Business ideas

Examples of online business ideas

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Advances in technology have enabled entrepreneurs to build fully operated businesses in a digital environment, resulting in lower overhead costs and the freedom to run a business on the go. Before starting your business, learn some strategies from these examples of online businesses:


1. Online store for e-commerce and drop shipping

Do you like the idea of ​​selling products online? You can open an online store to sell your own products, or you can resell the products you purchased through another online store.

Before starting your online business, you must first see what your competition is doing, here is an example of an online business:

Company Name :


Creation date : 2011

About the company: is one of the leading e-commerce retailers in South Africa and one of the largest and most innovative e-commerce retailers in Africa. Their goal is to be the most customer-centric online shopping destination.

An innovative commercial offer also purchased Mr Delivery, allowing them to own their logistics network and launched Mr D Food, their on-demand, app-based food delivery service.

2. Creating applications

There continues to be an increasing demand for new and creative applications. Taking the time to develop and sell smartphone apps can be a lucrative business idea. Before starting your business, here is an example of an online business you can learn from:

Company Name : Cohesion


About the company:

Codehesion offers web development services where they build world class cloud applications. They also offer mobile development for customers who want to build iOS and Android apps.

Related: Start Your Online Business For Free (Almost)

An innovative commercial offer

Their agile development approach allows them to build software quickly and frequently re-evaluate and adapt the design to ensure that they quickly start adding value to their customers’ businesses.

3. A digital product or course

Creating a digital product or course is one way to monetize your specialist experience / skills. You will need to compile an eBook or webinar of your courses and passively earn money from them.

Before you get started, there are a few lessons you can learn from this online business example:

Company Name : Creative Business School


About the company:

Creative School of Business offers Red & Yellow, a business school where students of all ages can develop the professional skills they need to thrive in this digital world.

This business school is focused on equipping their students for the exciting realities and opportunities of the 21st century, which will arise from the digital explosion and ever-increasing ubiquity of technology.

An innovative commercial offer

Apart from online courses and degrees, they also offer a physical school for students who want to learn full time on campus.

4. Chatbot creation

Chatbots are designed to simulate conversations with customers online. By using free and user-friendly programs, you can design them yourself. Before starting your own chatbot building business, you first need to know what your competition is doing. Here is an example of an online business that you can collect information from:

Company Name : Intercom


Creation date : 2011

About the company:

Intercom helps businesses with personalized chatbots that will qualify prospects, help them book more meetings, and increase sales and marketing.

Related: An Example of a Free Business Plan to Start Your Business in South Africa

The advantages of their chatbots are that they develop leads 24/7, they have code-free personalization, they speed up sales cycles, and they grow businesses beyond human limits.

An innovative commercial offer

Intercom offers a range of online products that modern internet businesses can use to accelerate growth throughout the customer lifecycle, from acquisition to engagement and support.

5. Buy and sell domain names

You can buy domain names (website addresses) that you think will become popular and sell them once they become popular. If you have the right knowledge and skills, you can start this business idea online. Here is an example of this online business idea that you can learn some strategies from:

Company Name : Starfire Holdings


About the company:

Starfire Holdings offers professional and discreet domain name acquisition services to help clients secure premium domain names for their businesses. They also support their clients with their advice and expertise in buying or selling a domain name.

An innovative commercial offer

In addition to the above services, Starfire Holdings also offers full service from initial contact to closing of escrow.

6. Create a profitable blog

A blog has a very specific type of content, which you can monetize and generate income from. If you are a talented writer and have a lot of high quality content that you can post on your blog, this might be the e-business idea for you.

Before you begin, here is some information you can take from this sample online business:

Company Name : Adventure junkies


About the company:

The Adventure Junkies has six different pages devoted to extreme sports, such as diving, hiking, boating, scuba diving, snow sports, and mountain biking.

Related: 7 online business ideas that could make you rich

Each section contains a Facebook forum and information on equipment, clothing, techniques and training.

An innovative commercial offer

In addition to all this information, they sell tangible goods such as clothing and equipment through affiliate links, which allows them to generate most of their income.

7. Become a virtual assistant

Every business needs help with day-to-day administrative tasks. If you have a knack for this type of job, you can become a virtual assistant. They perform tasks, such as paying bills, arranging trips, handling expense reimbursements.

Before starting your business, here is an example of an online business you can learn from:

Company Name : Outsourcing


Creation date : 2005

About the company:

Outsourcery was founded by Richard Walton who, after struggling to find a great virtual sound service to manage his busy life, decided to start his own business. Since its launch, they have rapidly grown to help busy entrepreneurs lead more productive lives.

An innovative commercial offer

In addition to virtual assistant services, Outsourcery also offers virtual accountants, content writers, webmasters, and office staff.

8. Website flipping

Since customers use a business’s website to decide whether or not to buy from them, a website’s appearance and interactivity can determine its success. If you have skills and experience in improving and optimizing websites, this might be the online business idea for you.

Related: 7 ingredients for small business online success

You can buy a poor performing website, optimize it, and sell it for a profit. Before you start your business, you can learn a thing or two from this sample online business:

Company Name : WebDevine


Creation date : 2003

About the company:

WebDevine helps its clients to develop a competitive advantage through the improvement and optimization of their website. They will also add marketing techniques to ensure that their customers generate more traffic and convert them into sales.

An innovative commercial offer

WebDevine is a one-stop-shop for all of its clients’ web design and development needs, including web and email hosting, online advertising, branding, social media management, and mobile / web applications. .

9. Online real estate investing

Online real estate investment platforms now exist, and they allow anyone to invest a percentage in a property instead of the full amount. If you have the right skills, you can start your own business online.

Before starting your business, learn some strategies from this online business example:

Company Name : Real estate crowdfunding


About the company:

Real Estate Crowdfunding offers its clients reduced costs, the possibility of investing in local development and transparency, which allows their clients to know more about the projects before investing.

An innovative commercial offer

Real estate crowdfunding has been designed to provide their clients with a platform to raise funds for real estate investing and / or to participate in real estate investment opportunities.

10. Online transcription platform

Online transcription platforms offer money for your ability to transcribe their audio files. If you’re a quick typist and can understand multiple accents, transcription services might be the right online business for you.

Before starting your business, you will need some experience, but also some insight into a successful online business:

Company Name : AfroLingo


About the company:

AfroLingo offers audio and video transcription services to its customers as well as 24/7 customer support to ensure their customers around the world are always taken care of.

An innovative commercial offer

In addition to their transcription services, AfroLingo has over 10 years of experience translating into over 70 languages. They are subject matter experts experienced in all major African and MENA languages.

In addition, they offer proofreading, website and application localization, and desktop publishing services.

Related: 25 of South Africa’s Most Successful Business Ideas