Gone are the days where owning your own business meant bricks and mortar. Indeed, today, you don’t actually even need any capital to get started for a lot of businesses. Other than your living costs that is.

Could 2020 be the year that you take the leap into your own online business?

Starting an online business means making your own money, your own decisions, and taking control of your life.

There is an online business idea for everyone. Which one can you make work for you?

Online business ideas for people who can code

Unsurprisingly, opportunities in tech are increasing every year and tech professionals are some of the highest earners out there. If you don’t already have the knowhow – this is the year to upskill and get coding.

A note about learning to code: There are places on the internet that say you can learn to code in just a few months. It’s doable, but pretty ambitious – it requires hours and hours of input each day.

However, if you don’t have the time, a few hours per week will add up over the months. You just need to consistently put in the practice.

Teaching yourself how to code can seem daunting. The good news is that there are plenty of courses and tutors online for you to learn from.

61 Best Online Business Ideas

That Work in 2020

1. Start a business designing websites

Web designers are in constant demand. Often confused with website developers, website designers are responsible for all of the aesthetic and user-focused aspects of a website.

Pros

  • You get to exert creativity with your code.
  • Every company worth its salt wants an attractive and fully functional website, so you have a delightfully large target market.

Cons

  • It’s essential to constantly update your knowledge when working in web design. Low-cost website builders such as WordPress and Wix become increasingly sophisticated all the time, meaning that you need to up your game to stay competitive.
  • The pay is not quite as high as for working in web development.

2. Become a website developer

Web developers use complex code to put together the nuts and bolts and whole structure of the website. Think of developers as the construction workers of a website, where web designers are the architects.

Pros

  • The job market in this field is constantly expanding. You’ll benefit from not only a wealth of well-paid job opportunities, but the chance to specialise in a niche of your choosing.

Cons

  • For those who are more artistic, spending hours and hours testing bugs might seem repetitive and boring.
  • Just like with web design, you have to constantly update your knowledge as technology progresses.

3. Become an app designer

“There’s an app for that!” Well, every app also has a designer. Unsurprisingly, app development is a booming industry and one highly worthwhile getting stuck into.

Pros

  • Once all your hard work starts paying off, you’ll be able to bring home a handsome sum from working with all your eager clients.
  • When you become established, you have the freedom to choose the clients you want to work with, helping work stay fun!

Cons

  • Whilst you’re getting up and running, before having a super swish portfolio to show off, you’ll have to go along with clients’ terms and payments.
  • In an office environment, there are usually people around that can help you with problems that crop up. Not so much when you’re freelance, so you will need to develop your own network.

4. Start a coding workshop business or coding school

Coding is big business and everyone wants a piece. There is money to be made by sharing your skills and knowledge in online coding courses or workshops.

Pros

  • As coding becomes increasingly necessary, not just for developer work but in other lines of work, your target market grows ever bigger.
  • This could become a relatively passive income stream, as the bulk of your course materials can be reused again for different students.

Cons

  • Even more than for other tech professionals, staying on top of the latest technological developments is the lifeblood of your business. You need to ensure you have the capacity to keep learning.
  • Teaching skills, as well as the knowledge of how to assemble a curriculum, are essential. So if you don’t have them, you’ll need to acquire them.

5. Become a software developer

Software developers write the code for pieces of software. As well as app development, software developers work designing software for all sorts of industries, including medical, business, science, industry, aerospace… The list goes on!

Pros

  • Software developer jobs are due to grow over twice as much as other industries by 2024 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Meaning that you have a lot of choice regarding the jobs and clients you decide to take on.

Cons

  • Although there is plenty of work, there is a decent amount of competition. It’s important to keep learning new skills to make you more attractive to clients than your competition.

6. Start a WordPress theme business

WordPress is one of the most popular and powerful website builders for creating websites without knowing how to code. One of the reasons it’s so popular is that there are pre-built themes, or templates, tailored to all types of sites, for example, schools, churches, e-commerce, bakeries. And these themes need designers.

Pros

  • When you build themes within a specific specialisation, you are likely to get word of mouth recommendations, allowing you to build up a network in your niche.

