Every year new business trends emerge and some businesses that were doing well the year before find themselves struggling to keep up with changing markets and demands. That’s why it’s important for both business owners and prospective startups to be carefully following trends and market patterns.
When considering a new venture, any entrepreneur should be looking at:
- Business niche
- Target market
- Profitable business sectors
- Building in flexibility for growth
We’ve done some of the heavy lifting for you and considered the sectors that are most likely to be successful in 2021 and what businesses you might consider starting within those sectors. There is an array of options for different levels of skill and experience, so whether you’ve already decided what you want to do and want to double check if it’s feasible, or you’re still looking for that one brilliant idea, read on to find the best businesses to start in 2021.
- Health and Wellbeing
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that our health and wellbeing are important. This includes physical, mental, emotional, relational, and even spiritual health, and people are ready to pay to make sure that their wellbeing is protected.
If you are into the physical side of things, mobile and online fitness studios or personal training are big this year. Mobile personal training in particular has seen a spike in interest as people look to save time in their day while still getting the benefits of a personal trainer.
Niche sports and recreational activities are also becoming more popular with people taking to new forms of fitness such as aerial yoga and dance fitness. Team sports are also always popular and if there is an opening in the market near you to provide people with active recreation then this might be the perfect time to start your sport and recreation business.
But it’s not only fitness that people are concerned about. The food we consume has a lot to do with our health and can also have an impact on the environment. With an increase in interest in healthy and sustainable living, the market for sustainable food, especially vegan food, is growing massively.
Beyond the body, you could also enter the health and wellbeing market targeted at mental and relational wellbeing. The demand is always increasing for therapists and counsellors. If your skills lend themselves to helping people through stress, rocky relationships, or emotional upheaval, then you could start a successful business aimed at addressing the ever-growing list of mental health concerns linked with modern life.
If you want to take a more holistic approach, then the in-home care market is for you. This is currently one of the biggest markets and has high demand. Offer services for child-care, care for the home-bound elderly, or specialised care for any number of disabilities or additional needs. There is a lot of scope within the care business to work as a self-employed freelancer or start your own care provision agency. Hours can be flexible or fixed, and you have the opportunity to build your brand and business while knowing you are making a difference to someone else’s life.
- New technologies
If you fancy yourself as more innovative and are looking for the best ideas in 2021 to start a business that will grow and adapt with new technologies and markets, then this may be the sector for you. This sector focuses on new technologies that are still being developed but are already promising bright things for the future.
Sustainable living has reliably made the top of this type of list for a while now and it’s unlikely that trend will stop any time soon. Take advantage of any technological know-how you have and enter growing markets in:
- Solar power
- Wind power
- Plastic alternatives
- Safe and sustainable waste removal and disposal
- Waste reduction
- Recycling, upcycling, and reusable goods
With children learning to code in their first years at school, technology is clearly moving quickly! But a lot of the people in top level jobs didn’t grow up with technology and still need help in either using the latest tools or setting up their businesses to compete in a digital age.
Consultancy is one option in this field. If you have the technological knowledge and experience to quickly and easily identify problems and implement solutions then you could offer your services to businesses who will pay for the benefit of joining the technological age.
App development, IT support, and web design are just a few of the other options to enter the new technology market as a new business.
- New and Changing markets
If you’re particularly good at spotting trends, identifying market movement, and reading people to predict their buying habits, then this is an industry for you. New and changing markets are generally trendier market areas and include targeted marketing at untapped sectors.
In the last year, one of the biggest emerging markets is black business, and that trend can be seen extending into many business ventures that support or empower ethnic minorities worldwide. Not everyone will be able to enter this market, but for those who fall into this demographic, there is a large potential client base.
Revival businesses are also a good way to go. The past decade has seen a rise in record sales, instant picture development, and retro gifts (think of things like lava lamps). This is a tricky business to start and if you don’t fully understand your area of interest or your target market then your business venture could quickly fail. Make sure you are comfortable with the market trends, are happy to do research around what should and shouldn’t be revived, and be ready to adapt quickly to changing demands in the market.
- Online Goods and Services
If anyone wasn’t doing online business before 2020, they are now. And with a global audience at your fingertips, online business makes a lot of sense in 2021.
Food and Alcohol
Food and alcohol have always been consistently successful when done right and 2021 is a good time to take advantage of a growing number of people who are choosing to host events at home rather than go out. The added advantage is that if you are starting your business not knowing if hospitality will be open for a while, an online food or alcohol business can still survive, thrive, and compete in the market.
