30 Best Online Business To Start (with Little or No Money)

30 Best Online Business To Start (with Little or No Money)In this blog post, I will share with you 30 Best Online Business To Start (with Little or No Money).

If you have ever thought about starting an online business, chances are that you have asked yourself, “Which business should I start?”

There are many choices out there and sometimes the tasks of selecting the right one can be daunting.  Certainly, you want to evaluate which business idea is right for YOU based on your passion, personality, purpose, knowledge, experience and also available capital.

To help you get started, I have put together this summary – listing the 30 Best Online Business To Start (with Little or No Money), this is an awesome list particularly for beginners! I will share with you how each business idea works, its Advantages and Disadvantages, so you that you can select what is the best fit for you.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at NO additional cost to you.  These are products I highly recommend.  I won’t put anything on this page that I haven’t verified and/or personally used.  Please read my Disclosure for more info.  

Please note that many of these businesses can be expanded by properly leveraging systems, hiring employees and/or applying technology down the road.

You may also like:
FREE course: How To Start Your Purpose-Driven Online Business
7 Ways To Make Money From Your Website 
Top 13 Benefits of Starting an Online Business 
Should I Start My Own Business? 

This is the year for you to start your business!  With that being said, let us dive right in! 

30 Best Online Business To Start (with Little or No Money)

(1) Start a Website and Monetize It

Who Is This For?

If you have a passion for writing or if you know a lot about a certain subject, then starting a website could be perfect for you.  

About This Business:

You can set up a website and then write relevant content for your target audience.  With great content, you will attract visitors to your website over time.  You can then monetize it through many ways, such as advertising, sponsored posts, affiliate marketing (referring other people’s products/services) and selling your own products. 

Advantages:

  • Low cost – you can start the hosting of a website for as little as around US$3.95/month (check out this awesome hosting company I recommend).  You just have to put in sweat equity.  
  • Expand your passion / showcase your expertise – You can write content on things you are passionate about or showcase your expertise on your website.
  • Build brand credibility – one of the best ways to build brand credibility. 
  • Passive income – after a while, you can potentially earn passive income from your blog through advertising and affiliate marketing.
  • Unlimited income potential – There is no limit on how much you can earn from blogging. There are people earning 7 or even 8 figure per year from blogging.   

Disadvantages:

  • Takes time to build – it will take some time to build it up. 
  • Learn new skill sets – You will need to learn about content marketing, SEO and social media management along the way as you grow your blog.

     

Resources:

Check out my FREE course “How To Start a Purpose-Driven Online Business” where I walk you through step by step on how to start your online business: from getting clarity on your business idea, selecting your business name, creating your website, making your first income and attracting loyal followers.  Join this free course HERE

Due to its huge potential and many possibilities that can derive from Blogging, it is definitely one of the Best Online Business To Start (with Little or No Money).  

How To Start a Purpose-Driven Online Business


In this FREE course, I show you how to start an online business that not only fills your wallet but also your heart.  From finding the right business idea, to creating your website, all the way to earning your first income and attracting readers. Join now!

(2) Get Started with Affiliate Marketing

Who Is This For?

If you have a passion for creating content or if you know a lot about a certain subject, then starting an Affiliate Marketing business could be perfect for you.  

About This Business:

Affiliate Marketing is the process of earning a commission by referring other people’s products/services. In most cases, affiliate marketing is promoted through a blog.  However, if you do not have a blog, you can also promote via social media marketing, email marketing or advertising. 

One of the most popular affiliate networks is the Amazon Associates Program.  It is free to join and typically the payouts is below 10%.  Other affiliate networks such as CJ Affiliate, ShareASale, Rakuten Advertising, Click Bank are also popular.  You can also find affiliate programs via different service providers.  Referral fees for digital products can be as high as 50% per sale. 

Advantages:

  • Low cost – Most affiliate programs are free to join, and you can start promoting immediately or within a few business days. 
  • Expand your passion / showcase your expertise – You can write content on things you are passionate about or showcase your expertise.
  • Passive income – after a while, you can potentially earn passive income through affiliate marketing.
  • Unlimited income potential – There is no limit on how much you can earn from Affiliate Marketing. 

Disadvantages:

  • Learn new skill sets – You will need to learn about content marketing, SEO and social media management along the way as you grow your Affiliate Marketing business.

     

Resources:

Affiliate Marketing is also one of the best online business to start (with little or no money) as you can build up a substantial passive income over time.  Find out How Michelle makes over US$50,000/month from Affiliate Marketing while traveling the World. 

