2021 has been the year of revisiting our old ways of working and reimagining what our work could look like in the future.
The Great Resignation is in full swing, opportunities are opening up, and many people are considering what it would look like to start their own business.
Here are some of the business ideas that are likely to grow in 2022. In fields like virtual event planning, the entire business model is fairly new. The people making online hosting platforms are envisioning what virtual events could look like. Markets like pet services have existed for years but are now exploding with possibilities because so many people adopted animals during the pandemic. Regardless of how new or old the field you are interested in is, fresh thinking and a beautiful website can set your services apart.
Whether you are considering making a foray into entrepreneurship or are a web developer trying to anticipate what kinds of websites you might be hired to create in the upcoming year, this list is here to provide you with some inspiration.
Industries to consider for business ideas in 2022
According to NYU Stern’s 2020 market research, “sustainability-marketed products grew 7.1x faster than products not marketed as sustainable.” More people than ever are aware of the impact of their actions on the environment, and this is reflected in their shopping behavior. According to GWI’s research, 52% of consumers want products with less or recycled packaging, 48% want more affordable eco-friendly products, and 44% want products with more natural ingredients.
There are opportunities for niche businesses offering local green alternatives. Nordic Harvest in Denmark grows fresh salad greens locally with sustainable agricultural techniques. In Portugal, NGS makes textiles that meet the highest environmental standards so that designers can make their products from locally sourced fabric. There is also demand for more eco-conscious services like Sphere, which provides an index for 401(k)s that divest from fossil fuels.
However, the market has seen so many new eco-friendly products released that it may be difficult for consumers to navigate. This opens up opportunities for a new type of business. Services that provide recommendations and education on eco-friendly products or help individuals assess their own environmental impact will likely be popular.
Aurora: ecological self-assessment
Aurora provides a self-assessment quiz and then uses the results to provide customized recommendations and reviews, helping customers choose better products and services. Their website is clean, bright, and easy to navigate. Their Carbon footprint quiz developed using Webflow’s support for interactions is an engaging way for users to interact with their service.
2. Pet services
Whether people were lonely in isolation or found themselves with more downtime, America's love of pets boomed in the past year. The ASPCA found that one in five of the people they surveyed had acquired a dog or cat between March 2020 and May 2021. Plus, pet industry expenditures grew from $97.1 billion to $103.6 billion during the same time period.
More new pets mean an increased need for training, walking, feeding, and other pet care services. There are so many businesses that can help serve this demographic.
With all the new pet service businesses popping up, PetExec cleverly saw an opportunity to step in and provide technical support to help manage those businesses. Watchdog Labs helps pet owners find the best food for their companions by rating nutrition and environmental impact as well as monitoring recalls. For those who have lost a companion, Eterneva creates lab-grown diamonds from pets’ ashes to remember them by.
Paway: dog walking maps
Paway is a dog walking app that provides neighborhood information to help dogs and their owners have safer and more enriching walks together. It also connects them with the dog-owning community around their neighborhood and distributes lost pet alerts. In addition to all the adorable pet photos they get to adorn their website with, they use a slider to show how the features of their app work in real life.
The wellness market is already a well-established one, with a market of more than $1.5 trillion and growing. But the pandemic changed how people approach their fitness routines in a big way.
As a result of reduced access to gyms, people discovered the upsides to working out from home. Acumen Research expects the home fitness market to reach $14.8 billion by 2027. Products like BodyGym that make home workouts more effective could be a promising opportunity.
Health and wellness apps are a huge market as well, with downloads growing by 46% worldwide at the beginning of 2020, according to the World Economic Forum.
People have also been enjoying physical activities that are less workout-focused, like climbing or martial arts. Facilities like High Point Climbing and CKO Kickboxing have seen lots of success and PushPress provides software to help run independent gyms and smaller facilities.
Fyter: home workout improvement
A big drawback of home workouts is the absence of trainers who can give important feedback about proper form. Fyter addresses this problem by using augmented reality technology to monitor your form and track your fitness progress. Websites for apps should be pared-down, focusing on the application itself as a product, and this one does an amazing job of using animated images to highlight the product.
Build completely custom, production-ready websites — or ultra-high-fidelity prototypes — without writing a line of code. Only with Webflow.
4. Digital events and conferences
The days of cobbling together an online event with Zoom calls (and technical difficulties) may soon be over. Virtual event hosting has become a full-on industry and one that will remain popular even after in-person events are fully reopened.
Companies have discovered that moving events to a fully virtual or hybrid model opens up participation to many more people than would otherwise have access. Lawrence Coburn, co-founder of video-chat startup Twine, noted that event planners were seeing four to five times the participation in virtual events over their in-person counterparts.
There are opportunities for creating services to support planning, hosting, and executing online events of all kinds. Also worth considering, with so many companies going remote, are businesses like the Great Gotham Challenge that provide ways for remote employees to connect.
Goldcast: engaging remote events
Goldcast has found a niche offering more holistic event support. Billing themselves as “as immersive as your favorite Netflix show” is a bold move, but they use clever interactive features and a blend of live and pre-recorded video support to make the events they host feel more like a party than a Zoom call. Their dark background, semi-transparent header, and creative use of animations make their site feel as exciting as the events they hope to host.
5. Home improvement
Millions of Americans moved or purchased homes in the past year, resulting in a boom in the home renovation and interior decoration markets. Even many folks who stayed put got tired of looking at the same old walls and decided to freshen things up a little.
Services providing help for everything from making renovations and DIY projects to interior redecorating are seeing major successes. Home improvement sales increased by 12.8% and 24.8% in May and June 2020, respectively, and according to the 2021 Houzz & Home Study, spending on home renovations has increased by 15% in the last year.
Don’t forget outdoor spaces! With people opting to socialize outside more, improvements to outdoor spaces grew by 6% in popularity. There are potential business opportunities in providing patio and garden decoration improvements as well.
Living Cozy: quality home goods recommendations
Shopping for furniture is hard to do online when you can’t touch and interact with the objects. Living Cozy helps you navigate purchasing furniture and home decor online by providing objective reviews and sustainability scores. They nest detailed brand information and recommendations under eye-catching pictures to make their site feel clean and minimal while still providing loads of useful details.
6. Freelancer support
There has been a massive reconsidering of work and the role that it plays in people’s lives recently. Many are deciding to strike out on their own with self-employment or try dream jobs they were always afraid to pursue. Freelancing is increasingly popular and likely to remain so for a long time. Fifty-nine million Americans did freelance work in 2020, according to the Upwork Freelance Forward report.
Twelve percent of the American workforce began freelancing in 2020, so businesses like Wingspan that help those people navigate this new sort of work environment will see lots of demand for their services.
There will also continue to be a high demand for portfolio websites across many industries. With so many freelancers competing for jobs, their personal websites will really need to stand out. Web designers will need to push their creativity to make exceptional portfolio sites for their clients.
There are some incredible portfolio examples in the Webflow community that can provide inspiration.
The Circle and the Square: multidisciplinary portfolio
This portfolio site for multidisciplinary duo The Circle and the Square infuses their attitude and artistic aesthetic throughout. It uses photos, videos, and movements on scroll to create a dynamic and exciting portfolio.
The small business landscape has changed, and so have their websites
Not only are more businesses emerging, but more of that business is being done online. Though there are incredible emerging opportunities, there is also a lot of competition, so having a beautiful, effective website is vital to the success of new ventures. This is an opportunity for web designers to help these businesses succeed and make them stand out with cutting-edge design and features.