77 Best Small Business Ideas 2023 – Easy and Scalable

Small Business Ideas

Do you dream of starting your own business? If so then these best small business ideas of 2023 should help you on your way.

I won’t be telling you to sell your art, fill out surveys, do data entry, or do anything that takes over 3 – 6 months to get qualifications. If you are reading this then I bet you are after business ideas that you can scale fast to make a truly profitable business rather than a quick buck.

The thought of having the freedom to make your own decisions, hold your own destiny in your hands and be your own boss is very appealing. It can have significant financial benefits when you move away from being a wage slave but starting a business takes hard work, commitment, and an unwavering can-do attitude.

If you feel you are ready to take the leap then the below ideas are just for you. They range from no start-up costs with minimal time investment all the way up to opportunities where you can invest capital at the outset for faster reward.

once you get started, be sure to check out my other posts so you can start to tackle running a business and the tools and skills you will need to succeed. I cover things such as sales forecasting, sales tools, and becoming a solopreneur.

Right, let’s get to them.

What are the best small business ideas for 2023?

The ideas are broken down into categories and are all highly scalable opportunities with some tips offered along the way. I am sure there will be a business idea just for you!

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1. Online courses

Building an online course has never been easier. There are now so many platforms out there where you can design and build an online course to share your knowledge and expertise. The best thing about this business model is that it can keep on giving and people can learn from you no matter where they are in the world.

Make sure you structure your course content and break it down into modules. Providing valuable insights in each lesson is paramount to success. Offer templates and documentation where possible. People feel that they get more value when they have something provided to them that they can download and leverage for themselves.

Best Small Business Ideas

2. Start a blog

Blogging has been around for nearly 30 years but never has it been so monetizable. Don’t think about writing what you had for breakfast or what you will be doing on the weekend but think about sharing your expertise and knowledge from either your career, passions, or hobbies.

The internet has never been so monetizable as brands look to other bloggers to promote their products to stay ahead of the competition. If you were Nike, would you want your products showing on just Nike.com when a user searches for ‘Trainers’ or would you want Nike trainers showing on all the top web pages shown? This is where blogs come in.

Build your site and provide quality content whilst ensuring your content is geared to monetization. Look at affiliate marketing, ads, sponsorships, and guest posting as revenue opportunities.

Small Business Ideas

3. Dropshipping

Drop shipping is booming right now and is a great way to offer products without the hassle of having to own or stock inventory. Welcome to the online order fulfillment business model!

Design your online shop front on a platform like Shopify, then connect to your prospective suppliers so you know what you can sell, add the products and wait for the orders. Once you make a sale, order it from the supplier and get it shipped straight to the customer.

There are tools that link directly to your e-commerce site so you can see a library of all suppliers and make it even easier when a customer makes a purchase the order fulfillment is completely automated.

4. eBay store

eBay has been around for many decades and is still at the forefront of consumers’ minds when looking for a bargain. This is an extremely low-cost option and if you cannot muster any funds to invest in an online business, this may be just the start you need to build your empire.

If you have a talent and can make handmade goods then eBay is a great marketplace to sell these through. If you don’t have any products then look to gain freebies from local community centers or friends and family offloading things.

If you have some money to invest then look at trending products such as air quality monitors, microgreen gardens, or power tools. If you can find a trending niche or product line then you will have better earlier success to forge ahead.

5. Affiliate marketing

Have you ever wondered how website owners that don’t actually sell anything can make so much money? If so, look no further for the answer. This is Affiliate Marketing.

Affiliate marketers use their web presence to recommend products and services within their market segment and funnel traffic to sites where people can purchase them from. Brands then give a commission to the affiliate marketer, kind of like a finders fee!

You can purchase a domain name and start a website for as little as $3 per month with Bluehost. From there, choose a niche and start to build content that will rank for your selected products – think Best Fishing Rods as an example. Join affiliate programs, add your links to the products, and away you go – you’re now an affiliate marketer!

6. eCommerce store

Do you have products to sell? Do you want to sell products rather than dropship? If so, this is the route for you. Sites like BigCommerce and Shopify make it really easy to build simple, fast, and effective transaction-based websites.

Join an eCommerce platform, add your products and make sales! Of course, there’s a little more to it than that. You need to get known and recognized for what your service offering is.

Build a strong story around you and your brand. Why are you doing what you are doing? Why are your products the best? Why do your customers need them? Remember that people like to buy from people and they like vulnerability so get your message out and build your customer base.

7. Buy and Sell Domain Names

A classic online tactic that can still make 6 figures+ every year. Have you ever wondered who ‘owns’ the internet? The truth is that all website owners own a piece of the internet and that starts with domain names.

Imagine if you had purchased ‘Amazon.com’ before Jeff Bezos and he really wanted the name to match his other brand activities. How much would he have paid you to acquire it? This works all through the internet.

Look for emerging trends and products and then start searching domain name registries like Namecheap and buy up some domains you think will become hot property. Either auction these off straight away or wait until the value skyrockets or even better, you get direct inquiries to purchase.

8. Create a YouTube channel

I am sure this isn’t exactly news to you but there are many people making lots (and lots!) of money from their YouTube channels. Mr Beast, AKA Jimmy Donaldson, made an estimated $54 million in 2021 according to Forbes estimates.

