Every year, it pops up in your resolutions: Start a profitable business online. But as the months roll by, you see other people – some of them not even half as talented as you – making money from their small business idea while you still haven’t figured out how to get yours off the ground. As a matter of fact, you don’t even really have a website idea. All you know is that you want to make money from customers all over the world, and you don’t want to be confined to a brick-and-mortar enterprise.
At this stage in the game, it’s perfectly fine that you don’t yet have a small business idea. That’s what brainstorming is for. The most important thing is not to let another year pass you by. Bringing your website idea to life is much easier than you think. All you need is a great platform (or if you want to keep all your profits, a great website builder) and soon, you’ll be raking in the cash doing something you can already do.
Here are 7 small business ideas to get you started
1. eCommerce business
Sure, there are lots of online marketplaces you can already break into if you want to sell products online. eBay and similar sites are great if you’re just starting out and don’t really care about keeping all your profits just yet.
But if you want to sell online without paying every time you want to list a new product, then you need your own eCommerce site.
With a great website builder, you don’t need to have any technical knowledge at all to create an eCommerce site or any of the other sites on our list. You just choose a template you like, customize it to suite your brand, add your payment gateways, and that’s it! You can start selling online.
A lot of your competitors in eCommerce will be slow, stodgy, old business owners who’ve only just caught wind of how big the internet really is and have no clue how to capitalize on it. If you’re willing to do a bit of research and are brave enough to implement your boldest ideas, you can make a lot of money from eCommerce.
2. Domain flipping
If you’re familiar with real estate, then you already know about house flipping, which is where you buy a modest house at a reasonable price, do some renovations, and sell it at a higher price.
Domain flipping is the same concept. Any brand that wants to be taken seriously needs a good domain name. (The domain name is the name of the website that has an extension like .com, .net, .info, etc.)
When you buy a domain you’re hoping to flip, you’re making a kind of bet about how much you think the domain will be worth in the future. Names of famous places or expensive items tend to do particularly well because business owners really want to capitalize on how likely it is that lots of customers will click on that domain name, trying to get to them. You can also sell expired or dropped domain names.
This industry is tricky, but potentially very profitable. Domain names have sold for millions.
3. Freelance writing
Because websites are so important in the internet age, writing is an even more crucial skill than ever before. The problem is that most people find writing painful. If you have a way with words, lots of business owners – some of them in high-paying niches – will happily fork over their cash to you, so you can write their content.
Of course, it’s easier to make money doing this when people know you’re offering that service. A website that showcases your writing skills will send people flocking to you, just begging you to take their pain away by writing for them.
Making money from a blog is a little trickier than some of the other examples on our list, but if it warms your heart to think of cultivating a community of loyal readers, blogging might be just the thing for you.
You won’t make money from a blog right out the gate, but with time and some solid content, you’ll get more website traffic and more opportunities for monetization. You can make money through brand deals, affiliate marketing, and by using your blog to funnel your readers to other products that you make.
The best thing about this website idea is that you can actually use it in combination with some of the other website ideas on our list. For example, if you’re a tutor or an author, you can blog about funny experiences that your readers will want to share on their social media, which will attract even more readers to your tutoring site or your author site. That means more clients – and more money.
Whether you want a blog for its own sake or to funnel readers to your products, blogging is a great way to make money online.
If there’s a subject that comes naturally to you – bonus points if it’s also a subject with which most people struggle – a tutoring website would be great for you.
To start a tutoring website, you only need to create a website listing your credentials and showcasing your expertise. Don’t worry about not being qualified enough to teach. You don’t need a PHD to be a good tutor. You just need a better grasp of the subject than your students have.
And the best part is that when you’re tutoring online, you can just Google anything you need to double-check. It’s a great way to make money if you’re a whiz who’s short on cash.
6. eBook author
You don’t have to go through traditional publishing to make money from writing a book. Just like you can sell other products online through an eCommerce site, you can also use a website to sell books you’ve created.
This is a great way to make money passively. It does require an initial time investment, but after that, you get to make money over and over from a product you only needed to create once.
And depending on the kind of book you write, you can actually get away with a shorter time investment.
For example, if you write children’s books and hire an illustrator, you might not need to spend that much time coming up with the actual text. That doesn’t mean you should skimp on quality, though. Like anything else, people who buy books are hungry for good quality.
So, take some time to create a good product, and you could make more money than you even thought possible selling eBooks.
7. Online courses
Starting an online course is a bit like tutoring and creating an eBook rolled into one. If there’s something you know a lot about – whether it’s gardening, copywriting, proofreading, or, oddly enough, creating online courses – an online course is a great way to make money selling the same product to lots of different people.
Once you’ve created and published your course, the money keeps rolling in!
If you have a great small business idea, the most important thing is just to start.
There are tons of things you can do to make money online. And now that website builders exist, you don’t even have to spend hours learning to code or spend thousands hiring a web developer. You can use a website builder to bring your website idea to life in minutes and start getting clients online.
All you have to do is pick a date and start.