Discover the Top Online Business Ideas for 2021

Author Mollie Sherman

Posted Feb 14, 2023

Reads 8.7K

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The world of online business is booming and 2021 could be the perfect time to start a new venture. With this in mind, what are the top online business ideas that you should consider? Whether you're quietly contemplating a small online business idea or looking for something bigger, there are plenty of options available.

From setting up a business to buy unique high-quality products and sell them online, to creating a wholesale marketplace built for entrepreneurs – if you want to start selling online, there's sure to be an option for you. Even more traditional businesses such as becoming a social media manager or public speaking coach can easily move their services into the digital realm. And if interior design is your passion, why not become an interior design consultant and work with clients remotely?

No matter your skillset or budget, you’re sure to find the perfect online business idea. Here we'll explore some of the best options available in 2021 so that you can get started on your journey towards success.

Best Online Business Ideas to Get You Inspired

The immense growth of online businesses has inspired many aspiring entrepreneurs to take their ideas to the next level and start an online business. Starting an online business is one of the quickest and easiest ways for a person with a prior work history or no experience to launch their own venture. With just a computer, internet connection, and the 13 steps outlined in this article, you can be on your way to creating a successful online business.

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Aspiring entrepreneurs need not worry about the complexities of company cultures or even the world’s current economic situation when starting an online business. There are affordable ways of getting started, whether it's part-time as a side hustle or taking it full time as your main gig. All that is needed is dedication and determination to totally set up an online business with positive results.

Starting an online business requires patience and hard work but can be incredibly rewarding once you get it off the ground! There are plenty of resources available on the web to help guide you through each step of launching your own successful online business; all it takes is some research and dedication!

1. SEO consulting

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) consulting is an online business idea with high demand. SEO consultants help companies rank highly in search engine results, turning searchers into customers. Smart keywords, editing metadata tags and regularly updating a company blog can make a huge difference to how a companys website appears on search engine results - and that can drastically change their traffic numbers. It pays handsomely too, as the big impact it has on a businesss bottom line is unmistakable. A good SEO consultant can make a huge difference - so if you are looking for an online business idea, this could be it!

2. Freelance writing

If you're skilled with the written word and you have an internet connection, one of the best online business ideas for you is to become a freelance writer. As a freelance writer, you can create blog posts, product descriptions or any other type of written content in your special area of expertise. It's important to remember that when you're talking about becoming a successful freelance writer, it's not just about having good writing skills - confidence and knowledge in the subject matter you're discussing is also an important factor.

You may be qualified to write about anything from sports to taxes - all you need to do is make sure that when you're talking about your chosen topic,you're confident enough to pen articles that others will want to read and be willing to pay for. If this sounds like something that interests you, then becoming a freelance writer can be a great online business idea.

3. E-book writing

Writing e-books is quickly becoming a lucrative business. Writing, marketing, and publishing your own e-book gives you a larger cut of the profit than simply selling it through an established publisher. You're also in control of the entire process, from writing to design and print. Furthermore, if you hire cover design services and pay them correctly, your e-book may look even better than the ones traditionally published! As a result, creating and selling your own e-books can be a great way to start an online business.

4. Writing a blog

A blog isn't just a great way to share your thoughts and ideas - it can be an effective tool for starting an online business. When choosing online business ideas, there are various paths you can take - like becoming a freelance writer or designer, coding, photography, video, fitness, food, etc. Writing great blog articles is the key to gaining people's trust and getting them to read your content.

When pursuing online business ideas, it's important to remember that success doesn't happen overnight. Without a solid plan and strategy in place, starting a blog with the intention of making money from it is a bad idea. Building an online presence takes time and effort but with dedication and hard work, you can make your dreams come true.

5. Software and app development

Starting a freelance coding business is one of the most lucrative online business ideas. With this venture, you can help clients by developing applications, programs, and extensions to suit their needs. Putting your app on an app store is also a great way to make money with little effort in the long haul. Working for a bigger company can have its perks, but direct results from your own work can be much more rewarding in terms of money and energy youll be putting into the product youre creating. What's more, these efforts pay off with a predictable stream of income that you're holding the key to!

6. Virtual thrift shop

The idea of an online thrift shop is a great way to launch an online business. By setting up an appealing online store, shoppers can find unique and interesting objects for sale. Consignment stores are especially popular, as customers enjoy the thrill of the hunt when it comes to finding one-of-a-kind items. Using strong brand and compelling ways with good copywriting to create an engaging experience on the website will draw more customers in. An online thrift shop provides entrepreneurs with a great opportunity to make money while also providing something unique and different for their customers.

