For budding entrepreneurs, with the business in a very nascent stage, it is often difficult to create a user base or a customer base. This is because you are fresh off the boat and not many people know about you. This is the time to leverage your personal network, seek leads, and ask for recommendations. There is nothing wrong in asking for help from friends and family. That’s how every successful business has grown out of! Your friends can refer your products or services to their friends, colleagues, peers, etc. and you will land your first set of clients or users.
Be professional. When you submit a résumé, don’t type it in ALL CAPS and please don’t avoid the caps lock like the plague. Know how to use it without looking incompetent. Write in complete sentences with proper grammar. Of course, there will be exceptions, but even with the exceptions, you must keep it professional. You’re building their view of you.
Connecting with people in your field is a quick route to growing your business. You can promote each other’s products and services. By leveraging the power of multiple platforms, you will be able to grow far faster compared to doing it alone. You can also network with people face to face. There is a growing number of digital nomad hubs across the globe, and you might find a group of them living near you.
An influencer is someone with a large follower base on social media who is seen as an expert in a particular area, like makeup or fitness. These people keep busy by posting regularly about their lives and promote products which they feel are good to possess. Sarah Phillips is a world-renowned food and nutrition influencer who posts about food creations she has made to her 10.9k (and growing) following. What is great about this internet business idea is that you can get paid to promote a business to your following, similar to affiliate marketing. Influencer marketing is a huge online business trend right now that you can capitalize on. Try your hand at Vlogging and starting a Podcast which are under-utilized channels of communication for influencers right now.
If you live in Toronto, Canada, you don’t have to travel through the street of Toronto in search of a video editor, from the comfort of your office you can contract the editing of your videos to an expert somewhere in Tokyo, Japan and they will get the job done for you within record time. So if you have video editing skills, you can list your business on the internet and you can as well source for clients from the online community.
Find a profitable niche: We’ve talked about this a lot. But, where are you most comfortable. What niche do your skills, values, and interests intersect? Do you have 10 years of experience as a technical writer? Do you have long-standing PR relationships that’ll be invaluable in helping startups launch a successful crowdfunding campaign? Determine what makes your value unique, and lean heavily on showcasing that strength to your potential clients.
So, where are we supposed to turn to make money the legitimate way online? This isn't just about generating passive income; this is also about finding ways and means to create an active income through the conveniences afforded to us by the internet that will not only help us with our debt obligations, but also empower us to save, invest and get really rich in the future.
Every entrepreneur, from owners of roadside cafes to global startups, needs to be versed in management, finances, taxes, and other business-related topics. You don’t necessarily need a master’s degree in economics, but an educational foundation in business will certainly help. An entrepreneurship education could mean an actual entrepreneurship degree or a more general business education that will prepare you to meet the day-to-day challenges of an entrepreneur career.
There are loads of resources for making money online as an affiliate. You could source products from ClickBank, Commission Junction, Rakuten Marketing, Share-a-Sale, Impact Radius and many others. Plus, many of the larger companies have their own affiliate programs as well. Do your due diligence and find the right company with a relevant product or service to your audience that you can sell as an affiliate.
The number of websites and blogs operating online demand a constant stream of high-quality, beautiful photographs that can help businesses attract and convert more customers. If you are a photographer who likes to try new things, supplying professional photos to businesses in this capacity can be a the most popular business idea for you. You can scale easily by setting up a stock photo library. This is a great business idea as it targets virtually every industry regardless of a company’s size. Check out sites like SmugMug, Photoshelter and iStockPhoto for more information.

For that reason, you're probably less likely to focus on ‘leads' in their traditional sense, and more likely to focus on building an accelerated buyer's journey, from the moment someone lands on your website, to the moment that they make a purchase. This will often mean your product features in your content higher up in the marketing funnel than it might for a B2B business, and you might need to use stronger calls-to-action (CTAs).
However, if you do understand the mechanics of paid advertising, then you could easily launch an ad management business. Considering that ads are fueling the growth of tech giants like Facebook, Instagram, Google and YouTube, with loads of others coming into the mix, understanding and navigating the murky waters of paid advertising could poise you to reap massive riches. 
If you are a confident web developer then designing your own themes is an obvious path to follow if you are looking to make money online. ThemeForest sells a wide assortment of developers themes, including themes for WordPress, Shopify, Weebly, and Tumblr, to name a few. Once you have created your theme, get it accepted onto the ThemeForest marketplace and make money each time it sells.

