Are you looking for a smart business to start right now that requires little or no capital investment? Many online businesses offer you that chance to make your mark as an entrepreneur without having to invest so much in terms of cash. Truth is, the internet has become an equalizer providing opportunities for the high and low, educated and illiterates, rich and poor.
All you need is a computer and a good internet access.
You don’t even need to have much technical knowledge, nor understand programming to do an online business. You don’t need a brick and mortar presence (an office), you can live in any part of the word, work from anywhere at your own pace, invest as little or as much time as you want and still access the global market.
And the icing: you need not invest any money to start or if you choose to, invest as little money as is available to you and still make money, if you are passionate and patient.
In this post, you will find 10 online small scale business ideas that you could start immediately, right where you are and start seeing great results in few days. Even more interesting is that you could start these businesses as side gigs while keeping your day job. Here we go:
10 Online Businesses You Can Start Right Now with Little or No Capital
#1 Start a Niche Website
Perhaps the most important asset you will need to acquire to do a successful online business is a website.
Look for a specific topic that has high search volume i.e a topic that people are always searching to get information on and develop a website or blog around that topic. You will have to use some free tools available online, like the Google keyword planner to estimate the search volume. Writing on topic that has high search volume means that it will be easy to find products, information, reports, books and materials that provide solutions to specific problems in that niche. It is a hot market that can make you rich if you position your website properly as a solution provider.
Some topics that have high search volumes includes: fitness and weight loss, health and healthy living, relationship and dating, marriage, investing and wealth creation, etc. If you set up an information website around these topics, begin to generate valuable content including texts, images, videos or podcasts you will gradually establish yourself as an authority, build a loyal audience and then monetize your content by selling ad spaces, products qnd books that provide solutions to the needs of your audience. With a quality website having the right content, you may start generating revenue in a matter of days.
Setting up a blog is easy as there are free tools that can get you started as soon as you decide to do so. Your most important investment is time, commitment, passion and willingness to keep learning in order to improve and develop winning strategies.
#2 Start an Online Course
Are you a professional with expertise in a specific field? Then you will definitely have an audience who are willing to pay and listen to what you have to teach. People are always searching online to learn new skills, improve on existing skills, gain knowledge and be better at what they do. Whatever skill you have, there are people willing to learn from you. You could be a farmer, an automobile technician, a writer, marketer, dressmaker, or may be a nurse, or even a retail store owner. Once you've decided on your subject matter, you can develop your course materials; get it listed on online learning platforms like Udemy and start making money.
#3 Sell Information Products
Creating and promoting information products that could be sold as digital downloads like eBooks, do it yourself manuals and short reports, veritable ways to generate good passive income online.
If you are able to put together pieces of useful information that addresses the need of a target audience, it is only a matter of presenting it in a way it will be attractive to that audience and easily accessible for you to make money with that bit of information.
All you'll need is a simple website with a well written sales page, an optin page, a download page and a convenient payment channel. The information product market or the self help industry as some will want to call it is said to be worth over US$11 billion in the US alone and is still expanding at about 5.5 per cent annually.
The strategy is to spend a couple of hours or a few days to investigate a problem and write down the solutions in for of eBook or short report or make a short video of your recommended solutions. Thereafter create a website to sell it, identify online forums, social media platforms where your target audience hang out and start promoting your material and see your millions roll in.
A podcast is an audio recording that is distributed over the internet. This medium is increasingly becoming popular vehicle for delivering information as it has been found that many people like to listen rather than read printed materials.
You could package your information product in the form of podcast or package high powered interview of successful industry professionals and other useful audio content broken down into episodes and promote to your audience. You will be amazed at the outcome. Once you've grown your listenership to a reasonable level, you can begin to monetize your podcast through advertising time and sponsorship. Call it your mini online radio, you will be wrong. All you need to launch your podcast is a microphone, syndication through iTunes and file hosting on archive.org which are all free.
