35 Example Small Businesses You Can Start in 2023

What are the top 10 businesses you can start in 2023?

    1. Consulting Business
    2. Landscaping Business
    3. Garden Design Services
    4. House-Sitting Business
    5. Social Media Marketing
    6. Voiceover Artist
    7. Freelance Writing
    8. Dog Walking
    9. eCommerce Store
    10. Pet Sitting or Babysitting

There were 32.5 million small businesses in the United States as of 2022. According to the SBA, 99.9% of all American businesses are classified as small businesses and 70% are individually operated. And in 2022 approximately 17 million new small businesses were formed. So, if you’re considering starting your own business, you have plenty of company.

Before you can get started, you need to spend some time selecting a business type, then planning and preparing to launch your new business. If you’re looking for inspiration and guidance, read on. We’ve got you covered with 35 example small businesses you might want to start, and lots of other useful information on becoming an entrepreneur in 2023.

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The business landscape has evolved over the last few years, requiring entrepreneurs to adapt and adjust to shifting market conditions. Despite the challenges they’ve encountered, they are optimistic about the future. According to Bank of America, 66% of small business owners expect revenue increases over the next year and 52% plan to expand their businesses.

Additional 2023 entrepreneurship trends that the Small Business Administration (SBA) is monitoring include:

    • E-commerce is strong: According to research by the census bureau, e-commerce sales increased by $244.2 billion or 43% in 2020 and have continued to grow. Social commerce has also emerged with consumers buying directly through platforms like Facebook and Pinterest.
    • Customers like to buy local when possible: Although online shopping has grown in recent years, there are times when consumers want to see and experience products first-hand in a local shop or showroom.
    • Data security is important: Brand trust is important to customers. So as a business owner you need to remember to keep customers’ data secure. Ways to accomplish this include using reputable payment processors, leveraging fraud prevention tools, and installing a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate on your website. This increases consumer confidence when engaging with your business online.
    • Consumers care about sustainability: Customers are increasingly concerned about the environment and are willing to pay more for sustainable products. This trend also applied to the amount and type of packaging of a product.
    • Customer experience is essential: Providing excellent customer service is critical to the longevity of your business. This has become increasingly important over the years to the point that 68% of consumers say they are willing to pay more for products and services from a brand known to offer good customer service experiences.
Sales funnel interest

What Makes a Good Small Business Idea?

How do you recognize a good business idea when you find one? There are few things to consider when sizing up potential small business ideas such as costs like training, rent, and supplies. The best small business ideas:

    • Require minimal training: The best small business to start leverages your background and expertise, so you require little or no training. This minimizes training costs, boosts your confidence, and shortens the time it takes to launch your business.
    • Are low-cost to start: Minimal or no start-up cost enables you to start your business from anywhere without a lot of savings or the stress of a bank loan to repay. It also reduces the risk of starting a new business and shortens your time to profit.
    • Don’t require a large inventory: Try to avoid needing to make a huge initial investment in inventory. If you choose to sell physical goods, consider drop-shipping from the manufacturer or producing small batches of goods in leu of maintaining a large inventory. This is much less risky.
    • Can be done online: The best business ideas involve businesses that can be conducted online with your personal computer. This minimizes your costs while providing you with flexible remote work that can be done from anywhere.
    • Require minimal staff: Starting a small business can be stressful enough without needing enough capital to hire and pay staff initially. As your business grows you can always choose to bring on staff in the future.
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35 Easy Businesses to Start with Little or No Money

There are many small businesses you can start with little or no money. In fact, many of these business can be started at home or remotely.

Service-based options typically carry minimal cost and can be a great side hustle or full-time gig. Check out the following low-cost or no-cost example small businesses you can start today.

1. Consulting Business:

You may be able to leverage your previous business experience to work with other businesses as a consultant. This involves offering your expertise and advice on various business issues.

2. Landscaping Business

If you want to interact with other people, set your own hours, and work outside, a landscaping business may be a great choice for you. You don’t necessarily need to buy a lot of equipment initially if you are a homeowner that enjoys caring for your own yard and have picked up knowledge along the way.

3. Garden Design Services

A similar option to landscaping is garden design. This is a terrific option for those with a green thumb with deep gardening knowledge and an eye for design. All you need is a reliable form of transportation.

4. House-Sitting Business

A service business like house sitting can be easy to launch and quite lucrative, depending on the geographic area. This business involves keeping an eye on people’s homes while they are out of town as well as other services like collecting mail, and watering plants.

5. Social Media Marketing

This is a service you can offer to small and medium-sized businesses quite easily from home or anywhere. This home business idea involves services such as social media management, creating social media business pages, and developing a social media presence.

