Small business ideas in South Africa

Do you want to start your own business in South Africa? Get inspiration from these small business ideas.

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How to choose the best business idea to start a small business in South Africa

We all need inspiration and encouragement sometimes, especially when it comes to making the important decision of what kind of business to start. What is the best business idea to start your own business? It's not an easy decision to make.

So, we spoke to Steve, a small business owner, for first-hand insights to discover how he came up with his business idea that he turned into a successful small business in South Africa.

Read how Steve came up with his business idea that became a successful small business.

How did you come up with your business idea?

"It came easily to me. I looked at what I was good at and if I could make money off it.

"So, this business idea had to pay the bills, plus provide more than my current full-time job, and be a long-term success.

"Then, I confirmed that I had clients signed up before finalising my new business."

Do you have tips for choosing a business idea?

"Sure, here are some tips:

  • "Start with what you are skilled at doing and what you enjoy doing - ideally, it should be the same thing.

  • "What would you be happy doing for the rest of your career?

  • "Then, finalise your choice based on if you are sure it can pay the bills in the long-term."

Steve shared some practical tips to come up with and how to choose a business idea.

Do you want to know more about choosing a business idea? Read on for more inspiration.

Learn more about choosing small business ideas

Think before you leap into starting a small business.

First, ask yourself what’s your passion. Is there a need out there that your business could meet? Do as much research as possible on how to start and run a business, and how much moolah you need. Finally, prepare a business plan.

How do you start a business?

Discover more about how to start a business in South Africa.

Which business types could be successful?

This depends on your local market. Speak to friends and family and do your research. What is there a need for in your local community, and could you successfully fulfil that need?

For example, some online businesses could do well. Small businesses focus on shopping, work, learning, and entertainment.

Here are some business ideas to inspire you.

Selling small luxury items online 

These items sell like hotcakes online, and their prices are low enough to entice the average shopper.

Beauty and hair products and home décor items fall into this category.

Become a contractor or consultant

For example, some businesses have retrenched some full-time staff, opening the door for contractors and consultants to take the gap. You don’t need office space to be able to provide a service at an affordable rate.

Examples are bookkeepers and programmers.

How do I start a consultancy?

Find out more about starting an accounting business.

Delivery of homemade foods

As a result of the pandemic, people are continuing to stay home. And these people need your homemade food and meals delivered to them. And don't forget all the pets that also need their fancy food. 

How do you start a food business?

Learn more about starting a food business.

A great need for online teaching 

We all know how badly the pandemic has affected schools and universities.

Students ate used to receiving teaching material via computers, so this is the ideal gap for you to fill with online private tutoring.

Your business services homes

People love convenience, and don’t want to spend petrol and face nasty traffic when going shopping.

So, visit homes and repair fridges, do hairdressing, train pets and service cars.

What about those tourists and local tours?

Yes, the pandemic recently affected the number of foreign tourists that visited South Africa, but they are coming back now. Also, locals want to enjoy a holiday in their country more than ever because travelling overseas can be expensive.

If you’ve lived in your city for decades, you’ll know more about your city than the average tour guide. And tourists want that kind of unique information.

If you love baking, go for it

South Africans love those sweet koeksisters, milk tart and vetkoek. So, what are you waiting for if you are a great cook?

Surely local cafes and restaurants would love to have your grandma’s special chocolate cake as part of the menu.

Transporting school kids

This is a challenge for many parents - taking kids to school and back. They’re looking for people like you to provide a safe and reliable service.

Many parents would jump at not having to worry about transporting their school kids.

Start your business with Yoco

Join 230 000 small businesses who chose Yoco to get paid by their customers in South Africa. Why? Choose from a variety of payment solutions like affordable, easy-to-use card machines with no monthly payments and free tools to help you run your business, like the Yoco App. Do you have questions? Please get in touch with us.

Have you finalised your business idea? Make your business idea a reality. You can make it happen.

Source: Low-Cost Business Ideas for South Africans in 2022

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Quiz Question 1

Want to sell in person, online or both?

In person



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