Opportunities for enterprising individuals are plenty. Some may begin as side hustles. With the rise of technology and changing consumer preferences, there are numerous business opportunities for entrepreneurs in Malaysia. It could be a new vertical for an existing enterprise. Here are 23 business ideas for entrepreneurs in 2023.
1. Virtual event planning and management
With the pandemic forcing many events to go virtual, the demand for virtual event planners and managers is growing. This could include conferences and trade shows to weddings and birthday parties.
2. Plant-based food production and delivery
More people are starting to understand how their food choice affects the health of our planet. We see that 1 in 20 Malaysian adults are vegetarians. Entrepreneurs could consider starting a plant-based food production and delivery service to cater to this market.
3. Online tutoring and education services
Around 3.42 million Malaysian households have fixed fibre subscriptions, indicating the massive demand for online connectivity. Enterprising teachers and tutors can use this opportunity to provide distance learning or online tutoring remotely. Many platforms and tools are available to ensure the teaching experience is compelling and understandable. You may consider one-to-one sessions or a live-streaming session. You would have come across some classes being conducted on TikTok.
4. Sustainable fashion and accessories production
These days, customers prefer to purchase fashion products while protecting the environment. Around 53% of consumers prefer green or sustainable products over other products, and 75% would pay more for green products, according to Shopify’s 2021 Future of Commerce report.
You can develop your brand to keep up with sustainability by ensuring your product lifecycle process aligns with this outlook. Use leftover fabrics, pick natural recyclable fibre, and so on.
5. Digital marketing and social media management
Every day, businesses relying on digital channels to reach customers keep increasing. Since you can target specific audiences, you can directly sell to people who will likely buy the products or services.
6. Mobile app development and design
This is one of the growing business ideas for entrepreneurs due to the pandemic, where many are forced to shift to the digital world. Especially considering 49% of millennials open mobile apps 1 to 20 times a day, you are ready to go as long as you have the required skills. You may acquire those skills via platforms such as Coursera, Udemy, or even good old YouTube!
7. Subscription box services for niche products
Today, convenience key. We are being pampered with how accessible everything is, and we want to have more convenient ways of shopping. Customers can make an order once, and they don’t have to keep doing the same thing repeatedly. A subscription service can earn a gross profit between 40% and 60%, making it a great example of business ideas for entrepreneurs. You could come up with boxes of goods catering to your target audience. We’ve seen subscription box services providing men’s grooming, facial care, and even pet care! The ideas depend on your creativity.
8. Health and wellness coaching and services
As a health and wellness coach, you can help individuals set up better and healthier lifestyle goals. Like any other coach, you will motivate and support clients morally to achieve their physical and emotional objectives. It is important to make sure you get the necessary certification from credible bodies. You may also need to be mindful of regulations and industry standards to protect both yourself and your clients.
9. Cybersecurity and data privacy consulting
With the increasing threat of cyberattacks and data breaches, many seek ways to protect their online data. Surina Shukri, the then Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) Chief Executive Officer, said, “20,000 cyber security knowledge workers are needed by 2025 to support the cybersecurity workforce demand.” Like many digital skills, you may find courses that you can take at your own pace online. Coursera and Udemy are platforms where you can acquire certifications. Many universities offer their courses online through the free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) model. Among these universities are Harvard, Stanford, and MIT.
10. Home automation and smart home installation
Home automation is an expanding business globally—by billions of dollars annually. In Malaysia, the revenue of the smart home market is projected to rise 15.11% every year and will reach US$ 420.8 million (RM1.8 billion) in 2025. Entrepreneurs who want to enter this field can offer installation, support, and maintenance packages. Online marketplaces like Shopee, Alibaba, and Amazon allow them to source the necessary hardware to promote.
11. Interior design and home renovation services
Not only residential houses but business owners can also benefit from hiring an interior designer. A great interior design can raise spirits, boost output, strengthen name recognition, and maintain customer trust. If you have a knack for design, and some capital to acquire materials, this is certainly something you can look into.
12. Remote bookkeeping and accounting services
This is one of the hottest business ideas for entrepreneurs in 2023. Since all businesses, big and small, need to keep track of their finances, there is a high demand for accountants. Malaysia is facing a shortage of accountants, with only 37,000 registered in 2021. Just be mindful that accounting is regulated under the Accountants Act 1967. You will need the necessary qualifications to offer accounting services. However, unlike accounting, bookkeeping focuses on recording and organising financial data. Entrepreneurs, business owners, and even individuals often see this as a tedious process. Between us, many individuals tend to put off their income tax filing until the last minute because they dread compiling the data and receipts.
