How do you start online business? If you are a beginner who needs some advice on how to go about online business, this post will help you master everything that you need to know. I have covered a complete beginner’s guide to online business. The post includes different topics and after reading the guide, it will be easy for you to as you analyze, assess and create one depending on your desire.
The internet is the greatest inventions in history. Every other second, creative business ideas are being unleashed than ever before. There is always something in the offing in the global space. The birth of online commerce is awash with incredible opportunities.
Whether you are in a suburb village, an uptown office, at a vacation in the beach or in a faraway distance city, all you need is the precious time to think of an online project. The rest is hard work. Modern online business ideas require minimal funding. Others need no cash at all. Thanks to WordPress, setting up a website is just a click away.
Today you can sign up for an online partnership deal quickly if you have a smart idea on the table. Hence the reason you simply can’t afford to say no to chances that exist in the world of e-commerce. In this research, we have unearthed some of the relevant concerns most beginners long for to set up an online business. Read on, this probably could be your tipoff to a flourishing career on what you thought is impossible or for that stalling business career.
Table of Contents
- What is Online Business?
- 10 Most Profitable Online Business Ideas
- How to Start an Online Business?
- Secret Facts about Successful Online Business
- Final Thoughts
What is Online Business?
What does the online business entail? Well, this is any kind of business activity or transaction purely executed through the internet. It can take many forms including;
- Setting up a blog or website
- Running a social media account or churning out information
- Capturing the attention of customers
- Marketing or advertising products
- Processing or receiving payments and so many other undertakings.
Don’t feel you are an alien in the online world. You can start online courses on any tools and resources you want to learn. Ultimately, you can build an empire from scratch to a fast expanding company. This enables you to become your own boss to achieve your potential your own way. 🙂
Impressively, anybody with a computer can start an online business to appeal to the global clientele. Unlike an offline business, an online business helps you cost cut on renting offices and hiring many employees to actualize efficiency and effectiveness. In addition, it is flexible providing you the chance to work around your planned schedule with no pressure.
You can reach out to your clientele base regardless of their location round the clock; all you need is an active internet connection. On the flip side, don’t be surprised to incur software and hardware costs at some point.
Basic Types of Online Business
The online entrepreneurial space is dominated by diverse businesses opportunities. Just like any other real physically established business, online business would require some level of basic technical know-how or research.
This is especially essential in creating a website, upgrading the business to meet prevailing demands and future diversification needs. More importantly, identify your business model and pick up on the type of business that best defines your interest. In addition, this should be in line with your vision, passion, and strengths to expand your network.
The online space is an incredible chance to establish customer contacts through their emails, social media platforms and such like. You can provide your acquaintances with updates about your products including other important information concerning your business. So, what are these common ideas you need to know to jumpstart your career?
Selling Physical Product
Yes! Buying and selling physical products online can be fast reaching out to a wider market niche. However, you need to be unique to counter competition since there are so many entrepreneurs set to outsmart you. Remember, customer satisfaction is always the top priority.
Today most popular companies like Amazon, Etsy or eBay credit their success to the ability to provide goods and services conveniently. They are able to avail what consumers want, when, where they want them, through a means of delivery of their preference.
These successful digital companies rake in millions of dollars in profits, thanks also to their creative marketing strategies. Therefore, regardless of your business size embrace the art of fair pricing to make your products affordable.
Besides, adopt proper inventory management to meet demands and minimize operational costs. This will add impetus to generating high margins in the long term.
If you are starting out, consider beginning with the local or regional zone before testing the waters in the international space. This will provide you leverage for tough lessons and experience while gathering tips to ‘invade’ overseas territories. Besides, you can become a physical product seller for established enterprises, earning some dollars as well.
Selling Digital Product
Unlike physical products, digital products are intangible making it easy to host them online and sell them quickly. You will need to understand the basic technicalities of using your blog or online store to arouse interest in your products.
This includes relevant software and applications that come with essential features and are able to execute transactions securely. There are so many digital products you can sell online. This includes;
- Digital Software, plugins, themes and other applications
- E-books, tutorials and online video and non-video training courses
- Web services
- Graphic services plus much more
The digital world is wide and there is plenty of stuff to sell.
Selling Service Online
Intangible and tangible services offered online don’t attract a lot of overhead costs. This provides an opportunity to reach out to your clientele with cheaper products.
There are so many services you can provide online. This includes, re-selling of products to earn the extra dollars. You are able to provide low-cost products at a profit.
