How To Decide What Business To Start

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How To Decide What Business To Start: 10 Things To Consider

The idea of opening your own company is always very exciting. However, not all ideas are easy to implement.

Contrary to popular belief, there are multiple ways to open a business that allows you to focus more on getting started than on the logistics and upfront cost.

These low-investment small businesses are great for entrepreneurs, beginners, and anyone who has a busy schedule. You can start your own business without losing everything.

However, it is still important to create a solid plan, establish a brand, invest in marketing, and provide exceptional customer service. However, there are some ways to avoid the typical startup costs such as inventory, warehousing, retail space, and initial inventory.

Towards the end of this article, you’ll find answers for some of the most frequently asked questions on how to decide what businesses to start in 2021…

But most importantly, you’ll be shown the exact system several others have used to build their own business to over $40,000 a month in mostly passive income.

Table of Contents

13 Low-Investment business ideas that make money

Curious what a good business or career to start in 2021? Explore this list of small business ideas you can start making money with this year: 

1. Start A Dropshipping Business.

You need to buy stock, store it and pick it up, then pack it and ship it. When running a business, inventory management is a major commitment.

Dropshipping is an easy small business idea to start. Dropshipping is a fulfillment model in which a third-party supplier stores and ships inventory for you. Because it is low-cost, hands-off, and scalable, dropshipping can be a great way to start a business.

You don’t have to manage any products. All you need is to sell the product and send orders to your supplier. It’s actually one of the easiest and most cost-effective businesses to start.

You can combine products from different suppliers to create your own online shop. This allows you to focus on specific niches, such as gear for yoga lovers or water bowls suitable for dog owners. Your supplier fulfills the customer’s order when they buy a product. You are responsible for customer service and marketing.

You can work with both local and international suppliers, provided you establish trust with them. An unreliable supplier can be a poor reflection of your brand.

Dropshipping can be a great way to launch your business and test the product-market fit before you make any investment in your original products. To ensure that your supplier is trustworthy and the quality of your products is checked, it is a good idea to order samples for yourself.

2. Design And Sell Print-On-Demand T-Shirts.

Another dropshipping model is print-on-demand which places inventory, shipping, and fulfillment in the control of a third-party supplier. This model is different from dropshipping because you can customize products to your specifications and create unique designs.

Your creativity is unlimited with t-shirts, hats, phone cases, and hoodies. There are many ways to create witty phrases for developers and references that resonate with cat owners. If there is passion and pride in a community, there’s a possibility of starting a t-shirt business.

You can still find a designer to work with, even if you don’t have a design background, using free sites such as Fiverr and Upwork.

Print-on-demand is a service that charges per product. This means that the unit price will be higher than if you order in bulk. The advantage is that even if a particular t-shirt design does not sell, you still have the option to pay for it (or the design if you outsourced).

You can also use mockup templates to save money on photoshoots for each new design.

You have many print-on-demand options available. Many of these can be integrated into your Shopify store to facilitate order fulfillment. Make sure you order a sample (often at a discount) to ensure your custom products look great.

3. Launch Your Own Book.

If you think about it, a book can be considered another type of product. A book can be created to address a specific market need.

You can sell picture books, cookbooks, comic books, or poetry books. Other ideas include photo books, novels, ebooks, and coffee table books. It’s one of the best business ideas.

Print-on-demand publishing is a safe way to get started in self-publishing. You have complete control over the design and content of your book.

Lulu xPress or Blurb allows you to order and distribute your books, both digitally and in physical form, on popular platforms like Lulu Xpress. You can also sell it on third-party marketplaces like Amazon, Powell’s.

Although you can order only one book, bulk purchases will bring down costs. To ensure that there is demand for your book, you might consider preselling it or crowdfunding it. This will guarantee you a certain number to feel confident in placing bulk orders.

Launching your book can be an excellent way to monetize your blog if you have one or plan to start one.

4. Create Digital Products Or Online Courses

Digital products include music, courses, and templates. These are some of the best small business ideas. They’re not tangible and are therefore different from other ideas. They aren’t subject to recurring manufacturing and shipping costs. As such, you can maintain high margins while still generating passive earnings, making them a great option for those looking to start a business.

