There has never been a better time to start a business from home and do online. So if you are planning to do home business in the UK, please don’t listen to anyone who tells you otherwise, as the Internet is not saturated and still growing like crazy. True, there is more competition now than when the Internet first started, but for me, competition is a good thing because it qualifies that there is a market out there and for me at least, it will make people think more clearly about what they are setting up a business for, who they are going to serve and of course, how they will serve them.
Please remember that every business is still a business and the Internet is a simply a platform and the web a delivery system and with that delivery system comes some real advantages, but I repeat, it is still a business. I am going to give you my perspective on starting an online business from home as I have run online and traditional businesses and am now finding my own ‘voice’ online after doing a load of research. You need to find an idea that resonates with you rather than simply chase the ideas that you think make the most money and look at each option carefully.
I decided to take the first step by starting a personal blog and sharing my life and business story with people in the hope to help and inspire them. Later I will create products and services driven by the demand of my readers and followers, but I know that it will take some time. There are no quick fixes or riches in any business unless you are really lucky even I sometimes get taken in by the promises, just for a split second thankfully and I have been in the online world for over 15 years! So be careful!
Tools of the trade
You are going to need the basic tools to begin and that is a good laptop, mobile phone, Internet connection and depending on what you are going to do, a website and some software. So I will leave the choice of a laptop for you as well as your mobile. For hosting you can take a look at Seekahost and once I finish with my current provider, I will be switching to them and for me, WordPress Is the content management platform I would go with. If you like to learn how to start a self-hosted WordPress blog, you can learn here. You will need a means of capturing peoples information for marketing purposes and you can take a look at Getresponse as an option.
If you are looking to sell things on your site then take a look at the various e-commerce platforms and here is a site that compares a few. You will also want to update or create your Social Media accounts and although you shouldn’t rely totally on Social Media for all of your business marketing, it is a great place to build a presence. The problem with Social Media and anything that comes from a third party provider are that you don’t have total control and the rules can be changed.
This applies to pretty much everything online and just think simply about the Internet itself – how frustrated do we get when the service goes down and what happens if the WiFi network or phone service gets disrupted in our favorite coffee shop? It’s all about reducing your risk and making sure that you cover as many of the bases as possible, so make sure that you have your website under your control and that means if you have hired a web designer or company, make sure from the outset that you explain to them that you want full control of the site and any code that has been added in case you want to change anything.
Be clear what you understand that you have paid for. Also, make sure that you export email addressed that you hold on any email marketing platforms – your ‘list’ as it is termed, is your lifeblood! You may also want to invest in a good quality microphone and a stand for your phone, if you wish to use it for videos, etc. I am not going to go into detail about whether you need to set up a company or not, that decision depends on what you are going to do, your tax status and other factors that only a professional can advise you on, so talk to your lawyer and accountant.
Take a look here to go through the different options that you can discuss with your professional advisor.
Before You Start
Perform a self-audit and find out what you are passionate about and the skills you have. For example, if you love writing then you may want to start a blog – if you love cooking and specialize in baking, you may want to start a home baking business. There are no hard and fast rules, only that you will have much more success if you do something you are passionate about.
Remember, you are going to start a business, so get ready for it! Here is one piece of advice I will give you upfront – any business needs sales and marketing in order to succeed and I see so many people through my coaching and mentoring that have beautiful websites that have cost thousands, a load of technology they will rarely use, but who have put absolutely no thought in how they will generate revenue.
You absolutely must invest some time and money into online marketing and this is why I have decided to work with Fernando Raymond and his team, who are incredibly supportive and generous with their time to help me learn what I need to learn and a whole lot more. It took me a long time to find Fernando and I have literally searched for years to find someone who would actually take a call and talk to me, which is a huge advantage and many will not!
I cannot stress enough that you must invest time and effort to understand what I have just said otherwise you are not setting yourself up for success. So let’s get to the top 10 business ideas that you can start from home and also online. I have not put these in any order and of course, there are many more, but I thought I would give you an overview of what appealed to me as there are so many other resources out there to look at.
