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19 Most Scalable (& Profitable) Business Ideas to Start in 2024

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Are you ready to start a scalable business?

If so, you’ve come to the right place.

Because I’m going to share the best scalable business ideas and show you how to start them.

Ready to get started? Let’s go!

What is a scalable business? 

Before we dive into scalable business ideas, let’s talk about what a scalable business actually is.

A scalable business increases its customer base, revenue, and output without increasing workload, cost, or resources.

There are scalable businesses in almost every industry, including e-commerce, social media, and entertainment.

And they all have a few things in common.

Their costs are low, the product or service is repeatable and systematized, and they have a strong brand or network.

Some of the most popular companies in the world are incredibly scalable businesses, including:

  • McDonald’s: Has a very systemized and repeatable model
  • Amazon AWS: Only has to increase server capacity rather than inventory
  • Slack: Only needs to maintain the software 
  • Shopify: Charges a monthly hosting fee but doesn’t sell products
  • Netflix: Adds content without needing to increase physical inventory

That said, you don’t need to find a billion-dollar idea to build a scalable business…and you probably shouldn’t! 

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Instead, there are plenty of business ideas that are relatively simple to start and don’t need millions in funding. And you can start those businesses on the side of your day job. 

That’s exactly what I did (which I’ll share more about below). 

Ready to explore scalable business ideas and find one that works for you?

Then read on!

The most scalable business ideas from home 

The most profitable businesses can be started from home – they’re the types of businesses you can start even if you don’t have any business background or a network full of venture capitalists. 

Here are some of the best scalable business ideas you can do from home.

1. Coaching 

Okay, one-on-one coaching isn’t scalable, per se.

After all, you only have a certain amount of time and can only work with so many clients. But once you have enough of them – let’s say 10 or so – you can scale your coaching business by changing what you offer.

Group coaching and online courses are both great places to start. You can also combine the best of both worlds and create a two-step offer.

Screenshot of Cultivitae website
Emily, one of my students, started as a career coach and now offers online courses that help her scale her business

For example, you could offer a base product, such as group coaching, that flows into a second offer, like an online course.

That’s how I got started.

I first offered coaching/consulting and built that to a six-figure business. Once I had quit my job, I scaled my business by adding on group programs and online courses. 

Within a year, I had built a seven-figure business. 

And today, my business is an eight-figure business that I keep scaling.

My first year earnings, broken out by coaching and course revenue

2. Consulting

Consultants work one-on-one with businesses and individuals to help them set and reach their goals.

This means that, like coaching, a consulting business might not seem like a scalable idea at first glance.

But again, it’s all about what you offer.

Once you’ve built a client base, you can scale by offering:

  •  Group consulting
  • Online courses
  • And two-step offers

3. Online courses 

Online courses are a prime example of scalable business ideas.

Why?

Because once you’ve launched a course, you can continue to sell it with little to no effort.

But you’ll need to be strategic with marketing to scale your online course business.

I recommend sticking to email marketing, social media marketing, and partnerships if you’re just starting.Once you’ve successfully created an evergreen course, you can use more advanced techniques like tailored email sequences, PPC, and SEO.

Briana MacWilliam testimonial
Briana MacWilliam sells courses that help people improve their relationships

4. Subscriptions

People love subscriptions.

At this point, there’s one for everything, including razors, coffee, books, and vitamins.

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So, this is one of the best scalable business ideas to get involved in right now. You even have options for scaling.

For example, you can scale with new products or by adding new pricing tiers, features, and affiliates.

Speaking of…

5. Affiliate marketing 

Affiliate marketing is one of the most scalable business ideas out there.

Why?

Because the industry is growing by 10% each year, there’s a huge demand for affiliate marketers.

And there’s no ceiling.

You can promote as many items and use as many platforms as you want!

To make this business model work, you need an audience and the drive to make high-quality and engaging content.

6. Ecommerce shop  

Ecommerce shops sell physical goods online and have the potential to scale quickly.

You just need a:

  • Strong marketing plan
  • Way to automate your systems 
  • Plan to optimize your fulfillment methods.

You might also think about tapping into a new market to fill the gaps left by competitors. But while ecommerce is a highly scalable business model, I don’t recommend this route if you’re just starting your journey as an entrepreneur.

After all, ecommerce shops have high startup costs, low profit margins, and high volume requirements.

Bite website
Founder Lindasy McCormick bootstrapped the sustainable personal hygiene company Bite

7. Blogging

Listen, sharing your thoughts just because you enjoy it and want to help others is great.

But don’t forget that blogs are also scalable business ideas – some bloggers make as much as $10,000 per month.

