Founded in 2003, Small Business Trends is an award-winning online publication for small business owners, entrepreneurs and the people who interact with them. It is one of the most popular independent small business publications on the web.
Taking a successful business model from someone else and building on it is no crime. In fact, it is how most leaders build businesses. It doesn’t always take a “stroke of genius” to get to the top. But when those once-in-a-lifetime ideas strike, your window to act may be small. I don’t accept the idea that all of the good ideas have been taken. These five unique businesses are proof that you can find prosperity, even in a market that may not have even existed when you first had your idea.
They will ship any item from the U.S. to anywhere in the world – in the most personal, transparent, and fast way possible. There are many items, such as tech gadgets or fashion brands, that are only available in the U.S. I have used this service myself many times to get items shipped to Italy – such as the newest Jawbone UP3 fitness tracker. They are always very responsive and great!
There’s a ton of great services out there that you can use once your brand is more established and you can afford to access features like built-in analytics, managing multiple channels, and link trackers.
These days, one of the main tools you need to start a business is an internet connection. There are so many different opportunities out there to start businesses online. And in some cases, you don’t even need much more than that connection in order to get your business going. Here are 50 online business ideas you can start right away.
My favorite online business idea is from a current client who is looking to create an online marketplace for new and/or gently used consignment items. It stems from the concept created by folks such as Thredup that allow consumers to gain some monetary return when they are done with their clothing that in many cases were quite expensive when first purchased.
Also, no matter what your career, it’s important to diversify where your income is coming from. This means having multiple revenue streams from multiple sources, like selling your freelance services, affiliate and passive income, as well as coaching and other online odd jobs.
While Etsy is a great place to get in front of potential customers who wouldn’t have otherwise found you, once you’re up and running and have built a decent audience, you can move your store over to Shopify and retain a larger portion of the income you make from selling your goods.
Ask yourself, “Is the product in a growth market?” If your market has already passed its peak (i.e. the VCR market) and is on the down slope, you probably don’t want to get involved. Instead, you want to get into an industry that’s on the upswing – that’s where you’ll have the most profit and growth potential.
Bootstrap: This means you’ll be self-funding your business. While not everyone will have the funds to pay for everything they need to start a startup, bootstrapping means that you retain 100% control over your company. If you can bootstrap your company to an exit or IPO, you’ll most likely never have to work another day in your life.
If you’ve got experience and expertise in a specific area of business, there are hundreds if not thousands of business owners who would love to jump on a phone call and pick your brain. This can be an easy way to make extra money online and to hone your skills to use in your consulting or freelance business. Sites like Clarity.fm let you create a profile where entrepreneurs and business owners can pre-pay to book a phone call with you for a set amount of time. Whether you’re an expert in raising money for startups, building apps, or running a restaurant, you can make extra money selling a few minutes of your time to people in need.
You’ll also need to provide evidence that other clients have been satisfied with your services. Depending on the nature of the service you provide, you may choose to do this in a few different ways. Testimonials from clients are a great way to establish your credibility. An online portfolio of your work might be another option (for example, landscapers might include pictures of well-manicured properties they designed and maintain). However, if the confidentiality of your clients is important, you may need to approach this a bit differently by including more general descriptions of problems you’ve encountered and steps you’ve taken to solve them, with no names or clues that could give away identities. If privacy is important to your clients, then visitors to your site should be able to understand why you can’t reveal names and exact details. But again, don’t assume they’ll know. Be sure to explain this.
Again, CodeAcademy will give you good grounding in coding languages. Expect to train for 12 months before being able to build apps that are going to achieve lots of sales. There are a few options when it comes to building apps…
If you’re a skilled worker in a specific niche, like marketing, design, or software development, there are specialty marketplaces that cater just to you. These are amazing places to make money online as you know that the people visiting them are looking specifically for the skills you have. Check out places like 99Designs or Dribbble for designers, Cloudpeeps for marketing and SEO professionals, and TopTal, Crew, or Gigster for high-level software developers. Once you’ve built up your development skills, you can begin building a brand for yourself as a higher-value consultant and start charging brands for larger projects like implementing an entire WordPress security overhaul or migrating a website from http to https.
Arteeni is an online gallery and marketplace for American artisans selling handmade and unique items. We curate both the artisans and their products to make sure we have the best quality items on the site. Products include fine art, jewelry, handbags, home goods, small batch foods, and much more. Also, a portion of each sale is donated to a charity chosen by the customer from our curated list, including the Michael J. Fox Foundation, Homes for Our Troops, and the Alzheimer’s Association, among others.
Affilorama is a great resource for anyone looking at starting their journey in affiliate marketing. The email marketer’s best friend is their email list; you have to have an email list! I use Aweber to collect subscribers.
There’s money in the air, and if you can successfully create an online service, tool, or marketplace that fulfills a rapidly growing need in the marketplace, you could be on track for creating a very valuable business. However, it’ll undoubtedly take an intense dedication of time, efforts, and financial resources.
Selling graphic T-shirts is big business. Customized T-shirts with clever sayings or graphics are ideal for online sales. Sites like Teespring allow you to sell customer shirts. Teespring’s unique model allows you to design the shirt and get buyers lined up to purchase it. This saves you from the initial investment in stock and the time on processing and shipping orders, though you’ll likely make a smaller profit on each shirt sold.