For instance, you can visit sites like eBay, buy low-cost items and sell them at a margin on other lucrative platforms like Amazon.
Would you also like to become an SEO consultant?
Could you be conversant with SEO analytics?
Such services can be offered online to small, medium and large companies. This is an opportunity to upgrade websites to meet modern SEO needs.
Your task is to enable business enterprises to interpret data from their websites and use it appropriately to enhance their web presence.
Moreover, this involves effective control and utilization of traffic and appropriate use of keywords or structure.
Selling Information Online
The internet is the informational hub for many. So many learners are in need of such information relevant to their assignments, projects and other additional demands. If you an ardent in any of the areas of their interest, you can tap into this space and provide them with accurate and correct content at a significant fee.
E-books and online courses are in high demand simply because most individuals are busy with no time to physically walk into lecture rooms. This leaves them with the extra time for other activities.
You can provide such materials and courses to teach skills and knowledge. In addition, you can also provide tutorials via video links to boost understanding. This can be done for a fee to generate income.
How about becoming a virtual assistant?
Businesses have a lot to do with the need for assistance in executing their marketing strategies.
As a virtual assistant, there is an option of helping companies in responding to customer concerns through online platforms. This is a job you can do from anywhere while receiving your cheque.
10 Most Profitable Online Business Ideas
Are you still thinking which could be the right online business to start?
Well, the prospects are many; it all boils down to your strengths and effective application of your idea. Let’s face it. Every business requires effort and dedication to growing. This is why you need to tap into opportunities immediately when they arise.
To succeed, you need to do research on your business potential, design your business model, start and grow your business with consistently. Luckily, you can never go wrong with some of these incredible chances in the modern online digital space.
#1: E-commerce Business
If you are wondering how to kick-start your enterprise with e-commerce, it doesn’t have to appear rocket science. E-commerce or digital commerce requires you identify the resources you might need and develop a business plan to implement the whole unique idea.
It is imperative to come up with an outstanding dependable website design, high-quality products, and a reliable selling edge. Besides, building a solid customer support is critical to enhance relationships and build confidence in your brand in the long term.
All this must harmonized together consistently for successful e-commerce. Remember, you need high sales for better the prospects of realizing high-profit margins. Identify the product you want to sell in the digital space. Try to invade territories or wade into market niches while targeting specific audiences with specific needs.
You can come up with a list of potential audiences and different products they might need. This will give the options to consider that are likely to be acceptable. Besides, you are able to check on the cost of providing the product to minimize startup costs.
Furthermore, ensure your product meets consumer needs and solves their problems. Thereafter, choose an online store where you can sell your products without procrastination because time is money. Share out your products to your target audience using social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp plus many more.
This will provide you an up and close wider outreach to potential customers for sales. Sales are your inevitable stepping stone to profitability and e-commerce marketing is part of the equation.
#2: Software as a Service (SaaS) Business
What is SaaS?
Also known as cloud phenomenon, this is an approach of using specific software for data access via any kind of device that is connected to the internet and has a web browser. It provides a platform to host a server, a database and the required coding for running the software application.
The method comes with fewer costs including those of maintenance as opposed to the conventional real premise software delivery approach. One of the reasons why SaaS is popular is because it comes with predictable and flexible periodic subscriptions for the user.
Once such subscriptions are remitted, one can enjoy support services, access to privileges of the software license and other significant cost reduction benefits. You can provide this software online if you have the IT expertise required to maximize its usability.
There is also the need to understand the business structure necessary to settle on the SaaS software. You can target audiences like small or medium businesses. This is because such application is helpful in meeting their much-needed cost-cutting for growth.
#3: Drop shipping Business
Most people confuse drop shipping with a standard retail store. Drop shipping simply involves selling products without owning a warehouse, store or individual inventory.
This implies as a dealer, you can sell products that you buy from a third party (normal intermediaries like wholesalers and retailers) who will directly ship it or deliver it straight to the client. The dealer doesn’t have to necessarily handle or even see the products,
Therefore, this is a business opportunity you can bank but for its success. Your commitment, time and a vibrant vision will be necessary for your effort to bear any fruits.
All you need is to roll out this business and run it effectively by being realistic about your investment prospects. This in part will help propel you to profitability.
Ensure you embrace effective in-house management for effective reaction to the macro-environment. Ultimately, you can respond to customer or market needs effectively as you seek to boost sales. The creative skills are handy for daily projects.
