Start Your Next Entrepreneurial Effort

As an entrepreneur, you always have thousands of ideas in your head. Deciding which one to implement is always a challenge. The key to deciding which idea to turn into a reality lies in your interests. Start a business that you will enjoy working on everyday.

A fatal flaw of would-be entrepreneurs is not taking the time to focus on a certain idea. You won’t have the ability or time to work on multiple ideas at once. Though some believe in multitasking, starting multiple businesses at once can turn into a nightmare.

If you’re a millennial entrepreneur, the key part of the puzzle could be finding a business to start in order to avoid getting a job. For Brent Thomas and Jack Pantalena, this lead to the inspiration for their hit game, Millennials — where, in Russian Roulette style, players try not to get a job (card) in search of something more millennial.

To get started, follow the three insights Thomas and Pantalena used to get their card game off the ground.

1. Gauge audience feedback.
A new idea should rarely be kept a secret. An audience’s reaction is far more valuable than the potential secrecy, especially when you’re in the validation stages of figuring out which one of your ideas to work on.

Some key questions to think about when gauging an audience include:

How do they respond when first told about your idea?
Are they asking questions or trying to push the conversation towards a new topic?
Do they have follow-up questions or simply wish you well on your endeavor?
Any audience can be a potential customer, and their reaction can be used to help narrow your focus on one project or another.

If you’ve gotten a solid amount of interest for an idea, it’s time to make a prototype. A prototype is a minimum viable representation of what your product will do. For Millennials (the game), Thomas talks about putting together the first prototype deck with Google images, paper and duct tape. Though the cards they made were a very rough draft, the sample cards were able to be played and shown to friends and family, which encouraged them to push forward with the idea after seeing their reactions.

2. Become a “jack of all trades.”
Having a primary skill like programming, marketing or sales is part of an entrepreneur’s foundation. These are the skills that led all of us to be entrepreneurs, but having just one skill isn’t enough to succeed.

When starting your project, you need to be willing to get hands on with your idea to move it in the right direction. Thanks to resources like Youtube and others available on the internet, the ability to learn every aspect of your next project is possible. From website design to marketing, manufacturing and even shipping, entrepreneurs should be willing to tackle any obstacle their company faces.

3. Don’t let competition scare you.
Just because an idea already exists, doesn’t mean it has been executed properly. Every time you become frustrated with a product, piece of technology or lack thereof, you should see it as an opportunity for you to become an entrepreneur.

It is important to learn more about the competition and be able to articulate why your company will be superior. Focus on an aspect that your company will dominate. This could be customer service, ease of access or user experience. As an example, GigTown, a startup that enables people to book local musicians in a Uber like approach, focuses on creating an unbeatable user experience.

Though your head is probably full of ideas, real entrepreneurs know how to take these steps, sort through, and find the ones they want to work on. Not all ideas are equal, and the scalability of your startup can be determined at an early stage. If you have an idea for a business, it’s time to take the steps to make it a startup!

Information About SEO Growth Hacking Techniques to Scale Your Business

today’s competitive market, it is almost impossible to succeed in digital marketing without having a well-visited website. Online business accounts for a huge chunk of revenue theses days, and in many niches, buyers prefer to purchase the product with either a cheaper price or best value option. If you want to get a piece of the pie, it is not enough to rely on a website with a nice interface. You must focus on growth hacking strategies, and make yourself visible to Google.

A while ago, a relatively new profession was conceived — search engine optimization (SEO). Today it’s evolved and has become a necessity for every online business. SEO empowers website owners to rank better in Google and generally, make more money in the digital landscape.

There are lot of people who use the wrong approach, concentrating on the “publish and pray approach.” But there are a few who understand that like other professions, SEO is highly technical and must be implemented with care. One of the biggest challenges is keeping up with Google’s algorithm changes. The internet as a whole is constantly evolving, and great SEO efforts are needed for a webmaster to keep up with Google’s everchanging processes.

In this article, I will walk you through three essential areas to help increase your growth rate without spending a penny on ads.

Take care of the technical aspects of SEO.
Search engine optimization needs to be part of your plan from the very beginning as there are numerous things that can go wrong with your website, preventing you from running a successful internet business.

