6 Profitable Small Business Worth Starting in 2021

Small Business

Small businesses employ millions of professionals across dozens of industries. Every year, new companies open their doors and provide jobs to help drive their local economies.

However, not all small business ideas are adaptable and flexible. In 2020, many businesses were forced to shut down and reinvent themselves to remain operational in the new normal. If you’re thinking about starting a business this year, here’s what you need to know about the current small business landscape and the opportunities available.

What’s Considered a “Small” Business?

The SBA defines a small business as any company that either employs fewer than 500 employees or falls beneath a specific annual receipts cap. Most small businesses in the U.S. are much smaller — the average small business employs 1 to 19 people

How Many Small Businesses Are There in the United States As of 2020?

As of June 2020, there are about 31.7 million small businesses operating in the United States, which is a whopping 99.9% of the total number of businesses in the country. Small businesses employ 60.6 million people, which make up almost half of the workforce. In the third quarter of 2020, applications for new small businesses reached an all time high.

14 Profitable Small Business Ideas Worth Starting in 2021

This article was originally published in 2018, before the COVID pandemic created noticeable shifts in the way we live, work, and shop. To make this list relevant for 2021, numbers 1 – 8  come recommended by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as viable business opportunities to start, even during a pandemic. The rest of these small business ideas are from Sageworks’ report on the most profitable small businesses.

1. Home Improvement Services

In 2020, the housing market saw its highest pace of growth since 2005. More people are buying homes, which is creating a demand for home improvement services. New homeowners may not have the skillset or expertise to make their renovations a reality, and look to hire a professional to help get the job done.

Home improvement services could include anything from interior design, carpentry, contracting, plumbing or landscaping. Most of these areas require training and access to equipment or materials, so the startup costs are not the cheapest. This type of business also may be more popular in certain geographic areas than others (i.e. wherever people are buying homes most readily).

2. Cleaning Services

Cleaning services offer essential opportunities to both residential and commercial properties, helping to manage tasks many people do not enjoy or do not have time to complete. Cleaning services can function as home-based support one or more times per week, or as a daily resource for commercial operations. With average rates of $18 to $35 per hour, cleaners bring in substantial revenue for simple, yet necessary services.

Due to the nature of a cleaning service – no physical office is required, equipment costs are low and can be billed back to the client, and hours of operation are flexible – enterprising entrepreneurs can see significant success in building a company in this industry. Labor is very affordable; no education or experience is required to work as a residential or commercial cleaner, so hiring costs can be low and wages provided are often near minimum.

3. Tutoring Services

School is always in session, and remote education has created unique challenges for students of all ages. Starting a tutoring service is a great way to help those struggling with core concepts or gain further mastery in a specific area. Here’s a sample list of the subject areas that your tutoring business could specialize in:

  • SAT/ACT prep
  • College essay prep
  • English
  • Sciences (biology, chemistry, physics)
  • Foreign languages
  • Mathematics
  • History
  • Computer science

Thanks to video software, there’s no need to hold lessons in person  all you need is a phone, tablet, or computer, making the startup costs for this type of business very low. Depending on your location and level of education, your tutoring service could charge anywhere from $25 to $56 an hour. 

4. Personal Training and Fitness Instructors

Gyms and indoor fitness centers were largely impacted by mandated COVID-19 shutdowns, but the fitness industry has proven to be adaptable and resilient. Fitness instructors and customers alike have shifted to online and outdoor classes to stay healthy and active. The shift to remote work and quarantining has also created a need for exercise like never before. 

While specific fitness trends come and go, the need for fitness trainers and quality content stays constant. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce recommends that personal trainers can reach customers and build a following through digital platforms like YouTube, TikTok, IGTV, and Instagram Live. Trainers can use social media to find clients to create customized workout programs for, at their desired cost. 

Getting started in personal training can be fairly simple. You can take a formal certification exam, or in some cases, just being a self-taught fitness nerd is enough to break into the industry.

5. Delivery Services

As a result of the pandemic, more people are staying at home in order to stay safe. That means that delivery services have grown tremendously; online food delivery services alone are expected to grow by more than $104 billion by 2023.

To ride this wave, you could offer your own local courier service to deliver groceries, medications, or run other essential errands. In addition to charging a standard rate, you could charge additional fees for lengthier deliveries, rush orders, or delivering heavy or bulky items. 

6. Digital Marketing Services

With more businesses setting up shop online, there’s a growing need for digital marketing services. To help small businesses build their brand and digital presence online, you can create your own digital marketing agency. A digital marketing agency typically offers one or more of the following services:

  • Copywriting
  • SEO writing
  • Help with paid social media advertising
  • Web design
  • Brand/creative consulting
  • Content creation
  • Organic social media management
6 Profitable Small Business Worth Starting in 2021 6 Profitable Small Business Worth Starting in 2021 Reviewed by Author on January 20, 2021 Rating: 5

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