Cons

  • To sell your WordPress themes, you need to compete in a fairly saturated market, which can feel like a big hurdle to begin with. An understanding of marketing or the money to invest in effective marketing is pretty crucial to your success in selling your themes.

7. Start a Business Creating SaaS

SaaS stands for Software as a Service. These are pieces of software that you can run on a web browser, without the need for any downloads, for example, Google Drive. A SaaS developer falls somewhere between app developer and software developer.

Pros

  • SaaS projects have a tendency to be cheaper than software development, because you can start offering out services before having built everything in its entirety. So, as a business owner, it means lower upfront costs for you.

Cons

  • You need to be constantly connected to make updates and fix problems with your service.
  • You need to either pay for or learn how to market and sell your service.

Online businesses for people who can write

One of the least likely jobs to be replaced by automation is that of the writer, meaning it’s a great skill to have and an excellent foundation for a business. Different types of writing require different skills. If you are naturally good at writing, doing an online course or watching YouTube videos can instruct you in the specific style.

8. Start your own blog

Can you provide regular content of value for online readers? If you can get your blog a decent number of visitors, you can monetise it. 

Pros

  • Learning SEO skills will get your blog further up in the Google search pages, meaning more visitors and money, but it will also teach you valuable skills that you could use for other projects.
  • You have lots of potential revenue streams with a successful blog – affiliate marketing, ad revenue, selling your own services or products and sponsorship.

Cons

  • It’s time-consuming to write posts, which requires a big commitment if you want to make a success of it.
  • It can take time to build a big enough following to monetise your blog.

9. Start a business writing eBooks

Some of the most popular books in recent times have started out as self-published books and have gone on to make a hot ton of money. Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing is a great way to go for hopeful e-book authors.

Pros

  • Once your e-book is out there on the web, you can sell it again and again, which is a fantastic form of relatively passive income.

Cons

  • It can be a numbers game. Your first ebook may not make you the thousands or millions that you were hoping for. You are more likely to have success with a catalogue of ebooks.
  • Spending time and/or money on marketing is vital so that your potential readers know that your book exists!

10. Become a freelance article writer

If you’re one of those people that struggles to complete your own projects but you’re fine with a deadline, instead of writing on your own blog, start a business writing articles for other blogs.

Pros

  • You don’t have to worry as much about your own marketing or building a brand in comparison to having your own blog.
  • You can write about all sorts of different topics, rather than having to pigeon-hole yourself into one area.

Cons

  • You are likely to hit a ceiling with how much you can earn without having other ways of making money from your writing, such as affiliate advertising.

11. Start a copywriting business

Copywriters use a combination of writing, marketing and psychology to write persuasively for their audiences. That might include writing the text (copy) for websites, email campaigns, advertisements, product descriptions, and more.

Pros

  • You don’t need any specific qualifications to set up as a copywriter, although there are some helpful courses online to show you the ropes.
  • You can get experience working for freelancer platforms to build up your portfolio before contacting other prospective clients.

Cons

  • Some clients will not know what is best for their audience, and as a copywriter, the audience is who you are writing for. So you may have to spend some time educating your client on good copy.

13. Start a business writing CVs

CVs are looked at for about 5-7 seconds on average. Got what it takes to help someone’s experience stand out? Why not turn that into a business?

Pros

  • There are few barriers to entry, so you can get set up easily.
  • You can build up a portfolio by offering to write some CVs for people that you know.

Cons

  • You are unlikely to have repeat clients, so you will need to market yourself towards new clients effectively.

14. Become an email marketing consultant

Email marketing campaigns are a must for any business trying to get ahead and expand. And they need people to craft compelling email campaigns that win them more customers.

Email marketers not only create the content but can also use a range of clever software to analytics, audits and testing to see what works, drive traffic, and build relationships.

Pros

  • Email is one of the most important, if not the most important way of building and retaining a loyal customer base. Meaning that if you prove you can get results from your email campaigns, you will not be short of clients.

Cons

  • Lots of potential clients will think they can do their own email marketing campaigns, so you may have your work cut out for you when it comes to persuading them to use your services.

15. Start a technical writing business

Technical writers create technical communication for a load of different fields, such as medical finance, computing, engineering, and so on. Often this involves taking technical information and writing it so that it can be digested by the layperson.