(3) E-Commerce

Who Is This For?

If you have an eye for what products may sell well (selling other people’s products) or you are an artist creating your own products, then starting an e-commerce site could be perfect for you.

About This Business:

You can sell your products through e-commerce marketplaces such as Amazon FBA, eBay or Etsy.  Or you can setup your own branded e-commerce stores using e-commerce platforms such as Shopify, WooCommerce or BigCommerce.

Advantages:

  • Expand your passion – You can sell products that you love or products that you create.
  • Unlimited income potential – there is no limit on how much you can make from eCommerce.

Disadvantages:

  • Inventory cost can be high – The cost of the e-commerce component is limited.  Although the overall start up cost will largely depend on what product you sell and how much inventory you need to keep.
  • Learn new skill sets – You will need to learn a little bit about content marketing, SEO and social media management along the way as you grow your e-commerce site.
 
30 Best Online Business To Start (with Little or No Money)

(4) Publishing eBooks

Who Is This For?

If you have a talent for writing or if you know a lot about a certain subject, then publishing eBooks could be perfect for you.  

About This Business:

You can write on subjects you are familiar with and put together eBooks.  There are many places where you can sell your eBooks, such as your own blog, Amazon Kindle Direct PublishingGoogle PlayBookBabyPayhipBlurbLuluFeiyre-Junkie and Seiz.

Advantages:

  • Low start up cost – You can sell your eBooks on some of the above platforms for free or at very low cost.  
  • Expand your passion / showcase your expertise – You can write about what you are passionate about or showcase your expertise in your eBooks.
  • Increase brand awareness – selling your own books can increase brand awareness for your business.
  • No inventory – Unlike selling physical books and some eCommerce models, you will have no inventory for selling eBooks.
  • Passive income – You can earn passive income from your eBooks.

Disadvantages:

  • Takes time to create – it takes time to write a good quality, high impact eBook.
  • You may not earn a lot – Unless you sell a ton of eBooks (and have many eBooks published), you may not see a lot of income.  But selling your own ebooks could be a great starting point to build passive incomes online.  

Resources:

Check out How a stay-at-home-mom Suzi made over US$33,000 from her eBooks in just one year and how you can do the same.   

(5) Selling Your Physical Books Online

Who Is This For?

If you have a talent for writing or if you know a lot about a certain subject, then self-publishing and selling your physical books online could be perfect for you.  

About This Business:

Similar to publishing eBooks, you can also publish physical books and sell them online.  Although the market for eBooks is growing, many people still prefer physical books over eBooks these days.  You can do so by printing your books through publishers and selling them on Amazon.  Or you can print AND sell your books on platforms such as LuluBookBabyBlurb.  Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing and BookBaby now has print on demand, therefore, saving you upfront cost and the need to carry inventory. 

Advantages:

  • Low start up cost – with print on demand the start up cost can be low.  
  • Expand your passion / showcase your expertise – You can write about what you are passionate about or showcase your expertise in your Books.
  • Increase brand awareness – selling your own books can increase brand awareness for your business.
  • Passive income – You can earn passive income from selling your physical books online.  

Disadvantages:

  • Takes time to create – it takes time to write a good quality, high impact book.
  • Inventory – If you are self-published, you may likely end up keeping inventory of your books.  
  • You may not earn a lot – Unless you sell a ton of books (and have many titles published), you may not see a lot of income.  

(6) Creating Online Courses

Who Is This For?

If you know a lot about a certain subject and are able to teach effectively, then creating your own online courses could be perfect for you.

About This Business:

This is a huge growing market (see report from Global Market Insights). You can create and sell your online course on platforms such as Teachable, Thinkific, or Udemy.  These sites will walk you through the step by step of creating your online course and take all the guess work out of it.

Advantages:

  • Low start up cost – starting an online course is inexpensive.  Some of the above platforms are free to publish, but they will keep a percentage of each sale depending on the plan you select with the platform.
  • Expand your passion / showcase your expertise – You can teach what you are passionate about or have expertise in with online courses.
  • Unlimited income potential – there is no limit on how much you can make from selling online courses.  There are people making 7 or even 8 figures a year with online courses.

Disadvantages:

  • Takes time to create – It takes time to create a high-quality online course as likely your course will include videos, texts and PDFs to enhance your students’ learning experience.  However, once you have it set up, it is one of the best ways to earn a passive income online.

