These small business ideas in South Africa cover a wide range of skills and qualifications that should include many sectors of both employed & unemployed South Africans.
Whilst not all of these small business ideas will suit everyone in South Africa, I’m hoping that at least one of these business ideas will inspire you to start your own small business enterprise.
Furthermore, most of these small business ideas can be run from your home in South Africa which will ensure that startup costs are kept to a bare minimum.
South Africa is crying out for small business entrepreneurs to start their own businesses and alleviate unemployment.
Once you’ve chosen & evaluated your small business idea, make sure you deliver a good service to help spread the word.
12 Small Business Ideas To Start Your Own Business Enterprise
1. Courier & Messenger Service
All you need is a cellphone, a car (or a van, motorcycle or even a bicycle), and you have a versatile asset that you can use to start a small business and make loads of money.
Basically all you need to do is get some flyers printed with your business name, Joe’s Courier Services for example, contact details as well as a brief description of what you do and hand them out to all the businesses in your neighbourhood.
Buy a generic delivery note or invoice book from a stationer and use these slips to get POD’s (Proofs of Delivery) which you’ll need to bill your clients with.
Lastly be sure to keep your cellphone with you at all times as you don’t want to miss those after hours & emergency jobs which you can charge premium rates for.
If you want to make real money in the courier & freight industry, read how you can become a big earning freight broker from home »
2. Baby Sitting Day Care Service
There’s always a huge demand for a baby sitting service in most areas with tired parents just wanting to have a night to go out & relax on their own.
Due to the strong need for reliable & trustworthy babysitters, there are parents willing to pay premium rates just to have peace of mind whilst out enjoying themselves without having worry about their kids.
By starting with friends & family you’ll be able to build a good reputation which will hopefully spread creating a decent client base of parents who’ll keep on coming back to you to babysit their children.
After school tutoring is big business for school children of all ages.
Mathematics is always a subject that kids struggle with so if you have a decent matric maths grade you’ll probably be fine to tutor maths to grade 8 and up.
You’ll usually be required to transport yourself to the learner’s home where you will tutor him and charge per hour and for travel although this could change according to whether you recruit your own students or work through an agency.
For South Africans, here’s just one agency where you can apply to be a tutor (this does not come with ant recommendations so I advise you to compare it with others beforehand).
4. Day Care Service
You’ll probably need to get registered as a child care service with the appropriate authority in your area, but once this is done you shouldn’t have a problem finding parents eager to use your services for their kids while they are at work.
You’ll also have to consider having facilities for infants, toddlers as well as children up to their early teens so it could involve a bit of investment.
You’ll also need qualified staff with solid references to create a secure & educational environment for the children.
You should probably start with friends & family just to build up a reputation which will hopefully spread, creating a huge client base in your area.
5. Garden Service
Garden services are very popular and obviously make money but it wouldn’t be something that excites me.
Having to depend on staff & machinery is one thing, but the seasonal nature of it would scare me as I can see tons of households cancelling their service in winter (in South Africa) when the grass doesn’t grow, unless you live in Cape Town.
This is a great option for anyone interested in photography as there are always people wanting their wedding and other occasions recorded on video or in pictures.
This can be developed into a fully fledged photographic business where you can even have self operated photo booths installed at weddings for a hefty fee.
If you want to short cut the process take a look at how you can get paid for taking photos here »
7. Candle Making
For the hobbyists, a candle making business is a viable option as fancy candles are so darned expensive.
8. Woodworking Business
The kind of household items a good carpenter can make are truly awesome.
So much so that tables, cabinets & chairs often get sold for top dollar on Gumtree or just to family & friends.
So if you love woodworking you could definitely make a viable business out of it.
If you want to make real money from your woodworking skills, this is how you can turn it into a $90,000 business »
9. Handyman Service
If you are a good DIY person then you’ll always be in demand.
Get some flyers printed & distribute them in your neighbourhood, do a few jobs well and your name will spread like wildfire.
10. House Cleaning
I’ve used house cleaning services on a permanent basis and find there are certain advantages to using their services like not having to manage your staff, no reliability issues or UIF & other admin issues.
There aren’t that many of them so I think it’s a growing business in South Africa.
Just as an example, I was quoted to have an empty 3 bedroom flat in Rosebank cleaned recently for R2,500. I managed to negotiate the rate down but at those kind of charges I think there must be good money to be made.
You’ll have to employ reliable staff & have at least 2 teams travelling to home in your area to make it viable I would think.
11. Rent a Room On AirBnB
If you have a spare room in your house of a flat you could make some really good money by AirBnB’ing it.
The rates at which rooms & flats go for are staggering although it does vary drastically from area to area.
Before you signup find out exactly how AirBnB works and how you can ensure you only get high quality tenants.
12. House Sitting
House sitting can be a great way to earn an income especially if you love pets as they’ll generally need to be taken care of with the home.
It’s quite a responsibility looking after someone’s house so you’ll need to create an impressive profile which you can present to prospective clients.
If you can start by house sitting for friends & family that will help get you some decent references to add to your profile.
Find out everything you need to know about becoming a house sitter under “Would You Like To Become a House Sitter?”
Turning These Small Business Ideas Into a Reality
Whatever small business idea you choose to earn an income, just remember not to just wait for business to come to you once you’ve exhausted the family & friends option.
A great way to advertise your business and get it known is to set up your own blog for free and optimise it for the kind of keywords your typical clients will use.
Learn to set up your own free blog here and turn your small business idea into a reality.