1. Osome SG
  2. Guides
  3. Online Business Ideas

Top 30 Online Business Ideas to Start in 2024

  • Published: 20 May 2024
  • 17 min read
  • Starting a Company
Top 30 Online Business Ideas to Start in 2024
  • Author Gabi Bellairs-Lombard

    Gabi Bellairs-Lombard

    Business Writer

    Gabi's passionate about creating content that inspires. Her work history lies in writing compelling website copy and content, and now specialises in product marketing copy. When writing content, Gabi's priority is ensuring that the words impact the readers. As the voice of Osome's products and features, Gabi makes complex business finance and accounting topics easy to understand for small business owners.

Who doesn't want to make money online? We know you do. If you're ready to become an online business owner in 2024, here are 30 online business ideas to get you started. You can always brainstorm online business ideas with friends and colleagues, but this list will provide a good variety of options suitable for different skills, interests, and investment levels.

Key Takeaways

  • Digital entrepreneurs can choose from several service models, including freelancing, selling via an online store, and affiliate programs.
  • Online service demands are on the rise. Digital marketing, social media services, and search engine optimisation are all great options to explore.
  • Some markets are less competitive than others, such as subscription boxes, audio engineering, and creator businesses.

30 Best Online Business Ideas

Starting a small business online is about understanding your skills and interests and turning your idea into a profitable business. There are no shortcuts, but you can make things easier by being informed about the current business landscape.

Most online businesses mentioned in this list are easy to get into and work well with each other.

  • SEO and copywriting
  • Ecommerce online store
  • Influencer business
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Consulting
  • Building an online course
  • Online tutoring
  • Virtual assistants
  • Graphic designer
  • Digital marketing services

You will also find an online business ideas FAQ at the end addressing common concerns, misunderstandings, and confusions around digital entrepreneurship.

1 Digital marketing services

Freelance services

If you are a jack of all trades, working as an independent marketing consultant or selling a la carte services as a freelancer would be very profitable. You can work at your own pace and on your own terms, with the option to establish your own business as a sole proprietor or LLC or simply work as a subcontractor.

However, being a freelancer requires strong sales and marketing skills. If you are uncomfortable with those, you may want to start with other online business ideas to ease yourself. Osome's business consultants can help you choose the right structure and complete business formation to kickstart your online freelancing business.

2 Content creation

Content creation is a great option if you are passionate about writing, taking pictures, or actively posting on social media. An online content business can take many forms, from social media influencers to blogs, earning revenue from Google ads, affiliate links, direct ad selling, sponsored content, etc.

Platforms like Wix and Squarespace offer various design features, built-in SEO, and marketing tools. Meanwhile, social media platforms like Instagram and X have built-in algorithms that promote quality content. If you're a creator with a unique perspective, you can succeed in the digital space.

3 Ecommerce businesses

Got a product that you think people will love? Try selling it online. Ecommerce is one of the most common online businesses you will see. In 2023, the global ecommerce market was expected to reach $6.3 trillion and 21.2% of total retail sales will happen online by 2024.

An ecommerce store is easy and affordable to start. You can sell everything from clothes to digital products like downloadable PDF designs, templates, and more. Look at competitor businesses for online store ideas and understand the target audience for your key products.

In addition to a traditional ecommerce business where you sit on an existing inventory manufactured by a partner, there are also a few alternative models:

  • Dropshipping
  • Selling handmade goods

A traditional ecommerce business comes with many moving pieces. If you need help, check out Osome's ecommerce insights integration to streamflow your administrative and bookkeeping process.

Effortlessly register an online business

Kickstart your online business the right way, whether you’re based in Singapore or not. Let’s chat. 

Effortlessly register an online business

4 Dropshipping business

Dropshipping is a great business idea for anyone wanting to sell online but want to avoid dealing with a large inventory. A dropshipping business partners with suppliers to sell their products. This minimises your upfront investment and also protects you from having to deal with uncleared inventory if anything happens. The supplier also handles the shipping and handling, so you are really just working as the partner's marketing person.

You will promote partner products as your inventory and act as the middleman. Much of your work would fall into the content marketing category, reaching new customers in your target market to promote your ecommerce business.

Also, customer service skills are extremely important for dropshippers. Dropshipping can sometimes be unreliable due to international shipping policies and delays. Therefore, being there for your customers could distinguish you from competitors and build a trusting relationship.

