5 Great Businesses You Can Run Online

business-woman-working-with-ipadThe Internet has opened up more entrepreneurial opportunities than ever before. Starting up a traditional business can be very expensive, with having to hire employees, renting or buying commercial space, and paying other expenses. Thanks to the Internet, however, you don’t have to put forth a lot of initial investment to start a business. Let’s check out some great businesses you can start and run online.

1. Web Design

Anyone with a professional online presence needs an attractive, professional-looking website. Poorly-designed websites only frustrate users and ruin credibility. In other words, plunging into web design will undoubtedly bring you some clients.

Getting started as a web designer does not require a formal education. It just takes a good eye, some creativity and basic knowledge in HTML and CSS to start building simple websites for small businesses. As long as you’re willing to put in the time and effort to practice and constantly improve, a website design business can be very lucrative.

To attract new customers, you can show off your own website, along with an additional portfolio of websites you have deigned.

2. Writing

Content marketing is used by just about everyone today, so freelance writers are quite in demand. Like web design, you don’t have to have a formal education or a specific degree to be successful as a writer. You simply have to have a good command of the English language, and be able to communicate your ideas clearly, while meeting deadlines.

What’s even better – if you can throw together some writing samples, you can basically get started as an online content writer right away. Freelance writers often specialize in a certain niche of writing: anything from resumes and cover letters to business copy to magazine articles to blog entries and social media content to fiction. You can also find work as an editor or proofreader, and make money on sharpening the writing of others.

3. E-Commerce Store

Thanks to giants like eBay, probably the first type of business to move online was retail. Selling goods is certainly no longer limited to brick-and-mortar stores, and today it’s easier than ever to set up an e-commerce store and sell goods online. Oftentimes people who do this are artistic types and sell handmade goods, but reselling can also be very lucrative.

A great example of a booming product that many people sell online are phone cases – nearly everyone uses smartphones and they want cases not only to protect their valuable gadget but also to make it uniquely theirs. It’s fairly simple to get started with this trendy business, but you can also consider selling other stuff people are likely to buy, such as jewelry, toys, games, and pet care products.

To get started, you will need a website geared towards e-commerce, good social media promotion, reliable suppliers and a good business plan. Begin with a great and feasible plan, and things will unfold for you.

4. App Development

It seems like everybody wants to be an app developer, and it’s hard to see why not. The future lies in mobile technology, and many, many people have found success designing mobile applications and publishing them to the major app stores like Apple and Google.

If you’re particularly good at app design, it might not be worth it to work for someone else – you can make good money on your own. There is always demand for more apps, and if you develop a unique one, you might earn a lot of popularity and profit.

All you need is a good idea and knowledge of coding to create the app yourself. Even if you only have a good idea and no development experience, you can hire someone to actually turn your idea into an app and agree on a profit split. Some successful, third-party apps have included dating apps like Tinder, gaming apps like Candy Crush, and productivity apps like Evernote.

5. Online Consulting

Consulting is another business you can start online without a lot of initial investment, though generally you will need to have some demonstrable experience and past successes to make a go of it.

Some types of advice you can offer include business advice, relationship advice, and technical advice. If you have SEO knowledge, for example, you can open a marketing consultant business where you advise clients on how to use SEO and search engine analytics to best promote their businesses. A consulting business can easily be run online these days with video calling and live chats, and you can have clients from all around the world.


Running an online business can be a very lucrative endeavor if you are willing to utilize your expertise, constantly improve, and invest enough time and effort to turn your idea into reality. The businesses listed above are just a start – be creative and you can pursue many more opportunities for a successful business on the Internet.

Guest article written by: Joe Peters is a freelance writer and an ultimate tech enthusiast from Baltimore, also interested in all things business-related. When he is not working his magic as a marketing consultant, this incurable tech junkie enjoys reading about latest apps and gadgets or binge-watching his favorite TV shows. Feel free to reach him on Twitter

Leave a Comment