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What Business To Start? 20+ Business Ideas To Find Your Niche

What business to start? A question all entrepreneurs have asked themselves. In this article, I'm sharing my best business ideas and giving you some general pointers on figuring out what business you should start – based on my own journey of endlessly chasing “good business ideas”.

Everyone is looking for the million dollar business idea. Everyone wants to find a low cost business with high profit.

Unfortunately, they're hard to find – if they even exist. And looking too much for it isn't really a good idea.

Finding a market and picking your niche is usually where people get stuck, and the reason people who should be entrepreneurs, never become one.

Don't be one of those people.

Let me try to help you get a clearer perspective on how business ideas come about. Then, we'll dive into the best business ideas that are worth considering in 2021.

How to find good business ideas?

Forget everything people told you about how to find a good business idea.

You have most likely been given a false picture of how good business ideas come about.

You might have a picture where you and your buddies are casually enjoying a beer when you get this lightbulb moment where a magical idea just appears. Then you go home and immediately start this million-dollar business.

Unfortunately, this never happens.

It doesn't really happen by sitting at home brainstorming with pen and paper either.

For the most part, ideas develop gradually.

Find your business idea by taking action

The best business ideas comes from action and engagement.

Real ideas are born when you stop thinking and start doing. It doesn't mean you should open up a business without any plan whatsoever, but expecting that you'll be able to create a master plan without taking the first steps is highly unrealistic and a common mistake caused by the waiting bias.

Not many of the top 500 companies in the world today are still operating on the exact same business idea that the company started with.

One thing leads to another, which leads to something else, and the business idea keeps developing with time. The longer the company exists, the better the idea becomes.

So to summarize, you don't need a crazy business idea to get started.

You are way more likely to succeed if you learn to take action first, engage with your market, execute, adapt to customer feedback, and continuously work on perfecting your idea.

Later in this blog series, we'll discuss micro experiments and how to create minimum viable products. This will give you a clearer picture of how to go about finding a business to start.

Choose a niche where you can make a difference

One of the major factors to whether or not you're going to become a successful entrepreneur is your ability to select the niche where you can make a real difference.

Forget the million dollar business ideas. This is not where you need to put your focus.

For the time being, think less about what business to start, and focus more on figuring out where you can provide value to people.

That starts with asking yourself what you are really good at.

Alternatively, you can choose something that you have a very strong passion for – and want to become really good at. The point is, you'll need to give value to your customers.

If you can provide enough value, your business might one day turn into a million-dollar business.

I started making money online from Adsense if you want to read my story, and that later got me into affiliate marketing. Since then, I've fine-tuned my business model quite a lot. It's nowhere near what I had in mind when I started.

20 best business ideas to start in 2021

To help you get the ideas flowing, I've made a list of the best business ideas to start in 2021. Most of these are home-based businesses that you can start with little money and no experience.

1. Affiliate marketing

  • Income potential: Very high
  • Experience needed: Low
  • Time investment: High
  • Money investment: €50
  • Home-based: Yes

Affiliate marketing, in a nutshell, is recommending other companies' products and services and getting a commission every time you refer someone.

Affiliate marketing could potentially be the best business to start with little money. It's a simple concept to grasp, there's plenty of free courses to get you started, and the income potential is wild.

Of course, it does require quite a bit of time and patience. This business idea is great for people who want to create a long-term passive income, and have the resilience to work hard for at least a year before seeing results.

2. Online course

  • Income potential: High
  • Experience needed: Medium
  • Time investment: Medium
  • Money investment: €0
  • Home-based: Yes

Pretty much anybody can create an online course, making it an accessible and inviting business idea. As long as you have experitise in a certain subject, there will be somebody out there who is prepared to pay for it.

Technically, you can create and publish your online course at no initial cost. Especially if you use a third-party E-learning software such as Udemy or Skillshare that takes a cut of each sale.

