As the impact of the pandemic continues to be felt across the world, many people have found themselves laid off from tech giants like FAANG and Google. This can be a difficult situation to navigate as it leads to feeling uncertain about career options.
However, there is an alternative path that laid-off employees from these top companies may want to consider: starting their own startup. In this blog post, we’ll explore some online business ideas that can help you get your business off the ground and share some inspiring stories of the best online businesses that made it.
15 Online Startup Ideas You Can Start Working On Right Now
For those who are looking for an online business to start, there are plenty of startup ideas out there with lots of potential. Here are 15 ideas for online business to start from home.
A platform that provides access to quality educational resources such as videos, textbooks, assignments, and interactive tools is among small online business ideas to consider. This could be a great way for students of all ages to gain access to knowledge, whether academic or practical.
One type of e-learning platform popular today is online courses that can help users develop their technical knowledge and obtain a new digital profession. The courses are usually divided into various categories such as software engineering, UI/UX design, digital marketing, and so on.
Another type of online education solution is tutoring platforms. Such products work as educators' marketplaces: teachers sign up to conduct tutoring sessions via the built-in online classroom with a whiteboard, video conferencing, and screen sharing while students can find a suitable tutor based on their rates, reviews, and specialization.
For students, such a platform offers a chance to access educational materials that fit their unique schedules and learning styles. For educators, it is an opportunity to create courses tailored specifically to their curriculum and share them with thousands of students around the globe who may not otherwise have access to such materials or instruction.
Think of what you know best or what’s lacking in the current learning market: whether it’s software development, foreign languages, or even something more unusual, like cooking classes, and offer students and educators from all over the world a convenient solution for knowledge sharing.
Example: Coursera is a highly successful online learning platform that offers a wide range of courses from top universities and institutions worldwide. With millions of learners and thousands of courses available, Coursera has revolutionized access to education by providing flexible, affordable, and high-quality learning opportunities to individuals across the globe.
How to monetize: subscription service, freemium model, in-app payment, paid courses.
On-demand delivery service is among the top business ideas online in today’s market where convenience is key. Let’s face it: after the pandemic, we all tasted the advantage of getting what you want right at your doorstep in under one hour.
The service can specialize in delivering items such as groceries, prepared meals, clothing, electronics, and more. Customers can place orders online or through a mobile app and then receive them within one hour or less.
To become the next big thing in the delivery service market, you can show off a few cutting-edge features, like order processing with GPS tracking capability to ensure quick deliveries or AI route optimization to minimize costs while improving customer satisfaction levels by reducing wait times significantly. Don't forget to implement wearable application development in the process, so users can receive order updates on their smartwatches too.
Example: Glovo is a thriving online business that has transformed the on-demand delivery market. As a delivery platform, Glovo connects users with a network of couriers who can deliver a wide range of products, including food, groceries, pharmacy items, and more. With its user-friendly app and efficient delivery service, Glovo has gained immense popularity in numerous countries, providing convenience and instant access to goods with just a few taps on a smartphone.
How to monetize: delivery fee from customers, order fee for restaurants, commission for deliveries, advertisements.
An online marketplace where people can buy and sell goods or services is another great option when it comes to ideas for online business. This concept has been used by many successful companies such as eBay and Amazon over the years (which shows just how powerful this type of startup idea can be if executed correctly).
An online marketplace provides customers with an easy way to compare different products and services from vendors around the world. By giving access to multiple vendors in one convenient place, customers can save time and money as they will find exactly what they need without having to shop around at separate stores or websites.
Starting an online marketplace is a great way to tap into the digital economy and explore one of the most successful online business ideas while offering consumers more options than ever before.
Example: Etsy is a renowned online marketplace that focuses on handmade, vintage, and unique products. It provides a platform for artisans, crafters, and independent sellers to showcase their creations and connect with a global customer base. With millions of active buyers and sellers, Etsy has become a go-to destination for individuals seeking one-of-a-kind items and supporting small businesses.
How to monetize: order fees, advertisements, fees for sellers, affiliate marketing.
Online booking system
Building upon the success of companies like Airbnb and OpenTable — creating an online booking system may also prove a profitable startup online business if done right!
Whether you decide to go ahead with a hospitality-focused version, like a hotel booking system or a tour aggregator, or choose something more tailored towards on-demand services, like a beauty salon appointment system, this type of platform would provide customers with an easy way to reserve availability at their leisure while still being able to manage everything through one centralized dashboard!
