faults or get broken.
Many people need help in fixing their devices. So if you have the skill of repairing devices, then this will be a good business idea to consider going into.
Electronic device repair has a broad target market both on the web and locally. So, there are lots of opportunities for success in this small business idea.
To start a device repair business, you can set up a repair shop or work at home. The startup costs involved are reasonable and affordable for a small business.
Do you have a passion for helping people achieve their physical fitness goals?
This might be an excellent opportunity for a small business.
Working as a personal trainer may require a license but remains an excellent business opportunity even in 2020 as people are continually trying to achieve better fitness. Take a look at the trends below. (personal trainer)
If you like to motivate others, know how to get them where you are, and want to help them get where you are, then this is a business idea that you should definitely look into.
Many people love cooking, but if you have exceptional talent at it, then you should consider being a private chef for a specific audience.
Although not many people are willing to pay for a private chef, a few are. Those that are willing to pay can pay a reasonable price for a professional chef and good quality food.
This business idea can be successful if you have a website that properly showcases your work and makes it easy for prospective clients to contact you.
Just like a personal chef, although not everyone is willing to pay for this service, a few are.
Those that are willing to pay often have fitness goals or medical requirements. They usually won’t mind paying a reasonable amount for sound professional advice on diets and the appropriate meals that best fit their needs.
To become a professional diet consultant, you will require a certificate. However, you can simply give valuable advice based on your personal experiences and what worked for you.
You can give diet advice to different groups, as previously hinted.
Some people who may appreciate this service are;
- People on a weight loss journey,
- People who have medical requirements such as; new moms, people who are recovering from sickness,
- People with specific health issues like diabetes or other health issues.
Vegetarians and vegans could also need this service. So, there are lots of opportunities for this business idea.
Creating a website showing your portfolio and possibly testimonials of people you’ve helped is a perfect way to attract customers to your business.
Babysitting and Daycare services:
Busy schedules, heavy workload, and stress are problems that many parents face.
This is where child care services come into play.
These services range from babysitting to running a daycare. A license may be required. With the increasing demand for child care services, this business idea has a high possibility of success.
This is a sensitive field, so, to own a daycare center, a license is required. However, as a home-based daycare, a license may or may not be necessary.
Read this article to know the difference between a licensed and unlicensed daycare.
Social Media Manager:
Many businesses are taking their profiles online.
This is why there is an increasing demand for social media managers.
The good news here is that all you need is experience and, of course, positive results over time.
Taking this idea from an independent small business approach, you can set up a digital agency that takes care of clients’ social media.
As always, although testimonials help, you can begin by sharing your results or by showing your credibility through the certificates from the courses you have previously taken.
But I would say that results matter more than certification. At least it matters more to clients.
You can find neat courses on social media managing on many platforms like Udemy and Coursera.
Also, if you feel that you have a lot of unique information to share, you could make courses that teach social media management.
Do you have lots of creative ideas for what furniture could potentially look like? Then you should consider starting a furniture design business.
Furniture design may start as a small business but has enormous opportunities for success and expansion.
Your potential customers may be furniture-making businesses. There are several furniture-making businesses, and so, creative and innovative ideas will be highly appreciated and paid heavily for.
Just like I’ve repeatedly mentioned, getting a good website to showcase some of your designs is an awesome way to attract high paying clients. The good news is that this does not necessarily require a license of any sort. Your creativity and the ability to express it will be enough.
Find out how to become a furniture designer here.
Just like creating custom mugs and tees, making creative wallpaper art is a good business idea that you can start in 2020.
If you are good at art or graphic design tools like photoshop, then you can potentially create beautiful wallpaper art.
There are many ways you can turn this idea into a profitable small business.
One way to do this is by selling these designs to wallpaper companies or stock photo libraries. Another way is by selling the pictures on your website as printable digital products or as wallpapers that can be shipped.
If you don’t want to handle shipping yourself, then you can consider dropshipping (sell these products to an established online store that will handle shipping for you).
Pest Control Services:
Unfortunately, lots of people deal with pests in their homes or offices.
This is why pest control services remains high in demand making this a good business idea to start even in 2020.
Good testimonials and high ratings will make your business more reliable to clients, so strive to offer outstanding services to your existing customers.
As always, a website is an excellent way of giving your business more publicity, accessibility, and credibility :-).
People need storage space for a vast number of things and for different amounts of time.