However, if you want to create and sell your course on your own platform or use a provider such as Teachable or Kajabi then you'll need a small start-up investment.

Equipment such as lights, cameras, and microphones can also set you back, but a higher production quality might make it easier to sell.

3. Dropshipping

  • Income potential: Very high
  • Experience needed: Low
  • Time investment: High
  • Money investment: €150
  • Home-based: Yes

Dropshipping is a relatively new concept, with huge money making potential.

It basically gives you the option to run your own E-commerce store without all of the assosiacited cost and risk of buying stock beforehand.

With a dropshipping store you create the brand and shop front in the form of a website, drive traffic and then outsource the sales and shipment to a third party.

This is a great business option for digital nomads and anybody who wants to work remotely without sacrificing their earning potential. Although you're outsourcing some of the work, it can still take a lot of time to build your brand and make good money from dropshipping.

4. Freelancing

  • Income potential: Medium
  • Experience needed: Low
  • Time investment: Very high
  • Money investment: €0
  • Home-based: Yes

Most people are familiar with the idea of a freelancer by now, somebody who offers a service to other people and businesses but runs their own schedule and business.

However, freelancing has become easier than ever in recent years. With companies such as Upwork and Freelancer, you can apply to freelance opportunities all over the world at no initial cost.

This option is great for people with skills in writing, graphic design, customer service, web design, social media management, and much more. With this business model, your income is limited to the number of hours you can work, so it's not a passive option.

5. Website flipping

  • Income potential: Very high
  • Experience needed: High
  • Time investment: Medium
  • Money investment: €50
  • Home-based: Yes

Website flipping is a great option if you're SEO savvy and can spot a good idea when you see one.

For this business model you buy websites from sites such as Trademysite, Flippa, and Afternic, refurbish them and improve their domain ratings and organic traffic. Once you've made the site profitable you can sell it for a higher price and keep the profit.

This business idea is most suited to someone with experience in creating and running a successful website but requires very little initial investment. If you cannot afford to buy your first site then you can build one up from scratch and use the money you make from that to buy more.

6. Creating an app

  • Income potential: Very high
  • Experience needed: High
  • Time investment: Medium
  • Money investment: €10,000
  • Home-based: Yes

If you have a great idea for an app that hasn't been done yet then you could hit the jackpot with this business idea.

Creating an app can be a great passive income stream where you can earn through advertising or download fees. Once it's created, most of the hard work comes down to getting publicity and making sure people use it. You'll also have to spend some time updating and fixing bugs.

This isn't the most affordable option. A good app can come with a very hefty price tag.

Some of the initial investment can be reduced if you have the software development skills to build and update the app yourself, but if not you'll need to hire someone before you've even made your first sale.

7. Consultancy

  • Income potential: Medium
  • Experience needed: High
  • Time investment: High
  • Money investment: €0
  • Home-based: Yes

Consulting businesses are great for entrepreneurs with high-level experience in a specific industry.

If you're looking to leave your job but don't have a particular business idea in mind then consulting could help you pay the bills while working your own schedule. It helps to have good people skills for this business model and it could take some time to build up a big enough client base.

You don't need any money to get started with the option and depending on how valuable your experience is you can charge a generous day rate.

8. Coaching

  • Income potential: Medium
  • Experience needed: Medium
  • Time investment: High
  • Money investment: €0
  • Home-based: Yes

Coaching is a popular business model that requires very little to get started.

Although certain industries may require qualifications, you can coach on pretty much any topic from business to self-esteem to money management. You just need to gain authority and expertise within a niche and find clients that you can offer value to.

You can also coach completely remotely or in person, making this a flexible option for people who value location independence.

One drawback to a coaching business is that you become your own brand, so it's not easy to outsource and scale. This means your earning potential is slightly lower, but if you can demonstrate great results then you can charge a high price for your services.

