Tuesday, December 7, 2021

The Best Online Business to Start in 2022

In this article, I am going to give my experiences in creating various online businesses over the last 15 years as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each. I am also going to reveal the businesses that I recommend starting in 2022, for beginners.


Starting your own business can be fun if you first find the best business for you to start. I helped online business owners start their businesses for over 15 years. So I am well placed to give you the low-down on how to start a business!

In this article, I am going to reveal the best online businesses, so you can choose the best one to suit you. Different types of businesses have different requirements, so I have also described how to start each type of online business so you can take the (first) steps in the right direction.

Please be sure that before you start any business, you do market research to ensure there is market demand. I failed to do market research, and it cost me dearly. After spending years writing a book in my spare time, I uploaded it to Amazon. And guess what? Hardly anyone bought it.

I was confused because I assumed that everyone would love the topic. However, I failed to determine whether people wanted to learn what I was writing about. I don’t want you to go through that painful process, so ensure there is a market demand for whatever you decide to sell or promote.

Why Start an Online Business?

By 2040, 95% of purchases will be facilitated by e-commerce, according to Nasdaq. At some point, you too might have been allured by how easy it seemingly is to make money by starting an online business. All you seem to need (initially) is a computer that is hooked up to the internet. But as millions of entrepreneurs worldwide have found out, starting a business of any kind can be challenging at times. 

The other side of the coin is that running an online business can be fun and exciting It allows you to generate an income – and that gives you options in life. The truth is nobody can tell you why you should start an online business.  You have to work that out for yourself and remind yourself of that ‘why’ as you go through challenging stages.

What is the best online business to start in 2022?

As with any business, an online business requires a commitment to succeed. To me, commitment means prioritizing what I am committed to. 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. To do this, you will 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 is: a business in an industry that you love. That love of an industry will not make work feel like work. 

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 decide on an industry, you must determine what to sell or promote and how you will go about it. In other words, the system. For example, Startup and Scale is in the technology industry and helps people to 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 business, law and I understand online business on a practical level.

So it makes sense for me to be in this vertical market – because I love it and have the skills to help. Think about what you love to do, what skills you can use to help those who you enjoy helping.  I am going to discuss the best online businesses to start in 2022 for the industry that you have chosen.

You can apply systems (below), regardless of whether your industry is weight-loss, fashion, family, or hiking, languages, or anything else. ‘the best’ is, I consider what online businesses are the most profitable, the most scalable, and the easiest to create and manage for beginners. Note: Please read my article on how to write a business plan fast.

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

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

The disadvantage of affiliate marketing is that there is a risk that you will lose the customer when you refer them to another website. 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 or through posting on social media. For affiliate marketing, I recommend that you create 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 even video ads on Youtube.

The key is to provide value, and the best way to do that is to actually 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. Think long-term, build your website as a trustworthy website where people can go for an honest review on products before they purchase.  Using this approach, people will want to click your affiliate link, even if they know it is an affiliate link because they will appreciate the effort that you went to – and which has 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 – plus, customers can pay and then download digital products instantly.

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 Fiverr.

Once 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!