If you want to go down this route then make sure the video quality and content are top-class. It’s a hard market to crack but aim to get subscribers to scale the fastest. Offer value to the viewer at all times which could be laughter, how-to’s, or product reviews. Remember to be consistent with planning and releasing new content. It’s a business, not a hobby!

Market your channel on other social media platforms and where possible, start gathering an email list so you can send new content directly to your subscriber’s inbox. Try a simple call to action in your channel header to start getting your email list populated.

9. Stock photography

If you are an avid photographer or want to take up photography then selling your photos as stock images is a great revenue stream.

You can go down the Microstock or Macrostock route depending on your preference. If you travel or are in touch with the needs of today’s stock image buyers and can create great quality photos that are in high demand then the Macrosoft route is by far the more lucrative.

Use sites like Photocase to get your photos in the marketplace. Let the agency take care of licensing the photos to individual clients, often on an annual basis, whilst you get royalties for your troubles. Images can be as much as $3k per year, that can soon add up!

Small Business Ideas

10. Copywriting

More and more companies are outsourcing copywriting these days and all you need is a laptop and an internet connection to get started. Define the market segment you want to work in as well as what content you will specialize in. Whether it is email marketing, advertising, or website content, the opportunities are plentiful.

It will be paramount to have your best work available for prospective clients to see and review. Start building an online portfolio of content so you can easily share this. Building a brand and your unique offering will help you stand out from the crowd, personality will go a long way when trying to land jobs.

If you are struggling to land the first few clients, then reduce your rates to get some wins under your belt. Use that momentum and testimonials to grow your business from there.

11. Stocks and shares

Dreaming of making BIG money? This could be for you. A word of caution though, you should only embark on this business idea if you either have a background in finance and understand the core principles of trading or if you are willing to put in the effort to understand it.

Understanding the stock market and being able to recognize when to buy and when to sell isn’t a dark art as you might think. It is a skill that you can learn if you have the desire. Try and get close to peers in the industry for insider tips but the main trait you need is to hold your nerve when the going gets tough!

12. Book sales meetings

If you have the gift of the gab and can think on your feet then this might be something for you. Buyers are becoming harder and harder for businesses to contact and pitch their services and products to.

This is where you come in. Build your business around getting those meetings in the diaries for sellers to close the deal. As success is 100% results-driven, you will need to be confident in your abilities to get those meetings in the diary.

This can grow quite rapidly if you have outbound prospecting skills and can get quality email and call scripts together. A tip on this one – make sure you understand your client’s business so that you can deliver quality leads, every time.

13. Music production

You are probably thinking of David Guetta or similar and it’s great to dream but there are many avenues music production can take.

There are lots of free music production software available in the market today that is enough to get started and create music to sell. Often success comes down to raw talent so if you have never tried it, this might just be for you.

You can start to create full electronic tracks, be a singer-songwriter or even just start with 20-second jingles. If you can create catchy jingles these can be licensed and sold for ‘000s.

Small Business Ideas

14. Cryptocurrency trading

Cryptocurrency trading can see huge gains, fast. It can also see big losses so tread carefully. Cryptocurrency isn’t that stable so it’s a tough one to predict. If you are new to it then there are relatively inexpensive courses to introduce you to the concepts and strategies you might apply.

You will need to choose a brokerage platform first and then choose a currency to trade in. There is a huge variety of indicators to take into account when formulating your strategy but if you can crack it then this truly is a lucrative opportunity to embark on.

15. Facebook Ads

I bet if you are reading this, you have seen a Facebook ad or two in your time. It may sound crazy but the best in the business are making 7 figures a year developing Facebook ads that you just can’t resist you open up.

All you need to get started is a Facebook Ads account and off you go. To truly make this lucrative you need to make sure you pick the products that are in most demand and have a high margin. Be sure to set your budget right and make sure your ads are intriguing so your audience click-throughs. Tip – Facebook audiences love a good quiz!

16. SEO consultant

This may sound like something you need a load of experience in but actually Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), isn’t that tricky to learn and then sell your services. Did you know that there are over 200 million active websites as of 2023 and all of them want to be number 1 on Google?

This is where you come in, there is loads of information online to learn from as well as courses you can take if you are really serious. Once you have the skills, develop your service offering and make sure you have some real-world stats to wow prospective clients.

SEO has changed considerably over the last few years so if you do some reading up or look for a course, make sure it’s current and that you trust you the author. What worked in the SEO world 5 to 10 years ago won’t work today.

17. CV writer

Do you have a knack for writing and are able to tailor your style to a professional audience? You can start off as a freelancer and then in time build your own website and company and employ other freelancers, just like you were once!

Make sure that you understand your client’s needs and the types of roles they are targeting. Picking out their skills, experience and most importantly, achievements and outcomes they have delivered in past employments will be key to a successful business.

If you can, why not add cover letter writing and LinkedIn profiles as part of your service?

Small Business Ideas

18. Voiceovers

Although you may not think it, you might have just the voice you need to get freelance business to come your way. There are always voice-over opportunities available and you just need to land your first gig to be on your way.

You will need to record a voiceover demo that showcases your voice and talent when providing voiceovers in different scenarios. Showcase yourself on social media and networking within the industry is fundamental to getting traction.

