Best Automated Business Ideas

Best Automated Business Ideas

Running a business requires significant effort, time, and resources. In today’s rapidly evolving and competitive market, keeping up with the latest trends and meeting customer demands is even more challenging. However, embracing automation allows businesses to streamline operations, save time and money, and improve their bottom line. Automation can help with several business aspects, such as inventory management, customer service, accounting, and marketing. By automating these processes, business owners can focus more on growth and innovation rather than getting bogged down by routine tasks. Additionally, automation can help businesses scale up faster and more efficiently, allowing them to stay competitive and agile in a constantly changing marketplace. Here are 10 of the best-automated business ideas to launch in 2024.

1. Online Store with Dropshipping

Online Store with Dropshipping

Dropshipping allows you to sell products online without holding any inventory. When a customer orders, the supplier ships the product directly to them. This makes starting easy since you don’t have to invest in warehousing or fulfillment.

Choose a niche like pet supplies, crafts, or fitness equipment. Build an e-commerce store through Shopify or WooCommerce. Then, find dropshipping suppliers on platforms like AliExpress and connect their inventory to your store. Marketing through social media ads and influencers can help attract customers.

2. Self-Service Kiosks

Self-service kiosks provide an automated way for businesses to sell products or provide information to customers. Popular options include food ordering kiosks, ticket dispensers, electric vehicle charging stations, and digital advertising displays.

Research ideal locations near your target audience, like malls, airports, college campuses, or events. Work with a kiosk manufacturing company to design and produce the hardware. Develop the software and user interface that customers will interact with. Partner with vendors, venues, or property managers to install your kiosks.

3. Smart Vending Machines

Smart Vending Machines

A vending machine business provides automated point-of-sale and doesn’t require staffing. Intelligent vending machines are connected to the internet to facilitate mobile payments, remote inventory monitoring, and data collection.

Determine what products you want to sell, like snacks, electronics, cosmetics, or pharmaceuticals. Buy or rent-smart vending machines from companies like Seaga or Glorytun. Please place them in high-traffic areas and keep them filled with top-selling inventory. Use integrated sensors and analytics to optimize product selection and pricing.

4. Subscription Box Company

Subscription boxes ship monthly packages of goodies to subscribers centered around a theme like cooking, books, or art. This recurring revenue model benefits from high retention rates and predictable cash flow.

Select a niche like vegan snacks, Japanese candy, or dog toys—source affordable products from wholesalers to include in your boxes. Use e-commerce software like Cratejoy to run subscription sign-ups and handle fulfillment logistics. Promote through influencer unboxing videos and social media.

5. App Development

App Development

Mobile apps can provide anything from entertainment to convenience to essential user services. With no-code development platforms, you don’t need extensive technical skills to build and launch your apps.

Use BuildFire or Appy Pie to create your app without writing code. Add features like social sharing, push notifications, and loyalty programs. Submit your app to the Google Play and Apple App stores for users to download—Monetize through paid downloads, in-app purchases, and advertising.

6. 3D Printing Service

3D printing transforms digital files into physical objects using plastic, resin, or metal. Offering print services caters to consumers and businesses seeking rapid prototyping, customization, or on-demand production.

Invest in an industrial-grade 3D printer like a Formlabs Form 3. Allow customers to upload 3D design files online for a price quote. Streamline ordering and delivery through your e-commerce site. Set up a climate-controlled print farm to scale production. Market to product designers, engineers, architects, and more.

7. Social Media Management

Social Media Management

Nearly every business needs help managing its social media presence. Offering social media management provides reliable income, servicing an ongoing need.

Use Sprout Social to manage multiple brand profiles from one dashboard. Schedule and publish content across Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn platforms—track performance with analytics to refine strategy. Provide monthly performance reports to demonstrate ROI to clients.

8. Self-Publishing Books

Self-publishing allows authors to release books independently without going through a traditional publisher. Ebooks, in particular, offer higher royalties and global distribution through Amazon Kindle.

Use Kindle Direct Publishing to release books on Amazon without upfront costs. Hire freelancers to assist with editing, cover design, formatting, and marketing. Release books in hot genres like sci-fi, mysteries, or romantic comedies. Promote new releases on social media, Amazon ads, book review sites, and author newsletters.

9. Online Courses

Creating online courses allows you to generate passive income by selling your knowledge and expertise. Interests like photography, marketing, coding, and cooking appeal to enthusiastic niche audiences.

