Start your e-commerce business with super easy-to-implement ideas.
- The key to start a long term profitable online business is to choose a business idea that matches your personal skills and strengths.
- Consulting, starting an e-commerce store, becoming a web designer, and starting a blog are examples of online businesses that can be easily started.
- Online business growth will continue as more consumers access digital media for personal and business needs.
This article is for entrepreneurs who are looking for inspiration to start an online business.
Starting a business is a dream for many entrepreneurs, but finding an idea and starting a business can be difficult or challenging. In the digital age, online products — both products and services — can offer unique, affordable startup options for entrepreneurs. The key is to match your interests, strengths, and skills to a profitable online business niche.
Whether you want to become a full-time entrepreneur or start a part-time online business to earn a side income, your product or service must satisfy a specific consumer need.
We have compiled a list of potentially profitable online businesses with minimal start-up costs that can get you going quickly.
Tip: Before starting an online business, research your competitors, identify your target customers, and understand your business goals.
18 Online Businesses You Can Start Quickly
Starting and running an online business gives innovative entrepreneurs lot of freedom to make money from home wherever they’re in the world. Here are some easy and interesting online business ideas to inspire you to start your entrepreneurial journey now.
1. Become an online consultant.
Consultants advise businesses and individuals on a variety of business issues and areas. Online consulting offers unlimited customer access and you can get started quickly and easily.
Some of the most trending online consulting opportunities these days include small-business consulting, SEO consulting, and social media consulting.
Here we summarize some popular online consultant opportunities such as small business consultants, SEO consultants and social media consultants.
- Small business consultants. Small business consultants use their expertise to help new entrepreneurs with their startup challenges and help experienced entrepreneurs manage business growth and overcome obstacles. Your chances of success as a small business consultant are greater if you focus your strategy on one area of business consulting.
- SEO consultants. If you know the ins and outs of search engines and have technical expertise in platforms like Google Advertising and Google Analytics, becoming a search engine optimization (SEO) consultant can be a viable option. Many small business owners are unaware of how SEO can impact their business. Start an online SEO consulting business on the power of SEO to help clients transform websites and increase conversion rates. Then, use your marketing skills to demonstrate the benefits of analytics, strategic keywords, and content creation to drive more organic web traffic.
- Social media consultants. Social media consultants are in demand as social media becomes more important to businesses. Large businesses can hire agencies or full-time staff to manage their social media accounts, but small businesses often have to handle social media marketing on their own. As a social media consultant, you can help small businesses develop tactics, create a content calendar, and develop an overall content strategy to reach their target audience. As their social media followers grow, so will your business.
2. Become a niche market e-commerce retailer.
There is an audience for everything, whether it’s something as niche as doll furniture or organic dog food. With an e-commerce site, you can reach customers who are looking for your specific products. Landing a job can help you stand out from other brands and build your credibility and expertise. Take a look at social media or create products to sell in your consumer online store.
To run your e-commerce business, you need a web hosting service with integrated shopping cart features or e-commerce software. You can ship products to customers on your behalf and merchants to simplify the shipping process. This can accordingly reduce the inventory you need.
3. Start a web designing or web development business.
If you are a creative digital professional looking to create website layouts, visual themes, font sets, and color palettes, freelance website design may be a good option for you. If you have little experience in the field, you can learn the basics of web design and master the tools you need to succeed.
4. Become an online blogger.
If you enjoy writing or have valuable information to share, blogging can be a profitable business.
Starting a business blog is best idea, if you start with website builders like Weebly and WordPress. However, consistency and quality in work are most important and keys to success. To gain a steady following, you need to consistently write and produce high-quality content that your audience will appreciate. Content that educates, informs, or entertains your audience earns you.
Once you master creating consistent and quality content, you can monetize your blog by selling products such as online courses, digital training, e-books, or webinars.
Selling advertising space on your websites or Social Media resources is also a good choice. This business strategy may take a little time and effort to make money, but it can be very profitable.
