June 13th, 2021
Let’s start with a few raw FACTS :
- As of January 2021 , almost $427 Billion per year is being made by Internet-based, Online, Home-based Businesses in U.S. (according to Journal of Global Entrepreneurial Research).
- There are 39 million Internet-based, Online, Home-based Businesses registered in U.S.
- About 72% online home-run businesses succeed within 3 years of starting, as compared to 35% of regular, traditional, brick-and-mortar, businesses.
- Online businesses have between 30%-60% lower operating costs.
- When running an online business from home, about 20% make $100,000-$500,000 per year (according to a study from December 2020) .
After operating a retail apparel store in Dallas, Texas for more than a decade, I got into online Internet-based businesses back in 2007. I currently have my own online businesses that run part-time and a few others that I am part owner of, as they are being managed by my family members.
With more than a decade in online-based internet businesses, one thing I have learned for sure … is that the old way of doing business is over.
In my opinion, here’s the facts that we should all consider to open our eyes to the truth (as harsh as it may sound):
- There is no more, “Job For Life“. Even with jobs that last long, the prospects of earning a good enough living that allows you to have a decent comfortable retirement, is almost non-existent.
- Running your own business from home is “no longer a dream that is too good to be true“. More than 30 million Americans have a home- based business (reported as of January 2021 .
- This is the best time to start an online business, since never before has the barrier to entry been so low, the platform (Internet) has been so mature, communication and networking systems so abundant, market reach spanning such a large geographical reach, startup costs so minimal, or the income potential so vast (nationwide or globally).
- There has never been access to so many resources and tools, which didn’t even exist a decade ago (for instance social media marketing), and have never been so accessible.
I have been working as a full-time online business entrepreneur from 2007-2014 and since then, I have been part-time manager of some of my own startups and equity owner of others. I believe 2021 is the BEST year to start, compared to all the times before. Here’s the top 10 best areas that you may want to explore for a potential future business venture:
1. Blogging – still the number 1 potential online business venture, that you can start for less than $1,000 and can have potential earnings of $5,000-$20,000 per month within a couple of years. Some of your friends may tell you that they tried and not made much money from it. Then point out to them that there are at least 500 blogs in U.S. alone that make above $100,000 per month – YES, above $100,000 PER MONTH. News Blog HuffPost makes about $22 million PER MONTH, from blog advertisers.
To be successful with your blog, you really need to focus on a few different things:
a) Choose a subject that you feel good about and are know well. Once you know your subject, you will need to learn about your audience and connect with them through user experience and personalization.
b) Treat your blog like any other business you would run. Put time, energy, effort, creativity, and resources into it and read and learn grow your expertise all the time to become the expert in that subject so you can win over people with your credibility.
c) Be authentic, offer unique content, with a great value proposition and deliver consistency and authority within the subject matter of your choice.
2. Buying and selling digital assets in a marketplace. You have heard of individuals that have made millions from buying and selling digital assets (e.g. domain names, ecommerce websites, Apps, Amazon stores, etc.). To start, it costs very little, and the potential of earning is huge. There are always good domains waiting to be found – you don’t believe anyone who tells you otherwise. Even in 2021 there are good .com domains to be found (usually 2 to 3 word domains still available) that you can turn around and offer for a good return on investment. Just this past year I bought a few domains costing about $15 per domain per year and I sold them for over $1,000 each, and one them was sold for $3,800 on Ebay. A few years ago I had a domain for 7 years which I sold for $24,000. So you can make good money, you just have to be patient and look for a goo domain name to buy for keep or for resale. A few things to remember about domains (or even other digital assets in particular):
a) Choose a .com over all the other extensions no matter what people are trying to convince you of. Now, granted other extension do well do, but .com is the king so if other extension go up in value, it only means that .com will be even more valuable.
b) Try to get domains that are no more than 2-3 words and represent a phrase or a catchy marketing hotline that is memorable and cute or fun or easy for branding. Even with buying and selling websites or digital assets, the name (hence inherent brand) goes a long way to catch the attention of potential buyers and get you closer to selling and making a good profit. Any more than a few names (or difficult names to spell or phrases that have ambiguous words or different meaning phrases/words) are something you want to avoid.
3. Selling information products, still one of the most easiest to start and in the top list of profitable online business models. Sooner or later, someone will tell you that, selling information online is the fastest growing online business model/trend in Internet’s history. Informational products just sell well online and seems to have high demand for it, and it does not seem to slow down.
Informational products that are most popular and sell well, include anything to do with business ideas and advice, marketing guides and methods and strategies, music, travel, shopping, new trending products, how-to guides, retailing and etailing (online Internet retail), and new entrepreneurial ideas and ventures.
