May 21, 2024

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29 Life-Changing Business Opportunities To Try (2024)

Creating a home-based business or finding profitable online business ideas can be challenging. There are thousands of possible choices, yet everything seems like it’s been done thousands of times before. So with all these choices, where do you even begin digging to find the gold?

If you’re looking into how to start your own business, below are lists of opportunities you can take advantage of today to grow a profitable business in 2024 and beyond.

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Online business opportunities

Dropshipping business

Dropshipping is a business model that lets you buy products directly from a supplier or manufacturer and ship them to your customers.

Compared to other ecommerce business opportunities, dropshipping is low cost to start. You don’t have to worry about carrying inventory or buying products in bulk. You don’t even have to worry about shipping products because your supplier handles that for you.

Since you don’t have to buy the items you sell, you can offer a variety of different products. Dropshipping business opportunities are near endless. If a dropshipping supplier stocks a product, you can list it on your online store at no additional cost.

Need some product ideas? These were the top five shopping categories worldwide in 2023:

  • Fashion
  • Electronics
  • Food
  • DIY & hardware store
  • Beverages

Print on demand

Whether you’re an artist, designer, or ecommerce brand, print on demand offers a great potential business opportunity for online clothing retailers. Printing on demand involves working with a supplier to customize white-label products—such as tote bags or T-shirts—with your own designs.

The best part? You don’t have to pay for the product until after you sell it. Similar to dropshipping, you don’t have to hold or manage any inventory or buy in bulk.

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Handmade products

If you always enjoyed making and building stuff, selling DIY and handmade items can be a great business opportunity to monetize your creativity. Even if you have the will to create something new but lack the know-how, there’s a way to make it happen.

For example, take Izabela “Iza” Ersahin, founder of handcrafted toy company Bebemoss. Iza started her company after becoming a new mother who found it difficult to find cozy dolls with a positive social impact. She engaged a diverse network of mothers in Istanbul to crochet the dolls. Iza seamlessly blended her passion for social entrepreneurship with creating family-friendly soft toys that inspire imaginations and joy.

If you’re not sure what to sell, start by browsing around your house. What’s missing that you wish you had? Is it a concrete pot? Colorful artisan bed covers? Do some online research to see what’s selling. Are big stores like Target, Amazon, or West Elm selling similar items?

Once you’ve decided what items to make and sell and what seems to be trending, start creating!

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Digital products

E-learning is a growing industry. Some studies show that the industry will be worth around $325 billion by 2025, making digital products one of the best online business opportunities for creators and educators alike. Music, videos, ebooks, and online courses are a few examples.

Digital products also make for great business opportunities because they’re inexpensive to create and distribute. You can make it once and sell it repeatedly to different people without restocking inventory or talking with suppliers. If you consider yourself an expert on a particular topic, you can package that information up and sell it for a one-time fee or as a subscription. 

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Photography

There are numerous business opportunities to sell photography online. You can sell photos on numerous stock image sites—such as Getty Images, Shutterstock, iStock, 500px, and Stocksy—or wherever the demand for your type of photography exists.

To succeed in selling photos online, make sure to cover three important things:

1. Find your niche. Whether it’s flowers, travel, buildings, landscapes, or fashion, choose your niche and stick to it.

2. Build an audience. Selling photos isn’t a passive business opportunity. It’s a good idea to promote your photos on social media for your business and build a following to sell more.

3. Create multiple revenue streams. Don’t just sell on one site. Sell on as many as you can manage to create various streams of income.

Whether you’re a hobby photographer or it’s your full-time job, selling photos is one of those business opportunities that can help you earn cash online—and in person—if you put the time into it.

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Video games

Building a video games business is possible with commitment and the right resources. Today, there are many opportunities: You can earn degrees, get sponsorships, and even become a professional gamer.

As an industry estimated to be valued at nearly $257 billion by 2025 (and growing), video games can be one of the more profitable business opportunities. Revenue doesn’t come only from playing professionally, however. You can earn money livestreaming on a platform like Twitch, start a YouTube channel, or even sell game-inspired merchandise.

