7 Online Business Ideas That Could Make You Rich Unsure if you'll achieve your financial goals? Check out these 10 online business ideas that can make you rich with the right drive and ambition.

By R.L. Adams

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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There's no place better to earn money and get rich than America. In fact, the right business idea can elevate you into the upper class in a matter of months or years. Getting rich is more than a pipe dream for many – it's an eventuality achieved by ambition, drive, and deep desire.

But even if you have that desire, you might not know where to start. Fortunately, online commerce has exploded, resulting in new entrepreneurial opportunities for would-be business owners like you.

In this day and age, retail businesses aren't the only ways to make money. Instead, eCommerce or online businesses are taking more and more shares of consumer spending dollars, and this trend isn't likely to slow down anytime soon.

According to some sources, eCommerce sales grew by 50%, topping out at nearly $870 billion from 2020 to 2022. Even now, people are buying and selling stuff online, opening the way for ambitious entrepreneurs like yourself.

Related: Here Are 55 Small Business Ideas

There are lots of reasons why this is the case. Online shopping is more convenient and often more affordable than purchasing the same products in-store, especially considering how many businesses offer free shipping.

Then there's the fact that eCommerce shopping allows consumers to access a much wider range of products than they could get from retail shops in their local areas. Simply put, if you build the right online business, you can rake in cash much more readily than other business models.

The question then becomes, how can you take advantage of this massive surge of spending happening every second of every single day online? The truth? Whether you're looking to start a simple online business as a side hustle, or you're quite literally looking to get rich and make an exorbitant amount of money online, there are 10 businesses that simply can't be overlooked.

Related: 4 Online Marketing Trends With Big Potential to Drive Sales

How to start a business online

Starting an online business takes some legwork. There are legal and financial hoops that you'll need to jump through. It's important that you consult with an attorney or your accountant before taking the plunge. But, once you're ready, starting a business online, even with little money, is not only a possibility, it's a stark reality.

The beauty of the internet is that you can quite literally launch a business and make money online with very little to no capital. If you understand the mechanics of online marketing, or if you're great at social media, you'll clearly find it easier. But you don't need to be a pro to start your business online.

Like anything else in this world, you'll either need a lot of time or a lot of money. If you have both, then clearly, you're ahead of the game. But most people have more of the former rather than the latter. But considering that time is finite and we only have a certain amount of it, using your time wisely and managing your time properly is crucial to ensure your success.

Related: 10 Mistakes to Avoid When Starting an Online Business

1. Chatbot business

The rise of the chatbot has been extraordinary to witness. Thanks to the ubiquity afforded to us by chat on platforms like Facebook, we've grown quite used to chatting with friends and family across all our social media networks. That's why AI-powered chatbots present a new digital frontier for businesses looking to automate and relinquish much of the man-power it takes to have a chat with its customers.

This is abundantly clear when it comes to customer service. However, it's potent value in commerce has become quite obvious as well, and businesses across all spectrums are now taking advantage of this. Platforms like Manychat, ChattyPeople and several others have sprung up to take much of the confusion and complexities out of building a chatbot.

There's a proverbial gold rush happening today, of people trying to launch chatbots for their businesses to help automate some of their sales and marketing efforts that are needed to properly grow and scale in today's market. However, similar to California's Gold Rush, those that will likely get rich are the ones that sell the picks and shovels. For that reason, why not launch your own chatbot business? Sure, there's some effort involved here, but this is definitely worth the steep learning curve.

Related: Top 10 Best Chatbot Platform Tools to Build Chatbots for Your Business

2. Box subscription business

The box subscription business has exploded. While it's nothing new, and it's been around for ages now, the overwhelming rise of the internet has breathed newfound life into this online business idea. What is a box subscription exactly? If you think back for a moment to one of the most viral box subscriptions businesses, you'll clearly recall the Dollar Shave Club.

Founded by Michael Dubin in 2011, the concept was ingenious in its use of a video that quickly went viral. The company was sold for a billion dollars, and when you look at it from a sales funnel perspective, what Dubin did was brilliant. Like other box subscription businesses, there's a basic level of items that you can order.

When you place your order, you're directed into a sales funnel with numerous upsells in the form of add-ons. Dubin's understanding of the market forces and his ability to have fun and create a business that was properly poised for explosive growth have made him an icon.

However, you don't need to go viral to enjoy the growth in box subscription businesses. You'll even discover websites like CrateJoy, which was created primarily to help connect potential subscribers with box subscription businesses, giving you a platform where you can get the proverbial word out about your business.

Companies like Graze, Blue Apron, FabFitFun, LeTote and many others are on the rise. In 2016, it was estimated by Shorr Packaging that there were 21.3 million box subscription websites, up from just 700,000 in 2013, a roughly 3,000 percent increase. What's most interesting here are the consumer demographics. The typical visitor to a box subscription websites makes roughly $78,436 a year and is in their early forties.

