Top 10 Profitable Business Ideas without Quitting Your Job


How many of you feel your current level of income is not enough to cover expenses, generate savings or provide a better way of life? Raise your hand. I don’t see you, but I know the number of raised hands outnumber the ones that remain in place. Why else would you be reading this piece right?

The truth is many of us have great profitable business ideas in mind but are prevented from pursuing it because no one wants to quit their job.

Business always carries a risk. No matter what your project feasibility study shows, there is no such thing as a risk-free venture. This is why if you have a profitable business idea, you should not be thinking about quitting your job. Your business idea may be declared “profitable” by your study, but until you are able to recover your initial investment, everything at this point is purely conjecture.

But there are some business ideas that you should consider because these ventures will still allow you to hold on to your current job. And they have the potential to increase your stream of income significantly!

Top 10 Profitable Business Ideas without Quitting Your Job

1. E-Commerce

In 2015, the global e-commerce industry recorded $1.7 Trillion in sales. It is expected to grow by 15% to 20% every year. More and more consumers are shopping online to avoid the inconveniences of traffic, parking, the long queues and inconsistent customer service.

Proof of this is that e-commerce sales and traditional retail sales are following diverse trajectories. While e-commerce sales numbers are rising, retail sales are declining by an average of 1.5% every year.

Overall, e-commerce sales account for only 7% of total global sales. However, keep in mind that for now, there are only a small number of products and services we can purchase online.

With the continued evolution of digital technology and the expansion of the Internet, do not be surprised if someone finds a way to sell gasoline online!

If you want to earn money without quitting your job, an e-commerce business is a profitable business idea for the following reasons:

  • It is a low capital business. All you need is a computer, Internet connection, and a professionally made e-commerce website. The cost of an e-commerce website could range from $500 to $3,000 depending on the features.
  • It is not time-consuming. Think of your e-commerce site as a store that never closes. You have the global market at your fingertips 24/7.
  • It is not labor-intensive. You can hire one person to oversee your e-commerce business while you are at work. The person can manage orders, customer service or social media.

The challenge is to get accredited as a distributor by an authorized wholesaler. This will take a lot of work and negotiation as the qualifying process may be difficult.

My suggestion is to register your business as a corporation. You can get the best wholesalers by going through the manufacturers, and they will only deal with corporations.

The number one selling item online remains apparel. Many clothing manufacturers are slowly transitioning their sales efforts online. In 2015, 19% of total sales from global brands such as Lululemon Atletica Inc. and Abercrombie and Fitch were generated online.

2. Freelancer

Do you have serious skills and talents that have been dying to be discovered? Have these competencies been languishing in the dark; rendered irrelevant by your current job?

Well, through freelancing you can finally step out of the dark and into the light.

Freelancing is outsourcing services at the micro-level. It is an industry that is growing exponentially and is opening up new opportunities for talented individuals to capitalize and monetize their skills.

Freelancing is growing because there is high demand for outsourced services. Outsourcing is a double-edged strategy; it lowers your cost of business while improving your level of productivity.

In 2014, 30% to 45% of the workforce of the top 500 companies in the United States was composed of freelancers. It is estimated that this number will hit 50% to 62% in 2020.

In the Philippines, freelancers generated US$3.3 Billion for the economy or roughly 20% of the total export receipts by the Business Process Outsourcing industry. According to Elance, 1 Million of their 8-Million freelancers came from the Philippines.

The highest recorded earning for a Filipino freelancer is 7.5 Million Pesos. He was a software designer and created applications for a company in Europe.

In the United States, a woman erased her debt by freelancing in “Fiverr”. She is currently averaging $9,000 a month!

Here are a few tips if you want to become a freelancer:

  • Identify your skills
  • Invest in a good computer
  • Create a professional online profile
  • Sign up in 3 freelancing platforms
  • Apply to at least three job posts per day

Start out slow. Your primary focus is just to land the first client. This means you should price your services slightly below market levels. Once you have built up a good reputation with one client, you should expect more inquiries to come in. Start out with 10-14 hours of freelancing work per week. is a great platform that you can check to land your first client.

3. Software Designer

If you have the ability to design software programs or mobile applications, this is one of the most profitable business ideas you can start.

Think about it this way. In 2009 there were only a few thousand fitness applications in the market. Today, there are hundreds of thousands of fitness applications available for download. Fitness applications are easily the most popular mobile programs in the market.

Software Designers are not only technically proficient. They are also creative and highly intuitive. They see what the market needs and find ways to address this through software design.

Apps like Uber turned the market upside its head. Soon after the naysayers quieted down, new apps such as Lyft, Curb and Sidecar came out. These apps catered to the same market and were hardly differentiated. But in the end, these were mere followers. Uber was the leader.