7. Accounting or bookkeeping

The decision between accounting and bookkeeping when starting an online business can be overwhelming. Accounting and bookkeeping are two different professions that both require a certain set of skills, but offer different benefits. For example, if you are looking for an online business idea that does not require formal training, becoming a virtual bookkeeper may be the perfect fit for your needs. Virtual bookkeepers provide services to well-known brands and can establish their credentials online, allowing them to work from anywhere in the world. On the other hand, if you are looking for more complex small-business accounting services, then you will likely want to hire a dedicated accountant who specializes in this type of work online. With the right software, managing accounts and finances can quickly become a breeze!

8. Stock or foreign currency trading

Stock trading and foreign currency trading can both be lucrative online business ideas. Whether you're looking for a casual online hobby or a full-time gig, it all depends on your research, talent in predicting trends, and commitment level.

If you're a casual trader, stock trading won't offer the same challenge as foreign exchange, but it also won't require such long hours or steep learning curve - though you'll still need to consider trading requirements and regulations. To become a pattern day trader requires an even deeper research on the stock market and currency markets - one that may lead to a high-commitment job with long hours.

9. Cybersecurity and IT consulting

If you have a technical background and are specifically interested in online business ideas, a cybersecurity consultant could be a great option. As a consultant, you would help businesses by offering tips and advice on proper computer set up and running tests to ensure their systems run securely. You may also offer general operating advice as well as any additional on-site system assistance that might be needed for occasional visits. By starting your own consulting business, you can provide the same level of service to many different organizations who are looking for help with cyber security. With app development becoming increasingly popular, a cybersecurity consultant is an essential service in today’s digital age.

10. Resume writing and career coaching

Are you looking for an innovative online business idea? Why not consider launching a human resources-related business such as resume writing or career coaching? With the right skills and advice, you can help people create their perfect resume and build a successful career path.

You could offer clients advice on job applications, resumes, cover letters and even LinkedIn profiles. It's a great place to start your own online business, giving you the chance to make use of your experience in human resources while potentially helping many people take their careers to the next level.

11. Online recruiting

Being an online recruiter can be a great part of a successful online business. An online recruiter helps fill job openings for smaller businesses that don't have the resources to hire a large HR team. To be successful, it requires good online research skills and being a people person to properly dedicate time to the recruiting process. You need to screen candidates and understand company culture in order to find the right fit for each role. With these skills, you can help companies find their perfect fit and in turn, reap the benefits of having a successful online business.

12. Marketing consulting

As an online business entrepreneur, hiring a marketing consultant can be a great way to get the most out of your business. A marketing consultant can provide guidance on a wide range of topics depending on their specific expertise. They can help businesses execute effective marketing strategies, such as developing an email marketing strategy or event planning. They can also assist businesses with website branding. With the right marketing consultant, businesses can benefit greatly from their online business idea and make it a successful venture.

13. Online fundraising or grant writing

Online fundraising and grant writing offer numerous opportunities to help mission-based businesses succeed in their online endeavors. These scenarios apply beyond person-to-person fundraising, allowing businesses to extend their reach beyond traditional methods. Grant writing is a great way for mission-based businesses to further their efforts by applying for grants and other funding opportunities that can be used to sustain and grow the business. With the right knowledge and resources, businesses can write grant applications that not only secure funds for the present, but also set themselves up for future success.

14. Online course teaching

For those looking to start an online business, course-teaching can be a great option. With the right background and educational service, businesses can offer courses online to teach students a specific skill or to find information about topics like American history tax forms drawing. Those with an advanced degree or teaching background may have the qualifications to launch their own course-teaching business. By offering classes and tutorials over the internet, entrepreneurs can leverage their knowledge to monetize their skills and create a successful online teaching business.

15. Online cooking instruction

Starting a cooking business online is an easy business idea that anyone can take advantage of. With the right tools, you can offer one-on-one instruction videos, host live classes, and create workshops to share your favorite cooking and baking skills online. You can even offer virtual cooking classes and offer baking supplies to earn money through affiliate marketing. Plus, with a cooking blog or e-books or cookbooks, you can showcase your baking skills while also making money. With this easy business idea, you can teach people all around the world the joys of cooking through your own cooking programs.

