The internet has given wings to global entrepreneurial dreams. Groundbreaking digital platforms have found their beginnings in humble garages, bedrooms, and home offices. Think Facebook, Google, Snapchat, eBay.
Armed with no more than a vision and a computer, ambitious professionals are transforming their pioneering ideas into profitable firms.
There is no reason why you too cannot be one of those entrepreneurs who run a successful start-up from the comfort of their couch.
The most bankable online businesses have high demand, a proven record of success, and long-term revenue prospects. Here are five such hot ideas that you can implement today.
Do you enjoy designing clothes, baking delicacies, crafting accessories, or building furniture? Dial E for e-commerce.
Approximately 87 per cent of UK consumers have bought at least one product online in the last 12 months, according to data from eurostat. The business-to-consumer e-commerce turnover in the UK has increased to £13.7 billion last year, representing a 13.65 per cent increase and for next year, a growth rate of 14.3 per cent is predicted.
The best part? You don’t require coding expertise to create profitable virtual establishments.
Affordable e-commerce platforms like Shopify have slashed the barriers of e-commerce entry by easing the process of designing moneymaking (and stunning) storefronts.
You don’t even need a physical (or digital) product to become an online merchant.
Dropshipping allows you to sell products, at desirable profit margins, without stocking them.
Simply import your preferred goods from a products marketplace such as Oberlo into your online store and start selling instantly.The suppliers take care of the logistics, and the marketplace pretty much automates your store.
The e-commerce industry is only going to get bigger and better. Grab your slice of this pie and make money sharing your incredible skills with the world.
2. Website design
Where do prospective customers go to check out an online business? Their website. This first impression better be the best impression.
When done right, the business’s website offers a significant competitive advantage. It can also become a small business’s most profitable marketing channel.
Discerning users demand easy navigation, clean designs, personalised copy, mobile responsiveness, and fast loading times (A 1 sec increase in speed = 27 per cent increase in conversions).
Websites that don’t measure up lose traffic, trust, search rankings, and sales.
Which is why businesses are eager to expand their web design budgets and pay good money to recruit the best in the field.
If you are an intuitive designer who knows how to create a customer-centric, clean, and high-converting website, this could be a fulfilling and fruitful full-time business.
3. Freelance content services
There are around 2 million freelance workers in the UK who fulfil a variety of roles across a variety of industries. Since 2009, the freelance economy in the UK has grown by 25 per cent and generates an estimated £109 billion a year, according to data from IPSE.
The freelance content services business, in particular, is a goldmine.
Studies indicate that prospects consume between 3-5 pieces of content, on an average, before making any decision.
Creating relevant, informative, beneficial, and credible content is critical to business success.
Businesses are thirsty for – and willing to reward – freelance content providers who excel at crafting such persuasive (written or visual) material, including articles, infographics, videos, and newsletters (see below).
Outsourcing content creation results in a steady stream of unique material with half the effort for businesses. The result is strengthened customer trust, search ranking, and revenue.
If you thrive on creativity, providing freelance content services can be your ticket to a prosperous career.
4. Business coaching
People are different, but their desires are universal.
We all yearn for better health, less stress, more willpower, greater success, and increased happiness.
They help release limiting beliefs, build leadership skills, set SMART goals, provide clarity, manage distractions, reinforce professional relationships, and improve finances.
The most effective coaches undergo rigorous training; in some cases, 125 hours or more, to get certified in their chosen area of expertise (see below for common specialties/niches).
Source: 2016 ICF Global Coaching Study
Business coaching is growing in stature, and there is an ever-increasing demand for knowledgeable, eager, and ethical coaches.
So why not monetise your passion for helping others succeed?
5. Affiliate marketing
Would you like to make a living endorsing products you love? Then set up shop as an affiliate marketer.
Affiliate marketing spend in UK grew 15 per cent to top £550 million in 2017, according to the IAB (Internet Advertising Bureau) & PwC’s Affiliate Marketing Study More than 80 per cent of surveyed advertisers use affiliate marketers to expand their visibility and boost their ad revenue.
The premise is straightforward. Advertisers provide a unique affiliate code for marketers to place on their website. When visitors to the affiliate marketer’s site click on this code, they get redirected to the advertiser’s website.
If the referral link leads to a purchase (or other desired action), the referrer gets paid. In this way, affiliate marketers secure ‘a piece of profit for each sale‘.
You don’t need to pay upfront fees, store or ship products, or provide customer support to get started in affiliate marketing. All you need is a pertinent platform to broadcast your voice.
The key to success is selecting the right advertising partnerships. You are staking your reputation with every product you promote, so choose wisely.
Diligently research market needs and only pick products that align with your brand. Constantly test and fine-tune your campaigns to keep the money flowing into your bank.
This list barely grazes the surface of online business ideas. But, hopefully, it gave you a starting point. Which of these ideas resonates the best with you?