19. Researcher

Researching is a great way to build a business in 2023. As companies look to outsource more and more on the ‘grunt’ work, you could really fill a gap in the market with this one.

Gather intel from competitors, build prospecting lists or go the traditional market research route. Whichever way you choose, be sure to define your value up front and identify your target customer profile. Make sure there is demand for your services, and ensure you don’t undersell yourself or the information you will provide.

20. Mentoring

If you have lots of experience in something then this could be for you. It doesn’t have to be professional experience of course. It could be anything from professional mentorship to gaining confidence, public speaking, or even creating and managing social media accounts.

Develop a mentorship program and identify your target market. You will need to show empathy and passion in how you will help your prospective clients. This will offer the best chance of success and landing your first clients.

21. Weight loss coach

This is a really great way to make money with infinite expansion opportunities if you desire. It’s a known fact that accountability improves the chances of sustained weight loss and people looking to lose weight know that.

You can provide a simple service such as remote weigh-ins alongside scheduled calls to assess targets and how your client is tracking against them. In time you can scale to share diet and exercise advice as well as bring in a more tailored and complete coaching program if you desire. Slimming World started somewhere!

22. Freelance writing

There is an abundance of freelance writer opportunities out there. If you can pen a good story then this might be the one for you. Although you may not literally be writing a fairy tale story, storytelling is the backbone of any written content.

You can start to write blog posts, ultimate guides, web content, e-books, or even white papers and case studies for businesses. Find where you feel you best fit and start to draft some content. Get feedback from friends and family then make a portfolio for prospective clients to see.

There are many online resources that will help you get ahead and don’t forget to join the online job boards to find your next opportunities!

23. Web design

There are nearly 2 billion websites now online. Someone had to build those so it’s clear to see the huge market potential.

Second to that, with the rise of free website builders like WordPress, you can get a website live in minutes, not days. Not many people know the ease of website design these days so leverage that and take the opportunities as they come.

Why not start learning WordPress or a similar web design tool and then market your services? You can leverage online marketplaces or alternatively find your specialist areas, network and if needed, create out-of-the-world content and offer it for free to get recognized.

24. Software development

This requires a bit more in-depth knowledge but if you know what code is as you read this, maybe you can crack it. Now code is taught to young kids as it’s what every piece of software is built with. Now you can see its importance, I’m sure!

There are many online courses and even degrees in software development but often it’s about applying your skill set, learning an in-demand coding language, and gaining freelance work from there. As you increase your skill level, you will be able to branch out to other coding languages and even design your own software to really take it to the majors.

25. Podcast series

There are now nearly 1 million podcasts available online with over 30 million episodes and this is growing by the day. If something is trending up, then an opportunity often presents itself.

Find your specialist subject and plan your content well. Understand your target audience and what will resonate with them to ensure you get a lot of downloads and interest for further works. You can monetize with affiliate marketing opportunities or even start a business creating podcasts for other businesses.

26. Social media manager

This is a relatively new role so it can be yours to define to a certain extent. If you know your way around the biggest social media platforms and have an eye for marketing then this could be for you.

If you think you could manage multiple companies’ social media accounts and define strategies to maximize followers, create great content and campaigns, and reach the target audience with the brand messaging then try your hand at this.

Don’t undersell your services with this one as social media is a big driver of brand awareness for many companies. As you gain testimonials, make sure you keep the stats of your success to shout to the world about. If you increase followers by 200% in 3 months, other target companies will take notice.

Small Business Ideas

27. Home smart systems consultant

Are you a tech whizz or just understand how home automation systems work? This is a business area that is set to see exponential growth in the coming years. Trouble is, the vast majority of homeowners have no idea where to start!

Start by creating content that simplifies home automation to the masses and then develop your market strategy and your ideal buyer personas. Create bespoke packages based on surveys clients fill out based on their homes and objectives. You could even look to offer end-to-end services of designing, purchasing, delivering, and even installing if they are local enough.

28. Buy and sell websites

This is a great opportunity if you have a keen eye for what makes a marketable and profitable website. Even if you don’t, it’s not actually that hard to know. With a little market insight and the data behind the website, you should be set to make some great decisions.

There are literally 10s of 1000s of websites up for sale right now, it’s your job to find the good ones that have potential with a little tweak here or there. Some SEO skills and market segment insight will stand you in good stead on this one.

Buy the website, improve the content and messaging whilst growing traffic and then sell on. Once you have a few under your belt you will know where to focus your efforts. From there, pick a segment so you can become an expert in knowing what sites have potential and the rest will be history.

29. Graphic designer

If you have an eye for design then this could be your calling. A low entry barrier on this one with no specific training required. It is a competitive market so you will need to stand out to land your first few jobs.

You will need the basics behind you such as font and color selection as well as creating grids, line types, and shapes. Once you have this and you have learned your chosen design software, such as Adobe Photoshop, you will be at the races.

Start to create a portfolio that you can share with prospective clients but be sure to build your portfolio around what you think your target market is desiring. Don’t start designing in the sports segment if you want to target the grocery market!

30. Virtual Assistant

With the number of business start-ups constantly increasing, a virtual assistant can really hold it all together. Typically outsourced to contractors as the business doesn’t have the need for a full-time employee.

You will be tasked with answering business calls, making appointments, and general administration duties at times. This is a highly scalable business model. If you deliver an extremely high level of professionalism and provide outstanding results then use references to expand your business.