16. Voiceover work

Are you looking for a unique online business idea? Consider starting a voiceover business! All you need is a decent microphone and some basic sound editing software. You can then start searching for freelance voiceover sites, ad agencies and production companies to find work.

Be sure to create excellent clips of your voice to show potential future clients. With the right amount of determination, you can establish yourself as a credible voiceover artist in no time. Get started now by researching the market and setting up your own website.

17. Start a team

Starting a team for an online business is not only advantageous but can be incredibly rewarding. With the help of experienced consultants, freelancers and experts, you can quickly edit your experience to appeal to clients and grow your business. By leveraging their knowledge, you can quickly attract customers and increase your customer base. Having the right team on board will ensure that your online business is successful in the long run.

Creative Home Business Ideas You'll Love

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"Are you looking for creative home business ideas that give you the flexibility to work from home? With the right business options, you can launch a successful online business without ever having to leave your home. From affiliate marketing to ecommerce, there are plenty of home business ideas available and ready for you to explore. Let’s take a look at some of the best online business ideas you may be interested in!"

1. Vending Machine Owner

Vending machine businesses are one of the most promising online business ideas, with a potential for high growth rates. Smart places such as hospitals, schools, and community centers are great locations for placing vending machines due to high-traffic, even in times of social distancing restrictions. Start placing your vending machines in the right places to cover the cost and build a strong brand image.

2. Audio or Video Editor

As we enter the march of 2021, it's undeniable that audio and video content is becoming increasingly important for brands to engage with their audiences. With over 175 million podcasts worldwide and an ever-growing appetite for visual media, now is the perfect time to consider investing in audio or video editing services.

Video editors can help businesses produce high-quality content that appeals to their hungry audiences. Specialized software and professionals are just some of the tools needed to create stunning visuals that capture attention. By investing in professional video editing, businesses can ensure their message reaches more people and stands out from the crowd.

3. Dog Walker, Groomer, or Trainer

Starting a dog walking, grooming, or training business can be an incredibly rewarding experience. But it’s important to consider the important factors before taking the plunge. First, research local regulations and laws for these businesses; this initial red tape will surely make your canine colleagues rover ready in no time. Additionally, consider the amount of physical labor required for walking dogs and grooming animals, as well as the cost of necessary equipment. With all this taken into account, you’ll be sure to have a successful dog walking and grooming or training business up and running in no time!

4. Online Class Instructor

The idea of teaching online classes is becoming increasingly popular as more people look for ways to make money from the comfort of their own home. Teaching online classes gives you the opportunity to work remotely and teach multiple students at one time.

What type of online classes can you offer? From teaching English to instructing a common subject like Math or Science, the possibilities are nearly endless. You can also offer virtual classes for a variety of topics such as web development or digital photography. With the right tools, you can easily set up a course and start spending your time remotely teaching students around the world!

5. Small-Batch Goods Seller

Starting an online business selling small-batch goods is a great way to turn a hobby into a money-making venture. With the rise of organic, all-natural ingredients and a desire to avoid preservatives and chemicals, many people are turning to handmade soaps, candles and shampoos. Making your own custom scents from natural ingredients can be both exciting and profitable when you create small batches for sale online.

For complete beginners, there are great guides available online that can explain all the steps necessary for making soap and other personal care products free from toxins. With the right guide, anyone can become a successful small-batch goods entrepreneur, selling their own natural creations made with organic all-natural ingredients - free from preservatives or chemicals!

Unlock the Power of Small Business Ideas

Your nine-to-five job doesn't have to be a dead end. With the right small business ideas, you can break free from the daily grind and start charting your own path to success. Just look at Airbnb co-founder Brian Chesky as an example – he was able to turn his good idea into a billion dollar empire.

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Small businesses are often more agile and innovative than larger companies, giving you the freedom to quickly adapt to changing customer needs and take advantage of new opportunities. By pursuing the dream of entrepreneurship, you can leverage these advantages to create your own product or service that customers need and love.

Small business ideas may seem daunting at first, but with dedication, passion and hard work, anything is possible. Start researching potential markets and customer needs today to find an idea worth pursuing – who knows, it could be your ticket to financial freedom!

