Here is a list of 10 profitable online businesses to start in 2021. If you are wanting to start a side hustle or unlock an additional income stream for your current business, this is the perfect list for you. All businesses are based on online business models which you can start and run fully online, from anywhere in the world.
Maybe you have a successful business already, but you’d like to unlock a new revenue stream or yure looking to start a new side hustle online business?
Let’s look at 5 Product-based online businesses to start
1. Physical products
You can create your own products, and sell them online through your e-commerce store. You, of course, have to organise the shipping to your customers too.
2. Affiliate products
In this model, you pick a niche to build an online business and start recommending other peoples products. When customers buy them, you earn a commission after every sale.
3. Print on demand products
All you have to do is set up an account with the many prints on-demand services on the internet, and select what type of products you want to sell i.e. caps, t-shirts, dog beds, mugs, etc. Now create a custom design on each of the products and sell them on your e-commerce store. When customers purchase your products, you receive the payment, the order goes to your print on demand supplier and they then manufacture the product and ship it to your customer for you. Easy to get started and no need to invest in inventory.
Dropshipping products in trending industries. Similar to print on demand except for this online business typically doesn’t involve customised products. Here you would choose from the many drop shipping store online, pick the products you want to sell and do so on your e-commerce store. Again you receive the money, and the order is fulfilled by the drop shipping supplier. These types of businesses do best when selling trending products. At the moment that’s; Fitness equipment, herbal teas & other healthy food products, personal grooming products, electronic accessories i.e. ring lights, power banks, protective cases, and even fashion accessories.
5. Downloadable products
These are great because they don’t require any shipping and have extremely high margins since you can sell the same downloadable product as many times as you want. Examples of this include; ebooks or guides that you’ve written, music, photos, CAD drawings, designs and templates, even software.
Now for the 5 Service-based online businesses
1. Online coaching/consulting services
If you enjoy working with people and helping them improve, this online business could be for you. Sell your time online and meet with your clients using video conferencing applications like Zoom, Microsoft Teams or Google Meet. You could consult in business, architecture, digital marketing like us, or even in cooking, music tuition, fitness or art classes.
2. Freelance skills
There are loads of people around the world who lack the time or the skills which you possess. The types of services you can sell online are endless. Photo, video or podcast editing, writing services (for blogs, contracts, anything), graphic or web design, presentation slide design, voice-over work, it’s endless.
3. Subscriptions/Memberships online business
This is more of a business model idea, but instead of selling once-off products and services through your website, you could sell as a subscription. That way your customers will be billed automatically every week/month/year however you set it up, to receive regular value from you. Memberships are great if you also want your subscription customers to gain access to member-only offers or content on your website.
4. Online marketplace
If you see a need in a specific industry and feel that there are already many great suppliers to fill that need, another great business is to start a marketplace. Here all your vendors will be able to create an account on your marketplace website and sell their own products and services through the website. Every time there is a sale, you receive the money, keep your commission and settle with the vendor who also fulfils their own orders.
5. Online courses
The market for online courses continues to rise. People are always spending on education and self-improvement. Packaging your knowledge into an online course is a great way to make money online. You can also decide to offer a premium course price where students get access to you during the course as a type of coaching or mentorship service. If you don’t want to offer a personal service, then selling an online course is just like selling any other downloadable product.
If this all sounds exciting and you’re wondering how to get started with your online business here’s what you have to do:
- Research the needs of your chosen target market, and see how you can best serve them using the 10 ideas I listed in this video. If you find competitors online, that’s a good thing. At least you know the market is already proven and people are willing to spend money on an offering like yours.
- Decide which type of business you would enjoy running most and fits into the lifestyle you want to live. You could even combine businesses ideas to increase the value offering. I would recommend you do it over time though and not try do everything all at once.
- Start a website/blog which will be the new hub of your entire business. Make sure you choose a platform that can scale with you as you grow. Here at DIGIPIV we recommend WordPress. You can watch our video “7 Reasons Why You Should Build A Website With WordPress” to find out why.
Are you excited to grow your income online this year? I’d love to hear your ideas. Also if you’d like me to explain one of these in more detail in another blog let me know in the comments.
If you need help getting started, head over to our services page.