Last Updated on May 27, 2020

Top 20 businesses with the highest returns


The emergence of artificial intelligence and digitalism has led to the loss of the significance of many jobs. This COVID 19 pandemic has exposed the vulnerabilities of many jobs, as many lay off their jobs. The increasing unemployment resulting from loss of jobs has defeated the purpose of why people take paid employment, which is security and safety. This resulted in the massive influx of start-up businesses and industries to the economy with a high roi businesses. But the question is, are all businesses profitable? Do all businesses have a high return on investment? Not all. Not all business has a high return on investment. Nobody will want to venture into a business that isn’t profitable. So in this article, I will be leading you into discovering the high ROI businesses.

Top businesses with a high return on investment (ROI)

1. Real Estate Leasing

Real estate has been and is the most profitable business in the world.

Unlike real estate brokers and agents that need to undergo specialized training before starting up, real estate leasing doesn’t require specialized training.

You just need to have a legal estate lawyer who can act as your legal representative and a real estate broker.

To start with, what is real estate leasing?

READ ALSO: How to make money in Nigeria?

Real estate leasing in a simple term can also follow as a contract that spells out the renting of a property.

And usually landed properties like buildings to individuals, companies or industries, in exchange for a return on investment on the side of the leaser.

The lease helps to spell out the legal rights and obligations of both parties involved.

A solid real estate lease can protect your investment by accurately defining the relationship between you and your tenants.

Real estate leasing is one of the best profitable ROI businesses which provide a high inflow of passive income.

Residential and commercial leasing

Real estate leasing can be in the form of; residential leasing and commercial leasing.

  • Residential leasing: it involves building houses for residential purposes and renting them off to a client. The lease contract helps to determine whether the tenant will be paying rent monthly or yearly. But for this, the leaser must make sure basic amenities like electricity, good water supply, a good drainage system, and set up into place.
  • Commercial leasing: This is one of the best forms of real estate leasing. It involves leasing properties to industries and companies.

In real estate leasing, the leaser still maintains legal rights over the properties.

  • How to start: If you have lots of landed properties and are probably thinking about how to start, you can employ a real estate broker to work for you, while you supervise the business. Most importantly, get a legal representative which preferably is a real estate lawyer.

2. Real estate brokerage or agency business

Real estate brokerage or agency is one of the best ROI businesses one can do.

It has one of the highest returns on investment.

However a real estate broker or agent is an individual who represents the seller or buyer of a property in a real estate deal.

While real estate brokers can work independently or start up a firm, real estate agents work under a licensed broker to represent buyers or clients.

Brokers and agents are usually licensed by the state to carry out and close sales agreements in real estate deals.

The beauty of this is that real estate is a business that cannot go into obscurity.

This spells that the business of a real estate broker or agent cannot go out of demand.

Generally, the real estate brokerage or agency business covers all or limits itself to:

  • Seller’s agent: They are contacted by sellers to help market their properties to potential clients. Normally, the broker or agents gets a 5% to 10% commission on a close deal. The percentage varies from state to state.
  • Buyer’s agents: They are salespeople who assist individuals or industries in purchasing properties.
  • Dual agents: They both help the seller and the buyer in the same transactions. This form brings in the highest form of commission.
  • How to start: Starting up a real estate brokerage or agency involves you undergoing specialized trading in a licensed real estate teaching firm. After that, you must get licensed before taking off. But for the agency business, the training is a little bit easier. But trust me, it may be expensive to enrol for the courses, but it is highly profitable.

3. Internet marketing

Internet marketing, also known as digital marketing is one of the best business innovation of the 21stcentury.

Apart from it been highly profitable, it is the future of traditional marketing.

Digital marketing is synonymous with sales marketing.

So, the former is done only via the internet.

Internet marketing is the process of advertising or promoting a business or brand via the internet, using tools that generate traffic sales and leads.

