Santam is passionate about supporting and developing entrepreneurs – the drivers of a new economy. Through our 1001 days series, we’ve brought you lots of insights and advice from business owners who have made it through their first three years of business. Here is a collection of 10 of our all-time best pieces of advice to help you make it as an entrepreneur.
Just like a website developer, a theme designer is working with websites but in a different way. Choosing theme designer as your online business idea means building new website themes for business to use for their website. This could mean researching popular themes, identifying their pain points, and creating a theme that solves these pain points while remaining true to the popularity of the previous theme. If you are an expert in a certain industry, creating themes for this industry could see you reap much success.
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.
Drop shipping is fairly similar to running an affiliate store. You act as the mediator without ever touching the product. The difference between a drop shipper and affiliate is that the sale with drop shipping websites is not completely managed. You might have to set up systems to automatically make a purchase with your drop shipping company, in order for it to be sent directly to the end consumer.
You know those top-down cooking or craft videos you just can’t seem to get away from these days? There are people out there making a living from them. 78% of B2C companies depend on user-generated content, like those videos, for their marketing campaigns. You can sign up as a creator on a site like Darby Smart and potentially work with brands like Nordstrom, Mattel, and BarkBox. Or, learn how to master PPC advertising and you can use the content to build your YouTube following and monetize through ads and views.
"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."
Author, speaker, and the founder of Quiet Power Strategy®. Tara works with business owners to help them transition into more profitable business models, more compelling messaging, and more influence. She's featured in Fast Company, Forbes, Inc, and DailyWorth for the work she's done on TaraGentile.com. Here's Tara's take on the biggest mistake new entrepreneurs make when they want to start a business:
How about setting up a business that focuses on outsourcing? Most successful service providers on the internet find that they need external help at some point. They might have a blogging client that requires logo design. They might have a guest posting service client that needs web design . Instead of actually providing the services personally, you could outsource and take a profit margin of your choice! Make sure you learn how to outsource first!
"Creating a company is hard work, most startups fail. The one characteristic you need above all others is resilience. You need to be relentless and work harder than the competition, and even then you will have tough times. It is for this reason I have always started companies with more than one founder. It means there is someone to share the load, to reflect and to support each other."
If you can engage clients and build up attractive social media profiles, then you will be able to attract clients, which makes this a service with value. Again, these projects are posted on freelance sites such as People Per Hour and Elance on a regular basis, so you can start building up clients straight away! Check out these amazing statistics for LinkedIn!

However, if you're looking for realistic ways you can start earning money online now, then it really truly does boil down to seven paths you can take towards profit. Some will provide you with immediate results, helping you to address your basic monthly necessities such as rent, utilities and groceries, while others have the potential to transform your life by revolutionizing your finances in the long term.
Do you have plenty of travel hacking tips? Know enough to teach people how to do digital marketing? Whatever that niche may be, as long as you have the skills and a strong desire to learn continually, then you can sell these solutions in the form of an information product. Informational products are one of the largest online business markets out there.

Brand new internet marketing business opportunity! You can now get 10 professional squeeze pages with 10 give-away reports that are branded with your affiliate links plus 70 personalized email sequences professionally setup for you within 7! We have made it possible for you to finally attract high quality, targeted subscribers without having to pay for squeeze page builders and setting up those awkward autoresponders Here!

Most leaders settle for learning by themselves. They read a book or attend a conference by themselves. Good leaders learn with the help of a mentor. A coach can come alongside a leader and help the leader see things from a different perspective. The best leaders learn with a team. An old proverb teaches that where there are many advisors, there is much success. - Ken Gosnell, CXP - CEO Experience

