Top 10 Small Business Ideas for Entrepreneurs in 2021

Shop owners in front of their shop

Looking for a Business Idea in 2021? Have at Look at These

It’s 2021, and since last year society has changed. Millions of people are getting sick and dying. The world is trying to adapt to a new restricted lifestyle. The world economy is suffering, and many small businesses are on the verge of bankruptcy. All because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It doesn’t make a lot of sense to consider starting a business today when others struggle to survive. However, there are a few opportunities that make sense during a pandemic.

Some opportunities will require reasonable costs, but most fall into the category of low-cost startups. Some of the ideas are a good business to start during a pandemic because they serve customers in today’s lifestyle change.

You’ll gain experience and customers during this time. When the pandemics over, you have the opportunity to keep your business going, and you have gained experience and knowledge to drive your business forward.

At times opening a business during tough times can be an opportunity. It’s usually not a good idea to start a business during a recession. There is less money flowing through the economy. People are spending less, and many people don’t even consider starting a business when the economy is on a downward trend.

Another way of looking at this is the demand for products and services is always there. There is always demand even during the depression. The difference is there is a shift in the products and services that are in demand.

Here’s an example.

During prosperous times, many people can afford to buy a home. If the economy goes sour with a high unemployment rate, many people will lose their homes. There will be many bankruptcies and many vacant homes for sale at reduced prices due to the law of supply and demand. Is there an opportunity during a time like this?

With a collapse in the housing market, there is an opportunity to purchase houses at reduced rates. You could rent out those houses at reasonable rates. There will be many people who no longer own homes but still need somewhere to live. Notice the shift, which has occurred from owning a home to renting a home.

You can provide a valuable service by offering affordable rentals for those hit hard by the economy. Although the economy isn’t great, you’re offering a valuable service while building a business simultaneously.

So when the economy goes into a downward spiral, look for the shift from what it was to what it is today and focus on today’s needs.

Running a business can be very, very, simple. You register a business for a few hundred dollars, rent a space, get some products and services, and that’s it you’re ready to go.

I wish it were that simple. Even though some people take this approach, it takes a lot more than that to run a “successful business.” And I emphasize the word successful! Almost anyone can run a business, but can few can run a successful one.

It takes a lot of planning, thinking, testing, and a lot of work to make a business successful. Therefore, it takes years; you must understand what it will take before you get into any business. Most successful small business ideas don’t become successful on their own.

Below are ten ideas for starting a business that fit well during the pandemic. Also, I have included resources to offer more ideas for some of the top businesses you can start in 2021

Let’s get started with the ten businesses you may want to consider.

List of Small Business Ideas

1. Food Truck Business

With so many restaurants closed these days, food trucks are in more demand. Most areas allow you to order take-out food, and food trucks could qualify as take-out. With so many restaurants closed, a food truck business can stay open during a pandemic.

Naturally, you can’t run your food truck to encourage gatherings. But you can locate your truck in an area where people can stop by and get the special of the day.

Keep in mind licensing may be different due to the pandemic. City officials don’t want you parking in areas that can promote crowds. One other issue to consider is those people that already have a license for a food truck should be up and running. If you need to apply for a license, there may not be any available in populated areas due to the pandemic.

You could show the customer how you have sanitized your truck and kitchen area, your utensils, and the precautions you have in place to prepare their food safely. You can include a well-designed sign on the truck showing your procedures and guidelines and even show a video of the procedures you follow for COVID safety.

One of the benefits of starting a food truck business is its mobile. You can switch areas until you find the most profitable one. You can even locate it in different places during the day.

If you have a license for many areas to park, you could park during lunch hours near factories. Or you can have a dedicated route and contact companies to see if they would like your food truck showing up during their breaks and lunchtimes.

For more on starting your own food truck business, see How To Start A Food Truck Business: What You Need To Know

2. Home-based Catering

Catering is another business idea that will work well in the Covid era, as many bars and restaurants are under lockdown.

As a home-based catering business, you can take orders to deliver meals to people at home: office meetings, small gatherings, etc. You don’t want to serve parties that may go against the COVID protocols in your area. Only cater to people with your local health unit’s recommendation.

Since people can’t go out can’t go to restaurants, they can order catering and get it delivered. Even though caterers usually supply large parties during times of Covid, there is an opportunity to provide meals to small families.

Many people can get tired of eating fast food all the time, and a delicious cooked meal catered by a professional is something people may look forward to during this pandemic.