#5 Online Coaching
If you are a teacher or love teaching of if you are somebody with a specialty skill, say in cookery, music or you are a motivational speaker and life coach, you can make money through online coaching. Platforms like savvy.is and readability.fm gives you the opportunity to offer your services in a few simple steps and start earning. You can also set up your own membership website an offer your coaching through podcasts and videos. In this case, only visitors who subscribes will have access to your exclusive scheduled content.
There are quite a lot of freelancing opportunities available online from writing to editing, graphic designing, marketing, video production, business consulting; name it. Just about any type of work can be rendered on a freelance basis and this can be combined with your day job. If you are looking for an effective means of earning passive income that is capable of replacing your 8-5 job one day, get into freelancing. There are lots of credible websites that frequently offer well paid freelance gigs.
Start by looking for industry-specific forums where remote jobs opportunities are posted. Such forums will usually offer higher fees. However, the easiest way to get into freelancing for a beginner is by registering on websites like ProFinder (owned by LinkedIn), Upwork, and Freelancer.Com. These sites can help you land your first engagement.
#7 Sell Photos
Are you a photographer or know how to use the camera, even if it is one on your smart phone? You may be on your way to launching a lucrative online business – selling quality photographs. You can also set up a photography blog where you discuss issues on photography, latest trends and development and related matters.
Millions of advertisers, bloggers and agencies need quality images for their copies and gigs. Decide on a niche, get a quality camera, start taking good photographs, upload on your website. There are many ways you can monetize: sell photos on your website, do commercial gigs, sell affiliate products (like cameras and accessories), teach photography techniques, etc – what you can do to make money in this niche is endless
#8 Start a YouTube Channel
You may not know it but many Youtube users are making a lot of money. How? Through adverts on their channels! All it takes is to create a Youtube Channel, create and upload unique videos around any niche of your interest, drive traffic and gather following and then monetize. There are channels on a variety of niche – business, finance, investing, relationship, marriage, counseling, personal finance, healthy living, dog training, animal rights, just about anything. A certain Nigerian comedy channel on Youtube, featuring a little girl is said to be grossing millions of Naira monthly via ads alone on his channel.
There are many YouTube users generating a healthy income from ads on their regular videos. Some of them even make well into the millions each year.
All it takes to build a healthy YouTube following is to identify high search volume topics, develop your own unique spin on creating video content, and learn how to engage well with your audience. From there, you'll be able to start implementing ads on your videos and if you want to take it a step further, launch your own website which gives you even more monetization opportunities.
#9 Affiliate Marketing
If you are not cut out t creating your own info products, there is no problem at all. You can still make tons of money through selling other people’s products be it digital products or physical products and earning commissions in the process. There are internet marketers whose sole business model is affiliate marketing and they are very successful. Sign up with MoreNiche, JVzoo, Amazon and a lot of other good affiliate networks and start making money. Some of these networks have quality training programmes to enhance your internet market skills.
#10 Drop Shipping
Drop Shipping is gaining momentum as an online business model. It is a business model that allows you sell physical products without having the inventory. All you need to do is discover a fast moving product, create a website, list the products or group of products. Of course, you must have discussed and agreed on terms with the person who have the products or keep the inventory. This could be the manufacturer, the importer of the products or a wholesaler.
Once a visitor indicates interests to purchase the products by checking out on the cart, you pass the order to the main seller who now delivers the goods to your customer. Your role in this arrangement is to drive traffic to your website or use whatever digital marketing strategies you know to encourage and generate sales. So many of the ecommerce sites you see around the internet are doing business based on the drop shipping model.
Here you have it, my 10 Online Businesses You can Start Immediately with Little or No Money. There are many online business models but any or a combination of these 10 will definitely get you started positively.
As with any business idea, patience is key here if you desire to achieve success with your online business. There is no short cut to it. It requires consistent work, continuous learning and constant application of new ideas to build a successful online business. In Steve Job’s words –
"About half of what separate successful entrepreneurs
from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance"