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30 Most Profitable Online Businesses To Start In 2024

In this article, we will take a look at the 30 most profitable online businesses to start in 2024. If you want to skip our detailed analysis, you can go directly to 5 Most Profitable Online Businesses To Start In 2024.

An Online Shop is Not Enough

On September 6, McKinsey reported on the growth of online businesses and how it is coercing companies to become innovators. As per the report, revenues are increasingly coming from online businesses rather than traditional brick-and-mortar setups. Over 500 million people engage with Nike across its app, and the Starbucks app is regarded as one of the most popular payment platforms in the United States after Apple's Apple Pay. McKinsey highlights that while companies are dramatically shifting towards digital platforms, consumer expectations will continue to rise in the long run. With software and tech solutions readily available, having a digital presence is no longer enough to attract a wide audience. Companies with more mature tech solutions will likely outperform those not quick enough to adapt, with almost 2.2 times greater returns to shareholders and 40% to 45 % higher customer engagement. The most common domains include strong DevOps, modern engineering, in-class product development, and strong strategic alignment. You can also check out some of the most valuable business lessons to make you more successful.

Successful Online Businesses: At a Glance

Upwork Inc. (NASDAQ:UPWK), Sprout Social, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPT), and Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE:BABA) are some of the leading online businesses in the freelancing, social media management, and dropshipping industry, respectively. Let's check out some recent updates from these companies.

Upwork Inc. (NASDAQ:UPWK) is one of the largest freelancing companies in the world. Based in California, the company connects talent with businesses. On July 19, Upwork Inc. (NASDAQ:UPWK) announced its partnership with Jasper to launch generative artificial intelligence tools for freelancers. The tools help freelancers improve their content and enhance content processing, repurposing, and translation. The tool serves as a 24/7 assistant and can pick the tone and style of freelancers to ensure consistency. The tool is also capable of developing and executing marketing campaigns, especially blog posts, emails, and Facebook ads.

Sprout Social, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPT) is an all-in-one social media management solutions provider. The company offers publishing and engagement solutions, customer care solutions, and AI-backed business analytics and intelligence solutions. On November 30, Sprout Social, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPT) announced that its community channel, Arboretum, surpassed 10,000 members. The platform was created for marketers to keep them updated with industry news and navigate through springing trends. The community brings together marketers from across 60 countries. Currently, executives and employees have engaged in over 3,500 conversations, sessions, and events.

Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE:BABA) is a leading e-commerce company based in China. The company also provides complete dropshipping solutions to business owners. On November 21, Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE:BABA) reported earnings for the fiscal second quarter of 2024. The company reported earnings per share of $2.16, beating estimates by $0.07. The company also reported revenue worth $31.04 billion during the quarter, ahead of market consensus by $188.99 million and up 7.22% year over year.

You can also check out some of the most successful small business ideas. Let's now discuss the 30 most profitable online businesses to start in 2024.

30 Most Profitable Online Businesses To Start In 2024
30 Most Profitable Online Businesses To Start In 2024

30 Most Profitable Online Businesses To Start In 2024

Our Methodology

We employed a consensus approach to come up with the 30 most profitable online businesses to start in 2024. We sifted through 6 sources including Shopify, Wix, Oberlo, Hostinger, Management Library, and Medium. This process enabled us to create a pool of 40 profitable online businesses to start in 2024. We then identified the top 30 names based on an assessment of the item count across all six courses. Since we could not identify each business's profitability individually, we decided to classify each of the businesses under the industry they belong to and then rank them based on the industry net margin. We sourced this data from NYU Stern. It is to be noted that the data is based on figures for the year ended 2022. The list of the 30 most profitable online businesses to start in 2024 is in ascending order of the item count, with the industry net margin as a tiebreaker for two or more items with the same number of mentions. 

Note: Since our data consisted of broad industries, some businesses fell under more than one industry. To counter such, we took the average of the relevant industries and used that value to rank our item. Such instances can be identified with the subheading "average industry net margins (2022)".

30 Most Profitable Online Businesses To Start In 2024

30. Nutritionist Services

Number of Mentions: 3

Industry Net Margins (2022): 2.07%

Growing health concerns have pushed the demand for nutritionist services across the globe. An online nutritionist services provider may engage in the online selling of customized diet plans and medicines. Business owners can also launch an online platform for targeted customers such as pregnant women, people with diabetes, and fitness enthusiasts.

