30 Straightforward Small Business Ideas To Start In 2021. (Low cost And Online )

Last updated on November 17, 2020 by Don Otieno

Today, I’m going to show you the best business ideas you can start today.

2021 brought changes in the workplace as we have never seen before that will last a very long time.

With social distancing, and working from home, the e-commerce industry for example has seen accelerated year on year growth  by  4 to 6 years

So be sure to check out the business ideas in this article, which are low cost and  COVID proof. 

If you want to start a successful business in 2021 that earns you money from home, this list is for you.

The Best Business Ideas To Start.

Check out this list of 30 the top small business ideas to start in 2021.

If you are in the middle of brainstorming what business idea to pick, read this article first.

1. Best Online Business Idea: Blogging Profitably

A blog is a very lucrative business model to start in 2021.
A typical blog can be monetized either by:

  • your own coaching or consulting program.
  • your own products either eCommerce or digital saas.
  • someone else’s products via affiliate marketing and ads.

Blogs offer freedom and security compared to most other types of online businesses because you are the owner. A future proof business idea.

Unlike running a social media-based business where you can be shut down by the platforms, it’s hard to shut down a blog.

So how do you get started with a blog?

You want to pick a niche that you are fairly knowledgeable and passionate about.

You do not need to be a writer or like writing. However, you need to create content based on what people want to read.

For those who hate writing content, you can always hire content writers online to do that for you.

*Attention* Do not listen to the people who say, “blog about your passions” that is if you want to make money with your blog as soon as possible.

If you want to make money all you have to do is solve people’s problems and help them get what they want.

Even though you are passionate about a subject, if no else is interested in this as you, then it becomes hard to monetize your blog.

So what does this mean for a blogger?

Find out what people are struggling with then help them.

You can find out what people are struggling with by using Google Keywords.

blogging business keyword research

 

People will pay you to solve their problems.

Get it?

This is a lucrative business idea If you are selling a product on your blog. However, the product has to solve a problem for the customer.

If you are selling a coaching program, likewise.

I prefer to sell other people’s products or tools that help solve problems. AKA affiliate marketing. 

Here are the main steps to start a word blog.

  1. Choose a niche, based on what people need help with. Although it helps if you are passionate about the subject because this is reflected in the content you write.
  2. Choose a domain name and set up Web hosting. You can set it up from as little as $2.95 / month if you use Bluehost.
  3. Install a WordPress theme that complements your content. User experience is greatly affected by your design which in turn affects how Google ranks your website. The one i recommend is called DIVI. A beginner-friendly and easy to use  drag and drop theme.
  4. Familiarize your self with SEO (search engine optimization) and other ways to get traffic to your website like using social media i.e. Pinterest or Youtube.
  5. Expand your blog exposure using link building strategies, which basically build your blogs domain authority.

Make sure to check out this free book on how to get traffic (people) to your offers and businesses its called Traffic secrets.

It’s important to monetize your blog. So which tactic will you pick?

Remember you can sell your own products or other people’s products and software via affiliate marketing and receive a monthly recurring commission.

You can also sell your own knowledge and time via a course program or consulting for your expertise.

If you are looking for a business model that’s low risk- high reward, blogging is great for that.

You can see a lot of success from this with little costs to reward.

It’s my go-to choice and lucrative business to start in 2021.

Ready to start a blog? i recommend you sign up with blue host web hosting for 2.95 / month, 63% cheaper than the regular pricing.

 

2. Online Courses Coaching and Consulting.

best-business-ideas-online-courses

The course industry is set to be a 325 billion-dollar industry by 2025, so you might want a piece of this pie. Last year online courses made $46 billion dollars. 

Courses or consulting are great for selling your expertise in a particular area that people are interested in.

So the biggest mistake people make is to copy other people’s courses.

That just doesn’t work, and if it works, not for long.

To have the best courses, its best to start consulting first, i.e. having people hire you to help them in what you know.

Why so?

Because consulting allows you to work 1 on 1 with people and so hone your craft, understand the clients’ problem so when you scale these problem solving with course, you can speak your clients’ languages.

Remember: you are the expert in your experience.

Therefore your most profitable course or consulting lies in.
1. A problem you have solved
2. Obstacles you have overcome
3. Career you’ve had and the expertise / experience that came with that
4. Or your own zero to hero journey.

For example, you can start a ‘Youtube business course’ if you have the knowledge & experience.

small business ideas coaching

It’s not as complicated as you might think, and the key to growing this as a successful online business is to keep things simple.

In fact, you do not need to finish the course in order to sell it and make thousands of dollars in revenue with it.

