The Covid-19 Pandemic has forever changed the way we look at the world of work and the way that many businesses operate. Social distancing rules meant that more and more people started working from home, and this seems to be a trend that will continue in the post-pandemic world. These days, there are more new online businesses launched in the UK every year than there are new traditional bricks and mortar businesses. If you’re looking to start a business that will give you the opportunity to control your own hours and work from home, this article will have everything you need to know.
Here is our guide to the top ten UK online business ideas which could make you some serious money.
1. An online trading company
An online trading company has the potential to be very profitable if you have the requisite skills and knowledge. Anyone interested in trading can open an account and trade for themselves, while also offering their services to other people who want to get involved with investing, but don’t have the time or knowledge to do it alone. You will need a decent amount of startup capital, trading software or apps, and an online brokerage account. There are various different types of trading you can try in order to diversify your portfolio and maximise your returns. These include stock trading, cryptocurrency trading, and Forex (foreign currency) trading. Key to success is that you make sure you are well educated on everything that goes into trading, know how to analyse the markets, and never forget the potential risks involved. With the right strategy, an online trading company can be a goldmine.
2. An e-commerce store
Online shopping had put the UK High Street in trouble long before Covid-19 hit these shores, but there is no doubt that the pandemic has hastened its demise. While there is perhaps some sadness amongst the more nostalgic, the rise in online shopping means that there are huge opportunities for new e-commerce stores. The best way to get started with e-commerce is to sell an existing product, then you don’t have to worry about finding a supplier or shipping. You can start selling on Amazon or eBay as soon as tomorrow without spending any money at all. Alternatively, if you want to take your burgeoning retail empire to another level, you can set up your own Shopify website. All you need to do is pick a theme and add your products, then you can start marketing your business to drive traffic and sales.
3. An online book store
Amazon may have completed the book store game, but there are many people who still believe in the sacredness of the independent book store. Starting your own online book store selling rare books or only stocking new, independent authors, is a great way to tap into that market and add a little romance to the world. Online book stores are super easy to set up, and you can sell both physical books and eBooks. It’s going to cost about $20-$30 per month for hosting fees at first but the costs will only go up if your business starts growing and you start getting more book sales.
Online bookstores are great because there are very little overhead costs involved. You won’t have to spend money on buying large amounts of inventory that could end up sitting around collecting dust after it doesn’t sell fast enough. Instead, this type of business works best when you buy small quantities from multiple sellers. This way, there isn’t a lot of extra bulk lying around and its easy for customers to find what they are looking for.
4. A website design company
Website design is a great business idea and there are some serious profits to be made. Many people are looking to create their own website, but don’t have the technical skills required to do so themselves. If you know how to build websites and other mobile-friendly platforms, this could be an excellent opportunity. You can use your knowledge and experience in building sites or apps and offer design and consultancy services either as a one-off service or as a monthly retainer. You can even run online website design webinars to teach people how to make their build and improve their own websites. You can charge per person per webinar and build a loyal audience which will guarantee you income into the future. The great thing about website design is that the internet is always changing so if you are able to stay ahead of the trend, there will always be people who need your expertise. To get started, all you will need is a website to promote your services, a database of contacts or leads that you can email when new projects come up, and an online portfolio showcasing your previous work.
5. An SEO company
SEO, or search engine optimisation to give it its full title, is vital for the success of websites and online businesses. SEO involves making a website as easily accessible and searchable on the major search engines such as Google, Bing or Yahoo. This is achieved through a range of different techniques such as using certain keywords in a website’s content, and building its authority via links on other related sites. If you have knowledge and expertise in SEO, then there is a huge market of website owners who are looking to boost their rankings. To get started, you can offer a range of SEO services to website owners on a freelance basis, or you could market yourself as an agency and take on larger projects. Once you have some core clients, you can then begin expanding your services. For example, you can start offering backlink services, and partner up with online writers to create the articles which will go on the guest sites. Speaking of which…
6. A freelance writing company
Freelance writing is a great business idea because it can all be done from home, and there are little to no overheads. There are so many different types of writing that you can do if you are good with words. As noted above, writing for SEO is a huge industry nowadays. This may involve writing articles and blog posts for large companies, which they will then place on their website, social media accounts, or on other websites as guest posts.