29. Accounting & Bookkeeping Services

Number of Mentions: 3

Industry Net Margins (2022): 4.32%

According to our methodology, an accounting and bookkeeping business is one of the best online businesses to start in 2024. Accounting and bookkeeping may be a tedious task for companies, therefore, they frequently outsource such services. Moreover, an accounting and bookkeeping business may engage in the development of accounting software and then have clients on board on a subscription basis.

28. Ad Consultancy

Number of Mentions: 3

Average Industry Net Margins (2022): 4.83%

According to our methodology, an ad consultancy business is one of the most profitable online businesses to start in 2024. An ad consultancy business focuses on strategizing Google and social media ads, especially on Facebook and Instagram, to help companies reach their target audience effectively.

27. Content Creation Agency

Number of Mentions: 3

Average Industry Net Margins (2022): 4.83%

According to our methodology, a content creation agency is one of the most profitable online businesses to start in 2023. Content creation agencies focus on the provision of different types of content to companies such as copywriting, blogging, social media content, publishing, and email marketing content.

26. SEO Management & Consultancy

Number of Mentions: 3

Average Industry Net Margins (2022): 4.83%

Starting an SEO management and consulting business is one of the most profitable online businesses to start in 2024. SEO management and consulting businesses focus on enhancing the organic visibility of companies. With the increasing demand for search engine optimization, starting an SEO consulting business may be rewarding.

25. Sell Thrifted Goods

Number of Mentions: 3

Industry Net Margins (2022): 4.91%

As concerns surrounding fast fashion continue to increase, selling thrifted goods online is one of the most profitable online businesses to start in 2024. Business owners may also take advantage of social commerce platforms to set up a page and a store together. Additionally, social media is widely used by the young population, a primary segment of thrifted goods.

24. Sell Printed Products

Number of Mentions: 3

Industry Net Margins (2022): 4.91%

Selling printed products online may be one of the most profitable online businesses to start in 2023. The most popular types of printed products to sell include t-shirts, mugs, cups, leaflets, brochures, and branded advertisements.

23. Influencer Marketing

Number of Mentions: 3

Industry Net Margins (2022): 5.34%

According to our methodology, starting an influencer marketing business or becoming an influencer is one of the most profitable online businesses to start in 2024. Brands highly depend on influencers to market their products, however, market saturation must be kept in mind. Targeting a specific niche supported by targeted ads and content may be the right way to go about influencer marketing.

22. Tech Support & Products

Number of Mentions: 3

Average Industry Net Margins (2022): 7.75%

Offering tech support services and products is one of the most profitable online businesses to start in 2024. Tech products include the sale of mobiles, tablets, accessories, software, and smart devices. Tech support on the other hand includes remote assistance on troubleshooting issues and the provision of tech consultation.

21. Sell Clothing & Fashion Products

Number of Mentions: 3

Industry Net Margins (2022): 8.05%

According to our methodology, selling clothing and fashion products is one of the best online businesses to start in 2024. Selling clothes and fashion products online is highly popular among the younger population. The apparel industry had an industry net margin of 8.05% in 2022.

20. Collect & Sell NFTs

Number of Mentions: 3

Average Industry Net Margins (2022): 16.63%

Collecting and selling NFTs is one of the most profitable online businesses to start in 2024. NFTs with a strong artistic merit have a greater chance of resulting in a profit. We categorized the collection and sale of NFTs under the financial services and software industry.

19. Ebook Business

Number of Mentions: 4

Industry Net Margins (2022): 2.65%

Starting an ebook business ranks among the most profitable online businesses to start in 2024. An ebook business does not require a lot of upfront costs. However, it is to be noted that the market is saturated, and significant efforts in marketing may be required.

18. CV/Resume Making

Number of Mentions: 4

Industry Net Margins (2022): 4.32%

As jobs get harder to find, most people are forced to spend hours making customized CVs or resumes for each job they apply to. Such provides an opportunity for business owners to penetrate the CV and/or resume-making industry. This may extend to making cover letters, university applications assistance, and consulting.

