The Internet and the online world offer tons of business opportunities for all of us. If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, you have to furnish yourself with the latest trends in technology, especially the Internet and information technology. There are many business opportunities and startup ideas that we can undertake to achieve our dreams and goals as entrepreneurs. If you are planning to start an online business today, you better look forward to the best online business ideas for the coming future. Check out the following top 25 online business ideas for 2014.
1. Mobile apps development. Billions of people are now using smartphones. Furthermore, there are also tablets and the upcoming Google glass that will make the Internet world more mobile. This makes the online marketing industry more mobile than ever. That is why mobile apps will continue booming in 2014 and beyond. There is an increasing demand for mobile apps. Thus, mobile application development is one of the hottest business opportunities in 2014.
2. Online reputation management (ORM). Companies and personalities need to protect their reputation online to preserve their business brand or personal brand. Since the Internet users are rapidly increasing in numbers, online brand mentions (whether negative or negative) are also increasing. Businesses need to hire ORM specialists to protect their brand from negative mentions and to promote their brand’s positive image online.
3. Search engine optimization (SEO) services. SEO will continue booming as long as search engines are thriving. In fact, because it is now more difficult to rank a website on the search engines, quality SEO firms are now becoming more in demand. Brands and companies need SEO to make sure that their websites will be loved by Google and by other search engines, and will drive more relevant and targeted traffic from these search engines.
4. Social media marketing services. Social media is the new marketing horizon for most businesses. Social media marketing is also important in search marketing and mobile marketing. So if you’re an expert in promoting a business or brand on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube and other social networking sites, then this business opportunity is for you.
5. Content creation and marketing services. Content marketing is vital to online marketing success. If you love writing and you are passionate in making extensive research to support your content to become more useful and engaging to target audience, then content marketing might be a great business idea for you.
6. Virtual office assistance. Business owners want to focus on the tasks that could make their company more productive and profitable. That is why they need virtual assistants – professional whom they can delegate other tasks through the Internet to make their business process more efficient. Virtual assistance may come in many forms, including marketing, encoding, design, accounting and customer service.
7. Business process outsourcing. Business process outsourcing is actually a broad service. Some of the common services offered by BPO companies are customer support, technical support, help-desk services, telemarketing, data-entry services, accounting and research. If you can build a team of professionals and you have the IT infrastructure, then you may also try starting a BPO company.
8. Website design and development. The web design and development industry will continue revolutionizing. From desktop, it will go through mobile browsing. Businesses will need web designers who can make their company websites responsive and mobile friendly.
9. Website flipping. Website flipping is the method of developing a website and selling it for profit. Website buying and selling can also be considered as flipping. If you know this business, you can buy and develop web properties and sell them for profit – it’s like developing and dealing real properties.
10. Cloud hosting. Data in the cloud are considered to be scalable, flexible and more efficient. That is why more and more businesses would prepare to host their files, websites and applications on the cloud. There are already web hosting companies who are offering cloud hosting reselling for those who want to start a cloud hosting business without cloud infrastructures.
11. Digital publishing and advertising. You can create a network of websites with rich content to attract a great number of traffic or audience. With your network of websites, you can offer advertising packages to clients who want to advertise their business on your network. It’s like publishing newspapers and magazines. The only difference is that you’re publishing it online and targeting the Internet users both desktop and mobile.
12. Digital advertising brokerage. If you don’t own a network of websites, you can invite other websites and pool them as an advertising network. Here, you can be the broker who will find advertisers for them. But since you don’t own those websites, you don’t earn the advertising income in full. You only get a commission or a percentage of that income.
13. Video production and animation. Videos and animations are great marketing forms. Businesses want to have a great video to promote their products and brands on YouTube, Facebook and other channels. Videos also have a high potential to become viral. Thus, if you have skills and talents in video production and animation, then help companies to create the best film for their business.
14. Graphic and infographic design. Display marketing is hot right now. This is evidenced by the popularity of social networking sites that focus on images like Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook. Infographics are also popular contents that marketers love to use to promote businesses. So if you’re a graphic artist, then this business opportunity is for you.
15. Photography and image consulting. Are you a photographer? Do you love photography? Then use your talent and skills to thrive in the online world. Beautiful images are needed in the online marketing industry, especially in display and image marketing. Almost everybody wants to have their best profile pictures and cover photos on social media websites, like Facebook and Instagram.
16. eCommerce store. We can sell almost everything on the Internet. So if you are already doing business offline, then why not try to bring it on the online world. You can list your products on eCommerce websites like eBay and Amazon.com. Moreover, you can also create your own online store or eCommerce website.
17. Data privacy and security services. Concerns on privacy and data security will continue to increase in 2014. Any confidential or private data can easily leak and spread online through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Thus, companies and individuals will look for data privacy and security experts who will help them protect their privacy and security online.
18. Online webinars. Information and education are still one of the best products that can easily sell to people, especially in this era where transfer of information are already very efficient through the Internet. If you’re knowledgeable and an expert on a particular field then teaching people through webinars could also be a good business idea.
19. Online business coaching. Many people are already venturing into the online business world. If you already have proven a formula to online business success, then teach and guide people how to make their online business a success.
20. Online expert consulting. Share your expertise online and make money from it. Whatever your expertise is, certainly, there are people who will need it. Online consulting is now easier because of our modern Information Technology. Most expert consultations are just happening online through Skype or even at Google+ hangout.
21. Email marketing. Effective email marketing can be done with content marketing and relationship marketing. If you have a database of emails which are subscribed to your newsletter, blogs and other useful content, you can use it to promote products from reputable companies. Just make sure that your subscribers won’t be spammed and the products you promote to them are useful and relevant to them.
22. Affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is a huge industry, and it will still be big in 2014 and beyond. According to Forrester Research, affiliate marketing spend in the US will grow to $4.1 billion in 2014. Thus, affiliate marketing will still be a profitable business idea next year. There are affiliate networks like Amazon.com, Commission Junction and Clickbank.com, where you can sign up to begin promoting affiliate products in your website, blog and other network, and earn commission income for every lead you will generate.
23. Referral and network marketing. If word-of-mouth marketing is traditionally effective, then it would be more effective and efficient if done online. Network marketing and MLM (multi-level marketing) are also among the hottest trends today. So if you want to start an online business, network marketing can be a prolific business as long as you will choose the right product and you will market it using quality word-of-mouth marketing and relationship marketing.
24. Blogging. Blogging can also be a lucrative business. There are many bloggers today that are earning lots of money from their blogs through direct advertising, PPC advertising, affiliate marketing, membership fees and sponsorship. The more popular blogs, which are visited by millions of people monthly, have already made their owners rich. The secret to blogging success lies in the quality, quantity and authority of their blog posts. Blogging also needs online marketing strategies, such as SEO, social media marketing and content marketing to be more successful.
25. Conversion rate optimization. Another important online marketing service that is offered today is improving the conversion rate of a business’ marketing campaign. Conversion rate optimization involves market research, analytics, target marketing, content marketing and other strategies and techniques to ensure that businesses will have more conversion or leads from their web traffic or Internet exposure. Conversion rate optimization is one of the most important trends in 2014.
Do you know any other good online business opportunities for 2014? Feel free to share it to us.