Let’s talk about proven online business ideas you can start as early as tomorrow.
One of the best ways for you to master money, beyond saving money, is to be able to control how much you earn. And the reason is simple: you can’t save money that you haven’t earned.
A proven way to earn more is to start an online business. Why?
First, you get to work on your online business, outside your day job as a side hustle.
Second, you get more perks as a business owner versus an employee (when it comes to tax season for example), and third, you can enjoy more freedom to solve business problems and work on what truly excites you.
If you’re ready to start an online business as soon as tomorrow, here are 27 smart online business ideas to get your started right away.
1. Niche Freelance Writer
If you’ve gained experience in a particular industry, say insurance, digital marketing, advertising, or pets, and you have a way with words, there are hundreds of companies out there looking to hire freelance writers for their specific industries and niches. Often times, it’s very challenging for these companies to get their own employees to write content for them, whereas they need to consistently put out content, in order to get website visitors, leads, and loyal customers.
Even better, you won’t need convince a lot of businesses (small, medium, and large businesses) why they need to hire a freelance writer. That’s because most businesses are very familiar with the higher Return on Investment (ROI) that they’d get from using content to hire their businesses than, say, traditional ads in magazines.
A good first tip to use here is to develop confidence and be sure of yourself in your ability to write for these businesses. For someone else to believe in you and your work, you’ll need to first start believing in yourself.
To get started, you’ll need decide on a specific niche that you’d like to write for. For example, if you’ve had experience working in industrial plants, you might choose to niche in as “an industrial/business-to-business (B2B)” freelance writer. This makes it easier for you to identify your ideal clients, and exactly where to find them.
2. Instagram Community Manager
If you enjoy scrolling through your Instagram feed, and you even silently give feedback to brands and businesses you see on Instagram, then becoming an Instagram Community Manager could be a lucrative business idea for you.
A lot of businesses and brands know, for sure, that their Instagram pages could use a better strategy and effective community manager. Even more, they struggle to keep up with the need to constantly post on Instagram, while staying through to their brand, and building a community of likely customers using images, Instagram posts, and effective calls-to-action.
You could use your copywriting skills or design skills to help business owners better communicate with their target markets, and manage their ads and comment sections for them.
To get started, share your insights with the business owners you see on Instagram, by suggesting a few tips on how they could drive more engagement and favorable actions on their Instagram posts. To continue educating yourself, you’ll need to start creating a folder for Instagram pages that are doing great vs those that could very well use your services, so you can stay abreast of new developments on Instagram marketing.
3. Remote Tech Support Consultant
Technology has changed the way we live, work, and do business. And business owners experience unwanted glitches and breakdowns with their tech tools every so often. You can solve this pain point for businesses by helping them fix their tech challenges as a remote tech consultant.
Most times, it makes no sense for these businesses to hire a full-time employee for their IT needs, and so you’ll be a perfect fit for them. Businesses won’t need to pay for benefits, insurance, or other perks they give to their employees, but you can use that to negotiate a higher hourly fee for your IT consulting services to them.
Even if you don’t have a traditional IT degree, businesses can still look over that and rather focus on your experience and past projects. Fortunately for you, you don’t have to wait for big businesses to hire you – you can simply start with your family, friends, and co-workers. As you start to solve their IT problems, you’ll be surprised by how fast word will spread around about your IT prowess, which will help you build a solid list of referrals that way. If you’d like to build up your clientele, you could even use freelancer sites like Freelancer, Upwork, or Fiverr to drum up more sales for your business.
4. Personalized Gift Seller
In a world where general items and merchandise are the rave, you can compete and thrive as a seller of personalized gifts. If you enjoy creating artwork – may be because it comes naturally to you, or that’s how you unwind or destress – then you can establish your creative works in the hearts of people as genuine fashion & style statements.
To set yourself apart in the marketplace, you can pride yourself in selling personalized gift items to buyers – who would love that unique, magical feeling of making a special statement with the gifts they share with others.
