7 Profitable Ideas for Starting a Small Business in 2021

Choose the industry or business niche wisely.


People choose to run their own businesses for various reasons - from expressing their creativity to fulfilling their childhood dreams. However, for most small business owners being their own boss is the decisive factor. And it is totally understandable, considering all the benefits - flexible schedules and location, the ability to choose people you are willing to work with, constantly learning new things, and ultimate autonomy.

However, to profit from your company, you need to choose the industry or business niche wisely. Below, you will find a list of 7 profitable small business ideas to consider today - from opening a coffee shop, providing translation services, and online tutoring to creating greeting cards, marketing writing, and coaching, among other things. Read on!

Coffee Shop Business

Coffee shops are the perfect example of small businesses that can generate profits. In fact, according to a study by the National Coffee Association, Americans drink more and more coffee, and they are more open to on-the-go options. The market is indeed lucrative: in 2017, coffee shops generated $24 billion in revenue and employed 466,000 people.

The business plan should include determining the customer base, selecting a location, developing the concept and menu, finding suppliers, and recruiting the team.

What is needed:

  • A location with good visibility and traffic exposure
  • Good financing as well as enough capital to operate a coffee shop initially
  • Mentors and consultants’ help in designing concepts, menus, and training employees
  • Good equipment

Possible revenue: $50.000-$250.000/year (for a medium-sized coffee shop)

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Translation Business

The translation industry is one of the favorite small business ideas for many beginning entrepreneurs. It’s competitive, but it has great profit potential. The translation services market was valued at $39.61 billion in 2019 and is estimated to reach $46.21 billion by 2027.

The demand for translation services is growing due to globalization and the expansion of international trade. The main sectors using translation services are government agencies, educational institutions, and businesses, but it is not all. The list also includes entertainment (movies, TV shows, etc.), law, marketing and advertising, medicine and healthcare, engineering and construction, etc.

What is needed:

  • English or other language skills
  • Good knowledge of specialized fields and subject-specific terminology (medical, legal, technical)
  • Access to top-tier translation tools (translation memory software, machine translation apps)
  • Training on how to provide quality service to ensure high client satisfaction rates

Possible revenue: $80-100,000/year (if you work full time) or several hundred thousand a year if you work part-time (about 30 hours per week)

Tutoring Business

Tutoring can be a very profitable small business idea for those who are friendly, patient, and passionate about education. If you have knowledge in a certain subject - math, science, social studies, foreign language - you can offer your knowledge to students who need help with their homework or school projects.

Here are some ideas on how to find potential students:

  • Offer tutoring services at your local community college or public library where young people are likely to come for classes;
  • Approach parents via phone calls or emails to offer your services;
  • Advertise your services on social media sites;
  • Start a blog or website where you can showcase your skills and experience;
  • Connect with parents through your kids’ school connections (if possible);
  • Offer group sessions at a local community center or church.

What is needed:

  • Knowledge of a subject area or subject areas;
  • Passion for teaching others;
  • Patience;
  • Good communication skills;
  • Marketing skills;
  • Ability to work on your own schedule.

Possible revenue: $35/hour (for tutoring services) or $100/hour (for classroom instruction). You can reach higher revenue by getting paid per project (e.g., every hour spent on teaching math will earn you $20). Additionally, you can charge parents for transportation fees ($1 per mile), as well as home visits ($25 per hour).

Marketing Writing Business

This is one of the highly profitable small business ideas for those who love writing and have a knack for marketing. A marketing writing business can be started either by freelancing or starting a full-time operation. The tasks of a marketing writer include creating content for blogs or websites, newsletters, and emails, press releases, white papers and landing pages, social media posts and ads, etc. The content may include articles, reviews, quizzes, and infographics - basically anything that will help companies attract new customers and retain existing ones. A high-quality website copywriter is worth thousands of dollars per year to clients! If you are good at creative writing, you could also develop courses on various topics and sell them online if you wish to create a full-time business out of this idea. Finally, you could also become a social media manager. All in all, there are plenty of ways to make money from marketing writing.

