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9 of the most profitable small businesses to start in 2024

Editorial Team

6 min read
Small business owner doing work on her laptop surrounded by cardboard boxes filled with inventory.

Almost one in four Canadian employees will likely look for a new job next year in search of increase income. The Great Resignation shifted the work landscape in a variety of ways–especially towards entrepreneurship.


Many of the people who leave their jobs are ready to create a business of their own. As a result, on average over 101K businesses were created every year in Canada. What has worked? Some of the most profitable businesses are ones you might not have considered, like tutoring or bookkeeping.

For savvy, potential entrepreneurs, one element to consider when starting a business is the average overhead rates by industry. In other words, what are business types that have high profit margins or those with a robust return on investment when you are talking about building a business from scratch? What is a good profit margin ratio for a small business? It really depends on the type and size of your business, but anywhere from 50 to 70% is considered a healthy return.

Some of the best small businesses to start this year

Read on to find out some of the 9 most profitable businesses to start this year and how thinking about every element of the business – including something as specific as a point-of-sale system – can make a difference.

1. Cleaning services

With no physical location needed and low equipment costs, opening a cleaning business can be quite profitable. Considering the low barrier to entry and the value of word-of-mouth marketing, cleaning businesses are among the most profitable business ideas. The Canadian cleaning services market is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 3.8% between 2024 and 2032.

When thinking about handling payments, Clover offers handheld POS devices, such as the Flex, that allow you to securely process credit cards, debit cards, and mobile wallet payments, like Apple Pay®, Google Pay®, and Samsung Pay® while in the field.

2. Dog walker

Now that many people have returned to in office work, making sure Fido remains happy and healthy has shifted to enterprising people who have opened dog care businesses. With no major start-up costs, this is a get-started-and-go field that can turn a profit quickly.

The average hourly rate for a self-employed dog walker is $19 per hour, but more experienced dog-walkers could be making upwards of approximately $50K a year. It just takes a few clients to build a solid business–it’s the perfect profitable business for a pet lover.

3. Tutoring

If you’ve got expert-level knowledge in a particular field of study, becoming a private tutor can be a smart move. Globally, the already booming online tutoring market is expecting massive growth until 2030. That’s largely because there are very few limitations on when and where you can teach lessons. Video chats have made it simple to conduct sessions with potential students around the world, or you can focus on in-person classes in your hometown.

Rates can range from $30 to $90 per hour, depending on your experience and location. Some tutors even factor in travel costs if taking in-home appointments.

4. Online fitness and personal training

Given the sedentary nature of today’s work-from-home setups, many people are looking for someone to help them get into shape. This is where an entrepreneur can step in. Online fitness classes and personal training doesn’t require high overhead to get started–all you need is knowledge, desire, and a few pieces of equipment.

The online / digital fitness industry is expected to grow by 33.1% per year until 2028, which makes it a great time to hang a personal training shingle. Having a Clover Flex can help you process payments on the spot.

5. Social media expert and influencer

If you’re the type that’s always online with a keen eye for what’s trending on social media, a digital strategy business is a great way to create profit with just a laptop. Today’s businesses are leaning on social media influencers to communicate with customers. A social media-savvy entrepreneur can take the reins of a company’s accounts and optimize visibility and engagement. 

When you consider that the average influencer can make as much $181K, it’s easy to understand why this is one of the most profitable business ideas on this list.

6. Digital marketing – copywriting, and graphic design

These are really four jobs rolled into one category. What they all have in common is that you can work remotely– providing specialized services to clients whether they’re in the same city as you or across the country.

While a Bachelor’s degree can certainly bolster the confidence of your clients, it ultimately comes down to hands-on experience, knowledge, and talent. Showcasing your writing and design projects in a digital portfolio is a good way to demonstrate this.

7. Food trucks and food stands

The food truck craze is here to stay. It’s now over a $374 million industry. And while the overhead costs may be higher than some of the other businesses listed here– from $50K to $100K – the revenues can be four times that amount if you’re successful. It can take some effort to stand out from the crowd–a unique menu and a location not swamped by other trucks. But there’s no denying that a good food truck can turn a nice profit.

8. Accounting and bookkeeping

If numbers are your thing, a bookkeeping business is a low-overhead way to help individuals and businesses stay organized. All you’ll need is some software, a computer, and printing capability. The accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll services industry grew 9.9% to 26 billion in 2022. This represents double the growth in comparison to the five-year period before the pandemic, so this is an industry where an enterprising entrepreneur can make inroads.

Be aware of the differences between bookkeeping and accounting. Some clients may want a certified public accountant (CPA) while others want someone to help them with day-to-day tasks. Whatever your niche, accounting and bookkeeping are among the most profitable small businesses to start right now. Learn more about our POS solutions for services businesses.

9. Kids’ activities and after school programs 

Live in an area filled with young children? Starting a business that provides enrichment activities for kids could be a big winner. In many areas, after school, art, music and summer programs have been reduced due to budget cuts, opening the door for talented entrepreneurs to fill the gaps. You could launch after-school gymnastics or music programs, become a or kids’ yoga teacher, or focus on some other child-centered activity. Hosting activities in a local park can cut down on overhead costs, or you may be able to rent a room at the local community center to save money.

How can we help?

If you want to learn more about how Clover can help you accept payments, run your business and sell more, please contact your Clover Business Consultant. You can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram

This information is intended solely for informational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal, financial, or tax advice. Readers are strongly advised to consult with their attorneys, financial advisors, or tax professionals to obtain guidance tailored to their specific circumstances.

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