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You’ve undoubtedly heard the term Great Resignation. It describes the millions of Americans who, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, decided to leave their jobs in the traditional workforce and rethink how, when and where they work.
In November 2021 alone, for example, 4.5 million workers left their jobs, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. As of last month, “quits” had shown few to no signs of slowing down.
But that doesn’t mean people are shunning the workforce. Instead, many Americans turned to creating their own businesses, putting an emphasis on setting their own schedules and leaving time more for family and leisure. In 2020, as the pandemic got its start, 4.4 million business applications were filed. In 2021, the total reached 5.4 million, NPR reported.
While Census data shows that monthly applications have slowed slightly, they’re still coming in significantly higher numbers — over 100,000 more per month than before the pandemic.
If you’re a member of the Great Resignation — or thinking about joining the ranks — plenty of ideas exist for small businesses that can turn either your previous work experience or your passion or hobby into a profitable venture.
27 Small Business Ideas To Turn Into Dollars
Every small business idea can yield great success if it fills a need. Check out these business ideas that can make you money in 2022.
Companies, or individuals, could be willing to pay a lot of money for the expertise you gained on your job. Consultants are called upon in a variety of specialties, including financial, human resources, career and management.
Management consultancy is expected to have a $263.5 billion market in 2022, according to business research firm IBISWorld.
2. Home Stager
Homes for sale that are “staged” give prospective buyers an idea of what a home can be. After homeowners have packed up their belongings and have reduced the home to bare bones, stagers can reposition furniture to maximize use of the space.
Experienced home stagers invest in furniture and accessories to use in homes, but you can start with the sellers’ existing stuff, as long as it is in good shape. The National Association of Realtors reports that staged homes sell faster and for more money, making the investment worth it for sellers.
3. Exercise Guru
During the pandemic, workouts moved from gyms and fitness centers, and some exercisers decided they liked the convenience of a home workout. Still, the same treadmill and the same sort of exercises might not motivate some to get fit.
Come up with new exercises and routines and demonstrate them on YouTube and Facebook Live. These sample videos could attract customers who will pay you to access your full line of creative exercise techniques online.
4. Pet Services
With so much time working from home during the pandemic, 19% of Americans surveyed by ASPCA acquired a dog or cat from March 2020 to 2021. That has opened the door to a variety of pet-related services, including dog walking and animal training.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the employment of animal care and service workers will increase by 33% from 2020 to 2030.
All you need to start writing e-books is to select a niche you want to write about 一 and that people want to read. Amazon Best Sellers shows you what people are reading and buying.
If you plan to self-publish, you’ll find plenty of platforms where you can sell your work. Good examples include Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing, Apple Books for Authors, Kobo Writing Life and Smashwords.
6. Custom Items
This is a dropshipping model with a twist. Make your innovative designs and upload them to your preferred print-on-demand platforms. When a customer purchases one of your items, the platform prints it to order and ships it out on your behalf.
Popular platforms include Redbubble, Fine Art America, Zazzle, Society6 and Printful, all of which offer a huge variety of products to customize with your designs.
7. Coworking Office Space
With the ongoing, and likely permanent, popularity of remote work, you can create a contemporary coworking space that solves pain points like the cost of renting office space, reduced productivity and even loneliness.
Choose an accessible site in a central location and outfit it with highly desired features, such as high-speed internet, meeting rooms and team-building facilities.
8. Online Courses
If you are a professional in a specific field, you can start teaching online classes. Create educational content in videos or other available formats. Then choose a platform like Udemy or Skillshare to post and sell the content.
9. Virtual Assistant
Many entrepreneurs need help with day-to-day tasks. You can work remotely for a company or an individual to provide administrative support. Common tasks include maintaining social media accounts, managing calendars and schedules, making travel arrangements and processing documents and records, according to FlexJobs.
Although some companies, such as VaVa Virtual Assistants, provide a platform to match VAs with opportunities, building a direct client list can be more lucrative in the long run.
10. Eco-Friendly and Healthy Beauty Products
Satisfy people’s desire for eco-friendly and healthier products by creating safe and environmentally friendly items. Research local business licensing requirements, then investigate the ingredients and processes for making the products — suppliers like MakingCosmetics and MakeYourOwn.Buzz have tutorials and formularies to get you started.
You can sell your products online and in-person at vendor fairs, farmers markets and through local shops.
11. Chatbot Development
Chatbots are used on many company websites to communicate with customers who need assistance. Develop a chatbot and approach companies in need of such a product.