The truth is: we all love customized gifts that are specifically addressed to us, and people appreciate it when they get that special necklace, mug set, or cutting board specifically addressed to them. To start selling, use marketplaces or ecommerce stores such as Etsy, ArtFire, Amazon Handmade, Ruby Lane, Aftcra, Indie Made, or Zibbet.
One more thing: wherever you decide to sell, spread the news to those you know too. You’ll sell a lot more, if you let your family, friends, and colleagues know about your business. Why? People use personalized gifts for a lot of events and occasions, including weddings (for example, for bridesmaids, groomsmen and flower girls), personal collections, anniversaries, birthdays, grieving a loss, company events, and home decorations.
5. Online Business Virtual Assistant
If you can plan, organize, and manage tasks, then you can put those skills to good use by becoming a virtual assistant for an online business.
You see, managing an online business can be very challenging for very established online business owners. Most online business owners struggle to keep up with tasks like keyword research, writing content, graphic design, link building, email marketing, website development, affiliate marketing, and building their online communities, among others.
And when you have online business owners with two, three, or more businesses like this, then you start to get an idea of how you can better serve these business owners by working with them as a virtual assistant.
Plus, because you can specialize yourself for the ‘online business’ niche, you gain in two key areas:
- You get more higher-paying clients, because you build up more specialized experience in managing online businesses as you work with the owners
- You get real-life training and inside access into how a lot of online businesses work, which makes it easier for you to scale fast and high when you decide to start your own online business
6. Niche E-Commerce Seller
If you enjoy making or selling physical products like creams, clothes, hair, make up, etc., you can set up an online shop for your products as an e-commerce seller. The more specific you can get, the better you can focus and grow.
Rather than trying to stock tens of products, try to focus on two or three at first, that will set your e-commerce store apart. That way, you can gain size-able market share with your online store, which will then give you the resources you need to go broad.
For your e-commerce store, you can choose to sell:
- a niche product that’s nice to have, for example, customized key chains, hand fans, T shirts, or wristwatches;
- a niche product that makes people feel better, for example, protein powders, supplements, or vitamins; or
- a niche product that solves a pain point for people, for example, waist trainer, hair growth product for men, or shoes for men with bigger feet
You can easily set up your niche e-commerce store by using an ecommerce software like Shopify, Woo Commerce, 3D Cart, or Big Commerce ; or by using a web hosting service integrated with a shopping cart feature.
As you start to sell and prove that the market wants your niche product, you can start writing helpful articles on your blog based on the feedback from your customers, so your store can start ranking higher on Google search, and also becoming active on social media.
7. Online Subject Tutor
If people come to you for help with their problems on subjects ranging from math and science to piano and guitar, then you can use your skills to start your next online business. As long as people keep studying and taking exams, people will always need to get better understanding of their classes, more than their teachers could give them.
You can start by focusing on one subject, for example, College Calculus, SAT Math, Statistics, GMAT Math, or GRE Verbal. These are subjects that hold people back, every year, from getting into their dream schools. So you can address this pain point by focusing on one or two classes of students, and charging an hourly rate to tutor them.
You can even use Skype or Zoom to teach, without having to meet your students in person, and easily get paid by PayPal. You can start getting clients by searching for tutoring centers in your city or town, demonstrating your expertise, and letting them send you students to teach.
With time, you’ll start to build your experience on where students struggle the most in your subjects, and you can then use that to scale your tutoring business by handling it from end-to-end.
In other words, you position yourself online so students can easily find you and book appointments with you, you or your hired teachers teach the students, and then you get paid for all those hours of teaching.
8. SEO Specialist
If you understand how Google ranks websites, why not start a business that helps website owners, businesses, and brands show up in more prominent search results? As an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) specialist, you can apply the expertise you developed while you built that website with a decent following using SEO best practices, or what you’ve learnt while taking that proven SEO course.