First, you need to check your robots.txt file and robots META tags. Both of these are used to restrict Google’s access to certain files. Occasionally, webmasters may add certain pages that shouldn’t be on that list. As a result, some of the articles you have will not be indexed.

Your website architecture and XML sitemap need to be flawless. Google robots, or crawlers, will go through your web pages from time to time, and they need to have full access to certain resources. This is where technical prowess comes into play. Your website’s architecture must be designed to improve customer experience and offer easy navigation. Otherwise, both customers and Google may not notice some of your content.

Make sure to implement customer journey optimization strategies, and ensure that every piece of content on your website is oriented toward end users. Regardless of their device — desktop or mobile — users should be able to surf your landing pages easily and quickly.

Now, let’s talk about your domain as a whole. Your website needs to be registered in the country where you are conducting business. To achieve better results in local search, you should be thinking of having local domain names like .co and .uk.

On the other hand, if you are a multi-national company, or if your services are provided solely through the internet, you can go for root domain names. Everyone battles to get a .com domain, but you can choose any combination. Ranking in Google requires many other factors, and your domain name doesn’t really play a huge role in that.

One other point worth mentioning: trying to setup a dual language website may seem appealing at first, but if you are a new blogger, it is perhaps best if you start with one language.

Invest in keyword research.
Every single blog post has to be strategically created. It has to be focused around one particular term or a phrase, otherwise known as the keyword. This keyword is exactly what your users are typing in google to find you. Your effort should be towards enhancing your content with the right keyword and appearing on the first page when users search for specific keywords. Obviously, the higher your success rate in content marketing strategies, the higher your traffic and position in Google will be.

Before creating content, you have to find just the right keyword around which you will build your content. There is no reason for you to pursue keywords with low traffic or high difficulty. Instead, you will have to find phrases that have medium traffic and low difficulty or medium difficulty and high traffic. The entire procedure can be done by laymen by using Google keyword planner. General rule of thumb — focus on keywords that refer to your product, and use similar keywords to support your main objectives.

Blogs and great content matters alot.
The era of publishing great content and conquering the world is long gone. In my opinion, great content is not king anymore because there is plenty of great content on the internet, and the land of SEO cannot have that many kings. The secret relies on other factors like content marketing, content promotion strategies and other growth hacking secrets.

One of the best ways to publish and promote great content and increase your conversion rate is to have a blog. Once you set up your blog and craft your content, you must focus on building links. In other words, you have to create visual content — either in a form of videos or articles — which will then be shared by other bloggers on their own websites. In a way, this represents the passing of authority from other sources to your own website. A backlink is a sign of trust from other professionals within your industry. Regardless of the products or services that you are offering, link building is a strategy that will improve your website ranking.

However, you should be very selective when you want to choose a topic for your content. Always craft your content with your potential buyers and influencers in mind. You can setup a lead magnet and convert your vsitors to leads when they land on your blog. You can then engage with your prospective customers, and send them to your product page.

Related: How to Create a Lead Magnet That Attracts Visitors and Converts Customers

When it comes to content marketing strategies, there are certain rules to be followed. Needless to say, all your articles and videos have to be somewhat connected to whatever you’re offering. Your content needs to be informative, relevant and unique. Don’t forget to give reference to popular websites and influencers who add value to your product.

That being said, you will have to promote the content. You can improve your SEO by focusing on longer content with lots of images, links and interesting formatting and getting more links and social shares.

Obviously, email campaigns are a good way to attract visitors to your blog and increase conversion rates. On the other hand, social media is a great way to engage your potential audience. Please bear in mind that different platforms work for different business, and it is only through conducting proper research and experiments that you can find the best platform to grow your business faster than your rivals.

Some Benefits of Coworking With Strangers

Freelancers and contractor writers operate as independent entrepreneurs, but that arrangement doesn’t have to mean creating entirely in a vacuum. Gathering with other freelancers in a coworking environment can benefit professionals as well as their products. Coworking provides opportunities to observe and learn from colleagues who value their autonomy and often share other values, too.

From this perspective, it’s natural that freelancers would appreciate the synergy of a place where numerous, talented people converge in a similar space. The technology age has made it easier than ever for contractors to bring their tools with them. This enables them to work with other like-minded individuals from virtually anywhere.

