Many Americans have turned to creating their own businesses, putting an emphasis on setting their own schedules and leaving more time for family and leisure. In 2020, as the pandemic got its start, 4.4 million business applications were filed. In 2021, the total reached 5.4 million, NPR reported. And in 2022, 5.07 million businesses will have been started, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
If you’re a member of the Great Recession—or thinking about joining the ranks—plenty of ideas exist for small businesses that can turn either your previous work experience or your passion or hobby into a profitable venture.
Every small business idea can yield great success if it fills a need. Check out these business ideas that can make you money in 2023.
Companies or individuals could be willing to pay a lot of money for the expertise you gained on your job. Consultants are needed in many fields, such as finance, human resources, careers, and management.
Management consulting is expected to have a $329.9 billion market in 2023, according to business research firm IBISWorld.
2. Home Stager
Homes for sale that are “staged” give prospective buyers an idea of what a home can be. After the owners have moved out and taken everything out of the house, stagers can move furniture around to make the most of the space.
Experienced home stagers invest in furniture and accessories to use in homes, but you can start with the sellers’ existing stuff, as long as it is in good shape. Realtor.com reports that staged homes sell 88% faster and for 20% more, on average, making the investment worth it for sellers.
3. Exercise Guru
During the pandemic, workouts moved from gyms and fitness centers, and some exercisers decided they liked the convenience of a home workout. Still, the same treadmill and the same sort of exercises might not motivate some to get fit.
Come up with new exercises and routines and demonstrate them on YouTube and Facebook Live. These sample videos could bring in customers who are willing to pay to see the rest of your online exercise techniques.
4. Pet Services
With so much time spent working from home during the pandemic, 19% of Americans surveyed by the ASPCA said they acquired a dog or cat from March 2020 to March 2021. And 70% of U.S. households owned a pet as of 2022. That has opened the door to a variety of pet-related services, including dog walking and animal training.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the employment of animal care and service workers will increase by 29%, or much faster than average, from 2021 to 2031.
All you need to start writing e-books is to select a niche you want to write about and that people want to read. Amazon Best Sellers shows you what people are reading and buying.
If you plan to self-publish, you’ll find plenty of platforms where you can sell your work. Kindle Direct Publishing from Amazon, Apple Books for Authors, Kobo Writing Life, and Smashwords are all good examples.
6. Custom Items
This is a dropshipping model with a twist. Make your innovative designs and upload them to your preferred print-on-demand platforms. When a customer purchases one of your items, the platform prints it to order and ships it out on your behalf.
Popular platforms include Redbubble, Fine Art America, Zazzle, Society6, and Printful, all of which offer a huge variety of products to customize with your designs.
7. Coworking Office Space
With remote work being so popular and likely to stay that way for a long time, you can make a modern coworking space that helps with problems like the cost of renting office space, lower productivity, and even feeling lonely.
Choose a site that is easy to get to and in a central location. Then, add features that people want, like high-speed internet, meeting rooms, and places to build teams.
8. Online Courses
If you are a professional in a specific field, you can start teaching online classes. Create educational content in videos or other available formats. Then choose a platform like Udemy or Skillshare to post and sell the content.
9. Virtual Assistant
Many entrepreneurs need help with day-to-day tasks. You can work remotely for a company or an individual to provide administrative support. Common tasks include maintaining social media accounts, managing calendars and schedules, making travel arrangements, and processing documents and records, according to FlexJobs.
Even though some companies, like VaVa Virtual Assistants, offer a way for VAs to find jobs, it can be more profitable in the long run to build a list of direct clients.
10. Eco-Friendly and Healthy Beauty Products
People want eco-friendly and healthier products, so make items that are safe and good for the environment. Research local business licensing requirements, then investigate the ingredients and processes for making the products—suppliers like Making Cosmetics and Make Your Own Buzz have tutorials and formulas to get you started.
You can sell your products online and in person at vendor fairs, farmers markets, and local shops.
11. Chatbot Development
Chatbots are used on many company websites to communicate with customers who need assistance. Develop a chatbot and approach companies in need of such a product.
You don’t have to know how to code to develop a chatbot; with basic IT knowledge, you’re good to go using a chatbot-building platform like ManyChat.