Pros

  • Technical writers tend to earn more than other types of writers, as they are more niche.
  • You can learn some really interesting stuff in different areas.

Cons

  • You have to keep learning about emerging technologies so that you stay current and competitive.
  • You’re under pressure to absorb information that can be highly complex.

Online businesses for people who can teach

If you can do, teach. But just make sure you can do it online where you can carve yourself out a nice, solopreneurial lifestyle complete with healthy bank balance.

16. Start a webinar business

Do you have the skills or knowledge to offer interesting, engaging webinars? If so, you could use these as a tool for making money through selling products, services, or by doing affiliate advertising, or by charging a fee.

Pros

  • The discussion format of a webinar means that there is less preparation than for online courses or one-to-one tutoring.
  • You can host webinars on existing sites like Webinar Jam, or start your own site

Cons

  • Webinars need to be hosted, so you are tying yourself into a specific time and date for each webinar. This makes it less flexible than setting up your own online course with pre-created videos.

17. Create and sell online courses

For those with knowledge to impart onto others, selling online courses is a great business to embark on this year. Once you’ve created them, students can buy your courses to take at a time that suits them.

Pros

  • This can be a superb form of passive income, as you design and create your course and you can sell it over and over again.

Cons

  • A lot of upfront work and planning is required.
  • You have to consider where to sell your course. Platforms such as Udemy have their own pros and cons, and selling on your own site will require a good marketing plan so that potential customers can find your course.

18. Become an online language teacher

Each year, in our increasingly globalised world, more and more people are studying English or other foreign languages. You can set up your own freelance teaching business, and even scale it up to a language school.

Pros

  • It’s easy to get set up as an online teacher through platforms such as iTalki and Verbling.
  • If you specialise, for example in business English or exam prep, you will have greater flexibility to choose better-paying clients and people you want to work with.

Cons

  • Depending on where your students are based, the hours can be unsociable.
  • To secure the higher-paying students, you will likely need to train in language teaching.

19. Start an online tutoring business

If you have knowledge of a particular subject, especially maths or the sciences, you could set up a tutoring business for students who need some extra tuition. Parents are often willing to pay a decent rate for tutors when their children’s exams are looming.

Pros

  • Tutoring can be hugely rewarding when your students go on to achieve something that they had struggled with.

Cons

  • The work can be a bit boom and bust around term time and exams, so you’ll need to make sure you can cover the quieter periods of the year.

20. Become an online life and career coach

Life and career coaches help people and small businesses establish their vision and their goals, and take the right steps towards making changes.

Pros

  • You don’t need any special qualifications, and the set-up costs are low.
  • Successful coaches can charge healthy rates, meaning that once you’re up and running, you’ll have more time to spend on other projects.

Cons

  • It can take some time to build up a potential client base.
  • If you don’t have any qualifications, you will need to work hard to persuade potential clients of your value.

Online businesses that support business and entrepreneurs

There are 5.9 million small and medium private businesses in the UK, and these are the kinds of businesses that will be outsourcing work to other businesses – and solopreneurs like yourself.

B2B is really where it’s at when it comes to starting a successful online business this year.

21. Become a virtual assistant

Virtual assistants (VAs) are online PAs who help their clients with administrative and other support tasks. Usually, clients do not need full-time support, so you will have several clients on the go at any one time.

Pros

  • Working for multiple clients keeps things interesting and means that you get to learn new skills and learn about new industries.

Cons

  • Your competition comes from VAs working in countries with much lower salaries and costs of living, so you will have to be able to market yourself effectively.

22. Start an online customer service business

Plenty of organisations need customer support on a small scale, and will outsource this to online professionals. Online customer service support agents and businesses will often have a few different clients.

Pros

  • Your start-up costs will be low. All you need is the ability to take calls and a decent connection.
  • There is no shortage of businesses needing customer services, and if you are based in the UK working for UK businesses, this could work to your advantage.

Cons

  • Dealing with upset customers can be quite stressful, particularly as the pay for this kind of work is not that high.