17. Business Consultancy

Number of Mentions: 4

Industry Net Margins (2022): 4.32%

According to our methodology, offering business consultancy services is one of the most profitable online businesses to start in 2024. With the boom in startups, most owners do need to be mentored, providing an opportunity to consultancy firms. A focused consultancy business, targeted at a specific niche, may be the best way to go about it.

16. Virtual Assistant

Number of Mentions: 4

Industry Net Margins (2022): 4.32%

Becoming a virtual assistant or establishing a company that places virtual assistants ranks among the most profitable online businesses to start in 2024. Virtual assistants take care of a variety of administrative tasks for a company and the services extend across borders, implying the existence of a large market.

15. Translation Services

Number of Mentions: 4

Industry Net Margins (2022): 4.32%

As the world becomes a global village, the demand for translation services is also on the rise. The investment and overhead costs are significantly lower for a translation services provider. The business and consumer services industry had an industry net margin of 4.32%.

14. Start a Podcast

Number of Mentions: 4

Industry Net Margins (2022): 4.63%

According to our methodology, starting a podcast business is one of the most profitable online businesses to start in 2024. A podcast is a highly popular way to disseminate certain information. With podcasts on major streaming devices such as Spotify and YouTube, podcast owners have the ability to reach a wider audience.

13. Start a YouTube Channel

Number of Mentions: 4

Industry Net Margins (2022): 4.63%

Starting a YouTube channel is a popular way to establish a stream of income. YouTube channels span a variety of domains, however, some of the most popular domains include gaming, entertainment, fashion, technology, and crafts. The entertainment industry had an industry net margin of 4.63% in 2022.

12. Digital Marketing Management & Consultancy

Number of Mentions: 4

Industry Net Margins (2022): 4.83%

According to our methodology, starting a digital marketing management and consultancy business is one of the best online businesses to start in 2024. While many startups and companies fail to allocate enough resources to marketing, as a business owner, you can leverage the opportunity to provide customizable 360 degree digital marketing solutions including social media, email, app and web development, and ads.

11. Set Up An Online Store

Number of Mentions: 4

Industry Net Margins (2022): 4.91%

Setting up an online e-commerce store is among the most profitable online businesses to start in 2024. While the market is highly saturated, business owners may stand out if they offer targeted products. The growth of social commerce platforms is also an interesting opportunity that could be explored.

10. Subscription Boxes

Number of Mentions: 4

Industry Net Margins (2022): 4.91%

Starting a subscription box business is one of the most profitable online businesses to start in 2024. A subscription box is a retail model where consumers pay a recurring fee for a set of products or services. Service or content-based subscription boxes are highly popular and may be considered. The retail industry had an industry net margin of 4.91% in 2022.

9. Handmade Goods

Number of Mentions: 4

Industry Net Margins (2022): 4.91%

According to our methodology, selling handmade goods is one of the most profitable online businesses to start in 2024. Some of the most prominent handmade products to sell online include home decor items and jewelry. Business owners can consider selling such products on dedicated sites for niche products such as Etsy.

8. Affiliate Marketing Management

Number of Mentions: 4

Industry Net Margins (2022): 5.34%

Starting an affiliate marketing management business is one of the most profitable online businesses to start in 2024. Targeting a high demand niche, such as health and wellness, personal finance, travel, and technology, may be the best way to go about an affiliate marketing business.

7. Blogging

Number of Mentions: 4

Average Industry Net Margins (2022): 16.39%

Despite the rise in generative AI models, a blogging business is among the most profitable online businesses to start in 2024. Blogging services can be provided to businesses or can be done for personal use for a stream of income. That's why we have categorized the blogging segment under two segments including advertising and broadcasting.

6. Sell Online Courses

Number of Mentions: 5

Industry Net Margins (2022): 4.06%

According to our methodology, selling online courses is one of the best online businesses to start in 2024. The education industry had an industry net margin of 4.06% in 2022. With the rise in online education, the demand for courses has increased immensely, especially among people who want to learn some technical skills such as digital marketing, data analytics, and coding to name a few.

Click to continue reading and see 5 Most Profitable Online Businesses To Start In 2024.

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Disclosure: None. 30 Most Profitable Online Businesses To Start In 2024 is originally published on Insider Monkey.