In this article, we will take a look at the 25 most successful small business ideas. If you want to skip our detailed analysis, you can go directly to 5 Most Successful Small Business Ideas.

Small businesses have been springing up at a rapid pace. The incidence of technology coupled with artificial intelligence has propelled the growth of small businesses. According to a report by the World Bank, small to medium enterprises account for the majority of the businesses in the world, representing 90% of global business and 50% of employment worldwide. In fact, small to medium enterprises account for 40% of the national income (GDP) in developing and emerging countries. Check out some of the most profitable businesses you can start in 2023. 

Is It Easy To Start a Business?

On August 9, Forbes shared stats on how popular artificial intelligence is among small businesses. According to the report, around 28% of respondents have AI integrated into their business. These businesses expect cost savings of over $5,000 within the next 12 months. Only 26% of small businesses currently use AI, while 44% pointed to their growing willingness to adopt it sooner or later. It is not an exaggeration to suggest that setting up a business today is much easier than it was decades ago, thanks to the growing number of automated software and AI. Also, check out some of the best marketing software for small businesses.

Salesforce, Inc. (NYSE:CRM), for instance, dedicates a separate web domain to small and medium enterprises. This web page entails information on how different tools, at Salesforce, Inc. (NYSE:CRM), could be combined to streamline processes. On September 12, Salesforce, Inc. (CRM) reported on the launch of the Einstein 1 Platform. The platform will allow companies to connect data to build and establish new AI-powered apps, promising efficiency. Parker Harris, Co-Founder and CTO of Salesforce, Inc. (CRM), stated:

“A company’s AI strategy is only as good as its data strategy. We pioneered the metadata framework nearly 25 years ago to seamlessly bridge data across applications. It’s the connective tissue that fuels innovation. Now, with Data Cloud and Einstein AI native on the Einstein 1 Platform, companies can easily create AI-powered apps and workflows that supercharge productivity, reduce costs, and deliver amazing customer experiences.”

Successful Business Idea: At a Glance

All successful companies today were once business ideas waiting to be implemented. Some of the most successful business ideas that are now prominent businesses include Chewy, Inc. (NYSE:CHWY), Shopify Inc. (NYSE:SHOP), and Sprout Social, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPT).

Chewy, Inc. (NYSE:CHWY) is an online shop and retailer of pet food and products in the United States. The e-commerce platform specializes in providing pet services and care products. Pet services and care are also among the most successful small business ideas. On August 30, Chewy, Inc. (NYSE:CHWY) reported its earnings for the fiscal second quarter of 2024. The company reported earnings per share of $0.15 and outperformed market consensus by $0.06. Chewy, Inc. (NYSE:CHWY) also reported a 12.46% year-on-year growth in revenue. Reported revenue was $2.78 billion, ahead of market consensus by $16.66 million.

The dropshipping business model eliminates the need to hold inventory. The cost savings that come with this e-commerce model contribute to its popularity. Shopify Inc. (NYSE:SHOP) lets people set up their dropshipping business in a few simple steps. Shopify Inc. (NYSE:SHOP) lets people connect their accounts to AliExpress’s dropshipping tool, Dsers, once they are done setting up a dropshipping account on Shopify. On September 25, Shopify Inc. (NYSE:SHOP) reported recent updates to the famous tool, Shopify Audiences. Shopify Audiences connects your shop with all major advertising platforms, including TikTok, Snap, and Criteo. Such is a golden opportunity for dropshippers, as they can gauge demand and advertise their products smoothly, through a single platform. 

Digital marketing is the need of the hour. Sprout Social, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPT) is a digital marketing agency offering solutions in social media management. Sprout Social, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPT) is at the forefront of integrating technology and artificial intelligence. On April 10, Sprout Social, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPT) reported on the launch of new artificial intelligence features across its platform. These include Smart Query Suggestions and OpenAI and Repustate-based capabilities. Such will help businesses minimize manual effort and acquire highly targeted, creative, and strategic solutions. Justyn Howard, CEO and Co-Founder of Sprout Social, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPT), stated:

“The rapid advancements in AI require us to be intentional and bring the most valuable aspects to our customers, tailored to the unique challenges of social business. Impactful and intuitive AI will be ready to use and fit seamlessly into current workflows while vastly improving them. Such will deliver incredible value to our customers and empower them to unlock even greater ROI from social.”