Record lessons using screen capture software like Camtasia. Break courses down into short, digestible modules. Host your course videos privately on YouTube or a platform like Teachable. Promote through Facebook ads, affiliate partnerships, email lists, and webinars. Consider a self-paced model or live cohort structure.

10. Branded Podcast

Podcasts provide informative or entertaining audio content through episodic series. A branded podcast establishes your business as an authority in your industry.

Rent studio time at a coworking space to produce high-quality recordings. Distribute your podcast across platforms like Spotify, Apple, and Google. Interview industry experts, spotlight influencers, and share company insights. Insert pre-recorded ads to monetize. Promote new episodes on social media and in email newsletters.

How to Start Your Automated Business

How to Start Your Automated Business

Now that you have some automated business ideas, here are the critical steps to structuring, launching, and running your company for success:

Choose Your Business Structure

Decide whether to operate as a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or LLC. Factors like taxes, liability protection, and ease of setup come into play. Register your business and acquire licenses based on your location and industry.

Fund Your Business

Calculate how much startup capital you need for expenses like inventory, equipment, marketing, and operating costs. Self-fund through savings or personal credit. Seek loans from banks, microlenders, or the SBA. Consider crowdfunding, business incubators, or investors.

Set Up Your Operations

Obtain any physical retail space, vending machines, kiosks, or commercial vehicles needed. Build out an e-commerce site, mobile app, or online course platform. Integrate automation technology like dropshipping, subscriptions, or 3D printing workflows.

Market Your Products/Services

Create brand assets – logo, packaging, signage. Launch social media profiles and online ads. Network with collaborators and influencers in your niche. Offer promotions and free trials to acquire early adopters. Gather customer feedback to refine your offering.

Manage Ongoing Growth

Monitor sales, web analytics, reviews, and customer support issues. Make adjustments and improvements over time. Release new products or features. Expand to new locations. Automate repetitive tasks to focus on big picture strategy. Watch for emerging technologies to integrate.

Keys to Success With an Automated Business

Keys to Success With an Automated Business

Launching an automated venture takes research, planning, and work. But you can set your business up for sustained expansion by:

  • Starting lean – Keep costs low so you can first enter the market quickly and nimbly. Reinvest revenue to fuel growth.
  • Outsourcing wisely – Focus on your core competencies. Hire specialists for technical work, marketing, fulfillment, and other tasks.
  • Providing stellar customer service – Automation benefits you, but customers still want a human touchpoint for assistance.
  • Iterating based on data – Let analytics guide your decision-making. Pivot away from underperforming products or markets. Double down where you gain traction.
  • Future-proofing with flexibility – Seek modular systems that can adapt. Expect to update your tech stack periodically as innovations emerge.
  • Securing customer trust – Privacy, security, quality control, and satisfaction must remain priorities, not just speed and cost savings.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to start an automated business?

Costs vary widely based on factors like your industry, equipment needs, inventory, marketing spending, etc. Budget a few thousand for a simple online business or mobile app. Kiosks and vending machines may require tens of thousands. Factor in operating expenses until you become profitable.

What are the main benefits of automation?

Automation provides consistency in quality and service. It allows you to scale your operations more efficiently. It reduces the need for labor and lowers costs. And it enables faster production and delivery in many cases.

Is automation suitable for any business?

Pretty much. E-commerce, mobile apps, subscription services, information products, and more can all benefit from automation. But look for ways to still connect personally with customers as well.

Are there legal requirements for automated businesses?

All regular business, tax, employment, and data privacy laws still apply. Depending on your industry, specific licensing, permits, bonding, and regulations will come into play too.


Starting an automated business allows entrepreneurs to tap into scalable, mechanical business ideas with minimal overhead. E-commerce, subscription services, digital information products, and tech-based platforms all provide routes to launch ventures with built-in automation.

The Role of IT Companies in Streamlining Your Business Operations strategically leveraging automation to simplify repetitive tasks, reduce costs, allow on-demand fulfillment, and improve consistency. It’s essential to strike a balance by incorporating personal connections with customers, ensuring that while embracing efficiency, the human touch remains integral to building lasting relationships.

You can establish a lean and profitable automated venture with a suitable business model, automation technology, and a focus on customer service. Do thorough research, craft a business plan, fund your startup costs, and continually optimize based on data. Automate where possible, but don’t use it as a replacement for human interaction.

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