What do personal trainers and accountants have in common? Well, usually not much, but they are both service businesses: a broad category of businesses providing services to their clients. This could mean anything from dry cleaners to business consultants, exterminators to personal chefs. There are endless possibilities for unique and profitable service business ideas—the ones listed in this article are just the tip of the iceberg
What Is A Service Business?
A service business is any type of business whose product is intangible. Service businesses provide services that their customers can’t do on their own rather than a physical product.
30+ Service Business Ideas That’ll Make You Money
If you’re looking to make money quickly and easily, starting a service business could be your best bet. As with any business, service businesses begin with a good amount of trial and error, and some are certainly more profitable than others.
When choosing the service business idea you want to capitalize on, think about which resources and skills you are ready and willing to offer. You may find that you’re better suited to run a service business in the fitness sector than in the financial industry. Alternatively, dropshipping or tutoring might be your jam. There’s only one way to discover which service business idea is right for you, and that’s giving it a shot.
This list is organized into categories of service business ideas. You can use it for inspiration and to help you choose which unique service business idea you should start—and eventually make money on.
Online Service Business Ideas
These service business ideas can be executed exclusively online and from home. The ability to work from home is an advantage for many people just starting out, so starting your service business online is a smart choice. Keep in mind that other service business ideas in this article can also be done online with a little creativity and video conferencing technology. However, the following ones are commonly done online.
1. Graphic designer
Do you have a passion for making things look nice on a paper or screen? If so, become a graphic designer. Your services are needed by any business or individual in need of an aesthetic upgrade. You can also create designs for print on demand websites that you sell to customers.
2. Web developer
While some businesses rely on do-it-yourself web-development platforms, others want a more personal touch on their online presence. Web developers help them achieve that. You can sell websites on Exchange.
3. E-commerce retailer
Selling products you love to people around the world is a fulfilling online service business idea. You don’t even have to start from scratch—instead, consider buying a ready-made dropshipping store from Exchange Marketplace.
4. Social media influencer
If you already have a lot of clout on Instagram or TikTok, you can turn it into cash by becoming an influencer. Brands will pay you to show off their products on your social media accounts.
Whether you want to create your blog from scratch and turn it into a business or write for popular blogs, blogging can be a lucrative service business. All you need is an internet connection and something to type on.
Most Profitable Service Businesses
The most profitable industries in 2021 fulfill an evergreen need. That means that most likely, these service businesses will always be profitable and are worth investing in. For example, consumers will always need to do their taxes, see the doctor, and seek legal help. These service business ideas might not be the easiest to break into, but they are indeed very profitable.
Individuals and businesses alike rely on accountants, or at least accounting software, to do their taxes each year. Accounting, and any sort of financial consulting, are profitable service businesses and can be done entirely online.
2. Medical consultant
Folks seeking medical advice feel better then they can talk to a real person rather than endlessly browsing WebMD. Medical consultants fulfill that need.
3. Legal consultant
Nobody wants to be in a situation that requires a legal consultant, yet we often find ourselves in the middle of a legal dispute. Lawyers and paralegals can offer their services online or in person.
4. Software developer
Software developers do all the behind-the-scenes work that keeps the apps we take for granted running smoothly. Whether you want to become a front-end, back-end, or full-stack developer, your service business will be profitable. Website flipping might be up your alley.
5. Real estate agent
Selling houses for somebody else can be an exciting and profitable service business. If you’re just starting out in real estate, you could begin simply by renting out an Airbnb or to a tenant.
High-demand service business ideas
While the economy is continually evolving in 2021, some service businesses are, particularly in demand. You might want to bank on these money-making service business ideas considering the current climate.
1. Food preparation and delivery
If you can prepare food for yourself (and you think it tastes pretty good), then you can do it for other people as a business. If you can’t do that, maybe you can make some money to deliver it instead.
2. Online tutor
Whether you’re tutoring children in math or teaching adult individuals or businesses to learn English, online tutoring is a particularly in-demand service business.
3. Small business consultant
Many small businesses with storefronts are currently grappling with an evolving economy. As a small business consultant, your service business could help them continuously profit (and help yourself profit as well).
4. Life coach
Life coaches help people take the steps toward becoming happy with their lives and accomplishments. If you have a talent for doing that kind of thing with friends and family, you’ll probably have a knack for life coaching as a service business.
5. Child caretaker
If you like kids, child caretaking is the service business idea for you. Part-time or full-time nannies are always in demand.
Tech service business ideas
The tech industry isn’t going away any time soon, so what better time to lean in? The best part about these tech service business ideas is that there are many online courses, tutorials, and other resources on the internet that could help you learn how to do them well.