     

Resources:

Creating online courses is one of the best online businesses right now.  There is a huge growing demand and once you set it up, you can continue to earn passive income online.  Find out How this stay-at-home-mom of 3 kids earned over US$300,000 from her online course and how you can do the same. 
 
30 Best Online Business To Start (with Little or No Money)

(7) Becoming a YouTuber

Who Is This For?

If you are natural in front of the camera, have an outgoing personality and enjoy creating and editing videos, then becoming a YouTuber could be perfect for you.  

About This Business:

You create informative, educational and/or entertaining videos on YouTube.  With great and interesting content, you will attract visitors to your channel over time.  You can then monetize your YouTube channel via advertising, sponsored videos, affiliate marketing and selling your own products.  

Advantages:

  • Low cost – starting a YouTube channel is free.  You can start off with recording on your phone or camera and then gradually upgrade your equipment as you grow your business.   
  • Expand your passion / showcase your expertise – You can create videos on what you are passionate about or showcase your expertise.
  • Passive income – after a while, you can potentially earn passive income from your Channel through advertising and affiliate marketing.
  • Unlimited income potential – This is a huge growing market, and there is no limit on how much you can make.

Disadvantages:

  • Takes time to build – it will take a while before you can see a meaningful profit.  
  • Great in Front of Camera – you should be natural and confident in front of the camera.  So for most people, this will take some practicing. 
  • Learn new skill sets – You will need to learn about video editing, and a little bit about SEO and social media management along the way as you grow your YouTube channel.

(8) Podcasting

Who Is This For?

If you enjoy speaking, can use your voice to convey emotions, and if you have a passion or expertise about a certain subject, then Podcasting could be perfect for you.  

About This Business:

A Podcast is a digital audio file that users can download for listening.  You can record Podcasts (voice recording) and upload them to popular Podcast directories such as iTune, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn.  With great content, you will attract listeners to your Podcast over time.  You can then monetize your Podcast through sponsorships, affiliate marketing and selling your own products. 

Advantages:

  • Low cost – you can start a Podcast for FREE.  However, if you want your sound quality to be great (for a better listeners’ experience), then you will need to invest in some Podcasting equipments (at minimum, you will need a decent microphone). 
  • Expand your passion / showcase your expertise – You can create Podcast on things you are passionate about or showcase your expertise.
  • Passive income – you can potentially earn passive income from your Podcast through affiliate marketing.
  • Unlimited income potential – there is no limit on how much you can make from Podcasting. 

Disadvantages:

  • Takes time to build – it will take a while before you can see a meaningful profit.
Podcasting is fast-growing right now and it has less competition compared to blogging.  One of the best online businesses to start right now. 
 

(9) Developing Mobile Apps

Who Is This For?

If you are creative, flexible and tech savvy then starting a business developing mobile apps could be perfect for you.  

About This Business:

You create mobile apps and earn incomes through in-app purchases, advertising, selling your own merchandise, sponsorship and affiliate marketing.  Mobile apps can be built through mobile app builders such as Appy Pie, BuildFire, GoodBarber and Shoutem.  There is a growing demand for companies to incorporate mobile apps as part of their branding, marketing and revenue plans so this is a growing market.  

Advantages:

  • Low cost – Some Mobile App builders start at around US$80-100/month for their most basic plan.
  • Expand your passion / showcase your expertise – You can build apps on subjects that you are passionate about or showcase your expertise.  
  • Passive income – it is possible to earn passive income from your mobile app through in-app purchases, advertising, selling your own merchandise and affiliate marketing.
  • Unlimited income potential – there is no limit on how much you can make from developing mobile apps.
  • Expand client base – once you master the skills of designing and building mobile apps, you can also develop apps for clients.  

Disadvantages:

  • Learn new skill sets – You will need to learn the skills of designing and developing a mobile App.  And learn about content marketing, SEO and social media management along the way as you market your mobile apps.

(10) Starting a Freelance Writing Business

Who Is This For?

If you have a talent for writing or if you know a lot about a certain subject, then starting a freelance writing business could be perfect for you.  

About This Business:

You write content for your clients for a fee. Freelance writers typically are not employed by a fixed company or organization, rather they are self-employed and can work with anyone they want to.  Most freelance writers work from home. Typical assignments include writing blog posts, magazine/newspaper articles, newsletters, media kits, speeches, video scripts, marketing emails, ghost writing for books etc.  Freelance writers can get paid hourly, per word or by project. You can find writing gigs on places like Freelance WritingFreelance Writing GigsProBlogger,  Bloggingpro, and The Writer Finder

Advantages:

  • Flexible time – There is no fixed time for this business.  You can work whenever you wish as long as you adhere to submission deadlines. 
  • Flexible location – You can work (and live) anywhere you want. 
  • Easy to start – there is no start up cost and you do not need any technical skills (unless you do technical writing).  All you need is a laptop, an internet and some sweat equity.
  • Quicker to see income – compared to some other business ideas on this list, freelance writer gets paid per assignment, therefore, likely quicker for you to see an income. 