Doing Drop shipping Business requires a big heart that is ready to take 5 months restructuring an online store. Besides, be ready to put your pieces together without giving up as you apply your entrepreneurial skills. This is a business you can do part-time even though it might take a little longer to build due to your limited time.
However, if you consider it fulltime, you increase chances of success quickly given the initial stage is critical to building your momentum.
Remarkably, it is cheap to invest in, easy to start, flexible I location and nature including management. However, you need to effectively control your inventory, shipping and supply demands for growth.
#4: Freelancing Business
According to Freelancing in America (FIA), 57.3 million Americans are currently freelancing while contributing $1.4 trillion to the US economy. Besides, it is projected by 2027 a majority of US workforce will be freelancers.
So why should you start a freelancing business?
This is a growing vibrant industry for your business. It is flexible in time management. You have an opportunity to set up your own company to hire freelancers with handy skills helping solve the unemployment problem.
You also get to enjoy less taxation from Uncle Sam, minimal requirement for office space and few employee-related costs. In the freelancing industry, you have the chance to provide to the world writing services for corporations, individuals and other entities.
You will need to develop and establish your brand to which clients will be associated with. Protect your brand competency by providing quality services in the long run. This is essential in realizing your objectives.
In addition, consider doing marketing to help businesses target audiences effectively on a real-time basis at a fee. Besides, identify your profitable market niche or clients as you develop the pricing model for your services.
You will need a well-designed website as you learn the appropriate ways of pitching your potential clients for a prospective takeoff. Remember; establish a strong network of the clientele base and employees. Always seek a new client base for a wider reach as you grow your referrals.
#5: Selling Online Course
If you have ever found yourself on a YouTube channel listening to a video lesson or tutorial, you have benefited from an online course. Probably you could be thinking of a tutorial about your passionate career on furniture design or gym skills. Such ideas can be converted into an online selling course which you can get paid for.
You can market this course on Pinterest, eBay, and so many other platforms while targeting a wider audience. According to the Global Industry of Analytics, it is projected by 2022, online learning is likely to hit above the $239 billion revenue.
Do you love the tech world, linguistics, music, finance, photography, cooking different menus or have any passion?
This could be your most valuable gift. You don’t have to be a seasoned ardent or expert in your field of interest to make inroads.
You can start by disseminating your information to the best of your ability and grow viewership over time. Such popularity can help you build your own brand and become an asset. This is through acting as a marketing brand by endorsing brands for other entities at a fee.
Selling online courses is relatively cheap and easy. It is flexible since you can tailor it to suit any kind of content you want in a very short time. Additionally, it provides you passive revenue, whether it is your part-time or full-time engagement. However, be dynamic and research on the most sought-after material.
#6: Affiliate Marketing Business
Are you the type of a prospective entrepreneur who loves marketing and wants to work at your own pleasure?
Would like professional independence as part of your money making a career?
Nothing is as interesting and full of fun when you do something you truly love. If you like to make as much money as you want without income limits. Then affiliate marketing business is where you need to venture.
There is no absolute formula for getting into the enterprise. You can cut the cake your own way. You need to be good in advertising sales copy, what most know as copywriting. Clients can then pay yours for the blog posts, websites, ads you run.
This business incurs almost zero costs to start and run. However, you are likely to incur web hosting costs plus running the site domain. In most cases, it involves using your website to sign up for an affiliate program for free. On the flip side, you can the chance to make millions of dollars through your hard work doing affiliate marketing. This business is scalable with the capability of hiring extra staff to help you generate more income.
The overheads are minimal since there is no need of renting or going for lease space for set up. You basically have the power to come up with your brand, your own way. If you live a little bit of the macro-environmental competition, this is the right business for you. This is because you will not be the only fish in the industry.
You are bound to compete with other affiliate marketers in promoting products as you earn your dollars. To some this sound boring and monotonous. But once the addiction kicks in, this could turn out to be your money making career than most conventional activities.
To succeed, choose brands you respect and love for that cutting edge. This is a competitive industry and effort is required consistently for gains to be realized.
#7: Amazon FBA
This could be one of your most simple businesses to start. If you visit the Amazon website, the startup process has been simplified into;
- Setting up an FBA
- Creating product listings
- Prepare your products
- Ship your products to Amazon and
- Provision of customer support by Amazon for your selling point.
Of course, you need to meet requirements set up to become a seller. They are usually simple to comply with. But in reality, to run this business, you need to have products to sell and deliver to the Amazon fulfillment center (AFC) online.
