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17 Great Online and Offline Business Ideas For Beginners in 2023

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17 Great Online and Offline Business Ideas For Beginners in 2023

Choosing to go into business for yourself can change your life in countless ways. Whether you’re looking to supplement your income, quit your 9-5 job, or achieve financial freedom, there’s a wealth of business ideas for beginners that you can pursue.

While starting a business may seem daunting, the rise of the digital age has made it easier than ever to get your foot in the door. And if you’re not technologically inclined, there are offline business ideas that have stood the test of time.

These 17 business ideas are perfect for beginners, requiring minimal investment and offering the potential for great returns. So read on, get inspired, and take the first steps towards starting your own successful venture.

Top Online Business Ideas For Beginners

Here are the best business ideas for beginners who want to be able to run their newly established asset online:

1. Blog (Or Make Videos) About Something You Have Expertise In

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Blogging is a great way to share your knowledge and passion with the world while also making money. It’s simple to set up a blog using platforms like WordPress or Squarespace, and you can monetize it through various means, such as advertising, sponsored content, and affiliate marketing.

If you want to go a step further, you can also create video content on platforms like YouTube and monetize it through ads and sponsorships.

From coming up with faceless YouTube video ideas to starting a personal vlog, the possibilities are endless.

To decide on the best niche for you, consider the following:

  • What topics are you knowledgeable about?
  • What do you enjoy talking or writing about?
  • Is there a market for this content?

Choose a niche that you’re passionate about and create valuable, engaging content to attract an audience and generate income.

Then, it’s time to learn the nuts and bolts of the craft, and there are plenty of blogging resources and YouTube resources to get your great business ideas off the ground.


2. Become an Affiliate Marketer

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Affiliate marketing involves promoting other people’s products and earning a commission for each sale made through your unique referral link.

There are many paths you can take to become an affiliate marketer, including:

  • Joining Affiliate Programs: Join programs like Amazon Associates, Clickbank, or Commission Junction to find products to promote.
  • Creating a Review Website: Build a website where you review and recommend products in your niche.
  • Utilizing Social Media: Use platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to promote affiliate links.
  • Writing Product Reviews and Guides: Write helpful blog posts or reviews of products with your unique referral link.

Affiliate marketing is a great way to make passive income and can be combined with other online businesses for even more success.

If you want to start an affiliate blog, The Authority Site System is a great all-inclusive program that teaches you how to create a website, optimize it for search engines, and monetize it with affiliate marketing.


3. Teach a Course Online

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Platforms like Teachable make it simple to design, market, and sell your online courses on a global scale. It’s one of the best business ideas for beginners who have learned skills in the professional world that others could benefit from learning.

To get started building an online course, follow these steps:

  • Identify a topic that’s in demand or solves an issue for your target audience.
  • Structure your course content effectively.
  • Use various channels, such as social media and email marketing, to promote your course.

Online teaching is a very lucrative business opportunity if you have a skill that others are looking to learn. You can create courses in anything from photography and cooking to marketing or coding.

With the right marketing strategy, you could earn a significant income from this business idea.


4. Sell Products Online With Print-On-Demand Companies

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Starting your own small business doesn’t have to be complex. Print-on-demand services like Printful make it easy to sell custom-designed goods, from t-shirts to phone cases, without any inventory hassles.

When you work with print-on-demand companies, your products are printed, checked for quality, and shipped from the service’s facilities.

You can use online marketplaces like Etsy for handmade items or Amazon FBA for physical products. For a more proprietary option, you could set up your own Shopify online store.

This is a perfect small business idea for graphic designers who can translate their skills into merchandise a target market will want to buy.

If you start with a solid business plan, this business is scalable as well, since you’re outsourcing production and shipping.


5. Write and Publish Books Through Kindle

person reading a kindle at the beachperson reading a kindle at the beach

Looking for a great business idea that combines creative writing and entrepreneurship? Consider self-publishing through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), a popular online money-making method.

Here’s how to start:

  • Find Your Niche: Choose a genre or topic you’re passionate about.
  • Outline Your Idea: Create a detailed outline to guide your writing process.
  • Write The Book: Dedicate regular time to writing, focusing on content over perfection.
  • Edit And Revise: Refine your work post-draft, considering external feedback.
  • Design Your Book Cover: Create an engaging cover, hiring a graphic design freelancer if needed.
  • Publish Your Book: Use KDP to publish your eBook and paperback.
  • Promote Your Book: Leverage marketing strategies to reach readers.