If you’re thinking about moving your one-person shop to a coworking atmosphere, consider how these perks could infuse you with new ideas and elevate your current projects.

1. Networking and collaborating.
Coworking allows you the opportunity to network and collaborate with a wide range of bright minds. You might even make new friends in the process. Proximity gives you the chance to “pick the brains” of professionals in your own line of work as well as those in related fields. Freelance writers might choose to office with graphic designers, website designers, programmers and other writers whose work and insights help shape new perspectives.

2. Using tools on the go.
Many phone and web apps, software programs and other tools were designed to be especially beneficial outside of the office. Pare down to the absolute necessities while you’re on the go. Meebo can handle your chatting needs, Line2 is a helpful alternative for a land-line phone system and DropBox assures you’ll always have the files you need at your fingertips. The right tools can make all the difference in your ability to cowork successfully.

If the need arises to organize tasks among coworkers on a big project, freelance writer Christopher Jan Benitez recommends Asana or Trello. These online project-management apps enable remote team members to delegate and assign deadlines. Here are a few others to consider.

Cyfe. The business-management dashboard connects multiple apps to monitor stats and updates from a single dashboard. You can iframe Google spreadsheets, connect to email and integrate your social-media statistics.
Zoom.Us. This phone and web conference app allows you to chat with anyone and host group meetings for up to 25 people via your smartphone.
Evernote. Bloggers love this versatile tool in part for its “snip” feature. Save videos, web pages, social-media posts, articles and images — and then write your entire blog post within the app itself.
MyBlogU. I founded this collaboration platform to connect writers and editors so they could create better content for business websites.
Google Docs, Sheets, Slides and Forms. This free product suite supports collaboration by allowing multiple users to create, revise and edit documents, spreadsheets, presentations and fillable forms online. Coworkers can track versions and collect feedback.
Iflexion. This enhanced document-management platform is built for those who coordinate larger teams or manage several remote offices. The solution offers custom enterprise content-management solutions.

3. Breaking out of your comfort zone.
Working across the desk from someone with a completely different skill set can help you discover a new source of ideas. You might find your brain is starting to work in different ways, too. As online-marketing consultant Joyce Anderson puts it, taking the risk to invite others to work alongside you breathes new life into the creation process and shows in the finished product, as well.

Experienced writers who reread some of their early compositions are likely to notice mistakes or passages they would have rephrased. If that’s ever happened to you, imagine how polished and clear your work could have been if only you’d had access to your current knowledge, finesse and expertise when you first started. When you break out of your comfort zone, you’re giving yourself a chance to devise fresh solutions to existing problems. Interacting with coworkers facilities this kind of breakthrough.

Many writers are natural introverts. If you’re nervous about joining a coworking group, challenge yourself to step into the unknown. Much of what you fear is fear itself. You needn’t commit to attend every meet-up. Start small, with a gathering like Shut Up and Write. This coworking group’s main focus is providing a forum to write. Participants spend two hours together, typing blog posts or working on novel chapters. At the start of the time block and again toward its end, writers have a brief while to socialize — not more than 10 or 15 minutes, total. It’s the ideal opportunity for attendees to exercise their small-talk and networking skills.

4. Working at your own pace.
Coworking makes it possible for you to create some space between you and your clients — just enough to redirect energy to your own projects and move at your own pace. Stop devoting hours to the same interruptions and distractions that normally plague your days. Why not work in a new environment, surrounded by new people and new stimuli? Coworking can be a respite from day-to-day workplace worries about strict deadlines or clients trying to reach you at your primary location.

5. Making full use of your coworking space.
This is an ideal time to be a freelancer or solopreneur. Coworking spaces allow a startup to maintain an address for receiving packages and mail. You can rent small suites to meet with clients or find a calm room to call clients from a no-kid zone.

Sara Duggan, who coworks at HackerLab, notes her maker space supports startups by hosting an annual competition. Candidates pitch their business ideas in hopes of being selected to attend and eight-week entrepreneur boot camp.

The Sacramento Bloggers group brings in speakers to help members become at what they do. Recent topics include secrets to help separate personal and business Facebook accounts. Those who take part often get the opportunity to work with local businesses.

