October 16, 2020 Last updated October 16th, 2020 1,717 Reads share

10 Online Small Business Ideas You Can Execute in a Day

Image Credit: DepositPhotos

In 2019, the US economy grew at an annual average rate of 2.3%, ending the year at 2.1% for its last quarter. Even though in 2020, the US debt will hit its highest level in relation to the size of its economy, no one doubts that the country will bounce back in the years to come and that the economy will continue to expand. Yet, due to political uncertainty and fears of a recession, everyone is taking precautions regarding major moves.

This may be the perfect time to take your lucrative small business idea and turn it into a reality. Thanks to modern technology, you do not need a ton of startup cash to get a successful business off the ground from your home. Know that roughly half of all small businesses in the US are home-based, and this figure increases to 60% when looking at companies that don’t have any employees. This has been a constant trend for over a decade.

For further encouragement, you should know that half of all small businesses survive for five years or more, and their failure rate has declined by 30% since 1977. Working from home requires low-investment, few overhead costs, and may provide tax deductions, depending on your sphere. You have access to flexible work hours, and there’s always an opportunity to get your spouse or other family members involved.

48% of those that have opted for this career path claim that their happiness level is at a “very high” state. Seeing as a lack of capital is the main obstacle en route to becoming your own boss, we will suggest business ideas that require little expenditure but provide returns for a comfortable lifestyle.

Affiliate Marketing With Social Media

Affiliate marketing is the process of promoting other companies’ services or products for commissions. The merchant is the retailer whose service/product you are looking to help sell. Therefore, your business consists of driving customers to merchants.

Know that 81% of brands rely on affiliate programs to grow their business, and affiliate marketing is a $12 billion industry. Almost half of the affiliate marketers earn at least $20K per year, so it is a viable career choice. Nowadays, thanks to social media, you have access to sites with billions of users. More than 1.6 billion people open Facebook every day, and social media sites are one of the most straightforward traffic channels. You can easily and quickly set up a page. Then, learn how each platform’s algorithms work so that you can drive sales fast and get commissions.

The selection of your social media channel depends on your target audience. One suitable for engaging the product’s customer base. For example, consider sports betting marketers; They no longer need to develop a website to promote their programs; all they need is a twitter account to engage with followers that wish to follow their betting tips. A review website can be a longer-term project that produces huge amounts of revenue.

Twitter is the best option for the iGaming industry, while for food supplements, beauty, and fashion products, Instagram is the best channel.

Live Video Streaming

Live streaming has exploded in the past five years. Those that used the internet in the late 2000s, and early 2010s, may remember a site called Justin.tv, which allowed anyone to broadcast video online. In 2011, Justin.tv separated its gaming portion into a new entity named Twitch. Twitch is now the premium streaming platform, and according to estimates, it is worth $3.79 billion. On average, expert streamers make between $3,000 to $5,000 for 40 hours of work per week.

To have an optimal start with streaming, you need a high-speed internet connection, an HD camera, and a quality condenser mic. However, most important of all, you need charisma and a regular supply of quality content. Compelling characters that have something to say can attract and maintain a decent following.

Twitch is not the only viable solution for live streaming, even though it dominates the market with over 9.3 billion hours watched. As mentioned above, Facebook has the largest number of active users, and according to polls, YouTube is everyone’s favorite streaming platform, with 70% of the vote. Its live streaming options allows for viewers to donate money via Super Chats. If you’re into political and social commentary, YouTube is the preferred site of choice.

Hosting a Podcast

Podcasting is a phenomenon that reared its head in the mid to late 2000s. In those days, users had to download an mp3 file and listen to the program in their native OS media player. A source of inconvenience, as Flash was yet to become the norm. But by 2008, podcasts gained traction, and with the rise of the smartphone, they grew to become mainstream.

In 2020, there are about 850,000 active podcasts online, featuring over 30 million episodes. Around 55% of the US population has listened to a podcast at one time or another. 24% do so weekly. Thus, there is a market, but there is also product oversaturation. It is hard to stand out now, as many celebrities are turning to host podcasts.

