4 ideas for online businesses you could start

September 24th, 2014 - Posted by in Blog, Making Money


Recently, we wrote about the why handicraft hobbies rule. Not only does engaging in an artistic, hands-on activity help to calm your nerves after a long day at work, but the end product can also be something that you can give as a thoughtful gift to friends or family. But maybe your hobby is something you would like to pursue full time? You may feel that you don’t know how to get your small business idea off the ground, or you may think it has to be very expensive get the word out.

Traditionally, that was true of course. Small businesses were able to begin their marketing campaigns only with flyers, word-of-mouth marketing and advertisements in the local papers. Today, the Internet has broadened your marketing to potential to include inexpensive, expansive and effective ways to spread your business idea. Here we will talk about some interesting ideas to market online and the different avenues you can take to do that.

Traditional “brick-and-mortar” business ideas you should bring online

1. Handicrafts

As the inspiration for this article, handicrafts, of course, should be at the top of the list. Things like pottery, woodwork, model cars, woven pieces and artistic drawings are all great ideas. If you’ve ever been to a tourist destination such as Cancun, Mexico you know that people will pay a lot for “artisan” gifts. And while these tourist-focused items may not be actually hand-made, their presence in major shopping areas shows that the market is out there. There is a level of exclusivity that comes with handmade products. They obviously have taken a lot of time to create as well as they a unique, one-of-a-kind piece.

2. Food items

Food is something we all love! And if you are a talented chef or baker, why not share that with others less fortunate? Of course there are more restrictions regarding food selling online, such as licensing and permits, but if you are willing to put the work in you, imagine yourself supporting yourself through something you love doing. Finding a niche in regards to foodstuff is very important. You may want to consult the important food trends going on at the moment. Health products, such as “healthy drinks” are on the rise in the UK, according to Google trends.

3. Fashion items

The Fashion Industry is a billion dollar one; why not get a piece of the pie yourself? Try to think of an interesting product that people would find value in being handmade, or produced on a small scale versus just buying from the local mall. Cool socks, pocket squares, women’s handbags and jewellery are some great examples of niche accessories. Fashion gives you the complete freedom to get creative and put your own personal touch on!

4. Your expertise!

Are you a fitness guru? Fashion specialist? Do you like to help others? Why not sell your expertise online? The Internet is convenience. Consumes don’t even have to leave their living room to get the products and services they desire. Offer your services via video calling, such as Skype, or email on a personal basis with your potential customers. Perhaps you’ve worked in the past in the human resources department. You can give personal hiring advice to potential interviewees at companies. Or, as native English speakers we have a lot to offer. Many people would like to learn English and are willing to pay for personal lessons online. Find something your great at and go with it!

How to get your business online

Now that you’ve thought of your business idea, utilise the tons of mediums for getting your business of the ground and on the web.

Start a website

This is the most common and important thing to do. Your website needs to be a professional place where consumers find the necessary information about your product or service so that they are confident in what they are purchasing. The first step to starting your site would be to register a domain name. Then, create your layout, make sure you have the content and images to catch people’s eye and you’re on your way! Your website also offers a place to connect with customers on a personal level.

Embrace social media

Depending on what type of image you want your company to portray, social media can be a great way to reach a wide audience inexpensively, in short period of time. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram,Pinterest and Tumblr are all important outlets. Social media is no longer just to get the word out either. You can tie in ads and offers to your social media pages. LinkedIn is also very important at both a personal and business level to make contacts.

Use local listing services

When you register your website with Google Places, your company can be easily found with a Google search. Furthermore, if you’re going to also have a brick-and-mortar element to your company it will also show up on the map. You must fill out the information form, get your business registered through their confirmation process and provide a simple place for your customers to helpful information.

Join online shops and communities

Etsy is a simple and common way to start selling your products. There are over 30 million buyers that are interested in purchasing handmade goods, vintage items and craft supplies. There are also no membership fees, only a small fee for selling each product.

What are some ideas you think would work for an online business?

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