Five successful small business ideas for 2021

James Birch of Colour Graphics shares the five most successful business ideas to launch in 2021, including businesses you can run from home

Starting a business in 2021 takes a lot of courage, persistence, hard work and imagination. The current economy means firms in general are struggling to hit their bottom lines, but the world still needs new business ideas, innovative concepts and people with the nerve to take the risk and try them out.

If you’re one of these people, you need to know that you aren’t alone in your dreams of starting a business. More than three-quarters of all businesses in the UK are single-person enterprises and self-employment has nearly doubled in the last 20 years.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the most successful small business ideas that we have seen in 2021.

>See also: One in five Brits say they want to start a business in 2021

Best Small Business Ideas

1. Teaching online

The pandemic has created a significant demand for online education. As children couldn’t attend school for months, parents sought ways to boost their child’s progress. The government is investing a lot of money in tutoring to help young people get back on track. While having a teaching qualification is usually essential for working for established companies, you could easily offer your services to your network and train as you work.

Online teaching is an intermittent source of income, but there is a healthy supply of people looking for additional help. While it does not offer the same security as working in a school, it can provide a stream of income.

2. Dropshipping

Dropshipping allows you to supply products but means you don’t have to get involved in the manufacturing or storing of the items you sell. It is a great place to start in eCommerce, as you can build up your online store without the risk of having a large inventory. You do not need much of a budget to get started, but you need a chunk of imagination to differentiate yourself from the crowd.

Before you get started, do your market research and write a business plan. Decide which niche you want to focus on and what will make your business better than your competitors. Then, communicate this message to your target audience.

People dropship all sorts of products, including clothes, jewellery, beauty products, accessories, home furnishing, healthcare products, artwork and more. To get started, choose your product, find the cheapest supplier and build your website. Remember, you need to work with people who will ship the items directly to your customers to be as easy as it sounds, but this will take some negotiation, and there is some hard work involved.

3. Cleaning

People will always want cleaners and setting up a cleaning business could help meet this demand. If cleaning is one of those tasks you positively enjoy, then you could make your love of sparkling satisfaction into a business. You can target business and commercial markets to make a significant business move, which might mean employing others. Alternatively, you can start by offering domestic cleaning and build your client base up organically.

If you are wondering why we suggest cleaning as a great business, the turnover in the sector has increased by 28 per cent since 2013. You might want to be a part of that increased income. It is also, as yet, an easy-to-enter profession that hasn’t been overtaken with automation and robots; there is still a significant need for the personal touch. Consequently, it is a secure business proposition that doesn’t need too much training or qualifications.

4. Graphic designing

If you have a talent for art and design, then there is an excellent opportunity to work from your home and build a base of clients. You might need to start small and collect some testimonials and invest in increasingly sophisticated technology. However, many clients who are looking for logos, posters and brand guidelines cannot afford to go to the big firms.

To get started, sign up to freelancing websites that act as a go-between for clients and potential professionals to complete the work.

5. Content writing

As with graphic design, if you have a talent, you can maximise it and sell your skill by becoming a freelance writer. There were 85,000 retailers new to the internet in 2020, and these companies are battling for prime real estate on the internet. The best way to do this is to hire a quality content writer who can push you up the rankings on search engines. Again, freelancing sites such as People Per Hour, Upwork, Fiverr, and more could offer a steady flow of work.

Avoiding common mistakes

If you have seen the opportunity for yourself, then it is time to act. However, before you do, let’s learn the lesson of those who have gone before and made some pretty common mistakes. For instance, you need to avoid underpricing and overpricing. You need to know your worth if you are offering a service – and you need to understand the market value of your product. If it’s too expensive, you will never get off the ground. If you are too cheap, you will never make enough money to earn a living. Do your research.

It is also common for people to lose heart and become impatient. Starting a business takes time, and you will hit a few hurdles along the way. It is easy to give up, but success comes from keeping going. Look for the small victories and hold on to these as you grow. However, to make sure you have the resilience to overcome these hurdles, you need a plan that you can keep coming back to. Make sure you know this plan and your financials back to front. You don’t have to stick to this plan 100 per cent – some flexibility and agility are vital for success. However, having a solid framework to move forward from can keep you on track.

More than anything, you need to be sure of your audience, your message to that audience and the brand’s ethos. If you stay true to this, your clients will come back repeatedly and you will flourish.

Get started with your small business idea today

So, there are many ways to start a business that do not take much time, money or qualifications. With a well-thought-through plan and the willingness to work hard through the difficult start-up period, you will be able to run your business and be your own boss.

James Birch is sales and marketing manager at Colour Graphics.

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