Start a Small Online Business: How, Why, and Exactly Where to Get Started

So, why start a small online business? For starters, today’s world economy is not what it once was. Conventional nine-to-five jobs are not only harder than ever to come by but not nearly as rewarding nor as glamorous as in the past. This reality has changed how we, as a society, look at the conventional nine-to-five work schedule and forces us to innovate. More and more talented individuals are feeling undervalued in their current roles and have started looking for ways to earn secondary, passive streams of income, or to become their own boss.

Just as you may have contemplated the idea of starting a small online business yourself at one point in your life, so has become the ‘norm’. It could be that you are looking to finally escape from the monotonous rat-race of a conventional nine-to-five? Maybe you merely want to supplement your income?

We have compiled everything you need to know about starting a small business online. Hopefully, we can create clarity about how, why, and exactly which type of online business will suit you best.

BONUS: Stay with us to the end of this article for our recommendation on the best online business to start — and why!

This post may be sponsored or contain Affiliate Links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. See my promise and full disclosure here.

Why You Should Start a Small Online Business

There are many different business models available today, but online businesses are the most prevalent and preferred among successful entrepreneurs. Why is this?…

Simply put, small online businesses are scalable, efficient, and do not require significant initial investments. But the answer runs much deeper than just that. Here are some proven, in-depth reasons why the online business model is right for you:

1. Small initial investment

We calculate the net profit by subtracting the initial investment and expenses from the total profit earned by a business. Conventional brick-and-mortar stores require significant initial investments, are time-consuming, and can be extremely expensive to maintain.

When it comes to running any business model; time is a business owner’s most valuable commodity. In the business world, time is money, and the faster/smoother a company can start up, the quicker it can become profitable. Online businesses can be started and ran remotely, from the comfort of wherever you choose to work. Needing only an internet connection and a few simple devices such as a computer, tablet, or smartphone makes online businesses cost-effective and easy to maintain and to keep initial costs low means maximizing time and money for business growth and development down the road.

2. The application of automation

When compared to outdated, more conventional small business models, an online business is far more efficient. It can automate many processes that would typically require hiring staff to carry out. Why would you hire a customer service agent to answer the same three or four questions each day? A chatbot that can to do this for you autonomously. Not only does this keep costs down, but it is a better use of your time and your employee’s. Instead, you could use that money towards hiring a business strategist or marketer– a task best carried out by a human. It’s the difference between working hard and working smart. We can apply this logic throughout the entire online business model, from outsourcing products to dispatching orders.

3. Freedom to work remotely

Perhaps the biggest win of running an online business is the capability to run it from absolutely anywhere in the world. As long as you have an internet connection and access to your mobile devices, you’re all set!

That allows you to be more accessible to your customers and business’ needs, and it makes balancing work with your personal life effortless. Imagine travelling the world, living out your dreams on your schedule and terms, all while earning a scalable income.

4. Scalable income

Offline businesses have definitive hours of operation and many physical limitations. If your business’ warehouse is only so big, for example, you can only sell a finite number of products. Online ventures, such as affiliate marketing, are flexible, scalable and often don’t even involve physical products. The model allows you to sell products without a cap. You can drive this as far as your marketing efforts can take you.

Working smarter, online, means being able to retarget customers, stay in touch with them more efficiently, and respond to their concerns from anywhere in the world. Plus, you have a vastly greater reach to customers than that of one single geographic location. No business owner wants a salary-cap and running your business online means access to unlimited profits!

5. Online businesses are recession-proof

Not being bound by the jurisdiction of one specific area, you are also unaffected by the job opportunities available. As you work for yourself, in the unfortunate event of a recession, you will not be out on the streets competing against other talented job-seekers for work. On the contrary, you may even be able to profit from these eager out-of-work professionals.

Depending on your business’ niche, a recession may even boost your profits and allow you to help others. It’s one more way starting a small online business will enable you to take hold of your life and control your destiny.

What’s more…

These are just some of the benefits the online business model provides in terms of profitability, flexibility, and efficiency, but there are actual mental/health benefits as well. Learning new skills creates positive habits and increases creativity. This aids in overall mental health and adaptability to new situations. It may seem risky to start a small online business. A regular nine-to-five job may be more stable and feel more secure. But when you are the boss, it forces you to reach your full potential. To step out of your comfort zone, sparks newfound energy, creativity, and passion that can be used to improve your skills in any field. The ability to innovate and create allows you to deliver the best possible service, faster, and more efficiently than you ever thought possible.

