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How to Start a Business

20+ Small Business Ideas for Entrepreneurs in 2023

Looking for small business ideas to scratch your entrepreneurial itch?

In this post, I’ve compiled 21 well-known (and even some lesser-known) business opportunities for 2022.

So whether you’re a serial entrepreneur looking to launch another successful business or a complete novice brainstorming business ideas, there’s sure to be an idea (or two, or three!) on my list that’s perfect for you.

Let’s jump in.

1. Freelance Writer

Freelance writing is one of the easiest small businesses to start. All you need is a laptop, internet connection, an undying passion for wordsmithing, and of course, clients.

Sure, freelance writing has a low barrier to entry — but it’s far from a cakewalk. To be successful, you’ll need to consistently produce high-quality content and build a positive relationship with your clients. Because when your clients love you and your work, they’ll invite you back to write again and again.

Get started with freelance writing by learning the ins and outs of content marketing and where (and how) to pitch clients — a business plan won’t hurt either!

Once you have some experience and social proof, you can start pitching bigger publications to boost your authority and income.

And if you have more work than you can handle, contract a small team of writers to help with the workload, scaling your businesses and income in the process.

Further Reading on Freelance Writing

2. Coffee Shop Owner

Do you love coffee? Do you love people? If you answered yes to both of those questions, then owning a coffee shop could be the perfect small business for you.

Of course, starting a coffee shop is no small feat. You’ll need to find the right location, outfit your shop with all the necessary equipment, hire baristas and more. But if you’re up for the challenge, owning a coffee shop can be a very rewarding experience.

Not only will you get to indulge in your coffee passion every day, but you’ll also meet new people and build relationships with your regular customers. Plus, you’ll also get to enjoy the financial rewards that come with owning a profitable small business.

Further Reading on Opening a Coffee Shop

3. Graphic Designer

If you have a creative eye and experience with graphic design software, then starting a graphic design business is something to ponder.

As a graphic designer, you’ll help businesses create compelling visuals that convey their message and attract customers. This includes anything from creating social media and blog post infographics to designing logos, presentations, and advertising material for businesses.

Now, you don’t need a fancy degree to break into the graphic design industry, but education/certification can boost your credibility. That said, a stunning portfolio and happy clients speak more about your talent than a piece of paper from a fancy college ever will.

Get started by brushing up on your design skills and then pitch your services to small businesses in your community. Once you have some paid work under your belt and have earned powerful testimonials that prove you’re the real deal, you can start charging higher rates, seeking out bigger clients, and building a team to help with the workload.

Further Reading on Graphic Design

4. Virtual Assistant

Small business owners wear a lot of hats — they’re the CEO, CFO, marketing director, and operations manager all rolled into one. But what if they could outsource some of those hats and just wear the really important ones?

This is where virtual assistants shine.

Solopreneurs, small businesses and even enterprise companies love virtual assistants because they’re like administrative superheroes. 

VAs can take on a wide range of tasks, from managing schedules and appointments to handling customer service inquiries, bookkeeping and data entry duties. Not only that, but VAs work remotely and are much more cost-effective than hiring a full-time employee.

The bottom line? VAs save businesses, time, money and sanity — and that means they’re always in high demand.

So if you have a knack for organization, multi-tasking, and are a wizard when it comes to administrative duties, launching a virtual assistant small business might be your calling. 

Further Reading on Virtual Assistants

5. Blogger

Blogging will never die — and that means there’s always room for new bloggers to enter the scene and find success.

Like freelance writing, a blogging business is easy to start but hyper-competitive. 

So how can you make your site stand out in a sea of millions of bloggers?

By zeroing in on a niche, developing strong relationships with other bloggers in your space and always creating quality content, you can build a loyal following of readers who’ll appreciate your work and view you as an authority. 

And when you have authority, you can promote products and services you trust to your target audience through affiliate marketing or sponsored posts.

Further Reading on Blogging

6. Web Developer

Every business needs a website. But not every business owner knows how to build a website on their own, and that’s where web developers swoop in and save the day. 

As a web developer, you’ll create custom websites for clients, often using popular platforms like WordPress, Squarespace, or Webflow. Clients also may hire you to give their existing websites a fresh look or upgrade their site’s functionality. 

And since the internet is constantly changing, with new design trends and tech surfacing every year, a savvy web developer stays busy.

To get started, offer your web dev skills to local businesses and build your reputation. As your portfolio grows and you sharpen your business plan, seek out more challenging work — and charge a premium price. 

Further Reading on Web Development

7. Cleaning Service

Don’t you love it when things are clean? Well, plenty of other people do too, which is why starting a small cleaning business can be such a lucrative idea.

Of course, you’ll need to invest in some quality equipment and supplies — vinegar, lemon juice, and your trusty mop and bucket will only get you so far. And aside from a few other startup and overhead expenses, like marketing, bookkeeping, wages, and insurance, launching and operating a cleaning business is rather cost-effective.

