The Best and Worst Businesses to Start in 2023

Nov 06, 2022
4 People Read
Table of Contents
  1. The 3 worst businesses to start this year
  2. Amazon FBA
  3. Stock trading
  4. Dropshipping
  5. The Best Businesses to Start
  6. Final thoughts

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If you want to work for yourself and become an entrepreneur, you’ll need to come up with a viable business idea to break free from your current job or start a side hustle. This means you should do plenty of research on the different types of businesses you can start in 2023 and which ones will give you the highest chance of success. 

This article ranks the best and worst businesses to start this year and gives you some actionable tips on how you can start freelancing with no experience as a side hustle or as a full-time job. We’ll also go over some of the best businesses you can start and the pros and cons of each.

The 3 worst businesses to start this year

Amazon FBA

Fulfillment by Amazon (referred to as Amazon FBA) is how most of the large Amazon sellers fulfill their orders. The top sellers in nearly every Amazon category dominate the market and bring in sales due to thousands of product reviews and positioning on Amazon’s search engine results page (SERP). 

The way Amazon FBA works is that you’ll typically send several thousand products to an Amazon warehouse where they will store and fulfill the orders that your listing generates on Amazon. This means you can offer your Amazon customer 2-day or overnight shipping with Amazon Prime and Amazon does all the work for you.

Amazon FBA requires an upfront investment of typically $5,000 minimum. Additionally, you’ll have to coordinate the manufacturing of your Amazon product and how you will source your inventory. 

Some Amazon sellers manufacture their own products while others buy the product from wholesalers. These wholesalers sell products on websites like Alibaba Express, which sells cheap items from China that sellers attempt to market as their own.

Amazon FBA is highly saturated and there aren’t as many untapped niches as there was 5 years ago. This makes breaking into Amazon FBA extremely difficult even for those with the upfront capital to get started.

Stock trading


  • Location independence

  • Potential for outsized returns

  • Work when you want


  • Upfront investment required

  • Research is needed to make investment decisions

  • Potential for big losses

  • May be a form of “educated gambling”

  • Highly speculative investments

Stock trading is number 2 on our list of the worst businesses to start for many different reasons. First, stock trading is often highly speculative, and unless you want to spend hundreds of hours researching the latest trends and analyzing financial data, you probably won’t see much success with stock trading.

People like Tim Sykes have popularized the ability for normal people to quit their jobs and start trading stocks for a living. While Tim Sykes claims to have made many millionaire stock traders with his methods, there is no denying that this isn’t a good option for most people who are looking to start a business.

You’ll be tied to the stock market and need to make trades during the hours that the trading floor is open. You may wake up the next day and realize that all your gains have been wiped out and there is nothing you can do now but sell your assets to make up for some of your losses.

Stock trading also requires an upfront investment. While you can get started with Robinhood or other investing apps with as little as $100, you’re not going to see the outsized returns that some stock gurus promise.

Additionally, if you decide to take a short position on a stock, you stand to lose an infinite amount of money if the stock were to shoot up in value. This means you have to educate yourself on different stock investing strategies before you ever make your first trade, making stock trading one of the worst businesses you can start.



  • Easy to start

  • Can be easy to automate once you’re established

  • Uses virality to market products


  • Low profit margins–you must sell a lot to make any type of profit

  • Low-quality products from China

  • Huge competition

  • Needs an upfront investment

  • You must be good at digital marketing

  • You must be up to date with all social media marketing methods and how to promote different products on different social networks.

What is dropshipping?

Dropshipping is when you order a product from a supplier (Often through Alibaba and other Chinese manufacturers) for cheap and then attempt to sell it for a marked-up price directly to consumers.

The problem with this model is that you need to buy products extremely cheap if you want to make any profit on each sale, which means most of these products are extremely low-quality and often break or malfunction soon after it arrives. 

Profit margins are so slim with dropshipping that you may buy a product from Alibaba for $1 and then try to sell it for $10-15. You’ll need to sell a significant amount of product to generate any type of profit with dropshipping.

One of the benefits of dropshipping is that you don’t need to handle the shipping and processing of the orders yourself–the manufacturer ships it directly to the customer. This means you never have to hold any physical inventory as a dropshipper and only need to focus on marketing your products and selling to a new audience.

Popular YouTubers like Biaheza have released courses promising to teach new entrepreneurs the secrets of dropshipping and how you can make millions of dollars by selling other people’s products through dropshipping.

While there is no doubt that these gurus made their money from dropshipping, they often got started a long time ago and now just make money from teaching other people how to follow in their footsteps. The problem is that most of the methods these gurus used 5 years ago are outdated and aren’t helpful to new people just getting started.

In fact, Biaheza hasn’t updated his course to cover anything about TikTok marketing and how to take advantage of the virality of short-form video. 

This is all to say that dropshipping is one of the worst businesses to start today. It requires an upfront investment of several thousand dollars and the chances you make it in this industry are slim. You also have to deal with international trade regulations and there have been many instances where certain products are held up by overseas exporters and not allowed into the United States.

The Best Businesses to Start

Now that you know the worst businesses to start today, it’s time to discuss the best businesses you can actually start to make money online today. Below are the top 3 businesses that give you the best chance to succeed in the online world today.