Like anything else in this world, you'll either need a lot of time or a lot of money. If you have both, then clearly, you're ahead of the game. But most people have more of the former rather than the latter. But considering that time is finite and we only have a certain amount of it, using your time wisely and managing your time properly is crucial to ensure your success.
In this qualitative type of research, the aim is to find out people’s opinions, perceptions, beliefs and attitudes regarding various topics eg., products, services, concepts, trends, advertisements or ideas. To perform this kind of research, focus groups often use software such as Focusgroup, Liveminds or iTracks. The results are reported in this focus group report.
Write pitches. If you have located a client for whom you want to write, send pitches, which are topic ideas for articles. Write pitches that not only show your expertise, but also demonstrate your enthusiasm for the topic.[21] First, read the publication to which you are sending pitches to familiarize yourself with what they publish. If applicable, identify a specific section and send our pitch to the appropriate editor. Also, include a brief summary of who you are.[22]
If you've developed valuable skill sets or picked up certifications within your industry over the years, offering your consulting services to local business owners can be a lucrative way to make money online. Whether you're an expert marketer, business strategist, or manufacturing aficionado, there's likely a local business owner who's willing to pay you to help them solve an issue with their company. Start with this 18-step checklist to becoming a local business consultant from Karyn Greenstreet and then use my guide to crafting an effective cold email to convince them to hire you.
Check if you need a model release. Photos of people can only be sold for commercial use if they've signed a 'model release' that gives you permission to use their image (children need a parent/guardian to sign). Without a release, these photos can still be sold for editorial use, as long as they were taken in a public place – eg, if you submitted a 'breaking news' shot with people in the background. If there's any doubt, always ask permission.
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There are two things Rahis Saifi is very passionate about, business and technology. In today's competitive business environment, you must understand how both business and technology work together. From his experience, many businesses fail because they do not understand how their business should implement the technology. He is also chief… View full profile ›
The marketing automation coordinator helps choose and manage the software that allows the whole marketing team to understand their customers' behavior and measure the growth of their business. Because many of the marketing operations described above might be executed separately from one another, it's important for there to be someone who can group these digital activities into individual campaigns and track each campaign's performance.
1) Work harder than everyone else—I may not be the most formally educated, the most financially set up, or even the smartest, but I will give them a run for their money when it comes to ambition and determination. It’s a bit cliché, but I always remember this quote: “Always go the extra mile, there’s a lot less traffic up there.” 2) Every expert was a newbie at one point—don’t let them intimidate you out of your dream. Learn as much as you can, as fast as you can. 3) Ethics do matter—I don’t care what they say about “it’s just business,” the world comes full circle. Be competitive, but stay true to your beliefs and principles. It always comes back around eventually.
Build up a following on your Instagram account and you could quickly be making extra money online. Major brands, gear companies, and even startups are willing to shell out $500-$5,000+ per post to get in front of your audience. While it’s getting harder and harder to build a massive Instagram audience, if you already have a solid niche and are posting quality content regularly with a great camera for taking Instagram photos, with a few small tweaks you can make yourself an influencer. Check out this awesome article from Shopify on how to build and grow your Instagram following to get started.
Merch by Amazon is another service offered by Amazon that will enable you to make money online without any initial outlay. To get started you need to create an account with Merch by Amazon. Then simply design some T-shirt logos or slogans, and upload them to your Merch account. You will need to choose a T-shirt type, color, and price, and Amazon will create product pages for each T-shirt. When someone makes a purchase, Amazon takes care of production and shipping. And you are paid a royalty for your design.
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 are gifted with a more than one language but have no interest in teaching others, try translating. Many companies need their website and collateral translated when they move into a different market. You can help them achieve it, while also keeping active in more than one language. Keep in mind the most common way of billing is cost per word so price wise to make smart money from this great online business idea.
Social Media Examiner: Social Media – Listed 10 out of 20 times, offers everything needed for social media strategy. Readers can find advice on social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, Snapchat, and more. Browsing and following this digital marketing blog helps formulate an effective social media strategy for different channels. The articles and posts include case studies, podcasts, review of the latest industry research, and expert interviews along with latest social media updates & news.  This is a blog to bookmark for anyone implementing social media marketing.
Interesting –  People can consume articles, news, and blogs at a rate never before seen today. They are constantly being bombarded with advertisements and therefore its become imperative to make your content easy for customers to consume. Break up blog posts with pictures or other types of useful content. Include visuals in your social media posts. People don’t really want to read something that is just a wall of text. So remember a picture is worth a thousand words.
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.

To get the most out of internet marketing, make sure that you’re not just using multiple channels, but also that you’re integrating these channels into one coherent system. Promote your content across multiple channels, spread the word about your email list on social media, and put your social media handles into your marketing emails. You can also integrate some of your offline marketing techniques with internet marketing strategies.


Throughout your customer journey, there are bound to be moments when timely intervention on your part makes the difference between a sale and a “let me think about it.” Make sure that your marketing supports sales in finding these moments – whether it means sending automated follow-up emails to prospects that leave the road or designing new offers.
Do you have what it takes to get through hard times? Here are the traits that help home-based business owners thrive. Regardless of your definition of success, there are, oddly enough, a great number of common characteristics that are shared by successful businesspeople. You can place a check beside each characteristic that you feel that you possess.
Grabbing the attention of curious browsers on the most popular crowdsourcing platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo is a tough job. If you’re inventive and know how to tap into human emotion, then this is a niche worth exploring. Many aspiring entrepreneurs look for personalized advice to carry their campaigns to the finish line, so try offering action-oriented eBooks or online courses targeted at this particular audience.

