Did you know that 284,000 new businesses were formed in the United States in 2020 Q4 alone? But other statistics show that 30% of startups close by the end of the second year of their establishment.
What does that mean?
Should you drop the idea of establishing a startup?
Not at all.
Instead, you should look for unique business ideas and evaluate whether or not they have the potential to turn profitable.
In this article, I’ll walk you through a few profitable unique business ideas that you can start in 2021 and scale up as your clientele grows.
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7 Unique Small Business Ideas You Can Start Today!
All you need to start your own business is a great business idea.
Many of the successful business owners you see today started small with fewer resources and budgets. Statistics show that 60% of startups start from home and 58% of them have less than $25,000 in hand during their initial phases.
Still, 40% of startups are able to turn into profitable business ventures. And so can yours!
Check out the best business ideas for 2021 that can help you become a successful entrepreneur over time.
Also, listen to my podcast episode with Cat Howell where we discussed business ideas.
1. Freelance Service Business
Freelancing has become a lucrative business idea as it requires minimal or no initial investment.
Whether you’re a writer, developer, interior designer, or digital marketing professional, it’s extremely easy to start offering your services online.
Here’s what you need to start a freelance business online:
- A niche market
- The right skills and experience in your field
- Online portfolio to showcase your expertise
- Tools and resources to deliver services
- Good communication, networking, and project management skills
- Existing clientele who can vouch for your services will be an advantage!
Freelancing is one unique business idea that gives you the flexibility to choose your own projects and work hours. Be your own boss!
2. Online Advertising Business
Online advertising or digital marketing is taking over traditional marketing at a great pace. That’s because even local businesses with physical stores are looking for ways to reach and engage their target customers online.
As a digital marketing specialist, you can easily make $50,386 per year by providing services such as:
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Content writing and marketing
- Email marketing
- Social media marketing
- Pay-per-click advertising (PPC)
- Influencer marketing
This is one of the unique business ideas that you can start from home. You just need to have the know-how of marketing, copywriting, and how different online marketing channels work.
Along with knowledge and experience, you’ll also need the right set of tools to plan, execute, track, measure results, and manage your campaigns.
And the most important part?
Find customers for your business. You can offer online advertising services to individuals, startups, small businesses, SaaS companies, ecommerce brands, and influencers. Once you’ve gained expertise, you can also pitch your services to big brands and agencies.
3. Landscaping Business
The next one on our list of unique business ideas is a landscaping or lawn care business. It is a booming industry in the U.S. and is expected to grow to a market size of $105.35 billion this year.
If you want to work for yourself and enjoy gardening and being outdoors, starting a landscaping business can be a good idea for you.
You’ll need to:
- Understand the basics of landscaping and lawn care.
- Conduct market research.
- Define your services – lawn mowing and maintenance, gardening, design, shrub pruning and removal, irrigation, etc.
- Rent or buy your landscaping equipment, including trucks, trailers, lawnmowers, edgers, weed eaters, etc.
You can also consider getting a degree or certification to stand out against the competition.
4. Dog Walking Business
Are you a dog lover and want to make money while spending time with these fluffy creatures?
Then, starting a dog walking business can be a good choice for you.
You can easily charge $20-$30 for a 1-hour service. Along with dog walking, you can also offer related services such as pet sitting and obedience training.
The best part about this business idea is that it comes with low startup costs. Also, you’ll have enough time to enjoy your own life.
Business professionals who are too busy to walk their dogs or the elderly people can pay you well for your services. Pet owners who travel frequently can also sign long-term contracts with you for pet sitting and dog walking.
5. Gym or Personal Training Business
Opening a gym is one of the profitable unique business ideas. If you’ve got a good space and the right equipment, you can make great money by selling membership plans.
You’ll need to hire a few fitness trainers and invest in spreading the word about your gym.
What if you don’t have the space or the budget to buy equipment?
