You’re probably here because a list of “Top 10 Most Successful Businesses to Start” sounded like the ideal first step to take to becoming independent. Perhaps you’ve been playing with the idea of starting your own business soon. Or maybe you’ve already decided to do it and now you just want to know what fits you best. 

But information on the internet is so vast, so it’s good to have someone compress that mass into small bits. Especially for a decision that important. After all, we know starting a business can be difficult and at times scary. There are so many things that have to be taken into account.

So, without further ado, here is our comprehensive list of the Top 10 Most Successful Businesses to Start.

Getting Started

What is the market size for your business? How competitive is it? What is your target customer and how do you reach them?

For all these questions we recommend you start writing your business plan. Once you’ve decided on what you want to do. It will help you realise what actions you have to take in order to reach your goals.

If you don’t know what business plans are, you can read more about them on our blog.

Before you can do that you, of course, still need to find the right business. 

Affiliate Marketing 

Our first mention on the list of top 10 most successful businesses to start is affiliate marketing. This is perfect for someone who wants to build up their capital without having to waste a lot of money. 

If you chose to do an affiliate program, you will be provided with potential offers that you can then promote on any platform you’re active on.

The way it works is by signing up to an affiliate program by a company. Once you get a personal link that has a reference to you embedded into it, you can simply share it. When people start using your link to buy the product, you’ll get paid for the sales the company made through you.

The product you’re promoting should have a connection to what you do, so others can trust your expertise in choosing it. For example, if you have a cooking blog, it makes sense to promote a mixer, but not a hairdryer. 

Recommended Types of Affiliate Marketing

  • Social. Products that you advertise via social media through paid traffic or via influencers.
  • Content. The type of program that works best when advertised on blogs or in articles that are catered towards reviewing a certain type of product, e.g. electronics.  
  • Coupon. A very popular affiliate program where you offer coupons and discounts that people can find on sites. 

A few very high ranked affiliate programs are, for example, CJ Affiliate, ShareASale, ClickBank, Eharmony, and many more. Most of these are also very beginner friendly, so even if you have no experience in affiliate marketing, these are very easy to use. 

Start a Blog

While we’re already on the topic of reselling on platforms, another of the top 10 most successful businesses to start is writing a blog. 

The cost of starting your own blog is very low. The domain fee is about $10 a year, hosting fees up to $50 a year. There are also available platforms for blogging, like Blogger and WordPress that make it easier to publish your posts.

How to Find the right Blog

When you’re choosing the type of blog you want to start, we recommend you find a niche so that you’ll have little competition. If that doesn’t work with the type of blog you want to write, don’t worry. You can still make money in a smaller market if you manage to make your blog stand out.

To do that you can start by comparing other blogs that are similar to what you want to do; write down how they’ve build their blog, what they do good and what could be improved upon. It’s also very helpful to search for feedback they have received. These positive or negative reviews will tell you more than enough about what you should watch out for.

Once you’ve done that, you’ll start noticing a pattern that will give you a lot of ideas to choose from.

There’s also the technical part about starting a blog. You need well developed language skills for starters, or you can hire someone to proofread for you. Either way it’s important to refine your writing skills because your wording and structure of the posts is the least you have to be able to manage.

Another important detail that will help your blog gain visibility is having SEO knowledge. When you write using specific keywords, your post will be in the search results for those. This increases the visibility of your blog.

What makes a blog such a good business is the possibility of operating it from anywhere. If you don’t have much time on your hands and you want to make creative writing your full-time job, starting a blog could be the best solution for you. 

Online Reselling 

If you have an eye for fashion, are good at refurbishing old things from clothes to furniture, or know how to differentiate an item with resell-value, this business option is made for you. 

This is a job that takes dedication and can be on the more expensive end of the spectrum. You will also need to invest a lot of time and work into buying, photographing and uploading the items before it will grow into a more profitable and stable business. 

Luckily there are a lot of platforms that will help you out. Unlike when starting a blog, here you won’t have to completely start from scratch. You can just download apps or sign up for online stores and start selling. With time this can then grow into your own business. 

If you’re planning to expand, it would be best to focus on one type of valuable. For example clothes, or jewellery. Once you’ve made enough money with your first sales and build up your reputation, you can open up your own online store. 

Language Courses & Tutoring

One important idea we didn’t want to exclude from our list of top 10 most successful businesses to start, is this one. If there’s one thing people are always looking for, it’s language courses, especially from a native speaker. Even better if you speak more than one language.

This is yet another business you can start from the comfort of your home. To do this job you don’t need much more than basic linguistic knowledge. 

Even if you say teaching grammar is something you’re unsure about, there are many other types of language courses you can teach. For example experienced learners who want some practice speaking and practicing conversation skills won’t require much grammatical teaching.

It doesn’t even have to be a language course. There are just as many possibilities for tutors looking to teach other subjects. Many parents are constantly looking for tutors to help their children with their homework. Either because they are too busy, or because they simply don’t know how.

If you’re a college or university student majoring in a certain field that will give you credentials, this is the perfect business for you to start. 