A word of warning – when growing a remote business that relies on top-class professionalism and high-quality output, choose your first few employees very carefully. A wrong move could spell the end of the business you worked so hard to create.

31. Bookkeeping

Have you always been with good numbers and math? If so, then why not take that skill set and apply it to bookkeeping?

There are fast and inexpensive courses you can take if you feel it’s needed, a qualification in bookkeeping does help when seeking opportunities. Once you get your feet under your table and if you are enjoying it, you could branch out into full accounting services or look to hire in and take on more clients. The choice will be yours.

32. Mobile app development

Did you know that there are 2.87 million apps on the Google Play store alone? That means an opportunity if you are a dab hand at app development or are willing to learn the trade.

It’s a relatively easy set of coding skills required compared to software development and standard frameworks you build within. If you have an idea for an app then this could be for you.

If not, then learn your craft and get others to bring you the ideas. Many developer companies have been built off this type of business model.

Small Business Ideas

33. Proofreading and editing

Can you read and write? If so, look no further. You can snap up jobs in your spare time or if you really want to get into it then look for work within book publishing.

Many people make a good wage by editing content and if you become skilled at developmental editing (finding issues with storylines) as well as proof editing then you can certainly scale your editing business to become one of the best.

34. Customer service

This is similar to a virtual assistant but more in the realm of managing a business’s communication with its customers. This is generally from email or phone communication. Expect to answer calls and provide information or handle complaints.

It is fundamental that you really understand the business you are working for and the type of service that they want you to deliver. Often you can create scripts in combination with your client to ensure the right things are being said at the right times.

This can be scaled quite rapidly once you have your brand and market presence established. Try and be unique in your offer; flexibility is a key asset when negotiating terms with prospective clients.

35. Knowledge exchange

Do you know something that others don’t that is in high demand? Have you just completed a degree or course, or have you worked in a specific industry for a few years? If so, why not get that information out and share it with others?

You can find customers that are asking questions on forums within your specialist area to begin with. Once you get a grasp of what people’s challenges are within this area, build a service offering to deliver the information they need. Market on social media and why not build a youtube channel or even an online course to really turn the tide?

Remember that to build a business you need to understand what people currently have and what they do, what their issues and challenges are, and then develop a product or service to meet their need. It’s that simple!

36. Travel planner

Do you love to travel? You won’t be traveling with this idea per se but you will be putting together out-of-this-world travel itineraries for your customers. Having a love for travel will help you to excel at this business.

Travel is competitive so choosing what niche in the travel segment you want to work in is key. City breaks, luxury villas, and yachting will all have a different approach to really making it to the big leagues. Once you know your niche, you will need to explore what’s missing in the eyes of travelers.

Use your network and make some trips yourself to find out first-hand what the value add you can bring is. Once understood and you have some unique selling points, get branding yourself and plan those unforgettable trips for your customers.

37. Photo /Video Editing

This requires attention to detail and an eye for perfection, that is what is desired in the media industry in the 2020s. Don’t be scared though as the editing tools are designed to help you and provide what you need to spot and sort out the imperfections.

Start with the software package you will use, such as Adobe Photoshop or Premiere Pro CC, and make sure you can use the software to a high standard. There are tons of online free resources or if you want to invest a small sum, there are some really great online courses.

Build a portfolio and check job boards as well as join sites to sell your services such as Upwork. The majority of businesses looking for video editors now use specialist sites to choose their preferred supplier.

Remember to create that unique offering to stand out from the crowd. With this kind of idea, showing that you are personable, skilled, and flexible in your approach is key. Make sure customers know that you will listen and deliver to their needs.

38. Transcribing

This is a great opportunity in 2023 for anyone that can listen and type! With the rise of so much online content that isn’t written, businesses will pay to get it down on paper.

If you can listen to podcasts, webinars, video recordings, etc., and can type whilst doing it then you can make some money with this approach. Why not try the software to transcribe faster? It will most likely still need a human touch but your output rate could put you ahead of your competition.

39. Cooking classes

If you are a whizz in the kitchen then you can share your skills and knowledge through online cooking classes. All you need is a web platform and camera and you are away.

You can offer private one-to-one classes or group classes as you wish. You can also offer pre-recorded content and once you have an established base, start charging for subscriptions to your site. This is how many huge food websites started and there will be many more.

Small Business Ideas

40. Antique dealer

This doesn’t have to be searching for antiques in dark, stuffy antique halls. Antiques are traded online every day. If you can find bargains on eBay and sell to other antique dealers then margins can be considerable.

Hone your knowledge in a specific market segment so that you can become a real expert. Choose an area that interests you but also where there is lots of opportunity with high-margin products. Do both of these things and you can be buying and selling to make some serious cash.

41. Make jam and sell it in local farm stores

Why not try your hand at making Jam? I bet it’s easier than you think it is. You can quickly get a great product, label it up from a custom online label maker and there you have it. Take it to the local farmers’ market and scale from there. Why not try other products if you prefer? Anything you can make in big batches from your kitchen, store easily (think jars) and would be desirable is sure to be a winner.

42. Lunches and take to the local offices at lunchtime

Lunches can be as simple as a sandwich but why not fill your basket with a healthy salad or be unique and offer lunch based on the trending diet? It’s quite easy to think outside the box when it comes to lunches. All you need is a little twist on the competition and make some noise.