5 Selling handmade goods

Sell handmade goods

Artists, crafters, and all types of makers can sell handmade goods online. Depending on the products, you can treat this as a side income or turn it into your fulltime gig. It's a great internet business idea for creative entrepreneurs since it's very affordable to get started.

If you don't feel comfortable investing in a full ecommerce site right away, you can sell off established online platforms like Etsy and Amazon Handmade. They can minimise your upfront investment and help you reach a wider audience without much marketing work.

Since you're selling hand-crafted items, you will have a much smaller inventory compared to traditional online selling. You can also control what and how many you sell. This ensures a lot of flexibility, and ultimately, you are making a living doing what you're most passionate about creativity.

However, since you're doing everything yourself, you need to handle shipping and handling, marketing efforts, customer service, and other business functionalities. Some platforms have shipping partners, which can subsidise your shipping and handling costs.

6 Online courses and coaching

Turn your niche expertise into profitable online courses or coaching services. This allows you to share your expertise and eventually generate passive income.

Building a personal website is the first step in creating a successful online business as a coach. Successful online coaches like Derek Halpern have used personal branding and strategic social media use to attract and retain clients for their online training classes.

7 Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is a great option for those good at promoting others. This business model offers plenty of flexibility, allowing you to structure it as an ecommerce business, a content creator, or combine it with an existing small business.

Affiliate marketers earn commissions by promoting others’ products or services through unique referral links. For example, a yoga coach can also be an affiliate marketer for an essential oil brand and sell through their website. An online course may include affiliate links to relative products, such as productivity planners or personal trackers.

Successful affiliate marketers can earn an average of $12,000 monthly. However, the result largely relies on how well your marketing campaigns can attract customers. Hence, building an affiliate marketing business can bring you substantial income if you already have a memorable personal brand.

8 Social media management

Social media management

Social media managers help businesses maintain a consistent online presence. The job market for social media professionals is projected to grow by 10% through 2031, and many positions are open for remote options.

Since social media accounts often need regular maintenance, many social media managers charge their clients on a monthly retainer basis. This provides a steady cash flow and allows you to quickly develop a successful online business.

Also, most managers only handle the day-to-day posting and regular content planning. If you'd like to take on more challenging tasks involving paid social ads, you should brand yourself as an ad-buying expert and look for clients with a decent budget.

9 Virtual Assistant (VA)

Small businesses nowadays have increasing needs for administrative support, creating the perfect market for a freelancing virtual assistant. Becoming a virtual assistant can also be the best online business for stay-at-home moms or anyone with disabilities, hindering them from working in person in a traditional environment.

VAs often offer a wide range of services, including:

  • Answering emails
  • Travel booking and schedule management
  • Regular content creation
  • Community management
  • Project management

VAs provide flexible and cost-effective administrative support for businesses and often charge an hourly rate or a monthly retainer. The average hourly rate for virtual assistants in the US is $27.60, with potential earnings up to $60/hour with additional skills.

10 Self-publishing

Writers can explore self-publishing as their online business venture, especially if the traditional publishing process doesn't intrigue them. Forget about querying agents and editors, and pursue your dreams of becoming a published author on your own terms.

Platforms like Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, Apple Books, and Smashwords can help you reach a wide audience and streamline book distribution, although they do charge a middle fee. Small businesses sometimes utilise self-publishing as a complimentary offering to their main service, tapping into an existing client pool for more earnings.

11 Online tutoring

Online tutoring

Online learning platforms are the fastest way to start an online tutoring business. English-learning platforms targeting kids in non-English-speaking countries are often a good place to start since they can help you reach potential customers. Most platforms also let you set your own schedule and pay rate.

You can also combine online tutoring with an online course, providing additional value to your customers. If that's your approach, consider building your own website and redirecting any third-party tutoring listings back there to maximise client retention. Selling online courses as a tutor can also bring you more passive income.

12 Subscription box curator

Another online business idea that has become trendy in the past few years is subscription boxes. Almost anything can be turned into boxes, such as snack boxes or art boxes. Therefore, if you're the kind of people who like bundling things together, you can consider becoming a subscription box curator.

You will deliver curated products to subscribers based on a chosen frequency. Most boxes are monthly or bi-monthly, whereas some may choose an intensive weekly schedule. The frequency usually depends on the product, theme, and box sizes. For example, you can build a weekly productivity box, sending out one or two items at a time, like sticky notes, highlighters, or prompt cards. You can also create hybrid boxes that include printable PDFs.