When the pandemic is over, it doesn’t mean your catering business has to end. You can expand your horizons and use the experience you gained during COVID to cater to large crowds.

As a caterer, you want your clients to have peace of mind that your food and service are safe, just like we talked about in the food truck section above. You want to ensure your process has all the safety protocols in place according to the local health unit to ensure your customers and staff are safe from COVID.

As a catering service, your food has to be great, your service impeccable, you have to be COVID safe in this day and age.

You can start a catering business on a small budget. Especially if you already have a kitchen and a delivery vehicle. You expand as your business stabilizes and grows. If you’re interested in this type of business, then this can be your practice run, and when COVID is over, you have the experience you need to expand effectively. For more see, How To Start A Catering Business – Resources Included

3. Dropshipping

Dropshipping is an excellent business to get into if you don’t have a lot of capital and you like to work from home.

Even though there’s a lot of competition, making your product line unique and targeting the right people while offering helpful tips and recommendations gives you a chance to compete in this crowded marketplace.

One of the keys to succeeding in a dropshipping business is you need to be passionate about your products. If you look at high-profit products that you don’t care about, it will decrease your sales because you probably won’t try out the products before promoting them, and you’ll find it difficult to come up with headlines and descriptions that can boost sales.

When you are interested in the products you’re promoting. You’ll enjoy answering sales questions and even customer service questions because you have a deep knowledge of the product and are passionate about it.

When you’re passionate about a product or service, you can talk about it for hours and never get bored.

When you find a product your passionate about, you have dramatically increased your chances of success.

To succeed in a dropshipping business, you need to find the right products at reasonable prices for your customers.

It doesn’t take a lot of money to start a dropshipping business because you don’t have any inventory to purchase, and you don’t need a storefront to set up. It’s all done online, and most of your cost will be getting visitors to your site.

Another idea is if you already run a brick-and-mortar store, you could supplement your business by adding dropshipping to your business model. Your product line could include the products you already have and expand with products available for dropshipping. Since everything is slow this year, this may be a good time to consider this idea.

Have a look at the articles below to help you gain a broad idea of starting your own dropshipping business.

How To Start A Dropshipping Business: Get The Details Here

Dropshipping Suppliers and How To Choose The Right One

How to Choose the Right Dropshipping Products

4. Product / Business Reviewer

You can work as a paid reviewer where a company pays you to write reviews to help boost product sales. Or you can choose products that you want to review and promote on your own.

When you promote products on your own, you become an influencer, and you may even shift your business from a product reviewer to an affiliate marketer.

The key to becoming an influencer is you have to be honest about the products you’re recommending, and your reputation is worth more than the revenue you generate.

Recommend one product that doesn’t stand up to your recommendation, and you instantly lose credibility and followers. The products you review must be exactly how you reviewed them, and it’s better to take time and over-deliver on your review, so people know what to expect.

The questions that come to my mind with this type of business are:

1. Where do I find the products to review?

2. Are their companies that will act as brokers?

3. What is the best way to review products etc.?

Below you’ll see a list of articles that will offer insights into starting this type of business and resources to help you create effective, engaging reviews.

How to Become a Paid Product Reviewer Free at Home (Make Extra Money Now!)

How to Make Money Blogging: Becoming a Product Reviewer – WHSR

How to Become a Product Reviewer: Step by Step – Guide – Helpie WP

5. Virtual Assistant

Starting a business as a virtual assistant is always in demand whether we’re living in a pandemic or during normal times.

As a virtual assistant, it may be best to specialize in one area, for example, scheduling, bookkeeping, creating reports, etc., but that doesn’t mean you can’t do other administrative tasks.

You can specialize in a few areas but are open to assist in other areas. Virtual assistance may have long contracts or temporary jobs or a combination of both where you have two or three long-term contracts, and you take on jobs on the side.

One advantage of being a virtual assistant is you can pick and choose your clients. Some will be great people to work with, while others turn out to be nothing but a headache. You have the choice to always part ways with the hard-to-please clients.

Looking at this type of business model, it could be a blessing or a curse. Let me elaborate on this. Suppose you’re successful and you acquired a lot of clients if you’re going to be the virtual assistant for all of them.

This type of business can be a curse because you’ll never keep up and keep everyone satisfied. You’re only one person, and you can only focus on a few jobs at once.

Now here’s how this business can become a blessing with the same scenario above. You become highly successful in getting clients. You can hire other people to become virtual assistance.