It’s important to understand what makes an excellent digital product. What is valuable enough to make people pay for it?

These answers can range from original instrumental tracks to stock photos licensed by other creators to information products or templates that help people increase their skills in a specific field.

If you have a talent and can make it into a digital product, consider packaging it into a new stream.

Shopify has a free Digital Downloads app, which lets you sell digital products quickly and easily in your store.

5. Sell Print-On-Demand Posters, Greeting Cards, And Prints.

Dropshipping is a way to allow others to own your work if you are artistically inclined. Be sure to have the rights to the content you wish to print or use public domain assets that you can freely monetize.

This small business idea is ideal for those with a large online following, such as a cartoonist or urban photographer.

You can make posters, framed wall art, or greeting cards depending on which printer you use. You can showcase your products using digital templates and mockup generators such as Placeit.

6. Start A Charitable Business.

Fundraising is not limited to starting a nonprofit organization. Social entrepreneurs can create a mission for their business and profit for the cause they care about.

Social enterprises often offer their own products, but you can also use any small business ideas to partner with a nonprofit or carry out that social good on your own.

Support your customers by sharing their impact on marketing. A blog post covering your work with the community or a real-time impact calculator can be examples of how you can do this.

The Give & Grow Shopify mobile app makes partnering with charitable organizations easy and allows you to incorporate your mission into your business. You can have it set up to donate a specified amount or a percentage from sales, or you can ask your customers for a donation at checkout.

7. Sell A Service.

While offering services isn’t passive, it can be a great way to earn self-employment. Services-based small business ideas are your most significant investment. Your time is limited. If you have skills that are in high demand, it makes it easier to get on the ground.

Many people can build businesses around their talents, such as writers, graphic artists, virtual assistant (SEO consulting business), cleaning service providers, dog walkers, and real estate professionals.

It is one of the best business possibilities as it can be expanded with any other ideas to create additional revenue streams by “productizing” services through physical and digital goods.

An example is a photographer who can attend a local event while selling prints on the internet through their Instagram page. A freelance writer may be able to sell a copywriting file with high-converting sales content. You can also combine your service-based company with physical products to make additional income.

Shopify offers the BookThatApp, Acerill Appointment Book to allow customers to easily book a session or consult or purchase tickets to a class through your store.

You can also list your services via a marketplace like Upwork. In this way, it will increase your chances of being found by those interested in your skills.

8. Create An Online Fashion Boutique.

You can start your own fashion boutique online if you are passionate about fashion and want to share your style online. You need not be a professional fashion designer. You can just curate items from other vendors and put them in your online shop (using the dropshipping model mentioned earlier).

You can create your own fashion brand by sourcing dresses, shoes, swimwear, and accessories from Shopify. Then, you can model the products in your product photos and social media posts and become a trendsetter online.

9. Sell Handcrafted And Homemade Goods.

It doesn’t matter if your hobby is soap making, candle-making, pottery, sauce-making, or candles–you have the unique opportunity to create an online company idea. Because you control product development, procurement, and other aspects of your business, it’s literally at your fingertips.

This is different from many of the ideas on this page. Shipping and inventory management will be required. But you can start simple with small batches or per-order until you generate consistent sales.

Shopify is full of home-based business owners who started off with an idea and sold it to their friends or family via word-of-mouth. Once they established demand for the products, they became small-business owners.

Pay attention to any regulations within your product category, especially if they are products that customers may eat, inhale, and apply to their skin.

10. Build An Audience You Can Monetize.

In today’s connected society, catching and keeping the attention of people is a key asset. It’s an asset that many businesses are willing or able to pay for. And it’s one that many creators can convert into multiple revenue streams.

There are many options to monetize your audience.

  • Sponsored posts from brands
  • Becoming an Influencer
  • Selling physical or electronic products (via any of this list’s ideas)
  • Patreon
  • All of the above. They are not mutually exclusionary.