Now, it might not be pretty, but if you aren’t sure what to do but like the idea, go to the local office blocks and canvas people at lunchtime. A friendly smile and a couple of questions will give you all the answers you need. Market well locally and get some traction, then turn into a food truck or delivery service.

43. Sewing/Alterations

There is always a need for sewing and alteration services, especially as the younger generations typically aren’t learning these skills. Master your craft and then think about wedding dresses, favorite jumpers, and those chunky velvet curtains. Start local, get some experience, and then why not turn online and offer a postal service?

44. Knitting or Crocheting

It’s probably easier to learn to knit and crochet than you think. A few days and some YouTube videos can get you on your way pretty quickly. If you can think creatively when marketing your work online then a high margin can be gained.

Think of handmade, luxury Vicuña yarn and even bespoke designs once you are ready. Some garments go upwards of $1k! Once you have a solid client base, bring experts on board to produce your designs whilst you grow your new fashion business!

Small Business Ideas

45. T-shirt Designs

This is one of those business ideas that can be as simple or as complex (and costly!) as you wish. Start with purchasing some inexpensive white T-Shirts and some iron-on transfers and sell them on eBay or Etsy. I would recommend checking out the competition and seeing what is being purchased to identify your go-to-market strategy.

From there, you can scale with specialist T-Shirt printers and offer bespoke designs. Don’t forget to expand on T-Shirt colors and design and market your own brand T-Shirts. Aim to get to a point where you make your own T-Shirts with your own labels in. Then you can build the fashion empire from there!

46. Beer or wine brewing

Who doesn’t enjoy a crisp glass of wine or hoppy craft beer in summer evenings? There is a big market out there. Think Brew Dog. A couple of guys thought they would make some craft beer and now look at them.

This is a great option to explore if you are a beginner all the way up to a seasoned brewer. All you need is a little space (corner of a room in the house, garage, or even an outside shed), a few large containers, and some ingredients and you are ready to brew the next best thing.

Flavour is everything of course but if you get the marketing right, you will be on to a winner. Once you have a solid foundation of a product, take it to the local farm shops and enter some competitions. Start local, get feedback, refine and grow from there.

47. Soap making

Soap-making is a great starting business for anyone wanting to start a small online business. It is one of those business ideas that could grow into a multinational business. Target the luxury market and put your own unique spin on it.

48. Bag making

This can be as simple or as complex as you want to make it. Why not buy canvas bags in bulk, hand decorate them, and sell them? You could also go fully bespoke depending on your skill level.

If you have an eye for design then you can branch into building a brand with unique designs and quality materials. These types of products can be a real money maker when marketed to the right target audience.

49. Handmade Jewellery

You can take to YouTube for this one to learn your craft if you haven’t any experience in making jewelry. This is a super competitive one as it has such a low entry barrier. You can pick up jewelry-making kits for as little as £10 that have everything you need to get started.

If you want to grow and scale this business then building a unique brand is essential. Focus your initial efforts on a specific segment and become an expert and well-known for that. Build your social media presence and don’t rule out developing strategic partnerships, this can be vital when in such a competitive market.

Customers are increasingly liking to buy products from boutiques that have a back story, be original and creative with this and you might just find you become ahead of the rest.

Small Business Ideas

50. Handyman

Are you good with your hands? Allround tradespeople are hard to come by these days. It’s hard work but can also be quite lucrative if you focus on the higher end of the market. Maybe it’s just re-sealing a bath all the way up to some light plumbing or fitting a kitchen. People don’t like change and if you build up their trust, they will keep calling you with all their problems.

Once you have a book of business and repeat work, look to hone your offering to your most lucrative work, hire in and onwards, and upwards.

51. Landscaper

Anyone that has done landscaping before knows it’s not for the faint-hearted but also knows it can be exceptionally rewarding and when you add an eye for design to your services, can also generate a great income. Start by offering services based on what a client wants, learn what’s in demand, and start to offer your experience and design ideas. This is where the real value is.

After some hard graft and good marketing, add landscape design to your services with a good set of credentials behind you and the sky will be the limit.

52. Painter and decorator

Another challenging, manual idea but with life becoming ever harder to find time for the jobs around the house, these services have never been in such high demand. Little qualifications, if any, are needed to get started with this.

53. Window cleaning

If you aren’t afraid of heights, have a car, and could spend a little on a ladder then this can be a real money maker in days. Create some leaflets and posters and distribute them in your local area.

Why not try and be a little different to get some traction, maybe offer a ‘free gift’ with every visit? People don’t like open loops so I bet people would call just to find out what it is. Don’t give the game away until you book the business though. As long as you charm them it won’t matter what the gift is….’ cough cough’ small pack of Haribo!

54. Gardening

If you haven’t done it before then see if your family and friends would let you loose, let them pick up the tab for the materials but offer your services for free to learn your craft. Don’t forget to get lots of pictures showing off your brilliant work. Jump in your car and book some business.

Another great option for anyone looking for ideas that don’t mind hard work and wants to get amongst it. No experience is needed here but if you are booked to mow someone’s lawn, I suggest you mow your own first or a family or friends so you know how it works.