Now that you understand some of the endless advantages of starting an online business, the real question is: what type of business should you start?

Choosing the RIGHT online business for YOU

Along with the many advantages it brings to start a small online business, there are just as many different businesses models to choose from. As we have discussed, you currently have the resources to start any business you want right now! What separates successful online businesses from unsuccessful ones is the intent behind them. Your business has to have a plan behind it and come from a place of passion, or you will never put in the hours needed to make it successful.

When choosing to start an online business you must consider:

  • Your realistic income potential and expectations will allow you to set an initial investment budget for yourself. It will also dispel any businesses that may not be profitable for you.
  • Real, analytical data. Some online businesses are flukes and hard to re-create. Others take years to realize profitability. Do your research and make sure you know the market you are looking to enter.
  • Your competition and realistic time investment. Is this something in which it is worth investing your time? And how steep is the learning curve? Is the market saturated? Those are all critical questions to ask yourself before investing too much time or money into a business.
  • The realistic options at hand. We always recommend following your passions but a passion that pays. Passion is the driving factor behind profitability, but it’s easy to stray too far from profit if you are not realistic. That means doing your research, having a plan, and utilizing all available learning-resources.

To Conclude

Considering all of these points, we recommend affiliate marketing as the best and most versatile type of online business. Affiliate marketing is a fantastic industry that requires little-to-no experience yet yields high profitability with a gradual, short learning curve. The market is so diverse that you are sure to find something you have a real passion for with a proven track record of success. Without being bogged down by physical products of your own, you are free to sell, review, and promote already existing products with very little time and monetary investment.

To get started, check out this article on the best affiliate marketing programs available — from beginners to experts.

Need some more help? Check out some of our other informative resources, here. Feel free to drop a comment in the comment section as well!

5 replies
  1. Gabriela
    Gabriela says:

    Wow. Affiliate marketing? I’ve heard it’s really one of the best and most versatile types of online business. But I have not really learned much about it so it’s looking a bit tougher for me. If you say affiliate marketing is a fantastic industry that requires little-to-no experience yet yields high profitability with a gradual and short learning curve, I’ll go check out the post and see if it will be a good start for me.
    I also believe the market is so diverse that one with a real passion for something can take it up and make good returns for it even without any inventory and what have you.

    Reply
  2. Rick
    Rick says:

    I’m totally with you on this. More and more talented individuals are feeling undervalued in their current roles and have started looking for ways to earn elsewhere or become their own boss. I’m not going to lie, I was also in that state of mind.
    It wasn’t easy but I had to slowly work things up before I finally quit to focus on what I picked up. It’s not a major hit yet but it’s still better than nothing. Online business will pay you better as you will not have to spend much and still get a good return on investment. Everything can be automated including customer service and this alone can save you a lot of money and time. Not to mention you can get targeted customers as you know who you want and how to reach them.

    Reply
  3. Vivian
    Vivian says:

    True, recession can even be favorable on some business’ niche. I had one before I got married. It was a slow business at first but then the recession was able to boost profits while still allowing me help others. The online business was about creating and developing business ideas/plans for youths who are interested in becoming their own boss. The business boomed fast because at that point, a lot of people were looking for things to try and get themselves out of the harsh effect of the recession. I recorded huge success because it helped a lot of people who still came back after some time to show appreciation even after they had initially paid for the service.

    Reply
  4. Barclay Bob
    Barclay Bob says:

    Online business is presently the hot cake of life. I’ve been into online business for years now and I must say that it is still evergreen and not going anywhere soon. I think the earlier you tap into it, the better and faster you become an authority in your field of interest.

    Reply
  5. Julliet
    Julliet says:

    Lol. A regular nine-to-five job may be more stable and feel more secure and that is exactly why many people feel reluctant to get something else for themselves and leave. But nothing beats channeling your energy, creativity, and passion to improve your skills in the field you choose. It may sound impossible at first, but once you set your mind to it and slowly work on it, you’ll be comfortable in no time to quit your job and focus on your own online business.

    Reply

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