Business Opportunities: 9 Great Ideas to Make Money Online
February 24, 2021
Table of Contents
Business opportunities are hard to define and the definition will vary depending on the person you ask. However, there are some general notions that are applicable and the aim will most often be: make money.
In this article, we will explore, what a business opportunity is, what are the most common types of business opportunities, what are the benefits, as well as 9 great online business ideas.
What is a business opportunity?
It can be hard to define exactly what a business opportunity is because it means different things to different people.
Nevertheless, a business opportunity will most often involve either the lease or sale of a good or service. This lease of sale will then enable the person buying or leasing to start their own business.
The seller or licensor of this business opportunity most often will guarantee help to the buyer with finding the right location or provide the good to the licensee/buyer. This varies from selling an independent business, where there is no continued relationship with the seller once the initial deal has been made.
Another way to define a business opportunity is as a packaged investment that enables the buyer to start their own business. Technically, any franchise is a business opportunity. However, not all business opportunities are franchises.
The franchise differs from the business opportunity in that the business opportunity seller most often has no control over the way the buyer’s business operates. There will most often be no continuation of relationships between the buyer and seller after the sale.
Due to this, business opportunities will generally offer much less support than franchises. However, this is not necessarily a disadvantage and can actually play in your favour, if you enjoy having more freedom.
Generally, you won’t have to follow the strict rules that franchises have to follow. With a business opportunity, you’ll most often buy the necessary equipment and then operate the business however you see fit. Most often, there are no continuing royalties nor trademark rights.
The makeup of a business opportunity
Typically, a business opportunity is made up of four different elements which are all present within one domain or geographical area.
These elements are:
- A need
- The means to fulfil this need
- A method to apply the means to fulfil this need
- A way to benefit
If any one of these elements is missing, then a business opportunity can be created, by discovering this missing element. Ideally, the combination of these elements will be unique. The higher the control a company has over the elements, the better it will be able to exploit the opportunity and become a market leader.
Common types of business opportunities
There are three different types of business opportunities which are most common.
A distributorship is an agreement to offer and sell the goods of another company, without the right to use the trade name of the manufacturer as part of the distributor’s trade name.
Depending on the agreement between the distributor and the selled, the distributor might only be allowed to sell the products of that specific company, or it will be able to market a range of different products from different companies.
Rack jobbing describes the selling of another company’s products using a distribution system of racks in a range of shops that are filled by the rack jobber. With this type of business opportunity, the buyer or agent will typically enter into an agreement with the parent company to take their goods to market at various shops through strategically positioned racks.
Through the agreement, the parent company will acquire a number of locations where it is able to place racks on a consignment basis. The agent is then responsible to maintain stocks, arrange products, attract new clients and take care of the bookkeeping. The agent will show the shop manager an inventory control sheet which shows how much of the goods have been sold and the distributor is paid by that shop once the shop has taken its own commission.
Vending Machine Routes
The vending machine route is very similar to rack jobbing. The investment most often is larger for this kind of business opportunity because the distributor has to buy the machines on top of the goods being sold in them. However, in terms of payment procedures, it is the opposite as with job racking.
The person operating the vending machines most often pays the location owner a percentage based on the number of sales made. For this type of business opportunity, the location is most important. The machine has to be placed somewhere where there is a high footfall or as close as possible to one. If the machines are spread far apart, then traveling between them will cost you a lot of time and money, and could whittle down your profits.
The advantages of business opportunities
There are of course many benefits to business opportunities. Here are a few:
Business opportunities require lower initial fees than a franchise
There have been more and more low-investment franchises cropping up recently. However, it remains the case that fees for a business opportunity are most often a lot lower.
They provide a proven product or operating system
Tried and tested systems are there to optimise effectiveness and return on investment whilst minimising any issues. It is only a matter of passing on knowledge and experience. If there are any issues, the parent company will most often still be around and able to provide help and support to the licensee.
Initial intensive training programs
Within most companies, the initial learning period will pump up a lot of time and money. A strong business opportunity can get rid of the majority of inefficient steps through initial intensive training sessions.
More advantageous financing
Due to the size, contractual agreements and credit line of the parent company, it will most often be able to offer much more advantageous financing options than any individual person could obtain.
High-quality marketing and advertising
Most SMEs don’t have a huge budget for advertising or aren’t willing to spend a lot of money on it. When they are willing to set some money aside for their marketing, their plan is often badly thought through and lacks consistency. This is why many business opportunity ventures offer the buyer with pre-made advertising material and access to various advertising channels to help them with their marketing efforts. Some business opportunities will even have cooperative advertising agreements within their contract where costs for advertising are split.