Self-published author

Do you love to write? Have you ever thought about publishing your own book? Well, consider becoming a self-published author. Based on the latest figures, there were 2.3 million new self-published books in 2021 and an uptick in audio books.

Self-publishing just means that you don’t work with an established publisher to manage the editing, design, and production processes of making a book. Instead, you do it on your own. There’s also plenty of space for you to make and sell an ebook or audiobook and turn a profit.

Pet products

An online pet store business is one of the most fun business opportunities because you can sell a huge variety of products. Many people treat their furry friends like children and are willing to spend money to make sure they are well taken care of. For example, you could sell everything from organic foods to luxury accessories, beds, and apparel.

Whether you want to run it as a dropshipping business or sell homemade treats, the pay can be good and the work rewarding. And since people are unlikely to stop spoiling their pets, there’s a greater chance of job security.

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Thrift clothes

Did you know the secondhand apparel market is valued at $248 billion in 2024, and expected to grow to 351 billion by 2027? This makes it a prime business opportunity if you have some old clothes in the back of your closet and want to make some extra cash.

With so many apps and other technology available to help you sell your vintage clothing, you can turn selling unwanted clothing into a profitable online business opportunity.

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Freelancing

Freelancing is one of the most common online business opportunities. Being a freelancer means you’re self-employed and not committed to a long-term employer. It allows you to take your office wherever you go and essentially be your own boss.

With the rise in remote work, freelancing is an opportunity to have a successful online business. You can freelance across a variety of industries, and offer services and products based on your expertise. For example, you can turn skills like web design, SEO, marketing, copywriting, or app developing into a profitable, home-based business.

If you’ve got a way with words, here are three freelance writing jobs to consider:

  • Proofreading and editing. With proofreading and editing services, you are making sure text is free of errors and easy to understand.

Keep in mind: Freelance pursuits can be competitive. However, if you have a solid skill set developed over the years (or even one you want to learn), there’s money to be made. Your rates will depend on various factors including your level of expertise and years of experience. Check out sites like Freelancer or join LinkedIn, for example.

Selling on Amazon

If you’re a business owner looking to get your company and your products in front of a large audience, using Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a great solution. In December 2023, Amazon had 2.7 billion visits across its website—that’s just one month.

Not only will FBA get your products in front of Amazon’s more than 310 million customers, it also takes care of all the logistics for you. For about $40 per month, you get access to Amazon’s entire logistics infrastructure. That means Amazon will take care of:

  • Receiving
  • Packaging
  • Shipping
  • Returns
  • Customer service

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Selling on Etsy

Don’t let anyone tell you your dog collars or vintage doll dresses can’t make you money. Weigh your options and consider Etsy, an online marketplace with annual revenue in 2022 of $2.6 billion. Etsy gears itself toward creative business owners just like you. If you need further proof, Etsy has an annual revenue of $2.3 billion.

The way the business relationship works: Etsy lists your products on its website and mobile app (and will even create ads for your products). In return, Etsy takes a commission off of every sale you make. This allows you to spend more time being creative instead of spending time trying to find your customer base.

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Virtual assistant

The work of an assistant has also gone virtual. Many companies and individuals hire virtual assistants to save money. This way, they only have to pay someone a few hours a day (instead of paying a full-time salary) to do some simple day-to-day tasks.

Most virtual assistant gigs require at least a high school education and attention to detail. You can find listings for virtual assistants on sites like Upwork, Fiverr, and Ovdym. The best part is, with sites like these, you get to make your own hours.

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Gig work

The growing gig economy is valued at nearly $350 billion dollars, opening the door to many business opportunities. Gig work typically differs from freelancing in that it’s not necessarily a career pathway or strategy for strengthening your resume. Still, it can be a great side option since that allows you the flexibility to take a short-term job and earn extra money. Consider sites like Upwork, GigSalad, and TaskRabbit, to find work.