6. Avoiding loneliness.
Working at home can have an isolating effect after a period of time. Coworking is an easy fix. Working amidst others can lend a sense of camaraderie, even when you’re creating alongside complete strangers.

Best Business Ideas for Introverts

If you identify as an introvert and are interested in your own low-cost startup, you could be an ideal candidate for starting your own business.

Introverts are powerful in their own right. They are productive thinkers with strong opinions who can achieve great lengths. Despite what the media says — often stereotyping them as “shy” or “socially awkward” — introverts can make great business leaders and entrepreneurs. In fact, many successful business leaders are introverts, including Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Warren Buffett.

At least one-third of all Americans are introverts, says Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking and the leading voice today on lost opportunities when undervaluing introverts.

“They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over brainstorming in teams,” she says.

Here’s a list of 12 low-cost business ideas under $1,000 to get you on your way.


Image credit: Hero Images | Getty Images
Graphic designer
Startup costs: up to $1,000

Equipment: computer, design software

For highly creative and visual introverts, freelance graphic design can be a great way to make a living. With digital businesses on the rise, demand is higher than ever.

Jacob Cass is a graphic designer who started design business Just Creative in 2012. Solving clients’ business problems through visual communication such as creating logos, websites, stationery and marketing materials are only some of the many projects he undertakes on a daily basis.

“Web design can be self-taught — that’s how I learned,” Cass says. “You need to know software to do this, but most importantly you need to understand the principles of design as well as understand clients needs, not wants.”

It’s simple to get started. Cass registered his company with the government as a sole proprietorship, then began reaching out to clients. Both tasks that can be done from your computer. Other than acquiring certain software such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign, startup costs were minimal, he says.

Startup costs: up to $1,000

Equipment: computer, training courses

Detail-oriented and meticulous, introverts make excellent coders. The combination of patience and focus makes coding a great option for an introvert seeking self-employment. Because coding is such a niche skillset, there is high demand for freelance coders, and much of the work can be done from the comfort of your home.

It gets better. There is an abundance of free resources online such as Code Academy and Udemy where you can educate yourself. Also General Assembly offers one-shot classes and intensive six to 12 week training sessions online and in-class for a cost ranging from $140 to $3,500 — that’s what jumpstarted coder Yin Mei’s career.

Mei enrolled herself in a 12-week General Assembly Bootcamp where she developed the necessary skills to become a front-end developer. (Front-end development is the part of a website that you can see and interact with like fonts, drop-down menus, buttons, contact forms and other aesthetics of a site.) It requires fluency in HTML, CSS and JavaScript, plus coders should know front-end frameworks such as AngularJS and ReactJC.

To the contrary, back-end development refers to the “server-side” — basically everything you can’t see on a website. It operates the site with updates and changes made on the front-end. If it’s back-end developing you’re looking for, Java, Scala and Python are the primary languages. And don’t let those technical words scare you off.

“If you are a functional human being, you will be able to learn to code,” Mei says.

Online retail consigner
Startup costs: up to $1,000

Equipment: digital camera, computer

Passion for fashion? Or just own way too many clothes you don’t need anymore? Rather than hoarding those unused belongings in your closet — or trashing them — sell them online. Online consignment offers introverts a great opportunity to make money through a completely virtual process. Today there are a number of online platforms — such as The RealReal, Tradesy and ThredUp — specific for selling your unwanted clothing, jewelry and accessories.

Linda Lightman, an eBay seller of 15 years, built an e-consignment empire, Linda’s Stuff, which now brings in almost $25 million a year. She began her online career by simply selling her son’s old video games, eventually moving to items in her closet and later selling items for friends.

It only took passion and a can-do attitude for Lightman to start her business, which now employs 20 people in a 5,000-square-foot office space in Hatboro, Pennsylvania. “I was always so passionate about fashion and for me it was a no-brainer,” she tells Daily Mail.

Startup materials? You will need a computer and a camera to take photos of your clothing. The rest is easy. Do your research, pick a great user ID or name for your shop, using quality images and vivid descriptions of what you’re selling and providing online customer service. And once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to start selling for others too!