1. UX/UI designer
If you are artistically talented and tech-inclined, this might be the service business you want to start. UX/UI designers take the raw tech aspects that developers produce and make them both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
2. IT consultant
IT consultants provide the service of making sure a company’s tech is running smoothly. Those unafraid of computer errors or fidgety gadgets could make money in an IT consulting service business—just remember to ask if your clients turned their devices off and on again before troubleshooting.
3. Data scientist
While this service business idea is rather broad, it might appeal to you if you like to see the big picture. Data scientists can help businesses look at their data differently, providing business insights.
4. Security analyst
Most businesses and individuals don’t think to contact this kind of service business professional until it’s too late, and their system has already suffered a security breach. Security analysts help keep data secure.
5. Video game developer
This type of service business often grows out of a hobby. If you’re a video game enthusiast, you might want to take a crack at developing your own games and selling them in online stores. If they catch on, you could make a lot of money.
Marketing service business ideas
1. Social media consultant
Business owners are continually trying to keep up with the changing landscape of social media. If you have social media and advertising skills, you could start a service business to assist them.
2. Event planner/marketer
Event planners and event marketers assist individuals and businesses in organizing everything from weddings to conferences. Your event service business could focus on one of these niches.
3. SEO specialist
Just putting a business out there on the internet isn’t enough to get eyes on it. SEO specialists provide the service of optimizing a website so customers and clients can easily find it.
4. Product marketing specialist
Even the perfect product will go unnoticed if nobody points out the great things about it. This type of service business specialist makes sure that doesn’t happen.
Copywriting is a broad service business that involves everything from long-form content writing to short-form advertising copy. It’s up to you to decide what kind of a copywriting service business you want to make money on.
Unique service business ideas
These service business ideas are not for everyone. They might even seem a little odd to the average person. However, they’re still great ways to make some money.
1. Personal shopper
There are all kinds of products on all sorts of fashion websites, and sometimes it can be hard for people to choose the products they’d like. Personal shoppers find clothing items for their clients, so they don’t have to. If you have a killer fashion sense, you might choose to help people find products they love.
2. Product tester
It’s not the easiest service business to start, but product testers have the fun job of trying products before they hit the market. If you’re good at giving feedback, you might want to give it a shot.
This service business is certainly not for everyone, but those with both medical knowledge and emotional understanding can make money as a doula. Doulas support women throughout their pregnancies and births.
4. Tarot reader
Tarot readers draw cards that tell their clients their fortunes. Tarot reading is a lucrative service business that can be done either in person or over video conferencing software.
Creative service business ideas
Many service business owners make money off of their creative abilities. Can’t think of what creative skills you have to offer? Maybe this list of creative service business ideas will give you some inspiration.
1. Portrait artist
This service business idea has been around for centuries—maybe millennia. Portrait artists can make money portraying beloved pets as well as people. Some choose to start businesses selling these online.
2. Music teacher
Whether you play guitar, piano, drums, clarinet, accordion, theremin, or any other musical instrument, you could start a service business teaching it.
3. Fashion designer
If you know your way around a sewing machine, you might want to start a fashion design service business. You could start small with accessories before working your way up to ballroom gowns. You could also buy a fashion store so you can sell your designs along with others.
Your photography service business could take the form of photojournalism, production of stock photos, or portrait photography—business professionals are always in need of headshots. You can promote your photos on Burst.
While it’s not as glamorous as writing screenplays for Hollywood, a scriptwriting service business could make you money fast. Companies and individuals hire scriptwriters to write podcasts and webinars.
Home maintenance service business ideas
Maintenance professionals perform jobs for the upkeep of their customers' living or working spaces. The better a reputation you build, the more money you can make with these service business ideas.
Whether your landscaping service business is as simple as lawn mowing, as nuanced as landscape architecture, or somewhere in between, this idea will get you out in nature and making money.
Leaky faucets can cost a fortune in water bills. If you want to help your clients save money and get their pipes in order, start a plumbing service business.
3. House painter
House painters sometimes specialize in either exterior or interior painting. Either way, house painting service businesses can find consistent customers.
Bugs and rodents love to find ways into houses, and exterminators build service businesses out of getting rid of them.
Electricians facilitate the miracle of electricity for everyone else. This type of service business makes sure that the wires and outlets in your home are running safely and efficiently.
Service businesses come in all shapes and sizes, big and small, on and offline. All of them represent opportunities to make some money, either full-time or on the side. Depending on your skillset and resources, there’s likely a unique service business idea in this article that you can bring to fruition. So, what are you waiting for? You can get started on your service business as soon as you finish reading.