Related: 10 Subscription Companies to Start Now

3. Ad management business

In today's highly-competitive marketplace, if you don't understand how to drive paid traffic and optimize your conversions, you need to turn to a company that does. The truth is that paid ads can get incredibly complex. Things like re-targeting and custom audience definitions, along with understanding the ebb and flow of everything with a sales funnel, is complex and confusing to most.

However, if you do understand the mechanics of paid advertising, then you could easily launch an ad management business. Considering that ads are fueling the growth of tech giants like Facebook, Instagram, Google and YouTube, with loads of others coming into the mix, understanding and navigating the murky waters of paid advertising could poise you to reap massive riches.

Why? Let's take a look at the numbers for a moment. Consider this: according to a report byeMarketer, digital ad spending in the U.S. will exceed traditional ad spending for the first time this year. By 2023, digital will surpass two-thirds of total media spending. Total digital ad spending in the U.S. will grow 19% to $129.34 billion this year -- 54.2% of estimated total U.S. ad spending.

The sheer facts point to continued explosive growth of online ads. And we're still in the infancy of the internet. The earlier you capitalize on this industry, the quicker you can build it into a formidable online business. Study and learn all the intricacies of advertising on platforms like Facebook and Google. Find courses, or use the free material available from a multitude of platforms to become a seasoned pro.

Related: The Death of Traditional Advertising and the Rise of Originality

4. SEO business

Search engine optimization is a topic that I've been writing about for years now. The truth is that, while paid ads are growing at an astounding rate, the ability to appear organically and relevantly on search engines like Google is not only becoming more competitive, but also more lucrative.

When it comes to organic search keywords, there is sheer value at the top. Considering that roughly 40 percent of people click on the first search results and that the first page accounts for some 91 percent of the search share, appear organically at the top of Google's Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) is something that is lusted and longed for by the world's foremost online marketers.

As the internet grows and expands, not only is SEO going to get more competitive, but it's also going to grow more lucrative. You could quite easily capitalize on this industry if you know what you're doing. This doesn't just go for doing work for clients, but also for yourself. You could launch any number of online businesses, niche websites, and blogs with the right amount ofSEO skills.

Related: 5 SEO Techniques You're Doing All Wrong

5. Vacation rental business

The vacation rental business is booming. While the mere mention of it might make you think about billion-dollar titans like AirBnB or HomeAway, there are niche businesses like Michael Joseph's InvitedHome and Joe Poulin's Luxury Retreats and many others being carved out across a variety of markets. When it comes to vacation rental homes and vacation rental management, companies are earning anywhere between 10 percent and 40 percent on the gross rental rate depending on the location and the management level.

Launching and building a vacation rental business might require some sweat equity along with the right turnkey software solution to help you keep things organized as bookings ramp up, but if you have an acute attention to detail, then this is by far one of the best businesses you can start online. Of course, this does operate in the real world, but your web presence and marketing skills are really what define this business and helps it to succeed.

If you're at all interested in the hospitality industry, and you live in a tourist destination, this is a terrific business that can make money fast. Companies like Lodgix, Lodgify and 365 Villas offer terrific turnkey solutions for quickly building and managing your very own vacation rental management business.

Related: 10 Hosting Options Besides Airbnb #TravelHosting

6. Webinar business

I know what you're thinking. How do you start a webinar business? Well, webinars are quite possibly one of the best ways that you can sell anything online. The best part? You don't even need your own product. Webinar guru, Jason Fladlien, co-founder of Rapid Crush, has grossed well north of $100 million in sales via webinars, which goes to show you the sheer power of this medium for selling.

Webinars offer an engaged audience that are ready and willing to purchase whatever it is that you're offering. As a fervent student of this medium, I've found explosive results await within a properly structured webinar. People like Liz Benny, Neil Patel and Russ Ruffino have been absolutely crushing it with webinars and online courses.

The best way you can launch a webinar business is to find a product you can promote and get behind. Then, build an excellent webinar. The Perfect Webinar is a formula originally developed by Fladlien but later brought to the mass market by Russell Brunson. Brunson also created a software with Jim Edwards called Funnel Scripts, which is an incredible piece of software that helps you to build your entire webinar including copy for ads and swipes.

Either way you approach it -- whether you have an existing business or just want to sell as an affiliate -- some of the best webinar platforms that you could use in the world are GoToWebinar and Andy Jenkins' WebinarJam.

Related: 6 Steps to Creating the Ultimate Webinar #NoBSPresentation

7. Business coaching

Business coaching is a lucrative online business that can tap into the massive market of entrepreneurs and business owners trying to find their way in the world of commerce. If you're an expert in business or have a deep understanding of the market forces of what drive purchases, then becoming a business coach could mean financial freedom.