A lot of businesses struggle with adding and updating the content on their website, and how to refresh the existing pages and posts on their website to generate consistent search engine traffic. You can present your services and expertise, for example, by identifying content gaps using SEO tools, adding more useful content to existing website posts and pages, manage outreach efforts to boost number and quality of incoming backlinks to the websites.
To get customers and retain clients on an on-going basis, you could find it more helpful to specialize in a certain industry, niche, or market. For example, you could position yourself as the:
- “SEO specialist serving private dental practices in the Denver area”
- “SEO specialist boosting revenue for gym owners and personal trainers in the DMV metro area”, or
- “SEO specialist working with law firms in Florida”
- “SEO specialist for wedding planners across Northeastern US states”
Rather than advertising yourself as an SEO expert to anyone, you reduce your potential market, so you can understand the challenges confronting your ideal customers. That way, you can provide unique solutions that truly move the needle for your clients.
9. Business Systems Consultant
With over 30.2 million small businesses in the U.S., it’s clear that more Americans enjoy the freedom and creativity that owning a small business offers. However, a lot of small businesses close shop every year because the owner becomes just too overwhelmed to manage all the various aspects of running a small business.
If you’ve worked in a small business that had to transition from being run by a solo entrepreneur to a business with teams, systems, and processes, why not start a business offering your services as a business systems consultant?
Because here’s the deal: a lot of small businesses close shop not because they couldn’t make a profit or get customers, but because the owners are constantly having to choose between their business and other things they love as well, say, their family, hobbies, health, faith, or other vocations. This is where you come in.
You can help business owners like this identify the major revenue-driving units in the business, and look for ways to help the solo entrepreneur bring in more steady, capable hands to assist the owner in running the business. That way, you’re not only helping to ensure the long-term success and scalability of the business, but you also get paid handsomely for your efforts.
10. Startup Funding Advisor
The transformative power of Technology and highly encouraged entrepreneurial adventures across America has contributed to an increasing number of startups being founded every year. If you’ve worked at a startup, and had first-hand experience of how the startup got their funding, then you can offer your services as a funding advisor to rising startups.
As a startup, you might have the best idea and founder, but if you can’t convince investors to fund you, then starting and growing your business might be quite the challenge. You can use your funding experience to advise startup founders on:
- where to look for angel investors, venture capital companies, and other sources of funding;
- how to prepare their financials, so that investors can feel confident in funding the startup;
- refining their business idea, in a way that appeals to the investing audience.
11. Job Search Strategist
If you’ve worked in human resources and understand how job seekers can get jobs in a few different fields, then you might be the perfect fit to offer your expertise as a job search strategist. With more college graduates and even mid-career professionals struggling to find jobs, you won’t need to convince your ideal clients that they need a proven, well-documented strategy to go about their job search.
Before now, job candidates typically “apply and pray”, that is they apply to 100’s of companies, praying they get a response from one. These days, however, overall market dynamics is making it harder for job seekers to find gainful employment in time. As a job search strategist, you can start your online business – starting with an initial consultation with a job applicant, to understand their industry, backgrounds, experiences, and career aspirations.
You’ll then use your expertise to craft a well-documented strategy to help your clients network, build relationships, and land jobs, sometimes without even applying online. Your clients will also happily pay for your strategy services because of the emotional toll that weighs people down when their ideal jobs are not forthcoming. By using your job search strategy, your clients will understand their weekly job tasks, how to measure success, and adjust their approach as needed.
12. Podcast Curator
With over 525,000 active podcasts in 18.5 million episodes featuring content in over 100 languages, the demand for the best listening podcast experiences has been on the rise. So much so that, Apple, Google, and Spotify are all heavily investing in becoming relevant in the podcasting space.
With that much podcasts out there, the challenge to an average listener then becomes how to sieve through, and listen to the best podcasts for them. As a podcast curator, this is where you come in. You can choose a certain demographic (for example, middle-aged women, college grads, men in their 40’s, etc.) and curate podcasts that your target audience would love to listen to.
