Business ideas

Examples of online business ideas

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Advancements in technology have allowed entrepreneurs to build fully-operated businesses in a digital environment, resulting in lower overheads and the freedom to run a business on the go. Before launching your business, learn some strategies from these online business examples:


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 resell the products you purchased through another online store.

Before launching your online business, you must first see what your competitors are doing, here is an example of an online business:

Company Name :


Creation date : 2011

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

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

2. Create apps

There continues to be a growing demand for new and creative applications. Taking the time to develop and sell smartphone apps can be a lucrative business idea. Before launching 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 create world-class cloud applications. They also offer mobile development for customers wanting to build iOS and Android apps.

Related: Start Your Online Business for Free (Almost)

Innovative commercial offer

Their agile development approach ensures that they can 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 a way to monetize your specialized experience/skills. You will need to compile an e-book or webinar of your courses and earn money passively from them.

Before you begin, there are a few things 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 go to develop the professional skills they need to thrive in this digital world.

This business school aims to equip its students for the exciting realities and opportunities of the 21st century, which will arise from the digital explosion and the growing ubiquity of technology.

Innovative commercial offer

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

4. Creating a chatbot

Chatbots are designed to simulate conversations with online customers. Using free and user-friendly programs, you can design them yourself. Before starting your own chatbot building business, you must first know what your competitors are doing. Here is an example of an online business from which you can gather information:

Company Name : Intercom


Creation date : 2011

About the company:

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

Related: A Free Sample Business Plan to Launch Your South African Business

The benefits of their chatbots are that they develop leads 24/7, they have no-code personalization, they speed up sales cycles, and they grow businesses beyond human limits.

Innovative commercial offer

Intercom offers a suite of online products that modern Internet businesses can use to accelerate their 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 resell 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 Fund


About the company:

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

Innovative commercial offer

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

6. Create a profitable blog

A blog has a very specific type of content you can monetize and earn revenue from. If you are a talented writer and have lots of high quality content you can post on your blog, this could be the online business idea for you.

Before we get started, here’s some insight you can take away from this online business example:

Company Name : Adventure Addicts


About the company:

The Adventure Junkies has six different pages focused on extreme sports, such as diving, hiking, paddling, 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.

Innovative commercial offer

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

7. Become a virtual assistant

Every business needs help with day-to-day administrative tasks. If you have a talent for this type of work, you can become a virtual assistant. They perform tasks such as paying bills, making travel arrangements, managing expense reimbursements.

Before launching 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 PA service to handle his busy life, decided to start his own business. Since its launch, they have grown rapidly to help busy entrepreneurs lead more productive lives.

Innovative commercial offer

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

8. Website Rollover

Since customers use a company’s website to decide whether or not to buy, the look and feel of a website can determine its success. If you have skills and experience improving and optimizing websites, this could be the online business idea for you.

Related: 7 Ingredients for Online Small Business Success

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

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.

Innovative commercial offer

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

9. Online real estate investment

Online real estate investment platforms now exist that 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 online business.

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

Company Name : Real estate crowdfunding


About the company:

Real Estate Crowdfunding offers their clients low fees, the ability to invest in nearby development, and transparency, allowing their clients to learn about projects before investing.

Innovative commercial offer

Real Estate Crowdfunding was designed to provide their clients with a platform to raise funds for real estate investing and/or 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 are a fast typist and can understand multiple accents, transcription services might be the online business for you.

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

Company Name : AfroLingo


About the company:

AfroLingo offers audio and video transcription services to its customers along with 24/7 customer support to ensure that its customers across the world are always supported.

Innovative commercial offer

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

Additionally, they offer proofreading, website and app localization, and desktop publishing services.

Related: 25 of the most successful business ideas in South Africa

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