These ideas will help you start and grow a successful business in 2021.
- Many of the best small business ideas for 2021 involve an online business model.
- Choose a business idea that you are knowledgeable and passionate about.
- Before starting a business, determine if there is a demand for what you want to provide.
- This post is for anyone looking for an idea to start a business.
You know you want to start a business, but you’re having a tough time articulating your idea. If you want to become an entrepreneur, it’s important to start with a great business idea. All you need is a bit of inspiration. It all starts with an idea that has room to grow over time.
If you are thinking of starting a business in 2021, it is critical to take the new normal into account. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed so much about how people consume products and services. While starting a retail business or restaurant might have been good ideas previously, you might be best served to reconsider those thoughts until you see how the next year plays out. Instead of some more traditional businesses, think about those that can support how people are now living their lives.
If you’re ready to run your own business, consider any of these great business ideas.
If you are knowledgeable and passionate about a specific topic (business, social media, marketing, human resources, leadership, communication, business development etc.), starting a consultant business can be a lucrative option. You can start your consulting business on your own, then grow your business and hire other consultants over time. Grow at a pace you can manage.
- Online reseller
Those passionate about clothing and/or sales may want to consider starting an online reseller business. Although it takes a lot of time and dedication, and an eye for fashion, this is a great idea that you can start as a side business and turn into a full-time resale business. You can start by using online store websites like Poshmark and Mercari to sell your unwanted clothing, eventually expanding to your own resale website.
- Online teaching
The demand for online education has opened up a wide possibility for entrepreneurs to start their own ventures. Since this is an online business idea, you can choose any subject you are knowledgeable about and teach a course regardless of your location. If you don’t have advanced knowledge in any particular subject, you can always consider teaching English as a foreign language online to students overseas.
- Online bookkeeping
As with education, technology allows many bookkeeping services to be performed online. If you are an accountant or bookkeeper who wants the freedom and autonomy of running your own business, you can take advantage of modern technology to start your own online bookkeeping service, taking on other companies as clients.
- Medical courier service
If you have a reliable vehicle and good time management skills, you may want to consider creating your own courier service, more specifically, a medical courier service. As a driver, you would be responsible for transporting medical items like lab specimens, prescription drugs and equipment. The healthcare industry is expanding, which is great for medical courier service job stability. You could start your courier business on your own or hire other drivers to work for you.
- App developer
If you are knowledgeable and experienced in technology, you may want to consider a career in app development. Smartphones have become an everyday accessory for many Brits, which has increased demand for mobile apps. Similarly, virtual reality software has become popular in recent years, so there is also a demand for VR app development.
- Transcription service
If you have a good ear and can type quickly, a transcription service is a great business idea that allows you to work from home with a flexible schedule. Medical transcription services are especially needed as voice recognition technology proliferates for healthcare provider dictation. If you’re not looking to start all at once, or if you have a day job you would like to keep for the time being, you can accept as few or many transcription jobs as you’d like. To boost your business prospects and justify charging more, consider becoming a certified transcriptionist and delving into a few specialties.
Medical transcriptionists typically charge 6 to 14 pence per line of transcription, which can quickly add up. The typical turnaround time for transcription work is 24 hours, so it’s important to stay on top of the jobs you accept. However, the flexibility to accept only a few requests to get started means you can scale up as you are ready, making transcription an easy service to start up slowly. Best of all, there is little startup cost and overhead. You simply need a computer, the appropriate software, and a secure messaging service.
- Professional organiser
Looking for a business idea that can really “spark joy”? Professional organisers help people declutter and minimize for a living. In an age of materialism, many people are desperate to downsize and take control over their possessions, rather than letting their things possess them. Minimalism is becoming extremely popular, but people often find it hard to part with things they’ve owned for a long time. Part of being a professional organiser is helping clients develop a system for downsizing and keeping things that way.
