Most Profitable Businesses to Start (and least profitable)

Forbes.com has examined the most profitable and least profitable businesses to start and the results are pretty fascinating:

Most Profitable Businesses to Start:

  1. Accounting Services
  2. Legal Services
  3. Dental Services
  4. Specialized Design Services
  5. “Other” Health Practitioners (chiropractors, physical therapy, rehab, etc.)
  6. Outpatient Care Centers (spas, family planning, kidney dialysis, etc.)
  7. Insurance Brokers
  8. Physicians’ Offices
  9. Medical and Diagnostic Labs
  10. Depository Credit Intermediation (small banks, credit unions,

Commentary:

No big surprises here, fully 50% are medical related and another 40% are legal, financial or accounting related. I believe this shows that professional training pays off due to the high barriers to entry for these professions – not anyone can setup a medical, legal or financial related business, it takes some training, certification and skill. The one surprise was “Specialized Design Services” but that job still takes quite a bit of training before starting.

The lesson being that previous training is necessary to get into the most profitable businesses and being defensible either via education or skill is an important aspect to consider when starting your business.

The Least Profitable Businesses to Start:

  1. Community Care Facilities
  2. “Other” Support Services (tradeshow organizing, wrapping gifts, etc.)
  3. Beverage Manufacturing
  4. Real Estate Related Services (appraisers, property managers, etc.)
  5. Bakeries and Tortilla Manufacturing
  6. Amusement and Recreation Services
  7. Motor Vehicle Parts Manufacturing
  8. Specialty Retailers
  9. Beer, Wine & Liquor Retailers
  10. Travelers’ Accommodations

Commentary:

While I believe Forbes.com’s numbers are accurate, take note of the fact that this list is not destiny. For example, there are many examples of hugely successful businesses under the “Least Profitable” list: Coca-Cola for #3, Rainbow Bread for #5, Disney for #6, Hilton for #10 (with lots of smaller local businesses in the other categories).

Just because most people in your sector are not profitable doesn’t mean you have to be! This list is more of a guide showing that a) professionals with advanced education or degrees are the most profitable and b) businesses with lots of competitors and low barriers to entry are the least profitable.

Lesson: Follow your passion in business, learn proper management skills and success can be yours regardless of the industry.

 

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