Are you looking for online business ideas for beginners? Excellent, here I got 10 winning online business ideas that are already tried and tested. Also, you do not have to spend a lot to try any of these online businesses, so they are all low-risk ideas.
Why should you start an online business with minimum risk as a beginner? Well, then it will not kill you if the shit hits the fan.
I flipped products on eBay as my first online business in 2009, and I lost a lot of money trying different business ideas since then. But, it didn’t kill me! I was always careful not to spend more than I can afford to lose when selecting business ideas.
Fast forward to today, now I am running three online stores and make a decent amount of income on the side. So, in this guide, I am telling you what I know, which are the best business ideas that you can do on the side of your day job.
These beginner-friendly online business ideas are low risk, day job safe, and suitable for anyone looking for an extra income.
I’ll level with you; these are not $100,000 a month online business ideas.
There is a lot of rubbish written on the internet about online businesses. If you are someone who would fall for a “$100,000 a month overnight business” clickbait, you might not like this article.
I am trying for more than 10 years now, and on average, I make $4000 a month from online businesses. And, around 70% of that income is from a single store, while the other two contribute very little to the total amount.
And, in the beginning, there were months I had to pay for the ads, website hosting, and subscription fees without making a single dollar. But, as I had a day job, I could sink my teeth into it without any issue.
Disclaimer: This information is general in nature and for educational purposes only. And it does not constitute formal financial, investment, or business advice.
My list of top 10 online business ideas for beginners
This is my list of the top 10 online business ideas. Actually, I have tried 8 of them, and today doing the top 3.
- Make and sell phone cases online
- Sell custom-designed socks online
- Start selling pet toys
- Make and sell candles online
- Sell clothes online
- Make and sell homemade jewelry
- Start selling handmade soap
- Start an online t-shirt business
- Start an online cosmetic store
- Sell posture correctors online
- Sell online courses, eBooks, and tutorials
1. Make and sell phone cases online
If you know how to make phone cases, you can start an online phone case business as a beginner. It is almost risk-free. In the above-linked article, I have explained how to make phone cases and start a business out of them. So, check it out.
My business strategy for a phone case business is to use dropshipping and print-on-demand services to source phone cases so that you don’t have to worry about maintaining an inventory, picking, packing, or shipping the products you sell.
Making and selling phone cases is an excellent online business idea for beginners. I highly recommend starting that based on my experience running a phone case business for 6+ years.
2. Sell custom designed socks online
I started my first online store in 2011 to sell socks. Initially, I only used dropshipping to sell socks online. Later on, I also started selling custom-printed socks using print-on-demand services.
Socks are super fun to sell online. All you have to do is align your marketing campaign to the major events happening in your country—for example, my monthly income from the sock store peaks during pride month.
I get the reins of the business to my hands only during the seasonal sales peaks and let it autopilot with a VA (Virtual assistant) during the other times. So, it is less hassle for me to manage it with my day job. That is why I recommend selling socks online as a perfect online business idea for beginners.
3. Start selling pet toys
I run three online businesses, and selling pet toys is one of them. Selling pet toys is another excellent online business idea for beginners.
I find that it is comparatively easier to run ads for pet toys. There are many pet owner groups and pages on Facebook so that you can find your target audience without any trouble. On top of that, pet owners are impulse buyers. For example, when they see an eye-catching toy for their pets, they tend to click on that “buy now” button faster than anyone else.
Since it is easier to run effective ad campaigns for pet products, I recommend selling pet toys as an excellent business idea. You know most beginners fail when it comes to marketing. They pump money for the ads without getting any results, which slowly kills their business. So, if you can start a business without that risk, it would be great, isn’t it?
4. Make and sell candles online
I have started making candles and selling candles sometime ago, but I gave it up since I couldn’t find enough time to handle the production. So, if you are a stay-at-home parent or someone looking for an extra income in your retirement, I would recommend making and selling candles as an online business idea for you.