Options are extensive in this field, from home tasting kits to manufacturing and supply. You could also offer recycling services for after parties, offer cooking boxes or courses, or choose the standard take-away route. Starting your own online ordering and delivery platform for niche products could also give you unique advantage.
Teaching, tutoring, and course development
With online learning becoming more accessible and recognised, more people are turning to online courses and teachers to give them an academic or professional advantage or to upskill or retrain. If you have specialised knowledge, or simply a knack for sharing knowledge, then online education could be lucrative.
Join those creating courses or start your own online learning platform. This works for individuals or can be a lucrative enterprise for bigger startups.
Language learning and translation are also big and there is high demand for translation work as well as language teachers. More and more people are travelling for business, education, or leisure, and are often happy to spend money on good quality language lessons or courses. If you happen to be bilingual, this could be an easy way for you to break into the industry.
Retail is an industry that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Online sales can be lucrative and easy depending on your choice of goods and target market. Some particularly successful online retail options include:
- Import and export
- Buying to upcycle and reselling
- Sourcing niche or unique items to resell from a single platform
- Selling homemade or crafted goods
- Customised printing
- Dropshipping (the middleman in the online retail chain)
Online business services
Businesses often turn to online services as a cheap and effective way to get short-term or part-time help without adding someone to payroll. Marketers, app developers, freelancers, copywriters, graphic designers, bookkeepers, transcribers, and virtual assistants are all able to make a profit in the current market by offering their services online.
Offering business supplies such as stationery, or services such as technical assistance or courier and postal services can also get you into this industry, especially if you market yourself to smaller companies that need the help but aren’t big enough to hire someone full time yet.
Launching an e-business has lower upfront costs and overheads and enables you to reach a much wider market than if you were limited to your geographical area.
Is 2021 a good year to start a business?
You might be hesitant to start your business in a recession or during global business upheaval, but many of the top businesses found their feet during financial crises. Recession saw the introduction and development of the Hyatt hotel chain, Microsoft, Uber, and AirBnB.
The truth is that a recession brings a new wave of fresh thinking and a difference in consumer habits that opens up the market to newcomers. New businesses can take advantage of the fact that bigger businesses are struggling to find their feet in an uncertain time, while offering their goods and services to markets with more open minds to change.
Starting your business in 2021 also means you will have less competition. Most people wait until markets are steady before they start their own business, but that means fewer competitors for the brave entrepreneur.
In addition to less competition, you can also take advantage of a wider and more readily available workforce. People who have lost their jobs or who need a change will be looking for ways to put their expertise to work. Build your small business with like-minded, enthusiastic people who are excited by a new venture and who know the importance of hard work.
2021 has also shaken up the consumer marketplace. People are finding new ways to shop, find entertainment, communicate, work, and look after themselves. E-commerce has also expanded by 40% in the last year as people spend more time on their digital devices. With people actively looking for new products and services and finding new ways to access them, 2021 is the perfect time to introduce your business to the world.
What businesses will be needed in the future
It’s all well and good to start your business in 2021 knowing current trends, but if you want your business to grow and thrive in the future, you will need to know some of the current predictions on market growth as well.
If you are concerned that your great idea will be less appealing, take a look at what industry experts are saying will be the lasting industries – for the next few years at least.
- Vegan and sustainable food
- Relationship counselling and online therapy
- Service for the elderly and house-bound
- CBD oil and other health supplements
- Travel agencies, travel experience platforms, and glamping or voluntourism providers
- Sustainable living and energy
- Affiliate and influencer marketing
- Construction and handy work
- Robotics (design, development, implementation, rental, repairs)
It is clear that consumers are becoming more socially and environmentally conscious and small businesses that capitalise on that now may be able to beat out larger companies who are still trying to adjust to the change in market. Look at how your business can take advantage of mass information, influencer culture, and environmental concern.
Technology is another area that is growing rapidly. Space travel and robotics have been widely touted as industries with promising future growth.
Remember that starting a small business requires you to think big while focusing small. Make sure your ideas are manageable and meet demand, but have space to grow into industries that promise future expansion.
Certain industries are likely to be safe bets, such as nanotechnology, robotics, and food and drinks, while others, such as niche goods sales, may be a bit more risky. Decide what risks you are willing to take and consider your own interests and aspirations as a business person.
With so many options and so many expanding markets, 2021 is the perfect time for you to start your new business.