The Best Outdoor Businesses to Start in 2021

Are you sick and tired of working inside all day while glued to a computer in a stuffy office? Guess what, you’re not alone. Research shows that most Americans would prefer to work outdoors. An L.L. Bean study from 2018 found that while 87 percent of indoor Americans enjoy the outdoors, and 65 percent felt that their job was the biggest barrier. 

Spending time outdoors has proven to be healthy. It has a positive effect on the brain and body. Of the many benefits of being outdoors, the most significant include: 

  • Memory improvement
  • Blood pressure reducer
  • Mood enhancer
  • Energy booster
  • Stress reducer
  • Depression reliever

But the advantages don’t stop there. Being outdoors has proven also to be an effective sleep aid, with exposure to natural light potentially providing an average of 46 more minutes of sleep a night. Sunlight provides 166 times more light than office light, preventing sunlight deprivation and seasonal depression. Studies show exposure to outdoor light can also reduce inflammatory levels and overall body pain, and decrease your annual sick leave.

The good news is there are plenty of businesses today that demand outdoor activity. And many of them even offer great opportunities to earn a good living while representing well-established brands. Franchise Business Review has identified 15 outdoor-focused franchises that score well on their all-important Franchisee Satisfaction Index. They include a variety of in-demand services in landscaping, travel and cruise planning, food trucks, wildlife appreciation, summer camps, fitness and more. 

“With my job I was working from home, so I wasn’t really getting outside or getting much exercise or anything of that nature. I was kind of just at home every day working. It was an adjustment for me to actually start getting out and moving around and having a lot more responsibilities,” said Justin Sapp, a NaturaLawn of America franchise owner in Oxford, Mississippi.

“I have always loved being outside. I love seeing the resulting from hard work,” Sapp said.

If you’re a lover of the outdoors and are looking to invest in a business that feeds your passion, a franchise business opportunity offers you a proven model for success, including training and support and the power of a recognized brand.

But, before you invest in any franchise, it is critical to do your research. Compare brands side by side and carefully consider feedback from existing franchisees. A great place to start is Franchise Business Review’s List of Top Franchises.

To help you get you started in your journey to franchise ownership and want to work in or promote the outdoors lifestyle, here are some of the top outdoorsy brands to consider in 2021.

Sort By

Amazing Athletes

Amazing Athletes uses a multi-sport program designed to benefit children aged 18 mos. to 6 years physically, mentally, socially, and emotionally. 

Investment: $60,050 - $105,500 Cash Required: $50,000
Clean Air Lawn Care home services franchise opportunity franchise owners in front of company vehicle

Clean Air Lawn Care

Industry: Services

Clean Air Lawn Care is the nation’s only full-service, sustainable, and organic lawn care franchise. They provide lawn care maintenance with our solar-powered equipment and organic lawn treatments t…

Investment: $65,431 - $112,126 Cash Required: $50,000

Critter Control

Critter Controls’ model operates on the simple concept of getting pests out and keeping them out, using humane techniques to handle nuisance wildlife such as birds, moles, squirrels, mice, racco…

Investment: $63,525 - $169,525 Cash Required: $8,075
Cruise ship on water city lights
Includes owner satisfaction report
out of 100

Cruise Planners

Cruise Planners is the nation’s largest home-based travel agency franchise specializing in booking travel experiences such as cruises, land tours, and all-inclusive resort vacations around the world…

Investment: $2,295 - $23,465 Cash Required: $10,995
Includes owner satisfaction report
out of 100

Dream Vacations-CruiseOne

Home-based Dream Vacation franchise owners sell travel packages, including travel protection, shore excursions, hotels and tours to individuals, couples, families, businesses and groups. 

Investment: $1,795 - $21,000 Cash Required: $3,500
Includes owner satisfaction report
out of 100

Kona Ice

Industry: Food & Beverage

Kona Ice mobile trucks specialize in serving premium, low-sugar shaved ice in a variety of flavors. 99% of Kona Ice franchise owners would recommend the franchise to others. Download the Kona Ice Fran…

Investment: $149,995 - $189,300 Cash Required: $20,000

NaturaLawn of America

NaturaLawn of America’s environmentally friendly approach to lawn care has been creating green lawns quickly, more naturally, since 1987. The company provides a healthier, environmentally friend…

Investment: $47,500 - $112,650 Cash Required: $50,000
Includes owner satisfaction report
out of 100

Pinch A Penny

Pinch A Penny Pool Patio Spa provides a wide selection of pool supplies including liquid chlorine, tablets, pumps, filters and more.

Investment: $471,425 - $745,200 Cash Required: $150,000
Includes owner satisfaction report
out of 100

Soccer Shots

Soccer Shots is a children’s soccer program with a focus on character development and impacting children’s lives on and off the field through coaching, communication and curriculum.

Investment: $42,950 - $54,300 Cash Required: $20,000
truly nolen franchise

Truly Nolen of America

Truly Nolen franchise is a pest and termite control service for homes or businesses. Truly Nolen’s development team created a proprietary program that proactively addresses the changes in pest b…

Investment: $50,421 - $122,207 Cash Required: $50,000
wild birds unlimited
Includes owner satisfaction report
out of 100

Wild Birds Unlimited

Industry: Pet Services, Retail

Wild Birds Unlimited provides a comprehensive array of bird-feeding products and local nature information.

Investment: $209,425 - $350,037 Cash Required: $40,000
Includes owner satisfaction report
out of 100

Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park (TM) Camp Resorts

Family-friendly Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp Resorts™ offer pools, water slides, splash grounds, jumping pillows, wagon rides, foam parties and interactions with Yogi Bear-costumed charact…

Investment: $63,000 - $10,000,000 Cash Required: $250,000

Right at Home

Industry: Senior Care

Right at Home franchise serves its clients and community by providing in-home companionship, personal care services, and assistance to seniors and disabled adults who want to continue to live independ…

Investment: $88,719 - $157,669 Cash Required: $150,000
Includes owner satisfaction report
out of 100

Snap-on Tools

Industry: Automotive, Services

Snap-on Tools is a leading global developer, manufacturer, and marketer of high-end tool and equipment solutions for professional tool users. Download the report to learn more about this franchise opp…

Investment: $201,433 - $465,436 Cash Required: $44,121
360 clean employees
Includes owner satisfaction report
out of 100


360clean is a health-focused office cleaning franchise with high franchisee satisfaction and a flexible business model. Download the report to learn more. 

Investment: $21,800 - $36,500 Cash Required: $15,000