Internet marketing comes in different ways, but the two best ways are:

  • Affiliate marketing
  • Social media management
  • Affiliate marketing: It’s a business worth venturing in because it gives one of the highest returns in digital marketing. Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s, industries’ or companies’ products and services via social media handles or through websites. 81% of brands and 84% of publishers leverage affiliate marketing to generate sales. So, it may interest you to know that Jason Stone was able to generate $7 million in retail sales just in June in 2017. So you can see that affiliate marketing is a no-joke business. Start it and generate a high passive income. To make it in this business, you have to be a social media influencer, either on Twitter or Instagram.
  • Social media management: A business in which an individual represents a company or industry across various social handles. A social media manager can work as a freelancer, representing one or more companies and industries as required. They help to improve website traffic and optimize brand awareness.
  • How to start: For you to get good deals in this business sphere, you need to get certified by a good digital marketing school or agency. Examples are:
  • Ignite Visibility
  • WebFX
  • Thrive Internet Marketing agency and so many more

4. Food and Catering business

The food and catering business is highly profitable for one to venture in.

It is the most thriving sub-sector in the food industry.

Its profit margin against its loss is huge.

Food is one thing a man cannot do without.

The social celebrations are also on the increase.

So it is a business that cannot go into obscurity.

Due to digitalism, many foods and catering industries had employed the use of logistic services.

Notable food and catering industries like KFC and McDonald’s are worth millions of naira.

  • How to start: Before starting up a food or catering business, you have to do research and choose your niche. What aspect will you specialize in? Is it on African dishes, boxed lunches, adult parties’ food, and corporate event dishes or children parties?

Look for those in your chosen niche that is the best.

Study and understand how they operate.

Let’s look at KFC for example; it deals in just fried chicken.

But is it normal fried chicken? Of course, the answer is no.

The taste and packaging of the chicken are undoubtedly unique.

In a nutshell, to make it in this industry, you have to be unique and creative.

5. Consultancy Services

This business is for the specialist in their field.

It is a highly profitable business with one of the highest return rate in relation to the input.

Are you a professional expert or a specialist?

Then consultancy is a business you can start up without much stress.

Consultancy service is a business that involves a professional expert providing expert pieces of advice in relation to a particular segment to identify.

And also to solve the problem of a firm, industry, or company.

It could be in the areas of:

  • Finances
  • Security
  • Management
  • Human and personnel management
  • Information Technology(IT)
  • Sales promotion
  • Legal assistance.

Do consultants get paid very well? Yes, they do.

Glassdoor stated that the average salary for a consultant is $79,526 per year, with some earning up to $119,000.

The earning in the consultancy business depends on the field in which one consults.

Moreover, you can run it as a side business.

It does not require much stress.

All it requires is experience and knowledge.

Without consultants, most industries and firms would either have run bankrupt or shut down.

  • How to start: You can either register in a consulting firm as a consultant, or you can begin as a freelance consultant.

6. Software development

Software development is considered one of the best profitable ROI businesses to venture in.

All you need is to be a guru in programming, designing, and coding.

Although it is very expensive to start up, its profit is worthwhile.

Software development can be in aspects of:

  • Web designing
  • Game app developer
  • Android app developer
  • iOS app developer

In Nigeria, Union bank pays software developers about N367, 500 monthly.

Also, according to Indeed.com, a web designer makes up to $61,512 a year.

An IOS app developer and android app developer earns up to $139, 000 to $144,000.

With these statistics, you could see that the return on investment is high.

The beauty of this business is that you can work for several industries and firms as a freelancer.

  • How to start: You must enrol and take a course in programming before upgrading to your desired specialized field.

7. Oil and Gas Business

Are you looking for a business with a fast return on investment?

Oil and Gas business is the answer.

Although it is capital intensive, it is profitable with one of the highest return on investment amongst other industries.

Oil and gas business comes in various forms:

  • Owning of filling station
  • Owning a petroleum tank farm
  • Oil and gas trading

Owning of filling stations, especially in major streets, can be very rewarding and profiting.