Uber Founder Garrett Camp is reportedly worth US$6.3 Billion!

With the demand for smartphones expected to increase until 2022 in the short term, there will always be a market for mobile applications.

As a software designer, you can start out by allocating 2-4 hours 6 days a week on your idea. You can hire a programmer or an analyst or another designer to help you out.

4. Business Consultant

Do you believe you have enough experience and the track record to help other businesses succeed? If you do have the expertise and the necessary qualifications to render valuable business advice, why not consider becoming a business consultant?

A Business Consultant has the ability to understand people. Businesses by definition are living, breathing entities. It has a brain (management), heart (the people), blood (sales) and a soul (values).

Therefore, who the owner is or who the people are behind its management are the key components on why a business is succeeding or failing. They may not know it, and they may not have given it consideration, but their collective values determine how decisions are ultimately being made.

Many of today’s leading business consultancy groups such as McKinsey and Co., Bain and Co. have been implementing Behavioral Leadership principles to help their clients overcome difficult economic times.

Behavioral Leadership focuses on identifying behavioral patterns within an organization that is withholding progress. The objective is to help the business develop a culture that is conducive to productivity.

It is a field of Business Management that you should look into if you want to become a Business Consultant.

Here are tips on how to become a successful Business Consultant:

  • Shore up your knowledge in:
    • Finance
    • Operations
    • Human Resources
    • Business Psychology
    • Marketing
    • Sales
  • Get certified in different leadership training methodologies such as John Maxwell, Strengths-Based Leadership, and Dale Carnegie among others.
  • Set up a website and social media accounts.
  • Blog frequently. Share your thoughts on business development.
  • Network frequently.

All you need is that first client to get started. If you can turn things around, the floodgates for more clients will open up.

5. Sales Performance Coach

Filipinos love to sell products. There are many Filipinos who adopt selling as their sideline to augment their income. Unfortunately, not all of them are successful.

There is popular saying that the best salespeople are born not made. But if you’ve watched “The Wolf of Wall Street”, you know anyone can be trained how to become a great salesperson. For the most part, it is just about overcoming insecurities, fears, and self-limiting beliefs.

If you have an excellent track record in sales, why not parlay your skills as a Sales Performance Coach?

I know people who were highly successful in sales. They had the Midas touch; everything they manage they sell. Not only did they become rich but they are paying forward their success by helping others achieve theirs through selling.

Sales Performance Coaches are hired by companies to conduct seminars for their sales teams. So you must network extensively to be noticed. Put up a website and go on social media.

Prepare your business profile, brochures and service packages. Your first objective is to land the first client. In addition to regular networking activities, you can ask friends for referrals.

Attend business forums and trade shows. Present your Sales Performance Coaching services and for sure you will get several inquiries!

6. Social Media Marketer

Social media marketing is fast becoming a valuable strategy in a business’ online marketing toolbox. Keep in mind that of the 3.3 Billion people online every day, 2 Billion are on social media!

Social media is a powerful way to generate leads. Just ask yourself how many times you were compelled to try out the latest restaurant, forego watching a Hollywood big budget movie by a post or a share?

But effective social media is more than just posting or sharing. You need strategy and purpose. Most of all, you need time.

Many businesses outsource social media marketing because they do not have the time to oversee it.

If you have experience in social media marketing, you can easily land clients for your business. And even if you are working, you can manage the accounts of your clients:

  • There are online programs such as Sprout Social, which will help you schedule and post your content.
  • You can simply hire a Virtual Assistant to help you post content and adhere to the social media calendar.
  • You can oversee the social media campaigns of your client after your shift at work ends.

The usual charge for social media marketing services ranges from $500 to $1,500 per month.

7. Personal Trainer

I started lifting weights in high school to improve my performance in track and field. But once I caught the “lifting bug” I could not stop.

My Dad used to ask me why I was spending most of my time in the gym. Even if the city were ravaged by a powerful storm which tore down trees and electric posts that made the roads impassable, I would still find a way to work out in the gym!

Fast forward 34 years later and I still continue to train at a gym. But unlike the 80’s and 90’s, people today are more open-minded about the benefits of fitness. There are more gyms opening and more people signing up for memberships.

Back then, gyms only offered weight training and aerobics classes. Today’s gyms are now referred to as “fitness centers” and offer a variety of classes such as:

  • Cross Fit
  • Boot Camp
  • Tabata
  • Zumba
  • Interval Training
  • Movement Training
  • Core Training

There are fitness centers that offer Mixed Martial Arts, boxing and other styles of self-defense for fitness.

