Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Best Online Business to Start in 2022

In this article, I am going to answer what are the best businesses to start in 2022. I will also explain the the advantages and disadvantages of each type of online business. I will then briefly discuss how to start an online business for each business type.

Best Online Business

As with any business, an online business requires a commitment to succeed. To me, commitment means prioritizing whatever is important to reach my goals. In other words, you will have to choose to work on your online business over and above watching TV, partying, and other things that are quite frankly a waste of time.

You may need to break some old habits. But what does that have to do with choosing the best online business to start? Everything – because the answer to what business you should start is a business that:

  • is in an industry that you love; and/or
  • uses skills that you already have; and/or
  • sells a product or service that is in demand; and/or
  • sells to an audience that has the money to purchase your products.

If you work on a business you love, it will not feel like you are giving up something when you need to work late nights or early mornings. Once you choose an industry to work in, you must determine what to sell or promote and how you will go about it. For example, Startup and Scale is in the technology industry and helps people start their own business by providing recommendations, training (such as this blog), and other helpful resources.

I started Start-Up and Scale because I have expertise in online business and law. So it makes sense for me to be in this market – because I love it and have the skills to help others. Think about what you love to do and what skills you can use to help those who you enjoy helping.

What is the Best Online Business?

I consider what online businesses are the most profitable, the most scalable, and the easiest to start and manage for beginners.

Arbitrage

This is a very profitable business model. Essentially, arbitrage is buying a product or service in one place and selling it somewhere else for a profit.  Not a lot of people are talking about arbitrage businesses in 2022 because so many are too busy making money to talk about it.

Advantages of Arbitrage

The benefit of affiliate marketing is that you don’t need to spend time and money creating a product or fulfilling a service. As mentioned above, you only need to refer people to the products and services of other companies.

Disadvantages of Arbitrage

With the low cost of purchase, is a potential lack of quality.

The seller could simply say that he doesn’t want to work with you anymore. Trying to find another supplier with the same consistency may be challenging.

The freelancer that you are buying from could raise his or her prices.

The freelancer could close their business and stop providing the services.

How to Start an Arbitrage Business

Here’s what I would do to start an arbitrage business in the service industry.  Go to Fiveer.com and find a service provider that has close to 5 stars and a over 100 reviews.  Buy their service and establish rapport.  Tell them that you want to start a business in your country and you are looking for a supplier.  If they are interested, make sure that you get them to commit to a delivery time for their services.  Often, this will not be a problem because many people on Fiverr have teams.

Next, build a website that evokes trust.  There are numerous elements that can be added to your website (and brand) that will help establish trust, including:

  1. Quality website design with quality graphics
  2. Testimonials
  3. Livechat
  4. Security certificate with trust badges
  5. Phone number
  6. Video introduction

Next, hire someone on Fiverr to create a Google Ads campaign to advertise your services.  Be sure to start in your local area to begin with, as people will trust businesses that are near to them.  After you build testimonials, this will be less important, as the trust from the testimomials will eventually outweigh the importance of your location.

I recommend that you add at least 150% mark-up and a money-back guarantee offer.

You should also use an ecommerce platform to sell your products.  You should also automate your business, so that once an order comes in, the order is also added to a CRM that notifies the freelancer.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is one of the easiest online businesses to start. Using basic content marketing skills, you can promote a brand’s products and/or services for a commission on those sales you refer.  This is made possible by the vendor providing you with an affiliate link, which tracks sales made at their store after visitors click affiliate links that appear on your website.

Advantages of Affiliate Marketing

The benefit of affiliate marketing is that you don’t need to spend time and money creating a product or fulfilling a service. As mentioned above, you only need to refer people to the products and services of other companies.

Disadvantages of Affiliate Marketing

The disadvantage of affiliate marketing is that there is a risk that you will lose the customer when you refer them to another business. Therefore, you may not be able to sell that customer more than once unless you are able to add visitors to an email marketing database. Your profit margin can also be less than if you sell your own product or service. The other disadvantage is that it is more difficult, although far from impossible, to build a reputable brand by referring people to other sites.

How to Start Affiliate Marketing

Research and select a vertical market that has market demand, growth potential, and one that also interests you. You can then build a website or blog around that vertical market. You can then write reviews on the products and services that you promote, with your affiliate link that directs visitors to the store. After you do reviews, you will need to promote your blog. You can do this in two ways. Firstly, you can get free traffic, which is slower. This is done through a process called search engine optimization.  You can also get free traffic through posting on social media.

