Over the past couple of years, there’s no doubt that consumers’ buying habits have changed a great deal. Starting an online business was always an excellent way to earn money, but that’s become truer than ever with the rate at which consumers have begun shifting their spending away from brick-and-mortar businesses and increasing their volume of online purchasing. Of course, you could probably have already figured that out just by watching Amazon’s stock price.
So, let’s suppose you want to start an online business in 2021. Whether you’re launching a new venture or bringing an existing brick-and-mortar business online, there will be significant costs involved. If you hire someone to build and maintain the website for you, that firm’s services will be expensive – and if you do the work yourself, your time has a value that also deserves consideration. The last thing that you want to do is start a new online venture without first understanding what your prospects for growth really are. Worse yet, you don’t want to enter an industry in which Amazon already has a stranglehold unless you have a truly compelling reason why people should buy from you instead.
In this article, we’re going to provide a few ideas that can help to get your creative juices flowing. These are a few types of online businesses that have excellent growth potential. Let these ideas serve as a starting point for your brainstorming.
Starting an online vape shop is a business idea that can work extremely well if you live in a region that has a permissive legal attitude toward vaping. With recent regulatory changes in the United States such as the new vape mail ban, starting an online vape shop in the US probably isn’t the greatest idea now because legal compliance is extremely difficult unless you have an enormous budget. Nations such as the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand, however, are better regulatory environments for vape shops, as top online vape shops like V2 Cigs UK will attest.
So, why does running a vape shop present such an excellent opportunity for growth? It’s because the retail prices for vaping products often have very high markups compared to the typical wholesale prices. Virtually all of the world’s vaping devices and accessories are produced in China and sold to merchants at extremely low rates. E-liquid is usually made domestically rather than imported, but it’s produced in such bulk that wholesale prices for merchants are usually quite reasonable. Most importantly, the vaping industry is one that will only continue to grow as more and more smokers discover how easy it is to switch to vaping and stop smoking.
Local Delivery Service
Have you ever ordered local food delivery and marveled at the incredibly high markups that companies like DoorDash and Grubhub charge? If you have, maybe it’s time for you to consider entering the local delivery industry. If you live in a medium-to-large city where there are many homes and businesses within a reasonable driving range, you’ve got a potential opportunity to start an online business with excellent growth prospects.
Why could a starting a local delivery service be a good opportunity for growth when companies like Grubhub probably already serve your area? The first reason is because the national delivery services are focused right now on growing their user bases as quickly as possible. That requires huge marketing expenditures, and those services are losing money as a result. They’re trying to make up the revenue shortfalls by overcharging restaurants for access to their users. The second reason is that businesses and consumers are both tired of being overcharged for a service that’s not based locally and provides questionable value. The third reason is that drivers are tired of being underpaid for their work.
When you combine all of those factors, it’s obvious that many neighborhoods have viable openings for local business owners who are willing to provide local deliveries with better service and lower price points.
Local Business Marketing
As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, one of the biggest challenges that local business owners face today is the fact that millions of consumers are buying more products online – and fewer products locally – than they once did. Local business owners know that they need to find ways to generate revenue online, and they also know that they need to offer options – such as curbside pickup and local delivery – that make it possible for consumers to collect their purchases the way they want to. Many of those business owners, however, have no idea how to do those things because they’re already too engrossed in the day-to-day operation of their companies.
If you know anything about how to market a local business – and if you know how to find freelancers to perform tasks that are outside your realm of expertise – then it’s possible that you could find many local business owners willing to pay for local and online marketing help. You have an advantage that other marketing agencies lack in that you can actually meet with local business owners face to face and can provide some transparency regarding your marketing plans and the expected results.
Many business owners are leery about working with online marketing agencies because they feel like they’re going to end up being overcharged for a cookie-cutter marketing package and that they won’t receive any personal attention. Many marketing agencies aren’t even fully transparent about where they’re located – and on top of that, they outsource most of their work to freelancers and overcharge for the product. Given all of those facts, you can understand why many business owners would rather work with local marketing agencies if they could. You could get a leg up over the bigger marketing agencies by providing the personal attention local business owners want and by charging less for the services you provide. It’s easy to charge less than a major agency if you do the work yourself and don’t outsource.