If you’re on the lookout for good business ideas to fuel your entrepreneurial spirit, you’ve come to the right place. Now is an ideal time of the year to open up that “Business Ideas 2019” file on your computer and replace it with a new one—one that's filled with on-trend ideas that help you better connect with people and the world.
Whether you’re looking to add a side hustle or ready to pursue a new vocation that gives you geographic independence, you can use the new business ideas below to start your “Business Ideas 2020” list.
You’ll also find a surprise with these new business ideas: They can all be used together to create your next business adventure.
1. Online Courses and Remote Learning
It’s never too late and you’re never too far away to share what you know with others. Thanks to the rise in online learning websites, experts from the world over have a platform for sharing ideas—and getting paid to do so.
Good business ideas are all about the intersection of skill and opportunity, and online courses and remote learning are right at that intersection. Here are several small business ideas where your current skill set could help you launch your next business in the world of online education:
- Instructor: You have deep subject-matter expertise and are adept at explaining nuances.
- Videographer: A profitable online video course is all about video quality. Let the teachers come to you.
- Script Writer: You have a talent for writing words as they are meant to be spoken.
To get started, make a list of your subject matter strengths and how those apply to one of the three areas above. From there, research the myriad online educational marketplaces and explore their submissions and payment criteria. Then, you can make a plan to connect with other related professionals who can help your services shine.
As you explore good business ideas, don’t shy away from maximizing your current skill sets. If you’ve been in a particular industry for a while, you likely have in-depth knowledge that could benefit others in that industry.
Here are a few ways to build a consulting practice, especially if you’re looking to leave a full-time gig:
- Online consulting: Work with businesses all over the world by building an online presence for your consulting expertise and brand.
- Local business consulting: Take your skills out of corporate America and into your community, helping small businesses rise and shine.
Consulting can help you ride the rising trend of small and mid-sized businesses that outsource executive positions like CFO, CMO and CTO. Some several marketplaces and firms specialize in connecting former C-level professionals with companies that need their expertise part-time.
To get started, make a list of your areas of expertise and the industries you feel could benefit from that knowledge. Then, consider whether online, local or both types of consulting would be a fit for the business you envision in your future. From there, you can build your connections through cold calling and emails, networking and word-of-mouth through your existing business contacts.
3. E-Book or Audiobook Author
If online learning and consulting both pique your interest as new business ideas, you may want to think about additional content. Becoming an e-book author can help you tap into the growing audience that prefers a digital read over a physical book. Audiobooks are a natural complement to any e-book you create.
You can sell e-books and audiobooks online, often through major online retailers. The market reach of these platforms means your expertise can create yet another way for you to earn revenue.
The key to creating well-reviewed e-books and their audio counterparts is a combination of content, editing and performance. With e-books, you’ll need to invest in copyediting and take the time to get trusted colleagues to offer feedback before putting it into the marketplace. You’ll also need to pay to have your e-book properly indexed and formatted to e-book industry standards.
With audiobooks, you may want to record in a professional setting and possibly with a professional voice actor. Then consider investing in having the audio files mastered to industry standards.
To get started, make a list of your areas of expertise and the questions you’re asked most frequently. Then, research the publishing guidelines on the major marketplaces where you hope to sell your e-books. From there, you can create a plan to outline your first e-book, write it, have it edited and create the accompanying audiobook.
4. Stock Photographer
Good business ideas can also come from hobbies you want to make your vocation. With the seemingly endless rise in online businesses and the growing need for digital imagery to support online content, your shutterbug skills could turn into a lucrative side hustle.
You can sell your images to multiple stock photography marketplaces. When a customer buys your image, you’ll be paid a percentage of that sale.
To get started, research stock photography websites and the types of imagery they buy. Then create a list of popular image categories. You might even ask colleagues who use stock photography sites to tell you about the kind of images they wish they could find but can’t.
Once you have that information, get to shooting and build your stock photography business from the ground up. Your images can work for you while you work your current job.
5. Affiliate Sales
Good business ideas are frequently those that work in conjunction with other successful ideas already in place. With affiliate sales, you can use any of the ventures above (or that have made your “Business Ideas 2020” list) and expand their reach and profitability. There’s a rising trend of people buying from or hiring people referred to them by people they trust; an affiliate marketing strategy can help you tap into this wave of trusted referrals.
With affiliate sales, your customers, clients and fans can make money by helping you make money. First set up an account at a trusted affiliate marketing company. There, people can create an account and apply to re-sell your offerings—like a coaching package, an online course or even an eBook.
You’ll have the freedom to review affiliate applications and set standards. You can even review a potential affiliate’s website or brand presence to see where they might mention you. Once approved, affiliates get paid when the sale meets specific guidelines. The upside is that people who believe in you and your expertise are helping you sell your expertise. This can help your new business grow faster by helping you reach an ever-wider audience.
Good business ideas can also come from hobbies you want to make your vocation.
Now you’re armed with five good business ideas, all of which can work hand-in-hand with one another to create your next great business idea. Your “Business Ideas 2020” list is now filled with ideas that spring from your expertise and allow you to leverage it to launch a new venture (or ventures).
As you launch your next business, keep in mind that there’s one trend that will never go out of style: a desire to help your customers. By asking “How can I help?” you can use your skills to launch any of the businesses above (or any ideas these suggestions may have sparked in you).
Read more articles on getting customers.
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