Online business is booming. Partially in thanks to the 2020 Pandemic. One positive thing that came from that horrific pandemic was how it increased the amount of attention on online business. There is no wonder as to why. When shops are shut, and you want to avoid going outside, why bother if you can go online and get what you want there?
Of course, it also increased the number of people who decided to start up side hustles. As remote work accelerated, and people couldn’t go outside, they had more time on their hands and started up more online side hustle businesses. It doesn’t need to be a side hustle though, sometimes an idea can become a revolutionary business.
If you missed the boom of online business that came with the pandemic, do not think you missed your chance, because you can still start up an online business now! There is so much opportunity out there, you just need to go out and grab it!
Is Online Business Easy or Hard to Start?
An online business is one of the easiest businesses to start. As a matter of fact, there are several online businesses you can start with $0 and from the comfort of your home or office.
Is Online Business Profitable?
An online business is profitable. There are some online businesses you may struggle to make profits with hence you should carry out your research to identify the online business that is profitable before venturing into it. Online business ideas are endless and all-inclusive. As a matter of fact, most office-based jobs can now be done online through freelancing or remote working.
The eCommerce market size of the USA is $504.58 billion. It is the second largest in the world and there are currently 9.1 million online retailers in the world and 2.5 million of them are in the United States.
Types of Online Business Model
Out of all the types of online business you could decide to start there are 4 main categories all will usually fall into.
- Content business
- Service-based business
- SaaS and tech-focused business
Content business is a slow build but has a potential to scale up and can even become a passive income. Service based business is on the other side of things as it is a quick build, but it is harder to scale. It is a good idea for those who want human connection, but it cannot be passive.
E-commerce is a popular form of online business now with high competition, but margins are typically smaller. SaaS & tech-focused is knowledge based, potentially passive and comes with a potential high ROI. So, what are the 20 online business ideas you should consider? Remember, each one of them falls into these 4 categories in one way or another.
Best Online Business ideas
Software as a Service (SaaS) Business
Software as a service business (SaaS) is one of the online businesses that is bound to become highly successful in this age. This is because processes and systems of life are becoming automated and this can be achieved with the help of software apps. Software as a service is an emerging paradigm business model or concept that enables software to be delivered as a service to customers.
This arrangement enables companies to expand their network capacity, and run applications directly on a vendor’s network, offering a host of advantages with the most primary being radically lower IT costs. The lower budgetary requirements and commitments allow smaller companies to piece together an IT project without spending or purchasing a legacy server, and storage systems.
Dropshipping is an online business model that is used to start and run a retail store without holding any inventory. In this kind of business, once you’ve made a sale, your supplier will be tasked with shipping your products from their warehouse directly to your customer’s doorstep, and you won’t have to bother about storing, packaging, or shipping your products.
Starting and running a dropshipping business can be quite challenging, but it is lucrative. Aside from selling to customers without holding any inventory, you also will not have to pay for products upfront. If you’re serious about your new venture, you can grow a sustainable source of income in the long run.
Affiliate Marketing Business
Another profitable online business an entrepreneur should consider starting is affiliate marketing. This is the process by which an affiliate earns a commission for marketing another person’s or company’s products. The affiliate searches for a product they enjoy then promote that product and earns profit from each sale they make.
With affiliate marketing, you can join their affiliate program, grab your link, and post it on your page or website. Interestingly, affiliate marketing is a multibillion-dollar global industry. Statistics show that by 2022, the affiliate marketing industry is expected to reach an estimated worth of $12 billion.
Create a Shop on Etsy
Etsy is an American e-commerce website that is focused on handmade or vintage items and craft supplies. These items fall under different categories, including jewelry, bags, clothing, home décor and furniture, toys, art, as well as craft supplies, and tools. The site follows the tradition of open craft fairs, giving sellers personal storefronts where they list their goods for $0.20 per item.
Creating a shop on Etsy is free. However, each listing that is posted in the shop costs $0.20, and the listing will remain on the shop’s page for a maximum of 4 months, or until someone buys the product. The prices of products are set by the shop owner, but Etsy claims 5 percent of the final sale price of each listing.
Shop owners are sent a bill at the end of every month detailing the fees Etsy has charged them, and they have until the 15th of the following month to pay the fees. Sellers can choose which payment options to offer buyers, including credit cards, debit cards, and PayPal, among others.
Freelance Writing Business
Freelance writing is an easy-to-launch and profitable online business idea you can start. If you are a skilled and creative writer and you have enough time at your disposal, you can earn a good income from the freelance writing business. There are lots of websites you can secure high-paying writing contracts from including; freelancer.com, upwork.com, guru.com, elance.com, et al. From these websites, you can get writing gigs that can comfortably pay your bills.
