Opinion #SideHustle
Read time: 14'49''
6 January 2021
New career path in 2021 for entrepreneurs
Unsplash © Danielle Macinnes

46 of the best business ideas that you can start in 2021

Are you looking for a way to gain more independence and earn extra money in 2021? Or maybe you’re just looking to start something new during the pandemic after realising that remote workers tend to be more content with their work-life balance?

If so, maybe it’s time to start your own business or side hustle (and don’t worry, I won’t tell your boss if you have no plans on returning to the office). In this post, we’re going to analyse the 46 best business ideas for 2020 that you can start as an entrepreneur from practically anywhere. So, grab a cup of something and let’s get ready to explore the best business ideas for 2020!

1. Start Your Own Blog

If you think blogging is more of a hobby than a serious business idea, think again. Quite a few bloggers are reporting six-figure annual earnings and this trend is set to grow year on year. 

While not every blog is going to rake in heaps of cash, you can earn a good income with the right niche and a sprinkling of passion.

Don’t believe me? I started my own blog in 2019 and have since grown it to over 500K monthly readers and over $80,000 in monthly revenue:

Be sure to check out my guide for more details on how to start your own blogging business, too. 

2. Develop Online Courses

If you have a lot of knowledge about a particular subject you could earn some extra cash by developing an online course

Tech-related skills such as coding and WordPress management are especially in demand and since the e-learning market is set to be valued at a staggering $300B by 2025, there is room for everyone to earn some money. 

3. Cyber Security Consultant

The need for cybersecurity has never been greater as we face new internet-based threats every day. 

As a cybersecurity specialist, you can expect to be paid for finding vulnerabilities in an organisation’s IT systems before hackers manage to exploit them. 

Since 81% of all data breaches are due to the use of stolen, weak, or default passwords, it is especially important to have a thorough grasp of password security to excel in this profession.

4. Buying And Selling Domains

Every company, entrepreneur, or freelancer needs a great website in today’s internet-oriented world. 

Having the perfect domain is a priority for many companies and they are often willing to pay handsome prices for the perfect web address. Just ask the guys at Tesla; it is one of the most expensive domain names and was bought for a staggering $11M. 

Domains and website value is based on revenue, traffic, age, and a lot of other metrics. When checking the value of my domain, here are the results I received from Flippa:

Buying and selling domains does involve a lot of luck and guesswork. but since the capital costs are very low, you only need a few high-priced domains to be successful.

5. YouTuber/Vlogger

Do you have the ability to create engaging, funny, or informative content? 

Turn your natural outgoing personality into an income by creating your own YouTube channel. 

You can make videos about almost anything and if you have enough viewers you could end up earning a lot of money in the process. 

It is advisable to follow YouTube’s guidelines when creating your videos, as well as investing in good editing tools, a decent camera and a microphone so that you can create high-quality videos that will keep your subscribers coming back for more.

6. Start a Podcast

In a recent survey conducted by Edison Research, it was concluded that the number of Americans who tune into a weekly podcast has grown by a staggering 120% in the last four years. 

The key to making money from a podcast is to come up with a unique concept that will attract listeners. Podcasts can also be syndicated to YouTube where you can earn money from them by monetising the videos. 

Alternatively, if you already create YouTube videos, you can easily take the audio and turn them into podcasts. 

Make sure to choose the best tool for podcasts to get your files uploaded to iTunes and other podcast directories.

7. Instagram Influencer

Instagram influencers have a well-established audience and the ability to influence them into buying a specific product or service. 

Some of the most well-known IG influencers like Kylie Jenner have been wildly successful in turning their popularity into a good income stream:

Keep in mind that as an influencer, you are essentially running a business, and how successful you are at growing your business using Instagram will be the main deciding factor to your success. Likes, follows, and engagement rate will be your definite KPIs.  

However, brands are increasingly looking to work with smaller influencers – known as micro-influencers – who typically have fewer followers but high engagement rates. For example, @gemtakesfoodpics started her Instagram account out of her passion for food and is now working with brands to generate an income.

8. Dropshipping

Do you have a knack for finding a bargain? Dropshipping is another way of earning some extra money without needing to reinvent the wheel. With e-commerce market share climbing 295% in the next five years, now is an excellent time to jump into it.