With time, as your reputation grows, you can start expanding on that business and even subcontract others to work for you. Especially if there are subjects you don’t know how to teach, hiring others who can would be a perfect addition.

Social Media Consulting

A lot of businesses, from small to big, require a social media consultant. Few of those have the time for, or the knowledge about social media and how it works.

If you’re a millennial or an even younger generation, you grew up with the presence of social media in your life. You’re used to brands having a social media presence and interacting with people on all kinds of platforms. It’s become part of basic social customer care. 

Something you do for fun is difficult and too much work for most brands. Having to keep up with trends, maintaining all the different social media accounts – it’s a hassle. 

This gap in the market has yet to fill, there is a never ending demand for social media consultants and managers. Simply put, your social media expertise can be your next business venture. The combination of an ever expanding market with the most profitable opportunities, plus the low expenses that go into starting this business is what makes this such a success.

IT Support

It goes without saying that IT support is a very high in-demand occupation. 

We rely on technology every day and that is reason enough why it’s a guaranteed way to a profitable business. Of course, the reason it’s so successful is due to the fact that not everyone can do it. 

The market for IT support therefore is not very competitive and the ideal prospect for those who have knowledge in that field. Tasks that seem easy for an IT technician, like fixing the internet or installing network updates, or dealing with computer software updates, are a hassle for a large part of the population.

The only special skill  you will require for this kind of business –besides being skilled in IT– is patience.

App Development

If you’re looking to use your knowledge in computer science or software engineering, one way we recommend is through app development. There are countless apps that have yet to be developed, even though demand for them is high. 

A very profitable market currently is apps and entertainment for the enrichment of children. Children’s use of tablets, mobiles and apps is constantly rising, especially when focused on education. More than 60% of parents agree that these apps have aided in teaching their children all kinds of skills like math, reading, languages, and even science.

Yet another market that is always looking for software programmers to take the edge off of their workflow are companies. They are always looking for apps that can help with organisation and management, and you can provide them with those. This business model is called work-for-hire, which you can start off with to build capital in the beginning 

Now, if you have a little creativity and the skill, you can make a good business out of developing apps like that. 

Vacation Home Rentals

If you live in a city that is a popular tourist destination, or somewhere special that offers new living experiences for those interested, like a cottage in the woods, you should consider renting it. 

You can start by renting a single room to backpackers, or other tourists who don’t mind such living arrangements to make some profit. All you need to do is to sign up to sites like Airbnb, or VRBO, upload some pictures and you’re done. You have to offer basic services like wifi, clean living conditions and a bathroom, especially when renting out only one room. 

To make sure your place will be rented you just have to make it appealing. You don’t have to own the most beautiful and expensive furniture. Much more important is cleanliness, this is especially important so that you don’t get bad reviews which will lower the chances of your place being rented.

The average host, according to Airbnb, can make up to $14K a year, and the demand for these kind of accommodations is not decreasing any time soon. You’ll just have to make sure that you’re following the regulation of your city, regarding Airbnb hosting, to avoid any mishaps. 

Online Bookkeeping & Accounting

Bookkeeping and accounting services are always in high demand, because many business owners, especially entrepreneurs, don’t have the time or knowledge to do it.

This is also why we recommend that you look for opportunities to work with smaller businesses and startups, since those usually don’t have the resources to hire a bookkeeper as part of the regular staff.  

Not only is it one of the most profitable industries you can go into, the startup costs for this kind of business are also very low. Another profit of starting your own bookkeeping or accounting service is that you can work from anywhere. That way you can regulate your own working time. 

Freelance Content Writing

One way  becoming a freelance content writer is through copywriting. A copywriter is very useful for companies that need writers to produce advertising materials for their marketing initiatives. This business alone is estimated to be worth around $400 Billion. 

It is therefore especially profitable for an independent contractor. The reason why digital copywriting is such a profitable small business, is because digital marketing assets can generate a lot of revenue for companies, which is why it requires SEO knowledge.

Of course to be a content writer in general you need to have impeccable spelling and grammar. But as previously mentioned, those are all skills you can acquire and hone online. It doesn’t require a degree in English, journalism, or literature. All you need it’s writing talent and a computer with an Internet connection.

If you’re unsure how to start there are many online platforms like Fiverr and Upwork that will help you land your first jobs as freelance content writer, and grow your portfolio for future reference.


You probably noticed how, despite the title being “Top 10 Most Successful Businesses to Start,” we didn’t rank these by number. Instead we just listed them in no particular order. That was done because we know that every one of these business ideas can lead to equal success. 

Which business idea you choose to achieve that depends on you and what you are best at. If you want to work at your computer but yo don’t want to write a blog, tutoring could be for you. If you like the blog idea but don’t want to start from scratch freelance content writing might sound better to you.

About the author

EWOR is a place where the most extraordinary people find the education, network, and capital to solve the world's biggest problems. Our unique combination of an entrepreneurship academy and early-stage VC (up to €150K investment) firm was built for founders by founders, creating an unparalleled community for like-minded entrepreneurs and over a dozen unicorn founders who are building impactful tech companies.