13 App development

Nowadays, anybody can create a prototype app with friendly development tools, some requiring only minimum coding knowledge. If you've been sitting on a good idea, may it be a convenient widget or productivity tool, now is the time to get into app development.

Create your own app or take on development projects for other businesses. The former requires you to sell and promote your app but gives you full ownership over what you create. When you build for someone else, you're simply working for them. Either way, luckily, app developers will have the flexibility to work by the hours, by project, or even develop their own team. You can also choose to work as a small business or an individual.

14 Graphic Design

There is always a need for good graphic designers, even with the increasing number of AI graphic generators. You simply cannot fully replace that human touch. Things a graphic designer can create include:

  • digital assets and templates
  • flyers and catalogues
  • logos and branding materials, such as business cards
  • Invitation cards and other personalised products
  • physical marketing collateral

You will be a competitive graphic designer if you can design physical products, such as packaging and print materials. Create your own website and showcase past works to attract high-quality clients. Create a few test projects to demonstrate your capabilities if you're new. This will fill up your portfolio and help you attract your early-stage clients.

You can also combine graphic design skills with online shopping. There are plenty of Etsy stores selling personalised graphic design products.

15 Ebook writing

Sometimes, people enjoy writing but would rather not get too deep into the publishing game. Try to get into eBook creation. Ebook writing goes way beyond genre and literary writing. Instead, there is a high demand for eBook creators in the business world as many companies utilise free eBooks as lead magnets to generate more sales. High-end eBook writers can often charge a much higher per-word or project rate than blog article writers.

Looking to partner with expert ecommerce accountants?

Get peace of mind knowing your online business’s financials are handled by our team of Singapore-based professionals. Find out more here.

Looking to partner with expert ecommerce accountants?

16 Launch a podcast

Podcasts have become trendy in the past few years, and anybody can start one as long as they're passionate and knowledgeable about a certain topic. Many entrepreneurs may use podcasts to promote their businesses. Therefore, podcast hosts can develop various collaborative opportunities.

You can also monetise your podcast via sponsorship and passive subscription income. Compared to YouTube channels, podcasts are more agile and cost less to get into. You also have many podcasting platform options nowadays, with Simplecast, CoHost, and Podbean ranking at the top.

17 Audio engineering

With the rising need for audio and video content and the massively growing podcasting community, audio engineering is a great service to offer online. Meanwhile, you can still work in traditional radio and TV fields.

Becoming an audio engineer is not hard since most basic multimedia projects require a similar skill set. To take audio engineering more seriously, you can look into more advanced sound editing skills. The stronger your skillset, the more likely you are to participate in higher-end jobs, such as major concerts and theatre productions.

18 Resume and cover letter writing

Everyone needs a job, one way or another.

A good resume writer can make or break someone's job search. Therefore, skilful resume and cover letter writers are always in demand. Seasoned resume writers understand how to work with online application systems and what a recruiter or hiring manager looks for in their applicants. Eventually, you can also combine resume services with career and leadership coaching and take your business to the next level.

19 Niche market targeting

Niche market targeting identifies industry trends, audience intent, and buying behaviours. Your job is to help businesses identify challenges and opportunities in their market. This is a more challenging role and requires ample industry knowledge and market research experience. Still, it is one of the most popular online business ideas for people who've spent years doing market research in a corporate environment.

20 Translation and interpretation

Offer translation services

Translation and interpretation are evergreen ideas for multilingual professionals. You will provide language services for businesses and individuals. The more niche your service is, the more competitive you will be.

Today's business world sees an increasing demand for quality human translation services, especially contract, legal, and technical translations. You can also combine translation with transcription services, which allows you to diversify your offerings further.

21 Remote tech support

Turn your technological knowledge into income by starting a remote tech support business. Most company will train their tech support, so you don't have to be an expert on all software or even tech-savvy yourself. This business idea only requires you to be willing to learn a new tech product and have good customer service skills.

So, if you’re passionate about technology and want to help people solve their tech issues, starting a remote tech support business could be a great online business idea.

22 Transcription services

Transcription services have been on the rise in the past few years. If you have sharp ears and lightspeed but accurate typing skills, transcription services could be your perfect online business idea. A transcriber converts audio or video content into written text and can work from anywhere with an internet connection.

A recent concern with transcription services is AI transcription tools. However, most of them are nowhere near human accuracy. Also, most of those tools typically only work in English. Therefore, if you speak a non-English language, that gives you even more competitiveness.