What is needed:

  • Creative mind;
  • Strong knowledge of SEO;
  • Understanding of basic marketing principles;
  • Good writing skills;
  • Ability to take criticism;
  • Good knowledge of social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest);
  • Basic graphic design skills (to design your own infographics).

Possible revenue: $20 - 80 per hour, depending on your experience level and specialization area. Course prices vary but generally start from $199-$499 per course. Blogging can help you make extra income from your website as well. As mentioned above, advertising on social media sites can also help increase your monthly revenue. Finally, if you create an eBook or an online course, you can sell it online for around $50-$100 and get recurring income.

Gift Business

If you are creative and have an eye for design, you can start a gift business that will help you make money using your skills. As the name suggests, a gift business is all about creating and selling unique gifts, but it can also include homemade products like jams or jellies. If you like cooking or baking, you can create your line of honey or jelly and sell your products at farmers’ markets or online through Etsy, for example. Another alternative is to create some cute knick-knacks and sell them on sites such as eBay or Amazon. However, if you are really creative and have a great sense of style, you can develop your own clothes or accessories and sell them both offline and online.

What is needed:

  • Creativity;
  • Good knowledge of fashion;
  • Basic sewing skills;
  • Drive to succeed;
  • Marketing skills.

Possible revenue: $75 - $100 per hour, depending on your specialization skills. Revenues from selling products online may vary depending on how much time you spend on marketing and sales.

Marketing Consulting Business

Every business needs marketing expertise to survive and thrive in this highly competitive world. However, many small businesses find it hard to allocate enough resources for marketing activities. That is where a marketing consulting business comes in handy! You will be helping companies to improve their marketing strategies, advertise campaigns, grow social media presence and manage websites. This may require conducting research, creating marketing plans and strategies, and performing web analytics to see how clients’ target audience reacts to different marketing efforts. If you have good knowledge of SEO, social media marketing, Google Analytics, etc., this small business idea might be right for you!

What is needed:

  • Good business development skills;
  • Strong analytical skills;
  • Strong communication skills;
  • Ability to work with different kinds of people;
  • Computer skills;
  • Knowledge of common marketing tools (Google Analytics, HootSuite, MailChimp)

Possible revenue: $50-100 per hour, depending on your experience level and specialization area. Since you will be working with different companies, your revenues will vary depending on the amount of work you do for each client.

Event Planning Business

Event planning is another very profitable small business idea that requires a creative mind as well as knowledge of different areas such as marketing, finances, and human resources. If you can handle all the aspects of event planning, from creating a budget to finding sponsors, organizing promotional campaigns, and selecting the venue, you can become an event planner with your own business. However, you can also take things one step further and start your own event planning agency. It will allow you to work on bigger events with bigger budgets and make more money! Or you could focus on small-scale events to keep your costs down and get higher profit margins. Either way, this is a very lucrative small business idea with many possible ways to generate profits.

What is needed:

  • Ability to handle multiple tasks;
  • Strong analytical skills;
  • Good communication skills;
  • Strong leadership qualities;
  • Knowledge of human resources, finance, and marketing;
  • Basic computer skills.

Possible revenue: $50 - $100 per hour, depending on your experience and specialization areas. Event planning agencies may charge higher fees for their services because they can get clients with bigger budgets. Smaller companies and organizations may prefer to hire event planners who work under smaller budgets since it will be easier for them to handle.


Having your own business can be very rewarding. It allows you to enjoy many benefits such as freedom, flexibility, and creativity. However, a small business idea may sound appealing, but it is hardly profitable unless you have a plan and the appropriate skills needed to make it happen. That is why you need to be very careful when choosing the industry or business niche you will pursue. Small businesses need to be carefully planned to succeed. Hopefully, this list of 7 profitable small business ideas will help you find an interesting niche for your next business endeavor!


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