For affiliate marketing, I recommend that you start a blog. The second way is to pay to promote your affiliate website. You can do this by placing Facebook and Instagram Ads, Google Ads, or video ads on Youtube.

The key to affiliate marketing is to provide value when making a recommendation.  The best way to do that is to buy the products that you are promoting and give your honest opinion. This is by far the best way, as opposed to just writing a review and giving it 5/5 stars because you want to make money for the referral.

Think long-term, build your website as a trustworthy source of information where people can go for an honest review on products before they purchase.  Using this approach, people will want to click your affiliate link because they will appreciate the effort that you went to, as it as likely saved them the stress of choosing the wrong product.

Sell Digital Products Online

If you want to create a product of your own, it’s hard to beat creating digital products such as eBooks, videos, checklists, and audio files. The beauty about digital products is that you don’t have to pay for manufacturing or shipping.  Customers love digital products because they can download digital products instantly, after purchase.

If you don’t want to go to the trouble of creating a digital product from scratch, you have the option of purchasing a white label license. This type of license allows you to add your name to the digital product and sell it as if it was your own.

Advantages

Selling digital products has low production costs. Think about it; all you need is to record your instructional videos on Camtasia or even write your instructions in MS Word and save them as a PDF document if you want to create an eBook. Also, there are no shipping and handling expenses. Customers can get access to the digital product right away after purchasing. However, the most significant advantage is that you can create it once and sell it over and over.  Digital products can therefore be insanely profitable!

Disadvantages

I have heard a lot of people say that digital products can prove to be harder to sell because they have a lower perceived value than physical products. I disagree entirely with that. Your job is to provide value and work out what your target market wants. When selling your digital products, you need to make sure that you sell the benefit to them.

Once the benefit is clearly understood, I will understand the value more clearly. The main disadvantage with digital products is the market can be highly competitive due to the low barrier of entry and the attractive profits that entrepreneurs can earn.

How to Sell Digital Products Online

Again as it is online, you will need a website. However, the website will need e-commerce features to allow people to purchase and access digital products. Generally, if you have one product, such as an Ebook, it’s fine to have a standard website cheque out page or even a PayPal link for payment.  On the other hand, if you’re selling an online course with video training, you will need either a learning management system or a membership website. After people have paid for the course, they will be able to access the members’ area to view the videos and other content that they paid for. The best solution for full online membership and training websites is Samcart.

However, if you’re on a budget, you can create a blog using WordPress and a membership plugin such as WishList Member that will help you keep track of members and payments.

The advantage of Samcart is that it is ready to go out of the box, and all the technical requirements are taken care of. Samcart is a seriously professional platform. If you go for WordPress and there is a little bit more of a learning curve, and you will generally have to integrate eCommerce payment systems and email marketing platforms which can be tricky if you’re not technically minded.  In other words, there are a few moving parts, and in my experience, it takes extra effort to make the login forms, the checkout pages, and the membership interface look professional.  This can be very frustrating, which usually leads you to hire a professional developer to get the platform looking and operating the way that you want.

Dropshipping

Dropshipping is a low cost to start an online business that involves you selling products through your online store is that the dropshipping supplier (usually a manufacturer/ wholesaler) arranges for the fulfillment of that order to the customer. Dropshipping suppliers can also handle returns. 

I recommend that you start your dropshipping journey with BigCommerce (which is an alternative to Shopify) due to its simplicity. All you need to do is use a marketplace app to connect to your website, like Sproket.co, to import products from various quality suppliers with the click of a button and sell them from your BigCommerce store.  Through the Sproket.co app itself, you can fulfill customer orders by checking the details and pressing “Order.” Once orders are placed, that dropshipping supplier will be notified.  The dropshipping supplier will then send the products to the customers. 

Advantages

Dropshipping has the advantage of you not having to design, develop and test a product. Nor do you have to ship the product or handle any inventory. Therefore, the time and cost savings are immense. You also don’t have to develop a brand, as you would if you sell your own product.

Disadvantages

The competition is fierce because so many people are selling the same products from China.  Therefore, profit margins are usually tight, and to make a profit from sales, you generally need volume. For that reason, many people do cool marketing videos that illustrate the features and benefits of products which can make this to be an impulse buy. This can provide a huge competitive advantage from one dropship store to the other.

The other thing is that drop shippers often have limited branding and customization options, as dropshipping suppliers don’t often like to go to the trouble – unless you are selling a significant volume of products that they are selling to you.

How to Start Dropshipping

After you choose a vertical market for your product, you will need to set up an online store such as BigCommerce, as discussed above. If you integrate the Sprocket App, it will allow you to access suppliers.  You can then easily import products to sell from your store. Upon customers’ purchases, orders order notifications will be sent to your chosen dropshipping suppliers, who will send the products to the shoppers directly.