People like Frank Kern and Anthony Robbins absolutely dominate the business coaching world, while several others are leading the charge as well. The best approach you can take in this industry is to offer an incredible amount of value upfront, and then have people pay you for execution.

Oliver Talamayan, another very successful business coach, uses this approach as his primary strategy for gaining clients and customers. First, you analyze the business and understand where it is today, then discover where they want to be down the road, and then figure out an approach to get them there.

The understanding and successful execution of an effective strategy is key here. You want to instill confidence in yourself, and to do that, you often need a good deal of social proof. For that reason, if you do want to launch a successful business coaching business, first, grab some customers and help them succeed. Then, get their powerful testimonials, and only then can you actually position yourself to charge high-ticket rates.

Brunson also talks about doing this before he started his Inner Circle. He helped Drew Canole successful launch Organifi into a global powerhouse by helping to consult, coach and deploy powerful strategies that helped Canole's company draw in tens of millions of dollars from one single funnel. After that, he was easily able to charge the big bucks.

8. Dropshipping business

Alternatively, you could start a dropshipping business. In a nutshell, a dropshipping business has you sell products made by a third party, like an overseas manufacturer or other brand, to consumers. However, your dropshipping business never has to hold any products, let alone take care of fulfilling orders or shipping products to customers. All you handle is sales and marketing.

For example, you might run a dropshipping business selling shoes and apparel to people made by a manufacturing firm located in China. You run an online advertising site selling the products by displaying excellent photos and product descriptions.

When someone places an order, you put the order through to your manufacturing partner, who fulfills it and ships the product to the paying customer. In exchange, your dropshipping partner gets a commission or percentage of the profits.

Dropshipping businesses are profitable and very advantageous for new business owners who may not have the startup capital needed for larger endeavors.

Related: 5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting a Dropshipping Business

As long as you have some web design and web development skills (and do some market research), opening an online store for dropshipping is one of the easiest business ventures to break into. It doesn't require incredibly high startup costs, and you can even bypass the website design by running your own business through outside eCommerce sites, like eBay or Etsy, or by including a relatively low-cost Shopify integration in your existing site.

Dropshipping is a highly profitable online business with a nearly endless pool of potential customers and target audiences.

9. Affiliate marketing

Have a desire to master the online marketing arena? Affiliate marketing could be the best type of business to pursue.

With affiliate marketing, you sign up for affiliate partnership programs with big eCommerce businesses like Amazon and more. Then you write blog posts, product reviews, and other online content. That content should direct people to purchase specific product pages on eCommerce stores using specially designed affiliate links.

Whenever someone clicks on an affiliate link to a product you have represented or reviewed, you get a commission from the sale if the customer makes a purchase. Affiliate marketing takes a while to build up and get running, but over time, it can result in a profitable stream of passive income. Build up a comprehensive blog network, and you'll barely need to do any work to keep the money rolling in!

This is a great option for full-time bloggers, established podcasters with YouTube channels, or those with small business operations, such as self-publishing writers with their own websites. It helps to have an audience, so beginners may not find it the most simple way to start a successful online business. However, if you have a strong online presence on your WordPress site or social media accounts, Affiliate marketing is one of the best online business ideas.

Related: 3 Tips to Get Started with Affiliate Marketing

10. Influencer marketing

Last but not least is influencer marketing: a type of social media marketing that requires you to build an active audience that follows you on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms.

Once you've built up an audience, you can partner with brands in exchange for representing, wearing, or using their products in front of your audience. Influencer marketing is one of the most effective means of digital marketing, which is why it's so in demand.

However, keep in mind that influencer marketing takes some time to achieve profitability. To be a successful influencer, you should cultivate a specific or niche audience and grow it over time by creating compelling, entertaining, and authentic feeling content.

However, influencer marketing is nice because you don't need any technical know-how or niche skill sets in fields like graphic design, app development, copywriting, proofreading, data entry, or marketing strategy. Many great online business ideas require not only high-quality hard work but also these technical skills. With influencer marketing, as long as you have decent social media management and a large following, all you're responsible for are referrals.

The sky's the limit

As you can see, the sky's the limit when it comes to making money through an online business.

If you're looking for quick side hustles, freelance writing on sites like Upwork and Fiverr or finding online work as a virtual assistant may get you the cash you need. However, if you want to be a small business owner and make serious changes to your income, consider these small business ideas and choose the business plan that best suits your needs and preferences. Good luck!

Check out Entrepreneur's other guides and resources here for more informational articles like this one!

R.L. Adams

Entrepreneur, software engineer, author, blogger and founder of WanderlustWorker.com

Robert Adams is a writer, blogger, serial entrepreneur, software engineer and best-selling author of dozens of technology, SEO, online marketing and self-development books, audiobooks and courses.

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