For example, a millennial college grad might enjoy listening to a combination of dating escapades, human angle stories, sports news, business and personal finance podcasts. You can then use this information to grow your platform of curated podcasts, and save your audience some time in individually searching for each podcast themselves.
13. YouTube Educator
With over 30 million daily active users, YouTube has become a staple across many American homes and devices. You can use this broad reach to teach viewers what you know and build your influence and business that way.
If you enjoy watching football or political events, listening to metal music, or a host of other activities that people enjoy, you can be sure that there are others like you out there who would love to hear your take and opinions on what you feel so passionate about to teach.
The excellent thing about YouTube is that it’s the 2nd biggest search engine in the world, after Google. In other words, by default, each time you upload, you make it easier for your expertise to become available to the millions of daily YouTube users when they search for terms related to your video topics. This way, as you consistently post and gain subscribers, you’ll be able to monetize your videos and scale your YouTube Educating business.
14. Statistics Tutor
Statistics is that one subject that most American college students are required to take, at one time or the other. If you enjoy learning and teaching Statistics, why don’t you start a tutoring business that lets you help college students understand statistics?
Beyond what a college professor can teach, most students struggle with the sometimes abstract concepts of types of probabilities, hypothesis testing, probability distributions, random variables, regression modeling, and decision theory.
You can use your understanding of these topics to build an online business, whereby you use video chat tools like Zoom, Skype, or Google Duo to teach your classes remotely and get paid. To capture more market share, you can narrow down your target market to your town / city or around colleges close to you, or you can advertise on your local Craigslist or Fiverr to get more customers for your Statistics tutoring business.
15. Affiliate Product Seller
If you’ve built up a decent following on social media or website, you can share your experiences with products that you already use, and get paid in return. As an affiliate product seller, companies would love to work with you as an affiliate for their products.
You simply have to share your experience in a way that’s helpful to your audience, and then you get paid a commission for every sale that comes through you. For best results, share your genuine product recommendations with your audience, and if your market likes it, you can even approach the company behind the product to get rewarded for your efforts.
16. Infographic Designer
If you have an eye for design and enjoy telling stories with images and graphics, then you can help businesses as an infographic designer.
As more businesses compete for website visitors and traffic, the race to engage website readers with compelling content is getting fiercer by the day. For example, it’s not just enough for businesses to simply display numbers, images, or words, online readers and search engines are now favoring websites with captivating info graphics that reinforces the underlying message.
This is where you come in as an infographic designer. Like the saying goes, “a picture is worth 1,000 words” – you can help brands and online businesses capture their message or website content in attractive, valuable infographics that make website visitors become more interested and steadily convert to readers or customers.
You can check out common online statistics, and create your own info graphics based on those numbers. Remember to quote the original source of the statistics, and share your info graphics on your website and across social media to get customers.
17. Small Business Website Developer
Do you enjoy writing code and seeing useful websites emerge as a result of your work? Then consider starting your next business as a small business website developer. Big brands and businesses typically have in-house teams helping them manage their websites, but there are more opportunities outside of bigger brands.
You can choose small businesses as your target market, because most small business owners are typically scared or not sure about how to handle codes, bugs, spam, or hacks on their websites. Meanwhile, small businesses would rather have a developer as a consultant, rather than as a full-time employee, due to the resources involved.
To get clients, simply review websites of small businesses around you that are simply outdated or just very vulnerable to hacking attacks. Then reach out to the owners and offer to develop their website for them. You can also partner with a website designer, so you can have a full-service website package delivered to your clients, and get paid for your work.
18. Google Ads Consultant
If you’ve used Google Ads either at your place of work or for someone else, consider starting a business that helps local or service businesses advertise on Google. Although you might consider Google Ads as a simple skill to learn, most small businesses would just rather have a professional like you do it for them.
Take a law firm, for example. A law firm typically has a team of lawyers with different specialities and years of legal experience. Their field of expertise is law, not Google Ads. And so, if this law firm knows you as an expert that’s ready to help them place and optimize their Google Ads, they’d take your offer with both hands.
