Ten ideas for businesses that could make you a millionaire in 2021

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Experts have named the 10 areas you should look at most keenly if you're thinking about starting a business this year.

And while 2020 played out somewhat differently to how anyone expected 12 months ago, it also created a host of new opportunities.

Millions more people are working from home now, moving more of our lives online as restrictions on movement and meeting up endure longer and longer.

That time at home has also seen people make changes to their lives – from new pets to a desire to learn new skills.

And while hundreds of thousands of people have lost their jobs and seemingly countless businesses have closed, there are places to make money from this new way of living.

So the experts at Startups.co.uk put their heads together and crunched data to come up with the 10 best areas to begin a new business in 2021.

This is what they came up with:

1. Virtual influencers

*** FREE FOR EDITORIAL USE *** This week, Italian restaurant Zizzi has hired the nationís first resident ëInstagrammerí in a bid to discover the conversations Brits are really having round the dinner table in 2019. The new role will see influencer James Thompson ñ better known to his 150,000 followers as Food Feels – pitch up in Zizzi restaurants across the country throughout May to tell the stories behind the Instagram filters of diners, food and staff. The stories will be told through an online photography portfolio – inspired by the US viral hit ëHumans of New Yorkí ñ and will document the intimate moments around the table as well as the ëbehind the scenesí tales of the dishes and the staff who serve it.

People stuck indoors are turning to social media to find inspiration from everything to food, to travel to fitness – or just get a window onto other people's lives.

The sway these accounts have with their followers can be turned into big bucks, but not all influencers are real people any more.

Computer generated influencers are already here with one US account gathering 2.8 million followers and counting.

These realistic, computer-generated people are also taking part in brand campaigns, and making big bucks for their creators.

That means there's huge potential for people with the technical know-how and resources to enter this strange new market.

2. The feeling economy

With physical contact and time spent with friends and family impacted by Covid-19 restrictions, a lot of people are looking for emotional support (file photo)
(Image: Collect Unknown)

In the feeling economy, empathy, emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills are the most highly prized qualities a person can have. 

Ideas for businesses in this space are wide-ranging – remote personal assistants that do everything from posting on social media to buying birthday gifts for loved ones, or agencies that connect people with volunteering opportunities or remote mental health and wellness support. 

Businesses that marry technology with services that only a person can provide stand to do well in the feeling economy.

Electric bikes and e-scooters

(Image: Getty Images/Westend61)

Getting about in town has never felt riskier – with buses, Tubes and trains all enclosed spaces crammed with people.

That's led to a surge in bike sales with demand for electric bikes and e-scooters soaring most of all.

With new legislation on its way governing the use of eScooters – which are also small enough to pick up and take with you to your office or into a shop – demand for these city runabouts

We foresee plenty of opportunities in this space in 2020: think electric bike rental, electric bike accessories, and electric bike conversion.

Animal care and training

(Image: Getty Images)

As 2020 set light to most people’s plans, adopting a new furry family member became a beacon of hope for many. But, as our research reveals, many were completely unprepared for the amount of work involved in caring for their pet.

Therefore, if you’re an animal lover, or have experience in pet care, you’re in luck – we predict a boom in the animal care and training sector in 2021.

On-demand health and wellness
Movies, music, and food have all been available at the click of a button. And now, it’s easier than ever to attend to your own wellbeing with on-demand health and wellness services.

Whether it's fully-optimised meals in a pouch, online fitness classes, or apps to help you look after your libido, there are now quick fixes for everything.

The flexi-office
The office will never be the same again, that’s for sure. Businesses will stop committing massive portions of their revenue to leasing office space that doesn’t actually contribute that much to the success of the company.

So, pull up a chair in the flexi-office which is likely to make up 30% of all office space by next year.

Diversity and inclusion
Never have diversity and inclusion been more central to the global conversation. And never has it been more important to ensure they stay at the top of the agenda, and not sink after a few token nods.

Whether you focus your efforts on helping individuals from underrepresented backgrounds or champion diversity and inclusivity initiatives in businesses, there are opportunities for committed entrepreneurs to facilitate progress in 2021.

People have been sounding the death knell of the high street for decades – and with good reason.

But, in the pandemic with delivery slots for big supermarkets in short supply, and lockdown limiting us to shopping in our postcodes, we turned to our local shops. The support these independent businesses provided to their communities in the crisis should translate into loyalty after the vaccine is launched, too.

This presents a plethora of opportunities for 2021, from starting a local business of your own, to actually helping consumers discover, shop at, and support local businesses.

Searches for online learning courses and teaching online increased by 240% and 328% respectively in 2020. Not a surprise really, as suddenly we all had a lot of free time stuck at home, and were keen to fill it with something constructive.

As with many things that have happened during the pandemic, now people have discovered how convenient online learning can be, they’re keen to continue.

Limitless opportunities here. If you can teach it, you can teach it online.

Remote working services
In many ways, the last year has proved that people can work from home just as effectively as they can in the office. However, there are some benefits of the workplace that just can’t be replicated while WFHing.

Remote working services aim, as much as possible, to compensate for these inadequacies by helping people to collaborate better, work more productively, and even host socials to boost team morale.

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