Creating the right kind of high-quality content lets you scale with affiliate marketing, partnerships, and digital products.

And those aren’t the only options. You can find more ways to grow your blog in this guide.

Screenshot of Luisa Zhou’s blog
My own blog has helped me create a truly sustainable business thanks to search engine traffic!

8. Content creator    

You might immediately assume content creators are limited to platforms like TikTok or Instagram, but that’s not true. Everything from YouTube videos to podcasts is content.

And all are scalable business ideas.

It’s all about creating evergreen content and staying up-to-date with industry trends to expand your reach.

Once you’re established, you can start scaling by diversifying your content, investing in marketing, and finding opportunities for partnerships.

I show you how to create scalable content quickly and easily in this video:

9. Event planning  

Whether you’re planning children’s birthday parties, corporate gatherings, or weddings, events are a scalable business idea.

And event planners are always in demand.

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This means you have the opportunity to grow a solid client base with repeat business and referrals.

From there, you can begin to offer new services and packages or even expand to new markets.

10. Software

If you’re a software developer, you have dozens of scalable business ideas at your fingertips.

Why?

Because, as you likely know, you only need to create or code the software once before selling it over and over again.

And you can make any fixes remotely.

But you don’t have to create the next Microsoft Windows or iOS to be successful. The most successful software solves problems or improves operations.

For example, Asana gives teams a way to work more efficiently, and scaled to billions.

Asana website

11. Agency

All types of agencies – including creative, marketing, and social media agencies – are scalable business ideas.

For an agency, scaling means things like:

  • Introducing new services or packages
  • Breaking into new markets
  • And signing more clients

No easy feat.

But it is possible with scalable marketing strategies, more efficient workflows, and a clearly defined niche.

12. Apps

Apps can be incredibly scalable business models, depending on the type of app and its purpose.

Like software, there’s no physical production involved, and you only need to build them once

You can also scale apps even further with things like subscriptions, in-app purchases, and even freemium models.

Here are some examples of the most scalable types of apps:

  • Freemium mobile games like Candy Crush 
  • On-demand service apps
  • Subscription-based productivity apps
  • Educational apps
  • Fitness apps

13. Online influencer

Online influencing is easily one of the most scalable business ideas out there.

At the end of the day, there’s no limit to how much content you can create and share.

And being successful in your niche allows you to scale by exploring sponsored content, affiliate marketing, and even merchandise.

Many influencers diversify their revenue streams even further by exploring other types of content as well.

For example, influencers who start podcasts scale even further with additional partnerships and merchandise.

14. Website designer  

Are you tech-savvy and creative?

Then, website design is a great scalable business idea for you.

Create a few websites, build your portfolio, and you’re ready to start scaling.

To do this, find your niche, automate your day-to-day tasks, and make your processes more efficient with templates and tools.

And to bring in more revenue, you can create packages, offers, and even online courses.

15. YouTube creator

What makes YouTube creation among the most scalable business ideas?

First and foremost, the platform’s reach – people can view your videos from anywhere in the world on many different devices.

But your videos are scalable, too. 

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6-Figure Coaching Business so you can achieve more freedom!

YouTube creators scale through things like: 

  • Business sponsorships
  • Partnering with other creators
  • And creating premium content for paying subscribers

You can also repurpose your videos for other platforms to get more exposure without putting more work in.

Even though it’s one of the best scalable business ideas, it won’t happen overnight.

It takes time and effort to build a following. So, patience and perseverance are key.

Ali Abdaal website
Ali Abdaal is a successful YouTube creator with millions of followers

16. Marketplace

No, I’m not talking about a marketplace in the traditional sense. I’m talking about a business platform connecting buyers and sellers.

Companies like Airbnb, Lyft, and Uber are all marketplaces, and they’ve all grown to be worth billions of dollars.

It takes years to scale to that level, though.

For now, focus on offering scalable models such as membership or subscription plans that offer perks like discounts.

17. Selling digital products 

Digital products like eBooks, templates, and printables are no-brainers when it comes to scalable business ideas. 

Why?

Because you only need to create them once, and they lead to repeat sales with no extra work on your end.

They’re as close to passive income as you can get.

You just need to know where and how to sell them.

For example, Tomas Frank sells Notion templates

I’ll tell you everything you need to know about promoting digital products in this guide.

18. Podcasting

If you’ve got a microphone and some headphones, you can start a podcast.

As your podcast gains traction, you might scale through sponsorships and affiliate marketing.

But you can also scale things like premium content and merchandise.