Disadvantages:

  • Limited income – Unless you are a very productive writer, your income may be limited to no more than US$10,000 per month.  After all, this business depends on you writing the content yourself, so your income is limited by the hours you can physically work.

Resources:

If you would like to learn about Freelance Writing, take a look at this resource by Sarah where she is able to build up a full-time income from home and has a very flexible schedule.  

30 Best Online Business To Start (with Little or No Money)

(11) Starting a Virtual Assistant Business

Who Is This For?

If you have good communication skills, are resourceful, reliable, organized and can manage time well, then starting a virtual assistant business could be perfect for you.  

About This Business:

You provide various services to entrepreneurs and businesses from a remote location (so you can work anywhere in the World).  Common services include managing calendars, appointments and emails, researching, preparing reports, social media management, personal tasks such as booking air tickets, hotels and restaurants.  You can find virtual assistant opportunities on UpworkFiverrFreelancerFreeeUp, and Zirtual. Typical virtual assistant gigs can make around US$10 to $50/hour, depending on the complexity of the assignment.  

Advantages:

  • Flexible location – since you work at a remote location from your clients, you can work (and live) anywhere in the World.
  • Easy to start – there is no start up cost and in most cases you do not need any technical skills (unless you are specializing in technical skills support).  All you need is a laptop and an internet to start.  
  • Quicker to see income – compared to some other business ideas on this list, virtual assistants get paid per assignment, therefore, likely quicker for you to see an income.   

Disadvantages:

  • Limited income – Unless you can manage your time well and work with many clients at the same time, then your income will be limited.  After all, this business depends on you doing the tasks for your clients, so your income is limited by the hours you can physically work.  
How To Start a Purpose-Driven Online Business


In this FREE course, I show you how to start an online business that not only fills your wallet but also your heart.  From finding the right business idea, to creating your website, all the way to earning your first income and attracting readers. Join now!

(12) Starting a Proofreadering Business

Who Is This For?

If you love to read, have an eye for detail, have a good handle on writing, grammar and punctuation, and have experience with writing structured content, then starting a proofreading business could be perfect for you.  

About This Business:

You ensure that contents from your clients are free of spelling, grammatical, punctuation and formatting errors.  Proofreading opportunities are available on websites such as Proofreading ServicesUpworkFreelancer, and Fiverr. Typical proofreaders can make around US$25 – 45/hour.  

Advantages:

  • Flexible location – since you work at a remote location from your clients, you can work (and live) anywhere in the World.
  • Easy to start – there is no start up cost and in most cases you do not need any technical skills.  All you need is a laptop and an internet to start.  
  • Quicker to see income – compared to some other business ideas on this list, proofreaders get paid per assignment, therefore, likely quicker for you to see an income.   

Disadvantages:

  • Limited income – Unless you can manage your time well and work with many clients at the same time, then your income will be limited.  After all, this business depends on you proofreading for your clients, so your income is limited by the hours you can physically work.  

(13) Starting a Graphic Design Business

Who Is This For?

If you are creative, have an eye for design, skilled in graphic design software and photo editing software, and have good attention to details, then starting a graphic design business could be perfect for you.  

About This Business:

You create visual concepts and designs to communicate ideas that inform, inspire and captivate your clients’ audience.  Typically the designs are done using graphic design and photo editing softwares.  The creatives could be posters, logos, marketing materials, packaging, print designs and images.  You can find freelance graphic designer opportunities on websites such as Fiverr, UpworkFreelancer, 99designs, and Authentic Jobs. Typical freelance graphic designers can make around US$20 – 50/hour, however, most graphic designers set a fixed price for their work rather than charge hourly. 

Advantages:

  • Flexible location – since you work at a remote location from your clients, you can work (and live) anywhere in the World.
  • Low start up cost – there is no start up cost.  All you need is a laptop and an internet to start.  
  • Quicker to see income – compared to some other business ideas on this list, graphic designers get paid per assignment, therefore, likely quicker for you to see an income.   

