25 Business Ideas for a Successful Startup in 2021

Laura Holton

Laura is a professional writer specializing in content aimed at small businesses and entrepreneurs. She has helped countless startups find the information they needed to take their ventures to the next level.

Maybe you’d love to be your own boss, but you’re not sure what kind of business idea to pursue. The good news is there’s a huge amount of choice. All of the following require only a minimal investment to start and have a good chance of leading to success.

1. Grocery Delivery

Even in normal times, grocery shopping is a chore that few people enjoy. Delivery from big-name stores is already popular, meaning you’re unlikely to be able to beat them in price and efficiency. However, if you focus on a more personalized service, you may be able to make this business idea work.

For instance, you could purchase just from the local stores in your neighborhood or pick up fresh fruit and veg from farmers’ markets. Talk to business owners and vendors to see if you can come to an agreement where they’ll give you discounts and you’ll see greater profits.

2. Handyman

If you’re the person everyone calls whenever they have a problem with an appliance, need to assemble a tricky piece of furniture, or are struggling to install shelves, you’re already halfway to becoming a handyman. Turn what you’re already doing into an official business by asking everyone who you’ve helped in the past to give you reviews and referrals.

3. IT Consultant

Alternatively, you may be the person family and friends call when they have an IT problem. Create a list of services that fall within your comfort zone. Whenever you’re not working on something for a client, focus on acquiring a new repair or troubleshooting skill.

4. Dropshipping

The easiest way to enter ecommerce is through dropshipping. With this business model, you never own any merchandise nor do you need to manage shipping — you just form relationships with suppliers and they send products to customers when you receive a sale. This is the perfect business idea if you are already well-versed in online marketing. Just make sure you choose a profitable niche.

5. Antiques Dealer

Flea markets are goldmines of antiques waiting to find the right person. Choose a niche you understand and start collecting items to resell through your ecommerce store.

6. Ghost Kitchen

Many restaurants are unable to survive with a dine-in model. Even if they have space outdoors or they’re able to social distance inside, not functioning to full capacity means they’re taking a hit. Nonetheless, people still want quality meals they don’t need to make themselves.

Ghost kitchens have actually been on the rise for the past couple years. You prepare meals for pickup and delivery only — there’s no storefront, just the kitchen itself. This allows you to use your culinary skills without the expense and risk of running a sit-down establishment.

7. Translator

If you speak more than one language fluently, you could offer your services as a translator. You are particularly likely to see success if you speak English and a less common language, as few people will be able to offer the same translating service. You have the option of translating writing (bear in mind that you will need to apply for a license to translate official documents) or you can do live translating for phone calls, meetings, and events.

8. Subscription Boxes

The great thing about subscription boxes is you’ll have a regular income from satisfied customers. Create a subscription based around your passion and fill the boxes with items people need to replenish on a regular basis. Some options to consider include beauty products, edible treats, toys for pets, coffee or tea, stationery for students, and food items for your area. This is another business idea that works well for partnering with other small businesses.

9. Dating Consultant

Whether you’ve had success on dating platforms yourself or you’re always giving friends dating advice and acting as a matchmaker, a dating consultancy could be for you. Your business could optimize dating profiles, screen matches, or even pair up your own clients.

10. Life Coaching

If you like helping people improve their lives, life coaching could be for you. Choose a niche you know plenty about — whether business, career, wellness, finance, or something else. You’ll need to receive training through a certification program before you can launch your business.

11. T-Shirt Printing

Designing T-shirts gives you a way to profit from a creative outlet. Whether you’re a designer yourself or you have ideas that someone else can bring to life, this could be a successful business idea. Plus, don’t feel you need to be restricted just to T-shirts — right now, fun designs on face masks is a big seller.

12. Personal Trainer

Gyms are still shut in many areas and people are stuck at home. Many are becoming restless and worrying about gaining weight. Personal training services are becoming popular because it’s easier to stay motivated with a trainer than when working out to pre-recorded videos. Plus, many people like to receive a personalized exercise plan. Offer your services over video chat or take group classes in an outdoor space like a park. Although you will need a license to work as a personal trainer, it can take no more than a few weeks to become fully qualified.