Example: HomeAway is a prominent online marketplace that offers a wide selection of vacation rentals, allowing travelers to experience unique and comfortable accommodations around the world. Similar to Airbnb, HomeAway provides a platform for homeowners and property managers to list their properties for short-term rental, offering travelers an alternative to traditional hotels.
How to monetize: booking fees, commissions for accommodation providers, advertisements.
Social media platform based on hobbies and interests
You might say “There are too many social media apps and the field is too competitive”. Yes, you can decide to build a social media app like Bereal and fight for the users' attention with them. But think about this: there is still a gap in the market for a social media platform that caters to people who share a common hobby or interest, like an online book club or plant enthusiasts' circle.
Users of this platform would be able to connect with like-minded individuals from around the world, all united by their passion for something special. Rather than having to scroll through endless feeds of generic, uninspiring content, users can find content specifically tailored to their interests. Whether it's painting, cooking, knitwear, carpentry, or any other hobby – a dedicated social media platform will have it covered!
In addition to providing an easy and convenient way for people to interact over shared passions and skills, this platform could also be used as an avenue for businesses looking to advertise products related to specific hobbies as well as showcase related services offered in different areas. For example, if you search 'knitting' then you could see anything from knitting classes nearby or knitting machine sales online being promoted – giving users access not just to people but also to helpful products related directly to their hobbies.
Example: Meetup is a popular and well-established app that connects people based on their shared interests and hobbies. It provides a platform for organizing and discovering in-person events and gatherings centered around various activities and topics. With millions of users worldwide, Meetup has successfully created a community-driven space where individuals can connect and engage with others who share their passions.
How to monetize: freemium version, paid service, advertisements, affiliate marketing, fees for listing goods or events.
Virtual Fitness Classes
One more suggestion for online business ideas for startups is virtual fitness classes, letting us exercise from the convenience of our homes. If during the pandemic working out at home was a necessity, now it has become a preference.
You can create an online platform that offers live-streamed fitness classes, specializing in one or several workout styles such as yoga, HIIT, dance, pilates, and strength training. Provide a user-friendly interface where users can browse online class schedules, book sessions, access pre-recorded tutorials, and interact with instructors and fellow participants. You can check out our tutorial how to make a fitness app to have a better idea of the process ahead.
Example: One popular app in this space is Peloton. They provide live and on-demand fitness classes across different disciplines, along with interactive features like leaderboards and virtual community engagement.
How to monetize: subscription model, freemium model, sponsored content, in-app payments (access to exclusive content or sessions).
Freelance Work Marketplace
With the rise of remote work and the gig economy, creating an online marketplace that connects freelancers and clients is among highly scalable digital business ideas. This platform would serve as a centralized hub where businesses and individuals can find and hire talented professionals for various projects and tasks.
The freelance job marketplace would provide a user-friendly interface where clients can post job listings, outlining project requirements, budgets, and timelines. Freelancers can then browse through available opportunities, submit proposals, and showcase their skills and experience. The platform should offer features such as messaging systems, secure payment processing, and rating/review systems to facilitate seamless collaboration and build trust between clients and freelancers.
Example: "Upwork" is a well-known platform connecting freelancers and clients across various industries. It offers a wide range of job categories, facilitates communication, and ensures secure payments.
How to monetize: freemium model, memberships, transaction fees.
Online Language Translation Service
With people having access to foreign websites, making friends all over the world, traveling, and buying goods from abroad, an online language translation service definitely makes it to the list of profitable online business ideas.
The online translation platform would offer a user-friendly interface where users can enter text or upload documents to be translated. You can also make it possible to scan a text from a sign or product to get an instant translation. The platform would then employ machine learning algorithms and artificial intelligence to process and analyze the input, providing instant translations in the desired language. Additionally, the platform can offer additional features such as pronunciation guides, language detection, and offline translation capabilities.
Example: Google Translate is a widely used online translation platform that provides instant translation services for text, documents, and even speech. It supports numerous language pairs and offers a range of additional features, making it a popular choice for users around the world.
How to monetize: freemium model, paid app, advertisements.
Personalized Online Styling Service
Finding one’s personal style is not always an easy task. With so many influencers and shopping options, it’s easy to get lost in a quest for setting up a wardrobe to represent one’s personality and suit lifestyle. Creating a personalized online styling service is definitely among the profitable online startup ideas as it can cater to this growing demand. This platform would offer users personalized fashion recommendations, styling advice, and convenient shopping experiences.
The personalized online styling service would start by collecting information from users about their fashion preferences, body type, budget, and lifestyle. Based on this information, the platform would leverage AI algorithms to curate personalized style recommendations for each user. These recommendations can include clothing items, accessories, and even complete outfits that align with the user's unique taste.