If you’re a highly organised person who enjoys making spaces functional and comfortable, you might be good at coaching others to do the same. People will pay you to help them devise a method of minimizing their possessions and then maintaining an organised space. To promote your business, ask if your clients will let you take before and after photos of the areas of their homes you’ve organised, and use those to create a portfolio that you can put on social media to attract more clients.
- Cleaning service
If you like to clean, you can easily turn it into a business. With a few staff members, a host of cleaning supplies and transportation, you can offer cleaning services to homeowners, apartment complexes and commercial properties. Most cleaning services charge between £15 and £30 per hour. Cleaning services are straightforward businesses that require relatively little overhead; you simply need planning, dedication and marketing to get your business noticed.
If you’re looking to differentiate yourself from other cleaning services, consider adding premium options like floor waxing or exterior power washing for an additional fee. These services could be the deciding factor between your new cleaning service and seasoned companies that maintain too large a client list to provide that level of cleaning.
- Freelance copywriter
If you’re a natural wordsmith with a bit of marketing knowledge, you can establish yourself as a freelance copywriter. Whether you write blogs, web content or press releases, plenty of companies will pay for your services. You can increase your value by bringing SEO knowledge to the table to help your clients craft a strategy to attack specific keywords that their target audience is already using in their online searches. Most freelance copywriters charge £20 to £50 per hour, but those with expertise in a given vertical could charge even more.
Freelance copywriting is a great business to run, because as long as you have an internet connection, you can work. It’s a business that you can operate from the comfort of your own home, or even from the road if you travel, when we can. If you establish a large enough network and gain referrals from satisfied clients, you could make freelance writing your full-time job.
- Home care service
A background in care and hospitality can go a long way to support housebound seniors who require in-home care. It’s also a service for which demand is only going to grow. According to the National Institute on Aging, between 2010 and 2050, the 85-and-over population is projected to increase 351% globally, and the global number of centenarians (those over age 100) is projected to increase tenfold. Many will need care and assistance, oftentimes in their own homes.
Luckily, you don’t need a background in healthcare to help seniors and grow a successful business at the same time, although those skills are certain to be in demand as well. Many seniors need help with everything from errands to repairs around the house. With some experience, you could consider growing your business to help seniors’ transition from their homes to assisted living facilities, offering services such as packing, transporting, setting up, or storing their furniture and possessions.
- Translation service
According to research from IBISWorld, the translation services industry saw a decline in 2020, as did many industries; however, it is projected to rebound nicely in 2021. That projected growth isn’t surprising, as the internet has opened up entrepreneurs in other countries to English-speaking markets and vice versa.
This trend has created an opening for multilingual speakers to offer specific services, such as document translation and the translation of website information into languages for use in other markets. If you know multiple languages, carving out a niche in the translation services industry could be a successful endeavour.
- Digital marketing
The importance of the internet grows with every passing day, making it harder all the time for businesses to cut through the clutter and properly market themselves. Digital marketing services are always in demand, and many small and midsize companies would rather outsource it than establish a costly in-house team. If you’ve got skills in SEO, content marketing, pay-per-click, web development or social media management, you could have a business opportunity that allows you the freedom to work from home.
Digital marketing is an important part of a brand, so it’s critical for you to respond to developments in your clients’ marketing strategies. Social media management entails watching for comments and messages around the clock, not just scheduling posts in a “set-it-and-forget-it” mindset. If you enjoy strategizing and implementing plans meticulously, digital marketing could be the right business for you. You may also consider becoming an affiliate marketer, which is another form of digital marketing.
- Food truck
With indoor dining limited in many locations right now, aspiring restaurateurs might find more success with a food truck. Food trucks come in all shapes and sizes, serving up a wide range of snacks and cuisines. Take your favourite style of food on the road and sell your culinary passions directly to hungry customers. Sure, you’ll be working, but you’ll be in a space you’re passionate about, with a chance to connect to people who have similar interests.
Food trucks might sound like a wild idea, but the industry is growing. The overhead and upkeep for a truck costs significantly less than owning a restaurant, and you have the added benefit of mobility. If you’re interested in serving up smiles.
