It is easier than ever for anyone to start a business with or without business experience in this “online age.” The cool thing about starting an online business is the freedom to make money from anywhere. However, there are plenty of small business ideas out there, and deciding on one can be quite a task.
This article is for beginner entrepreneurs considering starting an online business. In this post, we’ll discuss how feasible it is to become a first-time e-commerce entrepreneur, as well as viable business ideas you can consider this 2022.
Is it a good idea to start an online business now?
The pandemic came with unexpected events that left an effect that won’t be forgotten any time soon. Even now, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic can still be felt in different aspects of our lives. Aside from the public health threat, the pandemic disrupted the activities of small businesses, large corporations, and even the world economy at large.
Many people had to work remotely, and brick and mortar organizations had to think of creative ways to meet consumers’ needs during this crisis. According to a report, about 41.3% of businesses temporarily closed because of the pandemic. In addition, many people lost their jobs, income levels were reduced, and the world economy shrunk, causing many countries to go into recession.
However, after nearly two years of the pandemic and living with different virus variants, many businesses are coming back up. Despite the massive business closure, the world is witnessing a rise in online businesses as people find new ways to make a living.
It may sound ironic, but sometimes, certain businesses have the potential to thrive during or after a crisis. Many organizations, including Airbnb and Uber, started during the global financial crisis of 2007–2009. Data even shows that there are surprisingly still many business opportunities to explore as the world tries to adapt to the post-pandemic period.
So yes! Now might be the perfect time to start an online business. Entrepreneurs can fill up different industries and niches in the online market space.
Here are three reasons why now is a great time to either launch a podcast, become an app developer, go into affiliate marketing, or launch an idea that can bloom into a successful online business.
1. Plenty of opportunities
The pandemic has made it evident that many things can work online, and this is the best time to start a business in the comfort of your home. From online fitness to online courses and home delivery, many opportunities emerged from the pandemic to cater to people’s changing needs. Online platforms connect businesses to the right customers, and if you have the right business ideas, you will find plenty of opportunities.
2. It’s easier to sell and buy things online
The e-commerce business model was widely adopted during the COVID era as many brick and mortar businesses had to close, and many people had to buy online. People are getting used to buying and selling online, so why not make the best of the situation? Individuals with business ideas can take their businesses online and reach a wide range of audiences with the help of different online platforms and tools.
3. Advanced technology
Technology companies and financial institutions are becoming more advanced in supporting e-commerce businesses. Now, it’s easier to start an online store and take payments easily with minimal setup. So, this is a great time to leverage all the tools and resources to open a booming e-commerce business.
20 best online business ideas for beginners in 2022
The first thing to note as a first-time entrepreneur is that some business ideas have high potential, and some don’t. Therefore, it is essential to analyze the market space to discover which online business has great potential.
We have done some research to compare the success rate of different e-commerce businesses despite the pandemic disruption. After a thorough investigation, we have compiled ten online business ideas that can help entrepreneurs make money.
1. Start a dropshipping business
Dropshipping is one of the best ways to make money online without the need to invest or buy products in advance. Dropshipping might be the answer if you are worried about where to store inventory or run your business.
With a dropshipping business, you can sell online by taking customers’ orders and then seek out a third-party wholesaler or retailer who handles the inventory handling and order fulfillment side of the business. You will have to sell at a higher price than the third-party supplier for this method to work.
2. Start your own pet business online
Many people regard their pets as companions, a part of the family, which explains why the pet industry is booming.6 Pet owners, especially in the United States, love spending money on their pets. So, whether you love pets or not, you can profit from selling pet products and supplies online. Some pet products to consider are:
- Pet food and treats
- Litter etc.
3: Offer online ads optimization services
With the business world going digital, many entrepreneurs have to leverage different tools to boost their online presence. Online optimization involves creating strategic ads relevant to your potential customers in order to boost sales. With online ad optimization techniques like Keyword Advertising (KWA), business owners can help customers find them easily.
Do you have experience in digital marketing and advertising? You can help business owners optimize online ads across different platforms to boost their sales and earn you money.
4. SEO consulting
If you have a good knowledge of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), you might consider starting a consulting business for companies with websites. With the rise in online business, many companies and brands are obsessed with staying ahead of their competitors by ranking high and turning their searchers into customers. However, only a small percentage of these people have in-depth knowledge of SEO, schema, link building, and other digital marketing methods.