The concept behind dropshipping is a simple one: source products from suppliers at a low price and sell them on to consumers at a markup by using online tools such as Shopify. 

Being a successful drop shipper requires a lot of research into current buying trends and consumer needs, but if you can crack the code and predict which items will be in demand, you can earn quite a pretty penny.

9. Start a New Electric Scooter Brand

In 2018, the National Association of City Transportation Officials reported that electric scooters were rented for 38.5M trips, making them the most popular form of shared micro-mobility. 

Now, in 2020, the demand continues to grow, but it’s not just the likes of Bird and Lime who are bringing in the big bucks. 

There are a plethora of independent brands making a killing selling a wide range of electric scooters.

10. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is the process of earning money by promoting other people’s products or services. 

You can use affiliate marketing to generate a noteworthy income from a modest amount of work. In fact, for affiliate marketing to work, you simply need to weave the appropriate affiliate links into your blog posts. This makes it the perfect passive income stream to combine with blogging. 

I wrote a full guide to the 105+ best affiliate programs and currently make over $80k per month from this marketing channel.

11. Virtual Assistant

Despite what the name suggests, virtual assistants (VAs) can do anything from social media management to bookkeeping. 

Running your own home-based virtual assistant business can be quite lucrative, with some seasoned VAs reporting earnings in the region of $25 per hour. 

Starting out as a virtual assistant doesn’t require large capital outlays. All you need to earn extra cash is good organisation skills.

12. Graphic Design

Graphic design can be a valuable source of revenue and it is perfectly suited to remote workers or freelancers who want to earn extra income. 

Companies of all shapes and sizes are constantly on the lookout for graphic designers to design new logos, corporate images, or even help them to brand their products. 

You can create your own website and advertise your services or opt for websites like Flexjobs to find clients. 

According to expert freelancer Hailey Lucas, the best way to become successful as a freelancer is to pick a profitable niche rather than trying to appeal to a mass market.

13. Become a Wix Partner

While it is true that DIY websites have made it easier than ever for someone with limited technical knowledge to create their own website, there are still a large number of customers who prefer having their website built by a professional web developer. 

Having pre-existing knowledge of HTML coding is always beneficial, but if you have the time, invest in teaching yourself how to use website builders like Wix and you can unlock a lucrative source of revenue and work.

14. Social Media Manager

Social media is a large part of our daily lives and, therefore, it is also a powerful marketing tool for many businesses and entrepreneurs. 

As a social media manager, it is your job to get the message of the brand that you represent out via channels like Instagram, Facebook, and even LinkedIn. 

If you have enviable people skills and you know how to engage with potential customers, you could be earning a decent salary of around $51,000 per year in no time at all.

15. Online Travel Consultancy

Do you love all things travel? 

Why not turn your passion into a reliable income by starting your very own online travel agency and earn some money from the comfort of your own home? 

This job requires a lot of research, strong organisational skills, and spades of logic, but it is well worth the effort.

16. WordPress Consultancy

WordPress consultants are in high demand due to the content management system’s unprecedented success: in fact, almost one in four websites are powered by WordPress. 

Many people who want to use WordPress are unsure of how to leverage the CMS’s functionality to its full potential and as a WordPress consultant, you can provide assistance to them. 

All you need to get started is a solid understanding of how WP functions, as well as access to a computer and the internet. 

17. App Development Agency

Our smartphones are quickly taking over from traditional computers as the computing device of choice. As a result, the demand for application development and developers has never been higher. 

There are various ways of making money from app development but to build an app, you need to know how to code. 

Luckily this is a skill that you can teach yourself with the help of online courses, YouTube videos, and a lot of determination.

18. Freelance Writer

The internet revolves around content, so why not create some? Creating content can provide a lucrative income. All you need to start your freelance writing business and land your first freelance client are creative writing skills, a computer, and an internet connection. 

According to payscale.com, content creators earn around $40,000 per year, but experienced writers can earn six-figure annual salaries working from home.

19. Data Analysis

Most modern businesses are dependent on data in one way or another and they often need someone who can make sense of buckets of raw data. 

As a data analyst, you can provide companies with a better understanding of their data and earn a more than reasonable salary to boot. The main requirements for this job are strong mathematical and reasoning abilities.