23. Become a social media manager

A strong social media campaign is essential in 2020. A social media manager helps brands to develop their brand voice and increases the engagement of the target audience with the brand on Facebook, Twitter, and the like.

Pros

  • You don’t need any special qualifications or experience as such, meaning that you could start out by doing some work for free/on the cheap to build up your portfolio, then start seeking out your target clients.
  • If you enjoy spending time on social media, then this business is win-win.

Cons

  • Excess social media use has been linked to isolation and mental health issues, so if social media is your business, you need to make sure that you establish clear boundaries for yourself.

24. Become a business coach

A business coach helps business owners to achieve the goals of their companies. If you have experience in helping businesses on a strategic level and an awareness of the challenges for the company of 2020, it’s one to consider.

Pros

  • Watching businesses succeed after you point them in the right direction can be highly satisfying.
  • Once you have some great work under your belt, you’ll be able to charge a healthy rate for your services.

Cons

  • Businesses may sometimes want you to do the hard work for them, so you will need to emphasise that you have a collaborative relationship with the business.

25. Start an ad management business

Ad managers, and in the online world that means pay-per-click (PPC) such as Google and Facebook, oversee and manage the advertising expenditure for businesses. And the majority of businesses need effective online advertising that they cannot necessarily implement themselves.

Pros

  • This is another business where you don’t need a specialist qualification, so you can start by learning your craft as you work.

Cons

  • There can be a bit of a learning curve when it comes to the research and stats side of the job. You need to carry out frequent competitive analyses and constantly test your ads.

26. Become an affiliate marketer

Affiliate marketers get paid for advertising on behalf of other businesses. This could be on a website which gets a lot of traffic, blog, social media, podcast, and all sorts. Anywhere where you have some influence or can attract an audience is fertile ground for affiliate marketing.

Pros

  • There are lots of possibilities for growing an audience, which means that you have the chance to pick something you’re really interested in and use that as a springboard for affiliate marketing.

Cons

  • You need an audience! So, if you don’t have one, that means building one, which can take time.

27. Become an SEO expert

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. SEO specialists have a knowledge and understanding of how search engine algorithms work, meaning that they can adapt webpages to come higher up in the search results. Meaning more clicks and more business. And what company doesn’t want that?

Pros

  • SEO is a massively growing field, meaning that there are always loads of opportunities for SEO specialists that can get results.

Cons

  • Google and other search engines are constantly updating their algorithms, which means that it’s essential that you are continuously learning.

28. Start a copy-editing business

Businesses need copyeditors to go through all of their copy and content to check for issues with grammar and spelling, inconsistencies, style and flow. Those with a good understanding of how copy works and have a good eye for detail could find success in copy-editing.

Pros

  • The amount of content on the web is continuously growing, and businesses have become increasingly aware of the need for error-free and accurate copy. This makes copy-editing a solid business idea for 2020.

Cons

  • Lots of businesses will want to keep their editing in-house. You will need to work hard to communicate your worth to your prospective clients.

29. Start a website building business

It’s not only web developers and designers that can build websites in 2020. Website builders such as Wix, WordPress and Squarespace are relatively easy to learn. So, for businesses that don’t want to cost and upkeep of working with a designer, but who don’t have the time or skills to build a site themselves, you could be just what they’re looking for.

Pros

  • Learning how to use website builders is fairly straightforward, meaning that you can build your skills up quickly and start making money.

Cons

  • You won’t be able to charge as much as web designers.
  • You will need to stay ahead of the game as the technology continues to advance.

30. Create an online recruitment business

A knowledge of a specific industry, sales skills, and a love of working with people are the perfect ingredients for starting a recruitment business. And with professionals moving jobs increasingly frequently, an online recruitment business is a smart move for 2020.

Pros

  • Finding the right people for the right businesses in the right industry can net you a decent income.

Cons

  • You’re likely to work more unsociable hours, dealing with potential candidates while they’re not at work.
  • It can be disappointing if your candidate does not get the job you put them forward for.

31. Start a video editing business

As more companies realise the value of having video communications as part of their arsenal, more opportunities open up for video editors. This year is set to be a great year for those who take the plunge into professional video editing.