6. Voiceover Artist

Podcast and video producer often need great voice talent to boost the level of professionalism. In fact, some business hire a pro when recording their business’ voicemail greetings or welcome greetings.

7. Freelance Writing

This is another great home or remote business idea you can do from anywhere. It’s a great way to make some extra cash on the side or to pay your bills. Freelance writers offer a variety of project types including blog or though leadership articles, eBooks, case studies, newsletters, research papers, and web pages.

8. Dog Walking

If you love dogs, offering a dog walking service is one of many local businesses you can start. It’s easy to get started and there’s often a demand. The only thing you may need is some type of liability insurance depending on your local and state regulations. So, do your research first.

9. eCommerce Store

Starting an online store is easier today than ever before with platforms like eBay, Shopify, and Etsy, to name a few. And there is minimal investment to get started since you don’t need a huge inventory to open your virtual storefront.

10. Pet Sitting or Babysitting

Like dog walking, pet sitting and babysitting are often under demand in many geographies. These services take care of pets or children when the owner or parent is away. An, like dog walking, you may be required to carry liability insurance depending on your local and state laws.

11. Freelance Web Design

Another freelance service you can offer is web design. Businesses need a web presence to promote their business. A web designer can help make their website a reality.

12. Language Tutoring Business

Regardless of your native language, you can tutor people wishing to learn your native language. This can mean working with people of all ages to help them build language skills and practicing them in conversation.

13. Sell Online Courses

Another online selling opportunity is selling online courses. If you have specific skills and experiences that others want to learn, you can create a course and sell it on your own website or a platform like Udemy.

14. Virtual or Personal Assistant Services

Organized and efficient people are naturals when it comes to being a virtual or personal assistant. This entails helping business owners, and other professionals organized by keeping track of their schedules and performing other delegated tasks for them.

15. Delivery Services

Many businesses need reliable delivery people. All you need to get started are a reliable vehicle, a business license, and liability insurance.

16. Life or Business Coach

Coaching services have become quite common. Life coaches and business coaches are a couple of examples. There are even health coaches. All you need to do to get started is leverage your background and get certified as a coach in your chosen specialty.

17. Accounting and Bookkeeping Services

This is the best small business to start for those great with numbers, balancing books, and tracking financials. You don’t even need an office to get started providing this financial service to businesses that need it.

18. Podcaster

Getting started as a podcaster only requires a high-quality mic and audio editing software. It can be a fun business, conducting interviews on subjects you’re most interested and/or knowledgeable in to inform and inspire your listeners.

19. Vlogger

Another option requiring minimal investment is to start a video blog (vlog) on a platform like YouTube. All you need are a quality camera, mic, and ideas to launch your vlog.

20. Data Entry Provider

Another service you can provide from home or any remote location with a computer and internet connection, is data entry. Many businesses need reliable, independent contractors for data entry tasks of various levels of complexity.

21. Translator

If you have mastered multiple languages, an easy business to start is translation services. You can offer this service online or in person as live translation, simultaneous translation, and document translation.

22. Travel Planner

Although the travel industry took a huge hit during the pandemic, people still seek help with non-traditional travel plans. They need assistance finding the ideal hotel, the best deals, and the perfect location as well as restaurants and activities for during their stay.

23. Home Inspector

If you are detail oriented and knowledgeable of house structure and building requirements, you may want to become a certified home inspector. This small business offers flexible work hours and a stable income. Licensing requirements vary by state, so do your research before getting started.

24. House Cleaner

If you are proficient at keeping your own home tidy and clean, you may be a natural to offer a house cleaning service. Not only is this a low to no cost small business opportunity, you don’t necessarily need to travel far from home to go to work since your neighbors may need your services. And you can boost your income by picking up a few small offices to clean routinely as well.

25. Editor

There are several editing services that businesses need. You can edit video, audio, or written projects to put finishing touches on them.

26. Personal Chef

Not everyone likes to cook, even if they love to eat. If you are a great cook or even a professional chef who doesn’t want to work a rigorous restaurant schedule or pace, this may be a great opportunity for you. There are a variety of specialties you can choose including healthy meals, gourmet meals, family meals, or holiday meals. You can choose to prepare meals ahead and transport them or prepare them in the customer’s home.

27. Property Manager

Managing properties for out of town property owners, like a vacation property owner, is common. The service involves keeping an eye on the property, taking care of issues as they arise, providing access when repairs are needed, and acting as a local point of contact for renters.