- Lawn care service
If you grew up with a lawn, chances are your parents made you take care of it. For many of us, lawn care is a pain, but for some, it offers a sense of peace and serenity. Working outdoors with your hands to tame and beautify the natural landscape can be a rewarding experience, and since so many people find the work tedious, it can also be profitable.
Lawn care services require little more than some basic equipment, a trailer and perhaps some staff, depending on how many clients you have and how big the jobs are. You can quickly grow a small lawn care service into a full landscaping company by offering premium services and establishing a reputation as a brand that does a thorough job with a smile. If you like working outdoors and creating elegant landscapes, this could be the business for you.
- Rideshare driver
If starting your own business seems daunting or too much of a risk, you can always use your car to become a rideshare driver. The overhead and responsibility of running the company falls on the rideshare service, giving you the freedom to work as much or as little as you need. Rideshare applications such as Uber and Lyft have enabled people to start side businesses that pay well and require little more than a willingness to drive people to their destinations and make occasional friendly conversation.
Rideshare drivers have the independence of a small business owner without the heavy workload required to manage the logistics behind the scenes. If any of the other business ideas seem like they require too much effort or upfront capital, ridesharing might be a great way for you to dip your toes into the world of entrepreneurship.
- Estate agent
For many people, navigating the housing market is overwhelming. As an estate agent, you can help people find the home of their dreams at a price that fits their budget. In many states, you simply need to complete a few months of classes and pass an exam to qualify as a real estate agent. Even with a certification, you’ll get nowhere without basic people skills, so if you’re not a people person, this might not be the route for you.
- Graphic designer
Corporations, small businesses and sole proprietors all need eye-catching promotional materials, but not nearly everybody has an eye for what looks good. If you’ve got an artistic streak and know how to organise content into a visually pleasing format, you can start a graphic design business to provide flyers, digital ads, posters and other engaging visual materials. Graphic design also has the benefit of requiring few physical tools beyond a laptop and a desk.
- T-shirt printing business
Just as with graphic design, you might enjoy launching a T-shirt printing business if you’ve got a sharp artistic sense, or maybe you just enjoy taking someone else’s visuals and screen-printing them onto a blank shirt. Either way, if you have space for a T-shirt printing setup, you can easily get the necessary tools and start your small business.
- Drop shipping
Not all companies that sell goods store them onsite. In dropshipping, people who run e-commerce sites go to a third party to fulfil all orders. The third party is likely a wholesale retailer or other entity that runs a warehouse and shipping operation. The minimal inventory and tools needed for dropshipping make it an especially great startup idea if you’re worried about overhead and physical space.
- Pet sitting
When families go away for extended periods and need someone to watch their pets for them, your pet-sitting small business can give them peace of mind they need. As a pet sitter, you’ll watch over your clients’ dogs, cats or other pets at their house, making sure to feed them, give them water, play with them, spend time with them, and (with dogs) walk them as needed. You’ll also need to regularly update your clients on how their pets are doing.
If you have other sources of income that require merely an internet connection and a laptop, pet sitting may be an especially apt small business idea. Almost all pet owners will be glad to let you do work on your laptop while you spend time at their home with their pets, meaning that you can run two income streams simultaneously.
Key takeaway: Although there are many great small business ideas, the best ones for 2021 will likely involve working online.
What are the most successful small businesses?
Small businesses that involve website design, a subset of digital marketing, tend to be among those that make the most sales and bring in the most profit. People now learn about businesses on the internet more often than via other avenues, so finding clients and a steady income stream isn’t usually difficult. Cleaning services and estate agency businesses also have high success rates, which makes sense, all people need homes, and they prefer them clean.
Key takeaway: Some of the most profitable business ideas are website design, cleaning services and estate agency.
What would be a good small business to start?
