5 Small Business Ideas with Growth Potential in 2022

When life hands you lemons, sometimes the only thing you can do is start your own lemonade stand. When COVID-19 led to massive layoffs and forced companies to close up shop, cash-strapped entrepreneurs seized the opportunity to launch their own business venture—and lemonade stands were only the tip of the iceberg. According to the Census Bureau, enterprising Americans started more than 4.4 million new businesses in 2020—a 24.3% increase from 2019.

The pandemic skyrocketed demand in various categories as consumers adapted to the new normal. Now, there's never been a better time to leverage the lessons of the past two years and act on your small business dreams. It's important to keep in mind that while the idea of starting a business is exciting, it also requires time, money, risk, and plenty of patience.

Here are a few business ideas with the most growth potential in 2022.

Food trucks

What if you could share Grandma's famous Nashville hot chicken recipe with the world? There's a way you can. Starting your own food truck means you can provide an exciting, high-quality, and affordable food experience to hungry customers.

Food trucks come with lower startup costs than a more traditional brick-and-mortar restaurant. You're also not tied to any given location with the flexibility to meet your audience where they are or where they will be.

Your truck also serves as free advertising for your business. While traditional restaurants need to invest more into advertising to cultivate brand awareness and get reservations on the books, your food truck acts as a moving billboard that pedestrians and passersby won’t be able to ignore. Before you shell out the big bucks for your own food truck, you can put your culinary creation to the test with a pop-up event or rent out a booth at an upcoming fair or farmer’s market. 

Cleaning services

Combined with low startup costs, flexible working hours, and a quick turn of profit, starting a cleaning business offers an essential service to both residential and commercial clients. After all, you're helping to manage tasks many people don't enjoy or don't have time to complete (something we can all relate to). 

The cleaning industry was also one of a handful of niches to dodge the crushing grip of the pandemic. Even under COVID lockdown restrictions and the economic downturn that followed, businesses still regarded cleaning companies as a vital service.

Mobile pet grooming

Pet parents are serious about pampering their pooch. In the mobile grooming business, the big bucks lay in the convenience factor. Pet owners are willing to shell out a premium for the sole benefit of skipping a trip to the groomer.

Like food trucks, your mobile dog grooming van is a head-turning advertisement-on-wheels. And since your business is confined to your vehicle, you won't have to worry about as many overhead costs and you can charge a premium for taking the service directly to your client's doorstep. 

Handmade goods

The handmade goods category is experiencing a major boom. In fact, the industry is set to grow by 20% a year, reaching $1 trillion by 2024. The pandemic encouraged makers to get creative, expand their sales channels through e-commerce and social media, and lean into community resources for growth and mutual support. Crafters and artisans have a massive leg up on social media platforms like Pinterest, Instagram and TikTok where new in-app shopping features have helped small-time makers cultivate their brand awareness and drive sales.

If you're not ready to start from square one and build your own online storefront, there are plenty of alternative avenues to get your hand-crafted wares in front of customers, like Etsy or Amazon. You can even take it to the streets and set up an in-person booth at local and traveling craft fairs like Renegade and Jackalope.

Personal trainer

Personal trainers are also a growing niche of the health and fitness sector. As people across the country become more invested in their health and wellbeing, careers in personal training have soared. This is also a business you can run from anywhere – online, in the gym, and from your home. If you enjoy working out, have a passion for helping people, and crave flexibility in your career, taking the steps to become a certified personal trainer is the way to go.

You can also start your own fitness blog or a dedicated social media account to share fitness tips with a wider audience, position yourself as an authority in your niche, and attract new clients.

Stay ahead of the curve

While these are just a handful of examples, there's no shortage of business ideas for a post-pandemic world. The rise of remote work and social distancing measures has challenged entrepreneurs to get savvy and develop solutions to stay relevant and meet consumers' evolving needs.

If you’re looking for a simple payment processing option for your new business, SumUp has solutions to fit your needs. With zero hidden fees and no monthly contracts, working with SumUp means keeping more of your hard-earned money to do more of what you love.

Ready to learn more about running a small business? Check out more articles in our Small Business Guide.

Ash Czarnota