10 Most Profitable Small Business Ideas in Australia

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Are you an Australian looking for Successful, Profitable small business ideas in Australia to implement? 

Then you are in the right place.

Now before I take you through the list of well-researched successful small business ideas, here is what you must know – small businesses are the backbone of the Australian economy.

Almost 99% of businesses in Australia are considered small or medium businesses, meaning you are not alone.

As a matter of fact, by becoming a small business owner – you will be a part of the Australian small business community that contributes immensely to the Australian economy.

Quoting from an article on NAB, ‘Small to medium businesses are the backbone of the Australian economy, creating around 7 million jobs, contributing to 57% of Australia’s GDP and cementing our reputation as a nation of entrepreneurs.’

Every time we see an entrepreneur in the making, we want to provide all the necessary resources, to help entrepreneurs with risk taking and building better ventures.

This blog is an effort from us to facilitate the journey of every Australian who wants to start a small business.

Here is the list of the most profitable Small Business Australian ideas for you:

Cleaning Business

Cleaning Business - Most Profitable Small Business Ideas in Australia - lessonsatstartup

There has never been a better time for a cleaning business than the COVID-times.

With employees being called back to the office, cleanliness is at the top of the list of every Organisation.

Any you can’t blame them.

With the rising awareness about the importance of hygiene in the workplace, companies are taking extra steps to meet the cleaning demands.

Every Organisation wants to ensure the spread of COVID-19 remains in check.

Cleaning services can be at residential, industrial, and commercial levels.

The services include cleaning upholstery, floors, steam cleaning, sandblasting exteriors of buildings, windows, carpets, and anything that requires cleaning.

Before we list the cleaning industry’s growth as a small business idea, let us take you through some impressive global numbers around the cleaning industry (worldwide).

In 2020, the global cleaning services market size was $55,715.0 million, projected to reach $111.498.8 million by 2030. That means a CAGR of 6.5% between 2021 and 2030.

The revenue people into household cleaning have already reached in the newly ushered-in 2022 is USD 444 million. This market is projected to increase by 4.22% every year (CAGR 2022-2026). (Source: Statista)

The cleaning industry market size is $12 billion in Australia, with 35,248 businesses registered as cleaning businesses. The industry employs around 157,500 professionals.

And it is a small business where profit margins are pretty good.

As per the website, the cleaning business boss, it is a business where the profit margins are between 10% to 28%.

Now, that’s an impressive enviable profit margin for any small business.

We think the cleaning business is a good idea to kick start your entrepreneurial journey as a small business owner (provided you do your research properly).

Where to look for cleaning gigs for a small business in Australia?

Some of the websites that can help you get started in the cleaning business include – Airtasker, GumTree, and HiPages.

If you set up your cleaning business and engage in contractual agreements with individuals and companies, you are sure of growth in this business.

Before you start the business, we also recommend investing in a CRM Solution for a Small Business that can help you manage your clients better.

Restaurant and Food take away Business

Restaurant and Food take away Business - Most Profitable Small Business Ideas in Australia - lessonsatstartup

The last two years have been rough for the F & B industry.

However, with the states opening restrictions and allowing the restaurants to operate (though under a limited capacity), the F & B industry has started getting back to normal.

That is why the restaurant and food takeaways business is mentioned in the second place in the small business Australian ideas list.

It is a small business industry that never goes out of season and includes – restaurants, cafes, pubs, takeaways, bars, or any avenue you can use to sell meals, beverages, and snacks.

The statistics that prove the growth of the Restaurant and takeaway business are:

– According to Statista, the foodservice industry contributes hugely to the Australian economy. Turnover of restaurants, cafes, and takeaways amounts to AUD$39.75 billion. The profit figure for food and accommodation is at AUD$4.58 billion. (Source: Statista)

– The food and accommodation and food services employ 817,500 persons approximately, which amounts to 6.2 percent of the whole workforce. (Source: Australian Government Labour Market Information Portal)

– During COVID 19, Restaurants and Cafes jumped on the takeaway and delivery bandwagon. Thereby leading to an increase of 19.1% in the meal delivery service or online food ordering service. (source : RoyMorgon).

As long as you can maintain health and safety regulations in Australia, this industry is known to yield decent returns.

However, before you start – some of the regulations you need to take care of include: prevention of burns from steam, surfaces, or hot liquids, quick response to bullying in the workplace, noise management, electrical safety, among others. (Source: Australian Government Business)

Also, like many other businesses, you are expected to pay your GST (Goods and Services Tax) of 10% on the services, goods, and other items you sell in Australia. This tax will have to come from your customers most of the time. (Source: Australian Government)

As an entrepreneur, I would put my money on a small food business that works on a hybrid takeaway model and a small restaurant with in-check operations costs.