If you’re concerned about maximizing your profit while minimizing your workload, a good small business to start might be any of the ones that most frequently prove successful. However, if you’re more interested in incorporating your passions into your work while earning enough money to live, a good small business to start is any that fulfils you, requires you to use your skills and offers you a good work-life balance. There are so many great business ideas that this question has no objectively correct answer – you know better than anyone what small business ideas will bring you happiness, success and stability.
Key takeaway: The best small business to start is something that you are passionate and knowledgeable about, and there is a demand for.
How can I start my own business with no money?
You don’t need money to become a small business owner. The first step in starting a business with no money is to keep your current job, if you have one, and launch your small business as, for now, a side pursuit. Then, develop your business plan and analyse your consumer base, market, and potential challenges. Near the final stages of this planning, you’ll better understand how much money you need to start your business. You can find this money through crowdfunding platforms and investors. Consider taking out loans only as a last resort.
Key takeaway: Choose a small business idea with low startup costs. If you still don’t have enough money, you can finance your business idea through crowdfunding or investors.
How do I start a small business from home?
Home-based businesses tend to be the most convenient and manageable small business ideas. That said, not all great business ideas are suited for home offices, so make sure your business can be conducted from home – jobs with onsite needs and heavy in-person demands might not be suitable. In your business plan and budget, be sure to incorporate any office supplies and tools that make your online business ideas feasible, such as a separate business computer, a proper desk, high-speed internet, filing cabinets and a website for your business.
Key takeaway: Many online businesses and companies with low inventory can be started from the comfort of your home.
What is the step-by-step process for starting a business?
Starting a business takes a lot of work, but with the right tools, help, and advice you can get your company up and running in no time. Although your specific business journey will be unique to you, we identified a few steps that entrepreneurs can take to start their business.
Ready to get started? Why not join us?
This is an age old solution to a problem we all experience, I urge you to give it a try it might help.
I have been using this little known ‘method’ for a number of years and it really does sharpen your mind and thoughts.
Let’s get started.
Its January 2021 and like most people you have probably made resolutions for this year. They may be things like – start that business, lose weight, get fit and a million other things. But how often do you get to March or April and its back to the same old routines and habits. More often than not is my guess.
Let’s arrive at the same destination just via a different route.
I’ll let you into a secret, I am a very private person and only a handful of people know what I am about to tell you. In November 2019, I suffered a health scare that nearly killed me, in fact for a short time it did! But with the help of some fantastic people, consultants, and doctors I survived. Five stents and two months later I was back to full health. Now I am not telling you this for sympathy, I’m telling you this as a warning and as a direct way to get to your ‘word’. This one event changed my life forever.
So, my word for 2020 was ‘health’, understandably as I didn’t want to go through that experience again.
In January 2020 I made a lot of changes and even more promises to myself and family to live a better life but come February and March I was back to doing the same things I had always done. This was because I felt better than I had for a long time, so I thought I could do even more, I was wrong, and my body was letting me know in no uncertain terms.
When we first heard about Coronavirus no one really took it seriously we all thought it was just another flu like virus, how wrong we were. It has changed our lives forever. I know it has mine.
When the first lockdown happened at the end of March 2020, I admit I was rather pleased as it gave me the chance to recuperate and recharge my batteries. But it also gave me a chance to think about the business and the directions it should be taking.
The first thing I did was hire more people, which gave me the time to recuperate and prepare properly, this was fantastic as it filled the gaps that I had no chance of filling myself and had probably caused a lot of my health problems trying.
I think it gives you a great sense of ‘tribe’ to have people onboard. I think if this virus has taught us anything it’s that we do not thrive in isolation we need people around us to function. Business is no different.
So back to my ‘word’ for 2021.
If 2020 was ‘health’ then 2021 has to be ‘change’.
I know you’re reading this thinking “this is all well and good but how does this affect me?”.
Well instead of making resolutions that we both know you’re going to break in a couple of months’ time why not come up with your ‘word’ to live by for this year?
