You’ve probably heard people use the term “unicorn” in a business context. This means a privately held start-up whose value has grown to at least one billion American dollars. Think Airbnb, Uber, and so forth. There is no doubt that some start-ups have been major financial successes. And many smaller-scale start-ups are doing great as well, working hard and turning a steady profit. But that begs the question of whether finances are the only way to measure the success of a start-up. As it turns out, they might not be. At least, not always and not on their own.
When was the last time you went to a new restaurant without looking it up online beforehand? Or bought a product that didn’t have at least a few 5-star reviews? It seems like more and more our world is run on reviews. And you can make money online by writing them. Get started by creating accounts on sites like Vindale research, Software Judge, FameBit, CrowdTap, Influence Central, and Modern Mom. However, before you run off and start writing, be sure to check the small print on each of these sites. Writing reviews isn’t a huge source of guaranteed income and you want to make sure that it’s worth your time before you get going.
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.
According to the U.S. Commerce Department, consumers spent $453.46 billion on the web for retail purchases in 2017, a 16.0% increase compared with $390.99 billion in 2016. That’s the highest growth rate since 2011, when online sales grew 17.5% over 2010. Forrester predicts that online sales will account for 17% of all US retail sales by 2022. And digital advertising is also growing strongly; According to Strategy Analytics, in 2017 digital advertising was up 12%, accounting for approximately 38% of overall spending on advertising, or $207.44 billion.
A site called User Testing will actually pay you a fee to evaluate websites. It typically pays you $10 for each video that you review – which typically takes about 20 minutes. If the work is there, and you are particularly good at it, you could earn up to $30 per hour. That’s a pretty solid pay rate for a work-at-home job. You wouldn’t have to work a whole lot of hours to generate a decent part-time monthly income.
There's a proverbial gold rush happening today, of people trying to launch chatbots for their businesses to help automate some of their sales and marketing efforts that are needed to properly grow and scale in today's market. However, similar to California's Gold Rush, those that will likely get rich are the ones that sell the picks and shovels. For that reason, why not launch your own chatbot business? Sure, there's some effort involved here, but this is definitely worth the steep learning curve.

The first time it happened I didn’t think much. After the third time, I got the message. During the short time I dealt with this business, people consistently left. If you made it to the six-month mark, you were some sort of hero and would probably be given a free surgery to say thank you for your work and make you feel worse about your own body at the same time.
There's nothing more off-putting than a poorly designed website, and often, it kills credibility. If you know HTML and have a good eye for design, you can launch a service to create attractive, easy-to-use websites for small businesses. Put your skills to good use for business owners who want to take their online presence to the next level. Build a comprehensive portfolio, and then create your own website to show it off and attract a steady stream of clients.
Andrew French started up QuarryClothing.com at the age of 16, making wholesale deals with Nike, Oakley, New Balance, and many other MNCs. Youth business is something he’s grown to love and know. Andrew works with other small youth companies through Quarry’s Investment Initiative, where they give 25% of their profits to other young entrepreneurs in Canada to start up their own companies.
Clearly, there's a lot of demand on Amazon, and if any product is going to sell, it's going to sell well on Amazon. But the goal here is to source the right products that will easily sell at the world's largest online retailer. Generally, products between $10 and $50 sell very well here. Just be sure to do the right market research before jumping on this bandwagon.
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.

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.


Not to worry—online thrift shops and consignments stores, like thredUP, are just one model you can follow to achieve that goal. There are other businesses that crawl through sites like eBay to find cool, unique, interesting objects, then present them in compelling ways. Good copywriting and a strong brand can go a long way to separating you from the crowd here.
Sign up for a reputable affiliate network: Aside from Amazon, there are dozens of large reputable affiliate networks, such as Share-A-Sale, Clickbank, and Skimlinks, that specialize in connecting you with merchants who are looking for affiliates to sell their products. They charge relatively low commission fees for the privilege of connecting you with merchants, and the merchants on these sites tend to offer much higher commission percentages or set dollar amount payouts.
Better yet, you can even upload your own book to one of the world’s largest book sellers: Amazon. With Amazon self-publishing, you set the price, retain the rights to your book, and get access to Amazon’s massive audience. For every sale, you keep 70% with Amazon taking the remainder as a fee. If you want to get started, check out Leslie Samuel's great guide to selling eBooks online or follow Tara Gentile on CreativeLive as she shows you how to use your existing body of work to write an eBook within the next week. Who knows, you might just write one of the best business books of this year!

"But if they really thought you had something brilliant, they wouldn't let you out of their sight. They're simply offering an excuse for not liking your company. Don't walk away thinking that the problem is that you just aren't a fit. You need to find out what's really wrong with your story. Don't count on investors to tell you. Get a few good, savvy mentors or advisors to tell you the truth."
In this role you need to be a product expert and will probably represent a company, explaining the benefits of their products to potential clients. Also, you will need to find new customers or market segments that a company can sell to and convert those leads into sales. Usually, salaries and rewards for sales consultants depend largely on how many sales they can close.

