During the early days of becoming an entrepreneur, it is common to experience difficulty when deciding the kind of business to venture into. Questions that are likely to surface are; What are the most profitable businesses? How do I ensure success in a particular business?
It can seem arduous to find the perfect business idea. Hence, we have assembled a catalogue of the most profitable small businesses in 2021. You can earn a good living from the businesses provided in this list.
These businesses posses juicy potentials for growth. And you do not need to invest a huge sum of capital to begin. As always, consistency, determination and creativity is necessary to succeed in any business venture.
Most Profitable Small Businesses in 2021
Before we start off, there are some few points I would like to make clear. Firstly, the businesses presented on this list are not the only profitable small businesses in Nigeria or anywhere else in the world.
However, we have simply compiled the most profitable businesses according to the current market demand. So if you didn’t find the business idea you came up with on this list, it doesn’t discredit its profitability.
Secondly, with the emergence of disruptive technology, some businesses listed here can be done online. Even so, you can read our article on how to make money online to get more internet-based businesses.
You’ll also find ideas that fall within the realm of childcare, others that correspond more to B2B services, and some that suit entrepreneurs who are looking to be on the move with their businesses.
Previously, we wrote an article on how to make money online in Nigeria (2021). You might find it helpful.
That being said, here is a list of the 10 most profitable small businesses in 2021 that can be done outside the internet:
- Electronics Repair
- IT Support
- Fitness Trainer
- Auto Repair
- Graphic Design
- Fashion Design
- Rice Farming
- Car Wash Services
- Mobile Food Artisan
- Private Home Tutor
- Enrichment Activities for Children
- Hair Styling
1. Electronics Repair
We live in a society where more than half the population spend a good proportion of their time on electronic gadgets. They are either tapping or staring at a screen. To the point of developing an obsession with it. This obsession, thus, creates a business opportunity. Since most people would want to get their gadgets fixed as soon as an issue arises.
In view of the foregoing, electronic repair services is no doubt one of the most profitable small businesses in 2021. Phone, laptop and plasma TVs repair services are businesses in demand. There have been a surge in demand for phone repair services in recent years.
The whole point of being an entrepreneur is to find a problem and provide a solution to that problem. Imagine the increasing number of persons experiencing problems with phones, you could provide solution to them.
Most of these problems are minor but may seem big to an individual lacking technical skills.
How to Become an Electronic Technician
You would need some months of training to succeed in this business. For a fast learner, six to twelve weeks of training should be enough. The good news is you are most likely to make some money during apprenticeship.
Even so, you would incur some overhead costs. These include repair kits and a few suppliers.
Also, you could broaden your audience by uploading your services on social media platforms. To reduce overhead cost you can keep the business mobile.
2. IT Support
Despite more than two-thirds of people using modern technology think they are tech-savvy, in reality only a few of them actually have an in-depth knowledge about tech. Most times, they rely on the support of an IT personnel to solve issues they encounter while exploring their gadgets.
Sadly, some even make their computers or other devices vulnerable to hackers and identity theft. To make matters worse, the free customer phone support provided by manufacturers isn’t supportive enough when things go wrong. Hence, making IT support one of the businesses in demand.
Provided you have the technical know-how, time and transportation, then IT support is one of the most profitable businesses available for you. Especially If technology comes easily to you and you’re a relatively patient person.
This requires very little startup capital. You can make your services available for request on social media and eCommerce websites to broaden your audience.
3. Fitness Trainer
Do you live in a metropolitan city? Do you have a knack for fitness? If you’ve answered these questions affirmatively then here’s a business opportunity you can explore.
You can turn your love for fitness into a career without the need of large capital investments. All the investments you need is you. A good physique and some knowledge about fitness and physiology would send the signal that you’re an expert.
In recent times, there is a rising necessity to live a healthy life. More and more, people are starting to eat healthier and increase physical exercises, in order to combat the prevailing health problems associated with an inactive lifestyle.