Example: Stitch Fix is a successful example of a personalized online styling service. Users complete a style profile, and professional stylists handpick clothing items tailored to their preferences. The curated items are then shipped to the users, who can try them on at home, keep what they love, and return the rest.
How to monetize: paid app, freemium model, affiliate partnerships, a set fee per styling.
Online Mental Health and Wellness Platform
In recent years, there has been a growing awareness and importance placed on mental health and psychological well-being. Not surprising: with so many everyday stresses and shocking world events we all need to take more care of ourselves. Creating an online mental health and wellness platform can be a meaningful and impactful startup idea. This platform would provide individuals with access to a range of mental health resources, tools, and support to improve their emotional well-being.
The online mental health and wellness platform would offer various features such as personalized self-help resources, guided meditation sessions, therapy programs, online counseling, and community support. Users would have the flexibility to engage with the platform in a way that suits their needs, whether it's through self-guided exercises or connecting with licensed therapists or counselors.
Example: BetterHelp is an online platform that offers accessible and convenient mental health services. It connects users with licensed therapists via secure messaging, phone calls, or video sessions, providing a flexible and confidential way to seek professional help.
How to monetize: subscription model, freemium model, premium content, fees for individual online therapy sessions.
Pet Goods and Services Marketplace
Creating an online pet marketplace can be a great online startup project to cater to pet owners' needs by providing a platform to connect them with various pet-related products, services, and resources. You can even go for a live selling app to advertise pet goods on a live stream.
The online pet marketplace would serve as a comprehensive platform where pet owners can discover, shop for, and access a wide range of products and services for their beloved pets. It would feature a diverse array of offerings, including pet food, toys, accessories, grooming products, veterinary services, pet training, and even pet adoption services.
Example: Chewy is a successful online pet marketplace that offers a vast selection of pet products, including food, medications, toys, and accessories. It provides a convenient shopping experience and reliable customer service, catering to the needs of pet owners.
How to monetize: Subscription model, purchase fees, commissions for sellers, advertisements.
Remote Tech Support Service
With the increasing reliance on technology in our daily lives, the demand for remote tech support services has grown significantly. Everyone has been in a situation when a computer is just not working right and the tips from the Internet say nothing about the problem you are facing. Creating an online remote tech support service is surely on the list of top online business ideas, providing individuals and businesses with convenient and reliable assistance for their tech-related issues.
The remote tech support service would offer remote troubleshooting, diagnostics, and problem-solving for a wide range of technical issues. Users would be able to connect with qualified technicians who can remotely access their devices to identify and resolve software glitches, configuration problems, virus infections, and other technical challenges.
Example: HelloTech is a well-known example of a remote tech support service. They provide remote assistance, in-home repairs, and 24/7 technical support for various devices and technologies.
How to monetize: paid access, service fee, package fee, one-time access payment.
Virtual Reality Travel Experiences
Let’s now talk about travel app development but with one fascinating twist: it’s a VR travel solution. Not everyone can easily travel around the globe, especially to remote areas. Creating a startup that offers virtual reality travel experiences can provide individuals with immersive and captivating adventures without leaving their homes and makes it a good option among website business ideas. By leveraging VR technology, users can explore destinations, landmarks, and cultural experiences from around the world, offering a unique and accessible way to travel.
The virtual reality travel experiences platform would provide a library of immersive VR content, including virtual tours, 360-degree videos, and interactive experiences. Users can choose their desired destinations and engage in realistic and engaging virtual travel experiences that simulate the sights, sounds, and even ambiance of different locations. Plus, they could choose various virtual activities, like going on a boat tour or walking through a market, depending on their interests.
Example: Oculus Venues, powered by Oculus VR headsets, is an example of a platform that offers virtual reality travel experiences. It allows users to attend live events, concerts, and sports games, providing a sense of presence and participation from the comfort of their own homes.
How to monetize: a paid platform, payment per venue, advertisements, in-experience purchases, sponsorships.
Online Home Cleaning Service
If the idea to build a real estate app like Zillow seems boring to you, we have an even more exciting alternative. An online home cleaning service can be a game-changer for people who don’t have time or energy for chores, providing them with a reliable platform to book professional cleaners for their homes. This service would offer a range of cleaning options, from regular house cleaning to deep cleaning and specialized services. Building a goods or services marketplace can be counted as one of the easy online business ideas as you already have a clear marketplace pattern to follow, plus need to add some unique twists to interest the users.
Users would have the ability to browse through a network of verified and background-checked cleaning professionals, view their profiles, and select the one that best fits their needs. The platform would allow users to schedule appointments, specify their cleaning requirements, and make secure online payments.
