myPOS blog Tips

Top 10 online businesses to start in 2024

In 2024, the digital industry offers many opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to establish online businesses.

In this blog, we will dive into the best online business ideas for 2024. Whether you want to set up your first business or expand into new business territories, this guide will provide valuable insights. It will help you navigate the online business world in the year ahead.

Let’s explore the top online businesses set for success in 2024, from digital marketing and freelance job opportunities to tutoring services and dropshipping.

What can we expect for business in 2024?

In recent years, the online business industry has seen rapid growth in the UK and globally. This trend will continue in 2024 as consumers increasingly enjoy the convenience of online shopping. And the growth is seen in both the B2C and B2B sectors.

A significant driving force behind this growth is the COVID-19 pandemic, which has accelerated the transformation to e-commerce and normalised remote work. As a result, there has been a rise in online business and changes in consumer behaviour, which leads to growing demand for efficient digital experiences.

Thanks to the latest progress in digital technology and the widespread adoption of online payment solutions, businesses can now reach a global audience and accept payments from anywhere. In addition, building a website today is much easier than ever before.

The International Trade Administration data show that e-commerce will get 22% of global retail sales by 2024. That presents a significant opportunity for entrepreneurs and small businesses to capitalise on this expanding market.

Moreover, as organisations more often rely on technology, the need for software developers and IT services is expected to rise. Despite challenges such as staff shortages, IT departments will play a crucial role in managing the business world.

What are the challenges business owners will face?

The decision to start an online business venture in 2024 holds immense promise but also entails navigating through many challenges. Whether you want to dive into the depths of online business as a beginner or explore new ways to expand your offerings, there are some difficulties that an aspiring entrepreneur may encounter.

They can be the following:

  • Market Competition: With the increase of online businesses, finding a unique market niche and standing out amidst competition is a significant challenge.
  • Digital Marketing Complexity: To understand and effectively implement digital marketing strategies, including SEO and social media marketing, you need expertise and continuous adaption to rapidly changing trends.
  • Market Research Expertise: You must conduct thorough market research to identify potential opportunities and understand consumers. Note that this is crucial but can be time-consuming and complex for a new small business owner.
  • Technological Adaptation: To manage online operations, including web development, e-commerce platforms, and digital tools, technological proficiency and ongoing investment are required.
  • Financial Considerations: To manage startup costs, cash flow, and profitability, careful financial planning and management, especially for start-ups with limited resources, are required.
  • New Customer Acquisition and Retention: You need a well-defined marketing strategy and excellent customer service to acquire and retain new customers in a competitive market.
  • Legal and Regulatory Compliance: It’s essential to navigate legal requirements and regulations, including data privacy laws and consumer protection regulations. In that way, you will avoid legal complications.
  • Operational Efficiency: It’s crucial to ensure smooth operations, efficient supply chain management and customer satisfaction while developing the business. It presents a variety of challenges.
  • Industry Changes: For long-term success and relevance, it is essential to stay abreast of industry trends, emerging technologies, and shifting consumer preferences.
  • Growth and Sustainability Management: It is a complex challenge for business owners to balance building a successful business and maintaining sustainable practices, including ethical sourcing and environmental responsibility.

In conclusion, many online businesses offer great opportunities for growth and innovation. However, navigating through challenges requires resilience, strategic planning and continuous learning for any small business owner, especially beginners.

A young man working on his online business

Top 10 online businesses to start in 2024

As the digital industry continues to grow and develop, specific online business ideas are poised for significant growth and success in 2024. These include соме creative business ideas from home.

Here are the best online businesses expected to succeed in the coming year.

1. Freelancer

Freelancers is a great online business idea that can specialise in a wide range of areas.

It includes the following opportunities:

  • SEO;
  • Copywriting;
  • Proofreading;
  • Social media marketing;
  • Graphic design
  • Video editing;
  • Voice-over;
  • Transcription;
  • Translation;
  • App or web development, etc.

Earnings vary based on the complexity of the work and client budgets, but freelancers enjoy the benefits of being their own boss and setting flexible working schedules. Building a client base may initially be challenging, but it becomes easier with dedicated effort, showcasing skills and building up a portfolio.

To kickstart a freelancing career, it is essential to identify strengths and passions, whether writing, software development or video editing. Finding clients can involve online businesses, local shops, or giant corporations that seek to outsource specialised expertise to enhance their operations.

Here are the pros:

  • Potential for creating long-term client relationships;
  • Low startup costs and overhead;
  • Flexible working schedule.