You can actually presell your course, before its finished.
This method is beneficial to the sustainability and success of the client results you are going to get with your course if you follow a flywheel model.
how to start an online course flywheel

When you create content people get value from and are transformed after enrollment, they become your ambassador and tell other people about you.

This means you get referral clients , who join your eco system and in turn they become your ambassadors.

Sounds awesome right?

Like i said earlier, you can host your course on your blog however, the downside being, as a beginner you have to either spend money through advertising to get people to your blog,

or spend time learning and implementing SEO (search engine optimization).

Don’t fret tho, there’s a much faster way to get clients to your course and that’s through online course platforms.

best small business-online-course- platforms

Online course platforms are places where you can get immediate traffic to your courses.

There are a handful of awesome platforms where you can host your courses.

Among the best are Thinkific and Teachable to get you started right away. Just register on their platforms to get started.

 

You can get started today with one month of the Thinkific pro plan using my link

 

3. Starting an eCommerce Business via Dropshipping

Dropshipping is a business model in the eCommerce space that basically allows you to sell products online without holding inventory.

Are you amazed yet?

You should be because this means,

No storage cost, no hiring people in the beginning (unless you are scaling your business)
You can work from home, the beach, a Starbucks coffee store, since you do not fulfill orders yourself.,

Start making money as soon as today if you are skilled enough.

This is how the dropshiping model works

dropshipping-modelIf you want to create a website for this business model, I recommend using Shopify to create your store.

The process is simple.

1. Go to the ecommerce platform of your choice
2. Do product research, you want to sell things people would not find in a regular brick and motar.
3. Upload the product information
4. Set up the billing , shipping and tax information
5. Test everything works and Launch.
Wile the process is simple, there’s a lot more information you need to know. Like facebook, or Google marketing.

Non the less, you can get started today with a shopify ecommerce store for only 29/month.

If you are a Brick and Mortar business and want to transition online i would recommend Shopify as the best option.

Shopify is the best eCommerce platform online and has a powerful point of sale (POS) for brick and mortar business. Integrated payments and ease of use software with hardware.

Dropshipping is one of the best business ideas for 2021 and beyond because, the ecommerce industry is booming right now.

 

4. Freelancing And Virtual Assistant Work

Freelancers and virtual assistants are in high demand in the online business industry. Every entrepreneur, needs them, once they get past their solopreneur phase.

best small business virtual assistant

So getting your self-trained as a virtual assistant right now is a really really smart idea.
As a Virtual assistant or freelancer you can do things like :

  • Manage content
  • Social media work
  • Help with landing pages
  • Customer service.
    and many more.

If you can hone in on a particular skill you can be in demand.

There are tons of people looking for virtual assistants in websites like Freelancer or Flexjobs.

You can sign up for free. Being a Virtual assistant is one of the best business ideas to start with if you are low on money.

 

5. Start A Podcast

You can start a podcast from the comfort of your own home.

Why would you consider starting one?

Well for starters they are very lucrative. Top podcasters like the JRE (Joe Rogan Experience ) show can make an excess of $800,000 per episode.

Wowza!

Successful podcasters are those who can release topics that people want to hear.

They are not boring!

You can start your podcast with little difficulty.

It’s not difficult to set up, just find the right podcast platforms, tools and equipment which can be sourced online.

Check out my guide on podcast hosting to know more about setting up correctly.

You can get started today by signing up with Buzzsprout and get a free $20 Amazon gift card to spend on your podcast equipment or anything else. 

 

6. Become An Affiliate 

Affiliate marketing is one of the easiest low cost and most profitable ways to start generating passive income in 2021 from your online business.

When done correctly you can generate substantial monthly passive income without you having to work long hours, even earning while you sleep.

You do not have to create any product of your own or put your time and effort into creating something new.

how-affiliate-marketing-works-min
You can sell things that already exist and if you have the right affiliate strategies you can be successful.

You can get started by registering to affiliate networks like Clickbank, Rakuten, Shareasale,
Awin, Skimlinks.

Similarly, you can also go-to products or companies you have used before and look on their websites if they have affiliate programs.

To be successful with affiliate marketing, you have to focus on a niche and focus on a handful of affiliate products to promote.

The key is Focus.

For example, if you promote cooking gear, you do not want to promote cat food at the same time.
It’s conflicting with your audience.

Staying congruent means more trust, stronger message and more success.

When you follow proven methods then affiliate marketing can be extremely profitable.

Super affiliate Top earners like Pat Flynn earn an upward of  $100,000 a month.

So, if you want to focus on this method, there is no limit to your success.

To be transparent with you, this blog has some affiliate links. 

Therefore if you happen to take action via one of my affiliate links, I get a small commission at no cost to you.

