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45 Best Small Business Ideas You Can Start in 2021

Best Small Business Ideas List 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!

1. Dropshipping

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!

Small Business Ideas From Home: Dropshipping
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.

3. Print-on-Demand

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.

Most Successful Small Business Ideas: Print-on-Demand 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?

5. Writing

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:

New Small Business Ideas List: Freelance Writing Jobs on Blogging Pro
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.

Small Business Ideas List 2020: Travel Planning with Google Flights
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.

Small Profitable Business Ideas List: Editing Jobs on Fiverr
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.

11. Translating

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-Scale Business Ideas List: Translators Base

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. 

12. Ecommerce

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?

Most Profitable Small Businesses: Sell Online with Shopify
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.

Small Online Business Ideas: Website Flipping
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.

Small Business Startup Ideas: Web Development Jobs on Gun.io
17. Blogging

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.

Small Businesses That Are Easy to Start: Graphic Design on Authentic Jobs
19. Consulting

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.

Unique Online Business Ideas: Sell Furniture with Shopify
21. Crafting

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.

23. Calligraphy

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?

24. Transcribing

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:

Micro-Business Ideas: Transcribe with Rev
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.

26. Hairdressing

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.

Best Small Business Ideas List: Advertise Pet Grooming on 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

Virtual assistants can work from anywhere while helping individuals and businesses with a range of tasks. Find your first client on a website like FlexJobs, Zirtual, or Fancy Hands.

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.

Small Profitable Business Ideas: Cleaning Business YouTube Tutorials
31. Bookkeeping

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

This is one of the best small business ideas for beginners. Many businesses need help with data entry jobs. Do some research or check out freelance marketplaces like Freelancer to learn more.

33. Tutoring

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:

Small-Scale Business Ideas: Online Teaching with TutorMe
34. Handyperson

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.

36. Catering

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.

New Small Business Ideas List 2020: Personal Trainer YouTube Tutorials
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.

39. Photography

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.

Unique Online Business Ideas: Sell Photos with 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

Have you always dreamed of running a little B&B? Do some research, get licensed, and then start promoting your getaway on sites like Booking.com and Airbnb.

Small Business Startup Ideas: Run a B&B with Airbnb
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.

Micro-Businesses Ideas: Airbnb Experiences
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:

  • Dropshipping
  • Social media management
  • Print-on-demand
  • Personal cooking and catering
  • Website flipping
  • Photo or video editing
  • Blogging
  • Tutoring
  • Photography
  • Ecommerce

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!

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