Your main job will be coaching the team performing quality checks, and dealing with sales and customer service. Now your one-person operation has turned into a virtual assistant agency. Your small profitable business idea can turn into a huge success and be used globally.

For more see the following articles.

How to Start a Virtual Assistant Business

How to Start a Profitable Virtual Assistant Business Today

5 Mistakes People Make When Starting A Virtual Assistant Business – The She Approach

6. Personal Shopper

Starting a business as a personal shopper is a very low-cost business that you can start right away. During this pandemic, it’s an excellent low-cost business to start, and it can easily gain a lot of traction because of the pandemic. Many people don’t want to be in stores or wait in lines at those businesses with reduced capacity.

Even though you can purchase almost anything online and get it shipped, some items need the personal shopper to choose some types of products. For example, if someone’s looking for a gift for an ensemble, you can’t get the right feel and color compared to experiencing the physical product.

Personal shoppers work best for very busy people. An example is executives who would benefit more from working than taking a couple of hours off to shop. This type of business works best in large cities and business areas.

Some people use a personal shopper because they don’t know how to shop for gifts and get the best price. They would rather pay a professional to do their gift shopping.

For more on starting a business as a personal shopper, see the articles below.

Shop ‘til you Drop: Starting a Personal Shopping Business | MoreBusiness.com

Starting a Business as a Personal Shopper – Entrepreneur.com

How to Start a Personal Shopper Business

7. Online Tutoring

Because of the pandemic, online tutoring has become a lot easier. Technology has improved since the beginning of the pandemic due to the high demand for everything being online, like meetings, schools, University classes, etc. Tutoring has always been something that has been in demand.

You can take advantage of the technology that’s available to start your online tutoring business. Another advantage is people are already familiar with learning online, so getting customers will be a lot easier.

Even when the pandemic is over, you can still proceed with online tutoring because people are getting used to it.

As mentioned earlier in the example of a virtual assistant, you can do the same here. Once you have a decent number of clients interested in tutoring, you don’t have to spread yourself so thin you can hire other tutors, which allows you to handle more students.

Now you can focus on your teaching materials, develop tools to help your tutors, and manage the business. Soon you can have a full-fledged online tutoring business targeting thousands of people around the globe.

To start an online tutoring business, see the articles below.

How To Start A Tutoring Business Online: 8 Steps To Success

A step-by-step guide to becoming an online tutor – BookWidgets

How To Start An Online Tutoring Business And Make $10,000 Per Month? – Pinlearn

How to Start a Tutoring Business: How I Earn $1000/week as a Tutor

8. Career Coaching

Career coaching is a business you can start with very little money. Thousands and thousands of people have lost their jobs because of the pandemic. Change is in these unemployed people’s future.

You can help these people by coaching them and preparing them to find new employment. Those who find themselves in the same career have to adapt to new technology and the new lifestyle due to the pandemic.

Even when the pandemic is over, you’ve gained a lot of experience from all your clients. You can continue to improve your coaching business during normal times.

You can charge your career coaching clients by the hour, week, or by month. You may have an online membership where your clients have goals, and you follow up with their goals once a week. That way, they always have consistent coaching.

You could also contact corporations and let them know about your service and offer them a discount. When they have to let someone go as part of their package, the company can include three months of your service.

One benefit of running this type of business is the experience you receive. You’ll be exposed to many different scenarios, problems and understanding the stages that someone is going through. You’re actually benefiting just as much as your client because of the experience your gaining as a coach.

Another benefit of this type of business is it’s expandible like the ones mentioned above. You can run this business with three or four coaches taking on a group of your clients. You could pay them a salary and keep to from starting their own business; you can give them a percentage of the revenue generated from their group.

Once your business is sustainable and has clients, your job is to monitor other coaches monitor client satisfaction, and develop new tools and techniques to improve your client’s success rate. For more on starting a career coaching business, have a look at How To Start A Profitable Career Coaching Business (Ultimate Guide)

9. Stock Photographer

Stop stock photography is a low-cost business you can start anytime. It’s not a difficult business to run. There are sites online where you can sell your photographs. You can also upload them to stock photo sites. When people download them, either you get a percentage. You may be able to sell them for a one-time fee instead of waiting for people to download the image.

You can build your reputation by providing free photographs to some sites. With a strong reputation, people will be coming to you to purchase photos.

You can provide many photos in demand today; many companies need photos of people wearing masks while working or doing daily routines because of the pandemic.

