Are we interrupting your daydreams of becoming your own boss?
We don’t mean to intrude, but you’ve just landed on the perfect blog post for such a state of mind.
If you’ve had enough of punching time cards, having your meal times determined by a scheduling program, and answering to middle-management, then perhaps there’s no better time than now to turn those daydreams into reality.
There’s a lot to consider and plan for when becoming your own boss and starting an online business — like what kind of business will you start?
How to Start an Online Business
We live in a connected world, with the internet and technology enabling ample opportunities to start successful businesses online. If you decide to give up the office or retail life and become a digital entrepreneur, you’ll be in good company.
Online, home-based businesses are on the rise and are valuable sources of income for many. Depending on your needs and goals, your business may be a part-time side hustle or it could be your full-time venture.
Is starting an online business a good idea? Online businesses may require fewer investments as compared to brick-and-mortar businesses that require external facilities or a hired staff, and they offer a flexible work-life balance as it’s dictated by you. However, keep in mind that you may need to convert part of your home and living space to support your business, especially as it grows.
15 Online Business Ideas
Ready to be your own boss? With these business ideas, you can be.
1. Web designer
Web designers are in demand.
As brick-and-mortar businesses convert into online retailers, they all need websites. Business owners often don’t have the time to create and design beautiful, functional websites. Even with the advent of easy-to-use website builders, they seek outside counsel and assistance.
And it isn’t just small businesses that need web design help, large companies frequently hire design consultants to assist with their needs.
Web design is all about creating an intuitive, beautiful experience for the end-user, so if helping others and designing are your passions, this is a great business idea to consider starting from home.
2. Personal fitness trainer
The pandemic has shown us that traditionally in-person businesses can be successful online. You may be accustomed to going to a gym or studio to learn and instruct, but there’s nothing stopping you from doing that online, too.
A website, camera, and open floor space are all you really need to get started if you’re knowledgeable about proper exercise, motivation, and healthy living. Once you build your reputation and your business grows, you may find that you’ll want to start making house calls or letting your clients come to you.
Before starting a personal fitness training business, make sure to research local guidelines to determine if any special licensing is required.
Do you have a way with words? The ability to sway people by pen or keyboard? If yes, it’s time to give serious consideration to becoming a copywriter.
Great copy helps convert website visitors into customers, so website owners everywhere seek help writing content like FAQs and blog posts.
To attract those website owners and convince them to hire you, you’ll need to put your skills to work. Start by creating a website to showcase your strengths. Make sure to include an “About” page where prospective clients can learn about you, samples of your work, and make it easy for them to contact you — a “Contact Us” page is great, but your contact information should be discoverable from every page.
4. Interior Designer
Some people have an eye for style, and some don’t. If you do, why not help others create the living or workspaces of their dreams?
Someone, somewhere, doesn’t understand that houndstooth can’t be matched with plaid, or what color walls best pair with their flooring. Your stylistic expertise is what they need and they’ll be happy to pay for a consultation.
As with any business, social proof is important, so you’ll want to showcase your work on your website. Consider adding a blog to your site to keep your readers up-to-date with trends and inform them of what you’ve been working on.
Have you thought about starting an online retail business, only to abandon your dream because you don’t have the funds to invest in a large inventory of products?
Dropshipping solves that issue for you. With dropshipping, you can sell products on your site without worrying about stocking and inventory. It works like this: When you sell a product on your site it’s purchased from a third party who fulfills shipping, so you never have to touch the product. These third-party sellers are normally wholesalers or manufacturers, and you’ll still make a profit from the sales.
Dropshipping means low overhead. You don’t have to purchase any products unless you’ve made a sale and it’s been paid for by the customer. This also gives you great control and flexibility when it comes to testing new products in your market.
6. Personal chef
Does everyone rave about your cooking? Perhaps now is the time to turn your culinary prowess into a profitable business.
Depending on local regulations and guidelines, you can use your home kitchen to create nutritious, enjoyable meals for your clients. As your business grows, you may need to find a commercial kitchen and hire helpers, but the majority of your marketing, planning, and business work can be done from the comfort of your own home.
Happy clients and referrals will help your business grow, so don’t hesitate to create a website to show off your delicious meals and share information about your offerings.
7. Grant writer
Non-profit organizations rely on donations to fund their goodwill initiatives. There are many opportunities for them to apply for grants to receive funding, but oftentimes, the people behind the scenes are juggling many roles, and don’t have the time to write the incredible grant proposals they need to secure funds.
This is where you come in. Are you a master of pen and keyboard? Do you have a knack for laying information out concisely and persuasively? There are so many organizations vying for a limited amount of grants, that it’s imperative for proposals to be well-formatted and well-written.
There are many free resources online that can help you learn how to write the perfect proposal. Once you’ve nailed it, pitch your services to different organizations and create a website where people seeking grant writers can contact you.
