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5 Online Business Ideas You Can Start Today

Online business is a beautiful thing. The dawn of the internet has completely transformed the way we conduct business. Traditional methods of marketing such as print newspaper, magazines and direct mail are dying out, in favour of much more effective, measurable and scalable techniques that the internet now provides. Some of the biggest brick and mortar businesses are struggling to keep up with the e-commerce beasts that are absolutely dominating physical product sales.

It is very difficult for brick and mortar businesses to compete with online businesses. The online businesses don’t have the costs associated with running a physical store. Things like paying for staff, rent and licensing for music, among other things. This is the reason why you’ll almost always find a better deal for something online, because the profit margins are much larger, businesses can afford to reduce the price of goods.

Online businesses are booming in our increasingly connected, digital world and it is becoming easier for anyone with the right work-ethic to start an online business themselves without having to jump through many hoops at all.

Here is a short list of interesting online business ideas:

  1. Freelancing – This is something that has grown in a HUGE way over the past few years. Did you know that over 30% of the American work force is now freelancing. We are seeing huge changes in the way people work. Freelancing provides the opportunity for you to be your own boss and write your own pay check. You’ll find that the scope of work available is absolutely huge. Any job that is performed in an office environment is now being completed by freelancers. From customer service support agents to PHP developers and digital marketing managers – its not just photography and writing! With that all being said, freelancing is definitely not a walk in the park. You will be competing for projects against many other seasoned freelancers. You will have to build up your reputation and your brand. This involves you constantly having to sell yourself to people and with the ability to confidently demonstrate that you can provide some great results for the end client.
  2. Affiliate marketing – This is a business model that has been around since the dawn of the internet. It is a form of referral marketing where an affiliate gets paid a commission if anyone purchases a product/service via their recommendation. This could be someone who blogs about digital cameras and writing a review about various models. The blogger would then have an affiliate link to the cameras he is reviewing. Anyone who goes ahead and buys a camera through the this link will mean the blogger gets paid a commission. Affiliate marketing is one of the fastest ways to get started with business online. It is also a business model that has one of the lowest barriers to entry. You can get start with certain affiliate programs for pennies!
  3. E-Commerce – As mentioned above, the e-commerce business is absolutely huge and it has only been growing over the past few years as more and more people use the internet and adopt the idea of buying things online. E-commerce can be a fantastic business to start on the internet. There are many platforms that offer pre-built packages for you to use and get started in a matter of hours. These platforms have websites that have payment systems and inventory technology all built in so you can focus on listing and selling your products! Again this is a business model with a low barrier of entry, you don’t need to invest thousands of pounds to get started. Unique variations in this business model also allow you to sell products and only pay for them when someone else buys them! This is called dropshipping.
  4. Franchises – You may have assumed that franchises are only present in traditional brick and mortar businesses but this is simply not the case. There are many online franchise opportunities that are typically very low cost as you only need to invest in the website and hosting. The benefits of online franchising are reduced up front investments, branding advantages and the ability to follow a proven framework that has worked many times before. With that being said I should mention that some online franchise opportunities are all talk and no trousers. Please make sure you do your research to ensure you aren’t caught out by a company that just wants your cash investment and thats it.
  5. Website flipping – Websites are big business in the internet world. Especially sites that have a lot of SEO value. There are sites out there that go for hundreds of thousands of pounds a pop! Many people buy websites at a cheap price, make a few tweaks and sell it on for a handsome profit. You need to be highly versed in everything to do with domains as you need to know what to look for and what to improve on the site so you can sell it on for a profit.

If you want to learn more about why online business is becoming so popular, check out my recent article “Why Aspiring Entrepreneurs Turn To Online Business

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