Freelance work has been on the rise in the United States. In fact, an estimated 70.4 million people are currently freelancing. This has allowed many women to work their own hours, set their own rates, and become entrepreneurs in their own right.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of new business applications for November 2022 was a whopping 418,905. Business ideas for ladies, men, and nonbinary individuals include everything from online to in-person businesses.
Best Businesses for Women to Start
Whether you’re looking for a small business idea for women or are looking to get into freelance work, here are 25 of the best businesses to start in 2023.
1. Freelance writer or editor
If you have a love of words and grammar, you could position yourself as a freelance writer or editor. As a writer, you can do write everything from landing pages for websites and blog articles to newsletters and technical papers. You can also do SEO (Search Engine Optimization) writing for different businesses.
2. Blog owner
Being a blog owner is similar to being a freelance writer in many ways. For example, you get to pick the niche (i.e. beauty, lifestyle, photography, finance) you want to write about. It’s generally best if you have a good deal of knowledge in your chosen niche. It also helps to have experience in on-page and off-page SEO writing.
As a blog owner, you get full creative control over the website. You are also responsible for things like content strategy and marketing. Depending on your website development skills, you can either create an entirely custom site or get started on an existing platform like WordPress or Squarespace.
Once you own a blog, the goal is to get traffic. At a certain point, you can start getting revenue through things like advertising and sponsored posts. You can also build up more of an audience and authority by getting involved with others’ blogs, podcasts, or videos.
3. Graphic designer
If you have a background in graphic design – whether it’s through formal education or dabbling – you could become a graphic designer. Graphic designers tend to work with different clients and use various software like Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop for their designs. If you’re good at managing others, you could turn your venture into a successful graphic design business.
4. Online course creator
Were you a teacher in a past life? If so, or if you are proficient in a specific skill like violin or business, you could create an online course and sell it for a fee. Course creators charge anywhere from around $20 to upwards of $1,000 per course. Depending on how many people you get to buy your course, you could make a very lucrative business out of this.
You can use your own blog, podcast, or YouTube channel to promote your course. You can also host the course yourself or put it on a platform like Teachable or Udemy.
5. Event planning business
Another great business idea for women – or anyone else – is event planning. As an event planner, you can work remotely or in-person with clients to organize, coordinate, and run events. This can range from weddings to anniversaries to business conferences.
Some event planners have a related bachelor’s degree, while others learn through various online courses. Whatever your background, it helps to have an online portfolio that potential clients can look at to see what types of events you’ve successfully planned.
6. Online store owner
Another small business idea for women is becoming an online store owner. Depending on the store, you could either resell items for a higher price than what you bought them or sell your own products. You can either sell using your own website or you can use a platform like Etsy or eBay. Etsy alone has around 7,522,000 active stores.
It helps to choose a niche you like – or one that’s profitable. For example, you could sell antiques, vintage clothing, electronics, or luxury goods.
7. Social media manager
If you have networking experience and enjoy working with different social media platforms, then a social media manager could be right up your alley. You’ll need an assortment of other skills, including marketing, content strategy, and writing to be successful. If you want to start out as a freelancer, it also helps to have an active social media account or two as proof of your skills for future clients.
8. Website designer or developer
Around 72% of small businesses have a website, which means roughly 28% of businesses do not. In the digital age, it’s beneficial to have an established online presence and a website is a great way to do this.
If you have technical skills, especially in web development or design, you could make a profitable career out of it. And if you create a web design agency, you could earn even more.
You will need to be well-versed in coding languages and software – C, Java, HTML, etc. You might also want to have a portfolio to show off your skills.
9. Skincare designer or educator
Do you have a good skincare regimen and a knack for understanding what makes skincare products different from one another? If so, a skincare designer could be another good women’s (or men’s) entrepreneur idea.
You could teach others how to apply different skincare products, ranging from cosmetic makeup to hydrating creams. Or you could craft your own products – like soaps or lotions – and set up a shop on Etsy or locally to sell them.
READ MORE: TOP 10 ONLINE BUSINESS IDEAS
10. Photography agency
Being a professional photographer or creating an agency doesn’t require a formal education, though it doesn’t hurt. What you will need are relevant skills in things like lighting, angles, and overall composition. It’s also useful to have skills in photography software like Adobe Photoshop. If needed, take a couple of online photography courses to brush up on your skills.
As a photographer, you can either work with clients directly or sell your work as stock photos. like Shutterstock or iStock Stockphotos. You can specialize in certain fields – like weddings or nature – or you can diversify your portfolio.
11. Travel planning company
Whether you love to travel or enjoy coordinating others’ trips, a travel planning business could be lucrative. You can start small with a website and some eye-catching photos of beautiful places you’ve visited. From there, you can start building up a client base and offer your services that way.
Some travel planners have a professional or educational background – such as a degree in tourism – in the field. However, this isn’t strictly necessary. To be successful, you will probably need solid skills in communication, negotiation, people management (from vendors to clients to staff), and planning.
12. Fitness guru
Fitness gurus come in many forms, from personal trainers to yoga instructors. Some people get started with an online portfolio of pictures and videos on Instagram, Facebook, or other social media sites. Others go for a certificate or degree that reflects their experience. Whatever you choose to do, it’s important to stay active – digitally and physically.
13. Video editor
Video editors take existing video footage – from small content creators to large businesses – and editing it into something publish-ready. If you know how to effectively use video editing software, audio, and special effects, you could make a great video editor. You also don’t need formal education, though it helps to learn programs like Filmora or Adobe Premiere Pro.