Pros

  • Although lots of video editors have qualifications in communications or media, this is far from essential. Unsurprisingly, the internet is a treasure trove of video tutorials and courses to help equip you with the skills you need.

Cons

  • You may have to spend a decent amount on software and equipment to get yourself set up.

32. Start a dropshipping business

When vendors don’t hold their own inventory, they often use drop shippers to source products from suppliers and have them delivered to customers. This is growing ever more popular, so a drop shipping business is a great way to go this year.

Pros

  • Because you don’t need to hold any stock, this is a business you can start for next to nothing.
  • Specialising in a niche, for example, children’s bikes, is a good way to make profits but also make sure that you remain interested in what you’re doing.

Cons

  • It can take a lot of work to build a dropshipping business. You will need to network to secure clients, and have an effective marketing strategy.

33. Begin a transcription service

Transcribers convert audio, for example, from court, medical proceedings, conferences, and so on, into text. There is plenty of transcription work available online, which you could secure by creating a well put-together transcription business.

Pros

  • There are few start-up costs, and you don’t need specialist qualifications. This not only means that you will be able to learn transcription easily, but you will also be able to expand by taking on more staff.

Cons

  • Transcription projects are usually temporary so you may spend a lot of time trying to get new clients. Because of this, you might find that the work is a bit boom and bust.

34. Become a freelance project manager

A solid background in project management, a good network, and a willingness to take on risk in order to reap rewards. Sound like you? Starting your own project management is a good move for 2020.

Pros

  • Once you’re up and running, you will have the opportunity to take on projects that really interest you, in industries that you care about.
  • You’re far removed from the office politics that you might experience working as a project manager in a company.

Cons

  • Project managing for a company provides a certain safety net that you don’t have as a freelancer.
  • Project management can be pressurised and stressful, so you have to know that you have the resilience for this kind of business.

35. Start a business running focus groups

To get ahead, it’s critical that businesses do effective market research. One of the best ways to get information from a target market is to get them in a room and talk to them. By running focus groups, you’re providing a crucial service.

Pros

  • Every good business will understand the value of the information gained from focus groups. Meaning that there is huge potential for the solopreneur looking to offer such services.

Cons

  • It can be challenging if the results of the focus group are not what your client wanted to hear. You will need to learn how to navigate breaking ‘bad news’ to clients.

36. Start a web research business

If you’re good at finding relevant information on the web, a move into web research in 2020 could be just the business idea you’re looking for. Companies might hire you to research their market, their competitors, product prices or to scout for talent.

Pros

  • You have the chance to work on all sorts of different projects, which means you’ll learn a lot.
  • The more you conduct web research, the more efficient you’ll become at it. Meaning you get paid more for your time.

Cons

  • You will need to convince your prospective clients that your skills are considerably more valuable than their own web search skills. It may take some time to build up the portfolio and testimonials needed to do this.

37. Start a debt collection business

Companies lose big sums of money from unpaid bills and debts, but often don’t have the skills to recoup the money themselves. You can free up time and resources for businesses by offering this valuable service.

Pros

  • Companies are often willing to pay a decent fee for effective debt collectors.
  • You don’t need any specific qualifications, although you will need good negotiation skills and up-to-date legal knowledge.

Cons

  • You will likely need to do shift and weekend work so that you are able to recover debt from people who work during the day.

38. Start a lead generation business

Lead generation is a critical part of digital marketing, and a highly valuable service for businesses. Leads are generated when you set up an ad and the person that clicks it comes to your site and fills in a form, giving you and your client the necessary information to turn them into a customer.

Pros

  • All businesses need leads. So if you’re good at what you do, and especially if you specialise in a niche, you have a great potential market.

Cons

  • You’ll need to get good at SEO, and as I mentioned earlier, that means constantly keeping your knowledge updated. Nobody is going to click your ad if it doesn’t hit that sweet spot at the top of the search.

39. Start a chatbot marketing business

Chatbots are a really successful marketing method with high conversion rates. Perfect for clients who need to increase their conversions. You can start a chatbot using a chatbot builder like MobileMonkey, which operates through Facebook Messenger.

Pros

  • This is a quickly growing market but it’s not yet saturated. So you can strike while the iron is hot!
  • You don’t need to know how to code thanks to chatbot builders.

