45 Best Small Business Ideas You Can Start in 2021
Looking for the best small business ideas? Read on!
There are many benefits to starting a small business, such as a more flexible work schedule, doing something you enjoy, and being in control of your destiny.
But before you can start a successful small business, you need an idea.
Ideally, you’ll find a small business idea that’s not only viable, but also interests you and allows you to harness your skills, talents, and experience.
To help you choose the best small business to start, we’ve put together this small business ideas list featuring everything from online services and passion-projects to retail opportunities and small-scale business ideas.
Let’s get into it.
Small Investment Business Ideas
If you don’t have much money to invest in your new business, don’t worry. Here are 11 small investment business ideas that you can start with little-to-no money!
Dropshipping is the process of selling products online without needing to purchase goods upfront, hold inventory, or ship orders to customers. Instead, your dropshipping supplier does these things for you. You can start dropshipping with Oberlo today – it’s free!
2. Social Media Management
If you love social media and spend a lot of time creating content, why not capitalize on your passion and help businesses grow by starting a social media marketing service? Do some research to learn more, and then reach out to local businesses to land your first client.
Print-on-demand is very similar to dropshipping, except you can sell products featuring your original designs. When you receive an order, your supplier will print your design and send the product to the customer for you. Get started with Shopify.
4. Personal Meal Prep and Cooking
Is cooking one of your passions? Do you love to express yourself through food? Plenty of people don’t have the time or skills needed to cook delicious, nutritious, fresh food themselves. Why not start a small business cooking meals for them?
Writing is one of the most flexible small business ideas out there. There are so many ways to start a writing business – from blogging and sales copy to journalism or technical writing. To get started, check out popular freelance writing job boards, such as:
6. Career Coaching
Have you had a successful career? Do you know how to help people progress in their careers? If so, consider this small business idea. Start by reaching out to contacts in your network and ask if they know anyone who may be interested in your services.
7. Travel Planning
Do you have a knack for travel planning? If you know how to put together an awesome itinerary and where to get the best deals online, consider becoming a travel planner. If this sounds interesting, do some more research and check out tools like Google Flights, Booking.com, and Roadtrippers.
8. Health and Wellness Coaching
Do you love leading a healthy lifestyle? If so, why not share your passion? Countless people want someone to help them improve their health and wellness. Get started by reaching out to people in your network.
9. Proofreading and Editing
Are you detail-oriented? Do you love words and grammar? Behind every writer is a proofreader and editor helping to perfect every article, book, or dissertation. Look for clients on sites like PeoplePerHour, Fiverr, and Upwork.
10. Dating Consulting
Are you great at striking up new connections with people? Do you know how to bring out the best in others? Many wonderful people in the world may need your help to find the love of their life.
If you’re bilingual or a polyglot why not provide freelance translation services? Take a look at these freelance translation marketplaces to learn more:
Small Business Ideas From Home
If you want to spend more time at home, consider starting one of these creative small business ideas from home – this section also includes many small online business ideas.
Whether you start a clothing boutique or sell sports gear, selling products online is easier than ever with services like Shopify, Handshake, and Oberlo. Why not build an ecommerce company around your passions and interests?
13. Web Designing
Do you love to design new websites? Are you always tinkering around with website themes and plugins? If so, consider building websites for others! Reach out to local businesses to land your first clients.
14. Website Flipping
If you enjoy both business and web development, you could start flipping websites. This is the process of buying websites with potential, improving them, and then selling them for a profit. Check out Shopify’s Exchange marketplace to learn more.
15. Photo or Video Editing
Do you enjoy editing photos in Photoshop? Perhaps you like making videos in Final Cut Pro? Plenty of people and businesses need someone like you to help them improve their family photos or business and marketing materials. Do some research online to learn more!
16. Web Development
Web development skills are in high demand. If you love to develop apps, code, or build interfaces, consider becoming a freelance developer. Check out sites like Stack Overflow, Gun.io, or GitHub Jobs to find your first client.
Do you have a passion or interest that you could write about non-stop? Whether it’s travel, music, business, or personal finance, you could start a blog and make money through affiliate marketing or Google Display Ads.
18. Graphic Designing
Graphic design is one of the best creative small business ideas out there. Harness your skills to create materials for businesses, events, and more. Find your first client on a design-related job board like Authentic Jobs and Dribbble.
This small business idea is a way for you to put your knowledge and experience to use. Whether you provide business, decluttering, or fashion consulting services, you can help guide others through a process you’ve mastered.
20. Furniture Making
If you have a passion for crafting unique and beautiful furniture, consider this creative small business idea. You can start selling your pieces through Shopify.
Similarly, you could sell handmade items online like knitwear, wicker, needlework, jewelry, or pottery. Many people appreciate the uniqueness and quality of handmade products.
