Best Business Ideas to Make Money: 5 Startups You Can Do
It will take some time and training, but here are 5 business ideas that can make you good money, and that you can run yourself:
- Create a Software or Mobile App Development Company
- Start Your Own Small Business Accounting Firm
- Build a Graphic Design Business
- Open a Law Practice
- Run Your Own Real Estate Agency
1. Create a Software or Mobile App Development Company
It takes skills in both design and modern programming languages, but building a software or app can be a profitable venture. Unlike the old days of product development, making thousands of copies of your product costs about the same as making just one.
Where to start and what to build are the common questions for entrepreneurs interested in software development. But if you’re serious about it, chances are you’ve noticed a hole in the market – something that existing software or apps don’t currently provide to their customers that you can capitalize on. If you have the idea, but not the skills, you could train to be a software engineer, or hire one.
You’ll also want to make sure your product can run on multiple operating platforms. You’ll need some business savvy including marketing skills. However, if you don’t have this knowledge, then hire these specialists later, when you’re farther into the development and you can start to see your software or app come together. What you can do at the beginning is search out and consult other software or app developers for tips based on their experiences in this field. That might save you time during the development phase.
Startup costs can be low, depending on the idea. It’s impossible to say how much money you’ll make, but if you’re successful (if you tap into that hole in the market previously mentioned, or just build an app that does something better than the competitors) then the profits can be considerable.
2. Start Your Own Small Business Accounting Firm
Going into business as an accountant can be a very rewarding career, both personally and financially.
Typically, accountants oversee and work in the following areas:
- Data Management
- Financial Analysis and Consultation
- Financial Reports
- Regulatory Compliance
There are no standard set of requirements for those wishing to undertake or transition into a career in the accounting industry, but it is recommended that you at least have a degree in accounting (liking math also helps a lot). Accounting software skills are definitely a must.
You’ll also want to decide whether you want to take the next step and become a CPA, or “Certified Public Accountant”.
A CPA is at a much higher level than an accountant. A CPA designation is earned after completing specific educational and work requirements and passing a complex four-part exam. The requirements to become a CPA are different from state to state, however, upon obtaining the designation, a CPA is allowed to perform certain duties that regular accountants cannot. To remain certified, a CPA will also have to keep up with continuing education courses every year.
Many CPAs also specialize, and there’s a number of areas in which they can do so, here are a few:
- Forensic Accounting
- IT Auditing
- Taxation specialization
- Personal Financial Planning
- Managerial Accounting
Although it will take more time to become a CPA than an accountant, CPAs are regarded as experts in the field and earn much higher annual salaries than regular accountants.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is a federal agency whose duties include measuring labor market activity, the 2017 median pay for an accountant is $69,350 per year. These figures are based on an annual wage for all workers in the accounting field.
According to the Journal of Accountancy, the average salary of a CPA in the United States in 2017 was $119,000. This figure does not include bonuses or other benefits.
3. Build a Graphic Design Business
A graphic designer is a creative professional who creates or assembles images, type and motion graphics into a design, often for the purposes of being used in an advertisement. Graphic Designers often work with marketers and producers, who write the copy and provide the creative direction for the project. A designer is usually given a style guide for the company they are producing the ad for, which gives the designer background on the required colors, fonts, and brand voice that should be used in the ad (“brand voice” is the way a company talks to its customers).
With the explosion in the amount of blogs and commercial websites being built today, there is a real demand for graphic designers out there. So, no, you don’t have to have a degree, just a certain level of creative skill and ability with design software that will satisfy clients. As with many other fields today, you can do this job at home if you have the proper tools. In fact, many graphic designers will only operate this way, they won’t take clients if they have to “go to work”.
If you’re interested in creating your own graphic design business, consider some courses to get you started. Find some reputable schools and ask recent graduate students if they recommend the programs they took.
What you’ll want to do is build up a portfolio first before you approach potential new clients, even if it’s just samples of work you created but did not sell. A portfolio is an easy way to show a potential customer what you can do. Consider taking one or two jobs for free, or at a reduced rate well below industry standard, just so you can use that work as examples for other businesses to consider hiring you.
As for income, typically freelance graphic designers are paid per job. According to Indeed.com, which is America’s highest-traffic job website, the average hourly rate for a designer is $17.63 in the United States. Indeed also notes that a senior graphic designer can make close to 60k per year.
4. Open a Law Practice
It can take on average 7-8 years in the United States to become a lawyer, and of course you will need to pass the bar exam (the bar exam is different from state to state). But once you pass the bar, you can start your own practice, be your own boss and decide on your own clients.
Making money in a law practice, once it’s established, is not difficult. In fact, lawyers receive some of the highest annual incomes in the U.S. and in many other countries. There are many areas of specialization in law, including:
- Corporate Law
- Tax Law
- Criminal Law
- Environmental Law
- Real Estate Law
- Health and Safety Law
- Estate Planning Law
- Intellectual Property Law
- Family Law
- Maritime Law
- Personal Injury Law
- Employment Law
- Immigration Law
The median pay for a lawyer in 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, was almost $120,000 per year. According to BLS, the field is expected to grow 8% from 2016 until 2026. However, it is a highly competitive industry as there are more graduates than there are jobs.
5. Run Your Own Real Estate Agency
Real Estate is a profitable but demanding business. As an agent, you are always on call. Evenings and weekends are very busy times. When not selling, typically an agent is looking for new clients. Hosting an “open house” is not just a sales tactic to find a buyer, it is an opportunity to meet new prospects. Referrals are a big part of this business too.
To become a real estate agent, you do need to obtain a license from the state you want to practice in. The requirements are different depending on where you live, for instance in New York you must complete a course that is 75 hours in duration, whereas in California it’s 135 hours. You must also pass an exam to obtain your license.
Other Considerations for Business Ideas to Make Money
Keep in mind that no matter which business you decide on, there is no reason for you to have to go at it all alone. Once you have the proper training and/or certification, you could consider going into business with a partner or partners. That way you are splitting the startup and overhead costs, which will make it easier on you financially. As the company grows and gets more clients, you can then start to hire more people specifically to manage the overflow of work.