13. Personalised healthcare and wellness products
With more than 50% of patients wishing for healthcare providers and insurers to personalise their recommendations, you can see that this business idea will grow. With the advent of direct selling, more people are venturing into selling healthcare and wellness products. Personalising healthcare can lead to greater customer satisfaction and, in turn, will also increase profit. When venturing into this business, be mindful of regulations by the Ministry of Health. Make sure the suppliers receive the necessary certification from the Ministry. Similarly, understand what you can and cannot claim. The last thing you want is to be sued for misrepresentation, or for making false statements.
Remember, patients having ailments and pre-existing conditions must always be referred to a licensed medical and healthcare professional.
14. 3D printing and custom product manufacturing
Many sectors, including aerospace, medicine, and the automobile, use 3D printing for rapid prototyping. This business idea is great for new entrepreneurs with no staff or limited workforce, as 3D printers can be set up to finish the job without supervision.
15. Digital content creation and marketing
Everything is about content these days. Go onto any popular social media platform and you will find influencers on various scales. In Malaysia, 70% of people spend time online on social networking apps, with 26 million users in 2020. Considering those numbers, digital content creation is used to raise customer awareness, generate leads, and increase conversions. Focus on broad niches like lifestyle, travel, or health. If you have the necessary qualifications and training, you may consider helping your followers understand your technical fields.
16. Renewable energy solutions and installation
The demand for energy in Southeast Asia has doubled in recent years, making renewable energy very popular, especially solar technologies. In Malaysia alone, we see an expanded 66% installation of solar projects. This number will only grow in the future. Renewable energy solutions providers are constantly looking for distributors and contractors they can partner with. Make sure the solutions conform to Malaysian standards and regulatory requirements.
17. Green cleaning and housekeeping services
More environmentally friendly business ideas for entrepreneurs are showing up these days. Since people want to reduce the chemical harm to the environment, starting a green cleaning service will cater to this need. Besides the products themselves, a survey revealed that 54% of Malaysians also consider if the packaging is sustainable. As a business, how you handle the waste should meet the overall intention. Otherwise, you might find accusations of green-washing being levelled against you.
18. E-commerce platform for local artisans and craftspeople
Artisanal crafts are getting the attention of consumers. Consumers look for alternatives to the mass-produced goods they normally get. Many small and local artisans in Malaysia offer amazing things. By purchasing their products, we’re contributing to the regional economy. So, entrepreneurs could start an e-commerce platform for local artisans and craftspeople to sell their products online.
19. On-demand delivery services for groceries and essentials
The pandemic opened up an opportunity in the field of on-demand delivery services for groceries and essentials. With platforms like Grab, Lalamove, and many more, users are spoilt for choice when it comes to ordering their groceries. You can consider becoming a shopper on these platforms. Likewise, you may decide to cater to a specific target market. You may opt to develop your brand where you focus on value rather than volume.
20. Personalised travel planning and booking services
In 2023, people are starting to travel again. Search engines and travel advisory sites are good sources of information for them. But more often than not, to develop one’s itinerary they need to know what they are searching for first. Otherwise, they risk spending hours on research. You can provide a personalised travel itinerary and help with booking. Sure, booking to most hotels and attractions can be done online. You would set yourself apart should you be able to add your insights hidden gems and off-the-beaten-track destinations to your clients’ itineraries based on their tastes, interests, and preferences.
21. AI-powered customer service and chatbot development
Artificial intelligence, or AI-related businesses is booming in 2023. Not everyone is quick to incorporate AI into their work or business. This is where you may help businesses if you are drawn to this field. Businesses will always need customer support. But labour shortages and costs could hamper their plans for hiring. Technology can come and assist them. Implementing AI in customer support will enable companies to deliver a better user experience within the resource limitations they face. You could help them develop their AI-powered customer service and chatbot.
22. Customised pet care and grooming services
Many business ideas for entrepreneurs cater to human needs. We can’t forget our furry friends. In Malaysia, 53% of people indicated that they own pets. Demand for reliable pet care and grooming is increasing because of the growing number of pet owners and the finite time they have due to their busy schedules. Besides that, some pets may need extra care than others. If you love animals, this is an area which you can explore. Pet care ranges from actually taking care of them to providing the right products.
23. Renting electric vehicles (EVs) and charging stations
Remember, before considering any out-of-the-box business ideas for entrepreneurs and starting your business, conducting thorough research, identifying a viable target market, and creating a solid business plan is essential. With hard work, passion, and strategic planning, you could be well on your way to building a successful and rewarding business in 2023 and beyond.