Some people may need storage for a few years and others for just a couple of days or weeks.
Also, what they need the storage for differs.
A good business idea would be to rent out space for people’s different needs.
No license is needed, but the security of people’s stuff should be guaranteed, and proper terms and conditions in case of any occurrences should be put in place.
Insurance is a good idea in a business like this.
Printing and design services:
Postcards, flyers, wedding invitations, business cards, and so on. These are things that a printing business can offer to clients.
And while this might seem like an already dense competition business idea, you can easily stand out in many ways.
However, you are not limited to paper printing. Instead, you can go ahead to print other stuff like t-shirts, mugs, wallpapers, and even socks.
What is a game console without games?
But new game releases can get quite expensive.
This is why a video game rental shop will be a successful business, especially in a place where there is a considerable market for video game players.
With a clearly defined market for video game players, not only will you make a profit from game rentals, but your customers will be grateful too.
Because who doesn’t like lower prices?
Also, you can set up a game shop and allow people to play right there in your shop.
This is an excellent alternative for people who don’t have consoles. So, it is a profitable business idea that you can look into in 2020.
Virtual reality is also becoming a big deal. Although the costs may be high initially, VR is an exciting experience that everyone wants to try.
So setting up a VR game shop is a good small business idea that you can try out.
Weight loss center:
Weight loss is a trend that has been and will continue to be relatively consistent.
Because there is never a point in time that people don’t want to improve on their weight or anything else that causes some sort of emotional or physical discomfort.
As humans, we are continually looking for ways to improve.
The trends for weight loss show that at the beginning of every year, people set goals to lose weight, and their enthusiasm falls as the year goes by.
At the end of the year, there is almost no quest for weight loss. We could assume that people either met their goals, gave up, or are saving up their energy for a stronger attempt in the new year.
So how can this be a good business idea for you, and how can you utilize this information?
The trends show that the market size for weight loss increases at the beginning of every year.
So starting a weight loss center early on in the year to help people achieve their goals is genuinely helpful to these people and hence, profitable.
You may not need a license for this. But you can get a certificate online just to improve your credibility.
Usually, if you were able to lose weight yourself, and you have valuable information to help others lose weight, that’s enough to bring quality customers to you.
This idea might seem old because there are websites that offer weight loss tips and courses.
However, a weight loss center remains profitable because some people would preferably go to a weight loss center than take courses online.
If you are having a hard time getting a location for a weight loss center, then you can give home services for a start. All that matters is the value that you add to your customers.
Once in a while, we all want to treat ourselves with some homemade snacks, it never gets old.
Owning a snack shop remains a good business idea all year round.
A small shop with few tables and chairs for people to chat as they consume their snacks will be a great idea to attract new customers.
If you are an expert in any field, then personal consultation is one of the best small business ideas that you can consider in 2020.
As I mentioned earlier in this post, you need to know your target customers and your competition. How can you help them strategize and plan to meet their goals?
If you give high-quality and valuable expert advice, then your competition will not be much of a problem for you.
Also, your unique way of consulting will set you out as different. You have to communicate what makes you any different from your competitors to your customers.
Starting a consulting business is not unachievable. With several online resources, you can kickstart your consulting business.
Coaching and Mentoring:
Both coaching and mentoring are similar to consulting.
To be a business coach, some questions to ask yourself are:
- Can you help clients to develop their skills further and bring out the best in them?
- Can you help them develop their purpose and motivate them?
- Can you support them in implementing their action plans?
If you are looking to help people achieve their goals and for more extended periods, then coaching or mentoring is a good business idea for you.
Find out the differences between coaching and consulting here.
Teach a skill:
Do you have a skill that people would love to learn?
If you have makeup design, graphics design, art, programming, or any other creative skill, then teaching this skill is a good small business idea that you can try out.
You can teach this in person or make an online course that you can sell on your website or platforms like Udemy or Coursera.
If you enjoy cooking and you like the idea of a restaurant, then you should consider the food truck idea.
Not only does it help you save building or renting costs, but it is also mobile, and so it enables you to reach a wider audience.
House cleaning services:
Not everyone has the patience to or time to do a thorough house cleaning.
So if you find that you have the ability to do so, then this business idea might just be the right fit for you.
Many people are extremely busy and simply don’t have the time to do a proper house cleaning.
