15 small business ideas in South Africa that actually work in 2023

Are you thinking of starting a small business in South Africa? We got you covered! South Africa is a very good place to start a small business.

The place is full of opportunities and with the right business idea and careful planning, you can be sure that it’s going to be a successful one.

If you are planning to start a small-scale business in South Africa, there is no shortage of opportunities.

Find out below reliable jobs aggressive wealth hunters use to generate wealth in South Africa in the 21st century.

The market has been growing at a rapid pace in the past few years, thanks to the advances in technology and the ever-increasing demand for various goods and services.

1. Open a Cyber Café

If you live in South Africa and have always wanted to start your own business, then you should consider opening a cyber café.

Cyber cafés are known to be one of the fastest-growing markets in the country and you could make a tidy profit if you set up shop in an area with a lot of foot traffic.

To get started, all you need is a computer that has access to the Internet, and you’re good to go. Allowing customers to surf the web at your establishment is all it takes to be profitable.

If your cyber café is located near a university campus or shopping mall, then you will likely have customers coming in daily.

You can also add extra services such as printing, faxing, and scanning documents to increase your revenue.

2. Hairdressing

How do you make money fast in South Africa? The world of beauty and cosmetology is ever-growing, and hairdressing services are a fantastic business opportunity.

Today, men and women are more conscious about physical appearance, and hair grooming has become crucial. Before starting this venture, check the legal requirements in the country and adhere to them to avoid closure.

3. Event Planning and Management

Event planning and management is one business idea that does not require a lot of capital to set up. You can start this business as a side hustle and make it a full-time business later on.

Event planners organize everything from small parties and birthday celebrations to large corporate events, conferences, seminars, and product launches.

You will need to be detail-oriented, organized, and have excellent networking skills. You may also be required to work long hours when planning an event.

The more successful you are in your event management business, the more you will be able to charge your clients.

4. Professional make-up

Do you enjoy doing make-up and wonder how to start a business in the beauty industry? Professional make-up artists earn big money from offering their services, and so can you.

For this idea to succeed, you must understand and master various make-up techniques. It is important to enrol on make-up classes to hone your skills.

5. Open a Bakery Shop

If you love baking and have a flair for it, opening a bakery shop is one of the best small business ideas in South Africa.

One of your biggest tasks would be to set up a kitchen, where you can store the ingredients and bake your products.

Once this step is completed, you will need to start selling your products. You can either open your store or supply baked goods to other stores.

You will need to learn the basics of baking and handling food products. In addition, you should also know how to maintain hygiene standards in the kitchen.

6. Electronics repair

Repairing electronics is a well-paying service that feeds several South Africans. The business is rapidly growing as almost everyone uses technologies like phones, smart TVs, computers, and audio devices.

These devices are prone to damage, meaning that electronics repair services are in demand throughout the year. One of the challenges faced in this business is the need to update tools and knowledge because technology is ever-changing.

7. Become an Uber Driver

If you’ve got a car and you’re looking to make some extra money, then why not become an Uber driver?

Uber is a ride-sharing app that allows people to request a car ride with a couple of clicks on their smartphone and have someone turn up to pick them up within minutes.

It’s an easy way for people to get around without having to hail a taxi or wait for the bus.

To become an Uber driver you’ll need an in-date driver’s license and a smartphone that can download the Uber app.

You can drive whenever it suits you, as Uber allows you to set your hours, so it’s ideal for people who want to earn some extra money in their spare time.

8. Gym

Physical fitness and health are a growing concern, especially in towns and cities in South Africa. You can start a gym where people can come and exercise under the guidance of people trained in sports science.

9. Open a Restaurant

If you have a passion for food and love mixing with people, opening a restaurant could be the perfect business idea for you.

The most important thing is to know your market and your USPs (unique selling points) – what makes your food special or different?

Who is going to eat at your restaurant? What’s the right type of food to serve in your area and how will you price it?

Once you’ve done that, it’s time to think about the practicalities.

You can start researching suppliers and looking at premises, but remember you’ll need to create a business plan, raise finance, and secure funding before you can open the doors.

10. Music instructor

Can you play one or more musical instruments, or are you a professional musician? You can use your skills or talents to make money by training others to sing or play the instruments. This idea is fantastic because you can train online or in person. You can also have multiple clients, as each only demands a few hours a week.

11. Laundry services

You can set up a laundry mart in South Africa and make big money. Before starting this venture, research your location to establish the target population and how much people are willing to pay. Beware that you will need capital to purchase the requirements for the business.

12. Online custom tailoring

Can you sew quality and fashionable clothes? People are increasingly becoming aware of their looks and the quality of fabrics. You can brand yourself as a custom tailor and deliver your products to clients via courier services.

You should perfect your sewing and design skills for this business to succeed. You must also listen to customers' needs and deliver as agreed.

13. Start a Uniform Sewing Business

The uniform sewing business is very lucrative in South Africa. It is a highly profitable venture for anyone who doesn’t mind getting his or her hands dirty.

This is because uniforms are needed across all sectors, from schools to hospitals and the public sector. Uniforms are used by governments, businesses, religious institutions, and private individuals.

They are used to project a sense of belongingness, uniformity, and professionalism. Uniforms can also be used to differentiate employees from customers and clients.

Starting a uniform sewing business will require that you know how to use a sewing machine as well as other equipment that’ll be used in the process.

Although it might seem easier to employ someone to do this for you, it’s better that you learn these skills yourself so that you can keep costs down and maximize your profits.

14. Start a Brick Manufacturing Business

If you’re looking for small business ideas in South Africa, a brick-making business would suit you.

Once you have decided to start your brick manufacturing business it is very important to choose the right location for starting your business.

You need to make sure that there is a sufficient amount of raw material available in the area where you have chosen to start your brick manufacturing business.

You also need to make sure that there is a market for buying bricks in the area where you are planning to start your brick manufacturing business.

If you do not find enough customers then you will not be able to make high profits.

You also need to make sure that there are no competitors nearby so that it will be easy for you to survive in the market.

15. Writing and editing services

If you have editing or writing skills, consider setting up a website and offering your services professionally.

With more and more companies moving part or all of their trade online, the demand for well-written online content is high. If you’re familiar with SEO basics and have strong copywriting skills, you can offer content marketing services.

If you have a passion, you could also simply start a local blog. Then work towards using it to earn advertising revenue.

For example, South Africa is a travel destination of note. A blog could give potential visitors a glimpse into everyday South African life. Write articles about your favourite local places and activities, and illustrate with attractive images.

Each of these small business ideas in South Africa deserves your consideration and will pay off wonderfully if you are ready to invest your time and hard-earned money into it.

It is important to note that this article is targeted at helping you start a business whether you are an unemployed graduate or a stay-at-home mom who would want to earn a living while raising her children.

These business ideas are not restricted to any certain type of people and anyone can take advantage of them.
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