Owning a petroleum tank farm is a very good business, but it is for wealthy individuals.

Its overhead cost worth millions.

In a nutshell, any aspect of business amongst the oil and gas industries can be very profiting.

  • How to start: To start a business in the oil and gas industry, you need to talk to legal personnel first for advice. After that, you can proceed with the necessary certifications.

8. Agricultural businesses

Agriculture is one of the largest and most profitable industries in the world.

Agriculture isn’t a business for the poor now. It has one of the highest return rates.

Look at Liu Young Xing, and he is the richest farmer in the world with a net worth of $6.6 billion- all gotten form agricultural investments.

You now may be wondering about the particular aspect to venture in since agriculture is broad.

Below are the best agricultural industries one can venture in:

  • Agricultural farm
  • Poultry farming
  • Fishing
  • Snail farming
  • Organic fertilizer production
  • Hydroponic retail store
  • Mushroom farming
  • Fertilizer distribution business
  • Orchard
  • Beekeeping business

Amongst the agricultural industries, poultry farming has been considered the most profitable of all, followed by owning agricultural farm plantation.

Agricultural businesses can be capital intensive, especially if you want to go into it in a mega way.

You can also be involved in agricultural exports.

9. Fashion and designing

Fashion and designing business is a highly profitable business where you can make up to N 100,000 per week or more for professionals.

As a starter, you can make up to the same amount, but monthly.

Fashion and design are a collection of several industries.

This means that fashion and design are very broad.

So before venturing in, you must choose your niche industry to work on amongst the rest fashion industries.

You could specialize in:

  • Sport fashion
  • Cooperate wears
  • Ankara wears
  • Bridal wears
  • Kiddies clothing.

You can run a fashion business that focuses on either one or some of the fashion industries.

For example, we have Nike, which is the best fashion outlet for sports wears.

In Africa, Nigeria is one that has the best fashion outlet businesses.

Most of them are into Ankara fashion.

The basic thing about the fashioning and designing industry is creativity.

Are you creative with styles?

It is not just about sewing, and it is about sewing with a difference.

Most importantly, it has one of the highest returns rates, and it cannot go obsolete.

  • How to Start: You can enrol in any of the fashion agencies or schools to effectively learn. Then afterwards, you can start your business outlet.

10. DJ entertainment business

Some of you will be wondering how the DJ business is one of the top businesses?

Yes, it is very profitable with one of the highest rates of returns.

Man cannot do without music.

There is this saying that ‘music is life.’ Music cannot sound nice without good gigs.

So gigs are the lifeline of music.

Also, among the various industries in the entertainment sector, the DJ industry is seen as a very core area.

As long as you are good at what you are doing, making seven figures yearly is possible.

  • How to start: In starting up a DJ business, firstly you have to research your competitors. Its profitability has drawn many into it. Look for what makes the best amongst them the best. The next step is to get an area of specialization. Will you be just a producer of random gigs? Are you going to focus on casual events? Corporate events? Or the combination of them all? While starting, if you can’t raise money to buy the equipment, you can lease them for usage.

List of most profitable small business

In this section, I will be discussing low-cost business ideas with high profits which can also be called profitable small businesses.

Most of us intend to start a business but have little capital at hand.

This has been a cause for worry to many.

There is no reason for alarm.

In this section, you will discover the ROI businesses you can venture into with low capital.

11. Photographing

Photographing is one of the best and most profitable ROI businesses out there for a small entrepreneur.

Photographer does not need a heavy amount for a start-up.

Let me treat this misconception here.

Photographing is just not about taking pictures.

It goes beyond that.

It deals more with creativity and design.

You have to be the best in it, to reap out the profit from it.

Most importantly, Photographers that deals in:

  • Landscape
  • Sports photography
  • Mono (black and white)
  • Architectural portraits
  • Wildlife
  • Modelling
  • Fine Art
  • Photojournalism, are all in huge demand. Like many other industries, this photography business requires a great deal of creativity and uniqueness to stand out.

To start up this business isn’t a hard one.