Another type of writing that you can do is copywriting. Copywriters create the text that for businesses’ advertisements. They also create product pages on websites, social media and email marketing campaigns, and help with business branding. The trick to copywriting is to be able to get right inside people’s minds so you know how they think when are buying certain products. It requires good imagination and creativity skills along with excellent written English language abilities because this kind of writing has its own ‘voice’.
To get started as an online freelance writer, you will need to create an effective portfolio which shows off your best work. If possible, get in touch with some former writing clients and see if they are willing to use them as references on your website or social media profiles.
7. An online consultancy agency
An online consultancy agency is a great business as all it requires you to do is pass on your knowledge and experience. There are many different types of consultancy work that you could focus on but the most difficult part is getting your name out there and finding your first clients. To start, you will need to market your services through word-of-mouth and referrals to establish yourself in the industry and build up a client base over time. It may take some time and effort to get started but once established it can be a great way to make money which is why it’s one of the top ideas for starting an online business today.
The best online consultancy agencies have excellent websites. When designing yours, make sure to include your credentials and experience as well as testimonials from your clients. With all online business, you also need to make sure that it is easy for customers and clients to find contact information on the site such as your telephone number, email address and a convenient enquiry form on every page of the website. A good quality website design will help attract more traffic which will ultimately lead to more people hiring your services.
8. An online tech solutions company
There are so many people who need to use their computers on a daily basis for work, school, and socialising, but very few know anything about computers, especially how to fix them when something goes wrong. If you are computer savvy, starting an online tech solutions company is the ideal way to tap into this global market. Apps like TeamViewer mean that you can now take over someone’s computer remotely from wherever you are. This will enable you to offer tech support services to people all over the world.
If you want to start an online tech solutions company, marketing your business is key. You can do this by offering free advice, or through social media campaigns and other types of digital advertising. If you are good at what you do, word will get around quickly about how great your service is, which means that more clients will have no problem paying for your help.
9. An online teaching company
Online education has become a massive industry, especially post-Covid when so many schools are still shut or have stringent restrictions in place. While there is the potential for making money teaching just about any subjects, online foreign language lessons are definitely the fastest growing industry. If you have experience in a popular European language, such as Spanish, French or German, or in one of the fast-growing business languages like Mandarin, Korean, or Japanese, starting an online teaching company could be an excellent choice for you. You can teach students from around the world and set your own schedule at home! You can offer your teaching services via one of the many web communication platforms like Skype or Zoom. All you need is a computer and internet connection and you will be ready to go. Many teachers do not use formal lesson plans but rather focus on conversation skills after the initial introduction exercises. Depending on the level of your students, this may include learning common greetings, role playing different real-world scenarios, or having free-flow conversations about different topics.
10. An online translation service
If you are proficient in multiple languages, an alternative to teaching languages online, is starting a translation service. Not only is this a chance to put your language skills to good use, it can also be highly lucrative. With all major businesses looking to market their products and services globally, the market for translation services is enormous. There are various services you can offer to your customers, such as document translation, website and product localisation, software localisation, online web conference interpretation, and cultural consultancy.
To get started, you’ll need to have a relevant degree, or be fluent in multiple languages. You can then develop your website and marketing material around the translation and interpreting services you offer. If you do a good job, ask your clients to refer you to their acquaintances and business partners, and you can start to build a loyal client base.
There are so many fantastic opportunities for starting an online business. The most important things you need to consider is creating an attractive, functional website, marketing your services effectively, and providing secure payment options for your customers and clients. Owning an online business means you can set your own hours, decide the direction of your company, and keep the majority of the profits. You will need to do the appropriate research so that there is a potential market for whatever product or service you are offering, and that you have a unique selling point to stand out from the competition.