You don’t have to know how to code to develop a chatbot 一 with basic IT knowledge, you’re good to go using a chatbot-building platform like ManyChat.
12. Web Design and Development
You can start making cash by designing or developing websites for small businesses or individuals. Depending on your skill level, you can build sites using templates and widgets on platforms like WordPress, Wix and Squarespace 一 or up your game by learning how to code sites from scratch.
Collaborate with an experienced copywriter to boost your product line and your chances of grabbing a new client.
13. Online Coach
Create a YouTube channel to help you push your content. You can educate people about any topic in which you have expertise. If you have proven managerial and leadership skills, you can also become a life coach and charge clients to attend your sessions once you have an audience.
14. Resume Writer
Many people need a resume, but not everyone has the skill to do it well or is familiar with resume formats. This does not require any startup capital but does require knowing how to craft a unique resume that is compatible with resume screening software.
15. Handcrafted Goods
You can make your own products to earn money. Research ideas that suit your skills and interests, then start making soap, candles, pottery or jewelry. Once the products are ready, market them online via social media and in-person through local venues.
16. Event Planning
Create an event planning service in your area and specialize in specific types of events, like weddings or company meetings. A network of reliable vendor contacts will make you more successful.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the number of jobs in the profession will grow by 18% between 2020 and 2030.
17. Content Editing and Proofreading
If you have impeccable skills at spotting grammatical errors, typos or poor sentence structure in written content, you can provide editing and proofreading services to businesses and individuals.
18. Graphic Designer
If you can design logos, website and blog images, you can sell your graphic design skills. You can set your own hours and start choosing projects to build your portfolio. Many companies need graphic design support on a variety of projects.
To start, offer your services on freelance platforms like Fiverr and Upwork.
19. Custom Clothing
The custom clothing business is gaining momentum, which means it could be a good source of regular income. You can start with hemming and mending, then use your sewing machine to revamp customers’ existing clothes or create new ones.
Running a blog can make you money, provided you’re sharing unique and useful content. Choose a niche that you’re good at. Once you gain an audience, you can earn money through affiliate marketing or advertising.
21. Website Flipping
Buy a website and make improvements to the design and content. Then, sell it at a higher price than you paid for it. Along the same line, you can create your website, fill it with SEO-friendly content and sell it.
22. Virtual Reality Experiences
VR is the future, with the market projected to reach $44.7 billion by 2024. As long as you have the content-creation skills or can partner with someone who does, and you have the means to purchase necessary equipment, the possibilities are endless.
Real estate, entertainment, games, fitness, dating and healthcare are just a few industries where virtual reality is or could be useful.
23. Interior Design
Many professionals want to have their houses look elegant. However, the high cost can be limiting. You can start a business offering interior design services for less and target young homeowners as you build your business.
Note that in some states, you’ll need a license or registration that might require passing the National Council for Interior Design Qualification exam.
24. Food Truck
If you have a background in cooking or restaurant management, a food truck is an option. It is cheaper than opening a restaurant.
Still, the investment can be significant, especially if you buy rather than lease a truck. New ones cost $75,000 and up, plus you’ll pay costs for permits, wrapping the truck in your logo and more, business technology company Square estimates.
25. Affiliate Marketing
Many online stores allow affiliates to market their products. If you are an influencer, this can earn you some good money.
You only need to get the product affiliate link from the company whose products you’d like to sell and place the link in the content you use to reach your audience. If an individual purchases the product through your link, you earn a commission.
26. Cellphone Accessories
This field might look saturated, but the number of phone users is increasing every day. You only need to be super creative and come up with phone accessories, such as adapters, cables, earphones, protectors and covers.
Etsy has a variety of handmade items in the cellphone-accessory category, ranging from phone charms to personalized charger cubes, and that website could be a great spot to sell your creations.
How big is the market of cellphone owners? A new report from RearchAndMarket.com, a market research company, predicts it will grow to $520.7 billion by 2030.
This is one of the simplest businesses to start today. You offer items for sale but you don’t have a backlog of inventory. Instead, a third-party provider stores and sends products on your behalf. All you need is a little capital to get started, and it’s hands-off and scalable.
You can generate sales on a platform like Shopify that automatically transfers orders to your suppliers, or you can submit orders yourself using any merchant site you want.
Choosing a business idea that can make you money is a personal decision, but the above business ideas will help you get started. You can pick any of them and modify them to suit your audience. The goal is not just to have an idea but to earn money from it. However, before venturing into one, you need to first ensure there’s a demand for what you plan to offer.
Jami Farkas and Lydia Kibet contributed to the reporting for this article.
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