A good SEO consultant helps analyze how a brand’s website is doing and prescribes an effective strategy that increases traffic and customers. This business is in demand, and if it’s something you are good at, consider launching your idea.
5. Virtual online training
The pandemic showed everyone, including the education sector, that learning doesn’t have to stop even in crises. In 2020, many people had to study online, offline-based institutions moved online, and people with skill sets in specific areas translated their knowledge into online courses and training.
It’s true, there are already so many online learning platforms, however, the demand for them keeps increasing. Many people are turning to online platforms to learn new skills and access valuable resources. Whether fitness, digital marketing, SEO, or UI/UX design, whatever niche you are good at, 2022 is a great time to package your knowledge and skills and sell that to people.
Some ways to sell your online course include organizing online training sessions, self-publishing a valuable ebook, and making tutorial videos. If you can’t decide what to sell as a course, leverage apps like Social Triggers that teach people how to sell what they know.
6. Become a freelance app developer/web designer
Technology has made app and software development a great niche to start a business online. Also, more and more companies need app developers to create mobile apps and websites. Chances are, anyone who wants to start an online business at this time would need a website, and they may not have the technical know-how to create it on their own. Also, existing sites are always looking to upgrade and improve their sites to meet customers’ needs.
If you are creative and have an interest in coding, HTML, CSS, and other aspects of web design, then being a freelance web designer could be one of the best online business ideas for you. Meanwhile, if you have no experience in this field, you can leverage valuable web design resources, courses, and tutorials available for beginners.
7. Freelance graphic designer/writer
Freelancers enjoy flexibility; they have the chance to accept projects to fit their schedules. Also, with freelance platforms like Upwork and Fiverr, freelancers get to decide what to work on and who to work with.
If you have a flair for graphic design, you can showcase your work and cater to the demands of small and large businesses. Almost every online brand requires the services of a designer to create infographics, logos, posters, and other visual designs.
Also, if you have writing skills, you can use your talent to get job offers to write blog posts, ebooks, and sales copy from people across the globe.
8: Sell second-hand items online
Another great business idea for beginners is selling thrift and second-hand items online. Rather than dump used or decluttered items, people now prefer to offer them to second users. Second-hand items can range from home decor items to clothes and electronics. You can decide to specialize in different products or pick a niche depending on your choice.
Meanwhile, the best way to establish yourself in the second-hand market is by selling products usually in high demand.
9. DIY craft seller
Do you love design and crafts, art and aesthetics? Now is a great time to build a storefront to showcase and sell handmade crafts or art. If you have beautiful handcraft you make at home, you can sell them on an e-commerce store. And if you can’t make the goods yourself, you can get a supplier and sell it online.
Also, creatives like photographers and artists can convert their beautiful works and canvases into a source of income on their own e-commerce store.
10. Affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing works through recommending a product or service by sharing the referral link on your blog, social media, email, or other platforms. For every time someone clicks your referral link or makes an order through the link, you get a commission.
Many businesses are looking for affiliate marketers to help them generate customers through effective word-of-mouth marketing. Sites like Amazon offer affiliate programs that work well for people looking to start in this niche. You can also consider other affiliate programs that suit your brand and niche.
11. Become an influencer
An influencer earns through brand sponsorships. They work by helping brands promote their products or services on their page.
Usually, influencers have a large following on social media, and people see them as experts in a particular niche. For example, if you often post fashion tips and have a large following, you can become an influencer for fashion brands and get paid for promoting their services.
One great thing about influencer marketing is the number of platforms available to use. You can start a podcast, become a TikToker, create a YouTube channel, or an Instagram account. The point of influencer marketing is to become an expert in one or more niches, build a presence, have a lot of following, and you can get paid for promoting people’s products.
12. Social media management
It’s safe to assume that every brand now understands the importance of social media marketing to promote their products or services. Social media is an integral part of online marketing, and it’s no wonder many businesses are now investing in it.
However, managing their own social media accounts is not an option for many business owners due to other tasks that require their attention. They would rather outsource this job to social media enthusiasts and experts who understand social media marketing and are able to manage their pages.
13. Niche market retailer
Whether it’s clothing, furniture, or pet supplies, there are buyers for almost everything. If you don’t consider yourself skilled at social media management, affiliate marketing, or other online business ideas, you can create an e-commerce store to sell specific products.
