If you’re like most people, you’ve probably daydreamed about starting your own business at some point. The idea of working for yourself, being your own boss, and potentially making a ton of money is an attractive one.
But the reality is that starting a successful business takes more than just good ideas—it also takes planning, patience, and hard work. That’s why you should take your daydreams of entrepreneurship offline and put them into action. To help you get started, here are ten online businesses you can start right now, according to business consultant Josh Melick.
Value Added Reseller (VAR)
Definition: A Value-Added-Reseller (VAR) is a business that purchases products from a wholesale distributor and then adds value to them through services before reselling the products to their own customers.
Who This Is For: VARs sell and install commercial and industrial equipment, such as security systems, HVAC systems, and medical equipment. While this is a very niche market that requires you to have the appropriate certifications and be familiar with specific products, it can be very lucrative.
Best Products: If your market is HVAC systems, you’ll want to purchase wholesale packaged units which include all the components. You should also look to go after small/medium commercial clients because they are less likely to have existing relationships with other distributors and will need your services more than larger firms will.
Best Practices: You’ll need to develop strong relationships with manufacturers with similar products to get inventory at wholesale prices. Research all potential business owners before you approach them because they are not likely to trust you.
Definition: A refrigerator/freezer repairman services homes and businesses which have broken refrigeration units.
Who This Is For: If you’re mechanically inclined and know how to repair household items, this could be a perfect business for you. However, you’ll also need strong customer service skills to get new customers and keep them coming back to you for future repairs.
Best Products: The products are already set up—you just need to provide the labor. Put together a great deal for your customers by offering them discounts on additional repairs if they sign up for an annual contract with you. Then, once they’re your customer, keep them coming back by being responsive and providing quality work.
Best Practices: You’ll need strong negotiation skills to get new customers at low or discounted prices. In addition, you’ll need to be organized and timely when it comes to scheduling appointments and completing repairs.
Definition: A travel agent sells vacation packages from various destinations worldwide to clients who wish to book their own flights, hotels, and other related activities.
Who This Is For: Travel agents deal with customers one-on-one, so you’ll need to be very personable and patient. You’ll also need to do a lot of research before making recommendations to your clients.
Best Products: You can offer packages from the most popular destinations around the world like Europe, Mexico, and Florida. Alternatively, stay local and deal with customers who are interested in traveling to the Caribbean or Hawaii.
Best Practices: You’ll need extensive travel experience and knowledge to provide your clients with accurate information that makes sense for them. Also, be prepared to dote on your customers because they’ll expect you to make their vacations as smooth as possible.
Definition: A personal chef comes into a customer’s home and prepares a meal from scratch. They may also purchase ingredients ahead of time for the customer or have them delivered to the house before their arrival.
Who This Is For: You’ll need to be able to prepare gourmet meals without supervision, as well as clean up your workspace when you’re done. In addition, you’ll need social skills so you can create a good rapport with your clients.
Best Products: Prepare all sorts of meals from breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks to keep your clients well-fed throughout the week. Your prices will be based on how many people you’re cooking for and what types of meals you’re providing.
Best Practices: Be able to take orders and make changes to your menu. If you’re cooking for a person with diabetes, be sure to take this into consideration when creating meals. You’ll also need to know how to cater to special diets like low-carb and gluten-free choices.