How to find customers in Restaurant and Takeaway Business?

To be found as a local business, google local listing is a good starting point.

Next, create and update your local google listing to show in the list of restaurants in your area.

Other listing websites include – Zomato and Yelp.

In terms of growing your Business using food delivery, we recommend registering on any food delivery apps like Uber, MenuLog, or Door Dash.

Before we move to the next name on the list, it is also worth mentioning that you can take Franchise of a Business like Mcdonald’s, or Hudson Coffee to quickly start a business. 

Art, Entertainment, and Recreation

Art, Entertainment, and Recreation - Most Profitable Small Business Ideas in Australia - lessonsatstartup

As per the Australian Government, the arts and recreation services industry includes – exhibits, events, and live performances from musicians, artists, performers, writers, and venue operators.

It also includes recreational and sporting activities like sports clubs and venues, horse racing, amusement parks, gyms, museums, botanical gardens, nature reserves, zoos, and gambling activities. (Source: Australian Government Business)

Revenue in this industry has grown by 0.5 percent on an average yearly basis between 2015 and 2020.

Most importantly, It is the 4th fastest sector for business growth in Australia to $39.3 billion. The number of businesses in this sector has grown by 2.6 percent since 2015, to 16,257.

Australia’s arts and recreation services industry will have $7.8 billion in 2020, ranking 11th in the sectors with the highest average wage in Australia in 2020. (Source: IBIS World)

According to Statista, the arts and recreation services industry in Australia grossed a total of AUD$13.8 billion from 2011 to 2020. (Source: Statista)

Again with COVID-19 restrictions easing and everyone wanting to go out and enjoy life outside the home, starting a small business in Art, Entertainment and Recreation is an excellent small business idea.

You can start a small business in Australia’s arts and recreation services industry and make it a full-time or part-time business.

You can also choose to become an apprentice and access government financial help and support. (Source: Australian Apprenticeships

How to find customers in the Art, Entertainment, and Recreation Business?

Though the sector is quite broad, specific websites can help you register your events in this space.

Some of the prominent ones are – Arts Centre, Upfront Events, and the always reliable google events that are a part of the google listing.

You can leverage the event feature to update the google listing from time to time to ensure your event shows on the front page.

Freelancing

Freelancing - Most Profitable Small Business Ideas in Australia - lessonsatstartup

There is nothing as liberating as working as a freelancer.

It is the stepping stone to becoming independent and eventually turning into an excellent small business.

Well! That’s how I started my entrepreneurial journey :).

As a freelancer, you get to work whenever you want and wherever you are – along with the flexibility to decide the projects and clients you want to pick up.

Statistics reveal that freelance workers are usually more productive and happier. They may even earn more than what is obtainable in traditional jobs.

The Covid-19 pandemic revealed how companies and individuals could benefit from freelancing.

Many professionals who lost their traditional jobs turned to freelance and experienced first-hand what it felt like working from home.

Talent Alpha revealed the vital role freelancers play in covering the gap in the tech talent sector globally. According to their analysis, major economies will require more hands in technical expertise by 2030. Australia alone will need at least 200,000 tech experts.

According to Upwork, a popular freelancing website, there has been a significant increase in remote freelancers’ requests. 

There has also been an increase in the confidence level of businesses hiring freelancers for their companies. (Source: Upwork)

A committed freelancer can earn very juicy hourly rates for the gigs they offer. Additionally, they also get to lead a more satisfying lifestyle when compared to their contemporaries in the traditional field. (Source: Payoneer)

The yearly income of freelancers can be as high as $75,000 or more yearly. It can be a reliable source of income and a very satisfying one. (Source: LinkedIn)

Freelancing, like every other thing, is not for everyone.

But, if you have a skill that you can hire out online, you might want to consider this viable small business idea.

How to Find Freelancing Gigs?

Some prominent websites that can help you find freelancing gigs are Upwork, Freelancer, Peopleperhour, Airtasker, and 99designs.

Personal Fitness Training

Personal Fitness Training - Most Profitable Small Business Ideas in Australia - lessonsatstartup

Another profitable small business idea is the personal fitness training industry.

In this Small Business, you can offer your services to small groups or run one-on-one programs.

If you do not want to work independently, you can work in fitness studios, gyms, and hospitals as a fitness trainer.

With the heightened awareness about the importance of healthy living, personal fitness training can be very lucrative.

The stats to back my above argument are based on the growing awareness around regular exercise.

This awareness has led to about two-thirds of Australians embracing exercise for not less than 100 minutes every two weeks.

The market size for personal trainers in Australia is $435 million, with an industry employment of 8,012. It also has a total number of 8,012 businesses in this sector. (Source: IBIS World)

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare states that if its indigenes should participate in only 30 minutes of exercise 5 times a week, it could reduce physical inactivity by 26%.

