If you work in the corporate workforce, there’s a good chance you’re looking to escape.
A study in 2018 by Gallup found that 66% of employees worldwide are either not engaged or are actively disengaged in their job.
If you are one of these people, you’ve likely explored almost every method on your journey to escape the corporate workforce.
One of my favorite paths is entrepreneurship. Starting a business can be a fun, yet challenging way to quit your 9 to 5 and enjoy your work again.
I’ve put together a list of 31 profitable business ideas for anyone to start in 2021.
Let’s get started!
1. Freelance Writing
If you’re a skilled writer, starting a freelance writing business is a great idea to showcase your gift and get paid to do so.
There are many large media outlets that utilize freelance writers to create compelling content for their websites. You’ll want to have a portfolio of your work to obtain new clients and grow your business.
Depending on your skills, freelancing writing can pay over $1 per word!
2. Pressure Washing
Pressure washing is an excellent business option for those who enjoy working outdoors and don’t have a large sum of cash to pay for startup costs.
You’ll need some basic equipment to get started including a pressure washer, hoses, nozzle attachments, as well as a vehicle to get around.
Starting a pressure washing business can take less than a few weeks to get started. You’ll want to pass out flyers or connect with friends on social media to promote your services.
3. Print on Demand
If you’ve ever seen custom t-shirts sold around the web, there’s a good chance it’s operated as a print-on-demand business. This means that whenever a piece is ordered, it is custom printed right then.
These businesses are primarily found online and can be very profitable. You can grow your business into various forms of clothing including t-shirts, hats, sweatshirts, and more. You can choose to operate your business through various commerce channels including Etsy, Amazon or a company website.
4. House painting
Similar to starting a pressure washing business, starting a house painting business can be very affordable and profitable.
The equipment and materials needed to get started can cost less than $1,000.
To get started, you’ll want to create a company website with your contact information and print out some flyers to pass out around your city to attract new clients.
5. Lawn Care
Lawn care is another great low-cost startup business perfect for people looking to work for themselves. While the startup costs are somewhat higher than other service businesses, that comes with increased profitability.
Most of your startup costs will be associated with pieces of equipment that can be considered an investment and also provide some tax benefits by choosing to depreciate them annually.
Starting a cleaning business is the perfect way to make money with the satisfaction of leaving a home or business sparkling.
Like other service businesses, the startup costs are extremely cheap. You’ll need to purchase a vacuum and some cleaning supplies to get started, all of which can be purchased for less than $500.
7. Electronic Repairs
In 2021, almost everyone has a personal electronic device. Between smartphones, tablets, and other electronic devices, the market for repairs for these items is massive. IBIS World estimates that the cell phone repair business is valued at $4 billion in 2021.
This provides an enormous opportunity for those with the skills and equipment to repair electronic devices. But you don’t need to have an electronic engineering degree to get started!
Repairing many devices can be simpler than you think. You can browse through various online resources to get a better understanding of how to repair broken screens, battery replacements and other common repairs.
To get started, you’ll want to purchase a few small pieces of equipment that cost less than a couple of hundred dollars.
8. Auto Detailing
If you live in a region with ample sun, washing and detailing cars can make for an awesome business to start.
You’ll need to do some research on cleaning car interiors to ensure your techniques are up to par with vehicle owners.
Depending on your location, you can make a couple of thousand dollars each month with a car detailing business.
9. Digital Products
If you’re looking for an online business that can produce passive income, creating and selling digital products can be a great option.
It’s common for digital product creators to have an established audience to sell their products to, but you can also opt to sell your products via affiliates.
Creating digital products can take some time to develop, but the costs are typically minimal.
10. Website Design and Development
You might be thinking you need to have special skills to start a web design and development business, but that’s not always the case. With today’s technology, there are several web applications that can make designing websites a breeze.
Many local companies lack the time or skills to develop a website, offering you the perfect opportunity to make money.
Depending on the size and complexity of the website, it’s common to charge anywhere from $750 to over $5,000 for your work.
11. Personal Training
If you have a passion for health and fitness and you’re looking to make money helping others, consider starting a personal training business.
You can help clients transform their bodies and develop a healthy lifestyle while getting paid to do so.
You’ll need to become a certified personal fitness trainer to get started, which can cost around $1,000 in total. Once you’re certified, you can start gaining new clients by working at a local gym or completing sessions online.
12. Handyman (or Woman)
For those who are skilled with their hands, starting a business as a handyman can be a great investment.
You’ll be tasked with completing odd jobs around the house like changing electrical outlets, mounting televisions, and various other small tasks.
Like many service-based businesses, word-of-mouth marketing is vital to your success, so you’ll want to encourage happy customers to pass your name along to friends and family.
If you’re a bookkeeper or CPA, a bookkeeping business can be a perfect low-cost service business to start in 2021.
To get started, you’ll need a computer, a clean place to work, and an internet connection.
You can promote your services at local professional networking events or social media websites like LinkedIn.
14. Event Planning
For those who are extremely well versed in organization, starting an event planning business is an excellent option.
Event planning requires tedious organization and communication skills that can be acquired with experience.
Finding a niche in event planning can also be critical to your success. Wedding, festival, and entertainment planning are the most common forms of event planning.
15. Mobile DJ
DJs are essential for large events and local nightclubs, making for a great profitable business opportunity.
You’ll need to invest a few thousand dollars in equipment and software to get started but there are few ongoing costs associated with a DJ business. You’ll also need a vehicle to get around to venues.
Once you’ve performed at a few events, you can use your experience to allure new clients.
16. Travel Planning
While travel planning businesses may have suffered in the previous year, they’re sure to rebound once travelers seek to getaway.