Cons

  • As the industry is new, chatbot builder companies are not yet firmly established, so you’ll need to do your homework.

40. Start an online PR business

Public relations people are responsible for promoting their clients by getting more prestigious forms of media to take an interest in them. They also work on the relationships of the client and put them in a stronger position.

Pros

  • If you have a background and contacts in a specific industry, you will be able to capitalise on these to grow your business.

Cons

  • You might have to spend money to make money, by spending money on gifts and entertainment for clients.

Online businesses for outgoing personalities

For the shining stars among you, there are a few online businesses that you could start this year where you can get your share of the limelight and start making some money.

Not that these businesses are strictly for extroverts, as these endeavours can be concocted in the peace of your own home!

41. Become a YouTuber

You can start a YouTube channel about anything and with minimal equipment. Do your research and find a niche so that you have the best chances of success.

Think about how you can benefit potential viewers with professionally created, entertaining, and informative content.

Pros

  • Starting a YouTube channel gives you the opportunity to learn about a whole load of other things – how to brand, SEO, marketing, video editing, public speaking…
  • This is a business that you can use to promote any other products or businesses that you might have, so if you have a blog, you can direct traffic to it from your YouTube channel.

Cons

  • There is a lot of competition, especially with channels related to gaming, food, or beauty.
  • It can take a lot of time to build a following. Meaning that it could be a while before you start profiting from your channel. YouTube requires you to have 10,000 hours of watch time and 1,000 followers before you can have paid ads on your videos.

42. Become a podcaster

By the end of 2019, 51% of the population had listened to a podcast. You can make money through advertising other people’s businesses and products on your podcast, or through crowdfunding on a website such as Patreon.

Pros

  • Just like YouTubing, you can learn plenty of other skills by putting together your podcasts.

Cons

  • Similarly to YouTube, it can take time to build a loyal audience, and until you do, you won’t be able to profit. So, it’s a bit of a long game.

43. Become an Instagram influencer

Influencers make money by placing sponsored posts on their Instagram accounts. The pay for this depends on the number of followers you have. You can also make money through affiliate advertising, selling your own products, blogging, etc.

Pros

  • Being authentic is part of your selling point. Meaning that you don’t have to promote products that you don’t believe in.

Cons

  • You need a lot of followers, so if you don’t already have a big following, you will need to work hard to come up with a strategy and content that will get you, followers.

Businesses selling goods online

44. Start a box subscription website

Graze, Hello Fresh, shaving subscriptions, books, magazines, and even cassettes. Box subscriptions have become seriously popular in the UK recently, making 2020 a great year to start a business selling them.

Pros

  • It’s easy to make revenue projections when your customers pay you monthly, as long as you are able to retain them.
  • You can get feedback more easily if you have customers that buy from you each month, meaning that it will be easier to keep them happy and make sure you retain them.

Cons

  • Potential customers are often turned off by the idea of contracts, so you may need to find alternative ways of billing your customers so that you don’t intimidate them.

45. Sell handmade goods

People are becoming increasingly interested in handmade and upcycled goods as concerns about the environment impact more on consumer choices. There are plenty of items that you can make at home and sell online, either on a marketplace like Etsy or Amazon Handmade, or on your own e-commerce website. Think furniture, jewellery, clothing, toys…

Pros

  • If you’re turning a hobby into a business, you get to spend your days doing what you love.
  • Starting your business by selling on platforms such as Etsy means that you can focus on building up inventory and securing sales without having to put too much time and money into attracting customers in the early days.

Cons

  • If you make handmade goods, it can be difficult, or even impossible, to upscale, meaning that there is a ceiling with the amount of profit you can make.
  • You may tire of making the same thing again and again

46. Become an eBay seller

eBay has 182 million users worldwide, so it’s fair to say that there are a lot of businesses making money on eBay. Could you join them, selling either goods you’ve made or bought and selling on for profit?

Pros

  • If you have an online store, also selling goods on eBay is a great way to connect with customers and direct them to your shop.
  • The 3dcart on eBay gives sellers a great way of managing inventory, making it easier for you to keep track of your sales on the platform.