Offer Online Graphics Services
If you are good with graphics, then one of the profitable businesses you should consider starting online is graphic designing. It is a business you can start with what you already have or have access to. Loads of people online are looking for graphic artists to bring some creativity to their ideas.
You must be proactive in marketing your services. Graphic design is not unlike software and website development in general, they are in the same ballpark and can sometimes even have the same customers. You see, no matter how incredible a product or service may be at surface level, unless the brand is designed well, is eye-catching, appealing and memorable, it will always be dragging its feet.
Any business owner will be hyper aware of this, however for most, design is not in their niche skill set. They can make an awesome product, but they are far from artists. That is where you come in to save the day. If you have a keen eye for design, know how to catch someone’s eye, with a taste for color, line work, and style, you could turn someone else’s vision into a reality.
Graphic designers have lucrative skills, and these skills are very sought after, as more businesses crop up needing new graphic designers. It can be a bit of a competitive market in some ways, but since there is no shortage of demand, it can also be reliable in many ways as well. You just need to improve your reputation and get a network surrounding you to back you up.
Online Editing and Proofreading Business
Online editing and proofreading is yet another easy-to-start profitable online business to start. It requires little or no capital to launch. The nature of this business makes it easy to work from home. If you are a good editor and you have eyes for details, then you should consider visiting freelancer.com, elance.com, oDesk.com, et al. With these platforms, you can get enough editing and proofreading jobs that can make reasonable money.
Start a Crowdfunding Website
If you are a social entrepreneur who has ICT skills and you want to become your own boss, then one of the thriving and profitable social enterprises (online businesses) you can launch is a crowdfunding website. Crowdfunding websites or crowdfunding service providers are a funding method where startups can raise money to fund their personal, charity, or business project with money raised from people all over the world via cyberspace.
Another profitable online business a person can start is forex trading, you can start trading forex for your family members or friends. You would need to practice with a free demo so you won’t run at a loss. Trading currencies online could be a risky venture but very rewarding. If you have good analytic skills and knowledge of cash flow and the exchange market, you can do well as a forex trader.
Digital Marketing Services
Another online business someone can start is digital marketing services. It is the process of leveraging modern digital technologies to market goods, or the process of pulling website traffic or attention through social media sites; they achieve this by creating content that attracts attention and encourages readers to share it across their social network platforms.
The major purpose of leveraging social media in marketing is to cover a wide range of target markets. It is a way of making money from the comfort of your home as long as you can produce measurable results for your clients.
You want to start off by creating a website and choosing one digital marketing channel to focus on. Then study diligently on that particular channel. The biggest part of marketing and advertising is to educate yourself, get familiar with the market and understand what you are dealing with as you head into the business. You do need to find your niche as well, as it will help you understand competition.
Of course, once you have your niche, you will be able to do well versed competitor research and better understand your market through what you learn about your competitors. Digital advertising is not for everyone, but if you are skilled and have a good understanding of marketing, you could do well.
Typically, digital advertising is just advertising done online. Hire yourself out to companies who need your services to promote themselves, and you’ll be surprised how many need it.
Offer Web Designing Services
Web designing services is yet another profitable online business an aspiring entrepreneur can start. Statistics show that there are over 350 million active websites on the internet and it is not enough to meet the demand of people visiting it. There is much to learn from the internet hence people are opening new websites on a regular basis.
If you know how to design a website, you should not restrict the marketing of your website to only people you can see and visit within your location. There is a large market within the online community waiting to be tapped.
Another profitable business you can start is selling eBooks online. There are countless subjects you can write about, and there will be a ready market for such subjects. One of the easiest ways to generate money from selling eBooks online is to start writing self–help books or books on ‘How To.
For example, if you are good with graphics, you can write a book on ‘How to create a logo’ there are lots of people that will be willing to pay for such a book. It is a way of generating money for your bills.
Buying and Sell On eBay
If you want to start a profitable online business, you should consider going into the buying and selling of different goods on eBay. You can start with selling things you no longer need. It could be electronic gadgets, bicycles, mowers, mobile phones, and computers, as long as they are in good shape.
All you need is to sign up for their services, play by their rules in listing/selling your products, and be careful when dealing with your clients.
Launch a Blog
Another profitable online business you can start is blogging. It is a means of making money from the internet. Blogging is about creating educative content for a targeted audience on the internet. If you have passion and good content on your blog, loads of people (human traffic) will visit your blog.
You might just have some awesome ideas that you think may be of value to someone out there, and the likelihood is that it is probably of value to more people than you think. Starting up a blog gives you the space to share your passions with the world, educate people on what you know, share information, and all the while making money!
To start up your blog you need a domain name and a hosting, a topic area that you like and are happy in devoting yourself to as well as some strong writing skills. It can be a bit intimidating, but the learning curve with blogging is not quite as bad as you may envision.