Instagram consultant
Startup costs: $100 to $500

Equipment: smartphone with a good digital camera

Social media doesn’t necessarily mean “social.” Many businesses today have abandoned traditional marketing methods and taken to social media networks such as the ever-popular Instagram to promote their products and services. A majority of companies may not be well-versed in this new marketing technique, which is why outsourcing an Instagram consultant is often a great option.

Instagram consultant Emelina Spinelli helps firms grow a sustainable Instagram following and influence. She’s passionate about the photo app and providing resources for others to learn about this unique and extremely popular social channel, which just hit 500 million users.

Like Spinelli, if you have a love of Instagram, knowledge of basic marketing and simply, motivation, Instagram consulting can be a great path for you. You’ll be able to monetize these skills by charging a flat rate per project or by the hour. Market and promote your services online, blog on other related sites providing free tips (don’t give all the secrets away) and, ironically, using social media channels, build a following and reach out to businesses or individuals. All of which will come with little to no startup costs.


Image credit: Hero Images | Getty Images
Writer/copy writer
Startup costs: up to $1,000

Equipment: computer

You don’t need to be a best-selling author to craft a compelling narrative. If you’ve got the drive, copywriting is a great option for many introverts. Megan Hill has been a freelance copywriter for 10 years. She’s written for a number of publications, from Upscale Living Magazine to Forbes Travel Guide.

Although freelance writing doesn’t require a formal education, it does require a certain level of motivation. Networking and marketing are key to get your name out there and pick up projects, which Hill was able to do mostly online by creating a website and social media accounts.

“[Being] driven, focused, organized and able to go with the flow,” are what it takes to become a good copywriter, Hill explains. For a writing career that exists almost entirely online, costs are minimal, she adds.

Online blogger
Startup costs: up to $1,000

Equipment: computer

Have a specific interest but don’t know how to make money from it? Blog about it!

Many successful entrepreneurs have found success in blogging. As a marketing blogger and owner of Fluxe Digital Marketing, Joel Widmer says that writing, editing, copywriting and marketing are requirements for a successful blogger. It helps to have good content marketing skills, such as knowing how to create content that will engage readers and meet your client’s goal and knowing how much content to give away — and Google analytic skills too — if you want to be a marketing blogger like Widmer.

All you really need is a computer and good internet connection to start. Today, there are plenty of platforms (mostly free too) that will basically build your blog for you — all you have to do is add information about who you are and what your blog is about and start writing.

To build a strong client list, Widmer recommends blogging for other people and companies for free. Once you’ve developed deep personal connections with these people and/or brands — which introverts are naturally inclined to do — you’ll grow your network and can begin charging as a contributing blogger for others’ sites.

Technical writer
Startup costs: up to $1,000

Equipment: computer

As naturally deep thinkers with the tendency to connect things in their minds, introverts who have a good understanding of technology make great technical writers. Amy Winkler, a technical writer for more than 15 years, in 1999 helped launch Alva Consulting, Inc., a firm for technical and business communications. Winkler says that a day for her can consist of writing content for software user guides, online help, FAQ’s, job aids and instructional designs.

If you can write, interview subject matter experts, be organized and have flexibility, then you have the potential to be a great technical writer, Winkler says. There’s no specific academic route to develop skills as a technical writer except writing and the ability to pick up technology software quickly.

Winkler, who’s had much success as a technical writer, went to business school. Freelance technical writers are highly sought after in a variety of company, from Fortune 500 companies to smaller technology startups, most are willing to pay big bucks.


Landscape photographer
Startup costs: up to $1,000

Equipment: high-quality digital camera

Landscape photography takes focus and observation, qualities many introverts naturally embody. Opportunities for a landscape photographer can be enormous, and there’s immense room for learning. There are a number of ways to generate income from being a photographer: shooting for websites or publications, selling prints or usage rights of your images or, if you’re skilled enough, offering classes to other aspiring photographers.

Today, the internet makes it easy as ever to market your services. Jason Benjamin has been a fashion and wedding photographer for six years and has run his own company, Wedding Headline, for four. He markets his services on social media, a great way for introverts to build a client list.

“Anyone can be a photographer, depending on your level of creativity. … I am completely self taught,” Benjamin says. “I went to school for software engineering to write code. I taught myself everything I know about photography using YouTube.”

