With most consumers going digital, setting up your own business and accessing a larger market is made easier online. Having an online business means working anywhere and anytime as long as you have internet access. In addition, you don’t need to have a formal education or training to start an online business. Just a basic knowledge of the technical aspects of the business and the rest can be self-taught. To get you started on your digital entrepreneurship, we list down ten business ideas you can do at the comfort of your own couch and laptop.
Due to the lack of tech talents in most countries like the UK and the US, this is one of the business ideas that has the most demand worldwide. In fact, the demand for this industry will continue to grow by at least 24% by 2026 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Since software development has a variety of areas, you can focus on one or more services. You can cater to mobile app development and offer services in Android or iOS development, or offer web development services specialising in a range of web development technologies such as Python and PHP. You can also try to tap on other increasingly popular fields such as cybersecurity and blockchain.
Start by creating a simple site promoting your services. Due to the number of businesses in need of developers, you are sure to find clients locally and internationally. The more skills and tech languages you can offer, the more marketable your services will be.
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Content is still king, and with the rise of digital media, content has never been more relevant. Plenty of businesses ranging from marketing to tech seek the help of content writers because content marketing costs 62% less and delivers three times the amount of leads, according to Demand Metric.
A content writing business can offer a range of services such as copywriting, product descriptions, web content, blogging, copy editing and more. The best part of it all is that it can be done remotely using a desktop computer or laptop.
The tight competition, however, can make it difficult for new businesses to enter the market that’s why more people do this as a personal side hustle.
Many businesses turn to digital marketing to attract online consumers and drive sales. This is one of the timely business ideas you start now as the demand for digital marketers is quite high since startups and large businesses need to stay competitive and relevant.
Here are just some services digital marketing businesses offer:
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) - drives a business’ online visibility in search engines through site optimisation and keyword rankings.
- Social Media Management - managing and monitoring all social media engagement and analytics.
- Email Marketing - sending emails to current and potential clients for sales and leads
- Pay-per-click (PPC) - directs traffic to a site via online advertisements
Knowledge and expertise in digital marketing will make your business more credible and popular with small and large companies.
32% of marketers say visual content is their most important business content. Infographics, in particular, can increase web traffic by up to 12% according to Demand Gen Report. Graphic design is not only used for online content but also for logo designs, book cover designs, and web design.
Aside from a laptop, you might also need a graphics tablet for better flexibility and quality. Highly skilled and creative graphic designers are paid a good amount by businesses so this is a good opportunity to make a profit while working anywhere in the world.
Setting up an online store is now easier and less risky than before. You can sell via secure sites like eBay and Amazon, or create a store via social media like Facebook and Instagram. US online consumers are also expected to increase by 80% by 2019 based on a report by Hosting Facts. Tapping on this continuously growing market can make for a profitable business or side hustle.
Translation services are actually quite in-demand. Many companies and governments must publish documents in several languages for clients, business partners, and overseas employees. Although technology has made translation services more accessible, such as Google Translate, these kinds of businesses offer quality translations fit for professional publishing. In fact, based on a report by Ibis World, translation services are expected to grow and reach $37 billion this year. Continents with the highest demand for translation services are the US, Europe and Asia.
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Plenty of entrepreneurs and professionals need help with their daily task management so they hire virtual assistants. A study by Tractica shows that virtual digital assistant (VDA) consumers will increase to 1.8 billion worldwide by 2021. You can set up a website and outline your services which can range from email management, social media management, lead generation, project management, and bookkeeping among many others. These are one of the business ideas in this list that can tap a worldwide audience.
If you are an expert in a certain industry, you can set up your own online consulting business. Many businesses hire consultants from various professional firms from finance, business, IT and marketing among many others to strategise and to make better business decisions. Usually, businesses spend a high amount on consultants due to the level of expertise they offer thus it is one of the most profitable industries. Based on Statista, the global consulting market was expected to generate $262 billion in 2017.
What was once a small niche increasingly grew for the past few years and has evolved to more than just a hobby. Based on a 2017 Nielsen report, 50% of American homes listen to podcasts. If you can find a niche topic that you can continuously discuss in a series, then you can make it into a business. Podcasting can be used not only to show your expertise but also find leads and build your connections.
If you’re not comfortable speaking in front of the mic, you can also make a business helping good podcasters get into the industry. An example of this kind of business would be Cashflow Podcasting, a full-service podcasting company that takes care of editing to marketing podcasts.
Of course, you would need to have more than just your laptop for this one. A decent audio equipment and studio is a basic requirement. In addition, building an audience and getting yourself under the radar can take time and effort. The monetary potential is also not that high compared with the other business ideas in this list due to the relatively small market so keep these in mind if you ever venture on this path.
Online Video Producer
According to Cisco’s Visual Networking Index, 80% of consumer internet traffic will make up for the global consumer internet video traffic by 2019. More businesses upload videos or vlogs (video blogs) to promote their business online and capture the market, especially the younger market. You can tap on this service and create video contents for businesses for their ads or marketing purposes.
You can also try to put up your own YouTube channel and become an internet sensation or a running series that discusses or presents a variety of topics from movies, gaming, fashion, music, and more. Popular examples are channels like media site Buzzfeed, gaming channel PewDiePie, and internet celebrity Jeffree Star.
This is one of the business ideas that would need more than just your laptop, but if done well, the returns can be high. This would also require a few pieces of equipment like cameras, audio recorders, lights, and editing software.
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