Taking an audience-first approach with your small business ideas will mean you are playing the long game and could take several months for you to find the answer. But it doesn’t require millions of followers. Instagrammer Kat Gaskin, for instance, launched a $10k products launch, with only 3,000 fans.

11. Start A Pet Business.

There are many small business opportunities in the pet industry. It’s a market that is worth almost $100 billion. This makes it easy to start and has guaranteed demand. Your pet business could be product- or service-based–selling accessories, food, or toys or offering grooming, walking, or training expertise.

PerkiePrints creates personalized pet products, including apparel and framed prints. There are also fun projects.

Let The Dog Out provides services such as dog walking and “bathroom breaks.”

Although business planning is commonly used to secure financing, many business owners find it valuable to write a plan, even if they don’t work with investors. You can find free templates for business plans online.

12. Create A Membership Program.

Online memberships have become a popular business idea, not just because people were forced to remain home during the COVID-19 crises. Memberships make it easy to manage members-only access on a website, just like a subscription-based business. This is also great for physical businesses that offer online guided sessions. Many companies can benefit from this low-investment business model, including yoga studios.

The content is protected with a password that only paying subscribers have access to through their accounts. Therefore, you can host exclusive live streams along with (or instead) downloadable content.

No matter the route, it’s important to record in a quiet place, so you don’t get distracted.

You can also use email marketing to inform your members about new content. It’s easy to create excitement for new launches with email, video teasers, or customer testimonials.

Shopify makes it easy to launch your membership-based business. Just like a physical product, create a new product. But give it a name.

To eliminate shipping options at checkout, make sure to select “This is a physical item.” (Note – Some setup requirements might change depending upon which apps you use later.

Create variants if you wish to offer different membership options. Modifying each variant allows you to adjust each one and set different prices.

13. Join An Affiliate Marketing Program.

Affiliate marketing is a marketing strategy based on performance that pays people (aka affiliates) to promote and sell their products. Each time an affiliate brings in a customer, the business pays them a commission.

Affiliates can promote products through their websites, blogs, social media accounts, and communities. Affiliate marketing can be a low-cost side hustle that eventually becomes a profitable business.

These are the steps to follow to join an affiliate program:

  1. You can find affiliate programs on websites like ShareASale or Affiliate.
  2. Select the offers that you wish to promote
  3. Register for an affiliate link
  4. This link should be promoted across all your assets.
  5. You will earn a commission for every person who signs up through your link or makes a purchase.

Commission rates can vary depending on what offer you are promoting and the company. For example, you could make as little as 5% per sale, and as much as 50% of your class or event is promoted. Affiliate programs may offer flat rates instead of a percentage.

Three Tips For Choosing The Best Business Idea

The small business ideas we’ve covered might be easier to run when it comes to logistics, but that doesn’t make them easy. There are at least three things you should keep in mind as you consider your options, no matter what business you decide to start.

1. Focusing On A Niche Makes Marketing Easier.

Marketing is key to any business’ success. You can’t just know there is demand for your products. You need to find ways to reach those people. It’s crucial to your business to attract the right people to your products.

Marketing is much easier when you cater to a particular audience or identify (e.g., vegans, board gamers, local photographers). These people can be reached via social media or targeted ads. This approach will help you create a consistent brand by allowing you to better understand the people you are talking to.

Consider how you can narrow down your target audience and how your business can serve them. You might be able to build your business based on an existing audience if you have a blog, YouTube channel, or Instagram.

2. Pricing Is About More Than Profit.

If you price your products too low, shoppers may assume that they are low quality. You risk losing customers if you price them too high. You will need to find the sweet spot to offer discounts and attract customers, especially if your company plans to pay for advertising.

Many of the small business ideas discussed in this post may not require you to ship your products. However, you must still pay shipping costs. You should consider the shipping costs of your products and how they differ in different countries.

Many sellers online try to include shipping costs in their retail prices to offer to ship at a low flat rate or free of charge. Others encourage shoppers to add more items and receive conditional shipping (e.g., free shipping for orders above $50) to maximize profits.