Over time, learn about local plants and wildlife in your area and become an expert in a unique skill or two such as topiary (bush sculpting!). This will help you book the much higher-value jobs on clients’ estates.

Small Business Ideas

55. Gutter and drains maintenance

This is much like window cleaning, all you need is a car, ladder, and some basic equipment. With the new property developments and less time to maintain houses, these services are also in high demand.

Make sure you educate your prospective clients on the importance of gutter and drain maintenance and what the cost of issues from damp, fascia damage, and blocked drains can lead to if not maintained correctly. I bet many aren’t fully aware. Keep local, to begin with so you can cover more jobs on the same day.

56. Photographer

Admittedly, you may need more than your iPhone for this one but SLR cameras are at the lowest cost they have ever been and produce excellent-quality pictures. Sites like Flickr and 500PX make it really simple to upload and share photos with your customer base and prospective customers.

There are so many opportunities within the photography business, from weddings to parties right through to portraits, landscapes, and pet photography. Find your specialist area and learn from the abundance of information online.

Much like all businesses where the competition is fierce, try and think outside the box when it comes to gaining customers or selling your photographs. This will be key to getting noticed. Always wear a red hat – remember different is what gets noticed!

57. Personal trainer

With the increase in obesity and Covid really hitting home that being overweight can have real detrimental health impacts, personal trainers are in high demand. A level of knowledge is required for this one but a course can be done within 3 to 6 months and you will be ready to hit the ground running.

Boutique gyms with unique angles for getting and keeping fit are becoming all the rage. Ultimate training, martial arts, ‘red rooms’, and specialist equipment for high-intensity interval training. Top that off with shake bars and retail stores all under one roof, the opportunity is clear to see for gym owners in the years to come.

Small Business Ideas

58. Beautician

How many adverts and pop-up beauticians are found in the high street these days? It’s clear to see the demand and a great opportunity to build a business that has a relatively low barrier to entry.

Courses can be completed part-time and take as little as 3 months to start selling your services. Try a bespoke and premier service offering to your initial clients. Set yourself up as the premier beautician in the area so that high-paying clients come flocking. Don’t scrimp on the products or service and always leave a sample to keep them wanting more.

Add a unique edge with your own custom-designed digital business cards and landing pages, this will be sure to show your potential clients the top level of service you will deliver.

59. Dog groomer

Wow – dog grooming. Who knew that the designer pooch was going to be such a hit?! There has been an explosion of trending dog breeds that usually need a good groom every few weeks. Wealthy dog owners even treat their beloved 4-legged friends to facials, bubble baths, and to finish off, a spritz of perfume.

You can start mobile with this idea or even just at your house, to begin with to get a stable client base. From there branch out into stores or if you want to keep it small, a medium-sized outbuilding on your own property will work. As long as it has a water supply you will be all set!

60. Music teacher

Admittedly this needs some skills and knowledge but it’s often not recognized as a highly lucrative business idea. Gone are the days when you have to spend one on one time with students which drastically hinders scalable revenue opportunities.

Plot out a music course in your chosen instrument and take it to an online course platform to build your course and sell it to the masses. A youtube channel to whet the appetite and build an online social media presence will also help to get traffic to your course.

61. Nail technician

Nail bars seem to be overtaking real bars these days. Demand = opportunity. This is an opportunity you can take if you feel it suits you. No qualifications are needed but a 4-month course can be taken and you will be all set. Get set up at your house or be mobile. In time, take over a shop front and scale from there.

To get recognized and stay ahead, keep up to date with the trends that seem to change most months, and use quality products so nails don’t chip or come off between appointments. Repeat custom is the absolute lifeblood of a nail bar so treat your customers like royalty, be creative, and use the best products and they will be sure to repay you with their loyalty.

Small Business Ideas

62. Cleaner

Cleaning is a great low-entry barrier business idea. All you need is some cleaning products, or stipulate the customers provide these, and away you go.

Be sure to meet your prospective customers and assess the work at hand before you commit to carrying out work. Value the job you do and the services you offer so make sure you do not undersell yourself and price your services accordingly.

Cleaning services are at an all-time demand so if you are willing to put the work in and deliver a fantastic service then use social media, local papers, and apps like ‘Neighborhood’ to spread the word you are in business. Once you have a strong client base, then look to hire in and expand from there. Remember to build a brand and define your unique selling points. These will be key when looking to expand in a competitive market.

63. Car washing

White cars always need cleaning no matter when they were last cleaned. With the rise of cars seemingly becoming a status symbol, owners are keen to keep them looking pristine. Although there seem to be car washes popping up everywhere these days, a personalized service is where I would start.

Look towards the affluent end of the market and build your service offering around a bespoke, personalized service that you can deliver at their house. Remember that customers with 2 or 3 cars will always be more lucrative! Leave an air freshener behind or a small pack of mints. The personalized touches will ensure your customers keep returning.

In time you can scale with a fleet of mobile vans and when the time is right, you can offer additional services such as regular wiper replacements and fluid top-ups.

64. House moving

This is becoming an ever-popular opportunity amongst people new to business. All you need is some boxes, packing materials, and a trusted smile and you will be ready to go.

House removal companies are known to not take the greatest care when asked to pack up an owner’s home. Things often get broken and aren’t as they were when they arrive at the new house. Use this to your advantage.

