What is a future business idea?
Times are a’changing. What may have been a great business idea last decade may not necessarily be one of the best businesses to start in 2021.
Ten years ago many of the hottest new business ideas for 2021 may not have even existed! For example Instagram was just in its infancy, but now it’s a social media marketing and business goldmine.
We predict that the next decade will be all about technology – the Internet of Things (IoT), wearables, virtual reality, 3D printing to name a few. But there’s good news too for those of us who aren’t that technologically savvy – there’s always a market for traditional business ideas, as long as you cater to your target market’s needs.
Who are the next decade’s top spenders?
Baby Boomers and Gen Xers are aging while Millennials are on the cusp of their spending peak (CB Insights). The growing influence of the Millennial generation is starting to impact which will be the top industries of the next decade. Furthermore, Gen Z are growing up and reaching a point of having more significant spending power.
The key for business success in the next decade is to cater to the wants and whims of these two powerful generations: Millennials and Gen Zers.
Best Traditional Business Ideas for 2021
1. Fitness center
Gone are the days of the gym chains dominating the fitness industry, so us little guys have a chance of starting a fitness business in 2021. Millennials have proven to prefer boutique fitness studios over large, impersonal gyms – and aren’t afraid to spend money for such a sense of community and personalization. According to a CB Insights study, 76% of Millennials exercise at least once a week, and collectively spend almost $7 billion per year on gym memberships (Gen Xers and Baby Boomers spend half of that).
You can start out small, offering classes in your area of expertise such as yoga, boxing, pilates or more. Once you start expanding, you could get an equipment loan or an unsecured business loan to help you grow into a fully-equipped boutique fitness center.
2. Food truck
The foodie trend for this decade is fast, casual, healthy food. Almost 40% of Millennials (CB Insights) eat takeout food and, in line with their fit lifestyles, generally prefer healthy options.
A food truck with healthy menu options gives Millennials the convenience, ambience and nutrition they crave. You could even cater to a niche market by offering, for example, vegan food or specialty dishes. If you decide you want to grow your business, you could always apply for a commercial vehicle loan, purchase a few more food trucks, and expand to various prime locations.
3. Micro-mobility services
Millennials are 21% more likely than Gen Xers to purchase homes in city centers. This growing trend towards urban living has birthed one of the most popular transportation options today – electric scooters.
Even if you can’t (understandably) afford to compete with the likes of Bird and Lime, don’t be discouraged. You don’t have to have your own line of electric scooters to get into the micro-mobility industry! Think of the bigger picture – accessories, branding of scooters, and scooter services.
If you have a knack for enterprising you could offer a full service solution including recovery and collection of scooters, charging them, maintaining them, and redeploying them to prime locations during the course of the day. If you’re willing to work at unusual times of the day, have basic handyman skills, and prefer not to sit in an office all day, this could be one of the best business ideas for 2021 for you.
Best Online Business Ideas for 2021:
The world is moving more and more online so it’s no surprise that some of the best future business ideas are web-based:
4. Instagram consulting
Even those who use Instagram in their personal life – posting photos, tagging friends, sharing stories – probably don’t know the quirks and nuances of managing a business Instagram account and turning it into a successful marketing platform.
Simply by learning a few tricks of the trade online, you could start an Instagram consulting business in 2021 and help clients grow and manage their accounts. Master the art of hashtags, influencers, product and geographic tagging and you could become a pro in no time.
5. Affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing may not be a new concept but it’s one of our top business ideas 2021 because it’s tried-and-tested and, if you do it right, can bring you lots of success in the next decade. Starting an affiliate marketing business involves the following steps:
- Find a niche
- Build a website
- Create amazing content
- Master SEO to rank in Google Search
- Find partners or sellers
- Add their banner ad or link to your website
- Receive revenue each time your partner makes a sale, gets a lead or receives a visitor from your site (pay per click) – this depends on your agreement with your partner
6. Pet portal
With Millennials driving the economy, money is being pumped into their ‘pet’ preference – their pets. According to the US Chamber of Commerce, Millennials see their pets as their ‘starter kids’ and expect to spend more on their dog over its lifetime than they would on their own medical care. Tapping into the pet market is a potential goldmine for the next decade.
It’s also the perfect way to combine an online business with traditional services. You could source pet products and sell them online, or you could serve as an affiliate for pet product sellers. But aside from the retail element, you could offer a full pet services solution including dog walking, pet sitting, grooming, and even doggy daycare. You could expand your business by creating a portal matching dog sitters or walkers with pet owners.
You can join the gig economy and start a freelance business in 2021 based on your area of expertise. If you don’t specialize in any one thing, such as graphic design or social media, you can always start a Virtual Assistant business which often just requires basic admin and organizational skills. Freelancing requires very little startup costs and you can do it from the comfort of your own home.
Best Ecommerce Business Ideas for 2021
The difference between online business ideas 2021 and ecommerce business ideas for 2021 is that the latter involves selling products online, instead of being service-based.
And our top ecommerce business ideas for 2021 are…(drumroll please):
Side note: If you’re seriously considering eCommerce as the right route for your new business in 2021, then you’ll want to get caught up on all of the recent eCommerce trends.
8. Box subscription services
At Become, we eagerly await our monthly box subscription from Universal Yums, which sends us a mystery box each month, containing various treats from a different country. Subscription buying has become a hot trend and is a good way to secure a consistent monthly stream. The convenience and cost savings are of huge appeal to customers. You could get creative and build your box subscription business around anything including beauty boxes, healthcare boxes and more. Don’t be afraid to ‘think outside the box’!
9. Educational courses
Got knowledge to share? Write it down, or even better yet, create a podcast. Here are some key tips for launching and promoting your educational course:
- Research your target market
- Make your course interactive including checklists
- Use text, video, audio and imagery
- Decide on a format, for example PDF, Powerpoint and SCORM
- Choose the right eLearning platform
- Create a website and/or landing page
- Promote using content, SEO and social media best practices
Dropshipping is an eCommerce model whereby the dropshipper doesn’t own the goods at any point – it simply acts as a go-between for the customer and the supplier. All you need to set up your dropshipping business is a good strategy, an SEO-optimized website, a dropshipping platform, and a reliable supplier base with competitive prices.
Back to the Future: 2021 and Beyond!
There you have it! All the top future business ideas for 2021, both offline and online. Here’s a quick recap:
Top 10 business ideas for 2021:
- Fitness center
- Food truck
- Micro-mobility services
- Instagram consulting
- Affiliate marketing
- Pet portal
- Box subscription services
- Educational courses
Some of these new business ideas are easy to set up and have low startup costs. But if your dream business for the next decade requires an initial cash outlay, don’t let that deter you. There are many startup business loan options available for budding entrepreneurs.