This will bring about a positive effect on well-being and general health. (Source: Australian Government)

This relationship between good health and physical activity shows why many Australians require personal trainers. And this is something you could turn into a profitable business.

According to PayScale, personal trainers could earn up to $66 per hour based on qualifications and experience. 

Personal trainers can increase their salary by specializing in health and nutrition, strength and conditioning, rehabilitation, and weight loss. (Source: PayScale Australia)

Another good thing is the industry only requires lower skills but has a very promising future growth. (Source: Australian Government Job Outlook)

To become a fitness instructor in Australia, you need to obtain a certificate III or IV in fitness.

You could also specialise as a gym instructor, aerobics instructor, or general physical fitness trainer.

You also get to decide how flexible your working schedule should be.

How to Find Personal Training Gigs in Australia?

Our recommendation is to start advertising your services on google local listings, Air Tasker and Bark.com.

Real Estate Agency

Real Estate Agency - Most Profitable Small Business Ideas in Australia - lessonsatstartup

The real estate industry employs 132,090 individuals and has a market size of $32 billion, with a total number of 47,986 businesses registered in it.

There is no doubt that a real estate agency is a thriving business in Australia. (Source: IBIS World)

Real estate agents are professionals who purchase, appraise, rent, manage, or sell commercial and residential properties.

The industry is not slowing down anytime soon.

As a matter of fact, it is projected to increase over the next five years. The expected rise in residential housing prices will add to the industry revenue. (Source: IBIS World)

Apart from the times when there were economic uncertainties, the yearly growth of prices of residential houses in Australia has maintained a substantial margin with property prices hitting a new high during COVID. (Source: Statista)

In larger cities in Australia, you can expect to get higher rates.

In Sydney, the price can go as high as a million Australian dollars against Perth’s obtainable. This increment started in the last quarter of 2020 due to auction clearance rates and new lending commitments. (Source: Statista)

It’s important to state that you can manage any property anywhere as a real estate agent. You can help a property owner take care of their home, become a middleman, and get paid for it.

In current times, if I were to think of starting a new small business, starting a real estate agency is a small business idea that I would be interested in.

How to Find Real Estate Clients?

Now that’s a brutal one 😊. 

Though the industry has a lot of potentials, it is still occupied by 5 to 10 big business names that run on an agency model across Australia.

Having said that – I am not dissuading you from getting into this lucrative industry.

If we were starting in this industry, we would start small and think of ways to disrupt the industry by saving buyers and sellers some commission and providing A+ service.

The online medium of advertising properties in Australia is dominated by two market players- Realestate.com.au and Domain.com.au.

Manufacturing

Manufacturing - Most Profitable Small Business Ideas in Australia - lessonsatstartup

Another interesting small business idea mentioned in our list is ‘manufacturing’.

Manufacturing includes creating or manufacturing products like perfumes, cosmetics, cleaning products, toiletries, soaps, pesticides, fertilizer, jewelry, bottled water, fruit juice, confectionaries, etc.

The manufacturing sector in Australia has 141 industries that range from cleaning compound and soap manufacturing, shipbuilding, and repair services to pharmaceutical product manufacturing. (Source: IBIS World)

The list is exhaustive!

If you want to try something big with your first Business, manufacturing is a small business idea that might entice you.

The manufacturing sector has been ranked number 12 in the category of businesses in Australia in the past five years. (Source: IBIS World)

The manufacturing industry also plays a significant role in the nation’s economy. 

It helps in knowledge and skill-building.

The contribution it makes to the Australian GDP annually is around $100 billion. The sector also employs about 900,000 people. (Source: Australian Government)

How to get Manufacturing Clients?

Find your industry.

Look for your sales model (B2B or B2C).

Get a website and approach clients accordingly.

B2B clients prefer a one-on-one approach, and it might be hard to come by using online ads. 

On the other hand, B2C clients can be found on e-commerce websites like Amazon, eBay, etc.

Waste Management Service

Waste Management Service - Most Profitable Small Business Ideas in Australia - lessonsatstartup

Waste management service is a small business idea that links to an industry that will see growth irrespective of the economic condition of any country.

Plus, the sector contributes immensely to the economy of Australia.

Because there will always be waste in need of disposal or recycling, the waste management service provides an excellent opportunity for anyone looking to profit from it.

Different industries generate different kinds of waste.

The waste from industrial and commercial businesses in Australia was as high as 17.3 million tonnes from 2013 t0 2014. 

This figure was projected to reach 29 million tonnes by 2020. (Source: Waste Management Report)

Before 2018, most recyclable waste from Australia was shipped to China.

China banned such importation, causing a “recycling crisis” in Australia. According to Switzerland Global Enterprise, the waste management market in Australia is AUD$17 billion and is expected to grow at an annual rate of 9%.