You can still start a personal training business by providing fitness training services to schools, offices, community centers, societies, and more. You can also offer fitness classes online to a large group of people.
There are 739,603 personal training businesses in the U.S. and a market size of $10.4 billion, as of 2020.
6. Online Courses Business
The e-learning market size surpassed $250 billion in 2020. It is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of over 21% between 2021-2027.
But how can you start a business in the e-learning industry?
Identify what you’re good at, analyze if people want to learn your skills, and launch your own online course. Along with pre-defined course materials, you can also conduct one-on-one tutoring and question-answer sessions with them.
You can also take inspiration from the business courses by the Online Business Academy.
7. Cleaning Business
Offering cleaning services is one of the most successful unique business ideas to start in the U.S. That’s because cleaning is one of the most tiring jobs and most working professionals don’t have time for doing it.
You can offer cleaning services such as:
- Residential cleaning services
- Commercial cleaning services
- Home cleaning or house cleaning services
- Maid services for household cleaning
- Carpet cleaning services
- Window cleaning services
- Car wash services
And the best part?
You can implement this business idea with minimal startup costs.
If you want to start by doing the cleaning yourself, you can start your business with as low as $1000-$1500. Even if you hire 2-3 cleaners, the cost won’t increase exponentially.
Scale your business and grow your team as you win more cleaning contracts.
How to Start Your Own Business Venture From Scratch
Regardless of which unique business idea you choose, you’ll need to follow a specific process to start a business and grow it successfully.
Being an entrepreneur myself, I understand what it takes to build a good business and would like to help make the journey easier for you.
Let’s take a look at the steps you need to follow to turn your unique business idea into a profitable business venture.
Identify Your Unique Business Idea and Validate It
First things first, identify the perfect business idea for your startup. You can either choose one from the list above or come up with your own small business idea.
The right way to find a suitable business idea is to:
- Analyze your interests, skills, and experience to pick a business idea.
- Conduct market research to understand if there is enough demand for what you want to offer.
- See if you’ve got the right resources and tools to get started. Can you afford to buy them?
Still unsure about the feasibility and profitability of your business idea?
You can sign up for an online course like “Finding a Business Idea” by the Online Business Academy to get expert help. It will give you a step-by-step plan to find, validate, and communicate your unique business ideas to the world.
And the best part?
You can enroll for FREE today!
Write a Business Plan
Before you bring your unique business idea into action, it’s important to have a well-documented plan. Your business plan should define everything clearly, including:
- Business model – what your business does, your products and/or services, your customers, your business structure, your USP and value proposition, etc.
- Market analysis – your competitors and their strengths and weaknesses
- Financial plan – your budget, startup costs, funding plans
- Products and/or services – pricing model
- Marketing and sales strategy – your target market, marketing ideas, channels
Register Your Business
Another important step in starting your business is to register it as a legal entity. As a small business owner, you can form a Sole Proprietorship or an LLC (Limited Liability Company).
Most small businesses start as LLC because of the flexibility this business structure provides. It requires minimal compliance and also offers personal liability protection to the owner.
Regardless of the entity type you choose, you’ll need to:
- Follow the best practices to pick a name for your small business.
- File the required business formation documents with the state authorities.
- File for an EIN (Employer Identification Number) for tax purposes.
- Ensure that your small business remains compliant with US business laws.
- Take care of the required ongoing reporting and fees.
Handling all of this legal paperwork and other formalities might be tedious and confusing, especially for first-time small business owners.
I personally feel overwhelmed handling paperwork and, therefore, prefer to hire professionals to do it for me.
You can also leverage the state and federal filing services by GovDocFiling experts. This will enable you to focus on other important parts of your building and scaling up your small business.
Pick the Right Tools and Resources
Even the best unique business ideas need proper resources, efforts, and time to flourish. Based on the small business idea you finalize, make sure you buy or subscribe to the right solutions.
