35 Online Business Ideas You Could Start or Buy In 2023

| April 2022

Now that the COVID-19 pandemic is almost in the rearview mirror, economic activity is rebounding.

Many new opportunities in business are going to be online, as that’s where the consumers are. DigitalCommerce360.com quotes the following data from the U.S. Department of Commerce: “Consumers spent $870.78 billion online with U.S. merchants [in 2021], up from $762.68 billion in 2020.” That makes it a great time to start or buy an online business.

By putting in the work and being savvy about operations, marketing, and sales, an online business can grow to be very valuable over time.

Should You Start or Buy a Business?

If you have a passion for a certain industry, and have been wanting to start a venture or create a brand all on your own, starting a business from scratch may be the right move for you.

Of course, it takes a lot more work to get good online business ideas off the ground than to acquire existing businesses. You’ll have to put together a business plan, secure funding, and build strong sales and customer service processes until you become profitable. This can take many months, if not a year or more.

Buying a business, however, is an alternative worth considering. If you acquire a business that’s already making sales and attracting new customers, you may be profitable from day one. If you don’t have the funds to purchase the business outright, you can apply for a loan that will enable you to do so.

It helps to consider your personal entrepreneurship goals, your financial assets, along with the amount of free time and other resources you have. Taking account of it all will help you decide between starting a new venture or buying one that’s already doing well.

If you need help in making the decision, the business brokers at Raincatcher can be your guide. A professional broker can help you narrow down your options for starting or buying a business while advising you on everything you’ll need to make your next steps successful.

The Best Online Business Ideas With High Potential in 2023

Here are 35 good online business ideas that many entrepreneurs were successful in 2022, and may prove just as profitable in 2023:

One of them, depending on your background, interests, and skills, maybe the right business for you to start or buy — one that you can build over time into a highly-valuable venture.

1. Website Design

Website designers create digital “storefronts” for businesses. It’s what consumers see online, and can be the biggest interaction they have with a brand before they decide to make a purchase.

More and more web designers are being called on to create responsive websites, which automatically look and function better on mobile browsers.

It makes sense to specialize in a certain niche. Once you become well-known in a specific industry or vertical as a web designer, you’ll be able to command higher fees and you’ll potentially become the go-to professional for the type of businesses you’re working for.

2. Social Media Management

Social media management entails devising, writing, and managing content for a business’s social media outlets, such as their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or TikTok profiles. You may also choose to offer graphic design and content strategy for social media, as well as a service where you manage replies to content.

Businesses in some niches are willing to pay a premium for social media management, as it’s a surefire way to strengthen a brand and remain competitive online.

3. Freelance Writing

Freelance writers create blog content, website copy, email copy, and other kinds of written collateral for businesses.

If you strike retainer deals with businesses and become known for high-quality, original content that boosts sales and generates leads, you can build a sustainable business as a writer. You may even be in a position to grow the business by hiring other writers as you take on more clients.

You may look into purchasing a content writing agency that specializes in a certain industry and has earned a good reputation.

4. An eCommerce Store

In an e-commerce store, you can sell products you create or assemble (such as arts and crafts, furniture, or clothing) through an online “store” where users can add items to their carts. On your website, you can take payments and manage transactions.

Two of the best-known online platforms that enable you to create e-commerce websites quickly are Shopify and WooCommerce.

5. Dropshipping

In a dropshipping business, you purchase wholesale merchandise and take online orders from customers without holding the items in stock. Instead, you arrange to have the items shipped directly to the customer. Your profit is the difference between the wholesale cost and the retail price your customers pay.

Dropshipping can be very competitive in certain in-demand niches, and by optimizing your ads and achieving high transaction volume, you can realize large profits over time.

6. A Personal Blog

Blogs are still a mainstay of the web in 2023 and may be one of the best online business ideas for beginners.

You can use a blog to write in-depth about a particular interest — and if it’s in an area popular with consumers, potentially sell your own products. You can also enhance a blog with images and videos while building a personal brand around your content.

Often, personal blogs are not profitable. If you choose a niche where consumers are consistently spending money and write about topics that interest them, however, you can attract visitors with high intent to buy. From there, you can sell products or work with advertisers to build a sustainable source of revenue.

7. Information Marketing

You can sell information in the form of eBooks, videos, or audio recordings, which users can go through at their own pace. It can involve any mix of written and video content, as well as audio, images, and any other media you can create.

Info marketing is a unique online business idea, given the advantage you’ll have of low overhead. You would simply have to create an asset once, and then you can market and sell it repeatedly.

8. Amazon FBA

An FBA (Fulfillment By Amazon) business is a type of e-commerce venture where you list products for sale on Amazon.com, and have them ship the products to the customer.

If you have a repeatable process for procuring your inventory at low cost, and then selling it on Amazon at a price customers are willing to pay, you can build a valuable source of income.