You can do some research to see what products you could sell on your online store. Setting up an e-commerce store is relatively easy nowadays — you can create your hosting service with integrated e-commerce software or list your products on an e-commerce marketplace.
14: Sell smart home products and accessories
With evolving technology, the demand for smart home products and accessories keeps increasing.7 Whether you sell smart speakers, smart refrigerators, or TVs, you can easily establish yourself in this niche. Meanwhile, to excel in the home product industry, it is necessary to stay up to date with trends in the market.
15: Start a clothing line
Have an interest in fashion? Consider starting your clothing company or fashion line online. Fashion businesses often attract people, and it’s a plus if you already have some interest in fashion. You can sell print-on-demand shirts, create custom designs or even source clothes from trusted suppliers.
16: Sell handmade products
Handmade products are becoming quite popular thanks to their uniqueness and the desire to support independent business owners. This once tiny niche is fast growing into a big industry, and now it’s a great time to start selling unique handmade products. Popular handmade products include crotchets, jewelry, clothing, and paintings.
17: Start app development
Technology has influenced many industries, including the business and e-commerce sectors. Now, many companies and business owners require a mobile app to meet the needs of their target audience. If you have coding skills, you can consider getting into app development to help companies serve their customers better.
18: Get into technical writing
Technical writers write the instruction manual on your car and the leaflet on drugs. Also, any tech-related industry requires writers who can explain technical terms or concepts to the public. If you are creative and have writing skills, you can start a career in technical writing. You can also learn courses on technical writing to get started with this business.
19: Sell online courses
Is there something you are very good at or a skill you can teach people? Why not make a career out of it by selling online courses? Many people now learn new skills online, and with the help of online learning platforms, you too can create interactive courses. If you are great at cooking, you can sell recipes, and if social marketing is your thing, you can sell a course on marketing.
20: Sell smartwatches
Smartwatches are in high demand as they help consumers with many activities, including tracking their footsteps and monitoring their health. According to Allied Market Research, the smartwatch industry is projected to reach $96.31 billion by 2027.8 Now is a great time to offer smartwatches to potential customers.
How Alibaba.com can help you as a first-time e-commerce entrepreneur
Starting a business as a first-time entrepreneur isn’t without its challenges. You need to decide on a business idea, source for products, find customers, set up an online presence…the list goes on.
Fortunately, Alibaba.com simplifies everything involved with starting your new business. This global marketplace helps first-time e-commerce entrepreneurs establish themselves in the industry. Also, with Alibaba.com, you can:
- Conduct market research for your business
- Connect with customers from all around the world without leaving your location
- Set up an online presence and build an e-commerce storefront
- Take advantage of digital marketing tools to boost your business and so more!
How to use Alibaba.com to conduct market research
Market research involves doing a complete analysis of your intended industry before starting a business. This step is crucial because it helps you understand what you’re getting into and improve your chance of business success. Good market research involves understanding your competitors, potential buyers, sellers, products, and niche.
Alibaba.com is a global marketplace with millions of buyers, sellers, and suppliers. What does this mean for e-commerce beginners?
It’s a platform where you can start your market research. You can take advantage of Alibaba.com to assess your market niche and determine if it’s a viable business option.
With extensive browsing on Alibaba.com, you can:
- Get insight into products you want to sell
- Find reliable suppliers in your market niche
- Check your competitors in the industry
- Research selling price for your products and
- Identify and learn about your potential customers
How Alibaba.com can help to find a niche market, build a storefront and identify your potential customers
Selling a niche product is always a strong business idea for beginners. If you aren’t sure what niche to get started with, you can use Alibaba.com. This platform has millions of sellers offering products in different niches. With this, it’s easy for first-time entrepreneurs to find a niche market and conduct product research.
Also, with Alibaba.com, you can build a storefront for your new business, find your customers among the 14 million active buyers and sell to them seamlessly.
Starting an online business on an e-commerce site is a great way to become your own boss. While online business also comes with its cons, it is often simplified when you choose the right platform.
Once you have decided on a small business idea and have an internet connection, you’ll be able to take advantage of all the tools that Alibaba.com offers. This e-commerce platform provides you with an optimized and efficient storefront to sell your products.
Ready to launch your best business idea? Open a seller account on Alibaba.com and reach customers from all around the world today!