Small-Scale Business Ideas
Are you looking for a small business to start to supplement your income, or do you want to keep things small and easy to manage? If so, check out these small-scale business ideas.
22. Resume Writing
Many people don’t have the time, skills, or confidence to write themselves a winning resume. So if you’ve got experience writing job-winning resumes or have hired many people before, consider starting this small business from home. Check out sites like Upwork and Freelancer to find your first client.
Google Trends shows that calligraphy has made a comeback in recent years – especially around the holidays. Why not start a business writing beautiful invitations, cards, and place settings for businesses and events?
Transcribing audio into text may not be the most glamorous small business idea, but it provides an enormous amount of flexibility and allows you to work from home. Get your first client through a site like:
25. Massage Therapy
Help soothe clients’ aches and pains by becoming a licensed massage therapist. Get started by advertising home visits in your local area.
You don’t need to open a fancy salon to start a hairdressing business. Like massage therapy, you can start with home visits. You could also consider offering styling and makeup services.
27. Pet Grooming
The American Pet Products Association expects the demand for pet grooming services to grow in the coming years. If you love animals, why not start a mobile pet grooming service? Reach out to your network or offer your services on a platform like Nextdoor.
28. Sewing and Alterations
Many people still love to mend or alter their favorite clothes instead of throwing them away. If you’re talented with a needle or sewing machine, you could start a sewing alterations business.
29. Virtual Assisting
30. Home or Window Cleaning
Cleaning is one of the best small investment business ideas. Many people and businesses need help cleaning windows, homes, and offices. Check out some YouTube tutorials to learn more.
Plenty of small businesses need help keeping track of their finances. If you love budgeting and finance, why not offer bookkeeping services? Reach out to local businesses or check out sites like Upwork or Fiverr to find your first client.
32. Data Entry
Thanks to COVID-19, more and more people are learning from home. Check out this guide on online teaching or find jobs on websites like:
Are you always fixing things? Do you often help friends, family, and neighbors with a range of tasks? You could start a handyperson business. This is one of the best micro-business ideas for those new to entrepreneurship.
35. Pet Sitting
Do you love spending time with animals? If so, you could become a pet sitter in your local area. Plenty of people need help looking after their furry family. You could even get accredited by the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters.
Best Small Business Ideas To Start Locally
If you’d prefer to avoid spending your days typing on a computer, or you want to start a small business in your local community, here are some small business ideas that you can start locally.
If you’re always cooking big family dinners, consider catering for local events and other families’ occasions. Reach out to your network to ask if anyone knows someone who may be interested in your services.
37. Personal Training
If you’re a fitness guru, you could share your passion with others, help them get fit, and make money at the same time. Check out some YouTube tutorials on how to become a personal trainer.
38. Landscaping and Gardening
If you love to work outside, consider starting a landscaping and gardening business. Whether it’s trimming hedges, cutting the grass, or repainting fences, many people need help maintaining their gardens and lawns.
Photography is undoubtedly one of the most creative small business ideas. Specialize in family, business, events, or wedding photography and start advertising your services locally. Alternatively, build a catalog of stock photography and sell photos online through sites like Shutterstock, Pexels, and Alamy.
40. Property Management
Countless people need help renting out their properties, managing tenants, and fixing problems onsite when they arise. If this sounds interesting to you, do some research to learn more!
41. Bed and Breakfast
42. Event Planning
If planning birthdays, graduation parties, and family outings is your idea of fun, why not use your skills and start an event planning business? Whether you specialize in weddings or business events, many people need help crafting enjoyable group experiences.
43. Food Truck
If you’ve always wanted to run a restaurant but don’t have the resources to invest in one, consider starting a food truck business. Once you’ve built a loyal following, you could always make the leap and open a restaurant. Check out the licensing requirements in your area.
44. Tour Guiding
If you have a passion for history and culture in your local city, consider becoming a tour guide. You could even host tour-guide experiences on Airbnb.
45. Home Staging
Do you have a flair for interior design? Put your talents to use by starting a home staging business. Check out some YouTube tutorials to learn more.
Summary: Top 10 Small Business Ideas List 2020
If you’re looking for the best small business to start, ultimately, there’s no such thing – the best small business to start is whatever works for you!
When browsing small business ideas, try to find something that’s viable, interesting, and allows you to capitalize on your skills, talents, and experience.
To finish up, here are our favorite top 10 small business ideas:
- Social media management
- Personal cooking and catering
- Website flipping
- Photo or video editing
Finally, if you’re still struggling to identify small profitable business ideas that interest you, take some advice from Brian Chesky, the co-founder of Airbnb:
“If we tried to think of a good idea, we wouldn’t have been able to think of a good idea. You just have to find the solution for a problem in your own life.”
What small business ideas interest you the most? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!