6. Become a Virtual Assistant

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Want a successful business where you help others from the comfort of your home? Consider becoming a virtual assistant – one of the best small business ideas for those eager to work remotely. Here’s how:

  • Identify Your Skills: What can you offer? This could include email and social media management, customer service, and more.
  • Promote Yourself: Build an online presence via a website or social media to attract potential clients.
  • Find Your Clients: Target small business owners, entrepreneurs, and solopreneurs who need your services.
  • Set Your Rates: Determine your pricing based on your experience and industry standards.

Virtual assistant work is a great bridge to a consulting business or even an agency with time, patience, and improvement as you gain experience and confidence.

Here’s some info on the best virtual assistant jobs for beginners and where to find them.


7. Break Into Freelance Writing

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Freelance writing is a good business idea because there are so many ways to monetize writing, from starting a resume writing business to submitting articles to publications.

Here’s how to launch your freelance writing business:

  • Showcase Your Work: Create a portfolio on your website or social media to attract potential clients.
  • Find Your Niche: Specialize in topics or industries you’re passionate about.
  • Connect with Others: Network with local businesses and fellow writers to find opportunities.
  • Pitch Your Ideas: Approach websites, magazines, and companies within your niche with your article ideas.

With patience, quality work, and solid connections, you can turn freelance writing into a profitable career.

It’s one of the best business ideas for beginners who want to work for themselves but don’t want the chore of setting up an entire blog and directing traffic to it.

Check out our article on the best sites for freelance writers to find gigs.


8. Start Buying and Selling Stuff Online

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Buying and selling products is an excellent way to make money online with a bit of an initial investment, whether you’re using marketplaces like eBay or creating your own e-commerce store.

To get started:

  • Choose Your Market: Identify the best-selling products in a specific niche.
  • Identify Suppliers: Research manufacturers and wholesalers that can supply your desired products at competitive prices.
  • Set Up Your Store: Create an online store on platforms like Shopify, or use a marketplace like Amazon or Etsy.
  • Promote Your Products: Use social media and email marketing to reach potential customers.

This is one of our favorite small business ideas that can be profitable with the right research, marketing strategies, and sourcing processes. Start small and reinvest profits for growth opportunities in the future.


9. Start an Audiobook Narration Business

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If you love reading and have a great voice, an audiobook narration business may be the right small business idea for you.

Here’s how:

  • Invest in Equipment: Get a good microphone, headphones, and audio-editing software.
  • Hone Your Skills: Practice reading aloud to perfect your delivery.
  • Choose Your Genre: Find which book genres you enjoy narrating.
  • Connect with Production Companies: Approach platforms like ACX, Findaway Voices, or Author’s Republic.
  • Promote Your Services: Use social media and freelance platforms for marketing.

This great business idea could evolve into a full-time venture with the right connections and portfolio.

And consider learning how to make money on Audible for an easy way to get started.


10. Work as a Bookkeeper

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Bookkeeping is a lucrative business idea if you’re good with numbers. Here’s how beginners get started in this field:

  • Gain Experience: Work for a local accountant or bookkeeping firm to enhance your skills.
  • Promote Yourself: Use a website, social media, and business cards to draw in clients.
  • Set Your Rates: Price your services based on industry standards and what you offer.
  • Invest in Software: Use accounting software for efficient management of business finances.
  • Deliver Quality Service: Provide superb customer service and accurate reports.

This business idea allows you to manage personal and business finances from home, offering a unique niche opportunity. Here’s more info on starting your bookkeeping business.


11. Start a Social Media Management Business

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Looking for a flexible, high-demand online business idea? Consider becoming a social media manager. Here’s your game plan:

  • Showcase Your Skills: Create and maintain your own social media accounts to display your expertise.
  • Promote Your Services: Use your social media presence to advertise your social media management services.
  • Find Clients: Network on platforms like LinkedIn or reach out directly to small business owners.

As a social media manager, you’ll help businesses grow their brand by managing their social media marketing. With the increasing importance of social media in business and digital marketing, your services will be in high demand.

Top Offline Business Ideas for Beginners

Looking for small business ideas that let you be your own boss without being online all the time? Here are some of the best offline business ideas for beginners to consider:

12. Offer Tutoring Services

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Tutoring is one of the best small business ideas for academics who want to share their knowledge with others. Tutoring is commonly practiced in two ways:

  • Offline Tutoring: Offer private or group tutoring services in person.
  • Online Tutoring: Use platforms like Skype or Zoom to offer virtual tutoring sessions.