Similar to an event planning business, a travel planning business will require strong organizational and communication skills to be successful. You’ll also need a knowledge of various travel destinations and accommodations to better serve your customers.
17. Pet Sitting
There’s one reason why pet sitting makes for a great business. There are almost no expenses associated with it! This means that your margins can be upwards of 90% or more.
You can find customers by posting your services on social media websites or partnering with several pet sitting apps that pair you with animal owners.
If you are experienced with videography, starting a videography business can be a great profitable business to start in 2021.
You’ll want to invest in the right equipment to get started but it can more than pay for itself in a few months’ time. Both businesses and people use videographers to take and edit videos making the market quite large.
Similar to event planning, you’ll want to find a niche for your business. There are many types of videography, so you’ll want to specialize in a form that is common in your region.
19. Sell Candles from Home
Starting a candle-making business is an excellent option for those looking to get their creative juices flowing.
Making candles to sell is easier than you might think and the supplies can be purchased for less than $500.
You’ll want to spend some time testing various scents and types of candles before committing to one style.
Candle businesses can scale quickly and while margins are strong, competition can be stiff. You’ll need to find a way to stand out from the competition and keep your customers coming back.
Candles can be sold through various channels. Finding which channels work for your business is crucial. Between selling on your company website, Etsy, other e-commerce retailers or locally at farmers markets or retail locations, finding the optimal channels will take some testing.
Starting a tutoring business can be very profitable for those gifted at teaching. There are many different subjects you can specialize in, making for a great business opportunity.
Rates for tutoring vary depending on the subject of teaching, the level of difficulty requested and your region.
21. Moving Company
While a moving business certainly isn’t the most attractive business to start, it can be extremely profitable.
By hiring a few helpers and purchasing a moving truck, you can start a profitable moving company.
You’ll need to be capable of lifting heavy items and performing strenuous work to become successful.
22. Domain Flipping
Flipping domain names can be a lucrative business for those with an understanding of online marketing.
Domain flipping can be a great side hustle turned business and can be done from anywhere. Like other forms of flipping, your goal is to purchase a domain name at a discount and sell it for a profit.
To be successful you’ll need to understand how to value domain names and find cheap methods to purchase them.
23. Website Flipping
Just like domain flipping, website flipping provides an amazing opportunity for marketers to cash-in on their skills.
If you’re knowledgeable about building and growing websites, this might be the perfect online business to start.
Websites come in all shapes and sizes. You’ll want to find something you’re comfortable with and work to grow the revenues or cut costs before selling it for a profit. If you want to make a large income flipping websites, you’ll likely need to flip multiple websites per year.
24. Stock Photography
Making money with stock photography can be an excellent choice for those with some basic photography and photo editing skills.
To be successful and grow your business, you’ll need to spend some time learning how to take the perfect photos and learning which ones tend to sell more.
Starting a blog is not the quickest way to make money, but it can be a good option for those looking for an online business that can be operated from anywhere.
Starting and growing a blog will take a few key pieces: time to write quality content, marketing knowledge to understand how to promote your content, and a small amount of technical website development knowledge to get started.
You’ll want to start by selecting a topic that interests you and has a strong audience. Then you can find a domain name that works for your niche. Next comes purchasing hosting and building your website. Finally, it’s time to create content and market your blog to the world.
Growing a profitable blog will take some time. At minimum, you’ll want to dedicate anywhere from 6-12 months to give your blog time to grow.
26. Virtual Assistant
Growing a profitable blog will take some time. At minimum, you’ll want to dedicate anywhere from 6-12 months to give your blog time to grow.
Woodworking is a unique business that can be quite lucrative. By creating custom pieces you can easily earn a few thousand dollars each month making it an excellent profitable business idea for 2021.
You’ll need to have some skills to start this small business, however. Woodworking can take some time to master so you’ll want to take the time to properly learn the fundamentals of the craft.
Podcasting is a great method of content creation for those who dislike or don’t have time to read text and appreciate an audio format of content. Starting a podcast will take some time to grow similar to a blog or other online businesses.
You’ll need to dedicate some time to learning the basics of podcasting as well as planning content, editing your podcast, and including show notes on a website for listeners to access.
Etsy opened the doors for many so-called “creativepreneurs.” These entrepreneurs create goods with their heightened creativity and sell them for a profit through websites like Etsy.
There are many different categories of items to sell so there’s sure to be an area for your products. Growing your Etsy business is all about customer satisfaction and word-of-mouth marketing. Keeping customers happy and referring their friends to your products will help to increase your revenues.
30. Furniture Flipping
Similar to woodworking, a furniture flipping business is a great choice for those with a creative bone in their body.
The process is quite easy to understand. You’ll need to purchase distressed pieces of furniture, repair them and sell them for a profit.
It’s common to find distressed pieces at thrift stores and garage sales. You can then sell your finished pieces online through social media or a website.
31. Resume Writing and Career Coaching
Do you have a knack for the professional environment and understand how to make a resume stand out?
Consider starting a resume writing business or career coaching to help professionals obtain a new job, negotiate a higher salary or find the best path for them with their skills.
You can find clients at local professional networking events or through social media websites like LinkedIn.
Final Thoughts on the Best Profitable Business Ideas to Start in 2021
No matter your age, starting a business can be one of the quickest paths to achieving financial independence. For those new to the world of entrepreneurship, it’s a good idea to start a business with a proven business model with a fast path to profitability.
Starting a profitable business is not always easy. You’ll need to dedicate your time to growing the business and expanding your skills to better serve your customers.
Image Credit: Sergey Nazarov / iStock