In this article, were going to be talking about seven profitable business ideas that you can start this year. Each one of these ideas has also been curated to take into consideration the current state of the world, which is that many experts think that we might be heading into a period of slow growth for the economy. That’s due to all the issues with inflation, supply chain, interest rates, and more.
Some of the ideas that we’ll go over in this article will be focused on essential services and consumer staples that are going to be good for any type of economy. I fully believe that if you guys can start a business in a slower economy, you can be even more successful when things are going good as well.
There are endless opportunities out there, as long as you are willing to work for them and be creative. So with that being said, let’s get right into it with the first business idea, and that is
1. Bookkeeping For Small Businesses
There are over 31 million small businesses in the united states, and they all need to file their taxes at the end of the year. They’re going to have a hard time doing this unless they have a bookkeeper. Bookkeeping is a business that’s going to be essential no matter the state of the economy. As transactions occur in a small business, a bookkeeper records them and categorizes expenses and income appropriately.
At the end of each month, typically, a bookkeeper will send a profit and loss statement, a balance sheet, and a cash flow statement to their client. Now, this is important because, at the end of the tax quarter or the tax year, the client will then take these books or these reports and file their taxes. Typically, people will spare no expense when it comes to their taxes and bookkeeping, so this is a great business to start because you will be in demand.
How to Get Started
What I would do first is to take a few free courses on YouTube, there are so many tutorials that can teach you bookkeeping from a-z. I would then take an online certification course, QuickBooks has many different certifications that you can do from home. Or you could take the formal financial accounting course from Coursera offered by the University of Illinois, that’s a 10-hour course that grants you a certificate just for completing it.
You want to make sure you’re confident in your bookkeeping skills before you start reaching out to clients. Now, you don’t need certifications especially if you’re some bookkeeping wiz, but it can definitely help you sell yourself better. Once you feel comfortable keeping books, you can approach small businesses in your local area and start offering your services, or you can list yourself as a freelancer on a freelance website like upwork.
The best method in my opinion would be to find a local business that’s willing to try you out for a month or two. That way, you can also build your business through word-of-mouth referrals.
You can typically charge between $30 and $60 an hour for these services, and the beauty of bookkeeping is that you’ll usually front-load the work for a new client. That front-loaded work will typically take three to five hours to set up a new client, but then it’s just maintenance work of categorizing expenses and generating reports on a monthly basis.
Not to mention, it’s a great skill to have if you ever want to own your own business, and it can start to show up in all parts of life.
2. Content Creator
This business is for those people that spend a lot of time on social media, and consuming content online. With the average Tik-Tok user watching the app for over an average of 89 minutes per day in 2021 and over 1 billion hours of watch time per day, that’s consumed on YouTube, becoming a content creator is one business you can start with just your smartphone.
It’s not the easiest business to start, but this could be one of those life-changing businesses for someone, and it potentially has no cap to earnings. For example, a friend of mine has a YouTube channel that has brought in around $50,000 in just the first five months of 2022. It wasn’t always this way, but here’s what you need to do to get started. Since you need to build a following, the easiest way to do this is to,
Number One. Pick a Niche
Ideally, this is a niche that you are passionate about, and have more knowledge on than most other people. For my friend, it is personal finance, since he was always interested in it and a lot of our friends would come to us and ask questions about it.
Number Two. Pick a Platform
I would suggest starting on a platform that interests you the most, but my friend, he started on Tik Tok. The reason was that Tik Tok was one of the places where he could get started as quickly as possible with no professional camera equipment. Also at that time, the market wasn’t so saturated with personal finance Tik Toks, so he seized that opportunity. Other options include YouTube, Instagram reels, or even Twitter, or Pinterest.
After you’ve figured out your niche or your platform, I would advise you to go onto that platform and search for your niche content in the search bar, and see what videos are going viral and performing well. For example, if you were to search up real estate, you can find all the videos that are doing well on real estate. This will be where you can generate some of your own ideas for your own channel.
In the early days, you’ll want to take inspiration from what’s going viral and see how you can do it in your own way. The most important thing is to keep making videos, and as you make more videos you will get better and better at production, sound editing, and keeping attention. You can try to reverse engineer viral videos to see why they went viral, and apply it to your own content.
As you focus on making good content, the followers and audience should start to build and compound. Once you have an audience, you can supercharge this business with brand deals, selling your own product, affiliate links, and YouTube ad revenue. Content creation is one of the best opportunities right now, and I think in the future we’ll see even more content creators so you might as well start as soon as you can, hopefully right after this article.
3. Social Media Content Manager
Social media content manager usually helps brands and small businesses create content. You’ll help that brand come up with a content schedule, and stay relevant on the internet. Social media presence is becoming increasingly important for small businesses, and many small business owners don’t want to or don’t have the time to create content for their own businesses. This is where you can step in if you have your own social media following that you’ve built up, you can use that as part of your portfolio and pitch brands.
But otherwise, you can try to create your own niche page on Instagram or Tik Tok and grow it as much as you can. If you can build your own niche page to 10,000 followers, or have a few videos blow up, that’s exactly all that you need to show brands that you’ve been successful on social media before.
How to Blow up Videos
In order to blow up videos, I would spend a lot of time on Instagram, and Tik Tok, follow some of the most engaging brands on those platforms to see what type of posts do well, and try to figure out why they did. Well, oftentimes going viral on Tik Tok comes down to a specific formula. There’s usually a really good scroll stopper or hook in the first three seconds, and then the remainder of the video either tells a story or keeps the viewer watching.
Once you figure out how to do this, you can post your services on Upwork, or hit up small businesses that you see on your social media, and ask them if they’re looking for a content manager. I know a friend who manages six brands, that’s her full-time job. She’s able to charge $1,250 to $1,750 per client per month to schedule Instagram posts about four times a week, and then come up with one Tik Tok a week. She’s now making over $12,000 a month just doing this across all those brands.