Plus, podcast episodes are a lot like digital products – you only have to record and publish them once, allowing for repeated downloads and passive income for years.

19. Real estate investing

For the right person, investing in real estate is a highly lucrative business.

And there’s potential for high profit margins – on average, investors see a 10% ROI. (On average, residential properties generate 10.6% every year. That same figure is 9.5% for commercial properties and 11.8% for REITs.) Best of all, there’s no limit to how many properties you can invest in.

For example, my student Ryan built a real estate portfolio that earns him multiple six figures in passive income each year!

Ryan Chaw website screenshot

Now that we’ve covered the most scalable business ideas, you might be wondering what actually makes a business scalable.

Let’s talk about it.

What makes a business model scalable?

Scalable business ideas all have a few things in common – starting with the business model.

Type of business

Business models like online courses, software, and digital products are inherently more scalable than others.

That’s because you only need to create or build them once to sell them repeatedly.

But service-based businesses, like coaching, can become scalable if you productize your offers.

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6-Figure Coaching Business so you can achieve more freedom!

Market demand 

To come up with good scalable business ideas, you need a firm grasp of the market.

Why?

Because if you launch a business that’s not in demand, you won’t have any need to scale. 

But if you know which scalable business ideas are in high demand, you can choose one that generates more sales, customers, and revenue.

Automation

A key element of scalable business ideas is using your resources efficiently.

That’s where automation tools and software come in.

Automation handles repetitive and mundane tasks for you so you can focus on more important things.

And you can automate almost every part of your business, including:

  • Onboarding
  • Data entry
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Project management
  • Payroll

Technology

Scalable business ideas need technology.

Nothing else helps your business operate more quickly, efficiently, or consistently.

For example, social media helps your business connect with a global audience.

Website builders like WordPress make it possible for anyone to launch an online business.

And AI can help you come up with marketing materials, analyze data, and more.

Funding

Scaling a business isn’t cheap.

You’ll have to invest in new technology, marketing strategies, and offers. You’ll also need to hire additional staff (which we’ll talk about in a second).

But with proper funding, you can overcome those financial hurdles to scale quickly.

Team

You can only scale your business by stepping away from the day-to-day operations.

I know this seems counterintuitive. After all, it’s YOUR business.

But having a team that can run things for you will let you focus on more important things, like growth.

So, how do you bring scalable business ideas to life?

Keep reading to find out!

How can you start a highly scalable business? 

Scaling your business quickly requires a few simple steps.

It starts with choosing your most scalable business ideas.

1. Choose a scalable business idea and model

You don’t have to come up with a brand new idea to get started. You just have to identify the skills you already have and productize that knowledge.

Productized services solve a specific problem and are sold as a packaged product.

They’re the key to scaling your business because you can sell them repeatedly.

But I always recommend mastering and scaling one of your offers rather than all of them. That way, you have a foundation you can build on rather than having to start from scratch each time.

2. Build one sales system   

There are two common ways to build the kind of sales system that will help scale your business.

The first is to set up sales calls at the tail end of an introductory offer. They’re a great way to help people decide whether or not your service or product is right for them.

The other is to launch your product periodically to raise awareness and drive revenue. This is one of my favorite ways because it really works.

It’s also the system that helped me scale my business to seven figures. 

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6-Figure Coaching Business so you can achieve more freedom!

3. Grow your online traffic 

You can only scale your business if you drive traffic to your sales system.

There are plenty of strategies, including: 

  • Paid traffic 
  • Affiliates
  • Social media 
  • Search engine optimization 

I recommend focusing on one of these methods instead of trying to learn all three. Also, some of them are better for beginners (social media and affiliate marketing), while SEO and paid advertising work better once you have an existing business. 

I talk more about all of these things in this video:

Next steps

So, now you have a complete list of scalable business ideas.

Of course, there’s more to launching and scaling a business than just coming up with an idea.

Do you want to know how I scaled my business to 7-figures in just a year?

If so, I’ve got just the thing for you! 

I’ll tell you everything you need to know about building a highly profitable and scalable business, down to the exact steps I took, in my FREE PDF:

Want to Build a 6-Figure Coaching Business So You Can Achieve More Freedom?

Get Instant Access To My FREE Ultimate Guide Below!

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Read more:

How to Scale a Service Business

The Most Profitable Service Business Ideas

The Most Effective Strategies to Increase Revenue

About Luisa Zhou

Luisa Zhou has helped thousands of students build and scale their own profitable online Freedom Business. Fun Fact: She used to work as an engineer for the Space Station and holds a B.S.E. from Princeton. Click here to learn more about Luisa.

Hope you enjoy this blog post.

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