Vasil is a super connector for entrepreneurs. He's the CEO of Startup Socials, a global community of entrepreneurs that connects and empowers professionals working in the startup ecosystem. He's also the founder of Growth Marketing Conference, Silicon Valley's largest digital and growth marketing event. Here's his best business advice for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to start a business:
Creating a jobs board website can be another profitable venture. The ‘jobs’ field can be quite saturated, so it is important to find a niche that is still crying out for a jobs board website. Monetize this type of site by charging businesses to list their jobs on your site. Those searching for jobs could also be charged a fee to access the higher paying job adverts.
Michelle is an entrepreneur and blogger that runs the personal finance and lifestyle blog, Making Sense of Cents. Since 2011, she’s been using her background in finance to write great content and grow her blog business to over $70,000 in revenue per month. Here's her business advice for new entrepreneurs who want to start a business and become gainfully self-employed:
This is one of the fundamental online marketing tips for small business. Making it easy for customers to find you won't help until you have a clear enough idea about who your target market is. Do your homework and draft out the personas of potential customers, or the advertising money will sip through your fingers. I’m not suggesting that you should hire a research professional or buy a comprehensive industry analysis. Every business owner can determine their target audience based on the characteristics of their product (for guidelines, look here).
Your ideas are wise, practical and valuable as well. I think you’ve just given such definitive list of ideas to employ in your marketing business. I really like this content! 🙂 You’ve listed such helpful, effective ideas to include in your marketing strategy, From social marketing up to the content marketing. Thanks for the shared knowledge! This is an epic article. 🙂

Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission. Know that I only recommend products, tools and learning resources I've personally used and believe are genuinely helpful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to purchase them. Most of all, I would never advocate for buying something that you can't afford or that you're not yet ready to implement.
One of the great things about the internet is that you can go into business for yourself from the comfort of your home. All you need is an internet connection, and you can make money online. Diving into the online world will free you from the daily 9 to 5 grind of a desk job and afford you more time to travel, indulge in hobbies, and spend time with the family.
While some might think that starting a blog is an arduous effort, when you understand the precise steps you need to take, it becomes far easier. It all starts in the decision of choosing a profitable niche and picking the right domain name. From there, you need to build your offers. You can easily sell things like mini-email courses, trainings and ebooks.
Mobile has transformed the way people browse the Web. Even Google has now made mobile #1 in its indexing. If your site still isn’t friendly to mobile users, odds are good your brand is quickly vanishing from the Web – at least where the Big G is concerned. It’s time to take a close look at your design and make sure your site renders beautifully when viewed on Android, iPhone, and the rest.
Are you an expert in your field, or do you know more than the average person about a specific subject or skill? If you have adequate skills or knowledge pertaining to a particular topic, then you’re one or two steps ahead in answering your‘why to start’ an online business question. You can use your knowledge and skills to build people up while making some cash along the way!
Best of all, unlike a brick-and-mortar business, you don’t need a lot of startup capital. In fact, you can get many internet businesses up and running with no money at all because so many free services facilitate the possibility. For example, you can set up a website or blog for free using WordPress. Or you can leverage a third-party site like Amazon or eBay to sell goods with no inventory costs. You use their selling platform in exchange for giving them a cut of your sales.

The box subscription business has exploded. While it's nothing new, and it's been around for ages now, the overwhelming rise of the internet has breathed newfound life into this online business idea. What is a box subscription exactly? If you think back for a moment to one of the most viral box subscriptions businesses, you'll clearly recall the Dollar Shave Club.
I have started with affiliate marketing and focusing on becoming an authority website. All I realized in this process is the difficulty in becoming an authority website. It is not so easy but never impossible. So, I am putting hard work with smart work and trying as much as possible to boost the authority of my website. Hope, affiliate income starts rolling out soon.

Maybe you’ve been dreaming since childhood that one day you would invent something amazing and start your own company. Or you taught yourself code as a teenager, all the while scheming to build the next great web property. Or you’re a secret risk-taker, trapped in a corporate day job — and now you’ve got a chance to start that business you’ve always imagined.
“Focus, by definition, means narrowing your field of vision and attention. It means choosing which opportunities, projects, and even customers you’re NOT going to pursue. And it’s really, really hard. When I first started online, I was trying to do it all: podcasting, writing epic guides, blogging and I wasn’t doing any of it well. I realized that each time I jumped from idea to idea, I was diluting my efforts."
In order to make your business more findable, use Google My Business. With its help, you will get better rankings in the local search, as well as manage to connect your YouTube account, keep the audience updated on your working hours, and share images to brand your business. Additionally, you can respond to the user reviews via Google My Business, communicate with your customers, handle bad reviews, etc.
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.
Once you’ve enticed people onto your email list and warmed them up with great content, you can automate the entire process. Subscribers should receive a welcome email, a multi-message onboarding sequence, and an occasional “newsletter.” Every now and then, as circumstances warrant, you can drop in a powerful offer that they’ll already be inclined to go for.
22. Get Positive Reviews – What people say in reviews matters to consumers. In fact, one study determined that 79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust a personal recommendation. And as these reviews are visible in search results, having positive reviews with high rankings can help persuade interested consumers to give your business a chance.
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