The larger the audience, the more money you will make. If your blog attracts huge traffic, you can attract adverts from top corporate organizations. You can also earn money from your blog via AdSense, banner ads, affiliate marketing, sponsorships, online courses or e-book sales, offering subscription services to members and also selling your products via your blog.
Virtual Assistance Agency
Virtual assistance service is yet another profitable online business you can consider starting. This is the kind of home business idea that a majority of people do not think about. However, it is a good idea for many who are unsure of what they would like their online business to be, but they have plenty of experience in offices.
There are busy business people or organizations who are willing to hire virtual assistants to help them handle some of their job responsibilities. Being a virtual assistant means that you would do pretty much what you could expect to do in an office, except you do it from home, and you do it as you plan to, as a business that provides this service.
If you have marketable skills, then you can earn good money as a virtual assistant. As a virtual assistant, you can handle roles like; responding to emails, online marketing, product listings, blogger outreach research, report writing, write content, and perform a whole other wide array of tasks on behalf of the business.
This role can mean many things, it could be anything from data entry to being a researcher. So, you can be open to trying out new things and discovering new things you are good at, while gaining skills and still getting paid! It is the ideal option for many people who want to try opening up an online business but have never done anything like this before!
Match Making Website (Dating Website)
If you are a relationship expert or passionate about relationships and you are looking towards generating income from your passion, you can create a match-making website; an online community where you can help people looking for partners. You should create an environment for aspiring members and charge them money.
Aside from membership fees, you can also sell your products (books, CDs, DVDs et al). You can as well make yourself available for those who would need professional counseling for relationship matters.
Become a Social Media Expert and Manager
If you are interested in starting an online business, you have enough time and are good with various social media platforms, then you can start an online business managing social media handles for busy business executives, politicians, government officials, pastors, celebrities, and public figures.
You must display some level of professionalism and expertise before you can be hired to manage social media pages. You can make a reasonable amount of money from this type of online business without investing startup capital.
Online Video Editing Services
Online video editing is yet another thriving and profitable online business someone can successfully start. It is quite easy for people to post amateur videos on social media platforms and get several likes. If you are in the business of selling resource video materials, endeavor to be professional with the videos you put up for sale.
If you live in Toronto, Canada, you don’t have to travel through the street of Toronto in search of a video editor, from the comfort of your office you can contract the editing of your videos to an expert somewhere in Tokyo.
Online Hotel Booking Business
If you live in a country with thousands of visitors and tourists, you can start an online hotel booking service. Enter into a partnership with hotels around you so that when people book their hotels from your website, they will pay you a commission based on the agreement you have with the management of the hotel.
To succeed in this type of business, ensure you gain the trust and corporation of the management of the hotels listed on your website and also the trust of tourists and visitors.
Start an Online Sports Betting Business
Another profitable online business you can start is an online sport betting business. This business is as old as civilization, as far back as when humans started participating in organized horse racing and wrestling et al. People who bet during those eras can only do it if they are physically present in the venue of the games.
But that is not the case with this dispensation; with the invention of the internet and of course good and reliable software, you can be somewhere in Dallas, and place a bet online from a sports betting site that is located in Las Vegas, United States, for a football match between Arsenal FC and Manchester United in the United Kingdom.
Distance is no longer a barrier when it comes to placing bets on any of your favorite sports. So, if you love sports and you love betting, then you should consider starting your own online sports betting business.
Online Research Jobs
Are you good at researching and report writing? Do you want to make cool cash from your passion with your free time? If yes, you can make money as a freelance researcher for organizations and individuals across the world. But you must prove to them that you have what it takes to deliver on the job.
In your free time, you may be able to do a better job at finding information that you want than the FBI. If this sounds like you, you may be missing out on an opportunity. It does sound a little far fetched, but you can actually make a living off of your ability to find information online fast.
Plenty of people are making a living off of this ability to find information online with ease. Plenty of companies need to have good researchers backing them up. It could be anything from data research for infographics, market research for startups, or even wilder things.
A talented researcher will know that you can always put a price tag on knowledge, and so if you are your own personal FBI, and you have a knack for finding out things, or even if you just like researching and have a tonne of seemingly useless knowledge, you may have just found a future career path.
Online researching is a great option, but it will take time to build up a reputation and get enough customers, so, know it is not an instant success idea.
Online Consulting Services
Another profitable business you can start is an online consulting services business. As a trained consultant, your job is to offer workable advice to your clients; it could be business advice, relationship advice, technical advice et al. The bottom line is that you don’t have to be physically present with your clients before advising them on how to make the best out of their businesses or life.
You should leverage the internet to reach out to your clients. With the internet, you can successfully do video calling (Skype calling et al) and live chat with your clients no matter where they live. Ensure you list your consulting services online and you will be amazed at the number of people all over the world that will call for your services if you are considered a pro in the industry.