9. A Subscription Box Service

Subscription box services involve sending a package, often a box, to users who pay a monthly fee. The physical products can include books, new clothing or accessories, coffee, or other items that users might want to collect or refresh on a constant basis.

The key to profitability is retaining customers for many months or even years at a time, which will allow you to scale the business quickly.

10. SEO Consulting and Strategy

SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of making sure a website is found in search engines like Google or Bing. SEO writers, consultants, and agencies use short- and long-term strategies to beat out a client’s competitors for the top spots in Google and other search sites for the top results.

That includes writing high-quality content that skillfully weaves together search keywords, building links with other trusted domains, and making sure a website’s underlying code and other technical elements are correctly implemented, providing the best experience for online searchers.

Another aspect of these services is using local SEO tactics that target specific areas and setting up Google Business Profiles that help businesses gain some immediate visibility in search.

11. Tutoring

Tutoring can entail everything from homework help and remedial college course help, to test prep for professional exams or graduate school tests like the GRE, MCAT (for admission to medical school), and LSAT (for admission to law school).

By establishing yourself as a tutor in a particular subject, and consistently reaching out to students who have immediate needs for mastering complex topics, your business can thrive. You can build out a successful tutoring agency by recruiting other skilled tutors to expand on the subjects you cover or the number of students you can take on.

12. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is the practice of reselling the products or services of other businesses in exchange for a commission. Like other online business ideas, this can be done online through a combination of a simple website, digital advertising, and email campaigns.

If you bring the company you’re partnering with lots of sales through your online marketing activities, they may be interested in forming a higher-level joint venture with you, which can open many more doors to profitable business activities.

13. Become a Virtual Assistant

Virtual assistants (VAs) handle important administrative tasks for business owners, such as entering data, maintaining email accounts, making phone calls, and setting meetings.

This is an essential service because it saves time and money for business owners, and frees them up to work on revenue-generating activities. Being a virtual assistant or starting a firm, as long as you’re working with clients who value the service, can be very profitable.

14. Digital Advertising and Marketing

Online advertising takes any number of forms, including social media ads, PPC ads, display and banner ads, and more. Outside of pure paid advertising, opportunities exist in email marketing, influencer marketing, and SEO.

As a digital advertising or marketing consultant, you can choose one of those media to work within. Niche specialists can get off the ground and build a track record in a certain industry faster, whereas generalists or “full-stack” marketers work with a variety of businesses.

15. Trading Stocks, Forex, Cryptocurrency, or NFTS

Opportunities are exploding in investment, particularly in new asset classes like cryptocurrency and NFTs. This makes it possible for anyone with some disposable income — and who wants to explore ideas for online business — to test the waters.

It’s important to study the fundamentals of trading when starting out, and to be very careful with how much capital you risk. While you can invest as part of your financial strategy, you can also incorporate your investment activities as a business.

After achieving enough experience and success, you can add investment consulting as a service you provide to others.

16. Software Development

Software development is all about the creation, design, deployment, and maintenance of apps and software systems. The app development market alone is expected to grow from $169 billion in 2019 to $1039.89 billion by 2027, almost a 10-fold increase.

You can run an independent business under which you create brand new software, or assist technology startups on a contract basis with their development tasks.

You can specialize in frontend development (what consumers see and use), backend development (the programming and coding that makes the software work), or become a full-stack developer (having expertise in both frontend and backend development processes).

17. Sales

Modern sales representatives can do their work in an entirely remote fashion, via phone and video conferencing. Whether it's an outside sales contract where you reach out to cold prospects or an inside sales position where you close “warm,” qualified leads, many businesses are willing to pay a premium for sales talent.

18. Research

Research tasks abound online. Many businesses need market research, competitor research, and more to create new products or determine new directions for marketing and promotion.

Students and academic institutions often hire independent researchers to help them finish projects, ensure the quality of solutions, or add substance to written work they hope to publish.

Good research services reduce errors, maintain good reputations, and represent huge savings of time and cost for clients.

19. Photography

Photography is an always-in-demand service and is one of the lower-risk ideas for online business.

There are specific niches of photography, such as corporate, portrait, event, and wedding photography. You can also sell your original photos through stock photo websites, such as iStockPhoto.

20. Video Content Creation

Making video content ranks highly among easy online business ideas to implement. It’s made modern stars out of many creatives who have shared their perspectives and built brands online over the last 20 years.

YouTube is the biggest platform for this, and many creators are now using outlets like Instagram and TikTok to create a following, become influencers, and promote products.

If you build a valuable library of video content that earns a loyal, engaged audience, brands will want to partner with you. After gaining lots of popularity, you may also attract lucrative advertising deals.

21. Start a Podcast

A podcast is another excellent opportunity to build a brand, especially around a certain niche. As listeners tune in, you can interview experts and provide interesting takes on popular subjects.