To begin, you’ll need a condenser mic, an internet connection, and a laptop. Some audio editing skills would be terrific, but they aren’t mandatory. You can get your show hosted on a platform like iTunes and Spotify, but getting an audience is what’s hard. Popular podcasters earn between $25 to $40 for every 1,000 listeners per ad. The average podcast advertising rates are about at $18 per 1,000 listeners for a 30-second ad and $25 for a 60-second ad.

Online Tutoring

While relatively a new educational option, estimates say that the online tutoring market will grow at a CAGR of 11.45% till 2023. Online tutoring is a supplementary teaching mode that allows both tutor and student to stay at home while experiencing face-to-face interaction through smart devices.

If you have an expertise in a specific field, backed up by certificates, degrees, you can list your services on one of many online tutoring websites and work from home. You’ll have to list your experience, availabilities, class duration, and who is your student demographic. Meaning, are your services for middle school students, for teens, or adults, and at what level of proficiency.

Popular sites where you can offer your services are Tutor, UniversityTutor, TutorMe, eTutorWorld, Skooli, Smarthinking, and more. While at some, you can set your rates, others may offer user plans. With Chegg, students can pay $6.95 for one on-demand chat, or $30 per month for an hour-long virtual session. Skooli provides a pay-as-you-go system, and at sites like Wyzant, classes can range between $10-$700 per hour. You have to see where you fit in best.

Virtual Assistant

More than 90% of those that do any remote work plan on continuing to do so, and they rate their productivity as much higher than if they would do the same work from an office. Virtual assistants have transformed the way entrepreneurs and modern companies conduct their business, as it is three-times cheaper to hire a virtual assistant than a full-time employee. VAs work from all over the world, and they reduce operating costs by 78%.

For the reasons above, the market is booming, and this is a good thing for both employers and employees, as VAs are 20% less stressed out than cubicle workers while being 13% more productive. If you have a diverse skill-set, which includes bookkeeping, email management, schedule tracking, and can perform basic IT-related tasks, then this could be the ideal position for you.

At present, VAs are usually younger people, but that is changing as older generations are discovering the benefits of working from home. You can list your services on sites like UpWork or Freelancer, along with your rate and experience. Alternatively, you can go job hunting for such a position on sites like Indeed, Monster, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn. All you need is a laptop, the necessary software, and an internet connection. In the US, the average monthly salary for a virtual assistant is $4,000 a month, with 87.7% of these workers receiving compensation on an hourly basis.

Freelance Writing

Writers are in demand these days, thanks to search engine optimization marketing. Everyone needs an online presence, and you can only maintain it if you have a never-ending stream of new, quality content. Meaning, you need social media posts, articles, and more. Therefore, if you’re good with grammar and can write concisely, there may be a slew of jobs waiting.

Due to the rapid growth of companies that provide online work, 73% of freelancers are looking for jobs on internet platforms, and most of them see freelancing as a career choice, not a side-hustle, with 83% of writers saying that they plan on freelancing for at least five years. That said, 30% of Fortune 500 companies are hiring through Upwork. So, there’s work for those that want it.

What’s of paramount importance is to find your writing niche. A niche is an area of expertise. It could be anything from politics to sports. The online gaming industry is a fast-growing industry in the USA that is always open for content writers. It’s something that helps you market yourself. Some require that you write only high-quality content, no fast and fluff material. For instance, writing about finances could bring you a salary of $52,000 per year.

Software Reviews

While not exactly a career option, writing software reviews is an underrated and little-known source of income. It allows users to make money while sharing their software experience with others. All that is required is some six months of experience with the tool and proof that you have an active user. This is done through screenshots of your user or company profile.

There are more than a few credible platforms where you can ply your trade, but know that not all of them pay in real money. While you may see reports of user earning upward of $1,500 or more for doing this kind of work, payment often comes in the form of gift cards. However, some pay through PayPal.

Capterra is one of the most popular for detailed reviews. It allows you to write about any piece of software you have ever used, but you will need to wait for a notification that such an opportunity has popped up. You can get paid via PayPal, and you may earn up to $150 for a quality review. G2Crowd is another option that offers neutral reviews from real customers. You can select one of many categories and write a review that will join a sea of over 800,000 similar pieces of text. You can earn $10 Amazon gift cards for each, or a $5 Starbucks gift card. You can also exchange these for PayPal cash. ApperWall and Gartner are two other options that are worth considering.

