Recently, more and more often we hear about the modern online businesses and the success of their founders. Many of you have probably wondered what it really takes to start your own digital business and what is the model for creating and managing it. In this series of articles, we will look at some of the most popular ones, without claiming that we have mentioned all possible niches of supply and demand. In the following articles we will cover the steps necessary for the development of an online business, after choosing a niche and product.
The success and creation of each of the businesses listed in this article requires several key tools that are used to create and then promote any company which operates in a digital environment. Here we will mention some essentials:
Reliable Web Hosting
Fast and easy to navigate website
Digital marketing covering all areas - SEO, Content, Google Ads etc.
Research and analysis
Above all, it is very important to do in-depth market research and analyse the needs of consumers in different sectors. Find their pain and the appropriate solution so that the product or service you offer can be truly successful, and you do not waste time and money in developing something that has no potential from its beginning.
Choose the product/service you will sell
There are many digital services that can be offered on the market. First, you need to consider your best skills, and seriously think about what you'd like your time to be occupied with. Because you will have to dedicate most of your time to the new business you will start.
Here we will list some digital services that are available on the market and could be developed in profitable businesses, as long as you have skills and knowledge in any of those fields of work.
VA - Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistants are becoming increasingly popular with the advancement of technology and the increasing digitalization of any business. The activity they perform is related to the administrative processes and customer support in the companies. Overall the profession is no different from the administrative assistants, who work in the offices other than that the VA work is done remotely, which in turn would save companies costs for office space.
If you have experience in administrative activities, it will not be difficult for you to create your own small business, such as VA, the need for digitally literate people is rapidly growing. Many businesses diminish their teams and would benefit from part-time help, while others shift online, so do not delay and hurry to catch the new trend, before the market is flooded with companies offering the service.
Graphic designers are becoming highly valued professionals. Each company needs visual materials for their online presence or for the physically printed materials they use. Again, the needs of the customers may be different. They may need someone to help them on an hourly basis when there is a project that their team cannot handle alone due to the high volume of work in the period. In such cases, a guest graphic designer is needed to get involved temporarily in irregularly occurring projects. As you can guess in such a situation, an external company would be very suitable, as there will be no need for a contract and an invoice for the performed job can be issued, which is another benefit for your future customers.
Digital marketing specialist
Digital marketing specialists are extremely popular, valued, and wanted. Every company that wants to establish itself as a specialist in its field of work and reach as many people as possible, needs a person or team to manage their digital presence. Marketing specialists can successfully manage the company’s advertising campaigns and develop a strategy to reach more potential business clients.
Here again, the opportunities for development are endless. From part-time work for small businesses to joining the teams of large companies, digital professionals can help their partners, both long-term and on a project. Therefore, this type of digital business is very popular and would pay off well only if you are curious and have the drive to constantly evolve. You have to be aware of the latest changes in the industry because the niche changes every minute and there are new rules to learn about and things to be careful about.
As we mentioned above, everything in the digital industry is changing at a very fast pace and the way of doing things today can radically change tomorrow, so it is important for the digital specialist to carefully monitor the latest trends. This is highly important because if something goes wrong customers can lose their good reputation.
Here I will add that digital marketing has different directions, and you need to have a good overall understanding of how it works. It's a good idea to focus on a specific niche. This may be SEO, social media development, paid Google advertising, or content writing. Each of these directions of the industry can be a different business. It is possible to connect with colleagues working in the specific niche of the listed areas and to create together a company that offers its customers a 360 digital marketing service. You can read more on the topic related to digital marketing in the article "How to write successful SEO optimized blog posts in 2021".
Influencers are gaining more and more popularity, and although this profession is not taken very seriously by a significant part of the society, it can be extremely lucrative. People trust individuals much more than companies. This makes the niche so attractive for advertising by many large companies. If you can create a good image for yourself, attract followers who trust you, and engage with your content, many companies will want to work with you. In this way, you will become an "Ambassador" of their brand and will improve its visibility and the trust of the public.
Let us not create a false conclusion for that particular occupation. It is not an easy job being a successful influencer and at the same time developing yourself as a successful brand. The daily work of developing your social channels, the skills needed and the persistence required for this can be exhausting. Exposing yourself in the public space regularly shouldn't be neglected too. Behind all of this there must be a lot of knowledge and constant development in the field of digital marketing. If you want to pursue this unusual and dynamic profession, it is better to start immediately, because it will take you a long time to reach a level where you can really make a living from it.
It is not required to have deep technical skills to start building and supporting websites. Many platforms allow the creation of functional, modern, and good-looking e-Commerce or business websites. If you dedicate enough time to get familiar with any of those platforms and their features you will be able to offer your future clients development and/or support for this kind of website.
If you have knowledge in a field in which you think you are really good, not necessarily business-oriented, but rather for fun and personal development. You can start doing online courses. Your clients might be people who would like to have fun and improve their practical skills. The courses can be different, I will mention only some of the possibilities:
Web hosting resale
Although not very popular, the business of reselling web hosting could be very profitable. To manage your company successfully you need to have a good knowledge of system administration. With this model, you don't own the physical server, but you have rented it from another hosting company that offers servers for rent.
You can offer your clients various hosting plans and services related to server administration.