You can simply enrol in any of the photographing schools to learn the art.

After which you can lunch yours.

Photographers, especially those that deal in architecture and sports, are paid about $24.83 on an hourly basis.

12. Mobile hairdressing

You can be contemplating on the best option between shop hairdressing and mobile hairdressing.

Also, the high rate of flexibility, scalability, high return on investment makes mobile hairdressing more profitable.

A mobile hairdresser goes to the client’s location to dress and style their hairs.

Most ladies, while celebrating during occasions like weddings, proms and birthday parties, don’t like to go to the saloon.

So normally, a hairdresser goes to them.

Normally, mobile hairdressers charge a little bit higher than the contemporary saloon.

That is less overhead cost and more profit.

Due to the lucrative nature of this business, many salons are now into home care services.

13. Laundering and cleaning business

Laundering business is one of the best most profitable small businesses to venture in because of its low-risk status.

It is flexible and has one of the highest returns on investment.

No complex knowledge or equipment is needed to start up.

Those in laundering and cleaning businesses can work on a contract basis for individuals, industries, and firms.

Most importantly, this profitable ROI business can be run from home.

Whether you are in African or any part of the world, laundering and cleaning can be the best to venture in.

It cannot go obsolete.

Even with the emergence of cleaning and washing aids, not everybody has the patience to use it.

Moreover, not all laundering and cleaning can use with a machine.

14. Online tutoring

Are you a math guru?

An English expert?

Or a subject specialist?

Then online tutoring can be the best ROI business to venture in.

With the advent of digitalism, learning is gradually going digital.

So now, there is a great demand for good online tutors.

Payscale in accessing the profitability of the online tutoring, stated that the average hourly pay rate for tutoring a single subject is $17.59.

Sounds interesting, right? Some tutors earn higher than these.

You may be wondering about how to begin? You don’t have to worry again.

There are educational platforms like:

  • TeacherToGo.com
  • Eduboard.com
  • Tutor.com
  • Tutorviusta.com

You can apply to be one of their tutors.

It is easier to get a large audience working with existing educational platforms than working independently.

Independent tutors have to put much work in advertising before they get a large audience.

The larger the audience, the higher the rate of returns.

15. Junk removal business

Some folks call this business the dirtiest of all ROI businesses probably because they are in charge of removing junks from homes, industries, and on the street.

But let me remind you nobody can do without getting rid of junks.

So junk removal isn’t just a profitable business but an essential one.

That’s why it is recorded as one of the best ROI businesses to start up.

It could be in a big or small way.

For example, franchises like; Junk King, J Dog Junk Removal, Junk Luggers, and so on, are all making a huge return on investment on just removing junks.

Despite its misconception, especially in African nations, the junk removal business is highly profitable.

16. Graphics designing

Are you looking for a simple digital business you can start with just a smartphone and probably a laptop?

Than graphics designing is the best answer.

It is not just profitable but very simple to operate.

Industries, Firms and agencies all need graphics one way or the other.

Graphics, as you can see, have a large marketplace.

Graphic designing comes in different forms:

  • Logo designing
  • Motion graphics

Logo designing is the simplest form of graphics.

It can be done solely by a smartphone.

It could be logos of industries, firms, or companies.

Laptops can use for complex logo designing.

Motion graphic, which is known as the animation representation of data, is mostly used for marketing purposes.

So you can work as a freelancer, producing animated text videos for individual, corporate organization, or industries.

17. Writing

Writing is no longer just a passion in this digital world.

It is one of the best ROI businesses to venture in because of its high profitability and returns on investment.

Writing isn’t just putting words together, and it’s beyond that.

Many industries and companies today depend on writers to be to generate leads and increase sales.

Writing comes in different forms:

  • Copywriting
  • Article and content creation
  • eBook writing
  • blogging

Forbes has ranked copywriting as one of the top skills of the year 2020.

Copywriters can earn about $12,000 monthly.