9. Paid newsletter

  • Income potential: Medium
  • Experience needed: Low
  • Time investment: Medium
  • Money investment: €0
  • Home-based: Yes

Having a newsletter is usually seen as an aside to your existing business model. However, by monetising your email list this can be a business all on it's own.

There are different ways to make money through newsletters from sign-up fees to selling advertising space. Generally speaking, the bigger your audience the more money you'll make.

It's key to have an engaged list of readers and good open rates, so take your time to create a valuable concept that gets encourages people to keep coming back.

10. Creative agency

  • Income potential: Very high
  • Experience needed: Medium
  • Time investment: High
  • Money investment: €0
  • Home-based: Yes

If you have skills in a creative industry, whether as a freelancer or working within a company, setting up an agency could be a great business model for you.

One of the big benefits of this business idea is that it's scaleable. As you reach your capacity you can outsource and hire repeatedly and grow the business indefinitely.

You also don't need any money to set up an agency, just some existing clients or the drive to find them.

11. (POD) Print on demand

  • Income potential: High
  • Experience needed: Low
  • Time investment: Medium
  • Money investment: €0
  • Home-based: Yes

This business idea is for the designers and creatives out there.

If you're handy with a drawing app or come up with unique designs or slogans, you could make good money with POD (print on demand) sites.

You simply upload your designs to companies such as Society6 and Redbubble and get paid when a customer buys your product. You don't have to worry about creating or shipping the item, or even getting traffic to the site as it's a ready-to-go shop front.

You will need to keep coming up with new ideas and build up a lot of designs before you start making a lot of money through POD, but if you're willing to stick it out you can make an entirely passive income later down the line.

12. Takeaway food

  • Income potential: Medium
  • Experience needed: Medium
  • Time investment: High
  • Money investment: €1,000
  • Home-based: Yes

This business model requires you to be handy in the kitchen, unsurprisingly.

The at home takeaway industry is thriving right now and more people than ever are ordering everything from home-cooked meals to their favourite sweet treats.

One of the easiest ways to get started with this business idea is to sign up to a delivery service such as Deliveroo, who charge a start up cost in return for a space on their platform. They will also take a cut from each sale, but it's a small price to pay for a ready made customer base.

This option is not great for anybody who wants location independence, but if you don't mind being tied to an area you can make a scaleable food business pretty quickly.

13. Photographer

  • Income potential: Medium
  • Experience needed: High
  • Time investment: Medium
  • Money investment: €0
  • Home-based: Yes

If you're a gifted photographer there are many business opportunities for you.

The easiest and most passive way to make money through photography is to sell stock photos to websites such as Pexels and Shutterstock. The amount you'll earn per download is low, but over time popular photos and video footage can make a steady incoem stream.

You can also start a photography business in a niche you're interested in. Whether that's weddings, animals, food or travel – there are lots of options out there.

If you already own camera equipment, you don't need any money to get started. However, updating your stash can be pricey and you might need to invest in marketing to build up a customer base.

14. Influencer

  • Income potential: Very high
  • Experience needed: Low
  • Time investment: Medium
  • Money investment: €0
  • Home-based: Yes

Gone are the days where being an influencer wasn't seen as a ‘real business'.

Influencers with engaged followings can make money a variety of ways, and more and more brands are seeing their value.

You can make money through brand partnerships, advertising or selling your own products.

And it's not just the megastars who are making good money this way. Even micro and nano influencers with active audiences and good engagement rates have serious earning potential.

15. Instructor

  • Income potential: Medium
  • Experience needed: Medium
  • Time investment: High
  • Money investment: €0
  • Home-based: Yes

There are lots of different options for starting an instructor based business.

If you're into fitness then dance, yoga or personal training are all highly demanded skills which can be taught to classes or one on one.

Teaching, languages, cooking, and even driving are all industries where you can advertise yourself as an instructor. Many can be done from the comfort of your home and require very little start-up costs either.