1. Sewing and Alteration Specialist

Starting a sewing and alteration business from home is an ideal way to make money if you love to sew. With only a sewing machine, basic materials, and a few simple tools, you can begin offering simple services such as clothing hems and mending. As your customer base grows, you can specialize in more complicated projects for high-value clients or customize complicated items such as wedding gowns, suits, or pants. To reach the highest potential with your business, it's wise to invest in special training programs like Jackson Sewing Academy's Basic Alterations course or American Bespoke Tailoring Academy's Programs for more advanced skills. With the right skillset and some creativity, stitching up some profits has never been easier!

2. Personal Trainer

Starting a personal training business can be a great way to make money in the digital world. It's important to start small and focus on one area of expertise, such as offering in-home consultations or personalized nutrition services. You could also consider organizing community boot camps for larger groups, or setting up your own private gym.

Don't forget to get certified by a nationally accredited organization such as NASM-CPT if you don't already have a high school diploma or bachelors degree from Emory & Henry College. An example of success is MourFit which offers group fitness as well as personal training services. To promote your business, set up an Instagram feed with inspirational quotes and free exercise videos, and post yummy snack ideas for people trying to stay healthy. Become one of the fitness gurus and recommend starting your own personal training business!

3. Life/ Career Coach

Becoming a life or career coach is a great online small business idea. With Diane Hudson's 20 years of experience navigating personal and professional lives, as well as her certification program, she can offer her clients hands-on training and uplifting advice to successfully put them on the path to achieving their goals. Life Coach Schools offer additional inspiration, such as Nariah Broadus, whose leadership coaching has helped people create successful working environments and navigate transitions successfully. Check out the image source for further information about this inspiring small business idea.

4. Resume Writer

Starting an online resume writing business can be a great way to help people land their dream job. With the right educational requirements and some carefully-crafted portfolio samples, you can start helping clients with tailored resumes and beautifully edited cover letters. You don't need to feel nervous about this venture - resume writing skills are easily acquired through LinkedIn Learnings and other online platforms.

To make your resume writing business successful, include cover letter writing services in your package, as many people hire writers to assist them with these documents. You can also offer career coaching services to help your clients stand out from the crowd. Plus, starting an online resume writing business has low overhead costs compared to physical businesses, making it a low investment option with high potential returns.

5. Landscaper

Starting a landscaping business is a great choice for those with a good eye for landscape design and a passion for working outdoors. The good news is that even if you don't have formal training, you can start small offering seasonal planting services or simply offering mulching services to neighbors. Many organizations offer courses in landscaping, such as the New York Botanical Gardens and the Professional Landscape Designers of America, so getting a potential certificate isn't too hard. Additionally, some states require licensure for landscape design, so make sure to research this before starting your business. With mowing and tree-trimming services as well as seasonal decor and perennial plants, it's no surprise that starting a landscaping business can be a very lucrative affair.

6. Videographer

Starting a video production business can be a valuable way to make money online. Depending on what you specialize in, video production requires different licensure requirements and creative arts skills. For example, wedding videos differ radically from real estate videos or in-studio interviews.

It’s important to find the type of videography you’d like to specialize in and then find general classes or courses that can help you with that path. If you’re interested in complete wedding videography, for example, a hot tip would be to check out our ultimate guide or our starter pack for video marketing! That way, you'll be able to reach the highly specific customer who'll benefit from your unique shooting style.

7. Photographer

Starting a photography business can be a great way to earn money while doing something you love. Conducting photo shoots, reviewing photography businesses, creating a facebook page and tagging recent clients photos in friends newsfeeds all make for an interesting online business venture.

Before getting started, it's essential to consider the licensure requirements in your area to ensure your business is accurately representing itself. Investing in photography courses such as Cornell's Digital Photography Certificate Program or the New York Institute of Photography can help build skills and specialize in the chosen specialty of freelance photography. Erica Clayton's journey into freelance photography is full of advice to give, like making sure to meet deadlines and how to price services. Starting a small photography business doesn't have to be intimidating if you take your time and seek courses that best fit your particular needs and interests.

8. Bed and Breakfast Owner

Bed and breakfast business is an interesting business venture, offering unique experiences for customers. To get started, you'll need to obtain the correct licensure and startup funds, plus a physical business location or seo-optimized website. You can hire a small staff to help with maintenance, customer service, and creating special packages like themed stays.