You can adjust your prices and try different pricing strategies until you find the one that works best for you.

3. Test, Learn, And Grow As You Go.

One of the greatest obstacles to getting your business started is being obsessed with perfection. Remember that there is no set formula.

It is easy to swap in and exchange products (especially if there isn’t any stock). Your store can be completely redesigned. You can change your prices and also switch to a different supplier. You can make these changes based upon the dozens of signals you have at hand (traffic data, time spent on your site, abandoned carts reviews, etc.).

If you aren’t getting the results you want, consider how you can pivot before you give up.

You can save certain aspects of your business if you use a different approach or product. You can repurpose the brand you have built and the people you have on social media and in your email list to help you start your next business idea.

How To Start A Small Business From Home

A dream is not enough to launch a business. To get the wheels moving, you will need:

  • Take advantage of the time you have. It is important to be realistic but still ambitious when setting goals for your business.
  • Find a new business opportunity. This new business idea could come from your personal interests, a market opportunity, an experience–anywhere, really.
  • Validate your idea. Here you can determine if your idea has any merit. Do people want to spend money on it?
  • Create a business name. Your name should be concise, simple, memorable, and unique. Check out these tips for creating business name ideas.
  • Develop a business plan. This is crucial for keeping your company on track and securing investors, lenders, partners, and other financial resources.
  • Understanding business finances. Open business bank accounts, secure financing, and establish solid bookkeeping and accounting processes.
  • Design your product/service. Now comes the fun part! This is where your product idea or service comes to life.
  • Choose a business structure. The structure of your business can impact taxes, operations, personal liability, and many other factors. The key to choosing the right structure for your business is to balance the financial and legal protections you require with the available options.
  • Look into licenses and regulations. The laws that govern businesses in your region, and those specific to your industry, will apply to your business. This knowledge will help you avoid more significant problems in the future.
  • Select the software you need to run your business.
  • Choose a location for your business. Based on space, retail requirements, and fulfillment requirements, find an area where you can open your shop.
  • You should plan your workload and the size of your team. You are limited by how much time you have to invest if you do most of the work. You will have to consider the costs of hiring help.
  • Launch your company. Build buzz through promotions and test paid ads.

Ways On How To Decide What Business To Start

There are many options to help you come up with great business ideas. Perhaps you or someone you know has had a bad experience with a company. You know better. There could be a market gap, such as a lack of demand for a particular product or no one fulfilling it. You might have other ideas in your shower or just before you go to bed.

Brainstorming Business Ideas

There are several ways to brainstorm if you feel stuck in your business ideas. Keep a list of all the ideas you have. You can keep a board of brainstorming, digital or tactile, where you can write down all your ideas. You can then revisit it with new eyes.

There is power in numbers too. To brainstorm new ideas:

  1. Get help from friends and family.
  2. Get ideas from your customers and audiences.
  3. Observe what people are sharing on social media and searching online.
  4. Start with many ideas, then narrow your focus to the most important concepts that you want to explore.

Protecting Unique Business Ideas

There are many options available to entrepreneurs when it comes time to protect their small business ideas. The type of business that you are referring to will determine the right one.

  • Copyright. Copyright protects intellectual property. This means that other people can’t use them without your permission. This applies to text and other media such as music, graphics, design, art, photography, or music.
  • Trademark. Trademarking is another form of intellectual property protection. You “own” a word or phrase, logo, symbol, or design, and you can prevent others from using it.
  • Patent. A patent is a restriction on the use of your invention by anyone else for a specified period.
  • Confidentiality agreements and non-disclosure agreements. These legal documents prohibit individuals from sharing information, as stated in the NDA.
  • Non-compete agreement. This document can be signed by employees and contractors to prevent them from competing with you.
  • Work for hire agreement. This document is only for employees. It means that any work performed during the employee’s term of employment is the employer’s and not the employee’s.

Getting Funding For A Business Idea

Finding the funds for your business idea is one of the most challenging but important aspects of starting a company. There are multiple ways to source out funds for your business idea.