The steps to create his business were simple: coming up with a name and purchasing an LLC. Although equipment can be expensive, there are alternative ways to keep down costs — renting equipment and studio space is a viable way to save money in the beginning.

Music teacher
Startup costs: up to $100

Equipment: musical instrument, sheet music

Stick to something you know and love. You’ve spent years — maybe decades — of your life developing your skills as a musician. So why not make money while doing it?

That’s what musician-turned-music teacher Kaila McIntyre-Bader did. After getting her bachelor’s degree in music, this music lover took her fine-tuned talents to the classroom, where she taught private lessons as well as voice and flute classes at Red House Studios, a music school, concert venue and recording studio based out of Walnut Creek, California.

Teaching and creativity are the main components of being an excellent music teacher. As an introvert, using personal knowledge to help others and developing deep one-on-one relationships with students and peers is a major strength. By creating individualized curricula for each student and asking them about their goals, McIntyre-Bader helps students “achieve the level of musicianship they desire.”

As a musician, it’s likely you already have the instruments and gear you need to jumpstart your teaching career. Startup costs are limited, according to McIntyre-Bader. For the most part, all you would be paying for is gas driving to and from students’ homes, or you can simply teach out of your own home.


Image credit: Shutterstock
Business and life counselor
Startup costs: up to $1,000

Equipment: life coach certification (not required)

Introverts are great at listening to and empathizing with people. Author of The Successful Introvert: How to Enhance Your Job Search and Advance Your Career Wendy Gelberg says introverts tend to have a calm demeanor, they think before they act and speak and they use analysis and thought to add an important dimension to any situation. Their ability to internalize events and closely listen to others make them great for a career in consulting.

Business and life coach Val Nelson began her self-employment journey in 2009 by coaching people to thrive in business as well improve their lives. As an introvert herself, her listening and empathy skills drove her decision to help others. Nelson chose to get life-coach training, which took her six months and cost her around $5,000 — something she recommends — although you are not required by law to get certification to call yourself a “life coach.”

“Good coaching training combined with strong business experience” is what it takes to excel as a successful life coach, explains Nelson, who adds that the “overhead for a coaching business can be fairly low.”

Another plus: most coaches work solely through the phone or online with their clients — a setting that most introverts thrive in.

College application advisor
Startup costs: up to $1,000

Equipment: computer

Rather than working in groups, introverts typically prefer to build deeper one-on-one connections with individuals. Often possessing an ability to provide thoughtful advice through planning and research, an introvert makes an excellent college application advisor.

Gael Casner has been an independent educational consultant for 14 years through her business, College Find. Helping students explore educational options, creating college lists for students, reviewing admissions essays and helping students narrow their options to make a final decision are only a few of the things Casner does on a daily basis.

She develops relationships with parents and students, and spends much of her time researching colleges and industry trends. Like Casner, if you do your research as well as get to know the strengths of your students, you’ll be able to successfully guide them toward their future while generating some income for yourself.

A quick way to find clients is to tap into some school networks in your area and get your name out there. It starts with a simple email. Setting up a time to meet with the local principal of some schools and faculty members to introduce yourself and your services will help build your credibility and rapport with parents, plus create partnerships with schools for referrals.

Online tutor
Startup costs: up to $1,000

Equipment: computer

Creating your own online tutoring business is a great way to explore your intelligence and provide assistance to others. Carl Arnold is an online tutor helping middle and high school students develop composition skills, as well as assisting with application essays for aspiring college students.

You too could hone in on your academic specialties and use them to teach and guide students. Arnold communicates with students through phone, Skype or email, so for those introverts who thrive in a virtual medium, this career path could be a great option.

With fees ranging from $65 to $80 an hour depending on a student’s needs — sought-after SAT and standardized testing tutors can charge up to $150 an hour — you can charge per session or offer a package deal, which also covers the costs of materials.

The Most Profitable Small Business

Being talented with numbers can really pay off if you’re looking to start a profitable business.

Accounting and tax services takes the top spot on the list of the most profitable type of small business with a generous 18.4 percent net profit margin followed by real-estate services (15.2 percent), law firms (14.5 percent) and doctor’s offices (13 percent) reports Sageworks, a financial data service that analyzed the net profit margin of more than 16,000 small businesses (that earned less than $10 million) between September 2014 and August 2015.