5. Become a virtual assistant.
Do you have organizational skills and task management skills? Maybe it’s time to put those organizational skills to good use by becoming a virtual assistant.
Virtual Assistant services typically include basic administrative tasks such as data entry, making travel plans, and answering phones. Previous experience in this field is ideal but not essential.
Some popular platforms such as TaskRabbit and Zirtual make it easy for VA professionals to find work. It allows you to create an online profile, register the tasks you want to do, such as finding information, virtual assistance, or majors, and start building clients.
6. Become an affiliate marketer.
If you enjoy posting customer reviews on sites like Amazon, consider affiliate marketing as a source of income. Word-of-mouth is still effective and powerful lead generator for many companies.
Many businesses are willing to share a portion of their profits with persuasive people who will promote their products to the public.
Affiliate programs are cataegorized into different levels of engagement:
- Unattached affiliate marketing. Unaffiliated affiliate marketing is a pay-per-click campaign that requires little engagement with the product you’re promoting.
- Related affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing requires that you have authority and content on the product you are selling, but you don’t have to use the product.
- Involved affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is probably the most effective because you are selling products that you actually use and enjoy.
If you have a personal website or a large social media presence, an affiliate program may be a beneficial approach for you. PR reps are always in search of brand advocates and influencers to share free samples.
Key takeaway: Affiliate marketing uses tracked affiliate links to help brands identify which marketing partners are driving traffic and sales to the brand’s e-commerce site.
7. Start a remote tech support business.
Many small businesses don’t have room in their budgets to hire full-time IT staff. When their system freezes or crash down, they usually tell a computer-savvy friend or some family member. If you are technically savvy and have experience working with computers and networks, remote desktop software can provide live technical support, eliminating the need to call for them.
Although some companies prefer a technical degree, most will look at your experience and education. You can build a remote tech support business by approaching friends, family, and local businesses about your tech support needs. Use job boards like Upwork as another resource for freelance tech support gigs.
8. Sell handmade crafts online.
Online marketplaces for handmade goods, such as Etsy and its competitors, make it easy for crafters to sell their wares online. This is possible if you can consistently provide high quality handmade products to sell online, such as crocheted blankets or unique colored glass vases. If you’re self-employed, selling your products on an e-commerce site is a great way to make money while you’re at home doing what you love.
If you buy your creative materials in bulk from professional manufacturers, the start-up costs for this business idea are very low. If you can quickly create and sell your artwork in an online store, you will never run out of money. Local artists are more successful when promoting their work on social media.
9. Become an app developer.
Mobile apps are more popular than people willing to pay good money for a way to manage their lives from their smartphone. If you have some new idea for making an app and know how to code it, consider designing an app. You can also become a mobile app developer for businesses that need to create custom apps.
If you have an idea for apps but don’t know the ins and outs of coding, most software developers want to collaborate with other professionals to develop the program. Depending on your situation and knowledge, you can make a profitable career out of the program.
10. Start a search engine development business.
World’s most popular search engines Google and Bing are everywhere, but they don’t always meet the needs of all users. If you are an expert in a specific field, create your own search engine that helps people with less knowledge find what they are looking for. If your search engine allows users to enter parameters such as subtopic and source type instead of just running a general search, you may be more likely to succeed.
11. Start a dropshipping Online Business.
If you want to run an e-commerce site, you may worry about inventory management and storage. With dropshipping, you can take customer orders in an online store and send them directly to a third-party vendor for fulfillment. Your business will be successful as long as your business model involves selling products at a higher price than what you pay third party vendors.
12. Start an online training or education service.
There are many opportunities to start an online business in education and training, including tutoring, creating and selling digital courses, and using YouTube to provide video-based education.
