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chelle21689's avatar

What small businesses are profitable?

Asked by chelle21689 (6786points) May 29th, 2014 from iPhone

What are some common businesses you’ve seen start up and do well? Meaning not be extremely rich but be able to pay bills and enjoy life sometimes.

I’m in HR but always wanted to start a business. Always been interested in staffing agencies but not sure how difficult it is and if it is even worth pursuing one day. What do you think? I’m already a gaining experience recruiting, screening resumes, interviewing, filing, laws, etc. and plan to work for another staffing agency one day if any openings.

But in the end I’ve always wanted to do my own thing doing something I’m interested in. Love dogs and even thought about a grooming shop and daycare but don’t think I can make enough to not worry about bills lol.

If you have any stories I would love to hear them.

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17 Answers

cookieman's avatar

In the late nineties, I worked at a 100+ year-old picture framing and art gallery. The owners (husband and wife team) offered to sell it to me when they retired soon. I loved the place. I was shocked to learn they only personally made about 40K/year gross, despite being a high-end shop with lots of rich and corporate customers. It completely wasn’t worth it considering she was there seven-days-a-week and he worked a second job as a teacher to make ends meet.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I owned my own business for 4 years. It was grueling and we only took home about 20K of the $450,000 yearly net.
Everyone assumes that if you own your own business you’re rich. Nothing could be further from the truth. During the winter, when business was so slow, we even qualified for food stamps.

ragingloli's avatar

Legal or Illegal?

Crazydawg's avatar

Consulting, cleaning service companies, landscaping, web based businesses, website design, computer/IT are a few I have seen start up from scratch and flourish.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Anything involving the outdoors, though, is extremely seasonal.

Khajuria9's avatar

Opening a home-tutorial.

downtide's avatar

The craze around here at the moment is supplies for e-cigarettes. There are shops springing up everywhere.

johnpowell's avatar

Unless you have have a lot of capital to burn through don’t quit your day job. My advice would be to have a hobby turn into a business.

My aunt has a grooming and pet supply store here. I hate her so I won’t link to it. She still hasn’t turned a profit and it has been 25 years. It would have been gone if my uncle didn’t toss her cash. It is just a low margin business.

gailcalled's avatar

Running a residential cleaning service (like Merry Maids or Rent-A-Husband) that also provides other services for the middle-aged and aging population…running various errands, taking people to doctor’s appointments, helping get their cars serviced, odd jobs, small handyman stuff that the big contractors won’t bother with, planting large flower pots and window boxes and dismantling them in the autumn, dropping off and picking up at the airport.

My local jack-of-all-trades is so busy that I have to grovel to get him over here to repair a stuck sliding glass door. He charges $50/hour and is beating us off with sticks.

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chelle21689's avatar

@gailcalled I thought about that. How’s that going for you? Pros and cons.
I would like to take over my parent’s business one day but they can’t let go, they’re workaholics.

gailcalled's avatar

^^ I am only proffering an interesting idea. I do not run any business. I have, as I said, a handyman but he is expensive and too popular. So personally, I would take advantage of a service similar to the one I described (as would many of my friends my age or older.)

Right now, for example, I would love to have someone who can empty the food and shelves from the bottom half of my refrigerator, crawl in and really scour the walls. I can clean the top half myself.

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