So, offering high-quality, affordable house cleaning services to people like this will result in a profitable business venture.
Offering laundry services is a small business idea that still works in 2020.
You can offer pickup and delivery as well to add extra value to your customers.
Laundry services do not require a license, but good testimonials are the key to success in this business.
Let your primary aim be to satisfy your customers by giving impeccable laundry services.
If you are interested in starting a laundry business, check out this article.
Interior design and decoration:
Christmas time, baby showers, retirement parties, and wedding bashes.
Special times like these require unique decorations and special talents or skills.
So if you have creative designs and the right skills to help you make these designs, people will be willing to pay a considerable price to get your services.
With the right skills and tools, you can make a successful and profitable business out of your tailoring hobby or interest.
People are willing to pay reasonable amounts for a perfect design and size of clothing made just for them. There are many ways to make a successful business out of tailoring.
One way to do this is by making custom designs for people based on their specific requirements. You could also make several clothing designs in different sizes which you can sell to interested people.
Tailoring doesn’t require any special license, so with the right skills and equipment, you should be ready to go.
People move all the time; to new homes, new offices, or moving bulky items from place to place.
If you’re looking for a good small business idea to start, you could consider starting a moving service.
If you have a passion for driving, and you tend to be careful and competent, then offering driving services will be a great business idea for you to start.
Check out the requirements of a personal driver here (https://www.betterteam.com/personal-driver-job-description).
Beauty and makeup:
Do you have a passion for makeup? Do you know how to give people their dream looks? Then you should consider starting a beauty and makeup business.
Good reviews are essential, as well as showing your works. Much equipment or tools are not needed, and customers may bring their makeup equipment too. So the startup costs are relatively low.
Home services can also be given to eliminate rental costs.
Can you plan a complete trip at lower prices? Accommodation costs, available events, and finding cheap flight tickets are often a problem for travelers.
If you know how to find the right travel deals and save costs for your clients, then they’ll be more than happy to work with you continually.
Find out what your clients’ goals are and work to help them achieve them. Do they want affordable accommodation, information on places they can visit, or discounted flight tickets?
Grooming pets can be very stressful and time-consuming, especially when the pets are furry and fluffy.
If you have a passion for grooming these furry friends and it comes naturally to you, then it might just be the right business for you.
You could offer your pet grooming services in a rented space or at home. Offering pet grooming services may require a license and some experience and skill.
Lots of people are undecided on the career path to embark on.
If you can help them pick the right career and guide them through the decision-making process, they will be happy to pay you for such valuable information and support.
This business requires a license which can be obtained online.
By meeting the requirements needed to be an advisor, you can pursue this highly demanded business opportunity and provide value for your clients.
Can you make shoes look as good as new?
Many people would rather fix their shoes than buy brand new ones if they are repairable.
Who doesn’t wanna save some extra cash?
So if you have excellent shoe repairing skills, then this is a good business opportunity for you as the demand for this service is consistent throughout the year.
Many people don’t have the time or equipment to give their cars a thorough cleaning.
If you have both the time and equipment to add value to customers by providing a high-quality cleaning service for their cars, then you can potentially transform this idea into a business that offers services that the customers are willing and grateful to pay for.
Exam tutoring is a service that is always high in demand because a lot of people want to perform well.
There are lots of sites that give you opportunities to teach online. You can also teach people in person.
If you’re a trained tutor on a particular exam or had outstanding scores and can share your tips, then you may consider offering tutoring services to help people prepare for their exams.
Another top small business idea is catering services.
Quality food is needed at most events, and the hosts are willing to pay to receive this.
If you have a flair for cooking, then catering may be a good fit for you. A license may be required to run this kind of business.
Special catering materials are needed for the establishment of this business too.
You should be able to estimate the size of the people that will be served and make cost-effective plans based on that information.
If you find that you can naturally keep people entertained, then this might just be an excellent opportunity to turn this hobby into a profession and a business.
Make provisions for people to make bookings with you for events.
There are lots of opportunities to start a small business in 2020 but it often gets confusing. Hopefully, this post has given you some ideas that you could consider.
If you found the post helpful kindly share.
Is there anything I missed out? Let me know below.
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Esther Alu, the Founder of TheAceBusiness.com is an entrepreneur who writes step-by-step guides for starting several business ideas. She is constantly learning and discovering effective ways to help her readers launch and grow successful businesses.