Running an online business definitely has its appeal, but it also comes with its own set of challenges. The truth is, starting a business of any kind is hard work. While some may think of the internet as a get-rich-quick scheme, basic business principles still apply.
In reality, “online” is just a channel that connects businesses to people. It’s a powerful tool that lets you reach anyone from anywhere in the world. But creating a business with it is still about connecting the right customers with the right offering.
Countless people have already made the leap into entrepreneurship. And with the right online business ideas and plenty of sweat equity, you can too.
This isn’t about one simple life-changing trick. Starting an online business doesn’t work that way. Instead, to help you find the best small online business ideas that drive profits, we’ve put together a collection of simple ways to start a business without quitting your day job.
Wondering what some of the best online business startup ideas are? Browse the following list to find the best business idea for you.
Think you need a warehouse full of inventory to run your own business? Think again! Dropshipping is one of the best online startup ideas for entrepreneurs on a budget. You can hit the ground running by sourcing a pre-existing product from a supplier and having them take care of things like packaging and fulfillment.
This process lets you skip over a lot of obstacles that might be standing in the way of you starting your own business. More importantly, it eliminates the risk of finding out there’s no market for your product after placing a huge order with a manufacturer or supplier.
Pros: Dropshipping business works best when you’re passionate about the niche you’ve chosen; this way, you literally can make money from the things you love and cherish deeply.
With the carefully picked automated solutions, you can forget about handling the daily management routine manually. In fact, you can comfortably combine your full-time studies with running your very own store; even for a medical student this task turned out to be easily achievable.
Cons: You will have to learn a lot – from the specific features of the market and products you’ve chosen to the most suitable marketing tips. Still, there is good news: there exist enough guides, video manuals, and industry-specific libraries to help you gain the necessary knowledge conveniently.
Thanks to the platforms like Fiverr, you can offer paid help to the people looking for assistance in the fields of programming, graphic design, video creation, copywriting and translation, and other matters that even include specific business and legal tasks.
Pros: Everyone can sign up on Fiverr and register their account for free, so your startup costs amount to zero.
You can choose the client queries that match your personal skills and interests, and also suit the equipment you currently have (if you don’t own a sophisticated PC, skip the video montaging and graphic design sections – a tablet or even a smartphone will be enough to do proofreading, or to leave paid reviews on social networks, or perform any similar tasks).
Most likely, you will be dealing with short-term project that don’t require much personal emotional engagement or thorough background research. It means that you can take an undemanding project any time you’re free from finals and essays, and complete it without making a long-term commitment.
Cons: Sadly, undemanding jobs are not paid generously. To make a considerable profit from this activity, you need to take lots and lots of small projects, and gradually build up your reputation to be trusted with more fundamental offers. Obviously, it might interfere with your studying schedule.
Your studies, as well as your hobbies, provide you with unique and valuable knowledge that you might as well share with others – and make money from it.
Pros: Since you already know this particular field pretty well, you don’t need to spend your time on learning it from scratch, which means that you can start working right away.
Plus, since you’re providing a distance learning service, you can set flexible working hours that are convenient for you personally.
What is more, you don’t necessarily have to buy any professional software: basic Skype lessons are a suitable option for the majority of learners.
Cons: If your area of special knowledge is quite narrow, it might be difficult to identify and reach your potential clients, and to promote yourself as an expert in this area. Moreover, even if you won’t develop a full-scale educational course, you will still need to spend some time to prepare for every lesson, and to check your clients’ homework.
Also, it’s crucial to estimate your own soft skills: if you don’t feel you can always be empathic and patient enough with your own students, you might experience a professional burnout really soon.
From ASMR artists to exotic cat owners, from popularizers of science to astronauts, video bloggers across the globe witness a growing interest towards the product they’re making – and benefit from it heavily.
Pros: For the videos distrubution, you can choose a free and insanely popular platform like YouTube; quite surprisingly, social networks like Facebook and Instagram are also used for this purpose widely and successfully.
Since YouTube belongs to Google, the videos placed on the platform are indexed and ranked by search engines. This way, you can drive free traffic to your videos through the appropriate SEO efforts, such as writing optimised titles and descriptions, integrating subtitles, etc.
Cons: It takes long hours to plan, film, and edit a video in a way that would be demanded by the viewers. Also, the startup investments are quite high: you need a wide range of top quality filming equipment (camera, microphone, lighting devices, stands, etc.)
Obviously, much like game streamers, video bloggers can only succeed if their channels have some clearly distinctive features: a unique content relating to an untapped niche, or an exceptionally charismatic and likeable presenter.
Pros: Affiliate programs are free to join, which is why the startup costs in this case amount to zero.
Plus, since you’re not the business owner, you are free from all the managerial problems: all you need to do is comply with the program terms, and provide your PayPal details to receive the earned commissions.
Also, many program owners give the participants an access to the pre-developed promotional materials: if you don’t quite know how to market the program carefully, you can count on the professional guidance.
Finally, for many people, the affiliate business is a some sort of ‘introduction’ into ecommerce in general: after gaining the necessary experience, they move on to more ambitious ventures.
Cons: Since (again) you’re not the business owner, your affiliate income solely depends on the provider’s actions. If the program terms get changed with no prior notification, or if the provider doesn’t approve your promotional methods, you can easily get banned for the ‘non-compliance’.
Plus, in the majority of the affiliate programs, you don’t have an immediate access to money, and you need to wait up to 60 days to finally receive the commissions you’ve earned.
Before you finally commit to a certain online business model, ask yourself the following questions:
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We wish you to have a nice and warm holiday season!
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Running an online business definitely has its appeal, but it also comes with its own set of challenges. The truth is, starting a business of any kind is hard work. While some may think of the internet as a get-rich-quick scheme, basic business principles still apply. In reality, “online” is just a channel that connects businesses to...