Small businesses may be the future of the job market. With the advent of technology, it is no surprise that people are moving to be self-employed. However, not all business ideas offer great returns. With that, let’s discuss the 25 most successful small business ideas.

25 Most Successful Small Business Ideas

Rawpixel/Shutterstock.com

Our Methodology 

For the 25 most successful small business ideas, we used a consensus approach to create a pool of business ideas. Spreading across four sources on the internet by Shopify, Hubspot, and two reports by Forbes, we created a pool of 140 small business ideas. Of them, we shortlisted the top 25 through a consensus approach. The subjectivity and breadth of the title limit our ability to rank each business idea on its profitability and worth. According to our hypothesis, successful business ideas are those operating in a sector or industry reporting high net margins. We sourced industry net margins from the NYU Stern database on industries. The industry net margins were extracted and dated as of January 5.

It is to be noted that we tried to categorize our business ideas to the most relevant industry or sector available in our database. As for online retail, we understand that the net margin for the industry may be negative. However, it was included, as some of the most successful small businesses today belong to that sector. 

25 Most Successful Small Business Ideas

25. Clothing and Fashion Boutique 

Insider Monkey Score: 2

Industry Net Margin: 2.41%

Offering trendy clothing items will never go out of style. Popular niches the company can go for include sustainable clothing, thrift fashion, and rental clothing. The clothing and fashion business idea lies under the retail industry. The industry reported net margins of 2.41% as of January 5. 

Chewy, Inc. (NYSE:CHWY), Shopify Inc. (NYSE:SHOP), and Sprout Social, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPT) are some examples of the most successful business ideas.

24. Tutoring Services

Insider Monkey Score: 2

Industry Net Margin: 4.06%

Tutoring is another small business idea that could be very profitable. Education is of utmost importance and the propagation of online tutoring has fueled growth in this sector. The education sector reported an industry net margin of 4.06%, as of January 5, across 251  companies. 

23. Virtual Assistant Services

Insider Monkey Score: 2

Industry Net Margin: 4.32%

Virtual service providers and virtual assistants are gaining immense popularity across the globe. Virtual assistant agencies place their workers as virtual assistants in different companies. These virtual assistants work individually with clients to provide them with administrative services. The business and consumer services industry reported a net margin of 4.32% as of January 5, across 961 companies.

22. Freelance Services

Insider Monkey Score: 2

Industry Net Margin: 4.32%

According to our methodology, freelance services are among the most successful small business ideas. While there is a range of freelance companies, people can also set up their own freelance platform specifically for their specialized domain. The most popular freelance services are in the domains of graphic design, content creation, copywriting, and UI/UX design. The business and consumer services industry reported a net margin of 4.32% as of January 5, across 961 companies.

21. Dog Grooming Services

Insider Monkey Score: 2

Industry Net Margin: 4.32%

Based on our methodology dog grooming is among the most successful small business ideas. The small business falls under the business and consumer services sector, which has a net margin of 4.32%, as of January 5.

20. Daycare Services

Insider Monkey Score: 2

Industry Net Margin: 4.32%

Daycare services are ranked among the most successful business ideas. With more and more women entering the workforce, the popularity of daycare services has increased immensely. Daycare Services is also a part of the business and consumer services sector.

19. Cleaning Services 

Insider Monkey Score: 2

Industry Net Margin: 4.32%

According to our methodology, cleaning services are among the most successful small business ideas. Often, people do not have the time to clean their homes or office spaces. Cleaning service providers usually specialize in decluttering, organization, and decor.

18. Influencer Services 

Insider Monkey Score: 2

Industry Net Margin: 5.34%

Influencer marketing is on the rise. Developing an organic following on your social media is a crucial task. However, engaging with influencers on social media can bring significant benefits to a business, as most consumers look up to them and follow these influencers. The advertising industry reported a net margin of 5.34% as of January 5, across 362 companies. 

17. Social Media Services

Insider Monkey Score: 2

Industry Net Margin: 5.34%

Social media services are among the most successful small business ideas. Social media management is highly crucial to the success of businesses across the world. Services in social media management include content creation, posting, scheduling posts, insights analysis, and much more. Social Media Services falls under the advertising industry, which reported a net margin of 5.34%, as of January 5.