12. Web Design and Development
You can start making cash by designing or developing websites for small businesses or individuals. Depending on your skill level, you can build sites using templates and widgets on platforms like WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace, or up your game by learning how to code sites from scratch.
Collaborate with an experienced copywriter to boost your product line and your chances of grabbing a new client.
13. Online Coach
Create a YouTube channel to help you push your content. You can educate people about any topic in which you have expertise. If you have proven managerial and leadership skills, you can also become a life coach and charge clients to attend your sessions once you have an audience.
14. Resume Writer
Many people need a resume, but not everyone has the skills to do it well or is familiar with resume formats. This does not require any startup capital but does require knowing how to craft a unique resume that is compatible with resume screening software.
15. Handcrafted Goods
You can make your own products to earn money. Research ideas that suit your skills and interests, then start making soap, candles, pottery, or jewelry. Once the products are ready, market them online via social media and in person through local venues.
16. Event Planning
Create an event planning service in your area and specialize in specific types of events, like weddings or company meetings. A network of reliable vendor contacts will make you more successful.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the number of jobs in the profession will grow by 18% between 2021 and 2031.
17. Content editing and proofreading
If you have impeccable skills at spotting grammatical errors, typos, and poor sentence structure in written content, you can provide editing and proofreading services to businesses and individuals.
18. Graphic Designer
If you can design logos, websites, and blog images, you can sell your graphic design skills. You can set your own hours and start choosing projects to build your portfolio. Many companies need graphic design support for a variety of projects.
To start, offer your services on freelance platforms like Fiverr and Upwork.
19 Custom Clothing
The custom clothing business is gaining momentum, which means it could be a good source of regular income. You can start with hemming and mending, then use your sewing machine to revamp customers’ existing clothes or create new ones.
Running a blog can make you money, provided you’re sharing unique and useful content. Choose a niche that you’re good at. Once you gain an audience, you can earn money through affiliate marketing or advertising.
21. Website flipping
Buy a website and make improvements to the design and content. Then, sell it for a higher price than you paid for it. Along the same lines, you can create your website, fill it with SEO-friendly content, and sell it.
22. Virtual Reality Experiences
VR is the future, with the market projected to reach $44.7 billion by 2024. As long as you have the content-creation skills, or can partner with someone who does, and you have the means to purchase the necessary equipment, the possibilities are endless.
Real estate, entertainment, games, fitness, dating, and healthcare are just a few industries where virtual reality is or could be useful.
23. Interior Design
Many professionals want to have their homes look elegant. However, the high cost can be limiting. You can start a business offering interior design services for less and target young homeowners as you build your business.
Note that in some states, you’ll need a license or registration that might require passing the National Council for Interior Design Qualification exam.
24. Food Truck
If you have a background in cooking or restaurant management, a food truck is an option. It is cheaper than opening a restaurant.
Still, the investment can be significant, especially if you buy rather than lease a truck. New ones cost $75,000 and up, plus you’ll pay costs for permits, wrapping the truck in your logo, and more, according to estimates from business technology company Square.
25. Affiliate marketing
Many online stores allow affiliates to market their products. If you are an influencer, this can earn you some good money.
You only need to get the product affiliate link from the company whose products you’d like to sell and place the link in the content you use to reach your audience. If an individual purchases the product through your link, you earn a commission.
26. Cellphone Accessories
This field might look saturated, but the number of phone users is increasing every day. You only need to be super creative and come up with phone accessories, such as adapters, cables, earphones, protectors, and covers.
Etsy has a category for handmade cellphone accessories, which includes things like phone charms and personalized charger cubes. This website could be a good place to sell your own creations.
How big is the market for cellphone owners? A new report from RearchandMarket.com, a market research company, predicts it will grow to $520.7 billion by 2030.
This is one of the simplest businesses to start today. You offer items for sale, but you don’t have a backlog of inventory. Instead, a third-party provider stores and sends products on your behalf. All you need is a little capital to get started, and it’s hands-off and scalable.
You can make sales on a platform like Shopify that sends orders to your suppliers automatically, or you can use any merchant site you want to send orders yourself.
Choosing a business idea that can make you money is a personal decision, but the above business ideas will help you get started. You can pick any of them and modify them to suit your audience. The goal is not just to have an idea but to earn money from it. However, before venturing into one, you need to first ensure there’s a demand for what you plan to offer.