Lucrative opportunities wait online for entrepreneurs. Even before the pandemic increased online transactions, e-commerce has been growing rapidly in the last 20 years. But when cities shutdown and businesses were forced to move transactions online, digital shopping sales soared to 50 percent at $870 billion.
People are buying more and more on the web, looking up services and paying for products. If you’ve got a head for business and want to shift from making money for other people to making money for yourself, e-commerce business ideas could be your ticket to setting up shop and being your own boss.
- What Business Can I Start Fast?
- What Kind of Online Business if Profitable?
- 8 Good Ideas for a Business Online
- Start an Online Business
What Business Can I Start Fast?
A business idea sounds like a good idea, but you may need to prepare well in advance and have to meet plenty of documentation. Business requirements can be overwhelming, from sourcing your funding to completing legal compliance.
But you don’t have to go all in as a first-time entrepreneur. You could dip your toes in business by going with an online business idea that can be managed while you still have your day job.
What online business ideas are easy to pull off with a day job?
Start with what you’re good at; use your professional skills to lead you to your own business. For example, if you’re a web designer, advertise your freelance services to small businesses in your area. Another business idea would be to offer online courses; if you’re good at finance, provide financial courses. If you’re good at technical writing, offer technical writing courses for beginners. If you’re good at email marketing, offer email marketing for entrepreneurs.
What Kind of Online Business if Profitable?
Some business ideas than others are more lucrative. These startups tend to take up a lot of time and effort before you see revenue and, even profits. But their in industries that are on an upward trend.
These online businesses include:
Training and education
The e-learning industry is rising, with forecast growth reaching to 20 percent and the value projection at $1 trillion. In 2021, the market size was at $315 billion. E-learning offers a great deal of opportunity for entrepreneurial professionals who know how to pass on knowledge.
If you’re not up to training and teaching, even in a virtual platform, think about selling the output from your professional skills. People are looking up stock photos, website design templates and downloadable prints, and you could be providing for their needs. According to Shopify, these items are some of the most in-demand digital products.
FBA is Fulfilled by Amazon, and it uses cheap products from wholesale sellers. You buy them and list them as your own, offering them at a higher price. Then, you ship those products to Amazon fulfillment centers and they are the ones who package, ship and provide support for those products. Hence, Amazon FBA.
With 63 percent of shoppers using Amazon to start their search on products, you have adequate opportunity here to make some money. Third-party sellers report earning profits higher than 10 percent to 20 percent, and some 50 percent of Amazon sellers make about $10,000 to $25,000 in monthly sales.
What if you’re not into selling but prefer to put up a consulting business? What if you want to run an online store offering vintage pieces? Both are online business ideas could still help you make money.
8 Good Ideas for a Business Online
1. Virtual assistant
All businesses match a personality; in this case, someone who loves to organize and make arrangements for other people could be well suited for virtual assistance work. Some entrepreneurs may need help setting up appointments, filing paper work, organizing emails, arranging travel plans, and data entry, among a host of other tasks.
Virtual assistants get paid a minimum of $1,250 to a maximum of $10,875 per month. Explore virtual assistance opportunities and see what services are missing. Fulfill a need in the market and advertise your virtual assistance business.
2. Freelance designing
If designing is more your background, you can build a business from it. One business model would be to offer freelance design work, in graphic design, web design, or even book design. You could establish your business through your own website, featuring your portfolio. Use social media to reach out to potential clients and advertise your services.
Look at competitors to gauge the market price for design services. You’ll want to strike a balance between being affordable and a bit premium, which typically reflects the level of skill your online business offers.
3. Freelance writing
No small business owner has the time to create content. But in this digital age, content is key to online presence, which influences revenue and profits. So professional writers are in demand.
If you have a flair for words or have a professional background in writing, a good online business is freelance writing. You can even specialize in certain content:
- Website content
- Email marketing content
- Social media content
- Advertising copy
Keep in mind, all content pieces today must be optimized for search. Otherwise, consumers never find them and the client will not have achieved their goal. So you’ll want to highlight your training or competency in search engine optimization.
4. E-commerce store
Selling is always part of any business. But some online business ideas focus on selling, which is what an e-commerce store’s about. You have multiple options on what to sell.
You could sell handmade, one-of-a-kind pieces. You could also resell products instead of making them. You could also sell vintage products, and specialize in just the old and the classic. The challenge with an e-commerce store business idea is to make sure you’ll have sufficient inventory to meet the demand, and not have an excess that you’d waste money on inventory that isn’t moving.
A successful business is built on good financial management. So with an ecommerce business, make sure you’ve nailed your sales projection and inventory.
If you don’t want to write for other people and meet tough deadlines but still want to leverage your writing skills for a business, try blogging. Bloggers who started years ago may already be making bank today, having built up enough content and authority in their niche. In doing so, they’ve probably racked up the kind of traffic that attracts advertisers.
Advertising is not the only revenue stream for a blogging business idea. Brand partnerships and merchandising are also potential revenues for bloggers. But these are reserved for those who have a compelling volume of followers.
Although blogging sounds like an easily profitable online business, it takes time for money to come in. First, you have to find the right niche (what should your blog focus on?). Second, you must have an appealing web design and engaging content. Third, your blog must appear on the first page of search engine results to get and sustain attention. And fourth, it takes a substantial number of traffic and influence before advertisers and brands come knocking.
6. Buy and sell websites
Ever heard of “website flipping”? It’s similar to flipping houses, except you “flip” websites that had previous owners. In some cases, buying and selling websites can be lucrative because of the valuation. So it’s probably of the best profitable online businesses. Some websites with good traffic and SEO may sell at an affordable price, and reselling fetches double what you pay for it. Sometimes, a website flip makes someone over 300 percent in profits.
But this business idea takes a lot of research and access to good platforms offering websites for sale. You may have to sit through hours of scrolling through websites. So it’s good to have a standard for when you’re searching. You don’t want to randomly click on sites and waste time and money.
7. Online coaching
A great online business idea is perfect for your skill as well as your passion. If you’re passionate about helping people realize their potential, online coaching may be a successful online business for you.
But this requires certification to get the right clients. Whether you focus on just life coaching, credentials give you an edge. They help potential clients decide to go with your online coaching business or with another. The beauty of this business is you could hold sessions virtually or over the phone.
8. Curating subscription boxes
Finally, curated boxes make one of the best online business ideas. If you don’t want to do business full time, curating subscription boxes are seasonal. You could start and run your curated boxes during the holidays. Offer subscription boxes during the 4th of July, Halloween or Christmas.
The beauty of curated boxes is you need not create the products; you curate the items. And you can even specialize in niche products, like organic coffee, vegan snacks, luxury items, or eco-friendly products.
Start an Online Business
An online business may be set up in the same manner as you would set up a physical business. You want to validate your business idea through research. Make sure you’ve got your finances in order. Develop products and services to meet your target consumers’ needs. If your selling products from suppliers, vet your vendors. And build an optimized website to make your business presence kn0wn.
Starting a business is rarely easy. But done right, the rewards will be well worth it. For starters, you’ll own something you built. And you’ll have financial security.