In order to be competitive in the market, it is good to make an in-depth analysis of the services offered in the field and their price ranges. Having already an idea of what the prices on the market are and what features the customers expect, you can decide what plans you will offer.
There are many providers in the web hosting industry, but it isn't impossible to establish a company which can grow and be successful. You need to work hard, to promote your brand and keep your clients happy in order to succeed.
Resume and cover letter writer
In each sector the competition is growing and having a resume with a well-written cover letter is key to finding a good job. Not everyone can write a well-structured CV that can grab the attention of recruiters. There are many professionals whose expertise is in other areas which are not related to writing. They can benefit from the services of a person or company who is well aware of what HRs are looking for in a resume and will structure it in a professional way.
If you have knowledge and experience in the field of human resources, starting a business which offers that type of service can be profitable. Writing intriguing well-structured text which can keep readers’ attention isn't easy and people will appreciate such help.
Each company needs a human resource specialist who will take care of all processes related to the staff members.
Specialists in the field can be responsible for ensuring that the recruitment of employees happens quickly and with minimal effort from the management. Many companies turn to recruitment agencies. It is good to have experience in recruitment and to be able to communicate well with people. Having to know what questions to ask and how to assess whether a candidate is suitable for a particular position or not, you can start developing your own small business in this area.
Another important point that we will cover is that human resources specialists can help the company's employees feel valued within the company. It's beneficial for them to have someone to turn to in an internal conflict or social case, without leading to unpleasant situations.
Another service that specialists in this field can offer on the market is the payroll service. In the absence of a department in the company, which would be responsible for the calculation of salaries and monitoring of labour legislation, the help of an external company would make it easier for those who manage it.
The sale of physical products has always been a popular form of business. When offering online physical goods there might be additional complications that you will have to take care of, such as logistics, storage space, customer complaints, etc.
There are different ways to create a business with physical products. Here again, it is important to research the market and consider what is best to offer, but in addition, you need to take care of the above-mentioned problems that you will encounter when starting such a business.
One of the most popular models for selling goods online is dropshipping. Starting such a business does not require huge investments. Here is a simple explanation of how it works - you, as the owner of an online store, need to find products to resell. They will be stored and shipped by the manufacturer or supplier of the product himself. Basically, you will act as a middleman who finds clients and makes sales.
To be successful in this industry you need to have a well-functioning information system, to know how to attract new customers, and to track precisely the inventory. It is of immense importance to track shipping and make sure everything is arriving on time and at the right place. This way your business will gain positive reviews and attract new customers.
Handmade craft seller
If you have a talent and like working with hands while creating unique and interesting products you could start your own business by selling your arts and crafts online. There are many platforms and ways to do so. You only need to choose the one suitable for your needs and taste. Before starting the site, produce various items to stock your new online store and publish it. With some marketing activities and good products, you can establish a stable business.
If you are creative and digital drawing is something you are good at, it is easy to create your own line of T-shirts with a unique design.
In addition to creative designs, you will need to contact one or more T-shirt printing companies. That way, no matter where you are, you will be able to sell worldwide. The customer orders a T-shirt with a particular print, you forward the order to the contractor, they, in turn, send the product to the customer. It’s a business that requires very little funds in the beginning and can grow fast.
Sell your second-hand treasures online
There are more and more shops with second-hand goods. Many businesses are focused on reselling used products. There are well-known brands that people are looking for and are willing to pay good money for them, even though the product isn’t brand new. The finds in question are often offered at a low price in thrift shops and the margin on such sales is large.
It’s fundamental to choose a suitable shared hosting and build your online store. To better establish the brand, it is good to have a lifestyle blog and to attract followers through it and your social networks, which you can then convert into customers. Working with influencers might fasten the growth of popularity and success.
Curate subscription boxes
Subscription boxes are very popular seasonal products that have gained popularity in recent years. They are highly promoted by various influencers on social networks. People like them because they bring excitement, and they have different products that they probably haven't tried before.
When starting such a business you have to clear your concept in the first place. You have to decide on what thematic surprises will be hidden in the box you will curate. The design and concept behind those types of boxes are leading. Choose something which is different, catchy, and will intrigue people’s attention. The promotion is crucial, here the influencers will help you immensely. The channels for mass communication will also help a lot. Popular figures with a highly engaged audience can influence the masses, and sharing about your subscription box can turn it into a very desirable product.
Starting a business with flower deliveries in different cities can be profitable if it is advertised well enough. Sometimes we want to make a nice gesture to a person close to us and surprise them with flowers. This might be harder when living in another town or country, and some flower shops, especially in small towns, do not offer online payments and delivery service.
Such an online store should have good advertising and clearly shows on its home page that deliveries are possible and happen quickly. Having a well-functioning and easy-to-navigate website is essential. In addition to that, you need to research different delivery methods and know how long it would take to deliver a package. Then choose in your assortment flowers which can last longer.
In this article, we mentioned just a fraction of the endless amounts of opportunities for starting an online business with both digital and physical products. Whatever you choose to start with, it is important to make your research and create a well-functioning website. It should have an easy-to-navigate design. Needless to say, you have to work hard to establish your company. Building trust in the brand and gaining popularity between customers isn't easy and doesn't happen overnight, but it will pay off in time.
Know that every start is difficult, but whatever you choose to do, if you put enough effort, quality services, and transparent conditions - customers will appreciate it and choose you.