28. Packing Services Provider

Some homeowners choose to outsource the painful task of packing their belongings when moving to a new residence. Providing this service can be as simple as partnering with a local moving company as a referral source for potential clients. Then you can do the packing in time for moving day!

29. Massage Therapist

This service is a treat for some and a necessity for others. As a massage therapist you soothe sore muscles and provide a peaceful experience for your clients. Training and certification are available in most cities and states. You can choose to work as a contractor or invest in a portable massage table to take into client homes.

30. Crafter

If you love to craft, creating and selling handcrafted items is a fun and easy small business to start. Some ideas include jewelry creation, knitted items, or decorative wooden pieces. Start by selling on social media or through platforms like Etsy or your own website.

31. Interior Design

If you have an eye for beautiful home interiors, furniture, and décor, then you can offer interior design services. Many people are stumped when it comes to figuring out what will work best in their homes and seek guidance. Promote your business by documenting your results in social media to attract new customers.

32. Tour Guide

If you know a lot about your local area or about a specific landmark, you might be well suited to become a tour guide. Tourist sites often need knowledgeable tour guides so check out local attractions in your area for opportunities or strike out on your own to provide informative tours of the area.

33. Event Planner

If you are skilled at planning and organizing large events, event planning may be a great small business for you to start. Specializing in a type of event will help you gain credibility in the market faster and attract more clients as you build a reputation in your market. Some options include company meetings, weddings, or reunions.

34. Caterer

If the personal chef option sounds interesting, but you prefer to cook for larger groups, catering may be a great fit. Be selective when choosing projects, work on a few larger events at a time, and manage your time wisely for success.

35. Fitness Instructor or Personal Trainer

If you love to exercise and fitness is a personal interest you know a lot about, becoming a fitness instructor or personal trainer may be a great match for you. Depending on what you will be teaching and where, there may be certification requirements, so do some research before getting started.

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4 of the Most Profitable Businesses That Started Small

Although there are risks associated with starting a small business, there is huge potential too. Here are 5 examples of small businesses that became incredibly profitable.

Spanx logo

Spanx was started by Sara Blakely based on a body shaping garment idea she discovered when getting dressed for a party. She snipped the feet off a pair of control-top pantyhose to help her look smoother under her closing and the Spanx concept was born.

YouTube logo

YouTube was originally launched by former PayPal coworkers as an online space to upload video dating profiles. They were unable to find an audience so they widened the scope to a video-sharing platform and the concept took off.

Grammarly logo

Grammarly was launched by a trio of Ukrainian-born entrepreneurs who initially offered a tool to prevent plagiarism, called My Dropbox. The idea never gained traction, so they shifted their technology to help people improve their writing.

Apple logo

Apple was founded by two now-famous college dropouts, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in the Jobs family’s garage. They started out building microcomputers for home use there and the rest is history.

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How to Start a Small Business

Now that you have all these small business ideas to consider, you need to know how to start your own business. So, here’s how you move beyond your dream and start taking action. Here’s how to open a small business or your own:

    1. Select your best small business idea
    2. Set your goals: Define what you want from your small business and how you will recognize success.
    3. Do a SWOT analysis: Identify the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats related to the success of your selected small business. You want to make sure that there is a need for what you want to offer, and that people are willing to pay for your product or service.
    4. Select any necessary software: Software requirements for your specific business depends on your product or service offering. Identify software needs, then acquire and learn how to use the selected platform(s).
    5. Create a workspace: Whether your business will be remote or requires a more formal office or storefront, preparing your workspace is important. This may include a laptop computer and printer or your needs may be more extensive. Get yourself set up for success.
    6. Select your business designation: There are various legal structure options for businesses including sole proprietor, limited liability company (LLC), and incorporation (Inc.) It’s wise to do your homework before selecting which is best for you.
    7. Get to work: Now it’s time to establish your brand, consider business names, and start marketing to attract customers.
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Start Your Own Business Today!

There is an endless variety of example small businesses for you to consider, so choose one that interests you and leverages your previous experience or knowledge and start your journey today! You don’t need to have a lot of money to get started, but keep costs in mind when evaluating small business ideas.

Set your goals and make a plan to achieve those goals. Then complete a SWOT analysis to determine the feasibility of your starting your own business of that type.

Identify what software is required to launch your small business and create your workspace. Decide on your legal business structure and get to work. Who knows, you might even launch a small business that will become one of the most profitable businesses in the world!

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Small Business Resources

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A special high five to Margot Howard for her outstanding research and contributions to this article. We love working with and supporting like-minded entrepreneurs who are passionate about business success strategies. Thank you Margot! ❤️

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