10 of the Most Successful Small Businesses

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There were more than a million startups in the US last year, with an increase predicted for 2022. With so much competition these days, entrepreneurs need to be forward thinking and tenacious to run a successful small business. Here are 10 of the most successful small businesses to inspire your startup journey to entrepreneurship as we head into 2022.

Food Trucks

Cheaper and lower risk than a restaurant, food trucks are all the rage these days as one of the top businesses to start. On average, a food truck can expect a profit margin between six and nine percent.

To get started, lease or buy a food truck, obtain the required licenses and permits, then start cooking delicious meals and selling them at festivals and events.

Healthy Vending

With health at the forefront of everyone’s minds, starting a healthy vending machine business is one of the top considerations. Healthy vending business owners bring convenient, healthy snack options to consumers across the country. Several companies provide access to this business opportunity but be sure to do your homework as some do more than others at providing a path to success.

Mobile Car Detailing

Car detailing is the interior and exterior cleaning of a vehicle to like-new condition. This $12 billion industry has increased four percent over the past five years, and some analysts consider it a recession-proof business. Thanks to minimal overhead, the average cost for a mobile car detailing business is an initial investment of just $5,000 to $25,000 (depending on geographic location), making it an appealing, lower-cost, startup business.

IT Support/AI/Tech Startups

With so many employees transitioned to work at home for the foreseeable future, there’s a continued need for information technology (IT) support and tech startups. Global IT spending was predicted to grow by 6.2 percent in 2021, with projected spending to reach $3.9 trillion. And with such diversity of needs in the tech industry, especially with the growth of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, there’s a niche for every new startup, making this one of a viable businesses consideration.

Virtual Reality

From gaming and entertainment to virtual conferences, sporting events, dating and retail experiences, virtual reality (VR) is the future. With a projection of $44.7 billion by 2024, the possibilities are endless.

Vacation Rentals

The vacation rental industry is booming, with record bookings during 2021 Q1. Vacation rentals typically offer more amenities than a standard hotel room, such as full kitchens and private pools, that appeal to both short-term and leisure and business travelers. As travel picks back up again, this is an enticing option for travelers looking for privacy and great amenities, making it a viable startup business.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing isn’t just for influencers. It’s a great startup business for someone who wants to grow fast while other businesses drive sales. Get started by doing a Google search for “affiliate networks” or check with your favorite retail stores, like Amazon. The company will provide a sharable link. Each time someone purchases a product, you earn a commission.


There’s never been a higher demand for tutoring, thanks to the disruptions of the past 18 months. Online tutoring alone is a $1.3 billion industry—and that’s not including the profitability of in-person or specialty tutoring sessions. Subject matter experts and teachers can consider this an excellent choice for a successful small business.

Online Retail

Last year, online shopping sales increased nearly 3.5 percent. There’s room for many startups in the online retail space, with online revenues projected to grow to $5.4 trillion in 2022.

Eco-Friendly Beauty Products

People have never been more aware of what they’re putting onto and into their bodies. Create healthier, eco-friendly beauty products to sell online on Etsy, Facebook Marketplace and on your own website or in-person at farmers markets, holiday fairs and in local shops.