13. House Plants

Everyone is looking for ways to brighten up their homes right now. If you have green fingers, put them to good use by selling house plants. When you grow plants from seeds and trimmings, you turn almost nothing into a profit. To expand your business, you could also give clients growing advice or even help them create plans for their backyards.

14. Sewing

Most people are only able to sew the simplest things. Whenever they want to make an alteration, they need to seek out a dressmaker. Start out by offering simple adjustment and repair services. As you gain confidence in your skills, you may be able to start selling your own designs or doing customizations for clients.

15. Logo Design

Designing logos is a specific area of graphic design in high demand. There are always small businesses popping up — and these need a logo almost immediately to start operating. A great logo design is essential for helping startups stand out and express who they are in an instant. If you choose this idea, make sure you create a fantastic logo for your own business!

16. Online Lessons

If you’re an expert in a particular skill that others are interested in learning, start offering lessons online. You could tutor kids in the subject of your degree, give language classes in your native language, or even teach a craft. An alternative to live lessons is to create online courses. Decide whether you want people to sign up at a particular start date to have participants learn together or if they’ll download your course to do in their own time.

17. Personal Shopper

Many people struggle to find clothing that suits them and to create their own personal style. If your friends are always asking for your opinion before they make a purchase, a personal shopper could be an ideal business idea for you. Plus, you can do everything online — chat with clients over video and buy clothing from online stores.

18. Social Media Influencer

Monetize the large following you already have on social media. To become an influencer, search for brands to partner with on influencer marketing platforms. You’ll need to start out as a micro-influencer, but if you’re able to engage your audience and continue building a following, you may be able to find some major sponsorships in the future.

19. Social Media Consulting

Another way to take advantage of your social media expertise is to offer consulting services. You’ll provide small businesses with advice about their strategy to reach a wider audience and to gain visibility for your company.

20. Photography

There are two ways to start a photography business. You can either create a portfolio of your best work and offer photo shoots or you can sell prints. The first is a better option if you’re interested in taking portraits; the second is ideal if you specialize in something other than people — perhaps landscapes or wildlife.

21. Vintage-Style Toys

Grandparents, aunts, and uncles are often looking for something special and unique as a gift. The great thing about vintage-style toys is that they’re ideal for a range of ages and they become an item to be treasured. Turn your crafting skills to good use and learn how to make a specific type of old-fashioned toy.

22. House Cleaning

A particularly scalable business idea is house cleaning. Learn the basics and start building a network of clients by cleaning the homes of people in your neighborhood. As you gain more referrals, you can hire a team of people to clean for you — just provide them with training and the equipment they need. As you become more experienced, you can offer a professional service to clean investment properties, such as Airbnbs.

23. Daycare

If you’re at home taking care of your own kids anyway, why not turn this into a business opportunity? All you need to do is find a few children who need daycare. If you’d prefer not to use your own home, contact some large or midsize businesses in the area — perhaps a former employer or the employer of your spouse or a friend with kids. Ask if they’d be willing to provide you with a space where you can provide a day care service for their employees’ kids. Just bear in mind that whatever kind of daycare you offer, you will need to obtain the proper licensing.

24. Dog Walking

Becoming a dog walker is the dream job of anyone who’d love to spend more time with their favorite animals. Make sure you carry some business cards with you when you’re out with the dogs, as people who see you may ask you about your services — this is a business idea that can grow fast. To scale, recruit more walkers and consider offering boarding at your home or at the homes of your employees.

25. Pet and House Sitting

Pet owners often prefer to hire someone to live in their house while they travel than to use boarding. Plus, it has the added advantage that someone is taking care of their house. You’ll need to know how to care for all kinds of animals, be great at following instructions, and be willing to put in the work to provide pets with the care they need. It’s easier to see success with this business idea if you’re not tied to a particular location, as there may only be limited options in your local area.

If your one-person business turns out to be successful, you’ll quickly find that it’s far too much work for you alone. Plus, much of the work will likely fall outside your core business area. A virtual assistant can provide you with support for all these additional activities — managing your social media accounts, communicating with customers, and even designing your website. Readers of the MYVA360 blog can receive a 10-percent discount on our virtual assistant services. Schedule a discovery call to discuss how we can help you launch and run your business.

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