If you’re starting a digital marketing business, you’ll need tools like project management software, SEO tools, email marketing platforms, influencer marketing platforms, and so on.
However, if you pick landscaping from our list of unique business ideas, you’ll need to buy equipment like shovels, wheelbarrows, tillers, drills, etc.
While validating your business idea, don’t forget to take the cost of the equipment and tools into account.
If your business finances don’t allow you to invest in the right tools (at least the basic ones), you might have to reconsider your decision and look for other low-cost unique business ideas.
Set Up Your Workspace
Ask yourself whether your business will work well from home. Many home business ideas do – such as freelance services, online advertising, dropshipping, etc.
However, it’s important to have a designated workspace even if you’re starting your small business from home. It encourages you to work professionally and helps you maintain a healthy work-life balance.
I’m saying this with experience and I absolutely love working from my home office. 😉
For some business ideas, working from home might not be feasible. For example, if you want to open a gym but don’t have enough space at home, you’ll have to look for a rental space. Location will also play an important role.
Many unique business ideas such as flower shops, clothing businesses, or selling groceries demand that you set up retail stores.
Find your ideal workspace and get started.
Take Your Business Online
Don’t forget to build an online presence for your small business.
The easiest way to do so is to build your own website with WordPress and WooCommerce or create an online store on platforms like Shopify.
Start selling online and promote your business on relevant social media platforms as well. Also, use other digital marketing strategies for your startup promotions.
If you need help with online marketing, hire me for a consultation or fully-managed services. I’ve helped many startups and other businesses grow their website traffic, online presence, clientele, and revenue with my proven strategies.
1. What are the most successful small businesses?
The most successful small businesses are:
- Freelancing businesses
- Online advertising agencies
- Heath and fitness businesses
- Dropshipping and ecommerce businesses
- Consulting businesses
- Bookkeeping and accounting businesses
- Virtual assistant service businesses
- Legal firms and attorneys
- Real estate businesses
- Offering online courses
2. What are the top 10 most successful businesses to start?
The top 10 most successful businesses you can start in 2021 are:
- Ecommerce business
- Consulting business
- Digital marketing agency
- Home improvement service business – carpentry, plumbing, landscaping, etc.
- Cleaning service business – home cleaning, office cleaning, car wash, etc.
- Personal training and fitness instructors
- Delivery service business – food delivery, grocery delivery, etc.
- Cybersecurity company
- Virtual assistant business
- Bookkeeping and accounting business
3. What are good business ideas now?
Good business ideas to establish your startup now include:
- Ecommerce business
- Dropshipping business
- Online courses and tutoring business
- Freelancing business
- Web development services
- Becoming an influencer
- Digital marketing business
4. How do you create a unique business idea?
Here’s how to come up with a unique business idea:
- Tap into your interests and find related business ideas.
- Look for problems around you and analyze if you can offer a product/service to solve them.
- Test and validate your idea to ensure it’s feasible and scalable.
Get help from experts by registering for relevant webinars and reputable business courses or having a one-on-one consultation with a business consultant.
5. Which services are in high demand in the U.S. right now?
Some of the services that are in high demand in the U.S. right now include:
- Subscription boxes
- Residential and commercial cleaning services
- Errand services
- Freelance writing, designing, and web development services
- Cybersecurity consulting services
- Virtual personal training services
Ready to Pick a Unique Business Idea for Your Startup?
All successful businesses are built on great business ideas, dedication, persistence, and hard work. You can build yours in a similar fashion.
The most important step is to find a business idea that fits your skills, interests, experience, and finances. Make sure that you choose wisely.
I recommend that you start a business as a side hustle and see how it works before quitting your day job. Start small with minimal investment and scale up as your clientele grows.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help while starting your business. Reach out to business consultants and marketing experts like me or enroll yourself in trusted business courses by the Online Business Academy. Absolutely for FREE!
Do you’ve other questions about coming up with unique business ideas or starting your business? Share them in the comments below.