We live in a world where everything is now available online, so it should be no surprise to anyone that an online business is the first thing that comes to the mind of a potential entrepreneur who is seriously considering launching a business.
Starting an online business is now a lot easier than it ever was. There are no set expectations about the kind of hours you can work a day, or how much you expect to scale up. Similarly, there are no requirements for academic qualifications or any experience.
The clincher is that the investment needed for an online start-up is a lot lesser than starting up a traditional brick and mortar company. There are various people entrepreneurs can leverage existing resources to establish successful online businesses. There are many platforms available that can be used to sell goods without any inventory costs like Amazon or eBay, or you could sell your products on platforms like Etsy if there are handmade or personalised.
Here are some of the top ways to start a successful online business with minimal investment.
Dropshipping is a supply chain management method in which the retailer does not keep goods in stock but instead transfers its customer’s orders and shipment details to a manufacturer, another retailer, or a wholesaler, who then ships the products directly to the customer.
In simple words, dropshipping is a business where you only have to deal with marketing and advertising. After a customer makes a purchase, everything else is handled by the drop-shippers.
This is a lucrative business. However, it is also extremely competitive, and margins can be meagre. One way to distinguish your business from others is to have a private label on your products. This means that if your private label ‘brand’ can get attention from customers, it can sell for higher prices. The best ways to get more interest in your products would be to have it be used by celebrities or social media and Instagram ‘influencers’.
Affiliate marketing is also similar to dropshipping. Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s marketing efforts.
Here too, you don’t have to maintain an inventory of your products. Affiliate marketing offers the products for sale on blogs, social media profiles, or websites and potential customers can purchase the product through the link after which you will receive a commission depending on the percentage agreed upon earlier by you and the affiliate partner.
Affiliate marketing can be used by social media influencers or even small-time celebrities, or if you have an online presence that is popular with a specific niche. This can be a great way to make money online without having to invest a lot of money or even a lot of time. Amazon is a leader in affiliate marketing because of the ease of setting up an account, as well as just the size and scale of Amazon’s offerings.
This type of business is best suited for entrepreneurs who have a large online social media following or a blog which receives a lot of traffic.
Blogging is probably one of the oldest ways among these methods of making money online. If you are an expert in any particular subject, you can start a blog and make money from it by posting advertisements on the page.
Blogs can be about anything that could interest a potential reader. Similarly, remember that blogs are not just about writing; it could also be photography, audio blogs, or even just reposting articles about a specific niche. The best way to get more traffic to your blog is by posting a lot of original content that your intended niche audience will enjoy. Using Google AdSense to monetise your page is easy after you have learnt the basics of blogging. Google AdSense uses a per click based policy which means that the more people click on the ads on your page, the more money you are likely to receive. Affiliate marketing can also be used on blogs.
Being a YouTuber is not just for teenagers anymore. There are YouTubers out there who make videos on pretty much any topic under the sun. Create videos that are likely to have viewers coming back for more and provide something unique that they cannot find elsewhere. Ensure that your videos are short, clear and high quality to get more viewers.
An online business doesn’t have to be about selling products. You can also sell digital products or services that can be downloaded online. Some examples of this include videos, audios and the most popular format, which are eBooks. The content can vary depending on your passion and interest in the subject. Again here too, keep it simple, clear and unique to attract more customers.
Remember that starting an online business is now becoming a fad; don’t let your business become another one of the many online companies that later become unknown entities. Stay on top of the game by being unique. You don’t have a lot to lose, but a lot to gain.