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Starting a business

5 Most Profitable Small Business Opportunities in Canada

While economic growth slowed down to 1.5% in 2019, there is still no doubt that small businesses can succeed with the right idea and agility.

Whatever your background is, with the right vision and work ethic, you can find a profitable business opportunity that fits your unique skill set. These five industries are worth thinking about if you’re starting a new venture.

Real Estate

Another corollary of a flourishing economy arises from people buying and renting houses, condos, and office space. As businesses grow and expand, they need new workers to fill open positions. Some of these workers are recruited from afar, moving to the city and putting down roots to start their new careers.

Real estate professionals help people buy and sell properties, manage rental or investment real estate, and serve as intermediaries between buyers and sellers. If you enjoy keeping your fingers on the pulse of your local market and you’re good with people, a real estate business might be your ticket to a lucrative career.

With a 46.5% profit margin in 2019, and a growing rental industry, real estate businesses in Canada tend to be profitable. Almost all Canadian real estate enterprises are small to medium-sized enterprises, as fewer than 1% have more than 99 employees.

Transportation and Storage

The transportation and storage industry comprises passenger transportation services and the shipping of goods, as well as warehousing and storing products. One nice thing about this industry is you can start small, purchasing a single truck and soliciting a handful of customers, then you can easily expand by hiring more drivers and putting more trucks on the road as your customer base grows.

Don’t think you have to limit your services to trucking. Transportation companies are making money on Canada’s waterways, too. Storage is another option that allows you to start small, renting a modest warehouse space and growing at your own pace.

According to the Canadian government, more than 86% of small and medium-sized enterprises engaged in transportation and storage were profitable as of 2016, with average yearly revenues exceeding $279,000.

Waste Management and Remediation

An unavoidable by-product of a growing economy is the accumulation of waste; as businesses expand, more paper gets used, old electronic devices get tossed in favour of newer models, construction debris piles up from adding new office space, and so on. It’s not great for the environment, and thankfully more businesses every day are accepting their role in promoting a sustainable future for all people and taking proactive steps to curb waste production. Waste is never going away, meaning there’s plenty of opportunity for environmentally conscious entrepreneurs to help the planet and make a nice profit doing it.

Over 86% of small and medium-sized enterprises in this industry turned a profit as of 2015.

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Professional Financial Services

Do you have a financial professional skill, such as accounting, finance management, bookkeeping, or financial consulting? If so, you might consider starting a small business in which you sell your own knowledge and expertise as human capital. If you can help businesses save on taxes or streamline their accounting and payroll processes, you can find clients to pay you handsomely for your skills and know-how.

Another benefit of a professional financial services business is that if you are a lifetime learner, you can constantly update your skill set to ensure you remain in demand no matter which direction the economic winds shift or what new technology comes down the pike.

As of 2019, small and medium-sized professional services enterprises are doing well in Canada, with a 1.9% growth rate since 2018.

Fitness and Recreational Sports Centres

If you have a passion for fitness and a passion for people, you could turn your love for exercise and being healthy into a lucrative small business. Boutique fitness centres are springing up all over North America, giving big impersonal chain gyms serious competition as the de facto place to go for a workout.

Whether your passion is CrossFit, kickboxing, martial arts, yoga, or another hot fitness trend, by picking the right location for your business and knowing how to market it, you can quickly make it a success.

In 2015, the Canadian government reports, roughly 70% of fitness and recreational sports centres in the country were profitable. For those that did well, profits were strong, to the tune of $312,000 in average annual revenue — the highest amount of all industries profiled. The takeaway is that this industry requires a lot of dedication and hard work, but if you bring that to the table, the sky is the limit.

Starting a small business gives you the autonomy to be in charge of your own destiny and your own success, and it lets you turn your passion into a lifelong career. There are many industries in which you can succeed as an entrepreneur in Canada; the key is finding the one that is right for you.

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