Starting a business is hard, let alone combining it with a 9-5 job, resulting in the rise in popularity of passive income side hustles. This is why we created this list of 10 automated business ideas that any beginner can start in their free time and the comfort of their homes.
These aren’t just random ideas that became popular during the tech era, they are proven methods that real successful people have used to build their wealth and empires. Let’s get started.
Entrepreneurs looking for automated business ideas, here are 10 simple and easy-to-learn models that you can start now:
- Dropshipping Store
- Print on Demand
- Affiliate Marketing
- Social Media Management
- Email Marketing Service
- Content Creation
- Online Courses/E-Learning Platforms
- Subscription Box Services
- Automated Webinar Services
- Virtual Fitness Training
To know more about each of the ideas, continue reading below for a detailed explanation of why each one of them is still a great model to start this year.
Exciting Automated Business Ideas
The internet offers endless opportunities, whether you’re looking for a simple way to earn extra money or just a few bucks to help pay for the groceries.
From automated businesses that could replace your day job to others that can give you earnings that could even go as high as $5000 a month if you really focus and give effort to it, there’s something for everyone’s needs, schedules, and goals.
1. Dropshipping Store
An exciting online business idea that’s beginner-friendly and doesn’t require you to maintain an inventory upfront is running a dropshipping store.
Dropshipping allows you to sell products you don’t own through an online store. There are many things that come with it, but the good thing is there are suppliers that handle the storage and shipping. The only thing you have to worry about is how to get customers to buy the products.
This automated business idea eliminates the need for a physical location and a big upfront investment making it one of the best models for beginners to try and enter the world of business.
Some of the most popular marketplaces where you can build a site and handle all the payments, returns, or any transactions are Shopify and WooCommerce.
Now it all looks like setting up this business is easy and will be profitable right away, but that is actually what makes it hard to succeed in it. There is too much competition and all the profitable niches will be dominated by big brands and corporations.
So, the key to a successful dropshipping business is to find the right products and the right customers. That means finding a gap in the marketplace where consumer’s problems are not yet solved or you can make some tasks a lot easier for them.
Remember, any business will take some time to take off, especially if you are working on it alone or with just a few team members. But, do not give up early on as the progressions of the profit will snowball and will even surpass your expectations.
2. Print on Demand
Speaking of automated business ideas, print on demand stands out. It’s a business model that lets you sell your custom designs on various products. The best part is it doesn’t require you to maintain any inventory.
Imagine being your boss, creating unique designs, and selling them on products like t-shirts, mugs, or phone cases.
You provide the design and marketing efforts, and a third-party supplier prints your design on their products, manages the sales process, and ships the items to your paying customers.
Like dropshipping, print-on-demand relies on automation software.
Once an order is placed, the entire process from printing to shipping is handled by your supplier. This reduces the hiring process for new employees and eliminates the need to invest in costly equipment.
A print-on-demand business can be a great way to earn money online. It allows you to capitalize on your creativity while leaving the logistical aspects of the business to your supplier.
The potential to create a range of digital products from your designs also broadens your earning potential.
Marketing is vital for your print on demand business’s success. You’ll need a solid online presence to attract new customers. This could mean creating your website, setting up social media accounts, and perhaps even becoming a social media manager for your brand.
3. Affiliate Marketing
A popular choice among automated business ideas is affiliate marketing. It involves promoting other companies products or services and earning a commission for each sale made through your unique affiliate link.
This business model can be incredibly rewarding.
It’s a simple concept: you select a product you like, promote it to others, and earn a piece of the profit for each sale you make.
The best part is that you don’t have to create your product or handle customer service.
Business automation comes into play as most of the tasks involved can be automated. From tracking sales to handling payments, robotic process automation is commonly used in affiliate marketing. This allows you to scale your online business without the need to increase your workload significantly.
A key to success in affiliate marketing is choosing products that align with your audience’s interests. If you run a fitness blog, for instance, you might consider promoting fitness equipment, workout programs, or nutrition supplements.
Affiliate marketing presents a fantastic opportunity to generate passive income. While it requires initial effort in setting up and promoting your chosen products, the potential returns can make it a worthwhile online business idea.
4. Social Media Management
Social media management has quickly become one of the most sought-after online business ideas.
As businesses look to enhance their online presence, there’s an increased demand for professionals who can manage their social media accounts effectively.
Getting started in social media management requires a strong understanding of different social platforms and how they operate.
Technical skills in content creation, scheduling, and data analysis are also essential. The ability to communicate effectively and understand the needs of your potential clients is crucial.
One of the attractive aspects of social media management as an online business is that it can generate a consistent income stream. Businesses are willing to invest in services that can help them attract and engage with their target users more effectively.
If you’re comfortable working with platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, starting a social media management business could be an excellent fit.
The best part? You can run this business from anywhere with an internet connection.
While managing social media for small businesses can be time-consuming, there are ways to streamline the process.
Remember, it’s all about helping your clients voice their business online. This requires creativity, patience, and an ever-evolving understanding of social media trends.
5. Email Marketing Service
Email marketing is a powerful tool in the online business world. It offers a way to connect with customers, boost sales, and build brand loyalty.
This business idea revolves around providing email marketing services to other businesses.
It entails tasks like building email lists, designing engaging emails, and tracking performance. Your role? Help businesses tap into the power of email marketing.