You can even tutor offline but create online courses to scale your business and reach more students. It’s a great hybrid model with a lot of flexibility. It’s an especially great side hustle for teachers.


13. Start a Dog Walking Business

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Are you an animal lover seeking the best small business ideas? Here’s how to start a dog-walking business:

  • Get Experience: Volunteer at a local animal shelter and help out with friends’ pets before you execute your small business idea. Ask them for references.
  • Establish Your Brand: Develop a logo, website, and social media presence to advertise your services.
  • Market Your Business: Utilize flyers, word-of-mouth, and social media to attract clients to your own business.

Consider expanding into other small business ideas by offering grooming or training services.

With pet ownership on the rise, this business idea could be your ticket to owning a profitable and enjoyable venture.

You can find more info on how to start a dog-walking business in this step-by-step guide.


14. Start a Catering or Meal Prep Business

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Those with a passion for cooking and meal planning may consider starting a catering business or meal prep business. This small business idea allows you to:

  • Work alongside an event planning business to curate meals for groups
  • Cater out of a food truck business
  • Host exclusive dinner parties
  • Prepare meal plans for families
  • Cater to specialized dietary needs

With busy lifestyles and the increasing popularity of meal prep and catering services, this small business idea has a lot of potential for growth.

Start small with 1 or 2 clients and expand your base over time, hiring support or a consulting business to help scale. Here are some great catering business name ideas to give you inspiration for your branding.


15. Get Started with Airbnb

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Starting a bed and breakfast business is one of the best business ideas for beginners who have spare space in their homes. And Airbnb makes it easy for you to find customers with a mere internet connection.

You can rent out a room, an entire home, or even offer unique experiences to travelers. You’ll need to make a few adjustments to your rental space:

  • Decorating: Make the space comfortable and stylish for guests.
  • Setting Up Amenities: Add essentials like Wi-Fi, toiletries, and kitchen supplies.
  • Managing Bookings: Keep your calendar updated and communicate with guests to ensure a smooth stay.

If you don’t have your space, consider looking into Airbnb arbitrage. This hands-off method is great for creating a successful business that creates passive income. Check out this Airbnb Course to learn how.


16. Try Purchasing a Vending Machine

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Did you know that Warren Buffet’s first small business idea that took off was a vending machine venture? It’s a great alternative to a real estate business model while allowing you to generate passive income in other business locations.

Here’s how to start a vending machine business:

  • Research Locations: Find high-traffic areas such as malls, offices, and schools where vending machines are in demand and negotiate a space with a property manager.
  • Invest in Machines: Purchase or lease vending machines that suit your niche (e.g., snacks, drinks, coffee).
  • Manage Stock: Keep track of inventory and restock regularly.

Vending machines may require some initial investment upfront but can be a low-maintenance and profitable business. Check out our article on how to start a vending machine business for a full guide to getting started.


17. Offer Repair and Maintenence Services

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Got handyman skills and considering a lucrative business venture? Start a repair and maintenance service.

  • Find Your Niche: Provide plumbing, a landscaping business, property manager, electrical, appliance repair, or general handyman services.
  • Connect With Suppliers: Build relationships with local suppliers for discounts on supplies.
  • Promote Your Business: Use word-of-mouth, flyers, and social media to advertise.

This is one of the business models that allow you to be your own boss, set your own hours, and use your excellent customer service skills. Take a look at our full article on how to start a handyman business for all the info you need.

With constant demand from homeowners and businesses, this could be your ticket to a steady income stream.

The Bottom Line: 17 Online and Offline Business Ideas For Beginners

There are many business ideas for beginners to consider, and it’s important to choose one that aligns with your interests and skills. It takes hard work, dedication, and some risk-taking to start a successful endeavor.

But the rewards of being your boss and creating something from scratch make it all worth it in the end. Explore different business ideas, do market research, create a solid business plan, and put in the effort to make it a success.



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NLRB Drops Expanded Joint Employer Appeal

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NLRB Drops Expanded Joint Employer Appeal

The proposed expanded joint employer rule, which an International Franchise Association (IFA)-led coalition challenged in federal court, was defeated Friday when The National Labor Relations Board dropped its appeal of an earlier ruling in favor of the coalition.