Therefore, fitness and wellness is one of the businesses in demand, with increasing popularity making it one of the most profitable businesses in 2021.
How to Become a Personal Trainer
Fortunately, you can watch some fitness tutorials on YouTube or sign up for a fitness course on Udemy. With your knowledge and physique, you can walk into any gym centre and make a business proposition.
Throw a few weights, put on some fitness outfits, bands, and get some yoga mats and you are set to begin your journey as a personal trainer.
It isn’t compulsory that you must always render your service in a gym. There some rich clients that may prefer private sessions, even as they come to the fitness centre once in a while. You can offer private sessions in your clients’ homes.
Also, you can organise group classes in community centres like a stadium or golf course, after obtaining a permit to utilise the premises of course. Making fitness more available to your clients might just be the ticket to helping both of you achieve your goals.
4. Auto Repair
Another most profitable small business in 2021 is auto repair. With increasing number of cars on the road, it is safe to say that they would require repair at some point of their useful life. This poses a business opportunity ready to the taking.
An evidence of the surge in the number of cars on the road is reflected in the bad traffic experienced on commute. With repairs ranging from low level to high level technical skill requirement, anyone with dedication and resourcefulness can become an auto technician.
A lot of persons would prefer to get their car fixed right where it got bad, instead of experiencing the inconvenience of having the car towed to a mechanic workshop. Irrespective of where you reside in Nigeria, if you can access and read this post then there’s a good chance you can make money from this business.
How to Become an Auto Technician
Although you make require some months training to become excellent in this business, changing of engine oil, battery swap or replacement, headlight repair and many other fundamentals do not require much training.
The good news, however, is that most people are too busy with their daily lives to realise how easy this is. Therefore, they would need your service, should you venture into the business.
Additionally, while some repair jobs require a completely equipped auto shop. As mentioned earlier, there are plenty of maintenance and repair services that need just a few simple tools to complete.
If you’re skilled as a mechanic, you might consider a mobile auto repair service as one of the most profitable business ideas. You can offer some repair services right in your customer’s driveway or office garage.
A good number of customers would prefer this due to the comfort and convenience it brings. Do not forget to offer quality services and good after sales services, to increase the chances of customers returning and keeping you in their speed dial.
5. Graphic Design
Irrespective of how a brand decides to promote its services, whether they utilise a high-end advertising or marketing agency or not. Every business (small or large) require some amount of graphic design at certain periods.
Since we live in a society where several brands are aiming to increase their market share, an elegant and well polished image has become more important than ever for small businesses. It is evident that graphic design is one of the businesses in demand.
Therefore, if you are deft with the ability to manipulate vector objects in Adobe Photoshop, illustrator, and inDesign, you can monetize your skill. Or perhaps you are talented at branding businesses.
You can transform that talent or hobby into a business as a freelance graphic designer. You can create exquisite marketing graphics for small business owners who can’t do it for themselves, then charge a fee for your services.
How to Become a Successful Graphics Designer
Due to the fact that this is one of the most profitable businesses in 2021, you may experience a little bit of competition especially if you live in a mega city. However, you can penetrate the market by lowering your price, but make it too cheap so it doesn’t look like your work is inferior.
Another way to penetrate the market is to improve your skills. Strive to be the best at your own approach. All you works should have a unique touch of excellence that can’t be found anywhere else.
You can market your work by doing a job without any formal request, contact the business owner and show it to them. Then request for a fee in exchange for the work.
6. Fashion Design
Subconsciously or consciously we make fashion statements with whatever we choose to put on. Some are influenced by the current fashion trends. Others may decide a do a fashion throwback. Whatever the case may be, we require the assistance of a fashion designer.
There lies a business in demand in Nigeria. No matter what, for several obvious reasons people will always have a need for new clothes. And as a fashion designer you can make some money while satisfying those needs. A lot of Nigerians are cashing out from this business.