This can be done by listing the products you have on Amazon and other marketplaces. Thereafter, you will need to market products on social sites, Amazon ads center, and many other platforms.
If your marketing strategies are effective, the next thing you will experience is streaming orders and a spike in transactions. You don’t need to worry about order deliveries. This is because Amazon responds to orders by automatically processing them via their systems.
This is equally the case if the orders are placed on your website or any other marketplace known to the customers. You need to connect your site with the AFC to automatically handle everything for you through their order fulfillment center.
You stand to benefit from competitive rates on sales generating millions of revenue to your account. It is important to understand the FBA fee charges for selling products on and off the Amazon platform. Amazon will help in monitoring your inventory with the help of shifting your stock to marketable niches.
#8: Content (Image, copywriting) Selling Business
Content selling business involves writing content with the marketing curve. This content can be sold to clients to run blogs. In addition, it can be sold to enterprises that need articles, imagery, video graphics plus much more. However, content selling business can be twined together with other online services like copywriting to generate additional income.
Copywriting bridges the gap of creating millions of content with the no audience to read it. To help avoid such wastage of time and money, it helps appeal and runs high blogs and websites with such content on search engines.
Furthermore, a lot of traffic is directed to your website or blog for people to read your content. The reader attention is effectively captured to arouse interest through positive social coercion to read the content. Besides, the content is tailored to provide what the reader needs, making them develop the ‘thirst’ to read more.
Ultimately, trust is developed with the reader; you command authority to your target audience and popularize your brand. You can create captivating content which you can sell to business establishments. Apart from that, you do for them copywriting at a cost.
#9: 3D Printing Service
This is one of the most lucrative industries today with millions of dollars in revenue generation, thanks to tech innovativeness. If you are an entrepreneur with a keen eye for graphic design, 3D printing services could earn that much-needed extra cash.
Imagine designing an advert using the image of wild animals to pass interesting and important information about a product? The cutting-edge rest I the words; imagine! Create! Imagine! Create! The sky might not necessarily be the limit here.
You can use a 3D printer to create diverse products that meet client demands. This is majorly through the creation of prototypes or replicas to bait investor interest. If you close in deals, this could be in millions of revenue to transform your career.
It all goes down to creative model designs and innovative 3D printing skills to come up with incredible selling models. This is a business with products you can sell anywhere.
#10: Online Advertising Business
Most small and medium enterprises rely on online advertising to counter completion from large and well-established organizations. This is a fast-growing industry in millions of dollars, thanks to its advertising solutions. Remember, effective advertising is critical to high sales margin and profits. Hence, the reason many enterprises will spend millions in advertising costs.
This is money you can tap into by horning your marketing writing skills like computer programming, SEO maximization among other expertise. In addition, you can also design an online advertising business model that counters the conventional approach.
Take time to understand the niche of your desire and establish networks of contacts. Furthermore, you need to be conversant with the industry code of conduct for content generation. Also, create a website and blogs to host your adverts. Ultimately if it sells, there is a good reason for that anyway.
Consider setting up your advertising online marketing company. This will boost your efforts through active networking, blogging, and blogging. This information is essential for you to compete with the seasoned in the industry while advertising for enterprises or individuals at a cost.
How to Start an Online Business?
Having had a glimpse of what businesses you can launch, it is important to understand how to go about it as well. You will find these tips helpful
1. Know the Market
Gary Vaynerchuk once said, “The market is the market is the market”.
This is such an adage that is proverbial in the world of marketing. All you need to concentrate on is your market needs, once you satisfy your audience the rest will fall into place.
When starting out, ensure you do research on what the market gaps are. Your market needs to understand your business products. Besides, inform the market of product benefits through aggressive marketing while arousing the interest to buy.
Once you kick-start your business venture on this note, you need to consistently be innovative and creative. This will enhance and sustain the demand for your online products; otherwise, chances of being outcompeted will rise with time.
2. Find the Problems and Consumer Demand
The buyer journey is a series of questions that must be answered. Besides the completion out there, ensure you effectively identify the market gap that is viable to venture.
People don’t buy what you do but they buy why you do it. Get to know what concerns do consumers have on what is missing in specific products. This could be poor products offered, unaffordable services or goods, unavailability of products and much more.
For instance, if the market is flooded with non-innovative marketing efforts, you can launch a content marketing to fill the gap. This can be achieved by providing sellers with the much-needed competitive edge for high sales. The aim is to plan and start your online business to provide what is missing and create client satisfaction.