20. Translation Service

As long as there are multiple languages in use, there will be a need for translators. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for professional translators will grow by 19% over the next eight years.

If you are a native speaker of more than one language, you can turn this skill into a source of revenue by working as an online translator.

21. Virtual Tour Guide

This one is a great option for someone who lives in a major city or tourist hotspot. 

Virtual tour guides create videos of the city or area they live in and then publish them to their own YouTube channel where a myriad of viewers can access them. 

The key to making some money out of this is to monetise your YouTube videos. A good example of this is Joolz Guides, which shows Julian McDonnel, a local tour guide, explore the city of London.

22. Content Marketing

Content marketing is on track to be a $412B industry by 2021, which makes now the perfect time to turn your writing and marketing skills into a tidy income by becoming a content marketer. 

The main job of a content marketer is to build brand awareness for a specific company or brand by creating high-quality content that relates to the brand’s products or services. If you are good at writing, this may be the ideal online business opportunity for you. 

In order to be taken seriously as a professional, make sure you have proper systems and tools in place. 

23. Contract Customer Service (CSR)

Traditional customer service roles like call centre agents are increasingly being fulfilled by remote workers and, according to the US Bureau Of Labor Statistics, the industry is expected to remain stable because of the need to replace on-site CSRs with remote CSR. 

Being a contract customer service representative allows you to work from home and gives you the freedom of being able to manage your own time while still earning a median hourly wage of around $14.17.

24. Start A Creative Agency

Creative agencies provide a variety of services to their customers including product marketing, graphic design, content creation, SEO optimisation, and digital marketing. 

If you are a multi-talented creative, starting a creative agency may be a good idea because it allows you to work in more than one niche. There are no signs that the digital revolution will be slowing down anytime soon, so the demand for creative agencies is likely to keep increasing in the future. 

25. Offer Online Lessons

The online education market has grown significantly in the last years and it is predicted to reach a value of $350B by the end of 2025. 

The teaching of languages – specifically English as a second language (ESL) – is a great way to earn some extra money.

Most ESL instructors start their career off by working for an online school. Although this route doesn’t always pay very much, the odds look a lot better once you become an established ESL tutor and offer private lessons.

26. Dog Walking Service

This one is rather self-explanatory and it offers a great way for dog lovers to earn a living while spending some time with their favourite furry friends. 

A typical dog walker can expect to earn around $14.69 per hour, but it is important to mention that the wage is closely linked to the dog walker’s reputation. Walkers with excellent reputations can earn upwards of $25 per hour.

While this job is not going to make you rich anytime soon, you can certainly enjoy living an active life and spending a lot of time outdoors as a professional dog walker.

27. Computer Repair

A technical whiz kid at heart? Why not turn your technical prowess into an income by doing computer repairs. 

With more one billion computers being used worldwide, things are bound to go wrong from time to time. When it does, we look towards computer repairers to get things running smoothly again. 

Computer repair shops are highly scalable businesses and they can grow into larger, more profitable businesses with enough time and dedication.

28. Freelance Editing

This is another one for those with strong language skills and it is the perfect job for people who are looking to work from home and earn a good income. 

Freelance editing work can range from editing complete book manuscripts to editing sales copy for leading brands. 

The amount of money you can earn from this line of work is dependent on both your experience and reputation. You can also choose to specialise in a specific type of editing to increase your earnings.

29. Tailoring

Stylish and fashionable clothes are always in demand and as such, working as a tailor can be a great side hustle. 

In addition to performing alterations to clothes, you can also design new clothes for your customers. 

Although starting up a tailor shop will require an initial capital investment, you can expect to see a return on your investment rather quickly.

30. Write e-books

We have to mention right off the bat that writing e-books is normally not suitable as a main source of income but if you have some time to spare, you can earn some extra money by writing your very own.

With the introduction of free or low-cost self-publishing options, being an author is easier than ever before. As you become a more established author, you can expect to see a rise in your income.

31. Invest Money

This option offers a great way to earn a passive income, but it requires quite a bit of start-up capital to get an investment portfolio going. 

If you have unused money stashed away in a savings account, you may be better off investing some money in shares where the return on investment could be better. Savvy investors who know the market inside out have made fortunes by investing in the right companies at the right time.