Additionally, the waste management industry in Australia has 32,737 people under its employment. (Source: Australian Government)

In 2022, the market size of the solid waste collection services industry in Australia by revenue is $7.4 billion.

New housing estates are permanently being erected and have waste issues – creating a good market for waste management business. 

The waste from households is another sector that you can think of exploring as a small business idea, and if you take it a step further and go into recycling, you are sure to remain in business for a long time.

How to Find Clients in Waste Management Business?

Waste Management is a pure B2B business.  

As a small business owner, you can create your online presence and then approach prospective clients based on their business requirements. 

Online Retailing

Online Retailing - Most Profitable Small Business Ideas in Australia - lessonsatstartup

E-commerce or online retailing is a small business idea that never goes out of trend.

What is the reason for the growing trend?

There was a time when imagining getting your goods without having to step into a physical store was unimaginable.

Today, things have changed!

Shoppers are comfortable going online to search for products and services they need, pay for them online, and have them delivered to them.

With the advent of online retailing, it is impossible to imagine life without it now.

Online retail sales have grown exponentially in Australia, especially since the Covid-19 pandemic. 

As a result, many brick-and-mortar retail outlets had to close their doors.

This opened up more opportunities for the online retailing Business and led to online retail sales occupying over 15 percent of the retail market in the last quarter of 2021. (Source: Statista)

Consider this:

  • The spending for online retail for domestic products in 2021 is at 51.1%.
  • Over 5 million households shop online. 
    The most popular online purchase category goes to homeware and appliances. (Source: Statista)
  • According to IBIS World, the market size of online retailing in Australia is $44 billion. It has a total of 76,324 businesses with 80,035 people under its employment. (Source: IBIS World)
  • Pure-play (online only) retailers and multi-channel (mix of physical and online stores) retailers received a significant boost in June 2021, especially with the lockdown in many parts of Australia. (Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics)

The online shopping industry is expected to rise by 35.3%, with more brick-and-mortar stores going online. 

However, discretionary products like jewelry may not see much increase in sales.

Revenue for the Online Shopping industry is anticipated to rise by 35.3% in the current year due to more bricks-and-mortar firms establishing online operations.

The COVID-19 pandemic is anticipated to positively affect industry product segments, such as groceries and homewares, while negatively affecting sales of discretionary products such as jewelry. (Source: IBIS World)

This is an excellent time to take advantage of this opportunity and set up a small business store online.

How to Find Clients in Online Retailing?

Internet is your playground. If we were starting a small business as an online retailer, we would use existing e-commerce marketplaces like Amazon and eBay to advertise our products.

In parallel, we would use digital marketing to promote my business on social media and Google.

Travel Agency and Tour Arrangement Services

Travel Agency and Tour Arrangement Services - Most Profitable Small Business Ideas in Australia - lessonsatstartup

A small business idea that should have been at the top of our list if it was not for COVID is tourism and travel.

However, it does find a mention in the list of profitable small businesses you can start in Australia because Australia is one of the top tourist destinations globally.

We are confident that the day international tourism opens, Tourists will be flocking to the Oz land, and this is where you, my friend, will have an opportunity to shine as a small business owner.

The small business tours and travel agency now provides booking and reservation services, travel information, transportation, tourist attractions, and accommodation to individuals and business travellers.

It has a market size of $3 billion with a total number of 9,071 businesses. This industry alone employs 35,188 people in Australia. (Source: IBIS World)

By June 2020, there were more than 158,000 non-employing businesses in tourism in Australia. The number of large tourism-related companies in 2020 amounted to 896 in total. (Source: Statista)

The Australian Government reports that as of June 2020, there were 317 tourism businesses in the country. This is about 13 percent of the 2.4 million businesses in Australia. A

Also, from 2019-to 2020, the tourism business grew by 1.2 percent regardless of the impact of 2019-2020 summer bushfires and Covid-19. (Source: Australian Government)

Australia’s travel agency and tour arrangement industry are projected to bounce back from the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic as the travel restrictions ease up.

 And when this happens, the revenue in this industry will recover and reward those in the industry.

How to Find Clients in Travel Business?

Airbnb, Hotels.com and other travel websites are where you need to advertise your business. 

You can also use digital marketing to promote your small tours and travel business. 

Conclusion

Choosing and deciding on the small business idea to go into is a personal decision. However, there are a lot of things you need to put into consideration aside from money.

First, you need to be sure that the business idea you choose to go with is comfortable.

That way, you can stay motivated to see it succeed no matter the odds.

Many small business ideas are out there, but the ones listed in this article have proven very profitable.

If you already have a unique small business idea that you are convinced will sell, by all means, go for it!

Once you are willing to work hard, you are more likely to succeed.

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