  • Small business loans. Shopify Capital provides loans and grants for businesses. It is a great place to begin.
  • Merchant cash advances. Cash advances can be applied for through Shopify Capital or a bank if you are in financial trouble and require immediate cash.
  • Investors. A lot of investors are looking for the next big thing, those businesses that become viral. To present investors, create a pitch for your business idea.
  • Crowdfunding. Crowdfunding works in the same way as getting investors. However, you will need many investors who are willing to make small financial commitments.
  • You can fund it yourself. Low-investment business ideas make it possible to raise cash. Be aware of the potential risks.

Become Your Own Boss With Little Financial Hassle

Technology, third-party suppliers, and the ability to quickly test new ideas online make it easier than ever for any business owner to create a profit and begin making sales.

This approach allows you to test your ideas before investing in them or make money on the side without taking on any inventory-related obligations.

You can combine the small business ideas above in many ways to start a business. Start with a low-cost, inventory-free business model to grow if the idea of sourcing, storage, and shipping inventory has kept you from starting a business in the past.

Although the world of self-employment can seem daunting, it is possible with some hard work and knowledge.


What Are The Most Successful Small Business Ideas?

Below are some of the most successful business ideas:

  1. Ecommerce store owner
  2. Food trucks
  3. Personal trainer
  4. Pet businesses
  5. Online courses
  6. Online tutoring
  7. Personal wellness
  8. Bookkeeping and accounting

What Are The Top Businesses To Start?

  1. Dropshipping business
  2. Selling print-on-demand shirts
  3. Sell digital products
  4. Become a blogger
  5. Sell freelance services
  6. Create homemade products to sell online
  7. Media (podcast, YouTube channels, etc.)
  8. Affiliate marketing
  9. Pet sitting and products
  10. Online fashion store

What Is The Easiest Business To Start?

Dropshipping, tutoring, fashion shops, selling services, and tutoring are some of the easiest business models to start. An online business is easy to scale and need minimal startup costs. You can make more money and do less work.

What Services Are In High Demand?

  1. Freelance writing 
  2. Translating
  3. Accounting and tax advice
  4. Consulting (content marketing, search engine marketing, etc.)
  5. Web development
  6. House cleaning
  7. Pet grooming
  8. Uber driver

What Is Our #1 Recommendation For Making Money In 2021?

Our review team has come across a program in the real estate industry that is next level!

Although it’s not real estate in the traditional sense, it’s all digital.

Yup, Digital Real Estate!

With digital real estate, you have the opportunity to completely walk away from your 9-5 job!

Sound too good to be true?

Of course it does!

But it isn’t…in fact, business owners wish they had this skill!

What exactly is the skill?

Well, basically you are acting as a conduit for small business to increase their bottom line.

What we mean is…

You are helping these businesses grow!

But how?

All you have to do is build and rank a website and forward certain jobs off to a business owner in town, you could even email it to them!

This works for literally any service based business… ie: tree service, plumbing, towing, etc. 

How Do You Get Paid And How Much?

Simple, after you forward the jobs off to a business owner and he makes closes the deal, you simply ask to agree to a WIN-WIN arrangement.

A fair price to charge per lead, depending on the industry is 10-20%… let’s just use the tree service industry for example and go by worst case scenario.

Let’s say you build and rank the site and only 20 jobs a month come in. The average tree service job is anywhere from $500-$2000!

That means at bare minimum you have an asset worth $1000 a month!

See why they call it digital real estate now?

That’s a rent payment. 

The great thing is how easy it is to scale. You don’t have to answer the phone…all you have to do is get the phone to ring.

Truly passive income!

The training program takes making money online to a whole other level. The owner of the program walks you through how to build and rank a site hand in hand, with the occasional voice over when he is sharing his screen.

You will learn the importance of keywords, website name, how to send call notifications via email, backlinking, etc.

Once the training program is completed you will also have access to a Facebook group where you can ask questions and be in a community with others on the same journey as you.

Digital real estate allows you to have passive income with most of your day being spent OUT of the brick and mortar landscape.

Now, we know you probably have tons of questions… 

So, check this out to learn more.

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