Disadvantages:

  • Limited income – Unless you can manage your time well and work with many clients at the same time, then your income will be limited.  After all, this business depends on you designing for your clients, so your income is limited by the hours you can physically work.  
30 Best Online Business To Start (with Little or No Money)

(14) Starting a Bookkeeping Business

Who Is This For?

If you have are organized, have good knowledge of bookkeeping principles, great attention to details, great data entry skills, then starting a bookkeeping business could be perfect for you.

About This Business:

You help your clients to maintain accounting and bookkeeping records for all financial transactions, such as cash accounts, account receivables, accounts payables, ledger, journal entries and conduct monthly bank reconciliation.  You can work with big companies or small businesses, you can also find freelance bookkeeping opportunities on websites such as FreelancerUpWorkFiverrFlex Jobs and People Per Hour. Typical bookkeeper can make around US$20 – 25/hour.

Advantages:

  • Flexible location – since you work at a remote location from your clients, you can work (and live) anywhere in the World.
  • Low start up cost – there is no start up cost.  All you need is a laptop and an internet to start.

Disadvantages:

  • Limited income – unless you can manage your time well and work with many clients at the same time, then your income will be limited.  After all, this business depends on you bookkeeping for your clients, so your income is limited by the hours you can physically work.  

(15) Starting a Transcribing Business

Who Is This For?

If you have great listening skill, great command of English, great attention to details, and you can type at least 35 word per minute, then starting a transcribing business could be perfect for you.  

About This Business:

You transform audio into text for your clients.  Typically this involves listening to speeches or narratives and typing them out into text. You can find freelance transcriber opportunities on websites such as FreelancerUpWorkFiverrFlex JobsTranscribe Me!, and People Per Hour. Typical freelance transcribers can make around US$15 – 30/hour, however, some transcribers set a fixed price per assignment. 

Advantages:

  • Flexible location – since you work at a remote location from your clients, you can work (and live) anywhere in the World. 
  • Low start up cost – there is no start up cost.  All you need is a laptop and an internet to start. 
  • Quicker to see income – compared to some other business ideas on this list, transcribers get paid per assignment, therefore, likely quicker for you to see an income.  

Disadvantages:

  • Limited income – Unless you can manage your time well and work with many clients at the same time, then your income will be limited.  After all, this business depends on you transcribing for your clients, so your income is limited by the hours you can physically work.

(16) Starting a Web Design/Development Business

Who Is This For?

If you have great design skills, have a good sense of providing great user experience, have good command of web development knowledge (such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript and web server management) and have great attention to details, then starting a web design/development business could be perfect for you.  

About This Business:

You design and/or develop websites for your clients.  By listening to your clients’ needs and wants, you then help to design/build a website that is both functional and aesthetically appealing to the end users.  You can work with big businesses, small businesses, 1-on-1 clients or you can also find freelance web designer/developer opportunities on websites such as FreelancerUpWorkFiverrFlex Jobs99 Designs and People Per Hour. Typical freelance web designer/developer can make around US$30 – 180/hour.

Advantages:

  • Flexible location – since you work at a remote location from your clients, you can work (and live) anywhere in the World.
  • Better pay – comparing to many other freelance opportunities, web developers tend to make better pay.

Disadvantages:

  • Limited income – Unless you can manage your time well and work with many clients at the same time, then your income will be limited.  After all, this business depends on you designing/developing websites for your clients, so your income is limited by the hours you can physically work.

(17) Starting an Online Life Coaching Business

Who Is This For?

If you are positive, encouraging, trustworthy, have great listening skills and can communicate with clarity and compassion, then starting an online life coaching business could be perfect for you.  

About This Business:

You encourage and counsel clients on a range of professional and personal issues and help them with specific professional projects, personal goals and transitions.  Typically this can be conducted via online meeting platforms such as Skype or Zoom.  In most cases, there are no specific qualifications or requirements needed for life coaching.  However, many life coaches choose to become certified.  You can find online life coaching opportunities on websites such as Life Coach LibraryFreelancerUpWorkFiverrFlex Jobs, and People Per Hour. Pay can vary a lot depending on your experience and expertise, typically ranging from US$10 to $150/hour. 

Advantages:

  • Flexible location – since you work at a remote location from your clients, you can work (and live) anywhere in the World.
  • Better pay – comparing to many other freelance opportunities, life coaching business tends to make better pay.
  • Rewarding business – life coaching can be a rewarding business as you can make a direct impact and witness the transformation on someone’s life. 

