Online Business Ideas (Part 1)
Start your online business from home.
We live in the 21st century, and our world is constantly growing and evolving.
While some old role-models we used to believe in in life are getting more and more out of fashion, there are a number of new chances that come along with it.
Everything negative also has a positive side, there is no vacuum in nature. And the same is true for business and the economy.
While the old model of going to school, get good grades, work for a big company and retire has become more and more outdated, new models are emerging.
The internet has given a huge liberation of markets and made lots of previous entry barriers vanish.
It is one of the few blessings the Millennial generation has.
30 years ago to start a business it required lots of upfront investment with inventory, often a physical location with all the risks involved, rents and energy bills to pay.
Today you just open a webshop and start selling right away, often you don't even need the inventory to sell thanks to dropshipping and on demand manufacturing - but more on this later.
What we do know for sure is that there are ideas to start your online business from home with only a laptop and a mouse. But often people have no idea what exactly to do.
In this blogpost we have selected for you a number of low-cost businesses that you sometimes can start often even with a laptop and internet access only, right from your kitchen table.
This guide is really detailed and provides lots of information - if you do not have some spare time right now you might want to bookmark this page so you can come back to it whenever you feel like it and continue reading.
Being mainly an online business ourselves, we at KYDA will also share our own lessons and mistakes here with you so let's begin:
Online Business Idea Nr. 1: Amazon FBA
In case you are interested in entrepreneurship, you certainly have already come across Amazon FBA.
In case you did not, Amazon offers you to sell products on their platform. Almost any type of product can be sold.
And not only can you sell through their website, but with FBA they also offer you to fulfill all orders for you (therefore the Name Fulfilment By Amazon - short: FBA).
What you need to do on your part is having a physical product ready and then ship it to an Amazon center, as well as of course a Seller account for Amazon.
Being part of the FBA programme gives you the advantage to send your goods with Amazon´s Prime delivery which is in many cases a 1-day delivery and thus provide a very fast and convenient buying experience for your customers.
Of course there are certain criteria that your products and its packaging have to meet, and you will be charged with a certain fee for as long as your goods are located in Amazon's fulfilment center.
If your products sell usually within a few days, the fee will be small and should not be a big deal for you. However, if your products have long selling-cycles and will stay in Amazon's storage for months before it gets sold, be aware to calculate exactly what it will cost you to make sure your profit will not be eaten up by storage fees or even cause losses.
Additionally, Amazon also charges commissions on all items that are purchased through their plattform.
You can calculate all the costs on Amazon's website and seller program directly here, usually it depends on the price of the product, it´s weight and size.
If you decide you want to build a business with Amazon FBA or improve your current business with it as an additional selling channel, you should carefully consider also Amazon´s company policy.
They have their focus on the buyer - not on the sellers. That means customer service and customer satisfaction are the top criteria for Amazon, and if you use FBA that should be the same for you.
If your account receives too many customer complaints, you can get shut down very quickly.
Or if customers don’t like what they ordered, ordered the wrong thing, or ordered just out of boredom, they will of course expect a full refund and fast replies to all requests.
On the internet you can find many success stories with FBA, some even claim to have become a millionaire with working only on this channel.
But in recent times there are equally as many reports of negative experiences with it.
For instance there are many reports of entrepreneurs who have lost all their business to Amazon because they made a lot of money with FBA.
What a contradiction!
Some say that their account suddenly was blocked for no reason. Others even report that they had to disclose all their manufacturers including where and how their products get produced to re-open their account, only to find their account closed in the end.
In extreme cases people were even basically blackmailed to reveal all their product data, and manufacturers only to see Amazon taking over their product line by copying what they do.
After all it is their platform - not yours.
Amazon controls all interactions with the customer, not you.
Amazon controls all the traffic, not you.
Amazon ultimately even controls your store more or less - not you.
And while it can bring you also a lot of success and new business, chances are also that they might take advantage of being in this situation that the game is played on their field.
Keep in mind that the most critical part of any business is to control the direct path to its customers.
If a successful entrepreneur would lose his business overnight, the first and most important thing to start all over again would be the list of previous customers.
Without them you would have to start at absolute zero, which is very tough.
So before starting FBA, consider carefully all the advantages and disadvantages and see if they match your desired outcome.
However, despite all the scare stories:
Amazon FBA can bring you huge exposure to new clients and help you sell goods very fast and conveniently. Many have started their online business without actually a great idea, but merely with an Amazon FBA store anda great product.
Online Business Idea Nr 2.: Blogging
Unless you have been living under a rock in the recent years you will also have heard about blogging.
As this gets posted on a blog already I guess you will be at least a little bit familiar with how it works. Blogging has been booming in the recent years, with many success stories and some blogs that really have built massive followings worldwide.
A blog is basically a website that refreshes it´s content over and over again, usually in the form of articles like this one.
Every time I upload and post a new article, the blog gets new content.
This form of business is very interesting if you personally have something to say, do some research on a topic or are very passionate about something.
And of course it also pays to have certain expertise in whatever you write about. Ideally you should know more than the average person about the topic, this is usually enough.