It could be, and these are examples of words I’ve used in the past:
- Business – start the business you’ve always wanted to work in
- Travel – I know this will be later in 2021 but it will come
- Health – look after yourself so you can live the life you deserve
- Time – give yourself more time to plan, play and live
- Lead – become the leader you know you can be. This isn’t just in business!
- Explore – I love this one as it can lead to so many adventures and yes its totally different to travel
- People – connect with people you really should work, play and explore with
These are just a few to get you started but please think about your own ‘word’ for this year. How do you find it? Look back through the years and try to remember the times that you did something memorable, it’s easier than you think.
What are you missing in your life? I use the word ‘fulfilment’ a lot in business but it’s just as important in your personal life. Are you fulfilled? If not, how do you fix it?
To find your ‘word’ think about what you want for yourself this year, what do you want for your business? Be selfish as this is about you.
Once you do find it, it will definitely be your ‘word’ for 2021.
There is light at the end of the tunnel, we can see it, so use this time wisely to start your year as you mean to go on…fulfilled.
Have a fantastic day and please leave your comments and thoughts and together we can make 2021 a great year for all of us.
Everywhere you look online today you see someone saying, “It’s a great time to start a business”, myself included.
So why should we be saying this and why should you be taking any notice?
Well it comes down to one thing. Opportunity!
Everywhere you look there is opportunity, especially in the middle of a global pandemic and economic crisis. New businesses have been set up in healthcare, face mask production, specialist cleaning services and temperature control devices. Still think it’s a bad time.
But before you go jumping in, think about the consequences of jumping too fast.
Not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur, and that’s fine, but only by testing the water correctly will you find out.
So, this scenario will be a common occurrence around the world today.
You’re sitting at your kitchen table, your partner is asking, “what do we do now, you have no job?”. Starting a business is probably the furthest thing from your mind right now. “How do we pay the mortgage” and all the other bills that are coming in at the end of the month is probably the only thing on your mind.
This can be the catalyst you’ve been waiting for. Let’s say, for arguments sake, you’ve always wanted to open a dry cleaning business, not the most exciting of businesses admittedly but this is just for starters. You read on LinkedIn that some ‘know it all’ guru says this is the perfect time to start a business, because of opportunity, disruption and all the other usual things.
Now before you even think about opening the doors to your new business you need to know a few important things first.
- Is it what people want, is there a need?
- Is the location right?
- Will people pay your prices?
There are a few steps to take before all this happens.
The amount of times a brilliant idea has turned out to be a time and money pit, not to mention relationship killer. So, let’s not make that mistake.
Once you have an idea that’s when the hard work begins.
Global catastrophes like recessions and pandemics are often the precursor to disruption and opportunity plus redundancies are on the rise. A smart entrepreneur will view this as a great time to change careers, while others will think about starting their own business.
Its widely accepted that startups launched during a downturn tend to be far more durable and resilient than those started in good economic times. Look around for problems not being solved and come up with a solution that could be a great company for you to start. If you find the solution to a problem and then validate the idea, you’re more likely to succeed.
So, if your dry cleaning business solves a problem for your area, town or village then go ahead start your business today. But make sure you validate your idea first.
You might be the perfect person to start a business, but your idea might be a bad one. Don’t be put off if it is, rarely does an entrepreneur land on the ‘killer idea’ first time. It really does take time.
The important thing is that you get started in this order:
- Validate your idea by doing some market research
- Create an MVP, minimum viable product, and then grow when you’ve proved the concept
- Start your business in the knowledge that its viable and people want or need what your selling and will pay for it
Follow these simple rules and it will give you a great start and cut out a lot of the stress and heartache you could find yourself in if you don’t.
If you would like to know more about validating your business idea before you jump in, join us for a free webinar on 10th December 2020. For more details and registration follow this link: https://webinars.teguk.co.uk/
Coutts, the wealth manager and private bank, has released the latest round of findings of the inaugural Coutts UK Entrepreneur Index (CUEI) which outlines the level of entrepreneurialism in the UK as well as the desires and barriers that they have faced when starting their business.