Drum up your first clients by advertising your services on local Facebook groups. Or, launch a website and use local SEO tactics to score a spot in Google’s local map pack results when people in your locale search for a cleaning service.

Further Reading on Cleaning Services

8. Catering Business

Are you a master of the culinary arts and always getting rave reviews for the meals you cook? Then why not start a small catering business?

Catering is the perfect small business idea for foodies with a strong sense of customer service. You’ll get to create custom menus for special occasions, work with clients one-on-one to ensure they’re happy, and get paid handsomely for your efforts.

A catering business is also relatively easy to get started. You can launch with just a few key employees, a small kitchen that passes health and safety standards (check your local laws for specific requirements), and a truck or van to transport your food.

Further Reading on Catering Businesses

9. Travel Agent

After being cooped up for a couple of years because of a pesky pandemic, people are eager to travel again. And with a travel agency, you can help those consumed with wanderlust plan their bon voyages.

As a travel agent, you’ll work with clients to determine their travel needs and preferences, then book flights hotels, tours, and other activities for their trips. 

You can start your own travel agency by partnering with an existing agency or booking platform, or by going independent and launching your own business.

Further Reading on Travel Agencies

10. Wedding Planner

When love is in the air, wedding bells are not far behind. And as a wedding planner, you can help couples transform their wedding fantasies into reality. 

Working as a wedding planner requires excellent organizational skills, an eye for detail and the ability to think on your feet. You’ll need to be able to manage multiple projects at once and juggle plenty of moving parts — from booking vendors to managing timelines — all while keeping the bride and groom happy. 

If you’re interested in becoming a wedding planner, start by working as an intern or assistant for an established planner in your area. Once you have some experience under your belt, venture out on your own.

Further Reading on Wedding Planning

11. Social Media Management

A social media presence is a must-have for almost any business, from the giant mega-corporations to Mom & Pop corner stores. 

But with so many platforms to choose from, algorithm changes to keep up with — not to mention actually creating the content — managing a business’ social media presence has become a full-time job.

And that’s fantastic news for anyone with a flair for social media and a desire to help businesses grow.

As a social media manager, you’ll be responsible for creating and executing social media marketing and social media strategies for your clients. This involves everything from creating and scheduling posts to engaging with followers and monitoring analytics. 

It’s a fast-paced and ever-changing job, but it’s also a great way to blend your creative skills and knowledge of social media platforms to build a small business.

Further Reading on Social Media Management

12. Virtual Event Planning

Virtual events were highly successful during the COVID-19 pandemic. And as in-person events slowly make a comeback, it’s likely virtual events will still remain popular. 

As a virtual event planner, you’ll be responsible for planning and executing events that take place entirely online. This could include everything from small webinars to large-scale conferences. 

Now, a successful virtual planning business requires many of the same skills as traditional event planning — think organizing, budgeting and troubleshooting — but with the added challenge of working in a virtual setting. Plus, you’ll need to be comfortable with technology and have a good understanding of how to use various virtual meeting platforms.

Further Reading on Virtual Event Planning

13. YouTube Channel

Starting a YouTube channel is a great way to share your passion with the world, and get paid for it. And with more than 2 billion monthly active users, YouTube offers a massive audience for you to tap into and plenty of opportunities to grow and scale a profitable business

To start a YouTube channel, all you need is a Google account, a video camera or smartphone and a willingness to put yourself out there. 

But while creating YouTube content might seem like fun and games, it’s a highly coordinated effort that requires plenty of planning, filmmaking skills and editing know-how. 

Further Reading on Starting a YouTube Channel

14. Video Editor

Maybe being YouTuber isn’t your thing. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make a living working with video. In fact, as a video editor, you could turn your passion for filmmaking into a small business that pays the bills.

Video editors are responsible for assembling recorded footage, using editing software to add effects and transitions, and adding graphics, voiceovers, and other elements to create a finished product. 

To be successful as a video editor, you’ll need strong editing skills, an eye for detail, and the ability to work under multiple deadlines at once.

And as video content continues to dominate the internet, the demand for skilled video editors will only increase. So if you’re interested in starting a small business in video editing, now is a great time to dive in.

Further Reading on Video Editing

15. Digital Products

Digital products encompass everything from eBooks to printables to online courses

And the best part?

Digital products are infinitely scalable because there’s no physical inventory — making them a great small business idea for those who want to make money online without logistical headaches.

But before you start selling digital products, you’ll need to choose product ideas and create them. Here are two handy tips to help kickstart your digital product business brainstorming:

  1. If you have an audience already, you can tap into your followers’ frustrations and desires to create digital products that serve these needs. 
  2. If you’re starting from scratch, think about what you wish you had when you were in your target market’s shoes. 

Further Reading on Digital Products

16. Podcasting

Podcasting is a great small business idea for those who love to talk and share their knowledge and expertise on a particular topic. It’s also a brilliant way to build authority and engage your target audience on a different channel.

But like all content creation, a podcast isn’t as simple as recording some audio and publishing it online. You’ll need to invest in recording equipment, editing software and a podcast hosting platform. You’ll also need to create outlines or scripts for your shows. 