As your listener and subscriber count increases, you’ll have more and more opportunities to strike advertising deals and sell your own products.

22. Cybersecurity and It Consulting

Businesses often need solutions for software usability issues and security breaches and need them quickly.

Cybersecurity and IT consultants solve these problems for companies so their operations can continue unhindered. As a result, you’ll reduce strain on their human resources and become a valuable partner.

23. PR Consulting

PR consulting is all about getting a brand’s name in media and press outlets. It goes hand-in-hand with a good marketing engine. As a PR consultant, you can help a brand’s name get picked up in relevant media while helping them earn goodwill and exposure.

24. Sound Engineering and Audio Production

Sound engineers and producers edit, refine, and remix sound and music. You can work for advertisers, podcasters, musicians, or other clients.

After ensuring you have the right recording, monitoring, and mixing equipment, plus an appropriate studio space and a strong base of clients, it can be relatively simple to perform skilled services at a profit.

25. Video Editing

As the need to stand out through visual media online skyrockets, video editing services for businesses and entrepreneurs are quickly growing in demand.

It is, however, one of the small online business ideas that require some expertise. Skill in this area is highly valued by filmmakers who need help in post-production or businesses who want to finalize a pitch-perfect visual appeal for their advertising and branding efforts.

26. Executive Coaching

Executive training and coaching services take company leaders and transform them into visionaries that add substantial value to their employers.

Offering this as a service means you might work intimately with ambitious entrepreneurs and corporate C-suite personnel. You’ll need to understand the goals of the business you’re working with, identify development opportunities, and implement strategies to turn staff into high performers over time.

27. Resume Writing and Editing

As job seekers look for opportunities that suit them in 2023 and beyond, they will have to upgrade their resumes to be competitive. If you have a discerning eye for a strong resume and you know how to present professional experience in the best light, you can easily give your clients an edge in the job market.

28. Recruiting

Recruitment is a challenge for businesses that desperately want to attract the best talent, especially in the midst of a job seeker’s market. You can fulfill this need by identifying the best, most qualified prospects for particular roles and matching them with the employers who need them.

29. Membership Site

Membership websites are a great vehicle for delivering value to consumers monthly, whether that’s an online course, a community built around a specific interest, or access to special in-person events.

Managing a subscription service through a membership website will produce monthly recurring revenue (MRR). The key to success is retaining customers and giving them a first-rate experience, which will enable you to attract even more subscribers.

30. Life Coaching

Life coaching fills the gap for many individuals who want to enhance their performance or satisfaction in a certain area of personal development but may not choose more specialized counseling.

Whether you have deep knowledge in career choice, relationships, health and wellness, or other lifestyle aspects, you can establish a thriving 1-on-1 coaching business with just a few dedicated clients.

31. Voiceover Work

Being one of the more unique online business ideas, voiceover work can be promising and offer steady work should you find the right clients.

Voiceover actors are commonly employed for branding and advertising situations. If you’re talented in this area, you can create samples and sell your voiceover work through general marketplaces like Fiverr or specific outlets like Voiceover.com and Music Radio Creative.

32. Lead Generation

Businesses with long sales cycles — which entails acquiring leads that they can follow up with and nurture over time via email, texts, or phone calls — will place a premium on a good lead generation service.

To provide this service, you should have a knack for attracting qualified leads, “nurturing” the relationship with them as they consider the purchase, and qualifying them before they are handed off to a sales representative to close the deal.

33. Business Plan Writing

With more than 600,000 businesses being started in the U.S. every year, there is no shortage of business plans that need to be created.

As a business plan writer, you can step in and help entrepreneurs build a viable, sensible plan that charts the course for profits.

34. Financial Consulting

Good financial advice matters more than ever in fraught economic times. Whether you have experience advising individuals or businesses, it may be worth looking into providing financial consulting as a small online business idea.

Financial consultants, depending on their area of expertise, can recommend investments, create budgets, make revenue projections, and more.

35. Legal Consulting

Businesses that may not require retaining a lawyer might be interested in hiring a legal consultant. If you have expertise in some aspects of business law, this is a service you may be able to offer.

Legal consultants can draft important documents, give specific advice on compliance, and conduct research to ensure their clients remain in good legal standing.

Deciding Whether to Start or Buy? Talk to Raincatcher

While any of these online business ideas can be a good opportunity in 2023 and beyond, choosing one to start or buy can be a real challenge. It can be difficult to truly see whether your unique mix of experience, professional expertise, and entrepreneurial ambitions are a good fit for a certain business type.

If you’re in this position, talk to a Raincatcher expert.

We can help you narrow down the type of ventures you’re most likely to be successful at operating. From there, we can help you choose whether to start a new business or buy an existing one that’s doing well, depending on your goals.

If you’re ready to take advantage of the business possibilities that 2023 has to offer, contact Raincatcher and talk to one of our experts today.

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