Cons

  • Selling on eBay, compared to your own e-commerce website, means you have to play by their rules and regulations (refunds, returns, customer service), giving you less flexibility for your business.

47. Become a domain trader

The buying and selling of domains, or domain flipping, has made some savvy entrepreneurs millions. (Imagine if you’d bought hotels.com a few years ago?)

Having a feel for how industries are developing and potential future trends will give you an idea of potentially popular future domains, which you can buy at low prices and sell on for a profit.

Pros

  • There are so many possibilities for future domain names, and there are still plenty of .com domains left!
  • If you are careful with the domains you pick, that is, you work in a specific niche, you could make a decent monthly income for the work you put in.

Cons

  • This is definitely one to start part-time, as it will take a long time to start making a lot of money from it.
  • You need to spend a lot of time seeking out prospective buyers and persuading them to purchase your domains, which requires marketing and sales skills.

48. Sell goods on your own e-commerce site

Some of the most popular trends on e-commerce sites in the last year included body shaping underwear, pet beds, pet grooming products, smartwatches and posture correcting devices. Pick a niche, find a supplier, put together a watertight business plan, and you could stand to see yourself raking in the money.

Pros

  • Wholesaling and dropshipping companies mean that you don’t have to have a huge amount of capital to start with, nor do you have to store a load of inventory.

Cons

  • Competition is pretty fierce, so you’re going to have to have a strong marketing game to get ahead.
  • Technical issues with your site, and they do happen, will have an impact on your revenue.

49. Start a group purchasing organisation

 Group purchasing organisations secure discounted prices for goods or services for their members by using the collective buying power of the smaller companies that make up the organisation.

Pros

  • You are in a position of advantage because you can lower the costs of goods for your clients.
  • You are helping smaller businesses to get ahead by bringing them the discounts that are usually only available for bigger enterprises.

Cons

  • You need to make sure that your fee is sufficient for you to run your business but that it doesn’t undermine any discount that your clients make.
  • There is a possibility that you would need warehouse space, which would increase costs

Online businesses for the artistic

50. Become a graphic designer

Graphic designers design the visual aspects of brochures, magazines, reports, either by hand or using computer software. They can have a ton of different roles, such as creative director, in all sorts of different industries.

Pros

  • You have a lot of flexibility about what area of graphic design you want to go into. If you have a particular hobby or interest, you can specialise in this area. And if you do that, workdays won’t feel like work.

Cons

  • It can be challenging if you have to deal with demanding clients, or clients who want their work with really tight turnaround times. So, it can be a fairly pressurised business.

51. Start a t-shirt business

If you have some creative ideas for t-shirts, there are plenty of places online where you can sell your designs for zero start-up costs. You can also start your own e-commerce shop on a site like Shopify.

Pros

  • You can start by testing out some of your designs on existing websites, such as streetshirts.co.uk. And if you have success, you can scale up by starting your own site.

Cons

  • If you want your business to be more than a side gig, you are going to need to invest time and/or money in marketing, finding drop shippers, getting a website made, and so on.

52. Create a logo design business

One specific area of graphic design is logo design. (Although you don’t have to be a graphic designer to be a logo designer). All companies and organisations need a decent logo, and if you can use your skills to create something of value, this can be turned into a business.

Pros

  • You don’t need a qualification or experience to start designing logos.
  • You can start drafting up designs quite easily and quickly using Canva or Adobe Creative Cloud.

Cons

  • There are more and more logo design generators online, so you need to be able to persuade your potential clients that your designs are worth their money.
  • Many people do not realise that logo design requires in-depth research and analysis of the client, their customers and the industry that they’re in.

53. Start an illustrations business

If you can draw, an illustration business could be an excellent option for setting up your own online company in 2020.

Pros

  • You have a serious amount of options as to who you work for. It’s not just books – think advertising, magazines, record labels, fashion, business guides…

Cons

  • Similarly to graphic design, you may have clients that put pressure on you to turn work around quickly, so you will need to make sure you can manage their expectations properly.

54. Start an animation business

Turning your artistic talents and your interest into a business with an independent animation business. You might pick short films, motion graphics, 2D or 3D animations – there are a lot of options, but it’s important to specialise so you can carve out your niche.

