Building your own business is probably one of the most satisfying and exciting experiences of your life, whether you are looking to start an online business for extra income on the side of your job, or you plan to go full-time with your business.
Below is a list of businesses you can start online, as soon as today.
I am sharing this list from my personal experience.
In the last 7 years, I have had at least 1 business under each of these business models.
If you have more ideas, I’d love for you to share them in the comments.
If you have any questions regarding these business models, feel free to post your question in the comment, and I will get back to you.
1. Become A Content Creator
A content creator is someone who shares content in some form, on a particular topic. The content form could be a blog, a Youtube channel, or even an Instagram page.
Most content creators have a primary content sharing platform and a secondary platform, for example, for the business and marketing tech arm of my business, I share content on my blog, my Youtube channel and on Instagram.
Content platforms evolve as you consistently start creating content and become more aware about what your audience does and does not like.
So how do content creators make money then?
There are a number of ways.
1. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing basically means recommending someone else’s products to your audience and getting paid for it.
The most ethical way of doing affiliate marketing is recommending only those products that you personally use and love.
As a marketing tech expert, I used to recommend marketing tools to my clients all the time. These tools are the ones I’ve used in my business and know that my clients need. I get paid recurring revenue every month for recommending these tools.
2. Sponsored Ads
Sponsored ads are another way that content creators, especially bloggers can make money.
3. Creating digital products
Creating your own digital products is another great way to make money as a content creator, since you now have an audience of people who know you, like you and trust you enough to buy from you
4. Coaching and consulting
This is another great way to make money as a content creator due to the reasons mentioned in point 3 above.
2. Start a Software as a service (SAAS) business
The Software as a service business model can be one of the most profitable business models. But it could also require a huge initial investment.
What is a SAAS business?
Providing a service in the form of a software. For example, Netflix provides you access to your favorite shows, but it is essentially an app- a software.
Other examples of SAAS are Chrome extensions, any tools you use, like Evernote, Google Apps, Slack etc.
All marketing tools are a form of SAAS.
The main way these businesses make money is by offering subscriptions to their software.
This is a lucrative business model because people use software to save time, money, become more efficient and productive. And as the world is moving towards an online model, more and more SAAS services are needed.
On the flip side, most SAAS businesses need a heavy initial investment, because you might need to hire a developer to build the software for you, then you will have to test it, and improve it based on test data.
You can get started with building a chrome extension for as low as $1000, by finding a developer on Upwork and Fiverr, but again, the quality of work will depend largely on how clearly you convey your idea and how equipped your hired developer is in order to build on that idea.
I would suggest going with this kind of business model only if you are a software developer and already have some ideas.
I do have my own chrome extension, so in case you need help going this route, feel free to reach out.
3. Start an E-commerce Store
E-commerce is undoubtedly the future of retail.
E-commerce basically means selling products online that have to be physically shipped to your customer.
At the moment, there are several platforms where you can test out your e-commerce idea before spending the money to set up your own website.Some of these websites are Etsy, Amazon, etc.
There are certain initial costs for setting up an e-commerce store, such as buying inventory, testing the market for your product and driving traffic to your store.
If you have an e-commerce idea you’d like to test out, I would encourage you to buy limited inventory and use Amazon to test out your idea.
If you are into handmade crafts, Etsy is a great store to display your products.
4. Start offering coaching and consulting services
This one is great for those who are already providing some kind of in-person coaching or consulting or are working towards a coaching certification.
This is not to say that you cannot be a coach without a certification, but people who have been practicing this in-person, have prior experience or have taken a certification have certain processes in place that they can take their client through a transformation.
Using your corporate experience:
Let’s say you are a part of the human resources department in a company. You could take your experience online and start helping clients with building better resumes, or you could even become a career coach.
Using your own life experience:
If you are someone who has switched careers, jobs to work in a field you like,and have in the process, improved your quality of life by making more money, you could use this personal life experience to become a career coach.
Here are a few coaching/ consulting routes you can take:
- Career coach
- Life coach
- Business coach
- Mindset coach
- Handmade crafts coach
- Etsy shop coach
- Health Coach
- HIIT Coach
- Nutrition Coach
- Marketing Consultant
- Branding Consultant
- Start-up Consultant
- Travelling Consultant
- Study abroad consultant
- Financial Consultant
There are a lot more. If you have some experience that you think would be of service to others, you should definitely consider this path.
5. Start offering implementation services
If you don’t know what I am talking about when I say implementation services, think about virtual assistance.
Yes, that’s exactly what I am talking about.
But implementation businesses are not only limited to virtual assistance, you could provide services as a specialist/ expert such as email automation, sales funnel expert services, messenger marketing services, Facebook ads services etc.
When you start offering niched down services that focus on one or two things, rather than calling yourself a virtual assistant, you have the opportunity to charge based on the packages you offer, hence the value, and not charge for the hours worked.
So what kind of services can you offer as a specialist?
Here’s a list:
- Facebook and Instagram ads
- Youtube ads
- Pinterest ads
- Sales Funnels
- Marketing automation
- Email automation
- A marketing tool expert – for example, Kajabi expert
- Online Course Implementation
- Online Course Backend setup
- Membership Implementation
- Membership Backend setup
- Zapier Expert
- WordPress Expert
- Webinar Expert
There are a lot more options. The use of online tools and technology is only going to increase over the years. This is a great time to learn these skills.
The truth most sustainable businesses are the ones that use a combination of two or more of the above in order to make active, passive and leveraged income.
Having said that, it is best to get started with one type of model, and build from there.
My recommendation would be to start as a service based business providing implementation services to other businesses ( unless you have experience as a coach/ consultant). Starting a service based business helps you make money while you are building your skills. It will also help you understand your audience and their struggles better, which will prove beneficial when you decide to add additional revenue streams such as digital products.
A lot of people start in the online space as bloggers, which is great, but it takes some time to start making money with blogging. Also, it is unpredictable and you are heavily dependent on one traffic source, at least initially. As much as I love blogging, if you are looking for a fast ( only if you put in the effort) and sustainable way to start making money online, I would highly suggest starting a service based business helping others with services like Email automation, Pinterest, Sales funnels, marketing technology etc.
And if you already have a blog, this is a great way to add an additional revenue stream to your blog business.
Do you provide services to other businesses? I would love to know.