Build an offering around care, trust, and respect that has the only goal of ensuring the house contents are properly and carefully packed to the highest standards. You won’t get repeat business within this area so testimonials and reviews will be pivotal to your long-term success.

65. Babysitting

What parent doesn’t want a babysitter so they can let their hair down on a Saturday night? Begin by joining an app like Sittercity or Bubble and start to build your customer base.

A strong profile showing real-world experience is fundamental. Offer a free get-to-know-you session with prospective customers. This business idea is built on repeat business so a free meeting is well worth the investment if you get years of business from it.

Once you are established, work with your customer base directly and use their reviews and testimonials to build a business around your service offering. Remember that parents want a nice and tidy house to return to and kids want fun, fun, fun. Do both and you will be onto a winner as the kids’ review to their parents the next morning is what will really matter!

66. Dog walker

With the rise of more work from home, you would think that dog owners would have more time to walk their furry companions. However, dog walking services are only getting in more demand.

Is there a better way to earn money than getting a ton of exercise walking through the countryside or local parks with your regular customer base – lots of dogs!

Dog owners want their dogs to be safe first and foremost so build this into your marketing messaging. If you are able to take some courses such as dog behavior or first aid then this will definitely help your chances of building a strong customer base.

Small Business Ideas

67. Pet sitter

How simple is this one? Owners go on holiday and you look after their pets. Drop in once a day for an hour to feed smaller animals right up to 24/7 sitting to look after the dogs and house as well if the customer desires.

This can be a hard one to price your services correctly so make sure you do your competitor analysis ahead of reaching out to prospective customers. The holiday season is a great way to start and if you do a good job, they will be bound to use you again!

Although you may not be able to land the wealthiest clients, to begin with, you should aspire to this to scale the fastest. They will need services year-round and if you are providing premium sitting services then you will be able to grow in no time.

68. Counselor

With the rise of mental health awareness and more and more people speaking out about this, counselors are in high demand. Although you don’t technically need any qualifications to do this, they do help. Courses are low-cost and can be done in a matter of months to get going.

Perhaps you have personal experience with bereavement, confidence challenges, or addiction issues. If you can specialize in a certain area you have experience with, either directly or through friends and family then this can bring a greater connection with your clients.

There are many companies out there that offer counseling services so it may be wise to take that route to build your skillset at first. You can start independently but you may struggle to build the base you need to gain the skills and develop your service offering and really take off.

69. Guided tours

Do you live somewhere that tourists come to? It doesn’t have to be Rome or Yellow Stone National Park but you may be surprised to know what tours might go on under the radar in your own town.

Tours of the best eateries, cultural sites, wildlife, pop-ups, local produce, heritage, and many more are all up and coming. If you don’t know of any in your town then it’s a golden business opportunity to design and deliver your very own tour and build your tour guide business from there.

Pick up business from large local bus and train stations and spread the word through the local taxi networks. Create flyers that are inviting, attractive and informative, and build your web presence so that prospective travelers can book well in advance. Trip Advisor will be key on this one!

70. Event planner

One thing is for sure, events will always happen and planners will always be needed. You will need a strong personality for this if you want to lead large events which is where you will make the money.

Attention to detail is critical as well as having strong project management skills and a creative eye. Ultimately aim for top-end events as this is where the magic happens. Think David Tutera and Mindy Weiss.

71. Waste removal

Do you have a van? If not, you can pick one up for cheap these days. It doesn’t need to be fancy, after all it’s going to be loaded with waste most of the time. Advertise locally, to begin with, and stipulate the kind of waste you remove – garden, household, building waste, etc.

It’s a good idea to cost your services based on set load volumes such as half load and full load. Make sure you do your due diligence and determine what size load it is and not the customer. Ask them to send pictures of the waste so you know what to expect when you get there. Agree on a fee before you arrive.

Don’t forget that depending on where you live you may need commercial waste disposal licenses so look into that first. No matter your desire to do this one, don’t skip this step and dump it illegally on the side of the road!

72. Delivery service

All I need to say here is Uber and Deliveroo. With the rise of the gig economy, there is a serious opportunity to deliver goods that people would ordinarily have to wait for or go and get themselves. Not everyone’s choice of business model but what it does present is an opportunity to meet demand.

Food delivery may be covered but what about groceries that aren’t in the mainstream, flowers, and dry cleaning? Anything that you have to go to, pick something up, and come back again and wish you didn’t have to do it is an opportunity. Work with local suppliers and stores to advertise your services in-store so customers can choose your service next time. Ask them if they will allow you to market the store and offer an online delivery service.

73. Massage therapist

Massage has become a well-known stress reliever and is now available to the masses thanks to at-home massage centers. If you have an outbuilding you can repurpose or even a spare bedroom in your home then this could be a genuine opportunity to explore.

Success is based on repeat business so take a short course to ensure your clients come back but all you need is a massage bed, some products, and oils to deliver a relaxing experience. Mood lighting, candles, and incense all help to set the mood for ultimate relaxation.

Small Business Ideas

74. Driving school

A business that resides in all countries that drive cars and one where you won’t ever be short of prospective clients. This is one-to-one time based so if you want to scale then you will need to bring on other instructors fairly quickly.

Having capital will always help with this type of opportunity but with such stiff competition and often word of mouth being the main purchasing driver, you will have to get creative with your approach to wow your clients to build that book of business.