"I recommend that first-time entrepreneurs take this as a real wake up call to avoid making excuses for not getting meaningful product validation before spending resources on development. You need at least 95% confidence that the thing you're working on will be predisposed to some initial success. There are too many other factors out there working against you when you're first starting out and are tight on resources that make the road of entrepreneurship hard enough as-is. Don't make it more difficult for yourself by building a bunch of features no one really wants to pay for."
Content is an essential aspect of any digital marketing campaign. The Content Marketing Institute offers some of the best advice around in terms of how content can help your brand. From industry trends to best practices, their posts offer helpful advice on how to create the best strategies for your business and how your content marketing should play a role in the "bigger picture." One of their main objectives is to provide education to marketers, so there are plenty of events and research documents, as well as access to a lot of resources including eBooks and whitepapers. Any successful content marketing plan has undoubtedly utilized some of the expertise shared through the Content Marketing Institute-whether they realize it or not!
With offline marketing, it's very difficult to tell how people are interacting with your brand before they have an interaction with a salesperson or make a purchase. With digital marketing, you can identify trends and patterns in people's behavior before they've reached the final stage in their buyer's journey, meaning you can make more informed decisions about how to attract them to your website right at the top of the marketing funnel.

Kit Needham: We start almost every one of our startups doing customer discovery interviews (the right way; they are not allowed to talk about their idea). Our recommended minimum is 100 stakeholders. If done correctly, pivots take place before the product/service is even developed, there is more confidence of market-market fit, knowledge of how well current solutions are working, priority of what is most important to the customers, etc. In short, they are solving the right problem, and then they go back and ensure they are solving it the right way.
"I recommend that first-time entrepreneurs take this as a real wake up call to avoid making excuses for not getting meaningful product validation before spending resources on development. You need at least 95% confidence that the thing you're working on will be predisposed to some initial success. There are too many other factors out there working against you when you're first starting out and are tight on resources that make the road of entrepreneurship hard enough as-is. Don't make it more difficult for yourself by building a bunch of features no one really wants to pay for."
Brothers Chad and Troy McWhinney made themselves millionaires when they founded their own real estate investment and development company, McWhinney, in 1991 with the purchase of 440 acres of prime Colorado land. Since founding McWhinney, Chad and Troy have taken on over five million square feet of development projects throughout Colorado and beyond, partnering in the redevelopment of Denver’s historic Union Station, set to re-open 100 years after its original opening in 1914.
If before now you are discouraged about starting your own Bible school because of the cost of renting facility and acquiring furniture et al, then you don’t need to be discouraged anymore because with the internet, you will spend far less starting an online Bible School compared to what you will spend when setting up a brick and mortar Bible School.
Tools & Resources: I’ve written a pretty comprehensive guide on the best web design software that covers both free and premium software packages. If you’re serious about becoming a web designer, then I recommend purchasing the full Adobe Creative Cloud Suite. At $49.99 per month, this is probably a bargain considering what you can achieve with this set of tools.

The German Economist Schumpeter once said that there are “no original ideas”, only new combinations of old ones. Curation of curiosity-fueling content is an intriguing and little-known business model. One of the best success stories out there is Brainpickings – a platform that describes itself as “an inventory of cross-disciplinary interestingness, spanning art, science, design, history, philosophy, and more”. The subscription-based model and successful utilization of affiliate links have turned the blog into a self-sustaining business.
VIPKID provides an international learning experience to children in China between the ages 4-12. Headquartered in Beijing, the company offers fully immersive one-on-one English language instruction provided online by highly qualified teachers. The curriculum is based on the U.S. Common Core State Standards and uses a flipped-classroom approach to foster creativity and critical thinking skills.
Giving speeches is a terrifying experience. Giving bad speeches… Well, no one wants to be in that situation. Wordsmiths have a hugely valuable skill to win people over using nothing else but the power of well-strung sentences. If you can write, cash in on this skill by crafting speeches that make birthdays, weddings, award ceremonies, or political debates a more memorable experience.

Mechanical Turk is Amazon's take on micro-jobs. These are small miniscule-jobs that you can do for other people, which they call HITs, or Human Intelligence Tasks. These are super simple tasks that anyone can do. Some examples are listing off some URLs with certain kinds of images for one cent, or recording a few phrases with a microphone for 6 cents.
– Project Payday is one of those sites that has testimonials of people who have earned thousands of dollars by getting paid to get trial offers. I’m not saying you’ll earn thousands, but it is legit and you can earn some extra cash. They assume that by paying you to do a free trial, you’ll either like the product and purchase it, or forget to cancel the trial and get charged for it. If you can keep track and cancel before you get charged (if you don’t want the product), then this is a great site for making some money.
Startup entrepreneur Keval Baxi of Codal Inc. shares “One piece of advice that I’d give to someone who wants to be an entrepreneur is to be reliable. If you say you’re going to do something, do it. Leaders and managers that don’t follow through fail to gain the respect of their team, and don’t encourage accountability. Make sure that your team knows that you’ll be there when you’re needed.”

As well as selling your eBooks, Amazon can also create paperback copies of your book. CreateSpace, an Amazon-owned company, will help you self-publish your book. A relatively straightforward process, you must upload your work to CreateSpace and submit it for review. Your book will then be displayed on Amazon, and printed on demand and shipped by CreateSpace when purchased. And you can collect up to 70% royalties for each book sold.
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