Cons are as follows:

  • Competitive landscape;
  • Irregular workflow at times;
  • Responsible for managing tax finances and acquiring necessary tools or software.

2. Affiliate Marketing 

Affiliate marketing business involves promoting products and services from other companies and earning a commission for each sale through your unique referral link.

To succeed as an affiliate marketer, you’ll need to establish a strong online presence and a platform such as a blog, social media account, email list or website where you can share these referral links. To understand your audience’s needs and interests, you must promote relevant products effectively.

The startup costs are generally low, primarily for setting up and promoting your platform. While earnings may start modestly, successful affiliate marketers have the potential to generate a significant income over time.

When choosing affiliate programs, consider your personal interests and target audience. Once you’ve joined an affiliate program, you can promote products through various channels. You can create engaging content such as social media posts, blog articles and emails to showcase the products you endorse. However, we recommend you avoid overwhelming your audience with excessive ads. It will help you to maintain authenticity and credibility.

Here are the benefits of affiliate marketing:

  • There is potential for generating passive income;
  • It is an opportunity to promote products you genuinely like;
  • You can earn commissions from sales long after sharing affiliate links.

The cons are as follows:

  • Initial earnings may be modest and unpredictable;
  • It requires time to build an audience and establish trust;
  • Your success depends on strong marketing skills and strategy.

3. Virtual Assistance

As a virtual assistant, you’ll provide administrative support to clients remotely. Whether you assist entrepreneurs, businesses or executives, your tasks may range from email management and appointment scheduling to essential marketing coordination.

Critical skills include strong organisation and communication skills and proficiency in typical project management software or SaaS programs. With minimal startup costs, primarily for a reliable computer setup, virtual assistants tend to earn per hour. Their earnings vary based on task complexity and client budgets.

The pros of virtual assistance are:

  • There is high demand for virtual assistance services;
  • It is an opportunity to work with diverse clients globally;
  • It’s possible to work from the comfort of your own home.

Here are the cons:

  • It can be demanding and requires multitasking and time management skills;
  • Managing multiple clients simultaneously may come with challenges.

4. Consultations and Online Courses

Professional consulting services and online courses are highly profitable opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs in 2024.

Creating and selling online courses can be worthwhile if you possess expertise in a particular field. The process of developing a curriculum, recording instructional videos and marketing your course can lead to substantial earnings, either per course sold or on a subscription basis

Initial expenses may include investing in quality recording equipment and necessary software, but the potential returns can be significant, mainly if your course attracts a large student base.

Alternatively, an online consulting business offers another avenue for monetising your expertise. Whether you specialise in management, marketing, finance or any other industry, providing online consulting allows you to leverage your knowledge to help businesses improve their processes and increase revenue. 

When you offer valuable insights and strategies, you can command substantial fees for your service offerings, making it a profitable option in the digital marketplace.

Moreover, fields like online nutrition or wellness coaching are thriving with a growing emphasis on health and wellness. When you provide personalised diet, exercise and stress management advice, you can generate substantial income based on your client base and session rates.

The benefits are:

  • There is a high demand for expertise;
  • Potential for fulfilment through helping others;
  • You can teach what you love and understand well;
  • You can pre-sell courses before creating content.

On the other hand, the cons are:

  • It requires effective marketing strategies to attract clients;
  • It is a highly competitive area;
  • It necessitates specialised expertise in a particular area;
  • There is a need for ongoing learning and updating knowledge to stay relevant.
Dropshipping online business

5. Dropshipping Business

Dropshipping changes the traditional retail model and makes it one of the best online businesses to start in 2024. Instead of managing inventory, dropshipping allows entrepreneurs to sell online, with the products being shipped directly from manufacturers to customers.

But how does it work, you would ask?

When a customer orders, the seller forwards the order to the manufacturer, who then handles shipping the product to the buyer. Meanwhile, the seller focuses on running their online store, processing payments and providing excellent customer service.

The beauty of dropshipping lies in its simplicity. You don’t need to worry about storage space or shipping logistics. Instead, you can focus on building and managing your own online store, showcasing your products and ensuring customer satisfaction.

The benefits of a dropshipping business are:

  • Zero inventory management headaches;
  • There is no need for warehousing or manufacturing investments;
  • Easy entry into e-commerce without upfront product purchases.

Disadvantages of this online business are:

  • There is intense competition in the market;
  • There are many challenges with inventory management and shipping when you deal with multiple suppliers;
  • You rely on a third-party retailer that may cause you problems;
  • There is a limitation on product customisation options.

6. Digital Marketing Agencies

Launching a digital marketing agency would be smart in today’s dynamic online world. For many companies, maintaining an in-house marketing team may not be feasible, which makes outsourcing or consulting with an agency an attractive option.