14. Video creator
If you’re more interested in the creative side of things, you could start a small business as an online video creator using a site like YouTube or TikTok. These platforms let content creators create visual media for massive audiences. In fact, there are over 51 million YouTube channels and hundreds of millions of viewers.
Choose a niche that suits you. This could be beauty and skincare, product reviews, gaming, sports, music, or something else. If you choose a field like healthcare or finance, make sure you can back up your information with facts to make yourself more credible as a creator.
As you build a brand, it might take time for the money to start coming in. Many people spend months or even years creating a successful channel. If you don’t want to wait that long, consider selling your services to existing content creators or businesses instead.
15. Consulting business
A successful business consultant can easily make six figures a year working with small, medium, and large-sized companies to help them grow. Business consultants typically have an array of skills in accounting, human resources, public relations, business operations, and negotiations.
Some consultants have a related degree or certificates, but not all do. If you’re just getting started, search online for firms that need consultants either on a freelance or more permanent basis.
16. Life coach
A life coach is a broad term that describes someone who inspires others to become a better version of themselves in some way. Life coaches can help people improve their finances, relationships, health, nutrition, lifestyle choices, career, and more. You may need a relevant certificate to get started.
17. Pet sitting business
Around 70% of U.S. households own at least one pet, so pet sitting is in high demand. If you love animals, you could set up your own business as a pet sitter, groomer, dog walker, or even pet host. Certain certificates can help, especially if you intend to administer medication to the animal.
Start by networking in your area or promote your services on platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn. Alternatively, get started with an existing pet-service website like Rover.
18. Sewing or tailoring business
Whether you have skills as a tailor or seamstress, many clients and established businesses will pay top dollar for your skills. After all, there’s always fitting and repair work to be done. Consider creating a business or side venture where you offer these skills. If you’re also skilled in creating your own garments, you can also sell those online.
19. Interior design agency
Interior designers use various aspects of design – from function to material to building code – to create a unique aesthetic for businesses and their customers. You may need a degree or be licensed (ex. National Council for Interior Design Qualification exam certification) to become one.
Once you have completed any licensing or education requirements, you can start offering your services as a contractor. Depending on how much you grow, you could launch your own business with its own employees.
20. Virtual assistant
Administrative work, such as data entry, scheduling, and event coordination, can be quite profitable and flexible. Many companies outsource these tasks to smaller businesses or independent contractors with relevant expertise. If you have a background in this area, you could work freelance or set up your own agency where you offer your services.
21. SEO consultant
An SEO consultant is someone who helps individuals and companies compete and become more visible online. This can help them grow while also providing the consultant with a lucrative career.
There are many online resources that can teach you about SEOs, content strategy, and relevant tools. Some of these resources are free, while others have a monthly or annual fee. If you’re just getting started, consider getting an SEO tool like Ahrefs or Clearscope.
22. Podcast creator
Podcasts are another popular medium for content creation. There are many niches available for podcast creators, ranging from entertainment to educational to a mixture of both. Choose a niche and be consistent to start building your brand. As you grow, you can start to expand into a lucrative business.
Places to get started include Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify. On Spotify, for instance, there are over 4.7 million podcasts with around 456,000,000 total subscribers.
23. App designer or programmer
If you have a technical mindset and the right skills, consider offering your services as an app designer or programmer. You can also collaborate with other people to make an intuitive, well-known app or program. Once you have a working product, you can release it to the public on the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, or another website.
Another small business idea for women and anyone else with a love of crafts is to start making and selling your own designs. This can include things like toys, woodwork, candles, baskets, and anything else you can create. Once you have a cool design, you can list it on your own website, an online platform like Etsy, or at a local venue.
25. Foodservice business
Do you have a passion for cooking or baking? If so, you could turn it into a lucrative business. You could either open up your own restaurant (or bakery) or start up a food truck and sell your food to the general public. You may need a business license, relevant permits, and certificates to get you going.
What are the most profitable small business ideas for women?
There’s not a simple answer to this, but certain ventures are more desirable than others. For example, social media managers are often in high demand, as are web developers, writers, and other content creators.
What’s the best way to start a business?
Interested in starting a business but not sure where to begin? Here are some basic steps to follow:
- Settle on a venture idea. Weigh your skills and interests to decide what works for you. Once you decide on a business idea, stick with it. Also, figure out whether you’re selling products or services.
- Think about how you want to run the business. Decide whether you want to work entirely online or if you need a physical location. For example, if you’re selling goods, you might need a storage unit or additional space for your materials and finished product.
- Create a business plan. Having a clear business plan is often key to success. After all, the plan can include things like your goals, business’ purpose and type (ex. LLLC or S Corp), target audience segment, and more.
- Estimate your startup costs. To start your business, you’re going to need to figure out financing. How much? According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, for most small businesses, you’ll need around $3,000 to start, whether that comes from your own savings or from investors. Some experts recommend having a month’s worth of business expenses covered for the first month.
- Establish an online presence. Many businesses need a website or social media platform on which to promote themselves and communicate with potential customers. If you don’t already have one, start building an online presence now.
- Get any required licensing. Some businesses require licenses, permits, and certificates to run. Make sure you have them before selling anything.
- Prepare for taxes. When you have a business or work for yourself, you’re responsible for your own taxes. Keep track of your profits and expenses throughout the year.
Bottom line: best businesses for women to start
Starting a successful business can take time, but it’s doable with a bit of planning and dedication. Whether you’re interested in becoming an established business owner or venturing out as a freelancer, you have options.
Take some time to think about what you’re interested in and try to figure out the best ways to use your skills. If needed, take some courses to brush up on your education or get a relevant certificate to make you more credible in your chosen space.