5 Low-Risk Small Business Ideas

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Despite the economic downturn caused by the pandemic, the US Chamber of Commerce says now is a good time to start a small business. There are three compelling reasons to do so, the first being the bootstrapping know-how—a combination of frugality, innovation, and agility—that this pandemic has taught potential entrepreneurs. The second reason is the change in business models, which means entrepreneurs have a head start in leveraging new norms post-COVID.


The last reason is that there are gaps bigger companies have yet to fill, and these gaps can be filled by innovative business owners. Even so, would-be entrepreneurs must be prudent with their plans and start with low-risk ventures. Doing so reduces the chances of business failure, and mitigates potentially big losses. With that being said, check out the five low-risk business ideas below in case you want to start your own business.


1. Services for Seniors

Services for seniors are in demand given the 80 million baby boomers that comprise 26% of the US population. Meaning, there’s an immense market, with many wealthy potential clients willing to spend money on themselves. That alone makes this business idea low risk!


Add to that the various opportunities in this field, including in-home care services (as provided by Companions for Seniors or Aging Care), medical claims advising, and tech help (like that given by Ready Tech Go). In short, there's probably a service you can offer to seniors.


2. Consulting

An article on 'How to Start a Consulting Business' best explains what makes consulting appealing: You can use your skills and leverage your professional experience. There is very little risk involved too, as there’s virtually no startup cost since you can operate at home and run it while working your full-time job.


However, where there is a little risk is in terms of liability. Most independent consulting businesses will likely start off as a sole proprietorship due to the lack of paperwork needed to get it up and running. However, the downside to this is a lack of legal protection when it comes to your personal assets. If a company or client decides to sue you because of a negative outcome, and your contract doesn’t protect you, your personal assets would be in danger. For this reason, you may want to consider turning your business into a limited liability company (LLC), as doing so helps shield you from lawsuits and potential liability. Fortunately, the steps for founding an LLC here in Virginia are more or less the same as those in all other states. You must: Give your business a name, appoint a registered agent, file Articles of Organization, create an operating agreement, and apply for an Employee Identification Number. Becoming a consultant is a low-risk option, just make sure you are properly protected through contracts and your business entity.


3. Translation Services

Multilingual entrepreneurs have the option of putting up a translation service, such as Atlanta Apostille and Language Connections. This business idea offers almost no risks given the very little capital required to set up and operate the business.


It also caters to a niche market, where competition might not be as cutthroat (as compared to consulting or food). The best part is that, like consulting, you can do it while still working a separate full-time job.


4. Food Delivery Business

If you can cook well, then a food delivery business might be your calling. It is low risk because food is for sustenance, so there will always be a market for it. And the best part is that you can start at home even with very little capital—after all, the things you’ll need are probably in your kitchen already!


There are also niche markets you can tap into, just as Tatiana Boncompagni did with her New York–based chef-prepared meals business, Eat Sunny. A journalist-turned-health coach, Boncompagni sells satisfying but nutritious meals and has established a considerable following of nutrition-conscious customers and fitness enthusiasts. That's just one segment of the market, though, which means there is more for you to conquer!


5. Owning a Small Franchise

Finally, you can opt to buy your own franchise if you can invest a little more, or are willing to take out a loan. While there's capital involved, owning a franchise, as discussed in our article Why You Should Consider Owning a Franchise in 2021, isn't as risky as it sounds since you can leverage the pre-existing identity of the franchise, and will be given enough training to run it successfully.


The cool thing is there are smaller franchises, like Estrella Insurance and Shepherd's Guide that you can own at a price point you can afford.


Indeed, 2021 is a good time to start a business, and there are low-risk ones to try. Now, it is on you to take on the challenge of entrepreneurship. Are you up for it?


Written by Alyana Cathy Brickman

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