Online businesses gained popularity in the 90s after the dotcom bubble burst.
Online businesses are now one of the most preferred ways of starting a business primarily due to its ease of use.
What you need to consider when starting an online business
I know the idea of starting an online business and leaving your current job is exciting. Definitely, it was for me when I start doing freelancing 12 years ago.
Before anything make sure you know what this involves and make sure you have your guns ready.
The very first thing to consider is the skillset that you own. If you are good at something, like writing or making arts and crafts then it will be easy for you to pick the right online business. All you have to do is hone your skills and exploit your capabilities.
In fact, this is the most important aspect to consider when you wish to start an online business. If you have many skills, then you must pick the one that is sure to help you start a successful online business.
It is best to choose something that is in line with the work that you are already doing, as you will know how it works.
You have to have a certain passion for a topic in order to take it up. Say for example you are an architect but have a passion for yoga. You can choose to start an online yoga business.
So, you have to look into your hobbies and find the one that will work best for you. Even if the skill is not polished, you can start with the business and get better at it as you go.
Some businesses will require you to put in extra time during the initial stages in order to set it up properly. So, if you are a professional then you must take time out for it.
If you don’t have the time initially and can spare only a few hours, then you should work on establishing a strong business.
Once it is established and gains traction, you can quit your full-time job and pursue it full time.
4. Initial Investment
The next thing to consider is the initial investment you have to make. Any business requires a certain investment input and so will your online business. You have to look at how much it is possible for you to invest in the business.
If it is a small sum, then you can start a small business and work on its popularity. If you have a good sum, then you can start a big business. Before you go about it, you have to decide on the sum that you wish to invest in.
Piece of advice: Don’t do it like me and start a business with almost no money because you will have to dedicate a lot more time to compensate for the lack of funds and you will have a really slow start. Since I’ve learned this precious lesson I always invest in certain capital and “outsource” some work like marketing, programming so I will have more time for things that I enjoy and I’m good at.
5. Vision & Business plan
Make sure you know how you want your business to look and write a business plan with all the details. I know you are excited to start, but trust me, without a business plan you will get caught in small, important things pretty fast.
The business plan will also help you measure the evolution of your business and the goals you want to achieve. There are many guides and tutorials online on how to write an effective business plan so I’m not going to insist on this matter.
Business ideas you can start right now
Below are 8 business ideas you can start right now, with their pros and cons. If you plan to start freelancing you may give a quick read to our previous article – What you need to know to start freelancing.
A great way to get into online business and start making money is writing. You can become a freelance writer and churn out articles for websites, newspapers, magazines, business clients, etc.
You have to turn to freelance websites such as Fiverr, Upwork, and Odesk, where you will find clients wanting to hire you.
It’s very easy to get started. You will have the freedom to choose the people you want to work with. Also, the freedom to set your own timing and schedule. You can go through the different jobs on offer and pick the one that is best suits you. Why don’t you start by writing for us?
You will have to dedicate a substantial amount of time to writing, and it will not make you any passive income. Also, new writers get low income until they establish connections and have a decent portfolio.
Another thing to try out is self-publishing. Self-publishing refers to writing your own book and getting it published. You can pick a topic of your choice and write extensively on it.
But don’t worry; gone are the days where you had to approach publishers to publish your book, you can now do it by yourself through Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing.
You only have to focus on your topic and not worry about finding a publisher for it. There is also no limit on the number of books you can publish and can write on diverse topics. With relatively little work or funding, you can start making money online almost immediately.
You have to be the best in order to make sales. There is a lot of competition out there and you must create quality books. Also, it can be a bit time consuming to write an entire book considering you have to do the research, text formatting and of course writing.
Another great type of online business to start is coaching. As you know, there are many topics on which people will need information and if you are good at one such topic then you can coach others.
All you need is an Internet connection and you can start coaching others. For example, if you are a yoga instructor then you can start an online coaching class. You can also start a math class for students.
ConsYou are trading your time for money with no passive income. You will have to be available fairly often as a client might have an important issue or problem that you might have to clear immediately.
There are many languages in this world and someone or the other will be looking to learn a new one. If you know many languages, then you can become a tutor. You can also translate books or documents and make money out of it. You can turn to Upwork or Freelancer to look for translator jobs.
If you are looking to learn a foreign language you should read our article: 5 easy tips to learn a foreign language.
You will have to be fluent in the other language if you wish to make it an easy job. If you keep referring to dictionaries for help or feed it into the software to help translate, then you will be wasting your time and disappoint the customers.
If you are good at singing or playing a musical instrument and composing music, then you can compose music for others as a freelancer. Turn to a site like Fiverr where people will want jingles, which you can sing and submit your creation.
You have the freedom to be creative and put your skill to good use. You can compose as many jingles, songs and other recordings as you like and earn a good amount.
You might have to spend some time thinking up original tunes and songs. Copying is a big no here and you have to remain as original as possible.
6. Graphic Design
If you are good at drawing or designing, then you can put your talent to good use. You can draw cartoons, create logos, illustrate, etc. Again, Freelancer.com or Fiverr.com will provide you with many opportunities and you can supply the audience with pictures of your work to get them to employ you.
7. Selling online courses and membership sites.
Once you build up an audience online through your books and/or website, you can start selling courses and membership sites which can be a good way to generate passive income. You can jump right into places where people buy courses (like a course marketplace) and start selling courses there.
Also, you may explore websites like Amazon and E-bay to sell products online. For Amazon, check our guide. There are many individuals that are making a killing on E-bay. Find out how to start an online business on E-bay.
8. Creating and selling software/websites
If you are good at creating software or are a programmer, then you can turn to Upwork or Odesk and find people looking to hire coders. They will give you the specifications and you can create the software for them.
Alternatively, you can start your own software business where you hire a coder and you run the business yourself.
Check our other article: How To Monetize your Hobby Really Quick
There are many other ways you can start an online business. So why don’t you tell us in the comments tab, your hobby and I’ll tell you how you can easily monetize it and start an online business ASAP.