Disadvantages:

  • Ready 100% of the time – You need to be 100% “on” for every session with your clients, no matter what is happening in your own personal life.   
30 Best Online Business To Start (with Little or No Money)

(18) Starting a Dropshipping Business

Who Is This For?

If you are resourceful, creative and adaptable, great with customers, and have some sales and online marketing skills, then starting a dropshipping business could be perfect for you.  

About This Business:

Dropshipping is a business model where you can sell other people’s products without ever holding any inventory.  You market and sell the products, and then once you have made a sale, you notify your supplier to ship the products from their warehouse directly to your customers.  So you do not have to worry about storing, packaging or shipping the products.  

Advantages:

  • Expand your passion – you can sell products that you love and passionate about. 
  • Unlimited income potential – there is no limit on how much you can make from dropshipping.
  • No inventory/packing/shipping – you do not need to hold any inventory and do not need to handle any packing or shipping.   

Disadvantages:

  • Learn new skill sets – You will need to learn a little bit about content marketing, SEO and social media management along the way as you grow your dropshipping business. 

(19) Start a Travel Consultancy

Who Is This For?

If you have a knowledge in the travel industry, have great planning and organizational skills, have great attention to details and great communication skills, then starting a travel consultancy could be perfect for you.  

About This Business:

You advise your clients about suitable travel options based on their needs, wants, and budget. And you plan their domestic or international travel itinerary, accommodation, air tickets, transfers and insurance accordingly. 

Advantages:

  • Special discounts/complimentary stays – often times travel consultants can get heavily discounted or even complimentary stays at hotels around the World. This gives travel consultants more opportunities to travel the World.   
  • Expand your passion – you get to learn the ins-and-outs of the travel industry.  Often times, with the special discounts/complimentary stay, you get to travel the World. 

Disadvantages:

  • Demanding schedule – your job could be 24/7 since you will have clients traveling aboard with time differences and some clients who are difficult may expect you to be reachable no matter the hours.  
  • Could be stressful – If there are any unexpected changes to the travel plans (such as flight delays, natural disasters), travel consultants will have to figure out alternatives quickly.

(20) Start a Membership Site

Who Is This For?

If you are a great communicator, are committed, and are able to create valuable content on a certain subject consistently, then starting a membership site could be perfect for you.  

About This Business:

A membership site is a part of your website where only paid subscribers/members get to access.  Typically the content in the membership site is marketed as being “premium”. In most cases, there has to be fresh, new content added to the membership sites periodically such that paid subscribers/members would find value to continue their subscriptions.  

Advantages:

  • Recurring income – this may be the biggest advantage of a membership site business.  Typically paid subscribers/members will pay a monthly, quarterly or annual fee to be part of the membership site, giving you a more stable and recurring income.  
  • Expand your passion – You can create content on subjects you are passionate about or have expertise in.  Alternatively, you can also invite guest speakers to share their content in your membership site.
  • Unlimited income potential – there is no limit on how much you can make from membership site as this business is scalable. 

Disadvantages:

  • Consistent updates – You will need to create fresh, new content for your membership site consistently.
  • Attrition – Likely some paid subscribers/members will drop off after a while.  So in order to grow your revenue, you will have to constantly market your membership site and acquire new paid subscribers/members.  
How To Start a Purpose-Driven Online Business


In this FREE course, I show you how to start an online business that not only fills your wallet but also your heart.  From finding the right business idea, to creating your website, all the way to earning your first income and attracting readers. Join now!

(21) Start a Lead Generation Business

Who Is This For?

If you know how to create relevant online content, have great online marketing skills and have great analytic skills, then starting a lead generation business could be perfect for you.  

About This Business:

You generate leads for your clients’ business. A lead is a person or a business who may eventually become a client or customer.  Your clients could be anything from local businesses to international businesses, such as international schools, your local chiropractors, dentists, real estate agents, national insurance companies etc.  In most cases, you earn money for every qualified lead you generate for your client.  

Advantages:

  • Low cost – you can start a lead generational business with little startup cost. 
  • Expand your passion – You can create a lead capturing website on subject you are passionate about. 
  • Unlimited income potential – there is no limit on how much you can make from lead generation business. 

Disadvantages:

  • Take time to build – it will take time to build up content on your website to generate meaningful leads for your clients.  
  • Learn new skill sets – You will need to know about content marketing, SEO and social media management in order to build an effective lead generation business. 
30 Best Online Business To Start (with Little or No Money)

(22) Start an SEO Consulting Business

Who Is This For?