Frequently, you get to set your rates, and can set your own hours—whether picking up a rideshare gig or side hustle delivering meals or groceries. For skills such as plumbing or tutoring, expect sites to ask for proof of qualifications—and be ready to explain your expertise. But if you’re just looking to do some simple tasks like picking up dry cleaning or helping someone move, you won’t need to show proof of experience.

Online recruiter

As an online recruiter, you help companies find the right people for the right jobs. For companies without an HR department, hiring can be a significant time investment—contracting this duty out to online recruiters can help.

If you’re someone who’s good at matching people up with opportunities based on skills and understanding the needs of a company, this can be an excellent business opportunity for you. And through freelance sites like ZipRecruiter, Indeed, and Glassdoor, you can find those gigs (and your hirees) with just a few keystrokes.

Remote business opportunities

Tutoring

Globally, online tutoring is expected to be a nearly $20 billion business by 2030. That means if you have a knowledge base to teach, you can make significant money. How much you earn will depend on what subject you’re teaching and your expertise. With sites like Paper, TutorTap, and Superprof, you can set your own hours and rates, and your potential students can find you. And with software like Zoom and Google Meet, you can tutor from the comfort of your own home and help students from all over the world.

Home-based child care

If you’re willing to childproof your house and you love kids, opening up a small home-based child care service could be a great business opportunity. Not only that, but you could be a resource for friends and neighbors.

Check out your area’s zoning laws and state’s regulations related to opening up a child care business in your home. Many local zoning ordinances put a cap on the number of kids you can take care of in a private residence.

Pet sitting

Pet owners spent more than $136.8 billion on their pets in 2022. For many, pets are very much part of the family. So, finding a reliable person to take care of beloved fur babies is important.

If you’re a pet lover, you can earn money by starting a pet sitting business. With sites like Rover, you can set your hours, rates, and even establish if you’d like to board the pet in your own home.

Website design

Ecommerce is on the rise: In 2023, retail ecommerce sales amounted to nearly $5.8 trillion globally, with expectations of reaching about $8 trillion by 2027. And remember, with every ecommerce business, there’s a website.

If you’ve got a knack for design or have some expertise on a particular platform like Shopify or WordPress, you can turn that into a profitable website design business. If you have programming skills, then you’ll likely be in even more demand for your services. And finding customers is made easier with sites like Upwork and Fiverr.

Resources:

  • How To Create a Website (2024)

Virtual event planner

The popularity of virtual events continues, with the market forecast to be $366.5 billion by 2027. There are many types of virtual events, including virtual weddings, baby showers, and birthday parties. A virtual event planner can assist in organizing these events.

As the virtual event planner, you are in charge of the following responsibilities:

  • Picking and sending out invitations
  • Setting up the virtual meeting space (like creating the Zoom room link)
  • Creating the event itinerary
  • Choosing party favors
  • Determining visuals, such as a group shot or videorecording of event
  • Creating the gift registry for a wedding or baby shower

If you’re organized and love bringing people together, this can be a great way to make some money from home.

Buy an ecommerce business

If you’re flush with cash and don’t want to go through the hassle of starting a business from scratch, consider buying one. With sites such as Flippa, for example, you can buy an already established ecommerce business.

This can be one of the best business opportunities for someone who loves the process of growing a business. The best part is, it doesn’t matter where the ecommerce business is started. For example, you could live in San Francisco and buy an ecommerce business that started in Hoboken, New Jersey—and you can do all of this from your couch.

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Ethical hacker

An ethical hacker is someone that cyber security firms hire to test out the weak points in a client’s cyberwalls. In layman’s terms, they’re paid to hack into a secure system by the owner of the system so that the owners can find any weak spots and fix them.

With personal and brand identity theft increasingly common, cyber security is one of the main concerns for any organization doing business online. A report released by Gartner stated that spending on information security and risk management technology surpassed $188 billion in 2023.

If you have an expertise in coding, networks, and databases, this can be a very lucrative industry to get into.

Social media influencer

Ever imagine turning likes and follows into dollars and checks? Now’s a good time to leverage your reputation as a social media influencer. While it might sound like one of those far-fetched business opportunities, it’s not—and can become a lucrative venture for people across industries, including gardening, fashion, food, travel, and even parenting.