As a digital marketing agency, you’ll play a crucial role in helping businesses establish and strengthen their online presence. This involves conducting thorough market research, implementing SEO (Search Engine Optimization) best practices to boost organic traffic, crafting compelling content for various platforms and managing social media accounts.

The need for digital marketing services is growing with the shift towards digital platforms. Businesses recognise the importance of a robust digital presence, which makes online marketing essential for expanding audience reach and driving additional revenue. Typically, earnings are derived from client retainers and project fees.

The benefits are as follows:

  • High-income potential;
  • High demand;
  • Scalable business model.

The disadvantages, on the other hand, are:

  • Highly competitive market;
  • It requires a solid understanding of digital marketing strategies;
  • There is a need for ongoing learning and updating of knowledge.

7. Handmade Items

From crocheted goods and handcrafted jewellery to art and 3D-printed items, the market for handmade products is vast and often underestimated. However, sharing your personal story behind your craft is especially attractive nowadays. Unique craftsmanship can captivate potential customers and make your items stand out.

Before creating your own online store, gather feedback from local markets or craft fairs. It can provide invaluable insights into your product’s appeal and market demand. This community interaction enhances product development and informs effective marketing strategies.

Numerous online platforms are available to sell handmade goods, eliminating the need to build your website. However, considerations such as inventory management and storage space must be addressed.

The beauty of this venture lies in its potential to turn hobbies into a profitable business. When you focus on your passion and creativity, you can carve a niche in the market and generate income on your terms.

Pros of selling handmade items are:

  • You sell goods you take joy in creating;
  • There are many opportunities for creativity and self-expression;
  • Flexibility to work on your schedule.

The cons of this online business are:

  • Lower profit margins compared to mass-produced items;
  • Responsible for all business aspects, including production, packaging, and customer service.

8. Influencer

In today’s digital world, the rise of influencers has transformed ordinary individuals into trendsetters within their niche market. Influencers are well known for their significant number of followers on social media platforms. They have considerable power over their audience’s purchasing decisions as they promote products and services they deem worthy.

Unlike traditional celebrities, influencers cultivate trust and a connection with their followers by consistently providing valuable content tailored to their interests. This authentic connection with their followers makes influencers invaluable partners for brands trying to reach a specific target audience.

Through partnerships with brands, influencers can earn attractive compensation for promoting products to their followers, similar to affiliate marketing.

You don’t need millions of followers to become a successful influencer. Different tiers, based on audience size, cater to various levels of influence, which range from macro-influencers with sizable followings to nano-influencers with more modest reach.

The pros of being an influencer are:

  • The business has high earning potential;
  • You can collaborate with brands aligned with your interests;
  • Flexible work environment;
  • There are many opportunities for creative expression.

The cons are as follows:

  • It requires consistent content creation and posting;
  • Reduced privacy and increased scrutiny;
  • Need to keep up with evolving trends;
  • Inconsistent earnings;
  • Subject to negative comments and judgement.
Top ten online businesses in the UK

9. E-commerce shop

The increasing trend towards online shopping, especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of many brick-and-mortar stores, underscores the growing demand for the convenience of e-commerce platforms. This trend has led to remarkable growth in the online retail sector and changed the integrity of e-commerce as one of the most successful businesses today.

Moreover, by utilising dropshipping or white labelling, entrepreneurs can tap into existing suppliers to fulfil orders, avoiding the complexities of inventory management and shipping logistics. This efficient approach enables merchants to focus on crucial aspects like marketing, enhancing customer experience and building a robust brand identity, which makes it the right business idea for those seeking a profitable online venture.

With a vast market potential and increasing consumer trust in online shopping, e-commerce stores offer young entrepreneurs an unparalleled opportunity to capitalise on the digital marketplace and establish a thriving online business.

The pros of creating an e-commerce shop are:

  • There are reduced overhead costs;
  • A physical location is not always required;
  • You can reach a broader audience.

The disadvantages are:

  • Potential security breaches;
  • Intense competition;
  • IT issues;
  • Shipping logistics challenges.

10. Membership or Subscription program

Are you passionate about sharing knowledge through structured modules? Do you have captivating stories or stunning photography to share with the world? If so, consider the launch of a membership or subscription program to monetise your skills.

A membership program invites individuals to sign up and pay a fee in exchange for regular access to exclusive content, updates and fresh information. People are willing to invest in such programs because they crave exclusivity and value your unique service offerings.