You do not need to write a blog to use affiliate marketing, however.

In-fact many of the successful ‘super affiliates’ do not have websites. Most of them use Funnels.

So what is a funnel?

A funnel is a webpage that is designed to make a visitor take an action upon visiting a page. This could be, clicking a link, submitting information, buying a product, signing up for an event or meeting, join a webinar etc.

So why is a funnel better?

  • A funnel drives 6x the results.
  • It’s like having your own personal salesperson.
  • Can be easy to build (with the right training)

 

what is a sales funnel

If you want to know more of how affiliate marketing works with funnels, enroll for the one funnel away challengeAffiliate Training included. 

 

7. Content creator.

small business idea 2020 content creator

Guess what, if there’s a lot of courses being created, personal brands, solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, and online business starting out, then there is a need for content creation.

Content creation can be videographers, editors, photographers, Copywriting, etc.

So having the skill set of a content creator is so valuable, and once you learn it you can upload your content to sites like Shutterstock and sell your content for people to use in their businesses.

There are multiple ways you can benefit from content creation, its a really great place to start an online business and generate income.

There are certain habits of successful content creators that you need to know.

One of the most important being specialization on one thing.

creative business idea stay focused

You tend to do better if you do.

For example, if you are a fitness content creator and you are the go-to for creating ‘badass’ fitness content, videos, or photos, then you are going to have so many clients wanting to flock to you.

This means a word of mouth recommendation for you.

People can easily recognize you as the best choice for that niche, for fitness videos or fitness photos.

You can pick any niche, but honing in on one niche as a content creator is a really profitable idea.

You can always find clients in websites like Flexjobs or Upwork  or Freelancer

 

8. Print On Demand

POD-at-a-glance tenacious entrepreneur

Print on demand, is a business model, much like dropshipping but only with merch gear instead of regular products.

When you are doing print on demand, you are selling your own designed prints on products like T-shirts, mugs, hoodies, bags, blankets etc without holding any inventory.

When a customer buys from your store, your print on demand supplier then prints the design, packages it, and ships it to your customer.

Below is an example of a print on demand product.

If you would like to start a print on demand business, You will need a few things.

  1. An awesome website domain: I recommend getting one from Namecheap
  2. Shopify: e-commerce website business platform. Get 14 day trial here 
  3. Print-on-demand suppliers i.e.( Printful, Printify, Shineon,  Pillow Profits 
  4. Logo 
  5. Traffic source i.e. Facebook ads.

If you want to take away the guesswork and follow success, then you need a mentor to teach you the ropes.

 

9. Graphic Design

Graphic designers are in demand more than ever. A graphic designer, will always find work because, nearly every online business model needs them.

They are the ones who design logos, banners, branding elements, podcast covers, website icons, and many more. 

Heck, someone doing Print on demand (POD) can not sell any product if he doesn’t have a great graphic designer. 

If you have any graphic design skills, or are learning this skill, you are always going to find work.

The best part about it is, that the better your skills the more the pay. 

Good logo designers for example can be paid $1500 for a logo.

For bigger brands, like Pepsi and Symantec they are known to have paid $1,000,000 + for their logos.

If you want to make money with Graphic design, you can list your services in places like 99designs 

They pay their designers well.

10. Start a Micro Agency

best trending business ideas micro agency

A micro agency is a fairly recent business model that can be extremely profitable when done right.

Meaning, If you are an expert in one particular social media platform you should consider starting a Micro agency.

This business idea focuses on being ‘lean’ as an agency offering focused done for you services.

Essentially, the word ‘micro’ means that the agency focuses on one thing.

In other words, it’s a breakaway and the opposite of common social media agencies.

Typical social media agencies are general in their services. They are ‘do all types’. 

So what does this mean?

Social media agency work is changing. There is more demand for dialed in and focused agencies that master a specific platform and are honed in.

You are more likely to be successful when you focus on one platform.

People will recognize you as the go-to ‘expert’ and the best choice for hire.

So for example, if you are an Instagram agency and that’s all you do,

that then makes you magnetic for everyone who needs Instagram.

business ideas focus one thing micro agency

You should set out to master that one thing.

Micro agencies can be:

  • Pinterest agency
  • YouTube agency
  • Instagram agency
  • Facebook agency
  • Snapchat
    You get the idea.

11. Amazon

AMAZON small business to start in 2020

 

Amazon is the biggest ecommerce company in the planet, made up of tons of sellers running their businesses via the platform.

