The new trend in making money is by providing your “skills-as-a-service.” Here I’ll highlight a number of service business examples to help you make money providing a service.
Service businesses are some of the best ways to start increasing your income immediately. Service businesses generally offer low startup costs and high free cash flow.
You’ll need to build trust to land clients and earn that free cash flow. While the free cash flow and low startup costs are attractive, you are largely trading your time for money in service-based businesses.Service businesses remain one of the best ways to make money with little-to-no startup costs. Click To Tweet
If you want to make money on the side, I suggest you start thinking about how you can trade your skills as a service.
I track my income with Personal Capital to ensure I’m making enough money and building my net worth in a linear fashion. It’s a free way to get smarter about your personal financial situation.
Let’s discuss what being a service-based business actually means.
Table of Contents
What is a Service-Based Business?
A service business is one that provides a technical skill in exchange for payment. Generally speaking, service businesses usually rely heavily on people instead of machines or products to generate income.
Automation or not, people will always need some sort of service. We can’t accomplish things without the help of other people.
We will always need services.
Every business starts with people. Humans run the planet after all and without interaction between us nothing would get done.
What Service Businesses Are Scalable?
If you are thinking about launching a service business, you will want to scale your business. That’s why we do it in the first place right?
To achieve a level of success where we can automate to the best of our ability. This frees up our own personal autonomy and freedom.
There are two ways to do services:
- B2C (Business to Consumer)
- B2B (Business to Business)
Ultimately, to scale a service business you will want to target B2B (Business to Business) for your services.
There are a few reasons why B2B service businesses are better:
- Businesses have much larger budgets: Would you rather have 5 $2,000 per month contracts or 100 $100 per month contracts? You can make more money over time if you focus on providing services to businesses.
- Scalable: See the scale difference mentioned above. Actually, if you had 100 contracts for $100 per month, you might not even be able to sustain that. With only 5 contracts for $2,000 per month, you can start thinking about outsourcing additional labor and shifting your focus to further business development to grow your service business.
List of Scalable Service Business Examples
Service businesses are great freelance business ideas. They are scalable and can be done from anywhere. Here is a list of freelance business ideas to consider in addition to the list below.
Here is a list of the most profitable and proven service businesses to help you start making more money.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is big business. It’s a great business that requires a lot of side hustle for not a ton of money. If you do it right, you can provide some awesome services and scale to a level where you can make really good money.
Search engine optimization services have changed a bit and now consist of:
- Content creation
- On-page optimization
- Off-page optimization
- Link building services
- Site audits
There is a lot of runway for people to make money with SEO. You can specialize in a piece of these services to start out. Like, start using a tool like KeySearch to perform keyword research for clients.
You can see how to use KeySearch in our review. Then, work your way upwards to cross-sell your services to offer site audits.
An SEO agency makes for a great online business.
Social Media Management
Social media is not going anywhere. It’s a bit time consuming for people to manage that have businesses to run. You don’t need to be a pro at all forms of social media.
You can actually get really good at one platform and make plenty of money providing business services for it.
Here are some helpful guides on social media tools:
- How to Share a Tweet on Facebook
- Make Money With Snapchat
- Can You Build a Following on Instagram?
- How to Make Money on TikTok
- How to Earn Money with Quora
See Related: 9 Top Things to Rent Out for Profit
Web Design Services
Designing webpages has become exponentially easier. However, companies haven’t really realized that website design is easy nowadays.
Software is tough, yes. Developing a simple WordPress site or Wix site for a consulting business is not. You can literally do an hour or two of work for thousands of dollars. It’s never been easier.
Web design services are going to always be in need.
There is only so much time to get in because as younger people get older they are going to become savvier with developing their own business websites.
See Related: 20 Best Gig Apps to Earn Money
Writing is a great service business. You can scale your operation and charge a premium as long as you deliver a quality work product in a timely manner.
Here’s how you can gain links from freelance writing:
- Pitch to become a contributor to online magazines
- Write for clients regarding specialized topics on their business websites (i.e., their blog)
- Do freelance writing for other bloggers to network and gain guest posts
If you are trying to start a media company or something similar, you can easily segway into a service business of writing content to diversify your revenue streams.
If not, there is good news. There are plenty of ways for you to write and get paid without having strings attached.
Pair your writing with these blogging tools to impress your clients.
See Related: 12 Best Delivery Jobs to Work For
Graphic design is one of those services that people will always need. Take a moment to look around any restaurant, retail store, website, food product, etc.
They all have some sort of icon. Some sort of design that differentiates their product and/or service.
Right now I’m looking at a coaster that has four different designs of a hop and has branded design around the outside rim. This was definitely not created in 5 minutes by someone working at the brewery.
With constant demand comes constant work, which provides safety of income. You can always land clients.
See Related: Rental Business Ideas to Make Money from Your Assets
Consulting is generally pretty broad, but this makes for one of the most lucrative service-based businesses. You can scale pretty quickly by hiring outside talent to help you with the blocking and tackling of execution work.
If you can prove your expertise in a subject, you can move laterally into consulting. Like some bloggers have moved into helping other bloggers grow their websites.
Or, if you know financial modeling you can consult on how to help businesses manage cash flow for growth or acquisitions.
Here are some areas of consulting that have some of the highest paying services:
- Corporate finance
- Managerial consulting
- Financial consulting
- Security consulting
- Growth and strategy consulting
Start learning in these subjects to become an expert in your craft. If you decide to go this route, prove your worth by documenting before and after results as case studies to market to new clients.
See Related: Uber Eats vs Postmates – What is Better?
As websites evolve and email marketing remains a critical way for businesses to communicate with their customers, copywriting becomes more valuable. Copywriting is a tough game.
You need to be able to sell yourself and others through words while being knowledgable and passionate. It’s time-consuming.
With time-consuming and in-demand services comes a great opportunity to make money. You can market yourself to a variety of businesses, including:
- Software As a Service Companies
- Email Newsletters
- Digital Curators
Use our freelance rate calculator to determine how much you need to charge hourly to meet your annual income goals.
See Related: 14 Best Freelance Apps to Consider
Conclusion on Service-Based Business Ideas
These service-based business ideas feature in-demand work today. You can start making money with little upfront cost or capital. It’s a great way to generate income.
The downside is that you are trading your time for income. If you can hire and train effectively (without losing the quality of your work product), you can scale your business.
These service business examples will help you start making an income right away.
In addition, these are also great ways to make money no matter your location. This will give you the flexibility to work in affordable locations to help you grow your business.
What service business are you going to start? Let me know if you have any questions on your journey.