Posted on: February 1, 2022 |

In what has been termed the “Great Resignation,” more than 4 million Americans left their jobs in July of 2021 alone. Many others were let go or laid off when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. From mid-March of 2020 to the end of June, Americans filed nearly 49 million new claims for unemployment benefits, according to the Commonwealth Fund. If you’re one of the millions that have reconsidered work in the last two years, you may be considering starting your own business and wondering what the best business opportunities for 2022 are. Let’s explore.

The 9 Best Business Opportunities for 2022

What are the best business opportunities for 2022? And how do we know? While no one can predict the future, we can take a look back at recent trends, and make some educated guesses. With COVID-19 variants and illness spikes appearing around the world, many previous precautions intended to limit the spread of the illness will remain important in 2022. With this in mind, many of our best business opportunities for 2022 take advantage of online aspects and social distance.

1. Vending

Vending businesses are convenient and easy to manage, with relatively low start-up costs and low maintenance requirements. Social distancing is also easy with vending machines; there’s no interaction between owners and customers, and few interactions between customers themselves. With a carefully selected location, a vending machine can be a lucrative, safe investment and one of the best business opportunities for 2022.

Learn more about starting your ice vending business >

2. Digital Events

Businesses, entertainers, nonprofits and many others all took their events online when large, in-person events became hotspots for spreading illness. Though event venues and many event managers or planners struggled, many online event businesses thrived. Though services like Zoom and GoToMeeting made it easy to meet online, many participants quickly learned there are challenges to organizing larger groups in an online space. Event managers who are able to organize, direct and effectively manage online events will continue to see lucrative business opportunities in 2022.

3. Gaming

The global gaming market is set to reach $256.97 billion by 2025. A large part of this enormous industry is online gaming and game streaming. Online gaming saw substantial growth in the last two years, likely due to lockdowns. Younger consumers, in particular, enjoy watching online gaming. One of the most popular platforms for streaming, Twitch, saw 18.6 billion hours of content consumed in 2020. Streaming and online gaming will continue to grow, and this presents a fun and potentially lucrative business opportunity for those with a love of gaming.

4. Sustainable Businesses

Increasingly, consumers are becoming conscious of plastic waste, climate change, deforestation, and a grim ecological future. Businesses focused on alternatives to plastic, whether that means alternatives to plastic packaging, alternative consumer products, or something else, may be one of the best business opportunities for 2022. Zero-waste and refill shops have also become popular, and will continue to grow.

5. Pet Care

During 2020, nearly 900,000 pets were adopted. Americans who were stuck inside found joy with four-legged friends. Pet ownership in general has increased in recent years, and pet owners tend to be closer to and more concerned about their pets. For those who enjoy pets, particularly dogs and cats, one of the best business opportunities for 2022 involves pet care. This might mean pet grooming, walking, pet-sitting, boarding, or something else.

6. Fitness Instruction

Many gyms closed, some temporarily and some permanently, during the pandemic. Stress levels increased, as did stress-eating, and many people started working out at home to relieve stress and burn calories. Fitness instructors, personal trainers, nutritionists and others with knowledge of good health practices may find success working one-on-one with students or leading online groups. If you can keep others motivated and work with students online, this may be the best business opportunity in 2022 for you.

7. Mental Healthcare

According to the Mayo Clinic, stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and substance misuse all worsened during the pandemic. This isn’t too surprising, considering the stressful situation and the upheaval to regular routines. For those with experience in counseling and therapy, now be the best time to start your business. With online therapy increasing, you can reach a wider audience. If you have a specific specialization or type of experience, you’ll be able to reach those patients more easily.

8. Tutoring

Career shifts often require new skills. This huge migration between different professions opens a space for many different teachers and professionals. There are many ways to share your knowledge; you might create a course that others can buy, teach a course online to a group of students, write a book that walks students through activities, or even work with a student one-on-one.

9. Restaurant Alternatives

Many people are understandably nervous about returning to restaurants. Eating and drinking in public presents many risks for spreading illness. Since it’s difficult to predict what the future holds for restaurants, starting one may be risky. However, the desire and demand for great food remains, and alternatives to restaurants present some of the best business opportunities for 2022. This might include a food truck with an outdoor dining space, a business as a personal chef, making pre-packaged meals, or turning your recipes into grocery store food products.