5 Unsexy Business Ideas To Make You Profit

Unsexy business ideas

Bringing unsexy back into entrepreneurship

I heard a podcast recently talking about unsexy business ideas, and how people overlook these great opportunities. Skeptic, I went on the internet and found multiple forums and articles talking about unsexy businesses e.g. TheFastlaneForum. And many entrepreneurs would be better off if they chose to pursue an unsexy business rather than a sexy one. The money is hiding the unsexy fields…

What is an unsexy business?

An unsexy business or industry is unpopular, boring, and sometimes it’s something that people won’t even discuss in public (the porn industry as an example). Many entrepreneurs didn’t risk their future to become a farmer, chimneys, house painters, or a fisherman.

They chose the entrepreneurial route to work with computer science, marketing, consultancy, business, e-commerce, real estate, law, accounting, and so on. Nobody wants to work hard and take risks just to end up as the next bee farmer. But boy, you should change that mindset immediately.

study done back in 2019 by four economists analyzed data of the complete universe of American taxpayers to determine who dominated the top 0.1 percent of earners.

You might expect the study to talk about the few tech-billionaires, but that’s not what it highlights. Nope, it talks about the 140,000 Americans that earn more than $1,58 million per year. And they are not who you think. The typical rich American owns a “regional business” such as a beverage distributor or an auto dealer.

5 Unsexy business ideas to get you started

Getting started with an unsexy business can be hard if one doesn’t know where to look. Instead of walking around in the dark, I’m going to give you 5 profitable unsexy business ideas you could start – or at least get some inspiration from.

1 Auto windshield repair

Your main goal of running a business is not to be within it and do a lot of work for next to no money. The main goal should always be to generate profit. And one way to do exactly that is by repairing windshields on cars.

Take a look at the typical stats and the profit margin from such a business in America.

Unsexy business ideas
Made in Canva (Source: Deltakits)

This is crazy profit, and this is often how it is when you run an unsexy business – profit is good.

2 Graffiti removal

Removing graffiti is often done with water pressuring and repainting. The cost of a great pressure washer can vary from $100 to $1,000, but you can buy a great starter from bosch for less than $110 that would do the work.

The exact profit of this business model is hard to determine since it varies a lot from state to state or country to country. But as an example government offices like the Ohio DOT spend $17,000 a year removing graffiti, and that is just for one building (Source: How to start an LLC). There are many buildings, schools, busses, trains, etc. that need graffiti removal as well.

The way to make this business into an extremely profitable one is by charging high prices, thus increasing your margins. And don’t be afraid to do so, especially if you live in an area with low competition.

Use social media like Instagram to show off your work with some “before/after” images, and some videos of you or your team working.

3 Carpet cleaning

In general, if your margins are higher than 50% it’s considered a high-profit industry, and guess what? This is exactly what the carpet cleaning industry is. Typically, the carpet cleaning industry is known for an average profit margin of 53% to 63%.

This is one you can start on your own or something you can start together with others. But keep in mind more people means larger costs, but also more revenue, if you can get the customers.

4 Chimney sweep

A chimney sweep business takes some more effort because typically a chimney will make between $25,000 to $50,000 a year. However if one applies a little bit of brain to one’s services, management and prices, then it could quickly be a 6-figure business.

To make it more profitable it’s essential to have a diversified portfolio of services or maybe even products to sell. It could be as simple as offering gutter or roof cleaning, and then giving a discount if a customer wants the whole package.

Offering add-ons and extra services will improve your marketing, and help you differentiate from the current players in the market.

5 Candle-making

A more fun and creative business idea could be making your candles and then selling them. Generally speaking, a new candle-making business is doing profit margins of between 25% to 50%.

Here I found some numbers for what it cost to produce a typical candle. But again it all depends on the material, supplier, size, look, and so on.

Unsexy business ideas

Source: Candlescience

It’s also up to you which market you want to enter. Here are the three you could consider:

  • Low-end market – Selling price: $7 to $11
  • Mid-market – Selling price: $12 to $18
  • High-end/exclusive market – Selling price: $19 to $28+

Pro-tip that applies to all the businesses

Don’t be afraid to adjust your prices to inflation. If you don’t your profit margins will decrease as time goes, thus this is important.

Final thoughts

If you want to make serious money, then an unsexy business is something to consider. One may not believe it, but it’s where the money is located. It all comes down to the profit margins, and the 5 listed ideas above all have great margins. Start being unsexy to become sexy in the future.

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