According to a recent MSNBC report, people who earn their living online are among the most satisfied in America. They number approximately one million and command a median income of more $87,000 annually. What are some of these online business opportunities, and how can you plug into them?
Buy a Franchise
As businesses become more focused around operating systems, there is no shortage of online franchises for you to purchase. You will need investment capital, ranging from less than $100 to $25,000, and there are a variety of opportunities:
- Purchase a WSI Digital Marketing franchise. Their model allows you to provide a broad range of Internet marketing services to your customers, including: social media marketing, email marketing, search engine marketing, web analytics and more.
- With the wave of a hand, Lusens' interactive media can change the landscape of an entire country, and they are looking for distributors. The company creates interactive walls, floors, tables and kiosks that display movable graphics. Users can interact with the devices using motion or touch.
Purchase an Online Business
Just like brick-and-mortar businesses, online business opportunities sometimes come in the form of a successful business for sale. Some enterprises only operate online and do not have an actual storefront location. Instead, they've designed a successful website with a shopping cart that brings in huge returns. You can find a steady stream of online businesses for sale on Flippa. Low-end sites sell for less than $100, while high-end sites command hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Before you purchase an online business, you should carefully consider some factors:
- Make sure there is a genuine need and desire for the products and services you will be offering.
- Consider how long the company has been in business. Longevity is often a good predictor of future success.
- Review the company's finances carefully. If they haven't shown a profit in the past couple of years, consider that a red flag.
- Make sure you can afford the initial investment, and develop a clear plan for how and when you will recoup that investment.
- Look objectively at yourself and your lifestyle. Know how many hours you will need to invest every day, every week, and every month in this business. Be sure it's a tradeoff you are willing to make.
- Research your competition carefully, and determine how you can outperform them.
- Determine what kind of marketing has been done previously and how effective it was.
Open an Amazon Store
Amazon is consistently rated as one of the most trusted businesses in America. They earned that reputation by designing safe, intuitive user platforms that work, implementing sophisticated, automated marketing engines and partnering with countless small businesses. The company is so committed to its selling partners that it has gone so far as to back small business loans for the purchase of inventory, according to the Wall Street Journal.
When you work through a well-established platform like theirs, worries like data security and credit card processing melt away, allowing you to focus on identifying quality products and honing your marketing strategy. Visit Amazon Services to learn about the program and to assess whether this might be the right opportunity for you.
Turn a Hobby into a Business
Are you passionate about knitting, candle-making or designing jewelry? Many have turned hobbies like these into lucrative businesses. Sites like eBay and Etsy are particularly good outlets for distributing these kinds of products. You can make videos, and teach your craft through webinars as well. Photography is another hobby that has the potential to become lucrative. Familiarize yourself with the kinds of images stock photography sites look for, and submit your work.
Write and Publish
There has never been a better time to write the great American novel or an accounting textbook for that matter. The Kindle publishing platform and its sister company, CreateSpace, have brought publishing to the masses. Both sites feature comprehensive guidelines that include Kindle and print books, cover design and even marketing and distribution. If writing isn't your particular strength, partner with authors. While they focus on the creative aspect of writing, you can negotiate the nuts and bolts of publishing, distributing and marketing.
Once your book is established, be sure to visit Google Books. Learn how to make your book searchable, and sell it on Google in addition to your other outlets.
Do you have expertise that you love to share? Whether you're good at helping people get organized or helping people make major life decisions, becoming a coach is a great business opportunity waiting to happen. To get started, write a book. Nothing launches a coaching business like a published book. People are eager to learn from those who "wrote the book on" law, accounting, creative writing, real estate, yoga, or whatever your expertise may be. Once your book is well established, use it as a springboard to start a coaching service. In this way, books become amazing business cards.
Buy and Sell Domain Names
Sometimes an online business opportunity is less traditional in scope. For example, many people are buying domain names and reselling them. Coming up with short, clever and useful domain names can be quite profitable. They sell for all sorts of prices, and people who missed out on the domain name you created, may be willing to pay top dollar for another. One good avenue into this lucrative business is Domain Clout.
Earning Money Online
No matter which online business opportunities you decide are best for you, it's important to do your research, and test the market. Only invest money if you're sure the opportunity is legitimate. Starting your online business is every bit as nuanced as starting one in the non-virtual world. Treating it with the same respect and diligence is truly the key to success.