32. Carpet Cleaning

The only thing most people like less than a dirty carpet is cleaning a dirty carpet, which is why the carpet cleaning products market was valued at $1.4B in 2018. 

To get your carpet cleaning business going you will need to invest in a good vacuum cleaner, carpet washer, and cleaning products.

33. Create Custom Furniture

Custom made furniture is currently in vogue and more and more people are looking for interesting furniture pieces that can add a unique sense of style to their home. 

The top requirements for this line of work are excellent woodworking skills, creativity, and an eye for detail.

34. Online Wedding Planner

Planning a wedding can be a stressful experience for some couples, which makes this a great gig to earn some extra cash. The global wedding industry is estimated to be worth $298B and it is growing year on year, meaning that you could turn your planning skills into a lucrative business by becoming a wedding planner.

35.  Personal Chef

With the busy lives we lead, there is less and less time to prepare healthy meals. So, why not start your very own personal chef business? 

Personal chefs are in high demand and you can earn quite a bit by living out your culinary passion. Some personal chefs even go on to open up their own restaurants or specialty food stores.

36. Childcare Services

Do you love kids? Many families are in need of professional childcare services because of increasing work-related obligations. 

Getting an appropriate certificate in child care can greatly increase your earning potential, but the average starting wage for a child carer is around $10 per hour according to payscale.com.

37. Interior Designer

Who doesn’t like a well-designed living home? Most of us do and because of that, interior designers are often in demand. If you have a great sense of style and you know how to make any space look great, this may be the job for you. 

While starting out as a newbie in this field can be daunting, you can earn decent pay when you become an established designer and your client portfolio expands.

38. Create Unique T-Shirts

This is another way in which you can earn a decent living while expressing your creativity and having a lot of fun. 

T-shirts are part of our everyday life and many people like to opt for a unique shirt design instead of the dreary standard options that can be found in department stores. In fact, the global custom t-shirt business is projected to be worth $10B by 2025. Why not grab your slice of this lucrative market?

39. Photographer

Pursuing a career in photography is not a new idea, but it still offers an excellent opportunity for anyone who wants to earn a few extra bucks while living out their passion. 

To get started as a photographer, you will need to invest in a good digital camera and possess some photo editing skills.

40. Uber Driver

Uber is another safe and fast way of earning some extra cash. There are some requirements that Uber Drivers must meet before they can begin working, but if you like driving and you have a car that meets the criteria, you could be on your way to being a driver.

41. Airbnb

Renting your unused space out via Airbnb makes for an easy passive income and you don’t need much to get startedAs an Airbnb host, you will also have the opportunity to meet interesting people.

Whether you rent out an apartment or full home, you can earn solid income each month with Airbnb.

42. Ghostwriting

While ghostwriting is not going to make you famous, you can earn a lot from writing for other people. 

Online job platforms like FlexJobs, Fiverr, and Freelancer all offer various ghostwriting jobs and these are good places to launch your ghostwriting career from.

43. Baker

If you have the knack for baking and the essential equipment to create delicacies, you can turn a tidy profit by putting your skills to work as a baker. 

People are often willing to pay more for premium food products, so make sure that you get your branding and target market right to maximise profits.

44. Personal Wellness Coach

Wellness coaches help people to enjoy an overall rewarding and wholesome life. 

Although you don’t need any certificate to work as a wellness coach, getting certified will greatly improve the amount that you can charge for your services.

45. DJ

DJs are always in demand and if you know a thing or two about mixing beats, you can turn your art into an income. While the average DJ earns around $300 per night, the most successful pro DJs can earn six-figure annual incomes.

46. Game Tester

Get paid to play games? Hell yes! As a game tester, you would be required to play video games and give feedback to the developers on how they can improve the game. 

Sounds like the ideal job, doesn’t it? 


This is by no means an all-inclusive list, but it is a great start. 

Keep in mind that for many of these ideas that involve providing a service to others, you will want to ensure legality and use a tool to create and manage contracts. This is not only so that you get paid, but also to avoid any legal issues that could arise. Once legalities are out of the way, you can focus on enjoying the process of starting and growing your own business.

With over 500,000 monthly readers, Adam Enfroy’s mission is to teach the next generation of online entrepreneurs how to scale their influence at startup speed. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.