8. Life coach
Does everyone in your friend group rely on you for advice? Do they seek you out for your sage wisdom on love, work, and any other number of personal and professional issues?
Sounds like you might already be a bit of a life coach. Life coaches aren’t therapists, but they do help individuals focus on the life they want, provide guidance and counsel, and help people to achieve their goals.
Some life coaches prefer to coach and speak to big crowds, but it’s a career that can easily be done from your home. While life coaches don’t technically need a license to operate, there are programs designed to help you become a life coach that offer certifications. As with any business, you’ll need to invest in your online presence to build your audience of prospective customers.
Blogs and websites have democratized the information age, letting anyone who has an interest or is an expert on a topic hold court. Blogging is one of the most popular ways that people share information, and you can manage your blog from home or anywhere!
To be a blogger, you undoubtedly have to have your own site. To be successful, you’ll need to create fresh, interesting content that appeals to your audience. Encourage your readers to share your posts with their friends and on social media to grow your following.
As your blog gains more and more engaged readers, you can offer advertising space on your blog for additional income. If you’re seriously considering becoming a blogger, check out this post about what you need to know when starting a blog.
10. Virtual assistant
Are you an organizational powerhouse? Have you been called “Type A” more than once? A virtual assistant position may be perfect for you.
Busy executives and business owners can reach a point where they’re inundated with responsibilities and don’t have the time to manage all their tasks. Appointments, emails, video calls — all of these things add up and are time-consuming.
As a virtual assistant, you’d be stepping in to provide the help and organization they so desperately need. You’d carry your tasks out at home, from scheduling meetings and appointments to replying to emails, fielding phone calls, and managing documents. And all of these things are easily achievable using cloud-based solutions.
So, if you’re the type who plans everything from morning to sundown, you can have a lot of fun and find fulfillment as a Virtual Assistant.
Someone, somewhere, needs your expertise. Consultants are experts in their fields, and they are paid to advise others in their field or to address specific issues others are facing. It’s not the same as a coach, who provides advice and motivation so you meet your goals.
Usually, consultants offer their services to businesses, although individuals sometimes seek out consultants, too. As a home-based consultant, you have the flexibility to determine your own schedule and rates, and there isn’t much overhead when starting your business. However, it takes time to build your clientele, so make sure you highlight your expertise and other relevant information on your site and include social proof where possible.
Covid-19 has changed the face of education, and now is a great time to start an online tutoring business. Parents everywhere are struggling to run their households, manage their careers, and act as secondary (or primary) teachers as their kids attend remote schooling.
If you’re knowledgeable and have a gift for teaching, why not help out in this time of increased need and get paid for it? All that’s required are a computer, a website, and a camera. You can conduct online lessons and tutoring sessions, and add helpful content to your site.
If you do well, your students’ parents will be your best advocates — touting your expertise and sharing your information with other parents in similar situations, and word-of-mouth is a powerful marketing tool.
Podcasts are insanely popular. In fact, almost 60% of U.S. consumers listen to podcasts.
If you like the sound of your own voice and think others may, too, then consider starting a podcast. All of us have stories to share and knowledge that we can impart to others.
To get started with podcasting, you’ll need the following:
- A quality microphone
- Software or tools to record audio
- Audio editing tools
- A website
To gain more listeners, try partnering with other more well-known podcasters or thought leaders as you get started. And don’t forget to encourage your listeners to leave reviews!
14. Domain Investor
You’ve heard of real estate investors, but did you know that domain investing is a thing?
Just like real estate properties, domains are great investments because a good domain name will only increase in value. Domain investing means buying domain names and then selling them for a greater amount.
Good domain names have to meet certain criteria, like being short, memorable, and brandable. Business owners will pay for the right domain name because domains are the core of a business’ digital identity. You’ll need to do your research before jumping into the world of domain investing, as you’ll be using your own funds to get started, and you don’t want to lose your money.
Luckily, there are many online resources that can help you get started with domain investing, and there are plenty of sites, like BuyDomains.com, that offer reasonably priced premium domain names which you can resell.
15. Freelance Editor
Does the thought of correcting someone’s diction and syntax excite you? Do you have fond memories of red pens in the pre-digital era? Are you the person your friends rely on for reviewing and improving important documents?
To get started, you’ll want to create a site to showcase your work. Ask friends and family that have relied on you for editing services to provide testimonials, and reach out to businesses you think could benefit from your services. Your work as a freelance editor can be done from anywhere — at home, while traveling, or in a rented space, whatever you prefer.
Ready to start your online business?
There’s no better time than now to launch an online business. We hope these ideas have inspired you to get started and pursue your dreams!
Before investing your time and money in a new venture, it’s always a good idea to take the time to validate your business idea and create a business plan. This way, you’ll know exactly who your audience is, and the best way to conduct your enterprise.
Do you have any other online business ideas you’d like to share? Comment below!