Then all you have to do is focus on getting visitors to your store. To do this, you can start creating high-quality blogs, email marketing campaigns, and social media campaigns to promote your dropshipping website.

Sell Services Online

If you have a skill that is in demand, you can make a lot of money by selling services online. Initially, if you have no clients, you can get started by selling a few low-paying gigs on sites like Upwork and FiverrOnce you get some good reviews and build your client list, you can create your own agency, independent of those gig sites, which is far more profitable.

There is no end to the services that you can sell through an online business. For example, you could consider being a consultant or trainer for numerous sectors, including business, finance, accounting, relationships, fitness, and marketing – or anything else. In fact, you can offer one-on-one sessions to clients anywhere in the world on any subject that you are passionate about. 

Starting a digital marketing agency has also become quite popular – and why not? It is a brilliant way to start your online business. Agencies can make a lot of money by providing website design, link building, search engine optimization, affiliate marketing, email outreach, email marketing, search engine marketing, social media marketing, and online ad management. 

Advantages

You can start an online business even with a simple skill and low investment. You don’t really need a website if you are starting on Fiverr or Upwork! However, to get started, if you have a PC and a stable internet connection. 

Disadvantage

If you have no experience, starting on gig sites means that it will take a while before you get high-paying clients. So don’t expect to make millions right away.  Instead, focus on building that client list, portfolio and get those reviews! Believe me – that will make all the difference.

How to Sell Services Online

Selling a service, such as graphic design, website design, etc., can be as easy as opening an account in one of these platforms and then looking for clients.

Begin with smaller jobs. Don’t be picky at first. Once you get several good reviews, you will begin getting big-budget projects automatically. At that point, you can scale your business by creating a company website and taking on clients from referrals, social media campaigns, Google Ads, email outreach, etc. Beginning a consulting business can be as straightforward as creating a powerful landing page in the niche and promoting it. You can also launch a free YouTube channel to get visitors to your website and then sell a premium product such as a fitness routine. 

When starting an online marketing company at home, one of the first things you need to do is personal branding. Make yourself visible on platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn and regularly post insightful marketing content.  Start building a client list once you have finalized the exact services you are offering in marketing. Then, set up your pricing.  For instance, you can offer ongoing PPC advertising, social media, email outreach, etc., or you can set up a system as part of a package, and then you’re done.

Whatever it is, make sure there is demand in the market. Promote your business by extensively networking and offering free marketing consultations for companies in your target market. 

Sell Online Courses

Elon Musk famously stated that you can learn anything online. But Musk’s statement, a revolution in online learning had already gained a lot of traction. Countless e-books, online courses, paid downloadable content (PDF, e-book, etc.) are sold every day, and your small business can capture some of that money with a little bit of effort. Self-publishing through Kindle, teaching a course through Udemy, starting a YouTube channel, Quora account, and Medium channel are all great ways to get into the educational sphere as an online business. 

Advantages

If you have an online presence and credibility in your field, getting people to enroll in your courses will be easier. Additionally, once you create a course and market it effectively, the same product can be purchased by millions of people; all you need to do is answer student queries once in a while and make a few updates to the material when needed. 

Disadvantages

If you don’t have an existing audience on YouTube or social media, you will have a hard time establishing credibility and getting people to buy your course. Besides, before you get into the process of creating a course, I would like to remind you that it is quite tedious to put together a comprehensive course that your students will love. 

How to Sell Online Courses

You can use premium all-in-one systems like Kajabi, Samcart and Teachable. When I say all-in-one, I am talking video hosting, email marketing, advanced checkout payment systems, course platform and statistics.

If you are using WordPress, there are a number of great membership plugins that do a fantastic job – although, you will need some technical experiece – or employ someone who does.  However, WishlistMember is one of the leading WordPress membership plugins that also contains a -step-by-step set up wizard, which is great!  However, if you are a beginner, or have no technical knolwedge, it would be worth hiring a developer with experience to help you.

Other WordPress Membership systems include LifterLMS, Sensei, WP Courseware, and LearnPress. The other downside of WordPress for membership websites, is that you will need to pay to host video content.  I highly recommend Vimeo to do this.  It is a great platform that will do everything you need.  Then, you will need to integrate an email marketing platform such as ActiveCampaign (which is awesome!) and I also recommend having the checkout process customized.

I am yet to see a quality checkout page on a WordPress membership plugin – which is really disappointing!