Start an Online School
An online school is yet another profitable business idea one can consider starting. There are lots of courses you can teach online; it could be a diploma or Degree or MBA courses et al. If you are passionate about impacting knowledge, all you need to do is to secure the required license, permits, and accreditation from the government of your country and you can start a degree or diploma awarding online school.
Online Flight Booking Services
Another profitable online business idea you can start is online flight booking services. The truth is that you do not need to get the IATA certification before you can start making money online by booking flights for air travelers online. All you need is computer knowledge, a laptop, an internet device, and a partnership agreement with a registered and certified ticketing company.
With this kind of agreement, you will be required to book flights for clients and you will make your commission. This type of business will not affect your regular job or business.
Photography Business (Sale of Pictures Online)
It is rare to see any business that cannot leverage the internet to generate more income. Online Photography is another business you can launch if you are looking for an internet-based business to start. If you are a photographer and you are good with photo editing, all you need to do is to list pictures in your archive for sale to the internet community.
There are over 30 million websites and these websites need content which is why they outsource content writing jobs and also photos. If your pictures are good, you can sell them online where they will be used for graphics.
Online Photo Editing Services
Another profitable online business idea you can start is online photo editing. There are self-help photo editing software online that you can use to edit your photos, but the photo editing jobs that are handled by professional photo editors can be more detailed and based on specifications.
If you are a skilled photo editor, all you need to do is list your services online and you will attract high-paying clients from within your country and overseas.
Start Selling NFTs
Selling NFTs is yet another profitable online business idea you can start. NFTs are known as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), these cryptographic assets are based on blockchain technology and have unique identification codes and metadata that set them apart from each other. Such tokens can be used as placeholders for real-world assets such as artwork and real estate.
The most popular way to generate money from NFTs is by selling them on NFT-dedicated marketplaces. Today, there are a variety of marketplaces and platforms where you can create, list, sell, and exchange NFTs including OpenSea and Mintable.
Online Art Gallery (Selling Artworks Online)
Another profitable business you can start is to open an online art gallery. Even if you operate a conventional art gallery, that does not stop you from increasing your income by selling your artwork online. As a matter of fact, you will attract more customers from the online community and will generate more sales.
Online Book Store
Opening an online book store is yet another profitable business to start. You can start by selling your old and unused books to your family members and friends. There are book lovers all over the world who are interested in buying books no matter the amount. Starting an online book store is a great way of making money from the internet.
A company like amazon.com are making huge revenues from selling books online and you can start something similar. You can sell eBooks, audiobooks, and hard copy books on various subjects and from various authors on your online book store.
Start an Online Gaming Business
Another profitable you can start is the online gaming business. Game lovers all over the world visit gaming sites to register and play games of their choice. If you are looking towards making money from the internet, one of the ways you can make money is by starting your own online gaming business; a website where various games can be played by game lovers at an affordable fee.
Start an Online Car Dealership Business
You don’t need to own a physical car garage or showroom before you can make money from selling cars. As a matter of fact, it is easier these days to sell cars online than it is to sell them from a garage. You will need to open a website where the cars you want to sell can be listed (the prices, specifications et al). You can deal in fairly used or brand-new cars or both and still attract customers from all over the world.
Online Skill Acquisition Training
Another profitable online business you can start is skill acquisition training. The internet has made it possible for professional trainers to make money via training people without ever meeting them physically. For example, if you want to train people on how to make hats, sew bags or make beads et al, all you need is to engage them in video chatting. You can as well send your videos and your training manuals online to those who paid for your services.
Buy and Sell Domains
Buying and selling domains are yet another interesting profitable online business you can start. All you need to do is to look for domains with potential for sale, buy them, and source for those who are interested in buying them. It might be risky to buy a domain name, but the truth is that you are likely going to sell it at a price that is higher than the price you purchased it.
Online Foreign Language Training/Tutorials
If you can speak and write more than two international languages, you can make money from the internet. All you need to do is to list your services online and people who need the services will contact you. Ensure you have resource materials (softcopies that can aid your teachings).
If you know how to speak and write 2 or 3 of these languages; French, English, Spanish, Chinese, German, and Arabic, you should consider starting an online foreign language training business.
Creating and Selling Online Wallpapers
Another profitable online business you can start is creating and selling wallpapers. You can start this business by selling wallpapers, although you are not going to make huge money from this type of business. You can do the business while keeping your paid employment or handling other businesses.
Online Magazine and Book Club
An online magazine and book club is yet another online business you can start. This is different from an e-library, all you need to do is to start a book and magazine club that will attract people of similar interests. If you are creative, you can attract enough members and the money you make from such a business is tied to the number of members that are registered in your book club.