More so, businesses could also use your skillset to help them write the creative copy, design effective landing pages, identify winning campaigns, and better refine underperforming ads. These add-on services usually come at extra costs to your main Google Ads service, of course. But to retain clients, you’ll need to demonstrate how your Google Ads consulting is translating into quality, consistent leads for your customers.
19. E-commerce Store Assistant
Online stores are now becoming more agile and quick, and so, more e-commerce stores now need the help of an e-commerce store assistant to manage orders, take deliveries, track sales, address customer complaints, and prepare logistics.
Your business will be entirely remote because your work won’t be to package and ship order; rather, you’ll work with the e-commerce store owners to ensure that the store runs smoothly. To thrive as an e-commerce store assistant, you’ll need to know how e-commerce store works, and be sometimes flexible with rush hours, including public holidays, special occasions, and popular events.
20. Technical Writer
If you’ve developed the technical chops to write instruction manuals or operating procedures for industrial operations, consider starting your online business as a technical writer.
Most industrial and technical-based companies prefer to hire technical writers as opposed to general writers because, it’s often hard for a generalist to properly convey technical information in an easy-to-read manner.
With your online business as a technical writer, you’ll often need to learn technical material and produce documents that are understood by the specific target audience. Often times, your clients will provide you with materials and documentations to bring you up to speed about their products and operations, so it becomes easier for you to write technical materials for your clients’ projects.
21. Life Purpose Coach
More people are finding that having money, wealth, or fame does not guarantee happiness in life, and so they’re in need of coaches who can set their expectations right, and guide them on their journey to finding their purpose.
If you’ve overcome certain life challenges and now truly enjoy what you do as your purpose for living, consider helping other people as a life purpose coach. You can cater your coaching practice to clients in your areas of expertise.
For example, people from all walks of life constantly wonder about their life’s purpose – from a 25-year-old college grad 3 years into her job to a 62-year-old Fortune 50 CEO looking to retire and do something more meaningful with his one life. By narrowing down your target audience based on your skills and experiences, you can effectively tailor your life coaching solutions to the real needs and pain points of your clients.
22. Course Creator
Education is a life-long endeavor, and more people are realizing the need to constantly stay on top of their fields by learning new skills; or improve their understanding of the world around them by seeking more knowledge.
Whether you enjoy making Sourdough bread, enjoy running marathons or triathlons, or you’ve successfully passed your Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exams, you can compile what you know into an online course and share your expertise with the world. To help your course students get the best from your course, consider getting various opinions from a few of your target students, so you can address the real problems and struggles that your students are facing.
Once you’ve prepared your course, more companies today are ready to help you share your knowledge with the world. You can list your course, alongside its price, on various online course platforms, including Teachable, Kajabi, Thinkific, Podia, or LearnDash.
23. Industry App Developer
If you know how to code apps and develop mobile applications, you can bring your skillset to businesses with app needs across several industries. With the average American spending 5.4 hours a day on their phone, and millennials spending even more time (5.7 hours) every day, it’s easy to see why more businesses would like to develop specific applications that help them better serve their customers.
To get started, look away from gaming or social media apps for a minute. Those apps are for entertainment, it’s becoming harder to build businesses around those, and Americans spend over 2 hours a day, on average, on just Facebook and Instagram.
In other words, to start your next online business as an app developer, focus on apps that actually solve a really problem for your target market. For example, you can create an app for the pharmaceutical industry, that lets doctors track the medication timelines of their patients, especially for seniors. This pharma app will give you more opportunities to solve real challenges in the pharma and healthcare industry, because you’ll be solving a real need for doctors and their patients.
To get clients, market to businesses that need to create specific kind of apps, using your expertise to combine software design and writing code with programming languages. If, however, you don’t feel comfortable with coding yet, you can focus on finding new clients who need apps, and team up with a software developer who can handle the technical side of things.
That way, both of you can build a technical + business team, to serve your clients with all their app requirements and needs.