The eclectic mix of fitness activities has opened many doors of opportunity for Personal Training. Even with the popularity of apps, people would prefer getting the advice and assistance of a live Personal Trainer. To be one you must have these qualifications:

  • Certification in Fitness. You can get certified online by ACE or the American Council on Exercise, ISSA or International Sports Sciences Association and other fitness organizations. Some gyms may sponsor your classes.
  • Experienced in fitness either as a competitor or as an advocate.
  • Great communication skills.
  • Positive disposition.
  • Excellent ability to teach others.

Personal Trainers are paid well. The ones I know earn between 500 to 1,500 Pesos per hour. They have 4 to 6 clients per day with each session lasting 1 hour. But to be successful, you must establish a good track record in generating results.

8. English Instructor

The Philippines is a popular destination for those who want to learn English. Most of the students are coming from Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, and China.

In 2012, Global English cited the Philippines as number 1 in the world in business English beating the United States! Thus, it should be no surprise that there is demand for Filipino English instructors.

If you want to become an English instructor, you must first be certified. Prospective clients will ask you for your credentials and references. If you are not an English Major, take the TOEFL or the Test of English as a Foreign Language. You can take TOEFL online.

Another test you can take is IDELT or International Diploma on English Language Teaching.

You can find clients in freelancing sites such as Elance-Upwork, freelancer, and guru. Make sure you have a reliable computer and a clear headset.

There are also companies that frequently hire online English instructors to accommodate the growing number of students.

I know people who are online English instructors in addition to holding a full-time job. They work 4 hours a day as English instructors. It’s a grueling schedule because they are working from 8:00 am to 11:00 pm from Monday to Friday.

The payout? On average, they make an additional 30,000 Pesos per month.

9. Web Designer

In this day and age of the Internet, digital and mobile technology, it is shocking to find out 55% of small businesses still don’t have websites!

Developing a business can be challenging enough as it is. Not having a website to capitalize on the opportunities on the Internet will make your chances of success even more daunting.

For the most part, many small businesses are not informed of the benefits of having a website.

But you cannot stem the tide. Technology will continue to evolve and influence the way we conduct business. If you don’t have a website for your business, you might as well shut down.

Thus, I believe there is a huge opportunity for website design services.

If you want to start a website design business, you must be qualified in the first place. You should know the basics as well as the intricate technicalities of website design.

Related: 11 Website Design Mistakes That Can Affect Your Websites Performance

Knowing how to create a website from a downloadable WordPress template does not make you qualified!

You must have the following abilities:

  • Create mobile responsive websites
  • Find ways to accelerate download speed
  • Make the website accessible by multi-browsers
  • Ensure functionality of social sharing buttons and call- to- action features
  • Understand the elements of design: rhythm, lines, contrast, angles, color, and texture

If you have a working knowledge on programming and SEO or Search Engine Optimization, those are definite bonuses.

I’ve hired freelance website designers. The charges average $500 to $1,500 depending on the features and functionality of the website. Many only allocate 10 hours a week on a project, and it is usually completed in 10-15 working days.

10. Accounting Services

Another business service that is in demand is accounting services. Every business needs accounting services. But not all businesses have an accounting department.

Many companies, even the large-scale ones, outsource accounting services. These cover the following functions:

  • General Ledger Management
  • Bookkeeping services
  • Payroll Preparation
  • Benefits Management
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Accounts Payable
  • Cash Accounts
  • Inventory Management

Additional services include tax accounting, preparation of financial statements and external auditing.

You do not have to be a Certified Public Accountant or CPA to start an accounting business. You should be a Graduate of Accounting or related courses and have a keen understanding of GAAP or Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.

You will probably need at least 1 data encoder for payroll accounts and an assistant for the other functions.

The earnings can vary depending on the payment structure. You can charge clients on retention and just offer the basic package consisting of bookkeeping, general ledger management, and journal entries. Then charge separately for payroll preparation, benefits management, preparation of financial statements and auditing services.

Retention fees average 5,000 to 20,000 Pesos per month.

Start a profitable business without quitting your job

If you are serious about pursuing your business idea without quitting your job, I suggest you take time to attend business forums to get ideas, size up the market and to network.

One of the most productive forums I’ve attended to is hosted by the Philippine Venture Capital Investment Group or PHILVENCAP. They invite entrepreneurs to present their businesses and share ideas.

If they like your idea, they will connect you with potential clients or investors. I used to attend these forums and have had the opportunity to present my business and make important connections.

The usual schedule is the last Thursday of every month and is held at the Asian Institute of Management or AIM. There is no cost to attending the forum. You only have to be invited by a current member of the group.

Having a job is a great thing but if you want to have more control over your financial future, find out the next great big profitable business idea. You don’t have to quit your job to pursue your dream.

Not yet anyway!

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