Looking to launch a business this year? Welcome to our list of the best small business opportunities for 2020, chosen from across a variety of industries. To make the list, these businesses must:
- Have the potential to be profitable now and for many years in the future
- Be resilient in uncertain economic times
- Not require a Ph.D. or decades of experience. Some require trade school training, a university degree, or an apprenticeship, while others need only some prior experience and a passion for the industry
- Not demand large amounts of startup capital, but only what every startup business requires: dedication, hard work, perseverance, and a desire to succeed
Most of these are also great opportunities for home-based businesses.
None of these is a get-rich-quick scheme. If your goal in life is to become very wealthy, chances are you won’t get there as a small business owner. But you’ll have a chance to generate a healthy income, be your own boss, and make all the decisions. You could potentially have a more flexible lifestyle. Building something from the ground up can make starting a business very rewarding in itself.
Here are our picks for the best small business ideas based on current trends in business and demographics, in no particular order.
1.Fulfillment by Amazon Sales
FBA sellers source products for their Amazon stores in a variety of ways, such as:
- From original product ideas that the seller gets manufactured to specifications
- From local or national wholesalers
- From overseas bulk discount suppliers such as Alibaba
- By arbitrage—purchasing discounted items online or from retail stores and reselling them for a profit
If you wish to start a product sales business, the Amazon FBA program is an ideal way to get into the online retail marketplace.
These shortages will reach across many trades, and create a huge demand for talented workers in trades, such as:
- Carpentry and general construction
- Plumbing, pipefitting, and steamfitting
- Electrical and electronic control systems
- Heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVAC)
- Machinists and metalworkers
The nature of skilled trades makes them ideally suited for self-employment:
- Many have fairly high salaries and strong demand for experienced tradespeople in most locations.
- Most trades can be operated as home-based businesses as the work is performed at the customer job site.
- Compared to many businesses, startup capital costs are relatively low for most skilled trades, and most cannot be automated to any degree, ensuring future job security.
- Demand exists everywhere. Many experienced tradespeople take advantage of opportunities in remote or overseas locations to command much higher levels of compensation.
Why not take advantage of the demand and consider one of the skilled trades as your next business opportunity?
3.Software Engineering and Development
Other high-demand, well-paid opportunities in the information technology sector include:
- Systems analysts
- Hardware and software technicians
- Network engineers
- Security specialists
4.Meal Kit Sales and Delivery
Meal kit suppliers often avoid large wholesalers and source ingredients from local farms, creating business opportunities for small to mid-size growers, ranchers, and seafood suppliers. Opportunities may also be available for delivery-service providers to collect ingredients from producers and deliver the end product to customers’ homes.
5.Virtual and Augmented Reality
The potential uses of virtual reality for business or pleasure are practically limitless. For example:
- 3D movies:Movies are already being developed in 360-degree VR.
- Real estate marketing: Imagine searching for a new home and being able to take an online VR walkthrough of an advertised house from the comfort of your desk chair.
- Gaming: VR is revolutionizing the gaming industry, with new VR titles being released on an almost-weekly basis.
- Team-building exercises: Shake up team building events with a group VR experience.
- Social media VR interaction: Friends will be able to interact in a virtual online space.
- Training: VR can inject a much higher degree of realism into training scenarios. Businesses such as UPS are launching new delivery driver training programs using VR.
- Meditation: VR is ideal for customized meditation
VR “escape rooms” and lounges (where groups of people get together to play VR games or go on VR adventures or solve group puzzles) are experiencing phenomenal growth. If you are tech savvy and interested in the technology, virtual reality could be the business opportunity for you.
Modern self-storage requires a climate-controlled environment, lighting, and security. Initial capital costs for land and building construction are high but can be easily financed from rental income, assuming there is a steady demand for storage space in your area.
Trachte Building Systems has free web-based calculators for determining the profitability of self-storage based on demand, estimated capital expenses, operating expenses, and rental income.
The home renovations business is ideally suited to self-employed individuals for a number of reasons:
- Most renovations are performed on a contract basis.
- Startup capital investment for tools and machinery is typically much less than required for new construction.
- Business premises are not required as the work is performed at the customer location.
Remodeling contractors provide services as individuals, general, or subcontractors. They can also specialize in a particular area, such as bathroom or kitchen renovations, or niches such as restoring historic structures, improving energy efficiency, or solar installations.
To be a successful renovation contractor, you should have:
- Extensive experience in building construction, with hands-on expertise in at least one of the trades and knowledge of the others
- Good contacts within the industry, so if needed you can call in sub-contractors to get specialty work performed in a timely fashion
- Up-to-date knowledge of the local building codes and safety regulations
- Licensing and certification (if required in your jurisdiction)
- Good organizational skills
8.Bike Sales, Service, and Rentals
If cycling is your passion and you want to become an entrepreneur, this may be the perfect business opportunity for you.
9.Senior Care Services
Fortunately, baby boomers are a wealthy demographic compared to previous generations. For the most part, they can afford to pay for the services necessary to maintain their lifestyles. This includes continuing to live at home in their own communities. According to research by the American Association of Retired Persons, 76% of people age 50 and over have this goal.
Many affluent seniors suffer from various health and mobility issues and are increasingly uncomfortable or unable to drive their own vehicles. They may find it difficult or impossible to take care of household chores such as landscaping, cleaning, cooking, or caring for their pets. Others travel extensively and require house sitting or pet sitting and property maintenance services. All in all, a wealth of opportunities exist for entrepreneurs who want to work with seniors. If you’re not interested in starting your own business from scratch, various senior care franchise opportunities are available, too.
The market for gourmet, high-end specialty coffee continues to grow, making plenty of room for independent shops. The percentage of adults drinking specialty coffee daily rose from 14% to 41% between 2001 and 2017, according to the National Coffee Association. Perhaps you can find a niche in this market.
11.Facilities Support Services
12.Markets on Wheels: Food Trucks
GMonkey runs an “eco” food truck that uses biodiesel for fuel and serves delicious vegetarian fare to residents of Durham, Connecticut. If you’ve got a wild idea, there’s probably a food truck concept to fit it.
Gain the Necessary Education, Skills, and Training
There are no shortcuts to starting your own business. You’ll have to acquire any necessary academic credentials and the skills and training to take advantage of some of these opportunities. Working as an employee or apprentice in your chosen field for a while can give you the training and business skills and experience necessary to start your own business. It can also help you make a name for yourself and develop a list of clients and customers ready to patronize your new business.
Develop a Solid Business Plan
There are many reasons why having a solid business plan is a good idea. The work involved in writing your business plan, which includes examining your market, will tell you whether your business idea is feasible in your locale. A business plan is also essential if you need startup capital such as debt financing from a bank or equity financing from investors.
A great idea is just the first step in launching your business in 2020, but it’s an important one. Without a winning concept, all the planning in the world won’t make your business successful.