And if you want to make money from your podcast, you’ll need to think about sponsorships, ads and other product/service promotions. 

Further Reading on Podcasting

17. Tutoring

If you’re a teacher looking to leverage your professional experience with your desire to start a small business, then tutoring may be the perfect fit.

Professional tutors with proven results charge between $25 – $80 per hour. And the more sought-after your services are, the more you can charge. Plus, you can offer online tutoring sessions and connect with students from the comfort of your own home.

Now, if you’re not ready to carve out a business plan just yet, work with remote tutoring agencies like Skooli or Tutor.com to get a feel for the industry.

Further Reading on Tutoring

18. Life Coaching

Life is hard. And sometimes, people need help navigating the challenges and choices that come with it. That’s where life coaching comes in.

With a life coaching business, you’ll help people achieve their goals and guide them through difficult and confusing periods. You’ll also help them plan and manage priorities, and make tough decisions that lead to a better life.

You don’t need special licensing or certifications to be a life coach but they can certainly help your credibility. That said, having strong people skills, empathy and the ability to motivate and inspire others, are key characteristics of successful life coaching.

Further Reading on Life Coaching

19. Online Personal Trainer

Thanks to the power of modern digital devices, personal training is no longer confined to the gym. So if you’re a personal trainer looking to expand your client base, offering your services online may be a big leap forward.

With online personal training, you can connect with clients from all over the world and deliver workout routines, meal plans and other personalized health and fitness advice.

Get started by marketing your personal training services across social media and asking past and current clients to refer your business to their friends, family and followers. You can also strengthen your online presence with a blog or YouTube channel, or signup with personal training platforms like Trainiac to connect with clients.

Further Reading on Online Personal Trainers

20. Copywriting

Copywriting has exploded in the past few years, and that’s no surprise. Good copy is more important than ever in the noisy, attention-deficit world we live in today. But this demand means booming opportunities for niche copywriting businesses. 

Copywriting is the art and science of creating compelling marketing materials like website copy, landing pages, sales pages, email newsletters and white papers. 

Now, successful copywriting businesses generally don’t serve broad markets — they niche down. For example, your business may serve SaaS and eCommerce companies while others may focus on health and nutrition. So keep this in mind as you shape your business.

Further Reading on Copywriting

21. Resume Writing

Many job applicants struggle to write resumes and cover letters that separate them from the pack. 

And in a wildly-competitive job market, combined with resume keyword scanners and other automated applicant filtering processes, knowing what to say — and just as important, what not to say — on your resume and cover letter is equal parts science and writing skill. 

With a resume writing business, you can help clients craft resumes, cover letters and LinkedIn profiles that improve their chances of getting hired.  You’ll need specific industry knowledge, sharp writing and proofreading skills, and an in-depth understanding of recruitment best practices.

You see, a resume writing business isn’t just about making your client look good on paper. It’s about stacking the deck to get their name on the interview list. And that’s no easy feat, which is why people pay big bucks for resume writing services.

Further Reading on Resume Writing

Which Small Business Ideas Will You Try?

Let us know in a comment below!

And if you’ve got a profitable business idea we haven’t covered or an inspiring entrepreneurial story you’d like to share, we’d love to hear it.

Ready to really grow your business and your impact? Join me for the ONLY business-building event where you’ll leave with a shorter to-do list than when you arrived!

I’ll be sharing exactly how to hone in on what to say, do and sell next in order to grow your business — with proven strategies that I’ve spent over a decade testing.

In fact, this is the ELEVENTH annual Live Your Message LIVE, and many students come back year after year — because the strategies keep working! 

We’ll spend 3 days together virtually, working on your business and YOUR unique growth blueprint. As my premium business growth and networking event, tickets routinely go for $1,000 since the information is that valuable.

But today, your ticket is just $147! Grab your seat here. 

You’ll ALSO receive your very own copy of my valuable Message to Money Pathway — your unique, highly-customized template that will guide you by the hand to your 6 or 7-figure business (regardless of where you’re starting from).

You’ll Zoom in “overwhelmed” and Zoom out with an exact roadmap for what to say, do and sell next to grow your business in 2023. See you virtually March 3-5, 2023 🙂 Here’s the link again to grab your ticket.

 

 

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About the Author Marisa Murgatroyd

Marisa is the founder of Live Your Message, where she turns entrepreneurs into Online Superheroes, and the creator of Start With You where she helps people just like you to discover the business they're meant to build, not just the business they can build. At 4’11 and a quarter, she’s called the shortest woman in marketing — and that doesn’t stop her from having huge ideas. She’s the “go to” brand builder for industry luminaries and heavyweights such as Justin Livingston, Callan Rush, Danny Iny, Alexis Neely and Susan Peirce Thompson. Marisa helps entrepreneurs create a business that is authentic and aligned with who they are, to empower them to turn up the dial on their “inner superhero”, so they can be the superhero to their tribe, as well as in their own lives.

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