Base your membership program on your expertise and proven results. Offer solutions to your audience’s problems, giving them easy access to valuable information they need to succeed.

Membership programs are profitable because they offer recurring income potential. Once you make a sale, you can continue earning from it for months or even years by consistently delivering value to your members.

Subscription boxes operate on a similar principle. They offer special packages of products in various industries, from meal-prep kits to beauty products. The appeal lies in the surprise products and the excitement of receiving new items regularly.

Pros are as follows:

  • Customer retention;
  • Facilitates client acquisition through referrals;
  • Enables personalised experiences through collected customer data.

Cons of the memberships and subscription plans are:

  • Requires significant time and effort to manage;
  • Offering discounts and freebies can impact profit margins;
  • Measuring ROI (Return on Investment) for loyalty programs can be challenging.

Easier online business ideas and how to find the right for you

If you haven’t discovered your passion among the best business ideas above that align with your interests and skill set, don’t worry. We’ve compiled a few more promising ventures here that are set to thrive in 2024.

Here they are:

  • Website and App Development: If you possess technical coding and design skills, consider offering website or app development services. Businesses and individuals constantly seek professional assistance to establish their online presence or create innovative applications.
  • Starting a Podcast: Share your expertise or interests with a broader audience by venturing into podcasting. Podcasts are gaining popularity by offering opportunities to build a loyal following and monetise your content through sponsorships, affiliate marketing or product endorsements.
  • Remote Customer Service or Tech Support: Companies outsource customer service and technical support roles as remote work rises. If you excel in communication and problem-solving, consider becoming a remote customer service agent or tech support specialist to assist in the comfort of your home.
  • Become a Reseller or Sales Consultant: Whether as a side hustle or full-time dedication, consider selling products through e-commerce platforms or acting as a representative for larger companies. This position offers flexibility and the potential for attractive remuneration. You can earn commissions or incentives from successful sales.
  • Website Flipping: If you have an eye for valuable digital assets, consider buying and selling websites, also known as website flipping. Acquire undervalued websites, enhance their content or design, and sell them at a profit. It is a rewarding venture for those with a knack for digital investments.

When you select the right online business idea, consider your interests, skills, and resources. Assess the demand for your chosen niche, research competitors and evaluate potential profitability. You can embark on a rewarding journey toward entrepreneurial success in the digital landscape by aligning your strengths and passions with a viable business idea.

Tips for starting a successful online business

Embarking on your journey to establish a successful online business can be both exciting and challenging.

Here are some essential tips to guide you through the process:

  • Find your niche: Begin by brainstorming small online business ideas that align with your interests and skills. Settle on a niche that resonates with you and has the potential for profitability and scalability. 
  • Conduct market research: Before diving in, conduct thorough market research to identify your target audience, understand their needs and preferences, and assess your competitors. This is crucial for refining your business idea and positioning yourself effectively in the market.
  • Consider offering other services: In addition to your existing product or service, consider diversifying your services to cater to a broader audience, meet different needs within your niche and add value to your business. 
  • Focus on customer experience: Prioritise delivering excellent customer service to foster loyalty and attract new customers. Respond promptly to inquiries and continuously seek feedback to improve and refine your service offerings.
  • Craft a user-friendly online presence: Collaborate with professional web designers and developers to craft a website that reflects your brand identity, showcases your products or services effectively and facilitates seamless navigation for visitors.

By following these tips and embracing innovation and strategic planning, you can set yourself up for success in launching and growing your online business. Remember to stay adaptable, continually learn and evolve, and remain dedicated to delivering value to your customers.

Frequently Asked Questions

The cost of building your own online store can vary depending on factors such as design complexity, required features and the chosen website-hosting platform. While some options may entail significant upfront investment, others offer affordable solutions tailored to different budgets. myPOS Online is a website-building tool that allows you to create your digital store free of charge. There are no setup fees or monthly costs. Merchants are charged only a small transaction fee when accepting payments.

Nowadays, there are plenty of options for accepting online payments, even if you don’t have a website with an integrated payment gateway. myPOS offers several services, including Payment Request, Payment Tag, PayLink and PayButton. These payment links/buttons can be generated through the myPOS account, sent via email, SMS or messaging apps, and even incorporated into blogs, YouTube videos and social media channels.

Accepting online payments worldwide may entail compliance with various cross-border regulations, depending on the countries involved, the type of goods or services sold, and the payment methods used. Familiarising yourself with relevant regulations before accepting payments from abroad is essential. Fortunately, myPOS offers hassle-free cross-border payment acceptance, enabling you to sell worldwide and accept online payments regardless of your customer’s location.

Related posts