Revenue Sharing Content Websites

If you have a knack for quickly absorbing new content, as well as writing about things you know, churning quality articles for revenue sharing websites could become one of your side income streams. These sites feature large bodies of articles published on a wide variety of topics. Writers can offer their content to these platforms in exchange for a share of the advertising revenue generated by them.

Know that this is an outdated way of making money that is not as profitable as in the past. Many popular such sites have since closed, and your options are somewhat limited. That said, your article can yield revenue in one of three ways, through clicks on ads alongside it, through impressions of ads, and from revenues earned through affiliate links.

The amount you can earn depends on the advertising model and the payment scheme the site utilizes. According to some writers, you can make a minimum of $15 per article, if it reaches 500 views, plus a share of the profits for more traffic. You also may opt for a flat fee of around $50.

HubPages is likely the most established such site, and active writers earn around $200-300 per month for a few articles every month. Ad revenues here come from the HubPages ad program, Google Adsense, and Amazon Associates. The key is in writing smaller articles and interlink them with previous work.

Copy Trading

Copy Trading lets you automatically copy positions opened and managed by other individuals in the financial market. It doesn’t involve strategy. It connects a part of your portfolio with that of a trader of your choosing. Anything that the experienced trader does, such as opening or closing a position, also executes in your account. You can disconnect the copied trades and manage them yourself, and you can end the relationship altogether.

This process isn’t reliant on the information that comes from other traders, but on their actions. You choose the sum to invest in a trader from platforms like eToro. Usually, it is not more than 20% of your portfolio. If you like how he is handling your investment, you can increase it. Now, one trader may make 70% profit per year, another 20%, and so on. So, how much you make depends on who you are copying.

Note that you’ll always hear about the profit someone makes expressed in percentages because you cannot see how much cash that person is trading. Results show that those who wisely select traders based on stats are up to 10% more successful than those who trade on personal preference. However, anecdotal evidence suggests you are more likely to expect a steady stream of 3–5% net each month.

Digital Marketing

In 2020, all companies, irrespective of their volume, need a digital strategy in place to grow. Everyone is online, and they all use search engines and social networks that either guide users to a product/service or mold their taste. Establishing a digital presence is of the utmost importance when it comes to brand awareness. The marketing world is dynamic as trends and technology never stop changing. Luckily, you can follow all the latest happenings from the palm of your hand.

If you have basic design knowledge or know how to use Photoshop and have experience with social networks, you are off to a good start. Alternatively, you can experiment with simple sites like Canva to hone in on your design craft and view some videos on online advertising, SEO, social network marketing, and the like. Once you get a decent grasp of these things, part of which you inherently understand. Then, you can reach out to small mom-and-pop companies and offer to run their social media pages.

On average, people spend 142 minutes on social media per day, and 43% of online stores see significant traffic from their social pages. Your pay may differ depending on what kind of conversion rate your campaigns produce. However, starting, you can expect to locate work that pays $10 per hour on freelance sites. Once you get enough experience, you can apply for a real-world office job that pays $50,000 per year at the low end.


Due to technological innovations, such as the rise of high-speed internet and smart devices, accompanied by a change in stance on how people view their job, the dream of working from home has become a reality. Nowadays, just because you’re not working from an office does not mean that you do not have the potential to earn a comfortable living.

Today, starting a successful business from home is commonplace, as according to one study, more than 50% of American employees work at home, and over 50 million US residents work as freelancers. If we were to apply a more worldwide view of this occurrence, we see that this trend is not limited to the US. The shift in mentality and the marketplace is apparent everywhere, as 79% of global knowledge workers are now doing at least some work outside the office.

Since most home-based businesses require varying degrees of investment and experience, with many needing only a little of both, perhaps now is the time to start exploring your options and think about becoming your own boss.

Businesswoman remote working at home -DepositPhotos

Giorgi Mikhelidze

Giorgi Mikhelidze

Read Full Bio