10 Actionable Small Business Ideas to Kickstart New Income

Spike Team
By Spike Team, Updated on December 06, 2022, 9 min read
most successful small business ideas

It seems that many people are looking for a side hustle in today’s inflationary world. If you’re struggling to start your own, we have good news: because of technology, there are countless options to start a small business on the side to increase your income. We’ve done hours of research to come up with the most successful small business ideas for you to start in 2023 to help your financial situation.


There are so many that you can find that fit your skill set and interests, that implementing one of the most successful small business ideas will be a natural extension of your time. If you think starting a business is too hard, rest assured that there are ways to make money on the side without having to deal with customer service or inventory management—or any other aspects of running a company at all.



1. At-Home Bookkeeper


The first small business idea that you should consider is becoming a bookkeeper. You’ll be surprised to learn that having a solid grasp of the fundamentals of accounting and finance is not only useful in the business world but actually quite necessary to operate as an entrepreneur. As an at-home bookkeeper, you will be responsible for ensuring that all financial records are recorded properly and accurately. You’ll also assist with preparing reports for investors or other interested parties who need specific data about their business’s finances. Many companies don’t need a full-time person, and they are happy to outsource.


In order to become a successful bookkeeper, it’s best if you have experience working with one or two clients at once—and even better if those clients were small businesses themselves! This experience will give you valuable insight into how these companies operate day-to-day so that when they hire you as their new bookkeeper, they can confidently leave all their financial matters in your hands without worrying whether everything will be taken care of properly (which is important because many small business owners work long hours).



2. Teach Online Classes

Another option we found in our research for the most successful small business ideas is teaching online classes. A lot of people are interested in teaching, but they don’t necessarily want to quit their jobs and go back to school or anything like that. If you have a knack for teaching and you want to start earning some extra income, then consider building out an online class platform around your area of expertise.


You might be wondering – what should I teach? Well, consider, what you are good at that others might want to know. Are you an expert on roasting the perfect cup of coffee? You could sell an online course on the entire process from start to finish for $10. You’ll spend your time making the course, but then you’ll have almost no maintenance or upkeep. Whether you sell 100 or 1000 copies in a month, you’ll have put in the same amount of work. Your only work will be figuring out how to market your course.


Some people make good money teaching online classes about things like meditation, cooking healthy meals at home, personal finance management, social media marketing basics, and even how to raise chickens! The sky’s the limit when it comes to niche topics that might be of interest (and thus worth paying) to your audience.


The great thing about this business idea is that anyone can do it as long they are an expert in something that others will find valuable. If there’s something specific that interests you enough that you feel confident sharing with others, then go for it! If not, then try researching other similar offerings from companies in your industry; see what questions people ask most frequently about them so there’ll be some basis on which to build upon once these facts become known by potential customers who need answers quickly before making purchases elsewhere. Check out our recommendations for the best small business web hosting if you’re looking to set up an online teaching platform.



3. Start Your own Youtube Channel

What if you want to give away your expertise instead of selling an online course? You could give away the content for free on YouTube and monetize it through advertising. You’ll need to understand what it takes to get started on YouTube – specifically the equipment and software needed. You’ll need a good camera with good lighting if that’s what makes sense for your intended content. You’ll also need video editing software. If you use an Apple computer, you can use iMovie to get started with your editing and recording.



4. Create an e-book

Selling an ebook


If you’re an expert in your field and you have something valuable to share with the world, then that’s a recipe for a successful ebook. Similar to selling an online course, once you write an ebook once, you’ll make nearly pure profits after that. You can sell your ebook on Amazon, but you could also sell it directly from your own website or blog. This is a great way to make money with no upfront costs and minimum effort required. If you want to avoid setting up your own website, then look at a solution like Gumroad to sell directly to your audience.



5. Participate in Affiliate Marketing Programs

If you’re frequently posting on social media (Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, etc.) about your favorite items to buy and use, then you should consider signing up for affiliate marketing programs. They’re free to sign up for, and it’ll be easy to make money. Affiliate links are a great way to make money if you’re the type of person who folks look to for product recommendations.