Candle making is fun. There are a lot of designs and trends to explore. If done right, you can enjoy doing it as it triggers the creative side of you. Isn’t that a nice way to make money?
So, candle-making and selling are good online business ideas for beginners if you have time to handle the production.
5. Sell clothes online
Selling clothes online is another low-risk online business idea for beginners. I was also selling kid’s clothes a long time ago, and it went pretty well, to be honest. However, my supplier botched many of the orders that gave terrible reviews and awful headaches for me. So, if you could work out a good dropshipping supplier, you would be able to build a really profitable business out of it.
Similar to pet toys, clothes can also trigger impulse buyers online. When you see a nice pair of shorts, you gotta buy them. The success of online clothes stores heavily depends on the advertisements. So, make sure to run your ads right.
It is super important to run targeted ads for the clothes. I have seen many online business beginners automate their ads, so it goes haywire. Make sure you don’t show lingerie ads for teenage boys, or else it will end up with many clicks without any sales, if you know what I mean. Seriously, it happens with automated ads. Keep that in mind.
6. Make and sell homemade jewelry
I haven’t tried selling homemade jewelry, but at one point, I sold jewelry with dropshipping. It looked promising, but I gave it up since I couldn’t manage it with the rest of the stores and my day job.
If you are starting an online jewelry business, I recommend adding homemade jewelry to your product line. When you sell homemade jewelry, you can keep a better margin than dropshipping products. Also, the conversion rate is usually higher for handicrafts.
7. Start selling homemade soap
Like selling homemade candles and jewelry, homemade soap is also a perfect online business idea for beginners who have time to make them.
Oh, trust me, if you can create a luxury product line with all the specialties like organic and vegan products, that business can take you into a whole new dimension of eCommerce.
So, if you are planning to start selling homemade soap, devise a perfect business plan covering a very high target.
8. Start an online t-shirt business
What I love about selling t-shirts online is the number of target groups you could have. For example, this one time, I started an online store to sell print-on-demand t-shirts targeting welders. It was super awesome, and I only promoted my designs on a Facebook group for free. It was a perfect gig, and I sold that business for a good sum of money.
When you sell custom-printed t-shirts, try to target professional groups like welders, engineers, nurses, etc. Make it niche as much as possible to improve your chances of free advertising. Most of the sales I made in my t-shirt store were from recommendations. Having a niche store helps to get good recommendations.
9. Start an online cosmetic store
I haven’t personally tried selling cosmetics, but I helped one of my clients, an Instagram influencer, build and manage her merch store selling cosmetics.
The thing is I know nothing about cosmetics. So, I couldn’t find products or do well on marketing. After all, you got to know about what you sell. However, while I was managing her store, I saw how easy it would be for a beginner, who knows about cosmetics to start and run such a business. That is why it is on my list of the top 10 online business ideas for beginners.
10. Sell posture correctors online
The final online business idea on my list for the beginners is to sell posture correction equipment like Lumbar supports, etc.
It came to the top 10 online business ideas list because of the easiness of marketing such equipment.
Everyone working in front of a computer has backaches. But, we rarely go ahead and search for a solution. So, if you can address this customer pain point with a resonating ad creative, you make sales to the impulse buyers. These marketing opportunities will help you save your ad budget while getting the best out of it.
How to start an online business as a beginner
There is a risk with every business. The higher the risk you could take, the higher the profits you could earn. All the beginner-friendly business ideas that I have mentioned here are low-risk ideas.
So, obviously, you won’t be able to make millions doing them.
But, while running any of these businesses, you could learn millions of things about this hustle. That knowledge will help you to invest more, take more risks, and fly high.
So, until then, let’s see how to fly low and start an online business as a complete beginner.
Here we are going to talk about three things.
- How to find products to sell
- Where to sell
- Using data in marketing
How to find products to sell
In my list of the top “online business ideas for beginners”, I have mentioned three ways to find products to sell.