Related: Considering franchise ownership? Get started now to find your personalized list of franchises that match your lifestyle, interests and budget.

“This announcement means that the latest attempt to implement joint employer is finally finished and represents a landmark victory for franchise small businesses in communities across America,” Matt Haller, IFA president and CEO, said in a statement. “The franchise business model is the best vehicle for American workers to generate upward mobility and create small business ownership from all walks of life. Make no mistake: while today’s news means the current threat is behind us, IFA will remain vigilant against any attempts to target the franchise model or our members.”

Related: Find Out Which Brands Have Ranked on the Franchise 500 for Longest, Earning a Spot In our New ‘Hall of Fame’

Some form of the Joint Employer Rule has existed for years, but in 2023, the NLRB expanded it in a way that directly impacted the franchise industry. Under the proposed expanded version of the rule, two companies — say, McDonald’s and a McDonald’s franchisee — could more easily be considered “joint employers” of the same employees. That would make McDonald’s legally liable for any labor violation committed by one of its franchisees, even though McDonald’s itself did not hire and does not manage that employee.

Although this is the end of this attempt to expand the rule, attorney Jim Paretti of labor relations law firm Littler Mendelson recently told Entrepreneur what the NLRB’s options are moving forward. “The short answer is that the board can keep trying to write a rule,” Paretti said. “They can go back to the drawing board, try again and write something more narrow.”

Read More: Bloomberg Law

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The Top 5 AI Tools That Can Revolutionize Your Workflow and Boost Productivity

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The Top 5 AI Tools That Can Revolutionize Your Workflow and Boost Productivity

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Discover the top 5 AI tools for marketing and content creation that every marketer needs to know! As AI transforms the business landscape, staying ahead of the curve is crucial. In this video, I dive deep into essential AI marketing tools that can revolutionize your workflow and boost productivity.

Download the free ‘AI Success Kit‘ (limited time only). And you’ll also get a free chapter from Ben’s brand new book, ‘The Wolf is at The Door – How to Survive and Thrive in an AI-Driven World.’

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4 Takeaways For Franchising From the RNC

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4 Takeaways For Franchising From the RNC

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Kicking off hours after an assassination attempt on a presidential candidate, the Republican National Convention took on heightened significance this year. In my role as President and CEO of the International Franchise Association (IFA), I traveled to Milwaukee for a policy roundtable entitled “Franchising, the American Dream,” with U.S. Representative Kevin Hern (R-OK), who is the co-chair of the congressional franchise caucus, McDonald’s franchisee Jimmy Williams, and hotelier Jyoti Sarolia.

Matt Haller and Jyoti Sarolia Credit: Matt Haller

To be clear, IFA is non-partisan and does not take sides in presidential campaigns. We will be in Chicago for the Democratic National Convention in August, and we work with anyone from any party who champions our priorities and fights for our franchise small business owners. That’s also why we partnered with POLITICO and CNN with Milwaukee-based Batteries+. We created a brand activation at the POLITICO/CNN Grill, where over four days we gave away wireless battery chargers to over a thousand attendees, communicating the economic benefits of franchising to convention-goers, with a QR-code that linked to IFA’s Open for Opportunity campaign.

Related: Check out the 2024 Franchise 500 Ranking

Political conventions are always exciting, and this year was no different, especially after COVID-19 curtailed the in-person festivities in 2020. The buzz and energy were palpable. In my conversations with various stakeholders from all walks of life, certain commonalities emerged. Here are four of them.

1. Unions and franchising are not incompatible

The fiery speech from Sean O’Brien, president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, got people’s attention. It marked the first time a teamster addressed the RNC in its 121-year history. The Wall Street Journal headline read, “Trump Courts the Union Vote.” The GOP is not used to speakers at their convention railing about “economic terrorism.” But as O’Brien pointed out, the Teamsters have supported Republican candidates before, including Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

For the franchise community, O’Brien’s presence served as a reminder that we have a compelling story to tell and we need to tell it.

First of all, our model provides nearly 9 million direct jobs, and not a single one is being outsourced overseas. Second, jobs in franchising pay up to 3.4 percent higher wages and provide higher rates of paid leave and other benefits than those at non-franchises, according to data from Oxford Economics. Third, franchises ARE small businesses, and that is the benefit of our business model.