Top 10 businesses you can start from home and do online
1. Start A Blog
This for me is the #1 choice and for many reasons – it gets you online very quickly, allows you to start building your personal brand and to start writing about your passions. You will hear some people tell you that blogs are dead and there are too many of them, so do something else, but they are still very much alive and yes, there is more competition out there and you have to have some very good content and be patient when it comes to driving traffic organically to the blog.
I am not going to go into all of the ways you can monetize a blog, as the whole blogging and Internet Marketing subject is covered in great detail by the guy who inspired me to start this blog, Fernando Raymond. Think also of your blog as your online C.V. and as a former recruiter, I believe that companies will be looking far more at the online presence of someone, rather than just a piece of paper. And if you start to put out exciting and interesting content, you may even attract your next job by default.
A blog is a great way to get started, especially if you are already working and want to start something in the future. As your blog grows and you naturally find your own ‘voice,’ you will be able to look at ways to monetize it and this can be through products, services, and other offers as well as having people advertise on your site to earn revenue.
2. Be A Coach Or Consultant
Depending on where you are in your life, you will have amassed some expertise and experience without a doubt. The Internet is a great place to leverage that experience and within reason, no matter what this expertise is, there is a good chance that you will be able to help someone. It is also extremely easy to get started and with a simple website, a clear message and some marketing you are in business – there is not much more to say here only that you must be able to clearly identify what you are going to do for people and that is to be absolutely clear about what they will receive from your coaching or consulting.
You are solving a problem and that may well be the reason you are hired – to find problems! But whatever you do, it is the outcome and the transformation that you create. I personally love coaching as I love sharing knowledge – to me that is better than simply teaching and the goal for me is to help the person teach themselves. You could combine a blog with coaching and consulting – in this way you can send your message out to the world to get the message out and the services will follow.
Consulting is different as you are ‘doing’ and that means you will need to be a subject matter expert, but it is equally rewarding. I personally do coaching, consulting and mentoring with the specific outcome of substantially increasing performance in both revenues and profits, but I also cover each and every aspect of business as they are all interconnected including business rescue and turnaround. But that is a mouthful, so I lead with the performance (revenues) and profit aspects. Take a look at consulting.com.
3. Trade Stocks
It is absolutely possible to make money from stocks by trading from home, but here is a word of warning – NEVER fall for those ads that promise ridiculous earnings from working a few hours a day and my personal advice is to forget day trading. There are so many adverts that are selling you a course to learn Foreign Exchange (FOREX or FX) trading for example, that show you winning trades to lure you, with huge percentages of gains from investments and also trying to sell you software to do the work for you.
My advice to anyone who wants to do this is to go to either Anton Kriel or Lex Van Damme, they are very successful traders and will explain all of the pitfalls, conflicts of interests and dangers of what is termed the ‘retail market.’ They offer courses and although expensive, they are well worth it and my wife, who was a former currency trader for an International Bank, has bought one.
If you approach it correctly, this is a great way to start a business online and think about it, you are at the heart of everything and the driver of everything. Money makes the world go round and after all, if you invest in say Shell Oil, you are a part of that company! Again, I will stress caution here as I know so many people that have lost serious amounts of money having been lured by the hype and false promises. Also, please Google the returns that the professionals make and use that as your benchmark.
4. Become An Affiliate Marketer
Here you can earn money from promoting other peoples or companies products and the idea is that you promote the product and earn a commission for each and every sale. There are literally hundreds of opportunities out there to do this and you will need to understand how to drive traffic to your site and also to be able to write compelling content, which I talk about in the next section. A popular affiliate marketing site is Clickbank and here you can find a ton of products as well as tutorials to get you started. I love the idea of this and may well step into the world of affiliate marketing either as a channel to sell my own products or to sell others that I like.
5. Become A Writer
I have talked earlier about starting a blog and of course, that is a great step to take if you love to write. But there are other ways to look at writing and the obvious one is to write a book! Worried that you are not an author?