Most business opportunity ventures will offer support throughout the training period but also offer expert guidance and knowledge otherwise inaccessible for an independent. Some parent companies will also offer some legal, accounting, financial, tech and strategic advice and support.
Experts within the parent company will help you with site selection and marketing. They will help with leases and contract negotiation in order to get you the best deal possible, thanks to the leverage the size and status of the parent company afford them.
Often, the buying power of the parent company, as well as their techniques and knowledge, will make it easier for you to access the right equipment and outside services at a lower cost.
9 great online business ideas
Start a blog and monetise it
It has never been easier to start a blog. Not only that, but you can also make money out of it.
Although you can’t expect money to come pouring in as soon as you create your blog if you create content on a regular basis that is informative, high-quality, entertaining or educational, that captures people’s attention, then you are on the right track.
Most importantly, if you want to monetise your blog, you need to find a way to sell something through it. For example, this could be products, ad space, sponsored posts, ebooks, coaching or digital products.
If you are serious about this and are committed on the long term, then blogging can be very profitable.
Sell your art online
No matter what kind of art you produce, whether that be paintings, photography or music, there are many ways in which you can launch an online business and transform your work into a source of income.
If you are a painter or photographer, then you could sell your originals or prints via your own website or using Printful or Printify. This is a great way to transform your art into something tangible that people can buy and use in their own personal spaces. If you are a musician, then you can also sell your music as digital downloads.
Become a freelancer
Graphic designers, web and app developers and writers can all make a living by starting their own business based on their expertise. As a freelancer, you will be able to make money by helping others with their own projects and by using your own knowledge and expertise.
Freelancing doesn’t mean that you have to give up all your free time by taking up huge projects. Indeed, projects vary in length and weight, meaning you will be able to pick and choose what suits your own schedule best.
Upwork and Fiverr are two great platforms for finding people who might be interested in your services.
Develop a niche product
If you discover a business opportunity within a certain niche, you might have discovered your next online business idea. Niche goods and services provide for very specific audiences or communities.
The niche could be a certain demographic, industry, values, geography, product attributes,… A niche is anything that is specific enough to target a small section of the population as potential clients.
Create an online course or digital product
By creating an online course or a digital product, you are monetizing your knowledge and expertise by helping others and passing on your experience to others.
Of course, you will have to do the promotion of your product yourself. You could create your own website, create an email campaign, or find a third party to do the promotion for you. You will also need to create convincing sales material to convince people to buy your product.
Nevertheless, sharing your expertise and knowledge online to help others can be a great way to make money.
Become a copywriter
Copywriting describes the act of writing with the aim of moving people to action. It is the occupation of writing text for the purpose of marketing or advertising. This can be done for a website, a sales page, a blog, and more.
If you enjoy writing and are good at it, copywriting can be an effective way of monetising your talent. It can also enable you to work remotely and have better control of your schedule and time.
Help people with lead generation
Companies are always looking out for ways to generate new leads. They are, after all, what leads to deals and income for the business.
When helping a company with their lead generation, you are acting as a matchmaker. You connect the company with leads who have a problem you can solve.
When the company you are helping concludes a deal thanks to the lead you generated, you will then most probably gain commission. If you are good at it, it can quickly become very lucrative.
Become a virtual assistant
If you are extremely organised and enjoy a job that isn’t being in the spotlight, then becoming a virtual assistant might be a great opportunity for you.
Virtual assistants help business people, entrepreneurs, leaders, managers and executives organise their own professional and personal affairs. Responsibilities can be wide-ranging, from marketing management to scheduling meetings and appointments. Being a virtual assistant, all the work is done online.
Develop apps and websites
If you are good with technology, you might want to consider learning some coding skills and start developing some things. Whether you want to create mobile apps or websites, you can create digital products which you can then sell or you can start providing your services to different companies and clients.
How CONNECTS can help you find online business opportunities
Using online platforms is a great way to discover business opportunities that you might not have come across otherwise, whether that be because of your location, the industry you operate in or whatever reason.
CONNECTS is an online B2B matchmaking platform that allows you to find new business opportunities, as well as suppliers, distributors, partners and clients. As it is one single platform, it will save you a lot of time and effort and can really boost your online business efforts.
The platform can help you do business and find new opportunities worldwide within an environment of trust. Indeed, each member on the platform has been assessed and validated by a local chamber of commerce, meaning you can do business in all confidence.
If you are interested in finding out more about the types of opportunities on CONNECTS, check out our opportunities page.
Are you an entrepreneur wanting to discover and develop new opportunities, both locally and internationally? Join our Business Matchmaking Platform and start your free trial.
Already a member of a participating chamber? Join our Business Matchmaking Platform for free.