Successful Business Ideas

The idea of starting a personal business crosses one’s mind at least once in a lifetime. This idea holds great potential to change our world for the better yet often we find ourselves hesitating whenever we think about it. The reasons could include fear of taking a risk, lack of financial support, or an unclear picture about your own business idea. Regardless, it is a fact that the risk factor will always be present. With a clear picture in your mind and a little confidence in your abilities, you can turn over a new leaf in your career. Familiarise yourself with some business ideas in South Africa that you may be able to achieve digitally.


Digitisation: A key factor for a successful business in South Africa

Before we go exploring a few successful business ideas in South Africa, one must be aware of the Digitisation concept. Traditional business practices are rapidly getting outdated since the digital business concept has come into play. It is a game-changer, and one must understand the importance of taking their business on digital platforms if they wish to grow. According to a survey by PwC South Africa, South Africa has been falling behind in digital transformation. This opens a new competitive environment for aspiring entrepreneurs and opportunists as digital awareness is constantly rising in South Africa.

Did you know that you can start a small business in South Africa all by yourself? Look here for the ideas!

A successful business idea consists of doing something uniquely and innovatively. Always keep yourself updated with various trends and arising needs in the market to shape your business ideas in South Africa. For example, Pargo realised that many people in South Africa struggled to get their goods delivered to the doorstep, especially in rural areas or townships. To tackle the issue, they established a brand new logistics network to deliver goods as per the convenience of their customers. In the process, they established links between the suppliers and a whole new group of customers who did not have a postal address traditionally.
Source: Entrepreneur South Africa


Impact of COVID-19 on the Business World:

COVID-19 has impacted everything, including the economy in South Africa and the rest of the world. We have observed financial losses, bankruptcy, people going out of business or losing their jobs due to various factors. 2020 was truly a year of chaos but with the newfound vaccines, humanity is looking for ways to jump-start and resume their normal lives once again. Hence, this situation has called for innovative business ideas in South Africa and the rest of the world and 2021 holds good potential for it.

Keep yourself updated on COVID related information in South Africa: COVID-19 / Novel Coronavirus | South African Government (


Successful Business Ideas as an individual:

It is natural to consider starting small once you are ready to take the risks. You may want to explore your interests or test out your ideas. The following business ideas may resonate with you as you explore.

1. Website Designing:

South Africa has the highest growth in internet usage and technology on the continent. With the rapidly growing awareness of digitisation, many businesses have started going digital in South Africa. Although the tools to develop a website have become simplified, businesses may still look for ways to make their website appear unique. This is where a web designer walks in. As a web designer, you would be assisting your client to make their website appear user-friendly and attractive. A well-designed website helps to form a good impression on their prospective customers, which plays an important role in generating leads and revenue. But more importantly, a user-friendly website helps visitors navigate and explore the website conveniently.

Does this interest you? Then you can try understanding how to make a website with this Website Builder Expert article here!

2. Application Developer:

In South Africa, almost 41% of the population (source: Statista) owns smartphones and the user number is constantly rising. A traditional webpage has its own limitations if accessed through a smartphone. That is why it has become increasingly necessary for businesses to develop smartphone application(s) according to their needs. It is designed to provide a better and simplified user experience for prospective customers than a website, like Amazon for example. It has been proven incredibly effective and hence, many digital businesses are always looking for application developers to make their digital business conveniently accessed. The Manifest lists the top 30 companies in South Africa that excel in App Development.

An application developer would be responsible for creating smartphone applications according to the client’s needs and expectations. This is an exponentially growing market that holds tremendous potential. As a developer, you may get clients not only in South Africa but also internationally.

Want to know more about application development? Here are the 8 steps to consider before you dive in! (Source: Buildfire)

3. Freelance Content Marketing:

Every business always requires some good marketing to grow. To do so, a business needs to make a good presence on social platforms such as Facebook. They are always searching for good content marketers. This is where a content marketer walks in. Your goal should be to help your clients achieve their business goals. You would be designing and executing content strategies for your client. One should be aware that B2B marketing is different from B2C marketing. (Source: WordStream)

Content marketing involves the process of creating and sharing online materials such as blogs, videos, social media posts etc. It is rather done in order to gain interest related to the products or services a business has to offer and it does not explicitly promote the brand. Knowledge about social media marketing comes in handy. Know more about how you can do some Facebook marketing to get a feel about it. (Source: Digital Lime Green)

The flexibility of this business is quite good and the pay is lucrative. If your freelance work is constantly experiencing exponential growth, you may also consider hiring your own team in the future and grow as a freelance content marketing firm.

Want to know how can start being a content marketer? Take a look here! (Source: Search Engine Journal)
Looking for the methods of marketing in South Africa? Take a look here! (Source: Digital Lime Green)

4. Food Related Businesses:

The Agriculture Sector contributes approximately 4% to South African GDP. However, the demand for food supplies is constantly rising and so, this sector shows positive growth (Source: IOL). It is emerging with new opportunities as people have slowly started going back to their normal lives. South Africa is also well-known as an agricultural exporter and the trade is slowly booming again. You can set up logistics lines between the supplier and the clients such as supplying raw ingredients, agricultural supplies, fruits and vegetables etc. If you own a website or application for such a business, you may be able to connect with your clients domestically and internationally with ease. Although this business takes some patience and a certain investment from your end, the growth would be worth it. Read more about the South African Agricultural Exports here.

On the other hand, one may start growing a food delivery network like how Zomato did. You may do some research on where the popular food delivery businesses are having trouble and come up with your own innovative ideas about how to tackle them.

5. Fashion Designer / Cosmetics Seller

The beauty and fashion sector have seen great potential in recent years. Various ‘trendy’ fashion-related ideas are always being constantly circulated across all social media platforms. As a result, social media has seen a huge growth in users during the pandemic. Various cosplayers, fashion designers, and artists have been making their presence on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Although this is a relatively underrated sector in South Africa, opportunists have taken notice and established their own influence. For example, take a look at these top 1000 fashion design Instagram influencers listed by Starngage.

Fashion is a form of expression and many people have been expressing their thoughts and emotions through fashion. You too can come up with something creative and possibly grow as a fashion designer.

Alternately, you can start a business as a cosmetic supplier. With quality and consistency, you may even launch your own brand and make a bold mark on the fashion world not only limited to South Africa but worldwide.



South Africa is a rapidly evolving market, creating various lucrative opportunities for investors and young entrepreneurs. Digitisation has started growing rapidly amongst South African businesses and the opportunity persists for the opportunists. The world is full of endless possibilities and it is ready to be explored. All that remains to go on such an adventure is to ask yourself: “Are you ready to take a leap of faith?”

If you need any help regarding making a website for your business, feel free to contact us. We are a web design and digital marketing company based in Cape Town, South Africa.
Take a look at our website design and digital marketing packages and let us know if we can help you in any way.

We look forward to seeing your business grow!