- Online Classes. Just because someone took the class doesn’t mean they understand the material well. If you are good at explaining things one by one and have enough experience and knowledge in a specific field, consider starting an online tutoring business in that field. You can use video chat tools like Zoom or Skype to conduct remote tutoring sessions and present your knowledge to anyone, anytime. Consider building your budget into your business model for advertising on Craigslist and Fiverr.
- Online training. Similar to teaching, people around the world can benefit from you sharing your experiences with them. Starting an online business that offers digital courses for those interested in the topic can make money – you can sell ready-made written materials or free downloadable content.
- YouTube educational videos. YouTube makes it super easy to start an online education business. Whether a beginner or advanced, upload videos that educate your audience on any topic and use social media to spread the word about your channel. As your audience grows, you can monetize and monetize your videos.
Tip: Consider uploading your PowerPoint presentation to YouTube so your audience can watch the training material in real time without missing important material.
13. Start a tele-coaching business.
For a more personal, one-on-one experience, consider telecoaching. – Some singles looking for help may want more than just lessons. People who want help to improve their career, improve their diet, or find more money in their life can benefit from your training through video chat programs like Zoom or Skype.
Instead of providing training and grades, your goal as a tele-coach is to provide advice, guidance, and support to your clients. If you blog about your business or post regularly on LinkedIn about your training topics, you will appear more credible and knowledgeable.
14. Start an online podcast network.
The past few years have seen an explosion of people starting podcasts and listening to their favorites. Capitalize on this growing trend by starting your own podcast network. You can grow your network with the podcasts you record, but your network will grow faster if you let other people—whether friends or strangers on the Internet—contribute to their podcasts. As your network grows, you can increase the cost of podcast downloads.
15. Become a technical writer.
The internet is full of copywriters for hire. However, only a few writers have the technical knowledge to properly write instruction manuals for large machines or provide accurate scientific results. If you have a science background and can write about it, start an online business where people can hire your technical writing services. Advertise yourself on LinkedIn, Fiverr and other platforms to attract clients.
Tips for starting a successful Online Business
Starting an online business is exciting but difficult. There are several legal steps you must take, including choosing your business name, obtaining a federal employer identification number (FEIN), determining the legal structure of your business, and insuring your business.
While every business is unique, there are some important steps you can take to increase your chances of starting a successful online business.
- Choose a business or industry idea based on your knowledge and passion.
- Find an online business niche based on need or shortage in the marketplace.
- Conduct detailed market research and use competitive analysis to assess your competition and product viability.
- Familiarize yourself with the laws that apply to online businesses.
- Before choosing a specific software to build your online store, shop around.
- Develop a comprehensive marketing strategy (eg website, email marketing, SEO, social media marketing and local marketing).
Online Business statistics in 2023
The growth of online business in the US and around the world has been exponential. This trajectory is predicted as consumers increasingly turn to digital media to connect with consumer-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-consumer (B2B) providers.
The pandemic fueled and popularized the idea of working online and remotely, fostering the proliferation of online businesses. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, e-commerce sales increased 43 percent in 2020 due to the pandemic, from $571.2 billion in 2019 to $815.4 billion in 2020. The latest data from Census Bureau data shows that e-commerce accounted for 14.8 percent of total sales. Second quarter of 2022.
This is not just a US phenomenon. Digital technology means businesses can sell to customers anywhere in the world. As per International Trade Administration, e-commerce accounted for 18 percent of global retail sales in 2020 and is expected to reach 22 percent by 2024.
This growth represents a huge opportunity for many online businesses to thrive and grow.
Is 2023 the year you’ll start your Online Business?
New entrepreneurs can use a highly profitable online business to replace or expand another business. However, successful entrepreneurs must master a variety of administrative tasks to ensure the success of their company, in addition to their passion and expertise in online presence. For example, online businesses should choose the best credit card to accept multiple online payment methods and meet the needs of their customers.
Consumer demand for a variety of online retail and service offerings continues to grow. For those with interest, skills and passion for online business, there are many opportunities worth exploring.