Online Business — The 7 Best Online Business Models

Let’s face it, starting an online business can be confusing with so many voices and options.

You’ve probably heard of tons of different markets, business models, niches, and so on.

However, it doesn’t have to be that difficult.

I’ll keep it simple for you and break it down into 7 easy to understand online business models:

– Drop shipping (running an online store)
– Information products
– Consulting
– Amazon and Ebay
– Coaching
– Software
– Affiliate Marketing

I would consider the 7 business models above the most popular, and the ones with the most opportunity, so I’ll be solely breaking these ones down in this blog post.

The reality is all of these business models can be profitable.

However, some take significantly more capital to start.

And some I would certainly not suggest to a beginner.

So with that being said, let’s dive in, shall we?


Straight off the bat if you don’t have $50,000 a software company is usually out of the window.

Out of all the other business models listed here, this is the one with the greatest barrier to entry, meaning it’s the most likely to be sustainable being not just anyone can enter this market.

It’s extremely profitable, particularly because you can position most software as SaaS, meaning recurring payments, however again unless you’re a programmer, it’s costly and hard to create a product (making it hard for beginners, or people with low start up capital).

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Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is absolutely great for beginners because you don’t even have to develop a product, at all.

You can quite literally use an existing product, sell it, and take your cut just like a commission based sales man (but without a boss).

There’s affiliate products available in all kinds of niches in several places such as Clickbank or JV Zoo.

The only drawback is all affiliate products will have a cool down period of 30-45 days or so for a refund, chargeback period.

Other than that, this is a very lucrative business model specifically for beginners.

No capital, no time spent developing a product, no need to support the customers.

Over all, a very good beginner niche a lot of people start out in.

Consulting and Coaching

Moving to coaching, this can be very lucrative. There’s plenty of niches, anywhere from self-help to marketing training.

And while consulting is similar to coaching, they’re not quite the same.

online business consulting and coaching

Coaching is more of a hands on version of information products, where you teach someone how to do something (can be anything), and they do it.

Consulting is where you usually just do it for them.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t necessarily have to be an expert on your niche your consulting or coaching in, you just have to know more than your client and be able to generate them a return on their investment. If someone pays you $1000 a month and you generate them $2000 a month — it’s a no-brainer, they’ll stay with you forever.

For this reason, out of the gate you can be closing $1000-$2000+ monthly retainers for consulting and coaching. Even as a beginner as long as you know how to position yourself as an authority.

There’s little to no capital required for this, specifically if you work off a referral based marketing strategy. For that reason, either consulting or coaching can be very lucrative for a beginner.

Amazon and Ebay

Now, when it comes to Amazon and Ebay, these are probably one of the easiest businesses to start.

online business amazon ebay

There’s little to no investment required, and often times you can dropship off either.

(If you’re not aware of what drop shipping is, it’s when you purchase the product after the sale and ship it directly to your customer from sites like Aliexpress or DHGate.)

However, personally, I would recommend against either because you are playing on the terms of someone else’s game.

Personally, I’m a big believer in full control in business. If my entire business can come to a screeching halt from a suspension, then I’m probably going to avoid it.

By no means are these not good business models, nor am I saying you can’t make big bucks, I just can’t recommend it being your relying on someone else’s platform.

Dropshipping (running your own online store)

Which is why I would always recommend dropshipping off of your own online store and controlling your own platform — even branching out to Amazon or Ebay after establishing your brand would be a smarter move than solely relying on either.

Dropshipping all in all is great, it’s low risk, BUT it’s low margin.

online business drop shipping

Usually you’ll only have 10-30% margin after it’s all said and done including advertising, refunds, etc.

It’s great at scale, but really where online stores thrive is when you establish your own brand like Gucci or MVMT watches.

Which again, that’s great if you have $10,000 saved up to create deals directly with Chinese manufacturers that can slap a logo on your products and ship 100-1000 to you.

But, again, without establishing a brand you can’t really create repeat customers like you could in other markets.

So you really have to dial in on creating a brand and repeat customers to survive, too many people only focus on single sales in eCommerce when they’re dropshipping when the return customers are where the real money is at.

Basically, you have to get crafty if your not purchasing bulk branded products and your only dropshipping (not to say it isn’t profitable).

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Information Products

Finally, information products (online courses, workshops, seminars, eBooks, membership sites, etc) — these are great for beginners.

Information products can be anything from teaching someone how to survive in the wilderness, to how to raise a child, or how to start an online business.

And again, you don’t necessarily have to be an expert, but you do have to know more than your customers in that specific niche and be able to get them from point A to point B.

Information products cost nearly no capital, and are infinitely scalable without hitting roadblocks like not simply having enough time for more clients.

These can be sold from anywhere from $9/mo to $5000+ one time payment.

clickfunnels webinar

Starting an online business doesn’t have to be hard

In conclusion, if your a beginner and don’t have $10,000-$50,000+ sitting around, I’d suggest either affiliate marketing, information products, consulting, or coaching.

Each and every human being has at least some skill.

You can create a business with these 4 business models in almost any niche.

Such as:

– Survival
– Marketing
– Child care
– Soccer
– Football
– Cooking
– Fitness
– Marriage

And so on.

Of course the niche you pick depends on the pricing you can charge, for example, in marketing it’s easy to charge $2000 per month in retainer because you can generate them a return, where as in marriage you would likely have to charge a bit less.

Regardless, you can easily make a full time income with either 4 models in almost any niche, with almost no capital required to start, and minimal risk.

And again, you don’t have to be an expert. You just have to know more than your clients and be able to get them from point A to point B.

Don’t trick yourself into thinking you don’t already know enough to be able to create an online business.

Pick a niche, figure out what model you want, and dive in.

The reality is at first, you probably will suck at it. That’s life, but keep at it and with trial and error (or short cutting it by using information products, consultants, or coaches — ironic, huh?), and you can certainly have a full time income quicker than you’d think.

So what are you waiting for?

Get out there and start building your online business 🙂

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P.S. Already run an online business in any of the 7 models mentioned above? I’d love to help you ramp up your scaling in a snap — just fill out this form here and I’ll personally reach out and call you and create a free plan to grow your business, if we’re a good fit I can personally help you grow it, if not I’ll point you in the right direction, and, you’ll still receive free advice from me and my team and a free growth plan. Click here to schedule a free strategy session.