Two key examples of businesses that could benefit are:
An online fitness business can use a compelling email sequence offering fitness tips to drive product sales.
An event planning business could create a newsletter that informs clients about upcoming events and exclusive deals.
Becoming an email marketing service provider requires skills in content creation, understanding email algorithms, and performance data analysis.
But, with the right approach, it can be a lucrative passive income stream.
Remember, patience and continuous learning are vital when starting any online business. However, with diligence and commitment, email marketing services can be a viable and profitable venture.
6. Content Creation
In the digital era, content is king.
This has spurred the growth of content creation as a profitable business idea. Whether it’s blogging, vlogging, podcasting, or creating infographics, the demand for quality content is ever-increasing.
Let’s dive into a couple of examples:
Running a blog can be a great source of income. By creating valuable content and using effective SEO strategies, you can attract significant web traffic and monetize your blog through advertising, sponsored posts, or affiliate marketing.
Another growing trend is the voiceover business. With companies regularly producing videos for marketing and training purposes, voiceover services are in high demand. With a decent microphone and sound editing software, you can start your own voiceover business from the comfort of your home.
Despite the potential, remember that content creation can be a time-consuming process.
It often requires research, creativity, and consistency. However, with the right strategies, it can become a successful business generating a steady stream of passive income.
To further automate the process, consider investing in mobile apps and tools that aid in content creation and management. This way, you can efficiently run your business and have more control over your time.
7. Online Courses/E-Learning Platforms
The e-learning industry is experiencing explosive growth. From cooking to coding, there’s a market for almost every subject out there.
You can create an online course to share your expertise with a wider audience.
With the increasing number of people who prefer learning online rather than traveling to school or universities to learn some information that they might never use in real life, online courses have become popular.
Nowadays, there will almost be a course online for whichever skills you are planning to learn. Even if you want to start your own business, you will have the option of buying a course from someone reputable and have successfully done it.
Some courses will be cheap but some high-ticket ones cost upwards of a thousand dollars, especially if it is in a high-demand industry. To be sure that you are not getting scammed, read reviews and search the person behind the course to see if they are legit or not.
In terms of creating your course, first, you have to learn a specific skill or information that you know you are an expert in. Next, you have to be able to create written content or video, whichever you or your audience prefer.
The next part is marketing, leveraging social media, and trying to attract like-minded individuals on several platforms. Also, think hard about the pricing, find some competitors look at how good their courses are compared to yours, and base your price on the average of several ones.
An online course business can be an automated one but will require a lot of your time and hard work at the beginning before it can gain some traction.
8. Subscription Box Services
Subscription box services have surged in popularity over the past decade, with many successful businesses in the field.
This automated business idea is about sending a box that contains a specific item or product monthly to your customers. If you are wondering why someone would subscribe, it is because it removes the hassle of choosing a product every time you need it. Also, it can be quite fun to get surprised at what these boxes contain.
Think about a new toy for your dog, if you are someone who loves to spoil your pets then these subscription boxes might be a good idea. A new toy every month or even their food treats. It saves time and makes it exciting.
9. Automated Webinar Services
Webinars are a powerful tool for online businesses to connect with their audience, provide valuable content, and sell their products or services.
However, hosting live webinars can be a time-consuming process, and this is where automated webinar services come into play.
Automated webinars are pre-recorded webinars that can be scheduled to play at set times, giving the illusion of a live event. They are an efficient way to deliver high-quality, consistent content without the stress and potential human error of a live presentation.
Automated webinars can generate passive income streams as they can be set up to sell products or services at the end of the presentation.
Additionally, they can be used as a marketing tool for other online businesses.
This model has been effectively used by online course creators, coaches, and consultants, amongst others, to provide value and generate revenue.
Take the example of Amy Porterfield, a successful online marketing expert, who uses webinars to promote her online courses and consulting services.
10. Virtual Fitness Training
Every year more and more people are being drawn to working out to be fit and healthy. There are several reasons for this such as increased awareness through social media and the online world, and the spread of unhealthy foods in our daily lives. Whichever it is, it has opened up a number of opportunities to start a business including a virtual fitness training venture.
Most professionals and individuals who have a job are busy during the day and rarely have time to go to the closest gym and work out. That is why many are resorting to buying home equipment for their training. But, without the guidance of a trained professional, injuries might happen or even the lack of improvement.
If you are knowledgeable in this field, it will be a good business idea. You don’t have to train all single individuals. You can create a course, upload it to your website, and sell it to your customers all around the globe.
To be successful in this business, you have to learn a lot about marketing and the use of social media to increase your brand awareness and exposure. Overall, it can be a profitable automated business once you finish recording good-quality training videos and distribute them to the right audience.
Starting a business is hard no matter if it is automated or not. People who are looking to enter the world of entrepreneurship thinking that if they find a business that runs itself automatically, they will be able to be successful in it is wrong.
All different types of businesses will need some type of work one way or another. It can be at the beginning stages or later on. Automated businesses are part of the future but just like any other businesses, they will require your time, effort, and dedication to long-term success.
As a professional web and software developer, the author possesses a strong foundational background in Computer Science. This equips him with both academic rigor and practical insights into the world of web-based entrepreneurship. As the founder of this platform, webpreneurships.com, he stands at the intersection of technology and business.