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Most Popular Small Business in Australia – Top 22 Profitable Small Business Ideas

Small businesses and family-run enterprises in Australia account for approximately 98% of all businesses in the country. These employ 44% of the total workforce and form 35% of the country’s gross domestic profit. That’s a lot if you think about it.

If you’ve been toying with the idea of starting a small business, there’s truly no place better in the world to do it than Australia. Not to mention all the perks that come with owning your business.

You get to control your destiny and find the perfect work/life balance doing something you’re passionate about, with people that you enjoy working with. Running a business, challenges and grows you in ways that you never dreamed possible.

The fulfilment you get when you surpass your own goals and make a real difference in your community is perhaps the best part of it all. If you’re now thinking – That sounds great, and all, but I have no idea what business I should start! – You’ve come to the right place for that.

This article explores the top 22 most popular small business in Australia to help point you in the right direction.

1. Most Popular Small Business in Australia – Agriculture, Fishing, and Forestry

The most popular small businesses in this category include beef and dairy cattle farming, beekeeping, egg farming, cotton growing, and nursery production. Small businesses in this sector account for 75% of the industry’s overall GDP.

2. Real Estate, Hiring, and Rental Services

Popular small businesses in this category include property management, real estate sales and brokerage, car, truck, and heavy equipment rentals, as well as furniture and appliance rentals. This sector contributes to 74% of the industry’s overall GDP.

3. Construction

Common small businesses in this category include air conditioning and heating services, carpentry, concreting, painting, decorating, landscaping, metal cladding, waterproofing, scaffolding, and tiling and carpeting.

You could also consider starting an insulation business, or residential and commercial building construction services. Small businesses in this sector account for 57% of the industry’s overall GDP.

4. Technical, Scientific and Professional Services

The most popular small businesses in this category include accounting, advertising, legal services, photography, market research, statistical, engineering, and management consulting services. Small enterprises in this sector contribute to 46% of the industry’s overall GDP.

5. Food and Accommodation Services

Popular small businesses in this category include catering, fast food, and takeaway services, restaurants, social clubs, bars, pubs, nightclubs, motels, serviced apartments, and holiday houses. Small-scale businesses in this sector account for 38% of the industry’s overall GDP.

6. Private Health Care and Social Assistance Services

The common small businesses in this category include ambulance, dental, physiotherapy, and general practice medical services, as well as childcare, personal welfare, and aged care services. Small-scale enterprises in this sector contribute to 38% of the industry’s overall GDP.

7. Retail Trade

The most popular Australian small businesses in this category include cake and bread bakery shops, grocery stores and supermarkets, convenience stores, fuel retailing, motor vehicle dealers, and motor vehicle parts, and tire retailing.

Newsagents and book retailers, pharmacies, domestic appliances, furniture, and garden retailing are also great options to consider. A business structure in this sector accounts for 28% of the industry’s overall GDP.

8. Administrative and Business Support Services

Popular small businesses in this category include credit agencies, call centre operation, debt collection, travel and tour agencies, recruitment and employment placement services, packaging, pest control, and commercial cleaning services. Small businesses in this sector contribute to 27% of the industry’s overall GDP.

9. Transport, Warehousing, and Postal Services

Common small businesses in this category include taxi and limousine services, road freight transport, customs agency services, general warehousing, and cold storage, and courier pickup and delivery services. Small businesses in this sector contribute to 26% of the industry’s overall GDP.

10. Private Public Safety and Administration

The most popular small businesses in this category include private investigation and security services. Small businesses in this sector account for 26% of the industry’s overall GDP.

11. Wholesale Trade Services

Popular businesses in this category include cereal and grain, hardware, timber, liquor, tobacco, soft drinks, and pre-packaged food wholesaling. Small businesses in this sector contribute to 24% of the industry’s overall GDP.

12. Art, Entertainment, and Recreation

Common small businesses in this category include art galleries, gyms, fitness centres, sports and recreation facilities, and botanical gardens. This sector contributes to 21% of the industry’s overall GDP.

13. Manufacturing

The most popular small businesses in this category include cosmetics, perfumes and toiletries, soap and cleaning compounds, fertilizer, and pesticide manufacturing.

You could also consider beer, fruit juice, bottled water, chocolate and confectionary, and jewellery manufacturing. This sector accounts for 20% of the industry’s overall GDP.

14. Private Training and Education

Popular small businesses in this category include art and non-vocational education, preschool education, as well as vocation and technical training services. These account for 18% of the sector’s overall GDP.

15. Information Media and Telecommunications Services

The common businesses in this category include internet publishing, book publishing, music recording and publishing, video production, web hosting, and data processing services. These account for 13% of the industry’s overall GDP.

16. Mining

The most popular small businesses in this category include metal ore mining, oil and mineral exploration support services, and quarrying. These contribute to 10% of the industry’s overall GDP.

17. Waste Management Services

Popular small businesses in this category include liquid and solid waste collection, treatment, and disposal services. These contribute to 9% of the industry’s overall GDP.

18. Finance and Insurance

The most common small businesses in this category include investment banking and securities brokerage, fund management, financial planning and investment, and money market dealership services.

19. Personal Services

Popular small businesses in this category include babysitting, hairdressing and beauty, laundry and dry cleaning, funeral director and crematoria services, as well as parking, religious, and weight loss services.

20. Repair and Maintenance

Popular small businesses in this category include clothing and footwear repair, domestic appliance repair, and motor vehicle and heavy machinery repair.

21. Online Retail

Common small businesses in this category include eCommerce websites that sell automotive parts, baby products, car classifieds, daily deals, kitchen, and dining ware.

Those that sell men’s and women’s clothing and footwear, small electrical appliances, travel booking services, handbags, and luggage items are also a popular choice.

22. Life Sciences

The small businesses in this category include drug and rehab centres, eating disorder clinics, fertility clinics, life coaching services, and health and wellness spas.

Take the First Step Toward Your Dream

One of the best things about running your own company, as opposed to working for someone else, is the sense of pride that comes from building something up from scratch.

The most successfully-run enterprises in the world all have their roots as small businesses. So, in the famous words of Nike – just do it! Your startup could be on its way to becoming the most popular small business in Australia.

If you need funding to get it off the ground, use our online tool to access instant unsecured business loans from our panel of top non-bank lenders in Australia.

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