For those aspiring to have a business of their own today, going online is the best way to make it happen. Online business is less prone to risks and especially in the times of the pandemic when the global economy is facing a serious downturn, online businesses can still hope to survive the waves of adversity. E-commerce grew by nearly 15 percent in the US between 2018 and 2019 and even in the times of the Covid-19 outbreak, e-commerce giants like Amazon have done better than many physical businesses since people are banking more on transactions that involve no physical visits or contacts. Especially with the explosive rise in the use of mobile phones, online business has its best days ahead.
The advantage of starting an online business is that it doesn’t require much monetary investment. There could be some legal necessities but that is not too much of a big deal. In times of economic downturn, when people can have a serious cash crunch, online business ventures become all the more suitable for those who are looking to start a business and secure a source of income, even if not a major one. There are scores of ways through which online entrepreneurs can market their goods and services on the internet and social media. It is just about taking the initial step to decide on what kind of business one wants to do that makes all the difference.
There are many ideas on how to start businesses online. Of them, we have picked 10 which, if properly cultivated, can go a long way in establishing your identity as a successful entrepreneur.
In times of lockdowns, webinars are something that are becoming popular and starting a webinar business can be a great decision now. The good thing with webinar business is that you don’t even require your own product to sell online. Jason Fladlien, co-founder of Rapid Crush, a leader in business-marketing and webinar services, has accumulated more than $100 million in sales through webinars. If you have a product that you can ruthlessly promote with all your knowledge and expertise, start the webinar business next to find people who are ready to buy whatever you have to offer.
At a time when people’s physical movement has stopped, it is a great idea to reach out to them virtually. Online medium creates that opportunity perfectly. In India, there are women yoga instructors who had to shut down the physical classes but soon shifted to online sessions to keep their business running. There is a high demand for coaches in various disciplines at the moment because of the pandemic, be it in yoga or physical exercise or academic classes or business, and if you have an expertise in any field that has a public demand, it is the best time to start your own online business. A medium like Skype can be used. Once it gains momentum, then sky’s the limit.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is something intrinsic to anything online and with paid ads growing at a fast rate, the ability to appear on search engines like Google has not just become competitive but also rewarding. Online marketers aim to be in the front page of Google whenever their products and services come up for popular search and if you can earn a name for yourself if you have the required SEO skills. A SEO expert is someone in high demand in the online world and if you can fit the role, you can do the work not only for your clients but also your own business.
Simple blogging could also be a rewarding online business. Blogging can be done on varied niches and if you are an authority on the product/service you are offering or an expert on the subject matter you are dealing with (in case you are running a coaching business), then you have the whole world to conquer. Take a cue from Arianna Huffington who started the Huffington Post blog in 2005 that picks topics like life and politics. Blogging can earn you money through advertising, affiliate links, etc.
Social media influencer:
If you have already made a name by having a weighty presence in the social media with a huge following and get your voice heard better than others through retweets and responses or shares and likes, then you have the potential to become a social media influencer — another online business idea. As a social media influencer, you can work with brands to promote products and services through your widely followed accounts. Joe Sinkwitz, founder and CEO of Intellifluence which is an influence-marketing place, said influence marketer is someone who spreads the word/message for you and the work can be done through review blogs, social media promotions, celebrity endorsements, etc. If you are trustworthy and process in-depth knowledge about a product, then social-media influence can be a good online business idea for you.
Online course creation:
If you have worked in the academic sector and are passionate about a particular subject, then it is a great idea to involve yourself with an academic institution virtually. For example, if you are comfortable with the task of creating courses for online teaching, you can contact institutes of bodies that are looking for hands to do the job in times of the lockdown. From schools to colleges to institutes that offer vocational training, there is a need for such hands in these times. Passion and knowledge about the subject can make you the right candidate for such a job which can also be a good online business idea. You can expand your online-course-creation services gradually. Similarly, you can also explore online jobs like resume or cover-letter writing.
‘How to’ videos:
If you have a knack of helping people in various matters, whether it is domestic or professional, and have a fair knowledge about them, it is a brilliant idea to start explanatory videos that you can post on YouTube. From preparing an easy dish at home to how to repair a punctured tire of your car, there are an endless number of items in the ‘do it yourself’ list that people are always looking for. You can always chip in and monetize the videos and make it a small but lucrative online business venture.
If you are passionate about writing, then copywriting can be a good way to utilize the internet and earn money from it. Since print journalism is not seeing the best of times anymore and the online media has a massive opportunity to offer to people in terms of knowledge or information transfer, you can always pick the niches that keep you interested, be it finance, politics, sports or simple motherhood duties. If your words can strike a chord with the readers, then copywriting can be your dream online business. Back the initial work with setting up of a website, blog, vlog and promote your words and compositions on social media.
Web developing is another in-demand job in the virtual world. With the number of websites (commercial or non-commercial) only increasing in high numbers every day, this job is not one which is going to see a slump in the near future. If you are already a trained web developer, then this is a great way to start your online business. You can work independently and from anywhere and still can earn good money. With references, your service business can only go up the ladder.
If you are an authority on certain products and services but still don’t want to start a business of your own based on them, you can still become an entrepreneur. How? You can do it just by becoming an online consultant. In this role, you need to use all your skills and knowledge and experience to help clients to address issues they face in any particular field in which you are specialized. You can start by picking a niche and then set up a platform and promote testimonials. You need to pick the rates at which you offer your service and then the networking part comes. If you are professional enough to handle the role, you are in for a good online business.
Kennedy Information, for example, did a survey of consulting fees for a partner small management or IT consulting firm and it was found that they charge $294 per hour on average. An independent entry-level consultant, on the other hand, charges an average of $175 per hour.