What small business should you start in 2021?

Last Updated: 

June 13, 2024

If you are looking to start your own business and don’t know where to begin, you are not alone. Many 9-5 workers and aspiring entrepreneurs long for the freedom that small business ownership provides but don’t know where to begin.

While you may never feel 100% prepared to take the leap towards entrepreneurship, we can help you get comfortable with what that journey will look like by outlining a couple of the most popular business models for first time business owners.

Key Takeaways:

1. The best business models for newcomers: Starting a business can be daunting, but popular business models for first-time owners include Ecommerce and Direct to Consumer (DTC) retail.

2. Build an Ecommerce business or DTC retailer: Ecommerce involves selling products online, either through your website or third-party platforms like Amazon. It requires minimal initial investment and offers significant growth potential.

3. Small Construction or Home Remodelling Company: Starting with basic tools and expertise, a small construction business can grow steadily, providing essential services such as remodelling homes.

4. Build a Small Scale Manufacturing Business: Small scale manufacturing is increasingly viable with affordable equipment like 3D printers. There is growing demand for domestically produced goods.

5. Where do you start? Research your chosen industry extensively, develop relevant skills, and seek advice from industry professionals through books, podcasts, and conferences.

Want to Close Bigger Deals?

Build an Ecommerce business or DTC retailer

Building a business that sells products directly to consumers or directly to businesses either through a website you own or a third party platform such as Walmart or Amazon is called the Ecommerce industry.

These companies are also referred to as Direct To Consumer companies (DTC for short). While this space has gotten more and more competitive over the past decade, there have also been more and more consumers looking to fulfil their shopping habit online.

One of the many benefits of this business model is that you can start with very little money. Just by doing online research, you can learn more about sourcing or creating products, developing your ecommerce website and eventually even selling your business here. Of course, you won’t be an expert right away and you should be prepared for some ups and downs in your entrepreneurial journey no matter what industry you select to build your business in.

While building a brand typically requires more time and money, you can sell your products directly to the consumer directly through third party marketplaces such as Walmart or Amazon.

Small Construction or Home Remodelling Company

While it may not be as sexy as building a flashy website, home remodelling contractors and small construction companies can be started with only a few tools, some expertise in the trades and a strong work ethic.

Many successful construction companies such as On Point Builders Inc started with nothing more than two friends, a pickup truck and a few thousand dollars in tools. Your business will grow slowly as you build a reputation for yourself, but over time if you put in the hard work, you’ll be able to hire skilled employees and enjoy owning a successful business that provides value to your community.

Owning a small construction company means that you’ll likely start off by remodelling bathrooms, kitchens, basements and then eventually getting a chance to take part in the more lucrative work such as building homes from the ground up.

Note that most states will require you to have some expertise and take a test to get your license. In addition to the skills, you’ll also need to come up with the equipment that the job requires. At the least you’ll need a contractor saw, or for more power a hybrid saw to complete the job.

Build a Small Scale Manufacturing Business

While manufacturing businesses may not be sexy, many experts predict that domestic manufacturing could be in a renaissance period due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the demand on behalf of consumers for US manufactured products.

The idea of manufacturing may conjure up images of huge warehouses in Ohio with hundreds of workers pressing steel parts in million dollar machines. However, small scale manufacturing can be done with 3D printers, CNC machining services or other equipment that can be purchased for a few thousand dollars.

While this equipment may be able to produce the products for you, you’ll still need to get paying customers to trust you to manufacture your product. This may be easier than you think however. Simply reach out to companies that are already selling this gadget and offer to produce it for them at a similar price while offering US based support. Many of these companies are looking for US based manufacturers, so you should be able to sign at least one or two.

Where do you start?

Once you have researched a handful of industries on the surface and decided which industry you want to get into, it is time to research the business more in depth and build a skillset in this industry.

While it may be a benefit to have a college degree in the industry you plan on building in, nowadays you can learn a tremendous amount about building a business, marketing, accounting and other business skills just by researching online.

In addition to doing your own research on the industry, you may find benefit in attending industry specific conferences, reading books and listening to podcasts by individuals who have built a business in the industry and developing relationships with business coaches and consultants.

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