Top Business Opportunities and Startup Ideas

business startups and opportunities

Thinking of starting your own business, but unsure where to start? Wondering if it will work, and if it will see its second birthday? New business opportunities and startups can be risky and exciting - and if you get it wrong, it can be costly.  

However, you may be one of those gifted entrepreneurs that comes up with brilliant startup ideas, or perhaps you are able to put a new slant on an existing enterprise and are able to exploit an untapped niche. There is always risk - the risk of pouring in time and money to go nowhere; the risk that it’s too difficult to commercialise and get profitable; the risk that someone else gets the jump on your idea. By doing your homework, and with some careful planning and research, you can minimise a lot of risk.

Fortunately the benefits of self-employment and business success can make launching a startup worth it. You get to be your own boss, enjoy greater flexibility and job satisfaction, and have the upside of greater earning potential - you also have something to sell when you decide to exit.

It is always best to explore and research the businesses and sectors that interest you most, and see what other entrepreneurs are doing in that space. Refine your idea, and ensure it is the sort of business opportunity that is likely to be sustainable and successful. Work out how you will manage the risks associated in starting a new business.

Better still - look at existing businesses for sale - you may find one that is struggling, but has some of the necessary elements that meet your brief. Using an existing business as a platform to launch your vision can be a great option! 


10 Hot Startup Ideas

  1. E-commerce business
    The global pandemic has pushed consumers online, resulting in many people now actively avoiding going to stores and malls. Online and ecommerce businesses have enjoyed a huge boost in popularity. New Zealand is well connected for starting an Amazon, eBay or niche web-based business with Shopify (or similar) from home. Ensure you choose the right products and platform for optimum sales.

  2. Start a packaged meals business
    Everyone is busy and looking for the convenience of takeaway or prepared meals. Jump on the gravy train and start a meal prep service to make people’s lives easier.  Focus on special diets so as not to compete with the big players (ie. gluten free, keto, vegan etc). This could be from a rented commercial kitchen where you prep, cook and snap-freeze healthy meals targeting a particular niche.

  3. Start a content writing service
    Create content for companies that don’t have the time or the skills inhouse to write copy themselves. Content is needed for blogs, websites, brochures, press releases, reports, along with many other areas. You won’t get to attach your name to it in most cases, but it’s a great way to earn money from your writing skills.

  4. Commence a drop shipping business
    Drop shipping is especially attractive because you don’t need to purchase wholesale inventory upfront. When you get a sale, the order is automatically forwarded to your supplier, who will ship the product to your customer for you and get their cut of the sale. This works best with high-end products with low shipping costs. Do lots of research on the product, market and completion.

  5. Social Media management
    With millions of consumers moving online, businesses are needing to compete for clicks and need to rely more and more on social media platforms. Most small businesses don’t have the time or expertise to do this inhouse, so setting yourself up as a specialist to several companies can be very profitable. As a result, networks like Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, and TikTok are now key places to promote small businesses.

  6. Cleaning services
    Consider starting a cleaning business. This can be fairly easy and you need very little capital. With people being time poor, this has been a growth industry, especially if you don’t mind doing or managing the dirty work. The financial reward can be great. This ranges from house cleaning, to vehicle valets, carpet cleaning, and commercial work.

  7. Dog Sitting or Walking
    Dog owners are often busy at work, or need to go on holiday and prefer to keep their pet at home. A pet sitting service requires very little in start-up costs. You will need to be an animal lover and may need a licence, insurance and police vetting. Ideally you will own your own dog and have pet-related or industry experience. Honesty and reliability are important as clients need to feel comfortable, and trust you completely.

  8. Fence repairs and installation
    There are a lot of fences out there. Fences, especially in wood, don't last forever, so they need to be repaired and replaced. There is a wide range of fence services from fixing gates, replacing boards, replacing a complete fence or just painting the fence. This is often one of those jobs homeowners hope to do, but need some help.

  9. Lawn care service
    If you enjoy working outdoors and like to see a great lawn and beautiful landscapes, a lawn care service business can be a very rewarding and profitable experience. You will need some knowledge and basic equipment, and a vehicle and trailer. By establishing a sound reputation and good client base, a lawn care service can easily move into a full landscaping work by offering premium services. If you like being outdoors and creating beautiful spaces this could be the business for you.

  10. Sell Eco-friendly products
    This is more than just trendy - many consumers are now seeking out ethical and environmentally sustainable products. Coupled with a subscription based business model and going online, this keeps your footprint small and low impact and cost. Consider products like bamboo toothbrushes, organic cotton clothing, wooden and plant based products. Choose a niche, then specialise in this to deliver a great story, and fantastic products and experiences to today's consumer.

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How to find a startup idea

You may be asking yourself what is the best business to start in NZ? Before just grabbing the most appealing idea you see, you need to do your homework. Along with researching what the best businesses to start in New Zealand are, it’s always best to find something you believe in that you can get passionate about - something you have the skills and knowledge to add value to. It also needs to be affordable as most startups will be costly to get up and going, and can take some time before they are profitable.

When looking for the best business to start up make sure:

  1. There is demand for the product or service you are looking to start.
  2. You understand the market. Is it in its infancy, maturing or in decline? 
  3. Know the market. Is it large enough to accommodate your business?
  4. You know who your competitors are, and if it’s easy for others to enter the market.
  5. You have a well-developed business plan that has been vetted by others.
  6. You have determined how long and what it will cost to build up a customer base.
  7. There is a plan on how to connect with potential customers and bring them on side.
  8. Understand your business model and how sales will be made.
  9. You know the numbers on how many sales will be needed to break even, and by when.
  10. You can access the necessary funds and resources needed.

While some business startups do very well, unfortunately many don’t make it. Statistics NZ report only 37 percent of start-ups still exist after two years. Ensure you do your research and make sure there's a need for the business you want to start. It is important you have the necessary resources, skills and support to make this happen. Alternatively check out our existing business opportunities

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