There are tons of websites where people can sign up as affiliates (Amazon Associates and Sovrn are two big ones). Here’s how it works (and it’ll show why it’s one of the most successful small business ideas):

  • You find a product you want to review and generate an affiliate link.

  • You write a review on Facebook and include a link to buy it.

  • Anyone that clicks on your link and buys it will generate a commission for you.

  • If your affiliate link goes to Amazon, you’ll also get a commission for anything else they buy within 48 hours.

  • You’ll always want to disclose that it’s an affiliate link as well.


6. Become a Consultant

Consulting is a great way to make money on the side. You can use your knowledge and experience to help other businesses grow and can charge them for your time and expertise. It’s one of the most popular and most successful small business ideas as companies look to bring in outside expertise.

  • Build Your Skills

    The first step in becoming a consultant is building up your skillset in an area of expertise. This might be something that you’re naturally good at, or something that you have to work really hard at learning more about. You’ll want to continue expanding your knowledge of the field in order to become a consultant.

  • Build Your Reputation

    The second step is building up a solid reputation within the industry as someone who has valuable skills worth paying for. If people know that when they need help with X thing, they should call you because only YOU will be able to solve their problem, then it becomes much easier for them to justify hiring someone like yourself over doing it themselves (and cheaper too). To get started here, you might need to give away a few consulting sessions in order to build up your reputation and portfolio.

  • Get Good References

    Make sure people know how good of an employee/employer/manager, etc, you are by providing references from past jobs where others can vouch for how beneficial hiring you as a consultant was. As you finish up a successful consulting session, it’s also a smart idea to ask for referrals as well.


7. Create Social Media Templates

Another small business idea (if you can design) is social media templates. You can create templates for social media that you can sell to small and large businesses alike. A template is a pre-made file that you can quickly edit and put to use. You’ll need to spend some time creating these templates so that they work well with their brand, but once you have them set up, it will be much easier to share content on social media without having to worry about it being unique every time (which often leads to poor performance). Companies could buy a whole package for a set amount and then reuse them over and over again. You could also work with companies to build custom templates for various marketing campaigns as well.


Use a communication platform that provides you all the features you need to run your business


8. Become an Influencer

If you’re looking for something that offers quick returns, being a social media influencer might be the right option for you. If becoming an influencer sounds like something that would require a lot of work, it’s not. All it takes is some time and effort—and, most importantly, the right kind of content.


The first step to becoming an influencer is figuring out what industries are underserved on social media. Let’s say, for example, that you know a lot about model trains, you could start a social media presence around that and become the go-to person for information on trains.



9. Start an Etsy Store

Etsy Store


Are you crafty? Then starting an Etsy store might be one of your most successful small business ideas because people love to buy handmade items. E-commerce is a booming business, and it’s only going to continue growing in popularity as more people look for unique products. Plus, Etsy makes it super easy to get started selling products online. Etsy is preferable for handmade items over eBay because it’s a more niche audience. Examples of items you could sell on Etsy are candles, carving boards, bows, etc.


If you’re planning to start before the Christmas season, check out Etsy’s advice for selling online.



10. Sell Sponsorships on Your Blog or Podcast

If you’re already blogging or podcasting as a side hustle, it might make sense to sell sponsorships for folks looking to reach an audience similar to yours. Selling sponsorships is an excellent small business idea for those who have created a brand that’s well-known and trusted by listeners/readers. Selling sponsorships means you will receive a payment from an advertiser in exchange for promoting their product or service on your blog, podcast, or other online platform.




As you consider what your most successful small business ideas might be for 2023, it’s important to consider where your expertise and your passions intersect. Because it’s something you’re going to be doing on the side, you’ll likely be working on it on the weekends and after work, so find something that you enjoy doing that others will find value with.


One thing that you can’t forget about is marketing your business, so check out our guide for email marketing for small business in order to get started. Finally, consider the technology your business will use. Spike is a complete digital workspace that your small business can use to combine email, collaboration, calendar management, and video meetings in a single platform.

Spike Team
Spike Team The Spike team posts about productivity, time management, and the future of email, messaging and collaboration.

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