"I see a lot of people starting a business without thinking about the long-term value it can bring them. One of the things me and my business partner decided on when starting our digital growth agency We Are Off The Record, was that we wanted to build value with people and make sure that we’re able to call everyone we now work with, in 5 years and still have a good relationship. I haven’t won at the game of business yet, but I know that building a long-term network is the most valuable thing you can do.”

Prior to having some meaningful feedback from potential customers (or in the case of medical technologies -- some efficacy data), it's next to impossible to recruit outside entrepreneurs or to solicit investment. SBIR/STTR [Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs, also known as America's Seed Fund] funding can be a bridge over this gap, but it's a slow process and requires someone (often a PhD student or post-doc) to commit to being in a startup that has scant funding, instead of pursuing a more stable job in a larger company or an academic career. SBIR/STTR funding only pays for research, so it may not be possible to involve an experienced business partner/entrepreneur with the scientific founders in the early stages of the company, which can stunt their business development efforts.
Occam’s Razor by Avinash Kaushik contains a whole host of blog posts on every aspect of Google Analytics. You’ll find in-depth how-to guides and information on a wide range of topics, including qualitative analysis, competitive intelligence analysis, analytics tips, web metrics and more. Author of two bestselling books (‘Web Analytics 2.0’ and ‘Web Analytics: An Hour a Day’), Avinash Kaushik is one of the world’s leading experts on Google Analytics – we’d take his advice.
Networking can land you a new investor, a great employee, a new customer, or a great mentor. Attend industry and startup events. LinkedIn can be a powerful tool to help you network, so make sure both you and your company have profiles on LinkedIn and that you are constantly adding new connections. When someone does a Google search on you, your LinkedIn profile will usually show up at the top of the search results, so be sure you’re making a good first impression.
We talked about drop shipping and how it works. But fulfillment by Amazon, (FBA) works in the opposite way. Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) lets you sell your products on Amazon. You can leverage this company’s popularity to get your products out there, and they’ll do the rest for you. Amazon will handle storage, pickup, packing, shipping, and even customer service!
So how do you get others to link back to your Website and Blogposts? There are lots of ways, but one of the most widely used by professional Internet marketers is known as guest blogging. Guest blogging is exactly what it sounds like, you work with another Blog in your niche (preferably one with a large following) and offer to write a Blog post for them that their (and your) audience will value. It is commonplace in guest blogging that the author will be able to get a link back to their own site, either at the beginning or end of the article, and can sometimes link to their Blog posts within the article itself, where the information is relevant. In many instances, the other Blogger will also reciprocate and guest blog on your Site, which is a Win-Win, because you now get quality content from a recognized blogger.
“There are only two ways for a person to learn about something that they never even know they didn’t know. Number one, they find out the hard way. We in the entrepreneurial world call that the school of hard knocks. The only other way to get it done is to have someone mentor them, train them, or share their knowledge with them. So instead of people having to re-invent the wheel, or find out things the longest, hardest, most expensive way through mistakes, those of us who have a skillset or have knowledge – it’s not just that we should, I feel that we have a responsibility to share that.” – Cole Hatter
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Creating your own food blog, will not only be fun but done well it should also be profitable. Link your site to affiliate cooking products, sell your food photos, create and sell your own physical cookbook, or launch a cooking app. Equally, you could turn your cooking blog into a membership site. You would then share all your content, including recipes, how to videos, food photographs, and much more, with only your paid up members.
Etsy: While Etsy's popularity has declined recently, it's still a great resource for selling handmade items online. No need for complex ecommerce sites or merchant accounts or any sort of automation. The company takes a commission of every sale and charges a small listing fee per item. But many still use Etsy as their primary source of income. The best part is that you can also sell digital products on here such as poster designs. 

