The pool of internet users grows steadily larger each year, fueling a rise in online commerce. With an ever-greater number of potential customers, now is a great time to start an online business.
Along with an expanding base of customers, many software tools have been created to help you with the nuts and bolts of building a business online. These tools range from infrastructure for collecting payments (Stripe) to sharing data between marketing tools (Zapier), running an email newsletter (MailChimp), and building a website (Squarespace). To learn to use these powerful tools you can self-educate via the many free blog posts and videos made available by peers engaged on their own learning journey.
There are solid advantages to becoming an online entrepreneur these days, and here are some tips to get started. But what type of business should you focus on? For 2023, three niches stand out.
1. Offer Online Coaching Services
A flexible and impactful career can be found in online coaching. Coaching comes in many varieties, such as life coaching, executive coaching, and wellness coaching. However you choose to specialize, you’ll be building individual relationships with clients based on trust and expertise.
Start-up costs are minimal (you don’t even need a website to get started) and ongoing expenses are low. What you do need is a way to consistently find clients, whether through word of mouth, advertising in your local community, affiliate relationships, or some other marketing channel.
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As a rule of thumb, in the first year of your business, expect to spend at least half your time on sales and marketing, and the other half spending time with your clients.
What qualifications are required to become an online coach? Coaching is a bit of a Wild West: there are no official bodies that certify or license coaches. There’s no legal bar or medical board to determine who can and cannot call themselves a coach.
There are many private companies that offer coaching education courses that culminate in “licenses” but all these mean is that you have been educated to the standard of a particular coach training program.
Be aware that when you set up a new coaching business you will have to comply with all local laws, which may require registering your business with the city and/or state government.
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2. Sell Used Cell Phones
The global market for used cell phones is projected to grow 10% in 2022 to reach a value of over 50 billion dollars. A growing market with low barriers to entry makes for a compelling business proposition.
You can spin up a smartphone resale business quickly and at little expense. You’ll need a reliable supply of high-quality used phones, and a system for listing them on marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon. Later on, as your business develops, you may choose to launch a website that you can use to sell to customers directly.
The key to success as a smartphone reseller is to maintain a rapid turnover of product with adequate profit margins. The more effort you spend on improving the quality of your listings, such as taking high-quality photographs and inputting accurate and thorough device descriptions, the better your listings will perform.
The next level of investment as a phone reseller is to hire people (or learn yourself) to repair phones. Replacing batteries and screens lead to quick wins and solid profits. As you gain experience with repairs, you can work up to making factory-grade refurbishments, which produce the highest profit margins of all.
Did you know it’s possible to run a successful e-commerce business without stocking any products or shipping them to customers? A dropshipping business does away with these elements by allying with manufacturers that are capable of performing order fulfillment. The way this works is that you find eligible products to list on your store (or on Amazon) and when customers make a purchase, you relay that information to the manufacturer, who ships directly to the customer.
To run a dropshipping business you need to excel in two areas: curating products and marketing. Finding the right products to stock is half the battle. The internet is awash in goods of every description. It can be hard to find the right product to meet your needs, and hard to have confidence that any particular product is worth buying with so many options. If you can deliver confidence to consumers, either through your reputation, expert curation, or customer reviews, you’ll have performed a valuable service and will earn their business.
These are the top three online businesses to start in 2023. Pick the one that aligns with your interests and abilities, and start building your future as an online entrepreneur.
And if you have an idea you think we’ve missed and are going to be a great online business to start in 2023, drop us a comment below and let us know what you think.