The pandemic brought with it several online business opportunities as an alternative to offline businesses that could not operate. As of today, anyone can set up new online business ideas and realize them with the help of a small investment and lots of work and determination. If you have friends or family that you can recruit for such enterprises, then things will go even smoother! Here are the best online business ideas that people can use to make a living:
1. Start a drop shipping business
When individuals want to be the proud owner of an online store and do not want to worry about storing inventory or other product-related hassles, drop shipping is the right business to start! They can depend on a third-party retailer or wholesaler who can take care of inventory and order fulfilment.
There are several drop shipping apps that make it easy to start such a business from homes, such as autods and DSers. Before taking on online business ideas that revolve around this model, people need to be aware of its pros and cons. The pros are evident, such as lower setup costs and overheads, without the worry of inventory management. Other pros include easy scalability and a broad range of products.
The cons of running an online business such as drop shipping include lower margins per product and having limited control over personal branding and product quality. The customer service aspect of this business model can be quite daunting, and shipping issues can be a problem at times. The cons such as these can be overcome with the time-tested method of trial and error – such as finding the right suppliers and shipping partners might take some experimenting in the initial phase.
If people are passionate about the business model of drop shipping, they can overcome all the blocks mentioned above and ride the wave of advantages to profitability.
2. Start your own pet business online
Ever since the pandemic took hold, pet owners have increased exponentially in a short time, creating a thriving market for everything pet-related. The supplies can range from pet food to toys and everything in between.
The online business idea can either specialize in particular items such as only food or toys or act as a general store and stock everything that a pet might need.
Since the pet business is not something that everybody might want to get into, they will need to know the pros and cons to get started. The pros are that referrals are easier to come in this business model, and this can drive business growth. The potential for scalability is higher, and marketing comes with lower effort. The cons include finding the right supplier, which might involve a trial and error process, and it is harder to win the customer’s trust.
The pet consumable market space is already crowded with various players with different levels of success in setting up their stores. If people with passion and patience enter this space, they will be able to clear any obstacles that start-ups have to face to make a name for themselves.
3. Virtual online training
Technology related to remote working and telecommuting has grown by leaps and bounds in the past couple of years. This necessitated systems and processes for online training that is location agnostic and included diverse skill sets such as coding, UI/UX design, and others. In this case, online businesses that involve virtual training can be started by anyone with a sufficient repository of marketable skills.
While there are several established e-learning companies across the world, the scope for online business ideas in this niche is near limitless. With a small investment towards setting up a website and running SEO, people can potentially start an online business that is independent of market conditions. When done right, such a business will provide you with an income that can be scaled infinitely with time.
You can use webinars, digital products such as ebooks, tutorial videos, and other forms of digital assets and educational media to scale your operations and bring in revenue.
4. Sell Handmade Products
There are people who make things from scratch to meet their needs ranging from candles and soaps to clothing and accessories. Such people are generally referred to as makers and are part of the maker economy. This can be thought of as a cottage industry that includes a range of online business ideas from home using raw materials that can be bought in bulk and through the process of value-addition products can be made and sold for a profit.
People can use applications such as Shopify which focuses on small-time entrepreneurs and one-person enterprises. These merchants can upload products by creating their site on the Shopify platform and automating the order and payment processes. When it comes to order-fulfilment, they can either do it personally or hire courier services such as Shiprocket that will ship the orders out to the customers.
There is no shortage of platforms to do this on, such as Etsy, which is a global site that takes on merchants with such products to sell.
5. Start a Print-on-Demand Business From Home
Makers are not just people who make things from scratch. They can also refer to people who take on existing products and add significant value through customization or personalization. One such way to start an online business is to open up a print-on-demand business with items such as apparel, footwear, accessories, and a whole lot more.
Such online business ideas fall in line with the Shopify or Etsy platforms where the customer can select the item to print, and choose the required design to customize. The payment and fulfilment can be carried out as mentioned above.
This can be done on a whole other level where people can use 3D printers to print out gifts, parts, or memorabilia out of plastic or resin. This is much more complex than the print-on-demand online business model in that the items are created from scratch, including the item’s design, which may or may not be specified by the customer. The margins in this business are much higher, but it also comes up with a higher setup cost and overheads. But it becomes easier to promote such an online business idea with the help of social media marketing campaigns.
All the online business ideas mentioned above have a few things in common such as a lower investment, high potential for scalability, and long-term prospects in terms of sustainability. While it is good to have a plan and customize it according to the industry needs, there are certain things that will remain the same such as the amount required for investment. This need can be met with the help of a business loan from a reliable banking institution. The investment will not only ensure that your overheads are covered for a specified amount of time, but it will also help recruit outside help and free up valuable founder’s time to structure the business and drive profitability.