1. Homemade products
If you have time and resources, make your own products to sell. For example, you can start selling homemade candles, soap, bath bombs, jewelry, cupcakes, clothes, or even pottery and leather products to sell online.
2. Dropshipping products
If you don’t have time to make, store, pick, pack, and deliver your products, use dropshipping to get started. There you can act as a middleman and forward the orders to your supplier and keep a margin.
3. Print-on-demand products
Dropshipping is great, but there you cannot keep a very high profit margin. So, add some value to the products you sell by using a POD service. There you can get your designs printed on to a wide variety of products like socks, t-shirts, phone cases, caps, bags, etc.
Where to sell?
Nowadays, there are many platforms to sell online. For example, if you sell handmade products, you can use Etsy, eBay, Amazon Handmade, or any popular marketplaces.
But, if you use dropshipping or POD, it is better to sell them on your very own online store. So, you can play by your own rules. Also, you can sell on Facebook and Instagram as well.
Creating an online store is easier than you may think. Now with online store building platforms like Shopify, you can even create an online store without any technical knowledge.
Using data-driven marketing
Nowadays everything revolves around data. Similarly, data plays a vital role when it comes to online businesses.
You know that the internet is really crowded. So, from doing a market analysis, finding your target market, and advertising, you need to know exactly what you do. Otherwise, it can drain all your hard-earned money on advertising platforms without getting any results.
Luckily there are tools like Semrush that let us take a sneak peak in to the market conditions and spy on our competitors.
So, make sure to use such tools to spy on how and what other businesses are doing in the industry. For example, if you are planning to sell phone cases, go to Semrush, start a free trial, enter the website of your potential competitor, and see there market strategy including the advertisements they run. This information will help you to understand the market well.
What makes any business idea a “Good Online Business Idea” for a beginner?
You don’t have to stick to my list of the 10 online business ideas for beginners. Explore more and find something that you are passionate about.
However, make sure you understand that not every online business idea works well. There is a huge competition out there, and many beginners do not know how to manage digital marketing to bring in customers.
Pick an online business idea to target social media users
Let us think that you need to buy a t-shirt online. What would you do? Probably you’ll check up on Amazon for a t-shirt. This will be the same for anything that you want to buy online. So, how can a small online business owner sell their products?
Obviously, they can’t compete with Amazon or any of those juggernauts when selling things online. So, there is no point in competing with the eCommerce giants to win the customers who are “ready to buy.” That ship has already sailed!
Therefore, you need to find a way to show your products to those who don’t have any purchase intent and convert them into paying customers.
In simple terms, you need to show your t-shirts to those who are not thinking of buying a t-shirt and influence them to buy from you.
So, how can you do that? Well, let’s have a look!
Being “social media ready” is the main ingredient of a successful online business idea.
So, the best place to find people to show your products is social media. But, people do not hang out on Facebook or Instagram for shopping. They are there to connect with their friends, see memes, watch exciting videos, etc. Basically, people spend time on social media to consume content (photos, videos, stories, etc.)
This means your new online business idea should be capable of creating content that can intrigue potential customers at first sight.
So, go through our list of the best online business ideas for beginners again. Now, you would see that all those online business ideas are capable of creating content that can attract potential customers. Here are some examples.
- Selling pet toys– Creat videos with dogs playing with toys
- Sell jewelry – Create photos featuring models for Instagram
- Sell posture correctors – Create OMG videos
- Sell affiliate DIY products – Create DIY videos
The best online business ideas for beginners – Find out more
I have written some insightful articles about different online business ideas for beginners. You can access all these business guides by searching through our business ideas category. There you will find plenty of online business ideas for beginners that match your interests.
Starting an online business as a beginner can be an intimidating process. There are so many things that you need to learn and understand.
So, while you are searching for thaae best online business ideas for beginners, make sure to start learning a bit about digital marketing as well. Sometimes, having a better understanding of digital marketing might help you to find the best online business ideas for beginners too.