How to Become a Successful Fashion Designer
You do not need any formal education or certification to become a successful fashion designer. Yet, this doesn’t make it any easy to become one nor a successful one ay that. You must possess some creative drawing, designing, sewing skills to become a fashion designer.
Additionally, you need to have a knowledge of the fashion industry, and unparalleled perseverance. You’ll also need to strengthen your fashion portfolio and improve your knowledge of business and finance management.
Note: There exist a misconception about fashion designers. Some wrongly claim that it is just a fancy way to describe a tailor. This is somewhat a misconstrued assumption.
The work tailor is merely a fragment of what a fashion designer does. Calling a fashion designer a tailor is like calling a physiotherapist a masseuse.
7. Rice Farming
This list would incomplete if rice farming isn’t started. I know you aware of the current situation of rice in Nigeria and how the prices skyrocketed in 2019 due to border closure. Up till date, the price of rice is yet to experience a regulation. Despite the abnormal price hike rice still remains the single most consumed food staple in Nigeria.
This is reveals Nigerian dependence on rice. You can blame anyone though, because rice is just too versatile a food. Local farmers are still unable to meet up the demand for rice, which creates an investment opportunity to explore.
Starting up a commercial rice farm is the most capital intensive business on this list. Even so, it also one of the most profitable businesses in Nigeria. Coupled with the fact that most Nigerians prefer locally produced rice to imported ones, provided it well-processed.
8. Car Wash Services
Making car wash services mobile is amongst the most profitable businesses in 2021. Many people would pay a premium for a mobile car wash service that came to them, instead of having to drive across town to access a car wash. This is the reality for people with high end cars who would prefer more personalized service.
You would be avoiding the startup and overhead cost having a physical location by making your services mobile. At the same time, you would also get the unique benefits of being mobile.
How to Start a Mobile Car Wash Service
If you interested in this niche, there are several ways to acquire some training — either by subscribing to an online training or getting some training offline. You could also purchase your auto detailing startup kits from online wholesalers.
To increase awareness about your services, you can make and arrangement with filling/gas station attendants in your neighbourhood to distribute your business contact card.
9. Mobile Food Artisan
Rent in major cities across the world is generally on the high side. As a result, it can be difficult to start up an eatery located at the bustling city centres where customers are most likely to be present. Hence, the need for a mobile eatery.
Having a mobile eatery is one way to solve the problem postulated above. You can start a food truck/van business by hitting the road and parking at local events or wherever you’re likely to draw a crowd. Provided you aren’t breaking any law.
As always, you can also broaden your audience by offering you services online. The lower overhead, increased geographic versatility and good returns makes it one of the most profitable businesses in 2021.
This is an idea you can turn into a thriving business. When I was in the university, there was a food van parked very close to my lecture theatre. Students and lecturers patronised them a lot, because they erased the inconvenience that comes with driving down to the cafeteria for lunch.
By my penultimate year, the number of food vans increased to three. Two of them served snacks and soft drinks the last focus on meals and soft drink.
Note: In larger cities, there is a likelihood that it’s already saturated with food trucks and vans. Therefore, this might be a more successful business in a developing metropolis.
You may also have to get a business licenses, and safety compliance standards. So do a survey on the environ to ascertain the requirements.
10. Private Home Tutor
It is the dream of every parent that their children becomes the best at whatever they do. Most parents interpret success in school to mean that the child will become successful in life. Even though this doesn’t always hold true, yet it presents a business or service in demand.
The parents of this children would be willing to pay a sum to improve the children’s performance in school. As a result, they’ll employ someone to tutor these children after school and during the weekends.
You can turn this into a business. Since it doesn’t require any initial capital outlay to start, it is one of the most successful businesses in 2021. You can organise private lessons for children of different families with a proper schedule.
11. Enrichment Activities for Children
With each passing year the number of children in schools across the world reaches an all time high. Yet the budgets for education doesn’t experience and equal rate in growth. This means that both traditional and enrichment subjects like art, athletics and music have being significantly impacted.