Related: 7 Ways The Expanded Joint Employer Rule Would Hurt Franchises — And Your Wallet

While we are not going to agree with the Teamsters or other unions on much, one thing we do agree on is that policymakers should be focused on creating good jobs right here in America, and that’s what the franchising community is doing. Even when our brands open new franchises overseas, we are bringing money back ashore to the U.S. via the royalty stream paid to operate a U.S. brand abroad, creating a net-trade benefit to the U.S. economy.

We must push back on the idea that the franchise model and unions are incompatible. It’s false. We can and do have both. It is true that the union’s top policy agenda, the PRO Act and an expanded definition of joint employer, and franchising cannot co-exist, but unions are not inherently an opponent. It’s their history of policy priorities that would bring down franchising that we oppose.

2. Franchising is re-aligning party lines

Second, the traditional political and party lines are re-aligning, creating another golden opportunity to expand the franchise tent. For example, public polls have shown former President Donald Trump receiving as high as 30 percent of the Black vote — nearly three times higher than the 12 percent he earned in 2020.

Here again, franchising has an important role to play. Franchising has higher rates of business ownership among women, veterans and minorities. In fact, more than one-quarter (26 percent) of franchises are owned by people of color, compared to 17 percent of non-franchised businesses.

1721501763 1 4 Takeaways For Franchising From the RNC

Paul Calkins (IFA), House Speaker Mike Johnson and Matt Haller (IFA) Credit: Matt Haller

As Clement Troutman, an IFA member, U.S. Navy veteran, author, and Maryland-based Tropical Smoothie Cafe franchisee, wrote in a column for the Washington Times observing Juneteenth, “the last few years have been challenging for Black entrepreneurs. From challenges accessing capital to a disproportionate impact stemming from the pandemic, Black small business owners face major obstacles.”

Clement noted, “Franchising can help, but only if elected leaders do their part in creating the right business environment.” These are wise words and lessons that all candidates should take to heart if they want to expand their political base of supporters.

3. J.D. Vance has sided with franchising in the past

There was a lot of scrutiny on Senator J.D. Vance after his selection as the vice-presidential nominee, and nearly every conversation I had with members of Congress and others in Milwaukee centered around what to make of Senator Vance’s selection. In the event of a Trump victory, many view him as the natural GOP standard-bearer in 2028. Throughout his two years in the Senate, Vance has raised eyebrows by deviating from traditional Republican orthodoxy. For example, he has marched on union picket lines and famously praised Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair Lina Khan as “one of the few people in the Biden administration who I think is doing a pretty good job.” Yet when it came to franchise issues, particularly joint employer, Senator Vance sided with franchising. When the stakes were the highest during this spring’s repeal of the joint employer rule, Vance stood with us, and that is telling.

4. The next president will have a huge impact on franchising

Members of the franchise community — like all voters — are assessing their presidential choices through the prism of past policies. We have a sense of what a second Trump and Biden administration could look like by evaluating their previous time in office. Certainly, IFA is focused much more on economic and regulatory visions than we do on political ideology. What is the plan for job creators?

Related: Decoding the Massive Impact of the NLRB’s Joint Employer Rule

For example, the individual tax provisions in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) are set to expire next year. The law significantly restructured numerous aspects of the federal tax system for small businesses, including reductions in individual and corporate tax rates, a new 20% deduction for income from pass-through businesses, 100% bonus depreciation for capital investments, and a new limitation on the deductibility of business interest. The GOP platform expressly calls for tax cuts and many Ways and Means Committee members who will write the next tax law, including Chairman Jason Smith of Missouri, Vern Buchanan of Florida, and Lloyd Smucker of Pennsylvania, have all highlighted the importance of ensuring pass-through businesses like most franchises are treated fairly in the next round of tax reform.

Beyond tax issues, the next president will choose their own FTC chair, who can in turn update the Franchise Rule, something that hasn’t happened since 2007 — the same year the first iPhone was introduced — and will make appointments to the NLRB, including the general counsel, who is arguably the most powerful position at that agency.

The stakes are high for franchisors and franchisees alike. We do not vote as a monolith or along strict party lines. But one thing is clear, the list of issues facing franchising is long, and the importance of having a seat at the table is more important than ever. Thanks to the support of so many IFA members, and what our brands, franchisees and suppliers do every day, I’m confident that whatever November brings, franchising will continue to thrive and IFA will be at the forefront fighting for the best interest of franchising.

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