  • Work on your own schedule

  • Location independence

  • Choosing who you work with

  • Choosing how much you want to work

  • You can scale a freelancing business


  • Can be long hours for a beginner

  • May be low pay just starting out

  • Lots of competition

  • Market saturation

Freelancing is the best business you can start this year since nearly everyone can start freelancing with some of the skills they currently have. For example, those who are strong writers can easily become freelance writers, while video editors and graphic designers can use their skills to work with clients who need their services.

It’s important to understand that the competition among freelancers varies significantly between categories. Highly specialized skills like software engineering have much less competition than niches like freelance writing. Since not everyone can be a software engineer, there is less difficulty to break through as a new freelancer.

How to decide on a freelancing skill

To find a freelancing skill to sell to potential clients, you should start with what you’re currently good at and go from there. What skills do you currently have and how can you use them while freelancing? 

If you’re going to go the freelance writing route, I can’t blame you–that’s what I did! However, it was a long time before I started making any type of decent money as a freelance writer. In my first month, I made only $60! 

After you’ve chosen the type of freelancing you want to start with, you’ll probably need to charge lower rates than your competitors who have hundreds of five-star reviews if you hope to acquire clients when you first get started. You’ll need to swallow your pride and take the low pay if you hope to charge higher rates in the future.

Freelancing platforms

We highly recommend using Fiverr to acquire your first few clients. The buyers on Fiverr are seeking beginners and often have low budgets. This gives you an excellent opportunity to hone your skills as a freelancer without being held to high standards like professional freelancers who charge higher rates. 

To get started with Fiverr, you’ll make a profile and choose the industry you’re going to get started with. Then you’ll create a few “Gigs” that potential clients can buy to use you for your services. You’ll want to make sure you spend a lot of time on your Gig photos and gig descriptions to entice potential buyers to click your ad and use your services.

Then, you sit back and let the clients come to you. Fiverr tests different Gigs with its algorithm and, as long as your ad is performing well, Fiverr may feature you at the top of its search results. In fact, I was getting nearly 15,000 monthly impressions when I was on the first page of Fiverr search results.

Fiverr sellers have the potential to make a lot of money when they get established as a seller. In fact, Alex Fasulo was featured on CNBC as a freelancer who made over $350,000 per year as a Fiverr freelancer and inspired many other writers to do the same.

Affiliate marketing


  • Little upfront cost

  • Low-risk business

  • Potential for scale

  • Can bring in passive income


  • Results don’t happen quickly

  • You may get burnt out

  • You need to do a lot of writing

Affiliate marketing is a buzzword in the world of digital marketing. People think that it’s a way to market other people’s products in hopes of making a small commission. However, the affiliate marketing you think you know isn’t the affiliate marketing that some people are doing to make over $300,000 per month.

Affiliate marketing intends to create content around affiliate programs that allow you to get a commission for each sale of your partner's product. For example, if I’m an affiliate for REI and someone uses my link to buy a camping tent, I get a commission for the sale. Assuming you can get a lot of website traffic, the commissions for each sale can add up to bring in lots of monthly revenue.

The secret to affiliate marketing is SEO and keyword research. Using cutting-edge SEO tools, you can find out what search terms people are searching for the most and which products you can sell them.

It all starts by creating a blog that is focused on a certain niche. For example, outdoors enthusiasts may decide to start a blog about camping equipment and related outdoors information. Or digital marketers may start a blog about how they got started in their field and how you can do the same. There are so many different affiliate marketing niches that you can get started with today.

Why affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is our choice for one of the best businesses to start since you essentially control your own destiny. All the other businesses on this list rely on other people to buy your products and services.

With affiliate marketing, it’s only up to you to create content each day and get your website at the top of Google search results. Once you get enough traffic to your site, people will start using your links and buying the products you’re promoting.

How to get started affiliate marketing

If you want to get started with affiliate marketing, you’ll need to start a website with a blog. We highly recommend using JetPage since it’s the best platform to start an affiliate marketing business with this year.

Once you create your website, you need to start uploading consistent content in the form of blog posts and articles about relevant topics you’ve discovered through your keyword research. Check out this article on the best affiliate marketing niches and how you can choose high-ticket niches that generate bigger commissions.

As you create more and more content and build backlinks to your website, you’ll slowly start to rank for relevant keywords and get more traffic to your website which will translate into more sales over time.

However, affiliate marketing with SEO is a marathon and not a sprint. You should expect to put in over six months of consistent work before you see visitors to your website and your affiliate products start to sell

Final thoughts

Now that you know the worst businesses to start this year, you can stay away from business models that lead to a waste of time and money. We highly recommend starting out as a freelancer on Fiverr or picking a niche and start affiliate marketing. Both methods aren’t going to get you rich overnight, so you might as well get started now.

Interested in learning more about partnering with us to grow your business? Contact us today to find out how to advertise with us and grow your business organically with the power of SEO.

Table of Contents
  1. The 3 worst businesses to start this year
  2. Amazon FBA
  3. Stock trading
  4. Dropshipping
  5. The Best Businesses to Start
  6. Final thoughts