Best skills to learn to start a small business in 2020

It’s not long now until we reach the end of the year. I know! Scary how fast a year can slip by without you even noticing. It almost feels as each year is faster than the one before it.

Want to know the secret behind making each year feel slower? There is really nothing to it. If you are reading at the end of August, you might be thinking where the first half of 2019 went. When we are deep in our routine, time just flies by. This isn’t something to be afraid of or feel anxious about, it is simply the fact that you are generally on autopilot throughout the weeks where nothing noteworthy happens.

Whether you are working at a day job or on your own business, if everything goes according to plan, your brain isn’t going to be recording memories that are the same as last week, the week or the month before that. It just wouldn’t make sense. Memories of work, commuting, sports a routine recreational activity will just get lumped together while people you met and new places you go will stand out.

So how can you make more significant memories? The key is to just go out there and do something new. With a new year just on the horizon, wouldn’t you want to delve into something new and see what comes out of it? You could make next year totally different from the last. All it takes is some courage and a will to learn.

With that said, learning new skills can help you grow your business or even put you on the path towards being a self-employed freelancer if you want to escape the rat race.

Here are the best skills you can learn from today which will be in high demand in 2020.

1. Voiceover Services

Has anyone ever told you that you have an amazing voice? Maybe you just love to read aloud, if so, why not embrace that natural talent?

Voiceover skills have skyrocket in demand over the last few years. With so many content producers creating projects remotely, demand for voice acting will continue to trend upwards. Voice technology has also been rapidly adopted so products like audiobooks, podcasts and content for devices such as the Google Home and Amazon Alexa are creating plenty of lucrative work for voice services.

You don’t need any special qualifications to be a voiceover artist. Confidence, clarity and energy is all that is required to make every performance enjoyable.

2. Subtitling

If you happen to love writing but hate ghostwriting eBooks or massively long articles, subtitling might be more your speed. What is subtitling? When you scroll through YouTube or Amazon, have a look at what all the titles have in common. This is no coincidence. All the titles and subtitles for listings and video content has been crafted in a way that will optimize that listing on the search results. People will pay good money to someone who knows what they are doing.

How do you get started? Just do some research on what is working and experiment a bit yourself. If you feel like you can get some good results start reaching out to lower ranking content creators or listed products and see if you can help them. If you deliver good results, sign them up to be a client!

3. Career Coaching

Our careers are changing at a pace that barely anyone can keep up with. Advances in AI is going to make this a very confusing and overwhelming next decade for many people. This doesn’t have to be a time where we all freak out about what to do with our lives. Instead, we should be embracing our talents and passions to see what value we can bring to our fellow humans. Career coaching is going to become a necessary skill as people shift around the workforce and discover what it is, they truly want to do.

If you are great with people and listening to their needs and concerns, you can be an ace at career coaching. It helps to have a broad understanding of workplaces, professions, skills and industries to help people find the right fit for them. If you have found that you are often bouncing around with what you want to be doing, you might feel right at home using this skill to launch your business!

4. Virtual Assistant

Being organised, administrative and a pro at time management can be a skill in itself. Virtual assistants are in incredibly high demand, particularly as more business owners, teams and entrepreneurs decide to work remotely. It can be a competitive space which is why finding a niche in something you love can help you stand out.

Working as a virtual assistant can involve many different tasks. For the most part, you would be tasked with organising appointments, managing emails, entering information into a database and oftentimes some specific work unique to your client. There is always room to grow as a virtual assistant. As you continue to grow your client base, you could always hire more help and create a team to expand your business.

5. Content Strategy

Having an eye for great content is a skill. If you love writing, creating videos or beautiful images, put that skill to work as a content strategist. This is a highly competitive space and so it is essential to niche down. If you enjoy health and nutrition for example, become a health and nutrition content specialist. This way you can create content that you are not only passionate about but also you know what people will want to see!

You can get started either through freelance marketplaces or you can strike it out on your own by setting your own website and sending emails out to businesses that you feel would be a great fit for your content. This is a business that you can grow and scale if you are dedicated, it will also be one of the most lucrative skills of the next decade.

6. Customer Analytics

Love looking at data. Even better, do you feel like data can tell you a story? If that doesn’t sound too crazy to you then consider refining your skills in customer analytics. This is going to a big one in years to come and even now, there is no shortage of work for someone with business analytics skills.

Analytics is essential for digital marketing. With retail and services increasingly doing business on the web, it is no wonder why business owners are needing help understand their data.

7. Social Media Consultant

If you have reached the end of 2019 and you still haven’t figured out that being good at social media is a big money maker, then you need to get it together. Social media consultants are a real thing and they can bring in some dough if the job is done right. If you happen to be a natural at building social accounts and you are good with an audience, consider refining this skill and offering it to the market.

You might even like to specialise in certain platforms or niche businesses if you know exactly what you are doing in that space. Being a social media consultant can also be very flexible in that you can adapt your skills and combine it with content strategy and even data analytics to truly make yourself stand out.

8. Translation Services

There are those of us that happen to be exceptionally good at picking up languages. If you are one of these people, your talents can be put to good use by offering translation services. With the world becoming increasingly globalised and a lot of businesses and publications hoping to reach wider audiences, translation service providers are never short of work.

Even if you happen to be bilingual, growing up with a foreign language at home, you will find that this is a skill that not everyone can do but there is a high demand for. You can specialise your services if you prefer writing, speech or transcribing.

9. Testing Services

If your smartphone is filled with tons of apps that you just wanted to try yet never really picked up again after, there could be money sitting on the table. Testers are required for a multitude of apps, games and programs that need a fresh set of users to identify bugs and UX/UI issues.

Of course, there is more to it than just fiddling around with an app, that doesn’t mean it’s any less fun. If you enjoy learning everything you can about a new app or game, you can create a detailed summary of what you feel works, what could be improved and the direction that could be taken in the future.

With millions of apps being published every year, why not reach out to some of them and offer some professional insight?

10. Outsourcing Services

We know our world is leaning more towards outsourcing. It is cheaper, oftentimes easier and there is a lot less hassle than having someone inhouse. For lean start-ups and entrepreneurs, it can sometimes be essential to have a remote team. The issue many of these business owners run into is that they don’t always know how to hire the right person, where to find them or how to properly manage them.

If you enjoy interacting with people from a different culture (or maybe even your own while dealing with foreign clients) then consider starting an agency dedicated to helping clients outsource their skills. Understand their needs and match the required skills with professionals who work remotely. This is a space that is only going to grow over the next few years.


There is no shortage of demand for savvy freelancers or aspiring business owners in 2020. If you have talent, passion and drive within you, then you can pick up any one of these skills and make it work. Honing these skills will give you more than just something of value to offer your clients, it gives you the freedom to work for yourself, to set your own income and to build something new and creative.

Go out there and have fun, make this year one filled with new achievements and life changing experiences.