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Business ideas 2021: top 5 profitable opportunities

PaySpace Magazine has done a lot of digging to discover which business ideas can bring you the most profits in the rapidly changing economic landscape of 2021

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Business ideas 2021: top 5 profitable opportunities. Source: unsplash.com

Motivational speakers, psychological books, and social media influencers – they all encourage you to be your own boss, and follow your passion by starting a business. Besides considering their interests and skills, most striving entrepreneurs try to estimate the possible profit. After all, if their business idea won’t bring half of the office paycheck, working 9 to 5 doesn’t seem that bad anymore.

1. Consultancy

Whatever knowledge you have, you can share it both off- and online via paid consultations. The types of consultancy jobs are numerous: strategy, management, security, operations, business, finance, HR, sales, investment, environmental impact, software, or IT consultants. Creative professionals like designers, content developers or marketers may both freelance and work for other companies. Consulting corporate clients often happens remotely from a home office, but occasional travel may be needed. Psychology sessions, as well as legal consultations, are also increasingly taking a remote form. Remote healthcare appointments, nutrition advice, and even online exercise consultations are trendy today. With rising unemployment and a saturated job market, there are a lot of people needing assistance with finding jobs. Career coaches are there to help others figure out the best career options, successfully pass job interviews, and grow professionally. If you have skills for this type of consultations, you can look for clients on social media, or platforms like Coach.me.

The salaries range widely, depending on the industry and the level of expertise. For instance, tech and software specialists may earn $80,000 – $150,000 annually. Counselling psychologists get about $81,330 per year. The average annual pay for a remote digital marketing consultant in the US is $68,153 a year. Financial and management consultants are also highly-paid professions, whereas the average salary for a self-employed business consultant is $100,000. The consultations of IT professionals are also highly-valued. For instance, cyber security consultants earn an average annual salary of $85,430.

2. Healthy food

Consumer trends have been shifting towards healthy lifestyles for a while now. In 2019, 93% of L.E.K. Consulting’s survey respondents claimed they wanted to eat healthily at least some of the time, while 63% were trying to eat healthily most or all of the time. In 2020, even more people started paying more attention to their health. An ADM study found that plant-based eating is becoming mainstream, as 77% of consumers want to make more changes in their diet to stay healthy in the future. Vegan and gluten-free products are the fastest growing market sectors.

Small businesses can grasp this opportunity in a few ways. Firstly, they can grow vegetables and fruit for sale. Home-grown products are usually less impacted by chemicals, thus, preferable for healthy eating. Secondly, it’s hard to find sweet treats that aren’t “guilty pleasures”. Hence, you can sell “healthy” no-sugar sweets and baked goods. Those would be popular among health-conscious adults, those on a diet to lose weight, and parents with young children. Finally, though many working people still prefer fast food for their daily meals, they want their snacks to be healthier than traditional burger menus. The so-called fast-casual restaurant industry has been evolving quickly since the 2010s. While the global focus is on health, they keep growing in number and profitability.

Vegetable vendors who sell their merchandise on the streets or via door-to-door methods, can earn between $16,525 and $30,309 annually. The average salary would be about $25,420 with a possible bonus of $2,232. The salaries of fruit vendors in the US range from $17,940 to $41,760, with a median salary of $22,210. The sellers of home-baked goods (either ordinary or healthy) can earn $200 – $400 per month if they only take occasional special orders; if they’re working 20 hours per week, the profit increases to $800 – $1,200 monthly.

The fast-casual restaurant market size was valued at $125.6 billion in 2019, and is expected to reach $209.1 billion by 2027, registering a CAGR of 10.6% from 2021 to 2027. The biggest fast-casual restaurant chains get revenues of $1.4B to $5.93B a year. With so many available fast-casual franchises, you can have quite the profitable business. In general, healthy fast foods can make $50,000 to $100,000 per year at each of the locations.

3. Website flipping

If you are familiar with web design, SEO and WordPress, you can consider website flipping as a business opportunity. Website flipping is investing in an existing website which is dormant due to various reasons, or brings not enough profit. Website flippers are optimising the website to various search engines, improving it overall to increase value, improving the traffic on the website, and finally selling it for a profit. You can also build websites from scratch and sell them. Typically, websites sell for 2-3 times the income they bring in a year. Big sites can earn well over $5,000 per month. The average profitable website may earn about $2000 monthly. Thus, if you’re working on more than one website and sell them wisely, you can make a six-figure income by flipping websites.

If you’re looking for something a little less challenging and risky, you can also try flipping domains. Instead of growing a website, you can simply search for undervalued domains and sell them for a profit. Certain domain names may be worth a lot of money. The practice is legally restricted to domain names that use words you can find in the dictionary. Variations or misspellings of well-known brand sites aren’t legal, as they can be used for fraudulent activities.

4. Dropshipping

Most manufacturers cooperate with sellers using a dropshipping model. Dropshippers advertise the products on their own webstore page, or via social media, buy out those items needed to fulfill placed orders from the third party (manufacturer/ wholesaler), and resell them for profit. Compared to traditional businesses, the dropshipping model is very economical. You don’t have to pay warehousing costs. Some dropshippers don’t even deal with logistics, organizing direct deliveries from manufacturer to the client.

At the same time, you’ll need some initial investments for establishing a store or a few stores at reputable platforms, registering domain name, and marketing. Moreover, dropshipping is not a passive income type of business. You’ll need to work a lot though on flexible terms. According to Shopify, it’s possible to generate a $1,000–$2,000 monthly income within 12 months working approximately 10 to 15 hours per week. If you have the option to work on your dropshipping business full-time and are ready to strongly focus on marketing, in a year you can replace an average full-time income of $50,000. Once your dropshipping business is up and running, maintaining it will likely take significantly less time. It will also gain a greater scope and start bringing more profits. There are many dropshippers who make up to $100,000 per year with a successful dropshipping store.

5. Home renovation

Despite all the crises and economic downturns, people keep remodeling or repairing their properties. When the pandemic hit, the remodeling market crashed before bouncing back stronger than it was pre-pandemic. In fact, the remodeling and home improvements industries enjoyed bigger gains than any other industry and rebounded much quicker than economies in general. Whether they buy a new house, want to refresh the interior in an old apartment, or prepare the property for sale, home improvement businesses do not lack clients all year round. Current remodeling trends also include redesigning rooms for a specific purpose (gyms, home theaters, etc), redesigning homes for two families, and making greener upgrades.

Of course, this kind of business is not the cheapest one to start. You will need to hire skilled and trustworthy workers, buy a lot of tools, a vehicle for transporting tools and supplies, proper licensing and insurance, etc. Even if you’re offering only your own skills and time as a part-time remodeler, the start-up cost may be around $50,000 – $75,000.

Meanwhile, the business opportunities greatly outweigh the initial investments. According to the Remodelers’ Cost of Doing Business Study: 2017 Edition, residential remodelers reported an average $1.8 million in revenue for 2015, of which $1.3 million (71.1%) went to pay for cost of sales items such as labor, material, and subs. Subtracting these costs from revenue left a gross profit of roughly half a million dollars – or 28.9% of revenue. Even taking into account an average of $420,000 in operating expenses, they ended fiscal year 2015 with $95,000 in net profit – a 5.3% net profit margin.

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