Are you a steely-eyed, no nonsense businessman (or woman) who cares more about bottom line profits than being glamorous, trendy or popular?
Then starting a boring business may be the perfect money-making strategy for you.
These are unsexy businesses that no one wants to get into and thus have low competition. And if you know anything about business, you know that low competition often means easy and sustainable profits.
Now I get it. With the explosion of social media channels like TikTok and Instagram, everyone wants to be an influencer.
It’s today’s version of becoming a movie star or pop icon, only it’s far more accessible. After all, anyone can post a 15 second video on TikTok with the hope that it will become viral.
But with that accessibility comes fierce competition. After all, millions of people are posting on TikTok all the time.
And even if you achieve some measure of success, you will have to fend off hordes of copycats and haters who will do everything in their power to bring you down or take a piece of your pie.
For me, that’s a hard pass.
I prefer boring businesses where there is low competition. In fact, give me an industry that no one wants to be in (or has even heard of) and I will show you an industry that is brimming with profit potential.
In this article, I am going to cover seven boring businesses you can start that have the potential to make great money for you. In most cases, these businesses have relatively low starting costs and can be started in your spare time.
That means you can test them out without huge downside risk.
Low competition? Low Risk? Solid Profit Potential? Sounds like a winning formula to me.
Related Note: I will also cover at the end how you can set up your boring business (including whether you need a business entity like an LLC). I have found a super low-cost way to do this, so make sure to check out that piece of the article.
Let’s get into it!
If you prefer to view this article in a condensed video format, check out my YouTube video below.
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The information contained in this post is for informational purposes only. It is not a recommendation to buy or invest, and it is not financial, investment, legal, or tax advice. You should seek the advice of a qualified professional before making any investment or other decisions relating to the topics covered by this article.
If you are looking for a recession-proof business that will make reliable money for you, a laundromat may fit the bill. After all, even when the economy is bad, people will still need to get their clothes washed.
What I love about this business is that it is not subject to trends, it must be operated locally (so it will never be outsourced to a foreign country who can do it cheaper), and technology will not make it obsolete (on-location physical machines will always be needed to properly wash clothes).
Furthermore, it is an industry that is not dominated by a huge national chain. In other words, the Amazons of the world are not going to eat your lunch if you are in the laundromat space.
Although starting costs can be high, there are some amazing equipment financing options that can radically reduce your out of pocket costs.
To learn more about how to start a laundromat, check out my article on the topic here, which includes a step by step guide on how set it up and tips on how to start your laundromat with little money down.
2. Car Washes
Car washes are another boring business that can make you solid money each month.
Like laundromats, they fly under the radar for most people, but they have a ton of advantages over other more glamorous businesses.
First, if you start an in-bay automatic car wash (I show you how here), you can make mostly passive income from your car wash. This means you can scale your business pretty easily because the business basically runs itself.
Related Reading: For a list of 12 businesses that run themselves, check out my article on the topic here.
Now, if you are worried about the money needed to start a car wash, there are plenty of lower cost options as well.
For example, you can start a car wash from home for under $250. Or you can start a mobile car wash or even a waterless car wash at a very modest cost. Check out my tutorials on how to start each of these businesses by clicking on the links above.
3. Vending Machines
Vending machines are a great way to start a business with low initial costs and easy growth opportunities.
And because the machines are generating money for you without significant involvement on your part (other than restocking and collecting money from time to time), they can also be a terrific passive income opportunity.
To learn more, check out my full article on how to make passive income with vending machines.
If you live want an alternative option that is even more passive, you may want to look into ice vending machines. You don’t have the same restocking issues and if you place them in the right location, you can make a killing.
My full tutorial on ice vending machines can be found here.
ATM routes are another boring business opportunity that can generate attractive revenue for you every month. Now I am not talking about nationally branded bank ATMs, like the ones you see for Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase and so on.
I am talking about independent ATMs that you often see in gas stations, smaller grocery stores, hotel lobbies and the like.
You can buy brand new ATMs for only a few thousand dollars and place them in high traffic areas. You make money by charging a fee each time someone withdraws money from your ATM. The trick is to find a great location where people are constantly needing cash on the go.
To learn more about how to start an ATM business, check out my full article here.
If you want to pursue an online business, but don’t care to take the influencer route, you can fly under the radar by becoming a blogger.
Again, it’s not as sexy as becoming an Instagram sensation or a TikTok star, but you can enjoy solid income doing something as simple as writing on a topic you love.
I run multiple blogs that make thousands of dollars for me each month, so I know this business model works if done right.
If you want to learn more about how to start a blog from scratch, including detailed step by step instructions for each phase of the process, check out my tutorial here.
6. Rental Properties
Investing in rental properties is another boring business that people shy away from. I admit it’s not particularly glamorous, but it can be an incredible path to creating long term wealth and positive monthly cash flow.
I guess its unpopularity is due to people being turned off by the idea of fixing toilets and generally dealing with tenant complaints.
But it’s not as bad as all that.
I own multiple rental properties worth millions of dollars and have been a landlord for over 10 years. If you buy high quality properties in great neighborhoods, you are going to attract high quality tenants who will generally take care of your rentals.
Plus, if you have a reliable team of techs and contractors, you can handle any maintenance and repairs quickly and affordably.
When I get a call from a tenant, I simply make a call to the right tech and they take care of it. I rarely step into my rentals anymore.
If you want to learn more about getting started in rental property investing, check out my step by step guide on the topic here.
If you prefer to avoid the hassles of tenants, toilets and trash altogether, a self storage business may be an ideal option for you. You can learn how to generate passive income with a self storage business by reading my article on the topic here.
7. Home Maintenance
The final boring business on my list is a home maintenance business. This could include a cleaning business, handyman business, landscaping business, or, perhaps, least glamorous of all, a gutter cleaning business.
Related Reading: To learn how to start a gutter cleaning business for around $500, check out my article here.
Each of these businesses (and there are a ton of related businesses like them) require minimal investment and equipment, are simple to start, and are, of course, not going to draw the attention of the crowd.
Do You Need an LLC For These Businesses?
One of the things that trips a lot of people up when starting a business is corporate formation. Many think they need an LLC or other type of business entity.
The truth is that this is not required. You can start your own business by being a sole proprietor and have very little paperwork involved as part of the formation process.
Now you may want to do a dba (which is short for “doing business as”) filing in your state, so you can reserve its use there, but you don’t need to create a full blown business entity.
That being said, there are definitely some advantages to having a business entity set-up. The first is liability protection. If you are operating your business through an LLC or corporation, you have a layer of protection against lawsuits and other claims.
As a general rule, people must file against the entity and can’t go after your personal assets, unless they can somehow pierce the corporate veil by showing that the entity is a sham.
Secondly, in some cases, you may be able to get tax advantages by using a business entity, although that get’s really complicated and you should consult with your accountant or business advisor to get the full details on that.
If you are interested in setting up a business entity, you can hire a lawyer to do so. But they are expensive and can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Unless you are doing something complex, a simple online service can do this for you much cheaper.
I like Northwest because they can get you up and running quickly and easily. They are also one of the most affordable options that I was able to find that still offered great customer service ($39 as of the date of this article).
According to their website, they are the only national registered agent service that lets you use their office address so you don’t have to use your own. That’s a killer privacy advantage.
Definitely worth checking out.
So there you have it – 7 boring businesses that fly under the radar and some great resources for you to get started in each of them.
If you want to learn the nuts and bolts of how to start a business, check out my ultimate beginner’s guide to starting a business.