One good thing about online magazines and book clubs is that you can admit members from any part of the world as long as they are ready to keep to the ground rules.
YouTube Advertising Channel
Another profitable online business you can start is a YouTube advertising channel. If you are into PR and advertising, one of the ways you can make huge cash is to start YouTube advertising agencies. Part of what you need to do is to source YouTube videos that are trending and help your client advertise their product or services on those videos.
Open a Pay Per View Website
Opening a pap per view website is yet another profitable online business an entrepreneur can start. People are always on the go, but that usually does not stop them from watching live football, basketball, and any other games. If you are able to secure permits to stream live matches, you will surely attract loads of clients from all over the world. Ensure that you have a well-secured payment platform.
Teach People How to Cook Online
If you are good at making both local and international dishes, one of the profitable online businesses you can start is to start teaching people how to cook. You will be amazed at the high level of response you will get if you list this service online.
Start a Pay Per Click Website
Another profitable online business you can start is a pay-per-click website. If you are conversant with online adverts, you will realize that there are loads of websites that pay people per click. All they need to do is to canvass organizations to advertise on their website with the promise that they will get a certain number of people clicking their advert banner. It is a cool way of making money especially if you already have web designing and management skills.
Start an Online Maid Agency Service
There are no limits to the types of business you can start on the internet. One of the businesses you can start online is maid agency services. What you need to do to get this type of business rolling is to network with maid agencies in different cities within your coverage area and help them list their maid services online. You can make good commissions from this type of business.
Start an Online Real Estate Agency Services
Similar to an online maid agency service is an online real estate agency service. What you need to do to get this type of business rolling is to network with landlords in different cities within your coverage area who have properties for rent or lease and help them list the properties online. You can make good commissions from this type of business.
Bitcoin mining is yet another profitable online business that an entrepreneur can start. If you are interested in mining bitcoin, you have two options; either you mine a block of bitcoins from a computer or you choose a pool.
If you want quick returns on your investment, joining a pool is the best option because mining a block of bitcoins from your computer may take you a month or more before you get any return on your investment. Note that if you join a pool, you will only get smaller payments, but be rest assured that you will get them on a regular basis.
Start Trading Cryptocurrency
Cryptocurrency trading involves speculating on price movements via a CFD trading account, or buying and selling the underlying coins via an exchange. If you are an expert in predicting the markets, you can help people trade cryptocurrency and charge them a percentage of their earnings.
Online Music Streaming and Download Business
A music streaming and download website is a profitable business you can start. If you are considering starting your own music streaming business, you must first own a desktop computer or a laptop that has the speed and capacity to support live streaming. You should make sure that your laptop is configured by an expert for this very purpose.
Amazon FBA Business
Another online business you can start is the Amazon FBA business. Fulfillment by Amazon, which is often referred to as Amazon FBA is a fulfillment choice for sellers on Amazon which allots fulfillment for sellers’ products to Amazon. Amazon sells its own inventory on the marketplace alongside products from outside sellers.
When a product from a third-party merchant is purchased on Amazon, who ships that item depends on the fulfillment method selected by the retailer. FBA products are sold by third-party merchants and need to be labeled and shipped to Amazon warehouses before Amazon can handle fulfillment using FBA.
Amazon offers two options for it, both of which come with variables that may affect profitability and time. This type of business requires startup capital, if you know how to go about it, you can actually start this business on credit and still make headway.
Influencer Marketing (Instagram Influencer)
Influencer marketing is another profitable online business that you can start. Influencer marketing enables brands to sell to their target audience in a way that feels far more genuine than traditional advertising. Instead of selling directly to consumers, they establish relationships with influencers who can sell for them. Instagram influencers have a strong and loyal relationship with their followers, as they share things in common.
Online Custom Tailoring Business
An online custom tailoring business is a tailoring business that gives customers the option to customize their clothes. With this kind of business, customers have the options of choosing the fabric, color, pattern, and stitching style of their clothes, giving their measurements, and getting their custom clothes delivered to them in their different locations.
The starting size of this type of business doesn’t really matter as long as the business is built on the right foundation and with the right combination of skills and talents.
Online radio (also web radio, net radio, streaming radio, e-radio, IP radio, and internet radio) is a digital audio service transmitted via the Internet. Broadcasting on the Internet is usually referred to as webcasting since it is not transmitted broadly through wireless means. It can either be used as a stand-alone device running through the internet, or as software running through a single computer.
Online radio services offer news, sports, talk, and various genres of music in every format that is available on traditional broadcast radio stations. Several online radio services are associated with a corresponding traditional (terrestrial) radio station or radio network, although low start-up and ongoing costs have allowed a substantial proliferation of independent Internet-only radio stations.