You can always take photos in demand by simply watching the news. More of your photos will be downloaded when you stay up-to-date with top news stories and provide images related to the top events.

Once you become good at taking stock photographs, you start to develop a sense for getting that special picture. You may even hit the jackpot and come across photos the media is looking for, and those types of photos can bring in high revenues. Naturally, if you sell this type of photo, it would no longer be a stock image. It would be the property of the person who purchased it.

Here’s an example of that type of photo. Let’s say, for example, you’re downtown looking for shots to take, and just as you’re taking the perfect shot, you hear something behind you. It’s a huge roar.

It turns out to be a car that was struck by a semi, and it’s flying through mid-air across a building with people walking underneath the car, and you happen to get that shot. Your first concern would be to make sure everyone was okay. Your second concern would be which news station will pay the best price for the shot. For more on a stock photo business, have a look at the following articles.

Making a Living as a Stock Photographer

How to Make Money with Stock Photography | 2021 Guide

How to Sell Stock Photography – A Comprehensive Guide

10 Helpful Tips to Jumpstart Your Stock Photography Business – 500px

How to Start a Stock Photography Website like Shutterstock? – Greenice

Before we move onto the next business idea, you can also run a stock photo business by creating a site that offers stock photos. Many people need images for use on their website, advertisement, brochures, etc. Millions of photos are used every day on the web.

People need graphics for all kinds of things. Many people don’t have the time or expertise to go out and take the photo they need. Many will Google photos and use that, but that’s against the law.

Legally you can’t use the image, and you could face a lawsuit. You have to use it under the license the photo comes with; each license is different. Some may be allowed unlimited personal use, while others require a special license for use in advertising. For more see, How to Start a Stock Photography Business | by Darryl Brooks | Live Your Life On Purpose | Medium

10. Virtual Dance Studio

If you have space and equipment, you can start a virtual dance studio at a very low cost. With everything being shut down during the pandemic, many things are virtual, and dance lessons online are worth considering.

Even if the pandemic is finally over and life gets back to normal, some people will continue to use your service because it’s convenient and private.

Another advantage of starting this type of business is that the customers you build online may turn into lifetime customers to your studio once the pandemic is over. For more on starting a virtual dance studio, have a look at the articles I’ve included below.

How to Run a Virtual Dance Studio on BAND — BAND

How To Open A Dance Studio: Everything You Need To Know

How to Set Up Your Virtual Ballet Classroom | The Ballet Source – The Ballet Source

In addition to the ten businesses mentioned above, there’s one more related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

PPE Supplies and Services

COVID-19 has changed the world. Will we ever get back to normal? We should, but it will take some time. With that in mind, you can develop a business that serves, protects, and prevents the spread of COVID-19 as well as other viruses. You can do this through services, products, knowledge, etc.

Here’s one key issue to keep in mind even though when the pandemic is over, the habits we have gotten used to will not go away for many years to come. People keep many of the habits in place, like constant handwashing, using a mask when you’re sick, wearing a mask when you’re going into areas where there could be many germs.

A lot of protection has been put into use in the workplaces, for example, shields allowing social distancing. Even when the pandemic is over, we may see a reduction in the number of measures we have in place for COVID-19, but I believe many safety implementations we have in place are here to stay for many years.

A business-related to PPE and other germ precaution methods is another type of business you can think about and get into during this pandemic as you build a customer base. As a pandemic diminishes, there will still be a need for sanitary practices to keep people safe. You can use the experience you gained during the pandemic to develop new products and ideas to keep people safe from germs after the pandemic is gone.

Conclusion

There are more small profitable business ideas brought to you by various authors. The great thing about including other people’s content is you get a broad overview of the topic, and you’ll have a large selection of businesses you can consider.

Remember, you can come back any time to access the resources because it’s a lot of information to go through in one visit.

Resources

Sites Offering Small Business Ideas for Entrepreneurs in 2021

82 Best Business Ideas For Newbie Entrepreneurs [2021 Edition] – Digital.com

21 Great Business Ideas for 2021 – businessnewsdaily.com

107 Best Small Business Ideas of 2021 (Low Cost & Online)

Top 30 Small Business Ideas For Beginners In 2021

A Collection of The Worst Business Ideas

10 Stupidest Startup Business Ideas Of All Time

The 10 Worst Business Ideas of All Time – CBS News

15 Bad Business Ideas and Flops Tried by Geniuses & Billionaires | Cheapism.com

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