Related: How To Make Money With Instagram | Earn $33 Per Post (Practical Guide)
It’s not really a bad gig if you’re able to create content quickly or even better have the brand provide you with creative assets. You also do need to be highly organized, so if you aren’t that type of person, this may be more of a challenge but still doable.
The next business is one of my favorite businesses on this list because it’s not a sexy one, but it’s going to be needed in any type of economic condition. And that is the
4. Lawn Mowing Business
The beauty of mowing lawns is that number one, you can get started with little to zero capital especially if you have an existing lawn mower. And number two, I think it’s an easy service to market in your local community, you can go around posting flyers about your services. Especially on community billboards next door, or hitting up your neighbors and starting from there. There are plenty of guides on YouTube on how to start a lawn care business, but in the beginning, you’ll want to stick to only lawns.
This is the key because many clients are going to ask you for more than just cutting lawns such as landscaping, but you want to keep it simple in the beginning especially if you want to turn it into a business in the future. The more complexity you add to a business, the more that you have to be hands-on. However, if you’re able to figure out a system just for mowing lawns, eventually you may be able to outsource the person who actually mows the lawns. And then you can work on finding new clients instead.
let me let you guys in on a secret, grass always grows, you read that right. That’s the beauty of a lawn care business because you are going to immediately have repeat and recurring customers. Because within a week or two, those lawns can be cut again. Recurring revenue like this is so powerful because each client that you sign on, their lifetime value, or the amount of value that they provide to you over the course of them being your client will be absolutely incredibly high.
Instead of charging $50 to mow someone’s lawn once, you’d rather be able to charge them 12 to 20 different times a year at $50 per mow. Not only that, if you end the year with 50 clients, it’s not like you have to start from zero the next year, you still have those 50 clients. So that when you go and get 50 more in year two, your customer base is always growing and compounding on each other.
5. Start a Business That Leverages Food or Beverage
In a bad economy, people still need to eat and drink no matter what, so you know that you’re always going to have a customer base there. Now, I’m not saying to go out and start a restaurant, but there are plenty of other ways to monetize a food business for low startup costs if you think a little bit outside the box.
For example, you could buy a vending machine and find a location to place it in, or buy a used vending machine where the seller sells it to you “on location”. That means that the vending machine is already there and ready for business, but you’re just basically buying it from the existing owner. Most vending machines placed in a decent location can get you around $150 to $175 per week.
From the vending machine owners I’ve talked to in the past, and assuming a profit margin of 60% on the goods inside the vending machine, that’s around $100 a week in income that you can be netting from just one vending machine.
Another food type business is to leverage an existing recipe that you might have, for example, Jams and Jellies that you could create at home and bottle yourself. At-home jarring machines are pretty inexpensive, and on top of this, customers tend to view jams from large brands as less nutritious and containing more preservatives. That gives you the small business owner a leg up on the competition.
In terms of marketing your jam, you can post on your neighborhood websites, or your local bulletin board, and eventually apply to your local farmers markets as well. The other reason I like food businesses is because of recurring revenue. Once the food has been eaten, you’ll likely have repeat customers so long as the product was tasty.
If you haven’t yet, make sure to check out my article on passive income ideas, that’s where one of the ideas was
6. Writing for Medium
Today’s freelance writer is slightly different though, becoming a freelance writer involves editing, copywriting, writing searchable blog posts for businesses and brands, and even some social media marketing work in the form of emails. Every business needs content to populate their web pages with, and what’s great about freelance writing is that you can work on your own schedule and earn what you want.
The more that you write, the more money that you can make. Content prices vary wildly, but according to Ellen McCain, a blogger that details her freelance writing journey, she was able to make $100 for an 800-word blog post, and she scored that gig only two months after she decided to be a freelance writer.
A big appeal of writing is that you get paid to learn new things, and you’ll gain business through word-of-mouth referrals. As your portfolio grows and you put your portfolio online, many small businesses will start to reach out to you so long as you’re putting out good content.
There are some cons to this business, however, which include the fact that you have to be a self-motivated person, the income can be kind of inconsistent, and it can get lonely since you don’t really have any co-workers. However, freelance writing is a skill that will always be in demand, and if you do write a good article, sometimes you can adapt that article for Medium where you could earn even more money passively.
The key to this business though is to find and source a product that you think will do well online marketed via social media. This is probably the hardest business to start out on our entire list, but it’s also the most rewarding if you can get it right.
How to do This
First, I would start by scrolling on Tik Tok and Instagram until I found an interesting enough product with a unique angle that solved a specific pain point. Once I have identified the product, I’m going to be looking for all the suppliers of this particular product, contacting them, and seeing if I can get this product either shipped to me at cost or dropshipped to my end consumer.
When I say at cost, I just mean basically straight from the supplier which is a lot cheaper than retail prices. The other thing you have to do is to study what makes an e-commerce store successful, in terms of its website design and how they market the product.
There are a ton of YouTube channels out there that are super helpful in starting an e-commerce store for beginners. If you just do a quick search of e-commerce tutorials on YouTube, you’ll find a ton of information on the full steps you need to take to get started.
But essentially, the business model works like this.
1. You’re going to source a product.
2. You’re gonna get the product directly from the supplier.
3. You want to market the product in a way so that you can sell the product to a wide variety of people with the added margin.
As long as you’re spending less than your markup and running the business, you can make it work. This is easier said than done but in the beginning, you will probably lose money until you sell enough units.
There’s a lot of money to be made by creating businesses even in a slow economy, I hope that this article inspires you to create a business. And if you end up starting a business, let me know how it’s going by leaving a comment in the comment section below. Peace and Happy Hustling!