Online Educational Website
If you are an educationist, and you intend to start your business, consider creating an online educational website. Being an educational consultant means that you will provide tutoring services via the internet; you will provide tutoring services across a variety of academic subjects and across all age groups.
Starting an online educational website is not too expensive except for the money required to rent and furnish an office space and also to run the website. Running this type of business requires that you should be trained as an educationist.
51. Software Development
Software and Website development are both always in constant demand, there will never be a shortage of these as long as businesses want to upgrade and improve their websites. And, this will never stop as long as the internet continues to get bigger, better, and more complex. You will be able to work on new websites, old websites, and existing websites, enabling you to try out new things all the time.
You will obviously need knowledge and expertise in software development, and it is good to have a good reputation behind you as you get started. However, if you enjoy challenges and new experiences, then a career in software or website development may be for you, and starting it up as your own online business gives you the freedom to do it how you want to and run it as you wish.
It will allow for some creative freedoms, so if you left college or university with a qualification in website/software development this could be your ticket to your dream job with a work/life balance that makes you happy.
52. Flip Websites
Most of us know all about flipping houses, but not so many of us know about flipping websites. When people flip houses they buy a house with potential, but that needs work. They repair it, and then sell it for a profit. Flipping websites is basically the same thing, except you do not need to hire builders or be skilled with renovation, just a bit of tech.
This is an ideal business idea for someone who is already a good blogger. If you are not, then you may want to start from scratch and get some experience first. This will help you spot opportunities for investment, where you can spot from a mile off a blog that needs some work.
You can then buy it, fix it up and flip it not long later for a profit. There are some great places to buy and sell blogs, Flippa is one of the best for beginners as it is usually on the smaller side and below $50,000.
53. Create An Ecommerce Store
All it costs to set up an ecommerce store is the cost of the supplies and the amount the website costs. All you need are trade tools and expertise in whatever it is you are making. The most obvious form of ecommerce is to sell your own products, this means food, art, crafts and so on.
You may be a painter, a designer, a chef, a wood or metalworker and so on. You could easily sell whatever you make. If you do not, that is the hard part. After you know what to make, all you need to know is how to work a website and how to ship your products, oh, and you need time too!
When they are your own goods, you can also alter them, so they fit niches, some people sell some really niche products. Which does allow you to have a niche audience who love your products and cannot get them elsewhere. To get into this, you could start off with an easy store such as Etsy, or even Facebook marketplace, or eBay!
Drop-shipping is a lot like selling goods at a shop, but instead your storefront is online and you do not actually have to manage any inventory. You just create the product which could be a mug, T-shirt, makeup, blankets, pottery, and so on, and you put it up for sale on a platform much like Amazon, Shopify, or BigCommerce.
When a customer buys the item, instead of you having to mail it to them, the wholesaler will send it instead. So, while you do not manage the inventory, you do need to still attract the customers to your product. This is not exactly the easiest thing to do as there are many niches that are extremely competitive out there, but you can do it.
You can use paid advertising, and find products that will sell well. If you are happy to spend the time to learn about how paid marketing works, you could find any physical or digital products to sell that have epic margins. This is actually a fantastic way to make money with an online business.
55. IT Consultancy
Being an IT consultant can be great if you are very technically savvy. Everyone needs help with technology. Even some of the biggest companies in the world need the help of IT consultants, and it is not a career prospect that will be going anywhere any time soon either. Start off by deciding if you just want to cover general IT, or if there is a niche that you want to tailor yourself too.
Target a certain market and fashion your online business around those you want to reach. It is also key to build up expertise. This is when it is wise to help out friends who have businesses, and build up a portfolio, get some feedback and reviews, and work on your expertise. You should also consider certification.
You will also need a website, and a professional network to help circulate your work and company as you build. Finding clients will not be easy at the start, so getting your name out there is an important step in IT consultancy as an online business.
Podcasts became wildly popular in the last 5 years, and more and more people have taken to producing them. All you need is a media host and funding for marketing, a good microphone and some recording and editing software. Writing content is the successor to journalism, podcasting is the modern successor of talk radio.
And some of the podcasts that people come out with are brilliant. Podcasts do not need to be educational, they can be spooky stories you have taken off of reddit, jokes and good posts from twitter, it can be anything. What is probably more important about podcasting than speaking skills is personality.
Sure, you need to be able to speak well, but you also need to be entertaining, informative and emotional. Your podcasts can be funny, scary, calming and anything in between, but they need to have a factor that keeps people coming back for more. Nowadays, a lot of podcasters will have active Instagram, Twitter, and Spotify podcast accounts in which they can interact with fans across all. This is a great way to better build up your audience.
57. SEO Consultant
All businesses, online and brick-and-mortar need to be found online today to have any sort of traction in the world. Whether you are searching for something such as ‘restaurants near me’ or ‘great pools for kids’, companies listed in the top of those results will be the ones to snag the most clients.