Pros

  • This is a great way of turning a hobby into a business, meaning you’ll enjoy getting up and going to work every day.

Cons

You may need to hire other professionals to work with you, which can bring cost challenges.

Online businesses in the travel industry

55. Become an online travel consultant

Things have changed since the days of high street travel agents, but that doesn’t mean that travel agents aren’t still popular. Plenty of people want to have a certain type of holiday, be it on a budget, or an eco-friendly trip, without having to do all of the leg work.

Pros

  • You can specialise in the area that you’re most interested in.
  • You’ll be able to take satisfaction in giving your clients fantastic experiences that they wouldn’t otherwise have.

Cons

  • The work can be somewhat seasonal, meaning juggling a lot of work in the summer and having less work in the off-peak season.

56. Start a photography business

A photography business obviously has a wide scope. You could sell photographs as artwork to consumers, or to other businesses. Indeed, all sorts of businesses with an online presence (which, well, is pretty much all of them) are beginning to understand the value of high-quality and unique images.

Pros

  • If photography is already a hobby, you will have some equipment and skills, and will just need to work on the business side of things. With the right resources and hard-working attitude, you can make photography a successful business in 2020.

Cons

  • 2020 will see even more technological advancements. And I’m talking cameras, smartphones and the like. This means that the barriers to entry in this industry are becoming increasingly lower. So you need to find a niche and put yourself ahead of the competition.

Online businesses for people who are good with numbers

57. Start a tax returns business

We will boldly state that 2020 is the year of the solopreneur! And solopreneurs need to pay their taxes. Which means tax returns. Which means that those with the maths know-how can make money helping those who don’t.

Pros

  • This a growing market. Plenty of solopreneurs need help with their taxes but don’t want to shell out hefty accountant fees.

Cons

  • Taxes are a source of stress for many, meaning that it may be challenging to convince your potential clients that you have the know-how to do a great job in comparison to a qualified accountant. It may be worth getting a qualification to help you.

58. Become a financial advisor

The growth rate for financial advisors is looking pretty great compared to a lot of jobs. If you have the skills to provide businesses and entrepreneurs with sound financial advice, the sky is the limit.

Pros

  • The earning potential for financial advisors is extremely healthy.
  • A great income means that you have the flexibility to choose the kind of clients that you want to work for.

Cons

  • There are regulatory requirements that it is essential to stick to.
  • It can take some time to build up a decent client base.

59. Start a bookkeeping business

Bookkeepers take responsibility for the accounts (or ledger) of a company and produce financial statements. So, clearly, a pretty vital role for small businesses!

Pros

  • If you specialise, you will be better able to market yourself and increase your revenue.

Cons

  • It’s highly advisable to get some professional experience or a qualification in either bookkeeping or accounting. This can take some time to get.
  • This type of business comes with potential liability issues.

60. Start trading stocks

Buy low, sell high, make money. That’s the name of the stock trading game. Those who are patient, analytic and have a good understanding of the trading philosophy may be able to turn stock trading into a business.

Pros

  • There have been a lot of people who have made big money by buying and selling securities.

Cons

  • You need to start with a decent amount of capital if you’re going to make good money with it.
  • It’s a highly risky business, meaning that you could lose your money.

61. Make money trading cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are a form of digital cash that aren’t controlled by any government or financial institution.

Trading in crypto can seem a bit like the Wild West when it comes to investing. But it’s new, it’s exciting, and a lot of people have made a lot of money doing it.

Pros

  • There are loads of helpful tools and resources to get you started in the world of crypto trading.
  • It’s anonymous, safe and secure.

Cons

  • Just like trading stock, you stand to lose all of the money that you put in.
  • It can be challenging to understand if you’re not of a technical mindset.

Conclusion

It’s time to stop slaving away for someone else and to start making your own decisions and your own money. Starting a business with the ideas above won’t be easy, but I guarantee it will be worth it if you do it properly.

Assess the pros and cons of each and consider which ones are best for your skills, experience and personality.

So, spend some time doing your research, and when you’ve decided on a business that is a good fit for you, put together a solid business plan so that you give yourself the best jump-start into 2020.

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