Here are some Amazon statistics to know, if you want to become an amazon seller:

  •  9 out of 10 people check prices first on Amazon, before buying a product.
  • Amazon sells 12 million-plus products
  • 95 million people have Amazon prime
  • 50% of sales on Amazon is from third party sellers
  • Amazon FBA gives sellers 30-50% increased sales.
  • They ship more than 5 billion products a year worldwide.

 

This platform dominates all others and is full of opportunities for sellers from just about every other industry.

To have a successes full Amazon store you have to:

  1. Differentiate yourself from the competition by having something unique to offer, solve a problem with your products or find something you can do better than the competition.
  2.  Develop a brand, which means, you can get easy recommendations, customer loyalty, makes you memorable, etc.
  3. Invest in marketing within the Amazon platform
  4. Use the right tools to help you sell more easily.
  5. Get a mentor.

If you want to make money selling on Amazon and you do not know anything about it, sign up for a free Amazon webinar training here

12. Becoming a contractor.

future successful businesses contractor

You can make a substantial amount of money if you love working on projects. If you are comfortable with getting paid for the projects you complete then contracting is for you.

On the other hand it can be difficult at the start, because most successful contractors are ones who have built their reputation.

With no reputation or reviews, people hesitate to sign up with new contractors. 

However once you have done a good job with a client, sooner or later word will spread via reviews or recommendations.

 

If you don’t have an idea of where you want to start your business, you have no experience or money then a contractor  can be a great place to start.

so what is it?

This is work with clients on project. For example becoming a Youtube channel manager, building funnels, personal trainer, dog walker, dog cleaner, etc. 

After being a solo contractor after a while you can can scale up to where you hire virtual assistants to do the work for you.

By hiring other people to do the work you can easily scale it up for more revenue.  You can easily get clients from websites like Fiverr or Freelancer when you post your services on the platforms.

 Virtual assistants can be hired easily via Onlinejobs.ph. They are the leading and cheapest place to find quality hires.

 

13. Becoming and Instagram Influencer.

Instagram influencers with 50,000 to 80,000 can get up to $200 a post.

Advertisers will be willing to pay this much if you have a high engagement rate with your content.

This means you have to nurture your profile, by connecting with your audience.

If you have an engagement rate that is high, and a steady natural growth, then advertisers value this and would pay more. 

You can find out your engagement by putting your profile on metrics trackers like; Ninjalytics or Socialblade

Are There Business Ideas You Can Start With No Money?

Absolutely!

You can start these number of businesses (listed below)  with literally no money.

Zero!

1. Join Fiverr and do Contractor gigs, virtual assistant, among other gigs
2. Coaching and Consulting 1:1
3. Freelance writing, on freelance websites
4.Offer SEO (search engine optimization) consulting, PPC, and content marketing

Which Startup Business Ideas Are The Best?

These startup business ideas are ones that are low cost and bring high returns in a short amount of time as possible. They do not necessarily take a long time to set up and you can start seeing results in the space of days of setting them up.

Some of these include:
1. E-commerce via Dropshipping. This is where you sell products online without holding inventory.
2. Investing in real estate
3. starting your own blog. You can monetize this with ads, affiliate products, or your online course or service.
4. Start a podcast. Podcasts are steadily growing as a method of media consumption and you can run ads after building your audience.
5. Starting your own micro / social media and digital marketing agency.
7. Affiliate marketing

Which Are The Most Successful Small Businesses Ideas To Start ?

Success is relative to the quality of work you put in and not necessarily the quantity. In this online digital age, you can be extremely successful is you combine certain success factors.

Quality/value + Vehicle System x scale = success.

If you are scratching your brain over that one, here is what I mean.
By giving value and using the right business model and systems (like funnels, website) and scaling through various traffic methods you can see yourself very successful.
That being said, here are businesses that people will pay you a lot for.

  1.  Digital marketing
  2.  Various types of Consulting
  3.  Accounting and book keeping
  4.  Social Media Marketing Agencies
  5. Dropshipping
  6.  Print on Demand
  7.  Warehouse and storage companies

Get Ready Get Set.. Go!

 There you have it a list of the professions and small businesses ideas that can give you a decent income online.

From this list, you can hopefully pick ones that you are most drawn to based on your skills and interest. 

These are just a few, there are way more business ideas you can find.

If you feel that I might have missed some please let me know in the comments below.

About Don

Don is a Professional Digital Marketer, Blogger, and eCommerce expert. With a degree in business media and culture. He has taken his life experience & business knowledge and used it to grow his blog.

Last Updated on January 2, 2021 by Don Otieno

The following two tabs change content below.
Don is a Professional Digital Marketer, Blogger, and eCommerce expert. With a degree in business media and culture. He has taken his life experience & business knowledge and used it to grow his blog, tenaciousentrepreneur.com.