Starting an online business is more practical than ever. Potential customers are spending more time online than ever before, and many companies require internet-related services. You can run an online business part-time or full-time, and the range of options is extensive.
As you’re learning how to start a company, one of the first steps is deciding the type of online business to run. Consider your skills, any industry-specific knowledge you have and your vision for your life as a business owner.
To help you begin the process of starting your own online business and gaining the flexibility and freedom that comes with it, we’ve compiled this list of 5 online small business ideas. None of these online business ideas require a physical storefront and for some ideas, so you don’t even have to offer a physical product, just a service.
One of the most common online business ideas around, starting an ecommerce store is relatively easy and cheap—at least when compared to opening up a brick-and-mortar store.
If you’re handy or creative, you could craft your products and sell them on sites like Etsy, Amazon, or eBay, straight out of your home. The biggest challenge would be getting discovered, depending on your niche and how viral your products are. But thankfully, there’s tons of advice available to help you out, from pricing your work properly to taking the best photography possible.
2. Social Media Marketing
If you’ve got a knack for getting likes, favorites, recommendations, retweets, Insta-hearts, followers, reblogs, shares, plus-ones, upvotes, comments, and clicks, then you might want to consider a career in social media marketing. By consulting with companies to manage their social media profiles, spread their content across the Web, keep their brands on track, and respond to customer questions, you can turn your favorite hobby into your day job.
And best of all? Like everything on this list of easy online business ideas, this job can be done at home, on the road, or at a tropical resort. That’s the beauty of the internet.
3. Marketing Consulting
Marketing is an art—and if you have skills or experience with any kind of marketing campaigns, you might consider offering consulting services as an online business. As a marketing consultant, you can provide guidance on a wide range of topics, depending on your specific expertise, and help businesses execute their marketing strategies and campaigns.
From email marketing strategy to event planning to website branding—businesses will always have marketing needs—and your online business can be there to help. And best of all? Like everything on this list of easy online business ideas, this job can be done at home, on the road, or at a tropical resort. That’s the beauty of the internet.
4. Data Entry
Although it doesn’t pay the best, data entry is an online business idea where you can easily work from home. If you’re looking for a job that won’t require much time or attention from you, and that you can make predictable income from while at home or traveling, then data entry is a good place to start.
If you’re a natural conversationalist who likes helping others, virtual telemarketing is another good online small business idea to consider. Plenty of companies outsource some of their sales and customer service staff, so if you don’t mind working the phone at home or on the go, then try this option out.
At the end of the day, these online business ideas aren’t just different ways to escape the office lifestyle. Instead, they offer a kind of freedom that most people don’t have the opportunity to experience: managing yourself, setting your own hours and goals, and taking responsibility for your work in the most meaningful way. This being said, however, although starting an online business may give you unique flexibility, it also means working extremely hard to find clients, market your services, and maintain steady cash flow.
Online businesses, therefore, aren’t for everyone. If you’re considering any of the items on this list of online business ideas for beginners, though, there’s no better time to get started. By exploring the different possibilities, finding a startup idea that will work for you, researching ahead of time, and executing an effective business plan, you’ll be on your way to a successful lifestyle that most people only dream about.
Daven Michaels is a New York Times Best Selling Author and CEO of premiere global outsourcing company, 123Employee. The company employs hundreds of young bright individuals on three continents. His International event, Beyond Marketing Live! inspires entrepreneurs to build & grow their business with revolutionary new theories and systems allowing them to design the business and personal lifestyle of their dreams.