The Entrepreneur Index has already revealed that one in four Brits (23%) has launched their own business, meaning they can officially call themselves an entrepreneur. Today, the wealth manager and private bank has also revealed what the drivers are behind those entrepreneurs making that decision.
It seems that for British entrepreneurs, the flexibility to work for oneself was the number one factor, with more than half (52%) declaring so. The same figure (52%) also said they wanted their business to be an interesting place to work. More than a third (34%) were attracted to the possible financial reward and a quarter (25%) simply wanted to build something from scratch.
It was also clear that launching one’s own business is also an opportunity for many to do something for their society or community. One in three (33%) declared that it is important to them that their business has a positive impact on society, more than a fifth (21%) said that wanted it to create jobs and around one in six (17%) wanted their business to be diverse.
Interestingly, Coutts found that more female entrepreneurs (37%) wanted their business to have a positive impact on society than their male counterparts (29%), and more women (57%) also found the idea of simply doing something more interesting a bigger driver than men (47%).
The Entrepreneur Index also compared the different sentiments of the UK’s entrepreneurs depending on their age, with some fascinating insights coming to light. More younger entrepreneurs, those aged between 18-34, for instance, wanted their business to have a positive impact on society than their senior counterparts – 43% of Britain’s younger entrepreneurs stated so, compared to 35% of those aged 35-54 and just 16% of those aged 55+. More younger entrepreneurs were attracted to starting their own business in order to build something for future generations with one in five (22%) stating so, compared to just 9% of those aged 55 or over. The desire to do something or work somewhere genuinely interesting was the biggest driver for those aged 55+, with a whopping 67% stating so, compared to 44% of those aged 18-34 and 48% of those aged 35-54.
These numbers from the research prove one thing, without entrepreneurs and startups the UK economy will suffer for years to come. We cannot rely on other aspects of business to pull us through.
I would say there are two things that help in this struggle:
- Understanding the goals and drivers of the entrepreneur
- The purpose of the business, what is it here to do and achieve?
This goes for an entrepreneur with an idea, a start up or a global organisation
One thing is for certain its great to see that here in the UK we have the appetite to start and grow businesses. It’s a mark of just how passionate we are as a nation to do what we can to help, two lockdowns have proved that, but for me it’s the unshakable notion that together we can succeed. Maybe, just maybe, we will.
I have the feeling that fundamental things are changing and whether they are changing for the better only the future will decide.
Here’s just a few of the things that are changing for us as a business:
- The way we interact – this now is predominantly phone calls and MS Team meetings
- The way we do business travel – there isn’t any but that will change when all this is over, but will it be the same? Will we go back to having to make so many journeys that screw up the planet?
- The way we bank – although that’s be changing for some for a long time, I can see massive changes in this sector
- The way people are viewed – in the UK Mike Ashley (Sports Direct) and Tim Martin (JD Wetherspoons) and even Richard Branson didn’t cover himself, or Virgin, in glory by asking for a bail out given he’s a multi billionaire.
These are just a few of the things that could change forever in the business world, and rightly so, maybe it’s the order of things to change every once in a while, it’s happened many times throughout history.
Has it taken a global pandemic to waken us all up to the fact that things need to change, but are we listening? We will see!
As a business we rely on getting people in a room for our training, as most training companies do at the moment, but could that change? Maybe something like AR could help, my feeling is its not too well developed for that just yet. At the moment nothing beats the interactions of people in a room, for now.
Maybe we will see a rise in AR similar to what MS Teams and Zoom have experienced for meetings, who knows.
A lot of this is guess work as we don’t really know what will happen as things return to normal, whatever that is or was. But I have the feeling this pandemic has caused not only pain and misery but also hope… hope that we can change and find different and better ways to communicate so we can make a difference to the planet and each other.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the changes we are all witnessing.
It’s a long read but this is a great piece on how society is changing during this pandemic. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/31/how-will-the-world-emerge-from-the-coronavirus-crisis