16. Sewing and Alteration

Insider Monkey Score: 2

Industry Net Margin: 4.32%

Based on our methodology, sewing and alteration were ranked among the most successful business ideas. Sewing and alteration services can easily be customized for every customer and client separately, enabling the development of long-term relationships. The parent sector reported a net margin of 4.32% as of January 5, across 961 companies. 

15. SEO Services

Insider Monkey Score: 2

Industry Net Margin: 5.34%

Services in SEO optimization and SEO consultancy are among the most successful small business ideas. Mastering SEO requires a lot of technical knowledge, however, it is the need of the hour especially with a lot of competition in the market. So if you think you have the skills, you may consider offering services in SEO consultancy and SEO optimization. The advertising industry reported a net margin of 5.34% as of January 5, across 362 companies. 

14. Food Truck

Insider Monkey Score: 2

Industry Net Margin: 6.27%

Based on our methodology, setting up a food truck business is among the most successful small business ideas. A food truck business has low startup costs primarily because food truck owners do not need to set up a space for dine-in options. The restaurant and dining industry reported a net margin of 6.27% as of January 5, across 382 companies. 

13. App Development Services

Insider Monkey Score: 2

Industry Net Margin: 11.17%

Based on our methodology, services in app development are one of the most successful small business ideas. In today’s globalized world, every company understands the importance of introducing mobile-based, web-based, or cloud applications. App development falls under the software industry. The industry reported a net margin of 11.17% as of January 5.  

12. Carpool Services 

Insider Monkey Score: 2

Industry Net Margin: 17.05%

Ride-sharing and carpooling services are among the most successful small business ideas. Carpooling allows users to save costs by sharing their ride with other people going to the same destination. The transportation industry reported a net margin of 17.05%, as of January 5, across 302 companies. 

11. E-commerce

Insider Monkey Score: 3

Industry Net Margin: -0.05%

E-commerce is among the most popular and successful small business ideas. E-commerce is gaining traction across the world. While the parent sector reported a negative net margin, many successful small businesses lie within this sector.

10. Commercial Printing Services

Insider Monkey Score: 3

Industry Net Margin: 2.65%

Based on our methodology, commercial printing, and 3D printing services rank among the most successful small business ideas. According to a report by Grandview Research, the global commercial printing market was valued at $489.63 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow to $598.06 billion by 2030 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.8%. The publishing and newspaper industry reported a net margin of 2.65% as of January 5, across 327 companies. 

9. Online Teaching Services

Insider Monkey Score: 3

Industry Net Margin: 4.06%

Based on our methodology, online teaching is among the most successful small business ideas. Setting up an online teaching platform is easier than ever as there is a wide availability of tools and video conferencing software in the market. According to a report by Grandview Research, the global online tutoring market was valued at $7.69 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow to $22.73 billion by 2030 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.9%. The education sector reported a net margin of 4.06% as of January 5, across 251 companies. 

8. Event Planning & Management 

Insider Monkey Score: 3

Industry Net Margin: 4.32%

Based on our methodology, event management is among the most successful small business ideas. Event management companies offer services in catering, event planning, decor, setup, and much more. Event management and planning fall under the business and consumer services industry. The industry reported a net margin of 4.32% as of January 5, across 961 companies. 

7. Coaching and Fitness Services

Insider Monkey Score: 3

Industry Net Margin: 4.32%

Coaching and fitness services are among the most successful small business ideas. The business idea falls under the business and consumer services industry. The industry reported a net margin of 4.32% as of January 5, across 961 companies. 

6. Photography Selling 

Insider Monkey Score: 3

Industry Net Margin: 5.34%

According to our methodology, selling your photography is one of the most successful business ideas. People use images for all kinds of reasons, be it content creation or blogging. Selling your photography online would not only bring in money but it also markets your photography skills. The advertising industry reported a net margin of 5.34% as of January 5, across 362 companies.

Chewy, Inc. (NYSE:CHWY), Shopify Inc. (NYSE:SHOP), and Sprout Social, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPT) are some of the most popular businesses that belong to attractive sectors.

Click to continue reading and see the 5 Most Successful Small Business Ideas.

Suggested Articles:

Disclosure: None. 25 Most Successful Small Business Ideas is originally published on Insider Monkey.