Example: Handy is an example of a successful online home cleaning service. It connects users with trusted and experienced cleaning professionals who can handle various cleaning tasks efficiently and reliably.
How to monetize: fee per cleaning, fees for service providers, subscription plans.
3D Models Marketplace
Looking for unique online business ideas? What about a 3D modeling marketplace? The world of 3D modeling has experienced rapid growth in recent years, driven by the increasing demand for realistic visualizations and digital representations in various industries, like gaming and advertising. An online 3D modeling service can cater to businesses and individuals seeking high-quality 3D models for their projects, whether it's for architectural design, product development, video game assets, virtual reality experiences, or visual effects.
This online service would connect clients with a community of skilled 3D modelers and designers who can bring their concepts to life. Clients would submit their project requirements, including specifications, reference materials, and desired output formats. The 3D modelers would then create customized 3D models based on the clients' needs and deliver the final files electronically.
Example: TurboSquid is an example of a successful online 3D modeling service. It provides a vast marketplace of 3D models created by a community of artists, allowing businesses and individuals to purchase pre-made models for their projects.
How to monetize: fees for 3D model providers, a fee per model purchase, and subscription services.
3 Examples of Online Businesses That Started From Zero
Let’s explore 3 examples of businesses that started from zero and achieved success through hard work and determination.
eargym is a hearing health app we recently partnered up with for Flutter app development services and whose story we found to be truly inspiring. eargym centers around the problem of hearing loss. The app features tests and games to assess and improve hearing health.
eargym was created by two enthusiasts who faced the issue of hearing loss directly: eargym’s co-founders Amanda Philpott and Andy Shanks lived through age-related and noise-induced hearing loss. With Amanda's background in the NHS and population health, eargym is a real purpose-driven business that bases all its UX decisions on behavioral and medical research. eargym definitely proved to be among successful startup online business ideas that we will hear a lot about soon!
Cambly is an innovative language-learning app that allows users to study with native English tutors. The app was founded by two ex-Googlers, Kevin Law and Sameer Shariff, in 2012.
The idea for Cambly was born when both founders realized that their own language-speaking skills improved by traveling and interacting with native speakers. They noticed that many students wanted to practice spoken English but had limited access to tutors. The founders decided that utilizing video chat technology would be an ideal way for such students to connect with native English-speaking tutors from all over the world.
Law and Shariff started out writing the code for Cambly themselves while meeting with potential users. Those interviews helped Cambly to offer exactly what the users are asking for and, therefore, create a perfect feature set for language learners. Now, Cambly allows students from any country to instantly connect with a preferred native speaker via video chat and engage in a conversation with no barriers.
What about an on-demand service success story to inspire you to look for some of the best startup online business ideas in the direction of taxi services? Lyft began with a simple but powerful idea: make it possible for people to get a ride at the push of a button. Founded in 2012 by Logan Green and John Zimmer, Lyft was created when one of the founders had difficulty finding transportation or trustworthy companions to share his ride with when traveling around California to see his girlfriend.
From this experience, they had the vision to create an affordable ridesharing service that would offer a car-sharing service to college students who had to hop between campuses all the time.
Lyft has also become known for its signature pink mustaches that adorn every car in its fleet; these originally served as a way for riders to confirm they were getting into the right vehicle before entering their cars after calling a ride from their phones or laptops. Plus, it just gave everyone something fun!
Start Your Own Online Business Today!
In conclusion, launching a successful online project from scratch can be made easier and more cost-effective if you can find best app developers for your startup.
By having talented people who are all working towards the same goal, your project will have a much higher chance of success. The right group of experts can ensure that your project launches smoothly and without any major issues.
Your partner should have experience in app idea validation, designing, developing, and marketing digital products so that they can reach their full potential in the market. With an experienced team at your side, browsing for the best online startup ideas is easier as you know better how much you need to invest, whether a particular idea can be lucrative or not, whether there is a demand and competition on the market, and how to monetize your solution.
That sounds just like Perpetio: we have worked with dozens of startups to discover their competitive value and offer a convenient, out-of-box product. And we are ready to create some more! Contact us to discuss your project and receive a cost estimate.
What are some online business ideas?
Good ideas for starting your online business include an e-learning platform, a delivery service, and a fitness app.
What are the best online businesses?
Some of the online businesses on the rise right now are styling services platforms, mental health apps, and freelance work marketplaces.
Which domain should I choose for an online business to start?
It all depends on your past experience and current market needs. Collaborate with a reliable software development team to get assistance with market research and product discovery stage.