These days, hotels are stealing market share in the breakfast space. To be successful in your bed and breakfast business, it's important to provide a unique angle. You might use vintage furniture or original furniture in your home to offer traditional fare with a twist. A hotel booking system on a WordPress platform allows you to easily create a booking form that fits your needs. Start crowdfunding or dipping into other sources of startup funds if you don't have enough capital on hand for your business. Finally, we recommend providing superior customer service to stand out from the competition.

9. Clothing Boutique Owner

Starting a clothing boutique is a highly doable business venture for anyone with a passion for fashion and design. To build an impressive fashion empire, you can start by launching your own local boutique to prove the concept and build buzz from the ground up. Choose starting styles that are inspiring enough to get noticed on social media accounts and make sure to involve the local community in your shop. Create unique pieces or stock already popular items, and consider partnering with a local print shop or warehouse to curate colors and prints on-demand. Quality assurance is key: monitor each piece carefully before selling it in store or online.

For an even more unique approach, consider launching a luxury loungewear boutique based in Los Angeles, CA - sew knit pieces and choose printed fabrics from a local print shop while taking advantage of partnerships with warehouses you've partnered with for quality assurance. With creativity, dedication, and hard work this dream can become a reality - no fashion degree required!

10. Specialty Food Store Owner

Opening a specialty food store is the perfect way to combine your love of exotic olive oils and American provisions with a profitable business venture. Your audience could never dream of finding those items from their local grocer, so with a specialty food store you'll be able to find local makers and sell youll their products. If you have a physical location, it also opens up opportunities like food festivals and local markets. The most important part of any online business is taking the eCommerce route, and having a website that takes care of everything from inventory management to payment processing can help ensure your business's success. Finally, if you're dealing with perishable items, making sure they're carefully packed can make all the difference.

11. Food Truck Owner

Starting a food truck business can be an exciting way to test the waters of entrepreneurship without having to make a larger investment in a brick-and-mortar location. With food trucks continuing to gain popularity, those interested in taking the plunge should understand the restaurant licensing requirements, potential leasers and the importance of customer service.

A great way to start is by joining a local food truck group such as Roaming Hunger or attending nearby food festivals. By doing so, you'll get an idea of what it takes to run your own business and build a loyal customer base. For example, Taco Nganas Memphis TN started as a taco truck before opening their own restaurant.

To successfully launch your food truck business, we recommend renting first before committing to purchasing your own vehicle. This will allow you to get an understanding of how many customers you’ll need to reach the desired level of profitability (image source).

12. Car-detailing Specialist

With the rise of busy lifestyles and the need for convenience, car-detailing services are becoming increasingly popular. Car detailing is an online business idea that is both profitable and flexible. Education requirements are relatively simple, as auto finesses detailing training can be done online to learn the core concepts and skills required for a successful car detailing business. Additionally, transportation isn't an issue as a mobile car wash can be used to reach more local clients.

To market your business and gain more customers, you'll need to create an SEO-optimized website so people can book their appointments online or through platforms such as Angi or Thumbtack. With the right knowledge and the right tools, car-detailing is a great opportunity to start your own online business!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best small business ideas?

From starting an online store to offering virtual assistant services, there are plenty of small business ideas that can be both profitable and rewarding. Read on to learn more about the best small business ideas to kickstart your entrepreneurial journey.

How to start a small business at home?

Starting a small business at home is a great way to earn extra income. With the right planning and dedication, you can create a successful business from the comfort of your own home. Learn more about how to get started with our comprehensive guide.

Do you need a business plan for a small business?

Yes, a business plan is essential for any small business. It provides structure and guidance to ensure your success, and helps you make informed decisions on how to grow your business. Read more about the importance of having a well-crafted business plan for your small business.

Can small businesses make you money?

Yes, small businesses can make you money! With the right plan and strategy, a small business can help you generate a steady stream of income and create new opportunities for growth.

What are the best online business ideas for 2022?

2022 promises to be a great year for online business opportunities, with some of the most lucrative ideas including ecommerce, affiliate marketing, virtual assistant services, and digital courses. To learn more about these and other great online business ideas for 2022, check out our comprehensive guide!

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Mollie Sherman

Writer at CGAA

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Mollie Sherman is an experienced and accomplished article author who has been writing for over 15 years. She specializes in health, nutrition, and lifestyle topics, with a focus on helping people understand the science behind everyday decisions. Mollie has published hundreds of articles in leading magazines and websites, including Women's Health, Shape Magazine, Cooking Light, and MindBodyGreen.

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