About $500 billion was spent last year for business-to-consumer online just with home-based businesses and including larger global corporation, this number is over $2.5 trillion last year alone, and continuing to grow.
The largest ecommerce company (etailer) Amazon sales reached around $150 billion last year and expected to grow to $200 billion a year, in the next couple of years. Informational products are a huge part of this trend.
The idea of gathering, packaging, marketing, selling, and distributing informational products is nothing new (print media, audio cassette guides, etc.). However, the Internet has made it just so incredibly easy, efficient, and fast – at the speed of light. “Get it exactly when you need it and want it”. Done. Hence why it is so popular. People crave to guides, ideas, tips, strategies, latest trends, etc. and now it can be delivered instantly, via membership websites, ebooks & eguides, PDFs, video, audio, webinar, podcast, etc. It is now so convenient and so fast to get the information you want, and you don’t have to wait for it to be delivered by snail mail. All you have to do is look for niche products you can sell, pick the bestselling potential information products, and the best delivery format (PDF, audio, video, etc.), and then market your product profitably.
4. E-books are still a great idea as an online-based Internet business. When marketed properly and branded correctly, it is a great idea to either sell your eBooks as an information product or a book (if you like) or to use it as a means of content marketing tool to bring leads and prospecting to your business. Do remember that writing a e-book is a completely different kind of a process than actually marketing it. These are very distinct and often very different tasks in nature. Don’t think one is the extension of the other. It is often, not. It often happens that self-published eBooks (that may be a great product on its own) simply sits there quietly without selling and without making any money when it is not being marketed the right way.
One of the most powerful ways to sell eBooks these days is through “crowdsourcing”. That is to marketing your eBooks through mobilization of an online community to participate in making decisions, for instance, choosing the best cover or the best title or through asking online users questions or getting them involved in polls and giving their opinion of ideas or cover images, etc. By involving and including your targeted audience in the process of developing, designing, and creating your eBook, you are building a crowd or a fan base that is also involved in promoting, marketing, and even buying your eBooks.
5. Affiliate Marketing business is a commission-based revenue model that has existed for a long time before the Internet and is now growing stronger than ever thanks to automation and mass-reach capacity of online business networking and the skill set required to influence buyers in selling other people’s products and getting a commission for your efforts.
The idea here is very simple. Why develop your own product/services if you can promote and sell someone else’s especially if their product is high in demand and you do not have the expertise to design and build such product and/or do not have the finances or the resources or the venture capital for R&D, manufacturing, support, and other infrastructural costs.
But if you have marketing expertise, then Affiliate Marketing is ideal for you. You can use many different channels or even a single channel that you have expertise in (e.g. whitepaper marketing, audio campaigns, videos, podcasts, blogs, social media, online advertising, YouTube channel, etc.) and you can use your marketing skills as the basis of your entire business to develop and promote campaigns to sell products and earn money through commission sales.
As always, choose your niche carefully, ideally it is something you are passionate about and your feel you have unique expertise and of course make sure it is a profitable product line that is high in demand. There are also directories and directories that offer products for you to sell which offer a commission for selling their products. Try to avoid overly competitive products (for instance, smartphones, laptops, tablets, TV’s , etc.) that have reached a threshold of affiliate marketers.
6. Print-On-Demand business model is one of the easiest and fastest ways to start an online business venture. This business model refers to the type of sourcing rather than the ecommerce method of selling itself. This means that the product is just a standard product you find anywhere, but there is a custom design print on the product using ink-jet print or screen-printing or even digital printing and this custom design can be applied to such standard blank products, for instance, coffee mugs, swimwear, hats, t-shirts, pens, leggings, tank tops, mouse pads, kids clothing, yoga mats, beach towels, canvas prints, blankets, laundry bags, table cloth, cutting boards, bottle openers, cloth napkins, trays, tea towels, shower curtains, ornaments, greeting cards, calendars, stickers, dog beds, phone cases, bags, wall art, pillow cases, and so much more.
Without identifiable marketing, a blank product can be transformed into a highly customized (with logo) product that can marketed and sold for both profit and for branding purposes. This business offers products that are high in demand and hence entrepreneurs tend to love starting with such a business model since it is easy, and very low cost to start.
But you would ask, why low cost? Well, this business model works usually as a drop shipping business. Dropshipping means that there are not inventory until you have a sale. So you are not dealing with a high cost business model that involved purchasing and storing inventory, managing and re-ordering and keeping tabs on inventory to see what sells and what does not, and then dealing with shipping products, and fulfilling orders.
7. SEO Writing and Content Management services experience a strong demand and getting stronger each day.
8. Coaching, online courses, and training guides continue to earn good revenue for Internet entrepreneurs.
9. Consulting Services online are still as strong as they have been from the early days of the Internet.
10. Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) can be a successful online venture if a niche product has been selected to market.