It may take time to build your reputation online, but if you have a topic you’re passionate about and like to talk about, you can make money by growing an engaged audience on social media.

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Business opportunities for entrepreneurs

Sell coffee

Running a café is not your only option if you want to explore all your coffee business opportunities. You can sell anything from beans to roasters to cups to other coffee-related products.

Since coffee is one of the most consumed beverages in the world, there are plenty of potential customers ready to buy your coffee online. Your target audience already wants your coffee, they just need to know where to find you.

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Rent your unused space

Renting your unused space is one of the easiest passive income opportunities in the self-storage industry, which is valued at about $58.3 billion. With sites like Neighbor, you can easily rent unused space in your home to people who need more storage.

Basically, you become a storage unit for someone who lives near you. Instead of going to an expensive storage facility, they come to your house to store and retrieve their stuff.

Security

Security is extremely important in government-owned buildings and facilities. From single-guard to multi-state operations, there are dozens of security contracts you can bid on.

Examples include entrance security, armed patrol, after-hours patrol, and camera installation and monitoring. You’ll likely be competing against some big corporations, but there are business opportunities even for smaller service providers. For instance, for some federal government contracts, there are set-asides for small businesses. You can bid for direct contracts, or in some cases, as a subcontractor.

Construction

Whether it’s new construction, electrical work, or roadwork, you can bid on contracting business opportunities with the government. This includes providing supplies and materials for new buildings and roads, or even renovating old ones. These business opportunities would go through the standard bidding process, but you can also find less intensive jobs like custodial work through sites like Indeed.

Equipment maintenance

Operations and maintenance spans a variety of categories, from facilities, roadway, parking, and electronics to public safety, food services (such as vending machines), and office equipment to keep agencies and institutions running smoothly. 

Why do you want to start bidding on government contracts for maintenance? Many of these maintenance contracts run on a multi-year basis, which means stable long-term work for your business. 

3D printing

You can 3D print toys, tools, or even prosthetics. 3D printing has many uses and has gained popularity over the years, presenting many opportunities for anyone choosing to start a 3D printing business. In 2023, the 3D-printing market was valued at more than $20 billion.

And 3D printers can be reasonably affordable. You can buy one on Amazon starting at less than $200, making it easier for starting a 3D printing business. Here are some ways you can make money using your 3D printer:

  • Make prototypes for brands/companies
  • Make jewelry
  • Make costume or cosplay pieces
  • Sell your 3D printed art on Etsy
  • Sell your 3D printer designs
  • Rent out your 3D printer

How to identify new business opportunities

Keep these tips in mind when looking for new business ventures:

  • Look at industry trends and insights. Continually educate yourself on industry trends by subscribing to niche publications, joining relevant associations, and following experts on social media.
  • Do competitor research. Conduct a competitive analysis to see what similar companies are doing. This will help you identify key business opportunities to expand your market reach and create better products and services.
  • Listen to your customer base. When your customers talk, listen to them. How do they talk about industry products and services? What frustrations and feedback do they have? Use this insight to tailor products for the right audience.
  • Collaborate and network. Collaborating with other businesses and networking will help you better understand which ideas work and which ones don’t.
  • Find a mentor. Look to connect with someone as a mentor in your industry who has achieved more than you. They will help you get better and identify more key business opportunities.
  • Keep an eye out. Business opportunities can pop up out of nowhere, often as a result of your hard work. So be ready to take advantage of an opportunity at any time. 

Finding the right business opportunities for you

Whether you’re looking for dropshipping business ideas or want to become a reseller online, you can find business opportunities to meet your future goals. While you’re exploring all your options, be sure to check out our list of low-investment business ideas to find the best biz opportunity for you!

Illustration by Martina Paukova

Business opportunities FAQs

What are examples of business opportunities?

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What is a good business opportunity?

A good business opportunity is one that has potential for growth and aligns with your passions. Motivation is key to the success of any startup.