According to research from IBISWorld, the translation services industry saw a decline in 2020, as did many industries; however, IBISWorld forecasts a “major uptick” for the industry over the next five years. That projected growth isn’t surprising, as the internet has opened up entrepreneurs in other countries to English-speaking markets, and vice versa.
This trend has created an opening for multilingual speakers to offer specific services, such as document translation and the translation of website information into languages for use in other markets. If you’re fluent in multiple languages, you could be successful in carving out a niche in the translation services industry.
2/Freelance copywriting or content writing
If you’re a natural wordsmith with a bit of marketing knowledge, you can establish yourself as a freelance copywriter or content writer. Whether you write blogs, web content or press releases, plenty of companies will pay for your services. Increase your value by using SEO knowledge to help clients craft a strategy around specific keywords that their target audience is already using in their online searches.
Freelance copywriting is a great business to run because as long as you have an internet connection, you can work. It’s a business that you can operate from the comfort of your own home or even from the road if you travel. If you establish a large enough network and gain referrals from satisfied clients, you could even make freelance writing your full-time job.
The importance of the internet grows with every passing day, but it also becomes harder for businesses to cut through the online clutter and properly market themselves. Digital marketing services are always in demand. Yet, many small and midsize companies would rather outsource them than establish a costly in-house team. If you have chops in SEO, content marketing, pay-per-click advertising, web development or social media management, you could seize a business opportunity that allows you the freedom to work from home.
Digital marketing is an important part of any brand, so you’ll need to respond to developments in your clients’ marketing strategies. Social media management entails watching for comments and messages around the clock, not just scheduling posts with a set-it-and-forget-it mindset. If you enjoy strategizing and implementing marketing plans meticulously, digital marketing could be the right business for you. You may also consider becoming an affiliate marketer, which is another form of digital marketing.
Not all companies that sell goods store them on-site. In drop-shipping, people who run e-commerce sites go to a third party to fulfill all orders. The third party is likely a wholesale retailer or other entity that runs a warehouse and shipping operation. The minimal inventory and tools needed for drop-shipping make it an especially great startup idea if you’re worried about overhead costs and physical space.
popular, with more than 100 million active podcast listeners in the U.S. alone. Best of all, you can start a podcast on any topic that interests you, from business to history to pop culture and more. Starting a podcast requires consistency and dedication, as well as a basic understanding of audio editing (and video editing if you want to start a companion YouTube channel for subscribers to follow).
Once your podcast has built up a substantial following, you can sell time to advertisers or establish partnerships with companies that generate revenue. As your brand expands further, you may even be able to charge to speak at events or moderate panels on topics your podcast focuses on. Of course, in order to get to that level, you need to come up with a unique idea that you’re passionate and knowledgeable about, and then make sure you can relate to your target audience.
6/ Launch a newsletter
If podcasts aren’t your thing but you like the idea behind building a robust list of subscribers and then selling space to advertisers and partners, consider creating an email newsletter. More than 90% of Americans subscribe to email newsletters. This means if you can capture the attention of a particular audience, you could build a substantial following and monetize it.
To do so, come up with an umbrella topic you can write about at length, and then work to establish a brand voice and mission. Explore the best email marketing software that can help you manage your subscriber list and email sends, and then you’re ready to get started. Solicit feedback from your audience over time to give them more of what they want and less of what they don’t. After all, their continued engagement with your newsletter is what will help you build it into a successful business.
If the gym is like your second home, you might want to share some of your expertise and help others reach their fitness goals. As a personal trainer, you can offer in-home training sessions that cater to each of your clients’ exercise capabilities. You can also help clients build customized nutrition and meal plans so their diets complement their physical goals.
Many personal trainers start their client acquisition process with social media pages that detail their experience in the gym along with some motivational quotes. While a certification can help expand your customer base, you aren’t legally required to have any specialized training to start this type of business.
People are always applying for jobs, whether they want to make a career shift, increase their pay or switch work environments. Of course, most job applications require candidates to submit resumes to detail their professional background. As a resume writer, you can help job applicants’ resumes stand out from their competition.
You’ll also help your clients create cover letters and portfolios that show off the best of their work. Plus, you don’t need any special schooling to be a resume writer – just some basic organizing and proofreading skills. If you know what makes resumes appear professional and ready for employers’ eyes, you’re already off to a great start.
According to the Pew Research Center, as of 2021, 85% of Americans own a smartphone, and over 75% of U.S. adults own a desktop or laptop computer. And with more employees working from home, there’s an even greater reliance on a variety of electronics.
That means that when something goes wrong, people want help fixing it as soon as possible. This makes electronics repair a potentially lucrative business idea. According to a 2022 report from the Business Research Company, the global electronics repair and maintenance market is expected to grow from about $8 billion in 2021 to $9.6 billion in 2026.
With this service, you could be the solution for every broken iPhone screen, Wi-Fi card and laptop battery. And you might be even more successful if you’re willing to travel to your customer. Apple stores and other electronics retailers have come under fire recently for long customer wait times, which could work in favor of mobile providers.
Although a mobile electronics repair business involves some overhead in the form of purchasing supplies, being mobile saves you from having to pay the costs associated with a physical location.
Online entrepreneurs can offer courses through educational platforms or independently on their own websites. The U.S. e-learning market has accelerated growth since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and is predicted to increase by $21.6 billion in 2024, according to a 2020 report by Technavio.
You might start your business by providing courses in traditional academics, offering online instruction in grade-level reading, math, science, history or standardized test preparation. You could even create a review course for parents helping teens with their algebra homework. If you’re creative, the possibilities are truly endless.
And academic courses don’t have to end at the high school or even college level. You can create an online course to share your love of political history, Buddhist theology or rocket science. If you’re interested in a particular subject, chances are someone else is, too.
Currently, one-fifth of U.S. families speak one other language, apart from English — based on data from the Census Bureau. And with more languages being spoken nationwide, the demand for online language learning courses is growing. The market is projected to increase by $5.7 billion from 2021 to 2026, according to a 2022 report from Technavio.
So whether you take to the online education space with expertise in English, or you harness your mastery of Swahili, there’s likely someone out there who wants to learn a language from you.
And if you speak one of the most in-demand languages, such as Mandarin, Spanish or Arabic, then online-based language courses could be one of your most profitable business ideas.
12/Social media management
These days, customers expect a business to have a strong social media presence and to be responsive to customer service issues on social media.
Although many small-business owners know they need to engage in social media marketing, few have the necessary time or expertise to manage all of their social media accounts.
If you’re fluent in Twitter, live your life on Facebook and have gotten every job you’ve ever had through LinkedIn, you might consider turning your social media expertise into your own solopreneur business venture — offering support to business owners who need help managing their brands' social media platforms.
As long as you have your own laptop, smartphone and social media accounts, there are few costs to getting started, and job growth in the industry is projected to increase 11% from 2020 to 2030 — faster than average for all other occupations.