Most popular online businesses to start in 2023 to beat recession.

- - Advice

6 of the most popular online businesses to start right now

  • Many online businesses are easy to start because they require low overhead and are simple to set up.
  • The time commitment depends on how much money you want to earn.

A possible recession, continued inflation, and ongoing layoffs have cast a shadow of uncertainty upon the new year. But career experts have said these factors will lead to increased business creation and more side hustlers in 2023.

Today it’s easier than ever to start your own business or side hustle because all the tools you need exist online. Plus, many are free or otherwise affordable. This digital revolution is one reason why 10.5 million Americans created businesses in the past two years.

Online businesses can be an accessible way to earn extra income since most have low overhead costs and are simple to run from home. You can buy a website domain, design a logo, and open an e-commerce shop with a few clicks of a button. There’s no retail space to rent, no equipment to buy, and no inventory to hold.

“The tools in order to have a side hustle are getting increasingly easier to access at a lower cost,” Cynthia Franklin, the director of entrepreneurship at New York University’s WR Berkley Innovation Labs, said.

The time commitment depends on how much money you want to earn. Some people run their online businesses with as little as four hours a week, while others run full-time operations clocking 45 hours a week.

Even in a recession, Franklin is confident entrepreneurs will find opportunities to start and grow their businesses.

“If you want to start a business, don’t pay attention to the headlines,” she said. “Instead, look around you for opportunity or gaps where the status quo could be better for somebody and then work to fix it. If you do that, it doesn’t matter if there’s a recession.”

1. Virtual assistant

With so many digital businesses started over the last two years, virtual assistants are in high demand. If you’re skilled with administrative and operational skills, you can set up a virtual-assistant business by marketing yourself to clients like entrepreneurs and executives.

2. Vending machines

Vending machines have become a popular side hustle thanks to entrepreneurs on Instagram and TikTok who claim they’ve made between six and seven figures in annual sales with the machines.

Vending-machine businesses are widely appealing because they require a minimal investment to get started, are low-maintenance to operate, and can eventually generate passive income if you outsource the daily upkeep.

3. Therapist or trainer

If you’re certified as a therapist, trainer, or yoga instructor, you can quickly turn that into a service business by setting up a website and marketing yourself to gain clients. Mental-health and wellness services are in demand, giving therapists, life coaches, and trainers opportunities to serve clients online.

4. Consultant or coach

You can also use your expertise to help others build and grow their businesses as a consultant or coach. Start by setting up a website that highlights how your experience will improve your clients’ companies.

5. Cleaning business

While there are plenty of service businesses that require you to do the manual work, it’s possible to start a cleaning business without having to do it yourself. You can set up a website, market your services to potential clients, then outsource the cleaning to contractors.

6. Freelancing

Another way to use your expertise, whether you’re skilled at writing pitch decks or creating workflow automation, is by starting a freelance business. You can easily set up your profile on websites like Upwork or Fiverr to gain clients.

Courtesy: Business Insider



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Nishanth Muraleedharan, also known as "Nishani," is an IT engineer who transitioned into entrepreneurship, driven by a profound passion for the textile industry. As the president of Save Handloom Foundation, ( and the Founder & CEO of DMZ International Imports & Exports Pvt Ltd., I am passionate about reviving the Indian handloom industry and empowering the weavers and artisans across the country. With 25+ years of experience in the textile industry, I have developed deep market insights and a rich network of handloom weaving societies, master weavers, and self-help groups, who exclusively make products for our trust.