3. Cash is the Lifeblood of Business
You can have the best product, but without making sales it all a waste of time. Make the market not only knows about your product but also consistently understand how it solves the problem. This can be achieved through a great marketing model that is relevant to prevailing market structure.
For instance, if you are selling a new innovative brand of refrigerators online, be specific with its beneficial unique features. Let the customer know what he or she will enjoy by using the refrigerator instead of that of competitors.
4. Write Your Plan
This is the heart of your business launch, growth, and scalability. Write the business plan for your online venture to help you identify possible weaknesses for improvement in the long run. Additionally, you will be able to know which areas that need extra funding or cost-cutting for a lean budget.
Ultimately you are able to spend wisely and prioritize your business funding, tapping on opportunities when they arise. This will avoid wastage of time because time on unnecessary strategies because is money.
5. Register Your Brand Name and Setup Your Website
If you are running your website, look for a reliable host that provides quality services at an affordable cost. The host will help register the website and brand for wider access online.
Your host should help you achieve the goal of top-ranking web presence. Remember, this is important for the online business when your website or blog is functioning round the clock smoothly.
6. Create Products to Solve the Problems
Having understood what consumers need let the products you manufacture or create solve their problem. This is the long lasting anchor to sustainable sales.
Always tailor your product to changing times. This is especially important in the ever competitive online space.
As a result, you will remain relevant and dependable. Remember, don’t find customers for your products but find products for your customers.
7. Provide Customer Support
You need to help your customers and you will help your business. Chances are there will be a customer out there who needs your assistance.
This could involve troubleshooting, additional information required and much other support.
Ensure you have a reliable and reachable customer support center round the clock. This will enable you to respond timely to customer concerns further enhancing satisfaction.
8. Follow Your Business Plan as Bible
Your business plan should be not only solid and precise but also reflect your passion for the venture. This will enable you to monitor easily its implementation and achievements or necessary adjustments. Avoid being unrealistic in your business plan but objective. Come up with business ideas and budgets that are sustainable.
If you are selling content, ask yourself whether you have established the network of clients. This is the audience which you can pitch or who will potentially buy your work. Consider reviewing your business plan regularly to check whether you are following it to the letter.
This will help your online business blossom while functioning smoothly since every challenge is always attended to on time.
For instance, is your client order delays causing the decline in sales? You can quickly identify where your order response mechanism needs improvement to avoid losing trust of your customer base.
Secret Facts about Successful Online Business
Winston S. Churchill once said, “Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.”
Let’s face it, there is no absolute secret to online business, but is important to treat it seriously like you would with the offline business.
How about some of the handful tips for a successful online business?
Firstly, expect challenges that might blow your dream away but persistent mistakes will leave you better, with imputes to make better decisions.
Choose an online business that not only suits your lifestyle but also one you are passionate about. The passion will carry you through the turbulent times. You will have to sacrifice a lot of time even till odd hours to see your client get that content or 3D design delivered on time. This will go hand with the kind of effort you put in. your effort might not necessarily bear fruits in the short term but can in the long term.
The more your business grows the greatest the task of management at hand. Focus on long-term scalability after short-term successes. Treat your online business from the start of a big business.
Be visionary with the ability to look into potential problems your business might face and prepare a risk management strategy. For instance, software needs either replacements or updates over time. Avoid using outdated or costly software instead of opting for better available options. Your competitors could knock you off the bridge.
Always study the market demographics like specific shifts of your customer’s interests. This will help you direct your marketing tools to the right audience at the right time tapping on sales.
Establish great relationships with your existing customer base to help in the one-on-one marketing of your brand and products.
Avoid overregulating your business processes to cut down on bureaucracies. This will help you deliver orders quickly and make your business attractive but at the same time competitive.
Nothing comes on a silver plate. You will need to work extra hard sometimes to realize the gains and growth of your business in the long run.
Colin R. Davis once said, “The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same.”
In a nutshell, to thrive I the online business, know what to sell and come up with strategies that will tap on the opportunities in the online space.
Assess the viability of your business idea by looking at potential prospects of its success. Also, consider the possible challenges you are likely to experience in the long run. You can access such information from the experts or the seasoned in the industry.
You will always face completion but how you respond to it creatively matters. Protect your business brand at all costs. Let your brand be relevant to what your business is all about and grab attention quickly.
Remember, “Opportunities don’t happen. You create them.” — Chris Grosser