SEO professionals are geniuses at getting websites listed at the top of Google, thanks to targeted keywords. It’s no accident, they do it intentionally. It is a grind and most businesses just do not have the time and knowledge to really do well with it. So, they’re happy to outsource it.
It can be tedious, however, landing a few clients who need your help can build up a sustainable business fast. As is with any other consulting business, your success will correlate with the success of your clients from what you have done for them. Consider getting a qualification in SEO to help you along the way before you start up.
58. Stock Photography
If you are a photographer and are struggling to get out there and find a way to make some money doing what you love, this one’s for you. You could sell online stock photos which will be used for adverts and websites. Both Adobe Stock and Shutterstock are popular stock image sites.
Both will also allow anyone to submit photos, and you will receive payment whenever your photo is downloaded. In order to make money doing this it is best to make certain that you post photos that people genuinely need. Companies traditionally want basic and generic images, nature scenes, food, people working, or doing typical tasks.
These will sell well and can actually make you a decent income. If you already enjoy going out and taking photos and have loads backed up from your last photography day out, you may have cash in your camera you didn’t know you had!
59. Online Business Coach
Obviously, you shouldn’t be an online business coach if you, yourself, have not already built a successful online business. However, if you have, you may have a story to tell that others want to hear. However, saying these, there are many businesses that were once doing and are now teaching.
If you are still in the process of getting your feet off the ground you could start a blog, making an account of your story for use in future possible coaching. If you were an expert at running a Shopify store, you could end up pivoting from working with new store owners just getting started, this can be a great opportunity to make some money as they start up and need someone to give them advice.
Of course, you need to know your stuff and know what you are doing to be able to do this. A genuine interest in teaching and helping other people is also advised if you want to end up doing this.
60. Online Retail Store
You may decide to start up your own retail store. The first thing to do is choose a domain name as in order to be able to sell online you will also need a web address. You should also look into ecommerce platforms as well and choose one that works for you. You need to find your niche, and what is different about you that will draw people towards you, from this you can find your target audience and optimize your site to them.
One thing about online retail stores is that it is a competitive market, and you need marketing and advertising, spreading the word for it to really work in your favor. This is something that could become more passive later on, but does need a lot of hard work to start with. Online retail stores are a form of e-commerce as well, so you need to ensure you are well versed in this as well.
61. Bug Tester
This may not have been at the forefront of your mind when we said ‘online business ideas’, however, this is a service that absolutely no one software company will ever be able to ignore. If you are able to build up a platform that allows you to crowdsource expertise, skills and resources in order to tackle this specific area then you have a massive chance of turning over a profit.
This is one of the business ideas that often gets missed out and people will forget about it. However, it is an absolutely essential service for all pieces of software. If you have skills in this regard, or if you have an interest in bug testing and want to gain knowledge and a qualification in this, it might be just the ticket.
It can be an extremely lucrative way that you can boost up your income. While some online business ideas, and frankly many of them are, there are plenty of online business ideas for the less creative and more technical types, and these are often the ones that have the highest payouts.
Since it is also a service that will always be in demand due to the internet and our reliance on technology, it is safe to say that it is also a rather secure option as well.
62. Online Health Coach
Thanks to the internet (and partially due to Covid-19) health coaches and personal trainers are no longer only found in gyms. Instagram and other social media platforms are rife with online health coaches and rampant health advice. Health coaches are the people who will continue to work with their clients on a 1-1 basis.
However, it is highly unlikely they will ever need them in person, even though there is a strangely high demand for this. If you are qualified in health, fitness, and nutrition, and you enjoy writing out workouts and helping people make better food, health, and lifestyle choices then this could be a great business idea that is worth you looking into.
What is best about it is that as long as you are qualified for it, you can find a lot of good will come out of it for you as well, as you will have the freedom of working for yourself, instead of working for a gym!
63. App Developer
It might not be the kind of thing that springs to mind, but app development is a genuine and rewarding career path. Apps are a highly lucrative market, and many companies are starting to invest in apps. People spend more time on their phones than their laptops anyway, so companies want to be more accessible, and what better way is there to be accessible to people than apps?
However, this does mean that there is a consistently growing demand for apps, and while companies may have the idea, they likely have absolutely no idea how app development works, or even where to start! Offering an app development service will be a great way to allow you to challenge yourself too.
This is because you will find yourself working on very different apps on the daily. You could go from banking apps to games, to casino apps and even health tracker apps.
64. Subscription Box Service
This is not often something we think of, however, subscription box services are in a much higher demand than you might think. They have absolutely exploded in their popularity of late. From a business perspective, having something such as a sustainable and recurring revenue coming in each month is an extremely attractive prospect.
