Julie Tucker
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Successful small business ideas 2021

There are so many small business ideas out there, it can be hard to decide which to pursue.

One thing 2020 has taught us is the value of technology. With most people working remotely, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, having a high-speed broadband connection and the relevant tools opens up many new possibilities for start-ups.

The pandemic has been a game-changer for many office workers and has heralded a new era of working practices. While the government has stated its goal of getting life back to normal by the summer, flexible working arrangements look set to stay.

Working in a flexible environment during the lockdown has reaffirmed the importance of inclusiveness, productivity and communication. For the past year, individuals have remained connected to the hub and continued networking, thanks to tech such as fast WiFi and video conferencing.

Changes in the way we communicate have altered the future use of office space. According to the PWC Remote Work Survey, 69% of business leaders have taken steps to alter their future working practices as a result of the pandemic. Even after it ends, they believe two-thirds of employees will still work remotely at least one day a week. Before the pandemic, only 29% of businesses permitted employees to work remotely. Now, companies are embracing the freedom a flexible working space can provide.

Once you decide to take the plunge and start your own small business, you may be able to take inspiration from some of these successful small business ideas.

IT support
Many people rely on IT support when their computer, laptop or other devices go wrong. It can range from basic support in everyday tasks to more serious issues, such as hackers and identity theft. Frequently, the free customer support line provided by computer manufacturers doesn’t seem to go far enough, or can’t solve the problem.

If you understand technology and you’re a fairly patient person who’s good at explaining things, this could be the career choice for you. All you need is technical know-how, spare time and transport.

This low-overhead business model is almost all profit, as there are very few start-up costs. You can offer support to just about every type of business in all sectors and to individuals who are struggling with their computer. The most important thing is that you know your stuff and understand every aspect of IT.

Even if you don’t have the relevant university qualifications, this doesn’t have to be a problem, as long as you know what you’re doing. As well as acting as a basic help desk and offering a field visit when the lockdown ends, you can also provide specialist services, such as training and support for companies’ in-house teams, infrastructure audits and minimising security threats.

All you need is your own base, your expertise and the relevant equipment to do your job. As an IT expert, you will probably have the tech gear anyway, so you won’t have to invest a great deal in the tools of the trade.

Creating mobile apps
If you have an interest in tech and entertainment combined, you can gear your expertise towards creating mobile apps, including games for younger users. Demand for mobile apps has increased during the pandemic. In April 2019, according to research, the average person spent around 7% of their time downloading mobile apps.

During the lockdown in 2020, this figure had risen to 27% as people looked for new and interesting ways of passing the time at home. Demand for mobile entertainment, including for children, is still rising. If you have an idea for an app, whether it’s educational or for entertainment, now is an ideal time to progress your plan.

This is another relatively cheap business to set up, as if you design apps for pleasure, you will already have the tech equipment, so all you’ll need is a base for your business and funds for marketing.

Business and marketing courses
Many business people don’t have marketing skills and while they have the ideas, they don’t know how to promote them. If you can fill in the gaps, sharing your own business expertise with other entrepreneurs, you can start your own marketing business with very little upfront cost.

Share your expertise with fellow entrepreneurs through a B2B online course. Cover topics such as QuickBooks accounting, bookkeeping and WordPress web development. Bookkeeping and accounting are the staples of modern small businesses, so you can offer your services as an agency to complete the work yourself or take on a training role.

Creating a business for editing photos, rather than taking them, is relatively simple, as it can all be done online, thanks to modern apps such as Photoshop.

A photo editing business specialises in retouching or editing existing photos for clients. This can range from simple editing, such as resolving lighting issues, or cleaning up blemishes, to complex work that basically changes the whole look and feel of a photograph.

A business such as this can meet the constant need for good-looking photographs for social media, publications, seasonal cards and more.

If you’re already skilled at photo editing, you will probably have the relevant tools, so all you’ll need is a workspace with a fast broadband connection and a desk large enough to carry out your tasks.

Graphic design
A polished, slick image for your brand is essential, considering the number of companies vying for consumer attention. Almost every business needs some kind of graphic design work from time to time.

If you know how to use Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign and you have a background in design classes, with an eye for effective branding, turn your experience into a small business as a graphic designer. You will have virtually no overheads and can charge a significant hourly rate for creating awesome graphics for businesses who don’t have the skills to do this themselves.

Social media management
The majority of millennials have been raised on social media, so they expect every business to have a strong presence on multiple sites. They also expect brands’ customer service teams to respond quickly on social media.

While most small businesses understand the need to use social media marketing, they often don’t have the time, experience or skills to do it justice. In particular, if they’re running numerous different social media accounts, it can be very difficult to keep them all updated.

If you’re fluent in Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and more, why not turn your social media expertise into a business venture, providing support for business owners who need assistance in managing their brand’s social media platforms?

Starting a social media consulting agency is among the most profitable small business opportunities, as the start-up costs are minimal. As long as you have a laptop, workspace with fast broadband and preferably a room to meet clients and contacts, you can be up and running in a short time with a low outlay.

Marketing copywriter
If you’re good with words and enjoy writing, use your skills to write web copy for various businesses’ marketing campaigns. Setting yourself up as a solo marketing copywriter is something you can do quickly and cheaply.

According to research by ProCopywriters, the average earnings for a full-time copywriter in the UK are £43,092 per annum and £26,968 a year for a part-time writer. Whether you’re writing an in-depth blog for a company to promote their services, a catchy slogan, or an email marketing campaign; as an independent contractor, you can be paid quite handsomely for your services.

Coworking space
If you’re planning to launch your own start-up; a coworking space is the perfect solution for your small business. It takes away many of the cost commitments and overheads that can become financial obstacles, and you won’t be wasting time sourcing furniture and other equipment! Add flexibility to the mix, and you realise how easy it is to scale up your business.

In addition, you can choose somewhere central, without having the significant costs of renting a whole office in a prime location. The excellent facilities can improve productivity, and you’ll be working in a buzzing environment with networking opportunities galore.

Your fellow coworkers will be on a similar path, so it’s a great place to foster a collaborative atmosphere that will generate opportunities and ideas.

Interested in finding out more about coworking? Give Headspace Group a call on 0800 953 0585 for more information.


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