(The average net profit across all industries for this report’s time period was 7.2 percent.)

What makes these industries profitable? For one, they’re driven by human capital.

“Service industries,” says Sageworks analyst Jenna Weaver, “are very common to find on the most profitable small-business list. This is generally due to lower overhead and startup costs. A lot of these industries you can start from your house.”

While profit isn’t the only matter for an entrepreneur to consider — other factors to consider are whether the business matches his or her skills, what sort of licensing or training is required and how the business would fare during a recession — it’s an important place to start.

Here’s the list of the 15 most profitable types of small businesses and their net profit margins.

1. Accounting, Tax Preparation, Bookkeeping and Payroll Services: 18.4%

“The accounting industry is consistently a top performer on our list,” says Sageworks’ Weaver.

No matter how the economy is doing, everyone needs accountants. Also, this industry tends to have low overhead and repeat clients.

2. Management of Companies and Enterprises: 15.5%

This industry is made up of small, privately-owned offices of bank holding companies and other types of holding companies.

Some well-known examples of holding companies (that do not fall into the small-business category) are Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and Carl Icahn’s ICahn Enterprises.

Read This: Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist by Roger Lowenstein | Amazon | | Barnes & Noble

3. Offices of Real Estate Agents and Brokers: 15.19%

While the real-estate market is largely dependent on the health of the economy, real-estate brokers and agents have low operating costs and all you need to get started is an agent or brokerage license.

4. Automotive Equipment Rental and Leasing: 14.55%

With the on-demand economy on the rise, Sageworks analyst Libby Bierman says that people may be leasing and renting more cars using on-demand services such as Zipcar — along with more traditional rental services such as Hertz.

5. Legal Services: 14.48%

Anyone who has ever hired a lawyer knows it’s not cheap. Law, like accounting, generally has low operating costs as well as repeat clients. However, this business category includes not only lawyers, but notaries, settlement officers (who deal in the transaction of securities) and title search agents in real estate.

6. Offices of Dentists: 14.41%

Dentists, like physicians, benefit from recurring patients, and while startup costs can be expensive — dental equipment is quite costly — the profession has the advantage of handling several patients at a time, plus many pay out of pocket.

7. Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution: 14.02%

This category of small, privately-held electric power companies includes not just your traditional, fossil fuel electric powers but also hydroelectric, nuclear, solar, wind, geothermal and more.
8. Lessors of Real Estate: 14.01%

Lessors, also known as landlords, show that renting both residential and nonresidential properties is a profitable gig once you recover the initial costs of purchase.

9. Offices of Other Health Practitioners: 13.30%

How is this category different from physicians? It’s not, really. There is a census delineation between chiropractors, optometrists, mental-health practitioners and podiatrists — who fall under this category of “other health practitioners” — and all other types of physicians.

10. Offices of Physicians: 13.01%

Being a doctor requires years of training, certification and likely, medical school debt. However, doctors also benefit from regular clients and relatively low overhead costs.

11. Commercial and Industrial Machinery and Equipment Rental and Leasing: 12.58%

It pays to rent or lease. These businesses typically rent or lease commercial machinery and equipment across industries.

12. Religious Organizations: 12.41%

Religious organizations are having a profitable year. Really. Remember, being not-for-profit doesn’t mean your goal shouldn’t be to make a profit. It’s just how you distribute those gains. Instead of giving profits to shareholders, all of yours go to your organization’s mission, which is the furthering of your church’s aims. It has been a good year not only for churches, synagogues, monasteries, mosques and temples, but also for schools, colleges and universities that are operated by religious organizations.

13. Management, Scientific and Technical Consulting Services: 12.05%

Some types of businesses that fall under this category are businesses that provide either management or consulting on a range of expertise, including human resources, marketing and environmental issues.

14. Specialized Design Services: 11.4%

Small businesses that specialize in interior, industrial and graphic design are flourishing, as the value of a product or business’s function has become inextricably linked to appearance and design.

15. Office Administrative Services: 11.3%
These administrative businesses are the backbone of business operations across a variety of industries — from food services to physicians offices — and provide the day-to-day administrative services, such as record keeping, financial planning and billing.