And don’t be afraid to ask for referrals. If you’ve done a good job for someone, they’ll likely be more than happy to refer their friends and business associates to you. But if you don’t ask, they’ll rarely think to do it. Don’t leave this to chance.
CoverWallet’s platform lets you see average pricing, notifies you when you need to renew a policy or certificate, and lets you see all key policy info online – meaning no delays when you’re trying to close a new job.
How you define quality content depends on your audience and what they find valuable. At Foundr, we’ve found that our Instagram audience likes motivational quotes and updates about what’s going with the Foundr podcast.
Everyone is an expert in something. Maybe you know a lot about copywriting or meal planning or raising a credit score. And, if you can teach what you know, there’s probably someone who’s willing to pay for it.
Domain name trading has been around for the last couple decades, and while most slam-dunk names have long been sold off, there’s still plenty of others that you can get your hands on for relatively cheap and broker as a way to make money online. Before you dive in, however, beware that some experts doubt the long-term viability of this idea for making money online. However, there’s always the change you might just land on a lucrative domain name for a future billion-dollar company. To get you started, here are some tips from GoDaddy, arguably the world’s largest and most famous repository of domain names.
The key thing to remember is that at this point you’re not trying to build a fantastic, well-developed website just yet. All you’re trying to do is create an MVP website that you can start directing your customers and potential audience to.
There’s a variety of ways you can get in touch with influencers, or just get on their radar, which you can read about in this article: The Ultimate Guide To Finding, Reaching, And Interviewing Top Influencers
Phase 4: Launch the course to his email list. The success of your course comes down to getting it in front of the right people. And your own audience, no matter how small, is usually the best place to start. That said, you need to have a clear idea of your launch plan before you put it live.
If you can consistently provide companies with successful social media campaigns and improve their profiles, they will pay. Clorox Bleach had some huge success with one of their recent social media campaigns.
After that, you’ll need to be familiar with the other major players in the space who might be good partners or acquisition opportunities, as well as an intimate knowledge of how to raise funding, market your product, hire and manage the best talent, and keep yourself financially above water.
Next, you’ll need the right tools. You can be as complicated or simple as you want depending on your comfort with audio equipment, but at the minimum you’ll want a microphone and software for recording your voice. Companies like Behringer, Blue, Focusrite, and others sell studio-quality plug-and-play podcast setups that can get you recording today.
And even if you’re not a big fan of reading print books, let’s not forget that we’re in the midst of the information age, when all the information you could possibly want is at your fingertips. There are tons of information out there that you can access for free that’ll teach you everything you need to know about starting a business.
If you happen to have a bit more free time, then reach out to the event organizers and see if you can volunteer or help in any way. That way you’re guaranteed a backstage pass and a higher chance of striking up a conversation with an expert one-on-one than if you just walked in through the door.
Your email list is going to be your most direct form of contact with your audience. It’s been proven to be the most effective marketing channel available to you, and for years, email marketing has consistently outperformed every other digital channel when it comes to acquiring sales, leads, and customers.
And while building, launching, and marketing an online course does take a considerable amount of upfront effort, their earning potential is through the roof (especially compared to a lot of the other online ways to make money we’re talking about).
Mobile applications are more popular than ever, and people are willing to pay good money for ways to manage their lives from their smartphones. If you have a great idea and happen to know coding, you can run with it and create your app yourself. If you just have an idea and don’t know the ins and outs of how to turn it into a reality, there are plenty of software developers looking to collaborate with people on app creation.
You’ll notice my bio at the end of the article, as well as details on the homepage. I make a full time income from blogging for digital marketing agencies. I get leads thanks to my simple landing page.
Websites aren’t too dissimilar to stocks. Many are junk, but some can generate serious income for you, making buying an existing website a strong potential idea for making money online (if you have an eye for spotting the diamond in the rough).
Another way to utilize your talent and business skills is to run corporate workshops online. Businesses are always looking for unique ways to help educate their workforce, and if you can package your talents into a day or half-day long session, you can sell that to companies all over the world to make money online. Start by building a portfolio and then reaching out on LinkedIn to influencers at relevant companies to see if they would be interested in you teaching their team.
The best online business idea is turning your genius, or your own personal know-how, into very sellable, super-valuable, high quality eBooks, online courses, and tutorials that help will people enhance or change their lives. I love this strategy because it is mutually beneficial. You get to share what you love and earn money from it, and others get to learn and benefit from it in the same way you have.
But here’s the reality; the internet has opened up so many possibilities to people regardless of age, location, or background to build a sustainable, online business or side project that can make extra money online every single month.
Starting a podcast, like making a YouTube channel or blog, comes down to telling interesting stories and building an engaged audience. I’m probably sounding like a broken record by now, but you need a niche that you’re interested in and there’s already a demand for. Come up with a list of topics you’d like to talk about and then search iTunes charts, Google Trends and other podcast research sites like cast.market to see what’s currently out there and popular.
If editing and advising college students on how to write compelling 500 word essays on topics such as “You were just invited to speak at the White House. Write your speech,” seems like something you would want to do, you can make good money online.