Of course there is also the opportunity to not write on your blog yourself but to pay writers to write the content on your blog, in case you just don't like to write but still want to start a blog.
What is a little tricky about blogging is that the blog by itself does not make any money.
We on Kyda here also post free information, but we earn our living from streams of income built around the blog.
The blog itself is just a benefit that we want to provide for our customers.
But not only that. In case your blog is really useful and helps people, you can also build a relationship with your readers. And this is often enough to later on also start a business relationship.
If you have a blog without a webshop like we do, you will need to figure out how to monetize and make money from it.
After all, you really want to have a business and not only blog as a hobby.
And be aware that when you are just starting out there will not be much information on your blog right away, so the value of your “product” is increasing every time you post something and will be 0 in the beginning.
This is the main reason why it often takes very long for blogs to monetize as the real value for people usually only comes after a certain number of great postings.
The most obvious monetization strategy would be to advertise on your blog, meaning that you would allow others to place their ads on your blog.
The catch here is that you really first need to have a lot of traffic coming to your blog before you will earn a significant amount with it.
And here comes the next pitfall:
The blog only by itself will not automatically attract visitors.
According to recent estimates there are 2 million blog posts written every day on wordpress alone!
Talking about tough competition here!
So even if you have the best fancy looking web design, and amazing content articles, it is very unlikely that especially in the beginning anyone will land on your blog.
That means to grow your blog really into a business, it has to be sold like any other good out there: add benefits to your customer, find your target market and try to get as many visitors as possible.
In the beginning it can also be helpful to use some form of paid advertising.
But to keep it low-cost of course this is not a necessity, instead you can also begin to market your blog by finding where your target audience hangs out.
Today there are hundreds of different, specific places where people come together for having the same interests or looking for the same things:
Facebook-groups, quora.com, forums, instagram, pinterest, reddit only to name a few.
On all these platforms people basically look for a common topic or interest they have.
Depending on your niche, you can start by participating in the discussions and add value this way to eventually get a chance to market your blog.
Generally on the internet you will find lots of free and useful guides on how to drive traffic to it.
The most important thing is that you are passionate about what you do in blogging as especially here it might take up some time, often even years of persistent work before you will see the profits rolling in.
But nevertheless, blogging can be a very rewarding and also profitable online business idea. There are many bloggers out there who make a great living, sell products on their blog and have built wonderful communities.
Online Business Idea Nr. 3: Youtube Channel
For younger people, it is already a legitimate job to be a “Youtuber”.
Allegedly, if people have had enough from school these days they will say things like “screw this, I’m going to be a Youtuber!”
Similar to being an “Influencer” or a Blogger, there are many people out there who have grown their following for their online presence so big, that they eventually can make a living from it.
Even though this is only a very small percentage who are fortunate enough to do so, running such a channel can be a very lucrative side hustle to boost your income even while you keep your day job.
The most important thing to obey is here that similar to running a blog content is king.
That means you have to see it like running your own media company or TV station.
Imagine you have your own TV channel running now, what would you show in your program?
Who would tune in?
Who should like it and why?
These questions should first be clearly answered so you can provide your content accordingly.
The good thing is, that on youtube you can captivate almost every interest that is out there and gain a huge following, even if your viewers are allotted in every corner of the world. It does not matter whether you find your followers in New York or in Eritrea, the only important thing is to have what they are searching for uploaded.
The most popular videos in Youtube are by far entertaining and funny videos.
People love things that make them laugh or that trigger their attention.
Likewise, impressive and astonishing content like driving down a dangerous skiing trail with a Go-Pro, or surfing huge waves filmed from a good perspective can also create lots of views.
Just make sure you do not put your health at risk by getting in a dangerous situation just to film something awesome.
But of course you can also get lots of followers by providing something educational, explaining something or showing things you are passionate about.
The possibilities are endless here, just make sure to give your viewers something worth of their time in exchange.
This now even gets kinda stupid, but there are vdieos of “how to close a door” or “how to drink water” which actually have millions of views… don’t ask me why….
Monetization on Youtube can again come in many forms here, with classic advertising being the most obvious choice.
But of course there are lots of other options like selling affiliate products,or creating products on your own to sell them through your channel, as well as Joint-Venture partnership and many more.
Make sure to have a good video quality and lights as this will have a large impact on the obvious quality of the video to the viewer.
Luckily today´s newest smartphones have already such good cameras that for most videos this quality will be enough. Again on the internet you will find hundreds of free guides from people who make videos themselves on how to get started and what´s the best equipment to use, which I would advise you to look up on Google as I have no direct experience with this topic myself.
Even if you don't like to be in front of the camera, Youtube offers several options for you.
For instance you can also earn money by putting together a music playlist of different songs and then get paid for the advertising displayed on it.
How cool is that?!
With this option you do not even have to make any video at all!
All you have to do is to market your channel accordingly or just hop on a trend that has enough organic followers.
But make sure that there are no legal issues as especially popular music videos are always protected by copyrights.
Whatever you choose and whatever you want to show people - Youtube is a great platform to build a following and to post high-quality content.
There are people making a great living from Youtube videos alone, and for the start it is enough to simply start your online business while you are at your day job.