23 SEO consultant

SEO consultant

Are you a digital marketer with a passion for search engine optimisation? Then, becoming an SEO consultant could be the perfect online business idea for you. With SEO consulting, you can:

  • Help businesses improve their online visibility
  • Improve search engine rankings
  • Guide website optimisation
  • Conduct keyword research and analysis
  • Develop content strategies
  • Monitor and analyse website performance
  • Stay up-to-date with the latest SEO trends and best practices

Plus, with the rising competition in the digital space, the demand for SEO consulting services is on the rise.

24 Social media marketing

Unlike a manager, a marketer will handle more complex tasks related to a company's social presence. The scope often includes strategic development, content planning, audience engagement, paid campaign development, and reporting.

25 Voice actor/voiceover

Voiceover work

Voice actors come in handy in many ways. Foreign companies want authentic English speakers for explainer videos, and creative productions also seek voice talents. The same goes for businesses operating in non-English speaking countries. Therefore, multilingual individuals can really profit in the voiceover industry.

Can you project your voice clearly, professionally, and enthusiastically? Then, becoming a voice actor might be highly profitable for you.

26 Sell stock photos

Photographers can sell stock photos online for additional income. Nobody wants to use the same royalty-free photo that's seen on a dozen other websites. Therefore, there is always a high demand for quality stock photos.

Niche photos can make you more competitive. For example, construction, manufacturing, health, or pharmaceutical imageries are much harder to find than small business lifestyle photos. Also, the more thoroughly you label your photos with keywords, the more likely you are to find a high-ticket client.

Finally, you can also use your stock photo selling page to extend your portfolio and attract project-based clients.

27 Launch a YouTube channel

Youtube blogger

Launch a YouTube channel to generate passive income through collaborations and subscriptions. A YouTube channel can be a standalone business or an integral part of other business ventures. This business model essentially falls into the content creation bucket and works great with a few other ventures listed in this guide.

The demand for engaging YouTube channels is always increasing. The general audience wants engaging and meaningful video content, whereas companies are always on the hunt for their next brand ambassador.

Put your passion for video creation into work and share your ideas with the world by launching a YouTube channel. Here are some business ideas to get you started:

  • Unboxing and product review channels
  • Educational channels
  • Creative channels
  • Independent media channels

No matter what you do, remember that having that unique voice will set you apart from the crowd on YouTube.

28 Become an online fitness trainer

The best online business directly impacts people's quality of life, and there is no better option than becoming an online fitness trainer. Online fitness trainers offer personalised training programs remotely. Do words like pre-workout prep, muscle density, body toning, and intermittent fasting ring a bell? Then, you may have what it takes to become an online fitness trainer.

And if you do, focus on developing your own brand as a fitness trainer. It will help you expand into other niches or build strong partnerships to create more income.

29 Art consulting

Some of the best online business ideas sound daunting initially, and art consulting is one of them. Anyone with a strong taste can become an art consultant online. Still, it's usually more beneficial if you are already deeply involved in the art industry because you'll benefit far more from the network you'll develop as a consultant.

For example, if you're a visual artist, having your own online business for art consulting will connect you with collectors who may be harder to reach as an independent artist. You will also lift up fellow artists by bringing them connections or developing future partnerships for your projects.

30 Bookkeeping

The demand for professional bookkeepers is increasing. Many business owners need help monitoring their profits and losses and complying with tax requirements. The service can be provided in a fully remote environment. You can usually set your own hours unless you're meeting with clients. It's also highly affordable to start a bookkeeping business, starting with simple spreadsheets and moving up to accounting tools such as QuickBooks.

Tips for Starting an Online Business

Conduct market research to understand your competition and space for growth. Research your target audience and understand what they need and the popular pricing structures of that niche, then figure out what business model works best for you to sell online.

You should also develop a marketing strategy: where is your target audience? What platforms do they use? How do they make buying decisions? This helps you develop a strong brand and distinguishes you from competitors. And, of course, always provide excellent customer service. Patience, compassion, transparency, and mutual respect make brands and companies last and customers return.

It’s a good time to start a business

Our Singapore-based team will break down all you need to know about incorporation, tax, and compliance as a new business owner. Book a call now.