Facebook continues to expand and grow. Therefore businesses are spending more on Facebook ads. But here’s the problem: a lot of old school businesses don’t know what they’re doing when it comes to Facebook ads. Even newer companies don’t have the time it takes to learn the ins and outs so that they get the most return on their Facebook ads investment.
You might have some established persons in your network, share your plans with them and seek guidance. They would be more than happy to help you solve problems that are intrinsic to your business, suggest changes that can help you reduce overheads, and even guide you on things that can help you in scaling up your marketing efforts and sales. There is nothing like learning from someone who has firsthand experience at what you are about to do or have begun doing. Seek advice from successful entrepreneurs, do your research, check case studies and base your decision on the vital knowledge that you gain out it.
For example, Amazon affiliates can potentially rake in obscene amounts of commission dollars if they work at it. Simply sign up as an affiliate to sell a company’s products using your special referral link, and you can get a commission for each product sold without lifting a finger. Commission ranges from product to product and also goes up in stages according to how many products sales your clicks generate. The top commission tier is 8%. That adds up to some serious amounts of cash each month if you’re promoting products with that high rate of commission ( Home & Garden is one such product area with high commissions).
18. CraigsList – Some things don’t ship very well. Other things may make you feel uncomfortable to sell to someone across the country. Anytime you’re selling a large item or something you just don’t want to ship, Craigslist is a great place to go. It’s simple to list your item (again, take good pictures!). If you don’t like the idea of putting your phone number out there, the interested individual can send you a message to your inbox without even getting your email address.
Amy Schmittauer (now Amy Landino) is a globally-recognized YouTuber, speaker, author, podcaster, and marketing consultant. You’ll find her at YouTube channel formerly Savvy Sexy Social, now Amy Landino where she teaches others how to leverage video storytelling and shares her collection of strategies and tactics to help you create video that gets the attention you deserve.
“Does your SEO agency suck?” or “Is your SEO agency not getting you results?”… we will audit your website and SEO campaign 100% free. No commitments. We will tell you if your agency is on the right track or if they don’t know what they’re doing. This analysis is 100% free and private (don’t worry, we won’t tell your agency). Your business deserves to get results when you are paying an agency. Don’t waste another day wondering if your SEO agency actually knows what they’re doing or not. Secure your free assessment today.

Many big businesses are looking for social media influencers to become long-term ambassadors for their brand. This would involve you working closely with one particular band, and promoting their clothes, products, and services. You may also be restricted from promoting other brands, so check out the small print before agreeing to any long-term agreements.


Sir Richard Branson, one of the world’s most recognizable billionaires, and the founder of Virgin Group, has built an empire comprised of more than 400 companies including airlines, record stores, publishing organizations and he's even tackling commercial space travel. He's also the author of more than a dozen business books, including his latest (fantastic) autobiography, Finding My Virginity that shares from behind-the-scenes of the ups and downs throughout Branson's more than fifty year career as an entrepreneur. During his interview on 30 Days of Genius with CreativeLive, I got to hear his best business advice for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to start a business of their own, first-hand:
Quick Sprout blog is created by Neil Patel. The creator is a recognized entrepreneur. The blog is endorsed by the Wall Street Journal and Forbes Magazine. The best thing about this blog is its simplicity. If you are an aspiring marketer, you are going to love the simple design and contents. The contents of this blog speak for themselves. This blog is also well organized with different categories such as all-time hit, current hit, and a guide. It covers almost everything ranging from social media engagement to email campaign.
Believe it or not, we keep up with blogs by a familiar and comfortable (for me) method: email. I subscribe via email and read (or at least scan) nearly 50 blogs that way. It’s actually far more than that because several of the sources I devour are actually email aggregators that pull the best posts from many, many blogs. I find that gives me the best coverage.
The quote from above comes from his article, Turn Your Company Into a Content Empire by Using These 4 Steps. He says that if you choose a good platform but your audience isn’t there, you won’t reach them no matter how many resourceful articles and tips you post. By reverse engineering the demographic you’re aiming at, then evaluating the results, you can find out where your customers are and the best way to reach them. Vaynerchuk also reminds marketers to respect the platform and audience by understanding how the platform reaches people and considering what your audience wants to know, instead of what you want to say.
Provide excellent customer service. Answer any questions buyers post as quickly as possible. Be professional and courteous. Positive communication builds your reputation with buyers and gets you return business. Also, package your product well and ship it out quickly. Allowing an item to become damaged or taking too long to ship can negatively affect your reputation among buyers. Wrap all items, especially fragile ones, in appropriate packaging. Commit to shipping items as soon as you receive payment.[32]
Set up the site. Choose a website building platform, such as WordPress, Joomla or Drupal. Next, choose a domain name and web hosting for your site. The domain name is your web address. Web hosting is a service that connects your site to the internet. Once you have your domain name and web hosting, go to the control panel of your hosting account and install your website platform. Design your website by choosing and installing a theme.[9]