If you have experience in SEO (Search Engine Optimization), have good analytical and communication skills, are a strategic thinker with a can-do attitude, then starting an SEO consulting business could be the perfect business for you.

About This Business:

Through applying sound SEO strategies, you help your clients to improve the visibility of their online brand, gain more targeted traffic and sales leads.

Advantages:

  • In demand – there is a high demand for SEO consultants.

Disadvantages:

  • Keep up with industry changes – You will need to keep up and learn new tactics on SEO as the field of SEO can change over time.  

(23) Start a Paid Private Facebook Group

Who Is This For?

If you are able to create and deliver valuable content on a certain topic consistently, and you enjoy interacting with people, then starting a paid private Facebook Group could be perfect for you.  

About This Business:

People pay a certain fee to join your private Facebook Group where you will deliver valuable content via Facebook Live, pre-recorded videos and/or resources that are typically not found anywhere online.  Private Facebook Group allows you to deliver your content, interact with your community, limit access only to paid members, and also moderate and control the group.  You can advertise about your private Facebook Group online (via Facebook Ads, social media marketing, content marketing, email marketing etc) or offline (such as networking, speaking events).  

Advantages:

  • Potential for recurring income – Depends on your pricing structure, you can charge your members monthly, quarterly or annually to be part of your private Facebook group, giving you a more stable and recurring income.  
  • Simple to start – it is simple and free to start a Facebook group.  Typically the group can be started within a few minutes with no technical skills required. 
  • Showcase your expertise – You can create content on subjects you have expertise in.  Alternatively, you can also invite guest speakers to share their expertise in your private Facebook Group.
  • Unlimited income potential – there is no limit on how much you can make from Facebook private groups as this business is scalable. 

Disadvantages:

  • Consistent updates – You will need to create fresh, new content for your membership site consistently.
  • No control over Facebook – Since you do not own Facebook, if there are any major changes to Facebook or if it decides to shut down your group, you will have little control.  So, to overcome this issue, remember to also build your own email list along side of building your private Facebook Group (AWeber is my recommended email list building tool). 
  • Attrition – Likely some paid subscribers/members will drop off after a while.  So in order to grow your revenue, you will have to constantly market your Private Facebook group to acquire new paid customers.  
30 Best Online Business To Start (with Little or No Money)

(24) Start an Online Translation Business

Who Is This For?

If you know a foreign language inside and out and you have great attention to details, then starting a translation business could be perfect for you.  

About This Business:

You translate documents, correspondence, meetings and phone calls for companies that deal with multilingual audiences.  Work could be done from home or via online conferencing platforms such as Zoom or Skype.  You can find freelance translation opportunities on websites such as The Open Mic, Gengo, FreelancerUpWorkFiverr, and People Per Hour. Typical freelance translators can make around US$30 – 50/hour, however, many translators set a fixed price per assignment. 

Advantages:

  • Flexible location – since you work at a remote location from your clients, you can work (and live) anywhere in the World. 
  • Low start up cost – there is no start up cost.  All you need is a laptop and an internet to start. 
  • Quicker to see income – compared to some other business ideas on this list, translators get paid per assignment, therefore, likely quicker for you to see an income.  

Disadvantages:

  • Limited income – Unless you can manage your time well and work with many clients at the same time, then your income will be limited.  After all, this business depends on you translating for your clients, so your income is limited by the hours you can physically work.

(25) Start an Online Tutoring Business

Who Is This For?

If you have great listening skills, can communicate with clarity, and know a certain subject well, then starting an online tutoring business could be perfect for you.  

About This Business:

You will tutor students on a certain subject through online meeting platforms such as Skype or Zoom.  You can find online tutoring opportunities on websites such as Solution Inn, Wyzant, Chegg Tutors, FreelancerUpWorkFiverrFlex Jobs, and People Per Hour. Pay can vary a lot depending on your experience and expertise, the average pay range from US$20 to $25/hour. 

Advantages:

  • Flexible location – since you work at a remote location from your clients, you can work (and live) anywhere in the World.
  • Quicker to see income – compared to some other business ideas on this list, tutors get paid per assignment or per hour, therefore, likely quicker for you to see an income. 

Disadvantages:

  • Limited income – Unless you can manage your time well and work with many students, then your income will be limited.  After all, this business depends on you tutoring for your students, so your income is limited by the hours you can physically work. 

(26) Start Your Own Brand (Without Any Inventory)

Who Is This For?

If you are great with design and are creative, want to create your own brand and/or merchandise, but do NOT want to carry any inventory, then starting your own brand (without any inventory) could be perfect for you.  