It makes forecasting income easier, and planning out business decisions much less of a hassle. However, the real allure is that with repeat customers on autopilot the value is oftentimes much, much higher than you would find with other types of business models. All you really need to start up a subscription box business is just a product that is attractive to your customers, a plan, a website, and a selling point.
It is very important to do customer research when you are looking to do something like this as you want to ensure that you have a customer base lined up that is broad enough to bring in enough revenue, but also niche enough that the market is not too competitive.
10 Steps to Starting an Online Business
Step 1: Choose a Workable Business Idea or Niche
No serious entrepreneur would want to start an online business without first settling for a workable business idea or niche in the industry. In essence, the first step you are expected to take when starting an online business is to come up with a workable business idea; an idea that can attract clients.
Step 2: Conduct Your Feasibility Studies and Market Survey
Irrespective of the country or city where you decide to start an online business, an important step to take is to conduct thorough feasibility studies and market survey.
With the result of your feasibility studies and market survey, you will be able to make a decision with regards to the type of online business to settle for, location, the demographic composition of those who would need your product or services, the competitions you will be confronted with, how to source for resources, raw materials or goods and loads of other factors that can either make or mar your business.
Step 3: Choose a Catchy Name for Your Business
After coming up with a workable business idea, and having conducted your market survey and feasibility studies, the next step is to choose a catchy name for your business. When choosing a name for your business, you should be creative because whatever name you choose for your business will go a long way toward creating a perception of what the business represents. Usually, it is the norm for people to follow the trend in the industry they intend to operate from when naming their business.
Step 4: Write a Workable Business Plan
No matter the type or size of business you intend to start, you should first all write a good business plan before making any move. A business plan is a blueprint that is needed to run a business; with a workable business plan in place, you will reduce the trial-and-error approach to doing business. You will be able to manage your business; you will know what to do each time and how to handle challenges, growth, and expansion.
Step 5: Choose a Legal Entity for Your Business
When it comes to establishing a business, the legal entity you choose for the business will go a long way to determine how strong you want the business to be.
Even though there are several options such as sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), and corporation, when it comes to the business structure for an online business, the one that most players in this line of business consider is an LLC. It is considered because providers want to protect themselves from lawsuits.
Step 6: Register Your Business Name
Once you are able to carry out all the steps listed above, this shows that you are ready for the business, and the only step that can take you closer to achieving your dream of starting your online business is to register your business name. You would have to do the necessary business name research to ensure that you are not settling for a name that is already in their database.
Step 7: Purchase the Needed Business Insurance
The rule of business engagement in the United States and in most countries of the world is that you can’t operate a business without having some of the basic insurance policy covers that are required by the industry you want to operate from. It is important to create a budget for insurance and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best and most appropriate insurance policies for your business.
Note that if you are going to operate your business from home, then you need to learn about home-based business insurance and how to save money on the cost of business insurance in general.
Step 8: Lease or Rent and Ideal Office Facility or Warehouse
Another important step to consider when establishing an online business is to choose a location for your warehouse (if you run an eCommerce store). When it comes to renting a warehouse facility, the nature of the business you want to do should serve as a guide. You would need your business license and permit as part of the document to be tendered before any landlord or realtor will sign a leasing agreement with your business.
Step 9: Launch Your Website or Online Store
The only reason you should ignore this step is if you want to run your business from established eCommerce sites like Amazon, Flipkart, and Etsy et al. Even at that, in order to establish your presence online as a person who is running a business, it is important that you have a good and user-friendly website.
You can launch an eCommerce website for as little as $100, but you’ll likely have to spend more than that to get your business moving. To be able to create a website like Amazon or Flipkart, you would spend about $60,000-$80,000 on average. The more the number of features and the more powerful services and support you seek for the website, the more investment will it ask for.
Step 10: Advertise and Market Your Business
If you choose to start an online business in the United States, be rest assured that there are competitors all across the globe (world wide web) waiting to compete with you for the available market. So, if you want your online business to do well, then you must fashion out ways to advertise and market your product or services.
The truth is that if your business or brand is always in the eyes of the public, they will be willing to buy from you or pay for your services. You can use both print and electronic media to promote your products or services, but ensure you check up with the government of your country to know the rules and regulations governing the advertising of the type of products or services you are selling online.
Starting up an online business is the way to go these days. In many instances online businesses are more lucrative than working for an employer, and many are starting to see this. With benefits such as being your own manager, and being able to get creative and innovative it is no surprise.
There are plenty of options of what you can do as you start your own online business. You do not need to be an expert at setting up websites, although it does help. Right now you just need an idea that appeals to you, with the possibility of financial sustainability, and you can learn the rest.
These have been our 20 best online business ideas, but there are many others, and you may even come up with something new. We are just here to spark your creativity, and open your mind into how many options there are for you.