As internet-based businesses go, affiliate marketing has huge income potential. And as mentioned earlier, once it's set up properly the income from it can be almost 100% passive.  In fact, this is how I quit my job originally.  I built lots of little niche sites that eventually were bringing in income of over $10,000 a month!  So, I say “Adios!” to my day job and I've never looked back.
This is closely connected to the happiness of the customers. If the resulting product or service has made people happy by helping them solve a problem, that is all that may be required for a start-up to be a success. Now, no business wants unsatisfied customers. But in cases like this, happy customers aren’t the way toward the ultimate goal – they are that goal.

The ultimate goal of digital marketing is to make your business more money. One of the most powerful tools marketers now use to achieve that is marketing personalization. The Monetate blog focuses on topics related to using marketing personalization to increase profits, including the technology you need to accomplish one-to-one marketing, tips for testing and general ecommerce trends.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Most of the software and apps you use on a regular basis are made by massive companies or established development studios. Well, yes. But many successful apps, particularly those in the Apple and Google stores, are created and marketed by individuals and small businesses. In fact, independent developers made $20 billion in the App Store in 2016 alone.
7. Repeat after me – “I have an ugly baby.” A lot of business owners love their websites, but the first step to improving your website is to admit that it has some deficiencies. No website is perfect, and every website can use improvement. If you have a website, you have an ugly baby [sorry]. Just how ugly your website is, however, is open to discussion.
Facebook… it’s the social network that we all love to hate. With rising awareness about data protection, politicians having their say, and a day-to-day panic about algorithm changes, just about every digital marketer on the planet has questioned the sustainability of Facebook as a marketing platform. But it keeps on keeping on. Because if your customers are there, then you need to be too.
Marketing Land – Listed 4 out of 20 times. If you are keen on knowing new things about the digital marketing industry then Marketing Land is one of the best digital marketing blogs. In their Research section, you can find detailed analyses about items like: (i) MarTech Intelligence Report Enterprise Digital Personalization Tools: A Marketer’s Guide, (ii) B2B Marketing Automation Platforms: A Marketer’s Guide, and (iii) Enterprise Local Marketing Automation Platforms: A Marketer’s Guide.
UK spend on online video has seen 13.5% year on year growth, and now exceeds spend on TV advertising.  (PriceWaterhouseCoopers) Hundreds of statistics like this have meant that businesses have to produce videos. Well, they don’t have to, but if they don’t, they are going to be missing out. Video platforms are just another avenue to acquire potential consumers. You can offer video packages from £50-5,000 and beyond. Select your target market and market to them effectively.
Once you have a thorough profile of your customer, determining how and where to reach them is much easier. This step may take awhile, and that’s OK. If you start marketing before you have a clear customer profile though, you will likely be wasting your dollars in places that will never reach your customer. Just because Pinterest is growing rapidly, doesn’t mean your audience is the one making it grow.
If you have a knack for creating unique images, there’s no need to fuss over your own inventory. If your creations can be easily printed onto a product, then you can make money. Upload your designs on a variety of websites like CafePress. If someone likes them, the company prints them up and ships the product. You could create unique designs for calendars, books, T-shirts, bags, hats, greeting cards, or posters and get a commission for each one sold. Some of these sites include Zazzle, Teespring and Lulu.

This is the best digital marketing blog which offers strategies and tools to help businesses in boosting traffic and making the conversion to boost sales. These blogs are the great channel to get a comprehensive marketing education. The mastermind behind this blog site is Neil Patel a nationally recognized entrepreneur. His strategies and content speak for themselves. Lets bookmark the site so as to refer it from time to time.

Re-selling web hosting will enable you to make money hosting your own client’s websites. Large hosting companies like HostGator allow you to white label their hosting services. You could start your own hosting business or, if you are a web designer, include hosting into your web design packages. And the best of it is the hosting companies take care of the hosting for you, so all you need to worry about is selling.