The profits and earning one gets simply by copywriting is beyond the earning one does collect in industries or paid employments.

What is copywriting?

Copywriting is the process of writing advertising promotions text to generate traffic and leads.

All the promotional texts you see on billboards, catalogues, websites, and also, brochures are all the works of a copywriter.

It is as the best form of the writing business.

All you need to start a copywriting business is to have a good command of English.

Versatility in the English language is a must skill to have.

Copywriters like Neil Patel and Brian Dean are all making waves globally.

Industries and firms depend greatly on them in this digital age.

Article and Content creation

It’s the process of planning, developing and writing web content for either informative (for individual, industries and firms) or digital marketing purposes.

It includes writing blogs, scripts for videos, and podcasts.

Sites like:

  • Longreads.com
  • Cracked.com

Are regarded as one of the best sites for writing.

Those sites require articles of at least 25000 words.

Writers are paid $500 to $1200 for each article.

The earning depends mostly on the quality of the write-ups.


ebook writing is another profitable one of making money.

With little running cost and huge return on investment.

One can publish an eBook for free and sell in sites like:

  • Amazon
  • Payhip.com
  • Blurb
  • Book Baby, and so on.


One of the best writing business one can venture in.

With blogging, one can make up to seven figures yearly.

Although blogging is profitable, it requires diligence and patience to hit it big in the business.

If you are interested in going into blogging, you can study how successful bloggers were able to make it.

Some of them are:

  • Gina Trapani
  • Timothy Sykes
  • Linda Ikeji (Nigerian) and so many more.

In a nutshell, writers, in general, can act as freelancers.

The below sites are good for serious-minded writers to make money:

  • Fiverr
  • Upwork
  • Flexjobs
  • ProBlogger

18. Interior designing

Homes, industries, firms, companies and generally habitable buildings want to appear beautiful and appealing, so that’s where the business of interior designing comes into play.

They give homes, industries, and habitable building unique looks.

Best of all, the business has a low investment overhead with a high rate of return.

You can make up to seven figures a year if you are creative and good in your design.

All want you to need to start is just the knowledge of the business.

Also, there are agencies out there that teach on interior design.

You can enrol, learn, and launch out.

Apart from its profitability, it is a fun business.

19. Handmade Jewelry business

Jewellery is well known as an ingredient of beauty.

Most African countries have different kind of beads types that represent different parts of their culture.

So in these areas, handmade jewellery, especially beading, can be one of the best and profitable ROI businesses to venture in.

The start-up cost is very low.

With $50, you can start the business.

Also, you can expect to make $10, 00 to $250, 000 per year, depending on the quality and quantity of the pieces of jewellery.

In Africa, there are many small industries and fashion outlets that are into handmade jewellery making and beading.

It indeed has one of the highest return rates.

20. Repair and sale of phone accessories

About 95% of the population in advanced nations have cell phones.

About 75% of the population in developed countries have a cell phone.

This index keeps increasing daily.

One of the best and profitable businesses to start up.

It requires low capital except you want to go into it in a mega way.

Also has a huge market place.

Least profitable industries

Some capital intensive industries generate fewer profits.

Though they may seem appealing, the turnover rate is usually poor.

Examples are:

  • Grocery wholesale
  • Beverage manufacturing
  • Mining extraction

The industries involved in ROI businesses usually have high running costs and greater potential for losses.

Establishing businesses and industries is a good investment.

They protect you from the uncertainty that lies in paid employment.

But at the same time, the business can be frustrating and tiring, if diligence, determination, and creativity.

No individual nor establishment just makes it at once.

It takes days of patience and labouring.

It took some industries years before they became well known and established.

So the question is, are you ready to start a business?

It’s not just about yes, I’m ready.

The question is, are you ready to leave your comfort zone?

Remember, all business needs rugged advertisement and publicity to break into the market.

So in your plan to either launch a big or small ROI business, think of the most effective ways for publicity and promotion.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Leave a Comment

Join our mailing list!

Get the latest news, straight to your inbox.