Hence, more parents are making use of other options to compensate for the reduction in quality enrichment activities in schools. In view of the foregoing, one of the most successful businesses for you might be a music school, gymnastics centre, swimming instructor, kids’ yoga teacher or other child-oriented activities.
Do you have a skill that could be easily taught to young students? You might already have a profitable business waiting for your exploration. However, this may only be profitable in highbrow areas in Nigeria.
12. Hair Styling
We live in a period of exquisite taste in fashion. A period where men more than ever can explore several fashion options, even in the area of hairstyles.
Women are also rapidly embracing haircuts that where once solely associated with their male counterparts and vice versa. This poses yet another business opportunity, making the work of a hair stylist a business in demand.
In a metropolitan city, an average barber receives over twenty customers in a day. Juxtaposing the cost to setup a barbershop to the returns on investment, makes being a hair stylist is one off the most profitable businesses in Nigeria, as well as other countries in the world.
4 Steps to Start a Profitable Business
From the above dissertation, you can see that the most profitable businesses differs in the aspect of industries, time invested, and the cost to startup. Irrespective of the most profitable business idea you decide to venture into, they have some things in common that we would like to enunciate.
This include the initial planning that takes place before diving into anything. As it is often said, fail to plan is a plan to fail. You should consult these four steps below before venturing into any business. The four steps below is only to serve as a guide which can be further elaborated.
Step 1: Do your research
The most successful businesses in the world with an idea, so was the most disappointing. Hence, in order to make an idea a success, you need to make sure it’s worth it. You need to do your research and evaluate the risks. After developing a very good and unique business idea, do a feasibility study.
The idea validation process involves assessing the market and competitors (how to beat them, what they aren’t doing right that you can improve, or if the market is too saturated with competition and the best move is to back out).
Evaluate the financial implications and potential complications before you are in too deep. Constructively analyse the situation and here goes the first step to start a successful business.
Step 2: Formulate a plan
During the first step, you spent time validating your idea whether it is good enough. Now it’s time to plan out the logistics of the business with a well constructed business plan.
Every business needs capital to grow, and startups are certainly no exception. But as a new startup owner, you might struggle to qualify for traditional business loans right off the bat. You must anticipate the source of finance you would utilise to propel your business forward. This should be included in your plan.
Now you’re confident that you have crossed all the ‘t’s and dotted all the ‘i’s. It’s time to legalise and brand the idea.
Step 3: Legal Documentations
Making the business official involves deciding the business structure, registering the business with the appropriate authorities and obtaining a business license, as well as doing other registration your business needs before commencement.
Step 4: Commencement
Since most of the businesses highlighted in this list aren’t capital intensive. You could use your saving to start off the business. You can also start funding your initial growth with a business credit card if that is available where you live.
The finance, healthcare technology, and product manufacturing industries have always dominated the stock market. Even so, it is difficult for a small business entrepreneur to penetrate into such industries. And might not be the most profitable option for a small business entrepreneur.
Hence, the most profitable businesses for a first-time entrepreneur are those that are easy to get started, require little initial capital outlay and can capitalise on the current market trends.
As enunciated in our catalogue of the most profitable businesses in 2021, there are a plethora of ideas that will suit the full range of business ownership experience and preferences.
At the end of the day, all you have to do is choose an idea that is most suitable to you. Begin formulating plans that help you succeed, and implementing those plans accordingly.
Monitor how quickly you turn those plans to the most successful business you’ve ever ventured into. We know you would reap the benefits of you hard and smart work. Don’t forget to share your testimonies in the comment section when that happens. Till then, stay safe.
Frequently Asked Question
What is the best business to do in Nigeria?
Here are some of the best businesses to do in Nigeria:
1. Electronics Repair
2. IT Support
3. Fitness Trainer
4. Auto Repair
5. Graphic Design
6. Fashion Design
7. Rice Farming
8. Car Wash Services
9. Mobile Food Artisan
10. Private Home Tutor