You will need to build up a solid client base to make a good income as an instructor, so be prepared for this to take some time and lots of selling yourself.

16. Amazon FBA

  • Income potential: Very high
  • Experience needed: Low
  • Time investment: High
  • Money investment: €500
  • Home-based: Yes

Amazon FBA is a business opportunity that pretty much anybody can start with a little bit of money to invest in stock. How much depends on your strategy and circumstances, but most people agree on a minimum of $500.

With this business model, it's your job to source products that will sell, write compelling sales pages and stay on top of the trends.

Pretty much everything else is left to Amazon. They store your products in their world-renowned fulfillment centers, provide the website traffic, pack and ship out your orders for you.

Unlike dropshipping, you will need to invest in the stock before you get a sale so there is slightly more risk involved. Not every product you choose will be a great success, but when you get it right you this can be a very lucrative option.

17. Membership website

  • Income potential: Very high
  • Experience needed: Low
  • Time investment: High
  • Money investment: €50
  • Home-based: Yes

Building a successful membership websites is a rewarding and lucrative business model, but it involves a lot of time investment.

First, you'll have to get extremely clear on who your target audience is, and how you can provide them with incredible value. If you get that right, people will be queuing up to become a member.

You can either have a members-only website or set up a pay wall for restricted, exclusive areas.

18. Ebook

  • Income potential: Very high
  • Experience needed: Low
  • Time investment: High
  • Money investment: €0
  • Home-based: Yes

One very passive and accesable business model is to write an Ebook.

As soon as it's written, you don't need to do anything except promote and sell it. It's also a digital product so the profit margin is very high even if you sell it at an affordable price.

Writing an Ebook that sells will require you to have strong writing skills and a unique concept that people see value in.

To test out whether you have that before dedicating too many hours to the writing process, try giving out the first chapter for free and gathering feedback.

19. Podcast

  • Income potential: High
  • Experience needed: Low
  • Time investment: High
  • Money investment: €0
  • Home-based: Yes

If you love to talk, podcasting could be your perfect business model.

All you need is an interesting concept that people find entertaining or educational to get started. You can record on your own, with a co-host or a series of guests.

The hardest part is getting new listeners and then keeping the content fresh and valuable enough to get them to keep coming back.

If you can do this, you can quite literally get paid to talk. Podcasters make money through affiliate marketing, brand sponsorships, and selling their own products to their audience.

20. Home rental

  • Income potential: High
  • Experience needed: Low
  • Time investment: Low
  • Money investment: €0
  • Home-based: Yes

If you have a spare bedroom, home or even piece of land, you could make good money renting it out.

This business model is particular popular because it requires very little time so you can do it alongside any of the other business ideas in this list or a full-time job.

Or, you can reinvest your profits into new accommodation options and make even more money through renting.

Either way, you'll either need a hefty initial investment or an existing space to get started. You'll also have to stay close by to keep an eye on your property and be there to assist with any issues, or you can use a portion of your profits to pay for a property manager.

What business to start? Things to consider

Finding your niche can take a bit of time, and sometimes you'll end up changing it multiple times before you find the business that's right for you. That's okay and just part of the process.

Here are some tips to help you pick a good niche right from the start.

1. You will enjoy working in this field

You don't need to love every minute of it, but you need to have a general passion for the topic you're dealing with. This will come across in everything you do. The biggest failure is to become successful at something you don't like.

2. You have expertise or an edge

It has to be a niche where you can utilize your strengths. Either natural talent or a field that you started learning about very early. It doesn't mean you have to be the best of the best, but it's a good starting point.

3. You have an idea to provide value

Problems exist in every niche, and it's your job as an entrepreneur to pick one and figure out a way to solve it. We'll talk about this more in-depth shortly.

4. People need to be willing to spend money

Do some research (usually you can just go with common sense) to get an understanding of if people spend money here. The good news is that most niches can be monetized in one way or the other.

Steps

Written by
Johannes Larsson
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