About This Business:

You create and design your own unique graphics.  If these graphics can be printed on a product, then you can build a business out of it!  Simply upload your graphics onto websites such as CafePress, TeeSpring, Lulu.  If someone likes you design, these companies will help to print them on merchandise and ship the products directly to your buyers.  Your design can be printed on bags, hats, accessories, T-shirts, socks, leggings, home decors, books, calendar, greeting cards etc.  Typically you get a commission for each item sold. 

Advantages:

  • Own brand with no inventory – you can create your own brand of products without holding inventory. 
  • Low start up cost – there is no start up cost.  All you need is a laptop and an internet to start.  

Disadvantages:

  • You may not earn a lot – Unless you sell a ton of merchandise, you may not see a lot of income.  

(27) Start a Social Media Consulting Business

Who Is This For?

If you are social media savvy, have branding and marketing experience, are a strategic thinker, and have great communication skill, then starting a Social Media consulting business could be the perfect business for you.

About This Business:

Through applying sound social media, branding and marketing strategies, you help your clients raise their brand awareness, increase exposure and attract the right sales leads and clients.  

Advantages:

  • In demand – there is a high demand for great social media consultants. 

Disadvantages:

  • Keep up with industry changes – You will need to keep up and learn new tactics on social media marketing as the industry and social media platform can change rapidly.
 

(28) Selling Printables

Who Is This For?

If you are great with designs and you love to create your own printable products, then selling printables could be the perfect business for you.  

About This Business:

Printables are pieces of artwork, drawings, graphic designs, or templates that can easily be downloaded online and be printed by your customers. In this business, you create beautiful and practical printables such as planners, check lists, game sheets, invitations, worksheets, wall arts (actually anything printable on paper!).  Printables can be sold on platforms such as Etsy, Fiverr and Creative Market, or on your own website.  Printables are also excellent giveaways for you to grow your email subscriber list.  

Advantages:

  • Low start up cost – there is no start up cost.  All you need is a laptop and an internet to start.  
  • Expand your passion – if you enjoy design, then this business can be a great creative outlet for you. 
  • Passive income – You can earn income each time your printable is sold online, making it possible to earn a passive income. 

Disadvantages:

  • Limited income – Usually printables are not too expensive, so unless you can tell a ton of them and have a lot of designs on the market, you may not make a lot of money.  Nonetheless, it is a great way to start building a passive income online and they are excellent giveaways to attract subscribers to your email lists. 

Resources:

Check out this resource where Suzi uses Printables to grow her email list to over 50,000+ subscribers and bring in a full-time income.  

(29) Becoming an Online Researcher

Who Is This For?

If you are resourceful, organized, can manage time well, and can write well, then becoming an online researcher could be the perfect business for you.  

About This Business:

You will do online research work for your clients and then provide data and reports as the deliverables based on their needs.  Your clients could include law firms, insurance companies, health care provider, marketing firms, political parties, and even writers and publishers.   You can find online research opportunities on Indeed, FlexJobs, Fiverr, Freelancer and  Upwork.  

Advantages:

  • Flexible location – since you work at a remote location from your clients, you can work (and live) anywhere in the World.
  • Easy to start – there is no start up cost. All you need is a laptop and an internet to start.    

Disadvantages:

  • Limited income – Unless you can manage your time well and work with many clients at the same time, then your income will be limited.  After all, this business depends on you researching for your clients, so your income is limited by the hours you can physically work.  

(30) Starting a Technical Support Business

Who Is This For?

If you are a good listening and you have patience, have good technical, analytical, problem solving and communication skills, then starting a technical support business could be the perfect business for you.

About This Business:

You will help to ensure that technical systems of your clients are running smoothly and help to fix problems as they arise.  The job scope may include diagnosing and repairing faults, resolving network issues, and installing and configuring hardware and software. You can work with big businesses,  small businesses or one-on-one clients.  You can also find technical support opportunities on FlexJobs, Fiverr, Freelancer and  Upwork.  

Advantages:

  • In demand – there is a high demand for technical support in the market place. 

Disadvantages:

  • Keep up with industry changes – You will need to keep up and learn new technical skills as the industry and new hardware/software come onto the marketplace. 

So there you have it ~ 30 Best Online Business To Start (with Little or No Money)! Which ones fit you the best?  Are there other online businesses you are interested in but are not on this list?  Leave me a comment below!

I hope this list has given you some inspirations and direction.  If you found this blog post helpful, please LIKE and SHARE this with your friends!

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