If you're a person who loves leaving customer reviews on sites like Amazon, stop doing it for free. Word-of-mouth advertising is still a huge lead generator for many companies, and a lot of businesses are willing to share a portion of their profits with persuasive individuals who will promote their products to the public. If you have a personal website with a large following, this might be easier to accomplish (PR reps are always seeking out brand advocates they can send free samples to). Smart Passive Income breaks down three types of affiliate marketing and explains which one is most profitable.
As a bookkeeper, you are responsible for keeping track of the company’s spending to ensure that business’ financial accounts are in good order. In practice this means processing invoices, receipts and payments, completing VAT returns, identifying expenses on bank statements, repairing cash flow statements, helping to prepare financial statements and producing management accounts. Some of the most popular accounting software programmes are Sole Trader, Xero or Quickbooks.

Do you like finding interesting ways to decorate and want to share those ideas with others? Do you sift through magazines, clipping images, sorting them into make-believe rooms in your scrapbook wanting desperately to see these rooms for real? Become an interior design consultant and have people send you pictures, ideas, and dimensions to their rooms for you to decorate digitally for them. You can use the likes of a VR tool to pick furniture from real stores and choose a color scheme that suits the owner. The sky’s the limit with this role and creativity is in full flow.
"Finally, another crucial mistake I learned from a previous blog I ran is to get REALLY clear on who you're speaking to and what you're speaking about before you get started. If you try speaking to everyone, you'll end up speaking to no one. And don't be afraid of being too niche. If you're 1 in a million, there's still 7000 other people just like you in the world."
They can’t get a job: Many stumble into entrepreneurship when they can’t get a job. Getting fired, a lack of experience or a criminal record can prevent the average person from getting a job when they’re desperate. Instead of being defeated by their situation, they create new opportunities for themselves. A new graduate might start an online store the summer after graduation to build up their resume. A parent who is seasonally laid off each winter might start a business to ensure they can continue feeding their family while keeping a roof over their heads.
Navid is the world’s leading expert on producing profitable virtual summits. His media coverage includes Forbes, Entrepreneur, The Huffington Post, Business Insider and much more. His mission is to show entrepreneurs what's really working to build a profitable online business. Find out more about his courses, summits, and expertise on his website. For now, here's his business advice for first-time entrepreneurs who want to start a business:
Do you have impeccable organizational skills? What about cleaning skills? Can you quickly and efficiently carry out these tasks? Maybe it's time to put those skills to good use by becoming an online personal assistant or task manager. Companies like TaskRabbit or Zirtual allow you to sign up for tasks you want to complete — including data research, virtual assistant or running errands — and begin building clientele.
Make sure you look up the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 and familiarize yourself with it. If you follow all of the guidelines established in the act, you’re likely to keep your customers happy. The act includes things like honoring unsubscribe requests within ten day. If you follow the guidelines your readers will appreciate it and give you repeat business.
Many startups succeed because they’ve identified a niche and have cornered that market. By discovering a service, product or feature no one else has thought of – or at least effectively pulled off – you give your company a shot at success. George Shepherd, Professor of Law at Emory University, recommends entrepreneurs “become the guru in that niche.”
Traditionally, there are a few ways to make serious money as an entrepreneur. They include business ownership; securities investment and speculation; and, perhaps the most personally rewarding, real estate entrepreneurship. Not for the faint of heart, making money in real estate is filled with potential challenges and pitfalls. But with an understanding of the various real estate entrepreneurship strategies, proper implementation, assessment, and adjustment where necessary, one can make substantial profits. The first step is understanding how to make money in real estate.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Most of the software and apps you use on a regular basis are made by massive companies or established development studios. Well, yes. But many successful apps, particularly those in the Apple and Google stores, are created and marketed by individuals and small businesses. In fact, independent developers made $20 billion in the App Store in 2016 alone.
There you have it – a  comprehensive guide to the best online businesses to start this year. We deliberately didn't cover ideas like app development or IT support because they require specialized skills. That's why we only provided you with businesses you can start with very little money. In fact, you can even start some of them with very little knowledge.
"The most painful mistake I see most inexperienced entrepreneurs make is not delegating tasks effectively. I actually came from a nursing background where bad delegation meant someone could lose a limb--or worse, their life. The nurses that didn't delegate would be busier, risking careless errors from trying to make up time by cutting corners. Business owners try to do the same thing."
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