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Best Small Business Ideas In 2021 (Low-Investment & Online)




If you are looking for a low-cost business opportunity online, you are in the right place. Let’s go through the best business ideas in 2020 that you should start right now!

We live in times where you don’t have to be an expert on a particular topic to make money, especially if you build your business online. You can start your online business and scale it up until it brings you a couple of thousand dollars as passive income without lifting a finger.

The internet is a place where the magic happens, and all you need is your passion, a small set of skills, and strategic thinking. By the time you thought of all these things, some people already made millions online, so let’s not waste time and jump straight to the best small business ideas in 2020.

Best Online Business Idea: Start a Blog

This is probably one of the oldest and yet most profitable ways to make money online. Starting a blog might sound complicated, but it can bring you up to $100K per month even if you are not an expert in that field.

When you are starting your online business, you’re most likely going to sell one of these things:

  • Your time (consulting or coaching)
  • Someone else’s products (ads or affiliate marketing)
  • Your products (SaaS or eCommerce)

That is why blog business sounds interesting. When you have a blog business, you can sell the things mentioned above and make more money than any other business idea in 2020.

Usually, the advice from successful bloggers who were in the business for 5-10 years is to “write about your passion.” They also claim that you will start making money in a few years.

However, that advice is outdated, and you can definitely make life-changing money from your blog in months, rather than years. 

The main source of income for bloggers is affiliate programs. In fact, they can make over $80,000/month only by promoting SaaS software or physical products. The profit margin from affiliate programs (especially for SaaS) is very high, reaching over 90%.

Of course, you have to build your blog reputation and domain authority before you can start making money from affiliates. In the meantime, you can run ads that will support your blog.

Key Tips for Succeeding in the Blog Business

  • Choose a niche based on business factors (like trends, popularity,etc.) rather than passions.
  • Become an SEO master (know how to reach the top page of search engines)
  • Scale your blog by using guest blogging and link building strategies

The best thing about the blog business is that there is a low barrier to entry and very high profits. It is a great idea, even if you run it as a side business.

Business ideas in 2020: Start an Ecommerce Business

Online shopping concept

The latest situation with COVID accelerated the eCommerce business 3-5 years in the future. Now people are changing their purchasing behavior by only buying from online stores.

This means the Amazon FBA, fully self-operational manufacturers, or dripshippers sell products faster than ever before.

If you want a low-cost eCommerce store, the best way is to start dropshipping. This is an obvious option for beginners since you don’t have to fulfill and ship orders yourself.

Many people thought that dropshipping is a thing of the past, but it increased in popularity, and it is more profitable despite the high competition. 

Dropshipping is a relatively simple online business to start, where you, as a retailer, post products from wholesalers and directly ship them to your customer address. You don’t buy the products and have them in your physical inventory.

Many people wonder why people would buy a product from your store to buy it from the wholesaler at a lower price. Well, not many have the time to research products on Aliexpress, so they don’t know that you are a second or third hand. That’s the power of ads.

If you want to go with a dropshipping business, here is where to start.

  • Choose a more targeted niche (the smaller the audience, the better)
  • Choose your eCommerce platform (Shopify has a monthly trial, and after that, the first subscription starts at $29/month)
  • Set up your profit margin (Your profit margin should cover the ad expenses)
  • Research about Facebook ads
  • Launch your eCommerce store 

Dropshipping requires a minimal upfront investment, but it can be scaled up to generate 6-figure income.

Business ideas in 2020: Start Selling Online Courses 

Do you consider yourself an expert on any subject? Do you think you can transfer that knowledge to other people?

If your answer is YES on both questions, then this business model is perfect for you, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic, where people are used to the online learning method. 

Nowadays, people can learn various things via online course platforms, and the demand for online courses has been increasing over the past couple of years.

Several benefits come with online courses as a business:

  • Low investment
  • Can generate passive income
  • One-time deal

Starting a course is easy; the trouble is reaching people. The competition is very high, but it doesn’t mean that it is impossible to turn it into a profitable business.

Courses can cost from $5 to $1000 depending on the subject. Online courses can generate from $0-$50k/month, but on average, course creators earn from $1-5k/month.

Business ideas in 2020: Start a Podcast

Podcasting experienced exponential growth in the past couple of years. Almost 15 years ago, only 22% of adults in the U.S listened to podcasts. Now that number grew to over 75%.

There are also many ways you can make money with a podcast. For example, if we look at Joe Rogan, he was paid $100 million to air his podcast exclusively on Spotify.

So how to get started with your podcast?

Well, the first step is to plan your podcast episodes, choose a niche, and get your software and equipment. 

After that, you should sign up for podcast hosting. This service stores your audio files and distributes them to some of the biggest podcast networks like Spotify, iTunes, TuneIn, etc.

On average, podcasters earn from $25 to $40 for every 1,000 listeners. Podcast advertising rates throughout the industry are at $18 CPM for a 30-second ad and $25 CPM for a 60-second ad.

So, if your podcast has around 10,000 listeners, you will earn about $250 per episode, where 20% of the revenue is for commission fee, and the other healthy 80% is profit, minus the podcast expenses.

Overall, it is an excellent online business with a lot of potentials. You just need to become an expert in advertising your podcast and love what you are doing.

Business ideas in 2020: Print and Sell Your Products

We are back to the eCommerce business, but with a rather different approach. 

Nowadays, people make tons of money by creating their unique brand and selling custom products like T-shirts, stickers, bags, mugs, and more.

There are two ways you can approach this business model.

  • Making your products and handling logistics
  • Use an outsource company for printing and logistics.

If you want a low-investment online business, it is better to start with an outsource company that will take care of all your products and shipping to customers.

In that case, all you need to do is choose a low-populated and very targeted niche and start making your designs. After you finish them, you should make an eCommerce store and showcase them.

Whenever people purchase on your website, you can order the T-shirt from the outsourcing company and ship it to their address.

Selling customized t-shirts is a very profitable business that doesn’t have a limit. If your design pops up, you can generate a six-figure income in the first month.

Now it’s your turn to Start a Business

All of the small business opportunities work in the real world, and you don’t’ have to be a genius to earn a decent income. 

It is essential not to go for a business idea just because someone else is also doing that. Analyze your skills, interests, and pocket size then decide what you want to start.

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