Happy new year to all of you. Wishing you a happy and prosperous 2013.
Let’s start our new year blog with a discussion on the various online business ideas that you can look into in 2013.
First, if you are a newbie, you may want to start with the usual things like blogging, creating niche sites and affiliate marketing. These are easy-to-start online businesses that will expose you to the online world and give you a chance to build your experience and competency.
For those of you who have certain level of technical know-how and are looking for a break-through in your online venture, below are some online business ideas you can consider in 2013.
Online Business Ideas For 2013
1) Cloud Solutions
2012 and the recent years was all about ’social’, as in social media, social networking, social gaming etc. I think coming up next will be cloud solutions.
When talking about cloud solutions, you will probably think about iCloud. If you think that cloud solutions is a rocket science, it’s not. iCloud, for example, is simply a network of servers saving your personalized data so that you can sync your ‘i’ devices. In a broader sense, cloud solutions can be more than that. To me, it means anything online that can replace something you install in your computer or web server. If you think along that line, you will realize that almost everything can be turned into ‘cloud’. For example, a cloud version of email client (such as Thunderbird) is web2mail.com. A cloud version of MS office is Google Docs.
Just go through some software in your computer and head over to Google to find its online alternative. Don’t be surprised if you find one. If you can’t find one, it means it’s yet another opportunity.
The challenge is most consumer-focused cloud solutions are free, else they won’t be popular. The monetization method is usually through ads. But there is another target group, the small business owners. There is a lot of potential in cloud solutions for small businesses. Software designed for businesses are usually complex, expensive and there is always a networking issue if the software were to be updated by a few users. A simple cloud solution will offer a good alternative.
2) Traffic Generation
Traffic generation is a never-dying opportunity. As long as there is internet, there will be people wanting to make money out of it and they will need traffic. It’s never too late to build another traffic generation system, but you need to be creative. Trying to create another me-too system will not get you the competitive edge.
3) Websites Serving Local Community
Many people want a worldwide internet business, few think of local internet businesses. Online business ideas like comparison sites, discount coupons, deals can all be successfully duplicated for a local market. A local market can be as small as a city or as big as a country, depending on your confidence in reaching out to that market. If you see that a local market has not have an established website serving a certain niche, that can be a good opportunity for you.
4) Providing Online Marketing Services For Brick And Mortar Businesses
Many companies, especially the small and medium enterprises, still do not have a good web presence, even though they know it is important. This is where you come in. If you understand website building, email marketing, search engine marketing and social media, you can package your know-how into an offer.
The beginning may be tough, and you may have to offer some real cheap services to build your portfolio. But once you have a few clients, it will be easier to find more. If you can’t find any client, try to think out of the box. Approach your favourite local businesses and offer to help them build an online presence. You can get a cut from the sales you generate for them while at the same time giving you a chance to build up your portfolio.
5) Mobile Apps
Everyone knows that smart phone market is growing rapidly, so is the number of mobile apps. Creating an app could be your key to building a successful online business. Don’t worry if you have no idea how to program. There are lots of freelancers who can do that for you. But if I were you, I’ll employ a freelancer and learn to program myself at the same time, so that I’m not only paying someone to create the app but also to teach you at the same time. You don’t have to be a programming expert, but you need to know enough to be able to manage the programmers effectively.
Choosing what to create is important because most apps are not making money. From what I’m seeing, there are 2 areas where money can be made. 1) Children games - Parents are more willing to spend $0.99 on their kids than on themselves. If you can create an educational and engaging game for kids, that app may make you money for a long time. 2) B2C apps - These are apps that connect businesses to consumers. The idea is that consumers can use the apps free while businesses will have to pay to reach out to the consumers. For example, you can create an offer alert app that will list down the various offers available. Consumers use for free while businesses will have to pay to be listed.
6) Anything That Can Be Improved
Last but not least, if you see any existing online businesses that have a lot of room for improvement, you can start one on your own. Facebook is not the first social network, not even the second or third, but it’s the most successful one for now. Late comers usually have the advantage of incorporating the best of all.
Don’t be worried about competition because competition means there is a demand. You may not win the competition, but if you simply get a cut from the pie, that can make you quite rich. Honestly, if someone come and tell me that he has a great business idea that nobody has done before, I will be worried because it implies that business may have no or little demand.