It’s a good time to start a business

Business Trends for 2024

Now that we’ve explored various online business ideas, let’s look at the future. The year 2024 is set to bring an array of exciting trends in the online business landscape. Here are some of the popular businesses to explore in 2024:

  • Coaching and consulting
  • Freelance services
  • Online course
  • Software businesses
  • Agencies
  • Creator businesses
  • Ecommerce site
  • Membership/subscription models
  • Affiliate marketing

All these options are suitable for different skill levels. They also provide the flexibility for you to transition from a daytime job into running your online business at your own pace. While the market can be competitive, profitability remains as long as you focus on solving real-life challenges and bringing irreplaceable benefits to your audience while aligning with your personal mission and skill sets.

For example, someone tech-savvy may find digital services like SEO and social posting more suitable. An introvert might not feel the most comfortable doing influencer marketing but can very well become a powerful researcher, virtual assistant, or bookkeeper. Those with a strong personality can explore options like YouTube channels, podcasts, and providing coaching services.


Anyone can start an online business today thanks to the accessible tools and low funding requirements. Less seasoned business owners testing their water can start with subcontracting and freelancing. Meanwhile, more experienced entrepreneurs can look into building a service-based business or an ecommerce store.

Creative souls can try their hands at influencer marketing, audio, video, and multimedia content creation, or selling handmade goods online. Subject matter experts can share their knowledge and expertise as a service in different forms, such as helping with research, selilng eBooks, online courses, and offering coaching services.

In the end, a profitable business should amplify your strength, resonate with your passion, and respond to consumer demands. With the right tools, you can build a successful business while ensuring your flexibility and independence in life.

Author Gabi Bellairs-Lombard
Gabi Bellairs-LombardBusiness Writer

Gabi's passionate about creating content that inspires. Her work history lies in writing compelling website copy and content, and now specialises in product marketing copy. When writing content, Gabi's priority is ensuring that the words impact the readers. As the voice of Osome's products and features, Gabi makes complex business finance and accounting topics easy to understand for small business owners.

Get expert tips and business insights

Advice on starting and growing your company, as told by Osome's business community

By clicking, you agree to our Terms & Conditions, Privacy and Data Protection Policy
Get expert tips and business insights


  • What are some profitable online business ideas?

    Consider starting a profitable online business by offering freelance services, ecommerce, blogging for profit, online tutoring, or social media marketing. These ideas can align with your skills and interests and offer potential for profitability. Start working on your passion today!

  • How to get into online businesses?

    To start an online business, you need a clear business concept, a well-crafted business plan, and a legally registered business. If you need help, Osome can help you with company registration and incorporation. Essentially, you are always building an online selling business carrying physical products, digital creations, services, or even your knowledge.

  • What are some 2024 trends in the online world?

    Agility and collaboration will be at the core. Anyone wanting to succeed in 2024 as a digital entrepreneur should have an abundance mindset that leans on collaboration over competition. Service-based businesses will continue to become more competitive as the market over-saturates and AI technologies compete for market shares. Therefore, building a memorable and trustworthy personal brand and focusing on human relationships would be key to thriving in the new digital landscape.

  • Can I start selling online with no money?

    You can start an online business with little to no money. Choose low-cost business models like freelancing, affiliate marketing, or selling off platforms like Etsy. Service-based businesses and the freelancing model work better for those with a modest budget. They can get you off the ground and still allow you to switch to a different model once you've built a stronger revenue flow. Meanwhile, selling online would require a small upfront investment to create a basic inventory.

    If you're starting your business with limited funding, then it's important to know your ins and outs. Osome's bookkeeping services can help you keep track of your cash flow.

  • How can I promote my online business?

    You will need a comprehensive marketing strategy. Utilise various channels to reach the right audience, such as search, social, and email marketing. Your strategy should capture your entire sales funnel and focus on developing a distinguishable brand. Collecting positive customer reviews is also crucial. After all, over 40% of consumers rely on reviews to help them decide what to buy or who to hire.

Ask your question

More like this

Letter of Consent (LOC) Application in Singapore: A Complete Guide
Starting a Company10 min read

Letter of Consent (LOC) Application in Singapore: A Complete Guide

S Pass Application in Singapore: Requirements and Procedures
Starting a Company13 min read

S Pass Application in Singapore: Requirements and Procedures

AliExpress Dropshipping in Singapore: Grow Your Online Business in 2024
Starting a Company21 min read

AliExpress Dropshipping in Singapore: Grow Your Online Business in 2024


Get expert tips and business insights

By clicking, you agree to our Terms & Conditions, Privacy and Data Protection Policy

We’re using cookies! What does it mean?