The best business to run is one that can be managed from the comfort of your laptop with only an internet connection. This means an online business. Until the widespread use of the internet, work meant working in a traditional office/retail setting i.e. waking up early, going to the office, and sitting behind a desk for 9 hours a day. For those of you who will not accept this fate, there is hope. While the majority of people are working in the “office”, a few who a tech savvy enough are working from home “online”, not even dressed to go out. These lucky few are working in their pajamas! (I would imagine) In the age of high speed internet and portable laptops, working remotely is now a reality. What is even more amazing is that starting a business and managing it from your laptop is now possible and quite common.
This means with an online business you can literally work from any place in the world as long as you have an internet connection. How liberating would it be if you could, on a whim, fly over to a new city, open your laptop, and run your business (traveling 365 days out of the year). I have compiled a list of businesses that can be managed through a laptop, and with the processes of automation, require no more than a few hours a day to run. How awesome is that?
1. Eccommerce, You can now bring a retail store online and sell things to customers from all over the world. The internet has really changed the retail landscape and is continuing to make products and services more accessible to consumers. The gross revenues from ecommerce has been growing at an astronomical rate, and is projected to keep growing. According to the Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce, U.S. retail commerce sales for the 1st quarter of 2013 topped $61.2 billion, up 2.7% from the year before. Never has it been so easy (and lucrative) to open up an online store until now. Just a few years ago, coding an eccomerce site would costs thousands of dollars, but companies such as bigcommerce and pinnacle cart now provide easy to customize ecommerce scripts and hosting solutions for just $30/month and up. Running an ecommerce site is time consuming, but if you have the correct systems in place, then you can decrease the amount of time it takes to run the site to just a few hours a day.
2. Blogging. Yes you heard it. Blogging can be a lucrative business for the select few who have dedicated their time and effort in providing useful and interesting information to their readership. Bloggers like Perez Hilton founder of perezhilton.com and Dave Navarro the creator of CopyBlogger make more than $100,000 a year blogging. Through celebrity endorsements and additional sources of revenue Perez now makes more than $1,000,000/yr based off his blog, and is considered a celebrity (who became famous by bashing other celebrities). Even if you do not make tons of money as a blogger, you can leverage your position as an expert on a particular subject you blog about, which can help get you jobs as writer for some larger publications and online news sites. For example as a successful financial blogger, you can have the option to write for other finance websites and news sites for a fee like $30 a high quality article. It may not be much but if you can write high quality articles quickly at $20-$30 an article, that kind of money can quickly add up. You can also make money through pay-per-click like google adsense and affiliate marketing (which I will explain below).
3. Affiliate Marketing. Many sites now recommend products as affiliates for companies, which these sites gets a commission for each sale it refers. This is known as affiliate marketing and it has been around before the internet took over and made affiliate marketing more accessible, and more lucrative. If you have a site with a lot of traffic, but don’t know how to monetize it correctly, then affiliate marketing can help you make more money. All you need is an account with clickbank, flexoffers, or commission junction. These affiliate providers offer millions of products to promote and sell, ranging from digital products such as ebooks or physical products. In some cases, if you direct people to open accounts for certain sites, you can make money off that too.
4. Membership Site. If you have a website that has premium content, you can charge people to view or access this information for a monthly fee. Examples of this type of website would be videos, premium articles, or education video/course materials. You can charge a reoccurring monthly fee. The key to success is to retain customers while making new ones. The best example I have seen this implemented is this site: storecoach.com, which is a membership site that provides educational videos, premium services, and a forum to help any entrepreneur with their retail eccommerce site.
It has never been easier to start an online business and the rewards have never been sweeter. Imagine waking up on a paradise island, and working from your laptop while at a 5 star resort (and not having to worry about money), for some, it is not just a dream but a reality.