24. Client Success Coach
If you’re highly organized, detail-oriented with a passion for helping others succeed, then being a client success coach might be your next online business idea. Small and large businesses, these days, have ongoing needs for their new and current clients. Personal development companies or businesses, such as coaches and consultants, need to:
- onboard new clients,
- support existing clients by answering their questions
- keep them motivated when things get difficult
- scale client retention by making sure the needs of clients are adequately met
As you might imagine, being a client success coach requires that you pay close attention to detail and exhibit a positive and cheerful attitude, so clients can achieve the results that they’ve signed up for.
As a client success coach, your clients could be businesses who train others to be better with their finances, career, lives, relationships, health, or body. So, a good place to start looking for clients will be education or coaching companies who seek to make people’s lives better.
25. Virtual Project Manager
If you’re a detail-oriented person that loves to strategize and implement projects to accomplish business goals, then you can set up your online shop as a project manager for online businesses and online media companies.
With the many hats that online business owners need to wear, you can be that capable project manager that takes their nascent ideas from start to completion, while managing the various surprises that come up along the way.
For example, a business might need to do a big project launch or kick-start a strategic project. Such a business will want to do it right, and so would need your expertise as a project manager. If you can display the qualities of a proficient project manager, you can build your own business handling crucial projects for others.
26. Coaching Manager
If being a client success coach excites you and you’ve had managerial experience, then being a coaching manager might be an excellent fit for your business idea.
As a coaching manager, you’ll be “a coach to coaches”. Just as client success coaches seek to make the clients happy, motivated, and succeed, your goal will be many steps ahead.
You’ll need to know how to inspire and influence a team of success coaches, so they can do their best work everyday. So, there will be, at least, two yardsticks to measure your success – the accomplishments of the client success coaches and the successes of the clients themselves.
To get started, look for businesses where clients come to improve and better themselves in various aspects of personal growth and development. As you learn about businesses like this, you’ll start getting a clearer sense of how your managerial and leaderships skills will best work for you to help the personal growth businesses delight their clients and coaches.
27. Facebook Ad Consultant
If you catch yourself constantly thinking of ways companies can do better with their Facebook ads, why not start an online business to help brands place ads on Facebook? With one of the most sophisticated ad targeting platform in the world, Facebook has continued to lead the market in result-focused advertising.
Because here’s the deal: Businesses are always in need of more leads, and Facebook presently represents one of the most profitable ways for businesses to get quality leads with fantastic return on investment (ROI). As Facebook gets more advanced and populated, it’s becoming more challenging for businesses to effectively place ads and get the attention of their target audience. This is where you come in.
You can position yourself as a Facebook Ad consultant, who will help a business:
- refine its advertising criteria (to better identify its ideal clients);
- develop a Facebook advertising strategy;
- write creative ad copy including, headlines, body copy, and call-to-actions;
- design well-optimized landing pages; and
- analyze Facebook ad results to identify areas to optimize
If you have a background in social media marketing, and, even better, you’re interested in working with certain experts or professionals (say chiropractors, business coaches, podiatrists, dentists, salons, tax consultants, etc.), you can combine both strengths to market yourself as the Facebook Ad consultant for that expertise; for example: “Facebook Ad consultant for podiatrists.”
To get clients, you’ll need to contribute in places where these experts hang out online, for example, Facebook groups, forums, LinkedIn groups; with the goal of genuinely helping these professionals do better with their Facebook Ads. Once your potential clients notice how much your free advice works, they’ll be more poised to give you ongoing consulting work.
Even better, since Facebook owns Instagram and WhatsApp, every ad experience you gain now will be more useful down the road for these rapidly-growing social media platforms, therefore making you a remarkable expert in managing and getting profitable results from Social Media Ads.
What Kind Of Online Business Idea Is Best For You?
As you check out these online business ideas, look for businesses where you can see how your skills, experiences, interests, or background can best be put to use.
As soon as you identify those business ideas, don’t delay. Take action and start working on your business idea today. There’s no better time than the present.