There are many courses out there to help you and a lady that I am mentoring got her book started through a guy called Kary Oberbrunner and wrote her book on her own life story – it is an excellent book called Navigating Your New Normal and I read it from cover to cover in two sessions over two days!
If you want to start quickly and simply, look at writing an ebook and these can simply be short and sweet about a particular topic based on say an element of your expertise or a full-blown book that you can get published on Amazon. Or you can look at becoming a copywriter and here is an excellent course run by Manuela Willbold or if you want to dig deeper and specialize in say SEO copywriting then go here.
6. Sell Digital Courses
Take a look at a platform called Udemy and you will see how this can help you get a course online and also how you can learn new skills, especially if you are looking at starting an online business. I looked at Udemy many years ago and unfortunately didn’t take the action to get started and for no other reason than I was too engrossed in running my own companies. It is a great place to start if you have any subject matter expertise that you know will help people.
I will be doing online courses in the future, now that I am dedicated to coaching and mentoring and I recommend you do the same. Webinars are a good way to deliver online courses as well but be warned of the many promises and courses that are offered to guarantee you quick success and money, research and review!
7. Start An E-commerce Store
The online shopping world is growing like crazy and you can see exactly how the Internet has transformed peoples lives with this online home business opportunity. The retail world has been hit hard recently and you just have to look at the number of casualties in the high streets to see this and not too long ago, the only way you could sell goods was through a shop, market or an advertisement and just think how easy it is now to go out and get started.
Remember that this is a very competitive space and when I researched it initially, I found it extremely easy to get distracted and lose focus because there are so many options, ideas, and courses, but I have several mentees who love the idea and have done extremely well out of it from home baking and making chocolate and selling custom handbags. Take a look at this course to see if it resonates with you.
8. Start A YouTube Channel
How would you like to become an instant movie star or key influencer that gets multiple and continuous speaking engagements? Or do you want to simply use video to generate interest and drive traffic to your site? Or start a Video Blog?
If you have a good quality smartphone with a decent video camera you can create and upload your first video today. It’s that simple. There are so many people out there doing this and some make millions such as a guy called Dan Middleton, but like anything else it is competitive but if you are prepared to put in the hard work, then go for it.
Video has surged in popularity and I will definitely be adding video content to support everything I do and it wouldn’t be fair to talk about this without putting up my youngest Son’s video channel inspired by Dan Middleton. At the age of 8, he is absolutely fearless in front of the camera and that is the beauty of working with children, so we should all take a lesson here and I am now going to get all three of my children doing videos of whatever they choose to do as at least, they are learning how to talk to an audience.
9. Start A Podcast
My friend Jack Spirko started his podcast while driving on his way to work (he was working as the head of marketing for my companies) as he had three hours a day to kill and over the last few years, he has created a huge following in a subject he is passionate about. If you feel like Jack and in his own word, he has a “look made for the radio,” then do the same. In all seriousness, it is a great way to get a message out if you are not comfortable with video. I have looked at podcasting many times before, largely due to Jack, but ended up starting this blog as I met Fernando Raymond.
10. Sell Products On eBay
I am going to definitely invest time into this one as I have a whole load of stuff sitting in my garage that I have absolutely no use for and maybe you do too. Gary Vaynerchuck has spoken about buying and selling stuff on eBay and other platforms to generate cash while you pursue your online dreams and he is right. This is a great way to generate income as it is an extremely simple concept and probably why it got my attention and as I am going to do, it is a great way to get rid of your unwanted goods. It is also the quickest way to get started online and you can scale this into a full-time business by launching a full-blown online store or make it part of your online business empire!
Starting an online business from home in the UK has never been easier and just over the last few years we have seen exciting new technology emerge and it is only going to get better in that aspect. Don’t expect to make money overnight, however, although that is extremely possible by selling your own goods if you choose to and you need to focus on building a long term and sustainable income and keep your expectations realistic. You can obviously combine the ideas above to give you more chances of success, but don’t spread yourself too thin. Lastly, remember that you absolutely need to research online marketing to make it a success and this would be a great place to start before you commit.
All the best and good luck.