75. Laundry services

Ever thought how nice it would be for someone to pick up your laundry, clean and dry it and then drop it back off? Well, many people pay for that luxury and you could deliver that service.

Start in the personal laundry service and utilize the local laundrettes to get experience and grow your presence. Always remember, personal touches go a long way when delivering such a personal service.

The money though is in the commercial sector. Aim to become the hospitality or healthcare laundry service of choice, get your own machinery when the time is right to drive down your running costs. Be sure to look at these best free CRM systems as these are vital to managing accounts and contacts and will give you an edge on the marketing front to reach a wider network of potential customers.

76. Transportation services

If you have a vehicle then why not look into this? You may need a license to carry the public depending on which country you are in but this can be a low-entry barrier business idea that in time can bring big rewards.

Luxury chauffeur services are in high demand in white-collar cities and there is a load of money to be made if you can deliver a high level of professionalism and always be on time. Offer the little luxuries such as bottled water, newspapers, and light snacks, and build your client base.

Once you are established, look to hire in on a freelance basis and keep those bookings rolling in.

77. Ice cream truck

A little seasonal perhaps but bear with me. Ice cream trucks will always be in demand in the summer months, there is never one at an event when you want one. Multi-use food trailers are however becoming all the rage. Why not go a little larger and tow to events so that you can serve Ice cream in summer, coffee and pastries in winter mornings, and mulled wine and mince pies at Christmas gigs?

Build your own service offering and recipes and look to test these out with your valued customers, don’t forget family and friends too. Be sure to gather feedback so you can hone your service. Once you have a solid business model and offering, look to build a franchise and scale from there.

Small Business Ideas


Which online business is best for making money?

We have covered loads of ideas in the above article but if you want to make money and make your business a success then you may be asking which business ideas have the most potential.

Here is my round-up to answer that question.

1. A Blog – Simple as that! A blog provides so many potential revenue opportunities that this has to be number one on the list.

2. Affiliate Marketing – This links to the blog above. The most monetizable, and easy to start with little funding is a blog with affiliate links. When done right, this can become a passive income money-making monster!

3. Online courses – This may not have been the case 5 years ago but the online course market is set to grow rapidly as consumers search for shorter and super-targeted training to meet their desired outcomes. You will need excellent content that can take a lot of time to put together and test out as well as a great video and audio recording setup.

Which online business is best for beginners?

No business experience in the past? Guess what? Neither did I! Everybody has to start somewhere but I know it can feel overwhelming, to begin with.

Here are some thoughts for consideration:

1. If you want a purely online business then look more into dropshipping or starting a blog. There are so many good website builders and eCommerce stores available that a pure beginner can jump in and start to learn how it all works without getting too overwhelmed.

2. If you have experience and knowledge that is desirable, an online course is relatively easy to build if you pick the right platform. Be sure to do your due diligence and make sure the platform is intuitive and user-friendly.

3. Perhaps you want to get outside more and away from the digital hustle and bustle. If so, I would look into car washing or gardening as a first business adventure. Remember that many successful entrepreneurs started out with a completely different business. Richard Branson started out with a magazine called Student! It’s about starting somewhere, learning, and growing.

What are the 3 top online businesses?

So after all of this, what are the top 3 online business ideas taking into account revenue potential, start-up cost, and ease to establish?

1. Blogging – This is by far the most monetizable option with the least upfront investment. You can get started with less than $5. It will take a while to establish as you learn your craft but has huge potential.

2. eCommerce – This can take the form of dropshipping or selling your own products. This is a huge opportunity if you can either resell white-label products that are in hot demand or if you have your own products that you know there is a huge audience for.

3. Freelancing – This is a super easy opportunity to get started if you already have desirable skills. Whether it is writing, SEO, virtual assistants, or graphic designers that you take on, there are a ton of opportunities out there which means you can start earning quickly, with no investment upfront.

Small Business Ideas


Starting a business is a great thing to do and there are stacks of opportunities out there, no matter where you live in the world.

Some key takeaways to help you gain success.

  • Research – Do your research upfront. Choose a business idea and stick to it. Don’t keep changing your mind until you have really exhausted all avenues.
  • Think – Think things through but don’t overthink them. Overthinking in business leads to procrastination which breeds uncertainty. You want uncertainty as far away from you as possible when starting a business.
  • Scrappy – Be scrappy as this is a fundamental mindset and attitude you will need to be successful, to begin with. Have targets and get there, doesn’t matter how just get it done.
  • Pivot – Although you shouldn’t just change your mind completely, assess the market and the feedback as you build your business. You may need to pivot or find that pivoting brings more opportunity. Don’t be so narrowly focused as you may miss greater opportunities.
  • Reward – Remember to reward yourself and give yourself a pat on the back. A huge win to you may seem insignificant to others as they won’t know the work, thought, and stress that went into it. When you have a win, recognize it and celebrate it. This fosters motivation and a great can-do attitude to take on to your next victory.

I hope this post has provided many ideas and tips on how to start out on your own and what to expect when you do.

Most businesses are about making sales and that doesn’t come easy to some. Check out my article on how to use ChatGPT, the open-source AI platform, to help with making more sales and generating new ideas,

Thanks for reading and any questions, I would love to hear from you!

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