A study released on the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) showed that in the first quarter of 2021, one out of every two young South Africans were unemployed.
It’s no surprise then that South Africans are looking for a way to be their own boss and take control of their finances.
In our experience, the best way to make money is to save people time, and that’s what most of these small business ideas are going to offer.
So grab a pen and paper in case inspiration strikes, and let’s crack on with 15 small business ideas that could change the game for you.
15 Small Business Ideas
1. Affiliate Marketing
When was the last time you shared something you liked with your friends and followers? Snapped a picture of your lunch, the series you’re watching, or your favourite self-care products?
Now, imagine getting paid for it.
Affiliate marketing is where you promote or endorse a product and get paid commission for every sale that comes through your website, blog, or social media page.
Babysitting isn’t reserved for thirteen-year-old girls in your favourite Rom-Com. In real life, people prefer more experienced adults looking after their kids.
When parents want a night off, you can offer your babysitting business as the remedy they need. Extra add ons could be cooking, tutoring, or music lessons. A babysitter who can sort out dinner, get homework done and play the guitar a little bit before bedtime? Priceless.
People hate cleaning, but they love to be in clean spaces.
If you know about stain removal, detailed cleaning, and how to transform a house from a hoarder's paradise to a clinician's room, a small cleaning business may be just up your alley.
Get creative with it - it doesn’t just need to be homes.
You could create a car cleaning business or clean boats. You could clean up old jewellery or help teachers get ready for the new school year. People are happy to pay for convenience.
4. Content Writing
If you thought there was enough content out there, you’re wrong. Brands today build entire strategies dedicated specifically to long and short-form written content to engage their audience, boost their SEO and share what they know about their industry.
But here’s the thing: not everybody is a writer, and businesses often need an extra hand. Writing content is time-consuming, which is why brands will often outsource people to write content for them. If you have a flair for the written word, you could turn this into a rather lucrative small business.
Consultancy can span over a myriad of different areas, as long as you have the right expertise and experience. Hone in on what you know and offer your advice to businesses at an hourly rate.
Consultancy can range from restaurant advice, social media guidance, and even leadership and diversity training.
6. Dog Sitting
Who doesn’t want to get paid to play with doggos? Maybe people with chronic allergies. But if you’re not one of those people, why not start your own dog sitting business?
People love their precious pooches more than life itself. And so, they would pay to have them in good hands while they’re on holiday or at work.
If you want to start a small business that only requires you, your laptop, and a hot cup of coffee, dropshipping could be for you.
Dropshipping is an innovative fulfilment method that uses a third party supplier to deliver your product to your customers. Essentially, you can sell thousands of products without having any stock or inventory. Your customer places an order with you, you send the order to the third party supplier and provide them with delivery details, and they take it from there.
8. Event Planning
Although massive events are on the backfoot due to COVID-19, it doesn’t mean events aren’t happening.
For once, think smaller. For some people, planning a small get-together is their worst nightmare. Things like baby showers, bridal teas, and bachelorette parties haunt them at night. There is a need for somebody to take the reigns and organise a tasteful and safe event, and that person could very well be you.
9. Grocery Delivery
Since the start of the pandemic, grocery delivery has become a hugely lucrative avenue. Although there are stores that offer online delivery, you could change it up by offering to go to different stores to pick up specific items.
This is specifically helpful for the elderly or people who can’t travel on their own. Another idea could be to assist people on their shopping trips, helping them be more independent while making trips to the shop.
10. Meal Planning
Imagine being a parent, working a full-time job, and having to come home to your other three and five-year-old full-time jobs just to realise you have NO idea what to make for dinner? Or lunch? Or breakfast?
Nightmare. And then they stumble across you! Planning meals is a huge part of daily life, and people love to know they have healthy, balanced meals planned out for the week ahead.
If you’re a nutrition nut this may be a small business idea for you!
11. Paid Ad Specialist
Paid ads are the advertising strategy of the future – except they’re already here.
If you can guide a company towards how to utilise paid advertising best, you can create an exciting small business straight from the comfort of your own home.
12. Resume Writer
Selling yourself is something most people battle with, so it’s great to find somebody that can turn your real-life experience into a wonderful summary that highlights your best assets.
If you have some design skills, offer to make clients’ resumes stand out from the rest alongside proofreading them and making them sound fantastic.
If there was ever an era to start tutoring, this is it. Children across the country have fallen behind on their schoolwork due to COVID-19, and parents are more than happy to pay people to pick up the pieces.
In some areas, they still divide classes into “school days” and “home days,” and due to poor amenities, children are not being provided with adequate support on the days they are at home. This means there is an opportunity to step in to provide guidance when children cannot be in the classroom.
The world is a global village, and while barriers are breaking down, there are still barriers to be broken. The most obvious one being language.
These days popular texts, scripts, books and even ad campaigns need to reach wider audiences in different languages. If you’re a proficient bilingual (or multilingual) speaker, you should be making the most of your linguistic prowess!
15. Tour Guide
Do you know the ins and outs of your hometown better than anybody? Then you should get paid for it!
Local travel has become more popular than ever, and people are starting to invest their holiday time into exploring beautiful South Africa. You could offer guided hikes, site seeing or even bar hopping – whatever shows off your little neck of the woods the best!
Time to Get Going
Please bear in mind that all of these are suggestions that need the right attitude and work ethic behind them to make them work! When you’re starting a small business, look at the needs of the people around you and work from there.
We wish you all the best in your new venture. Have you started a small business during the pandemic? What inspired you to get there? Let us and our readers know in the comments on our social media channels!