Starting a business is always going to be somewhat challenging and it’s not something that will always go precisely to plan! We all know the statistics about how many businesses fail in their first year. But if your objective is to start a business that you can run entirely online and then maintain while you travel, then you’re adding on an additional layer of challenge. How can you make this a success?

Here are some tips and ideas to help.

Start Slow and Transition

The first tip is to start slow and transition to working online. A lot of people make the mistake assumption that becoming a digital nomad means quitting their job and going ‘all in’ on a new business idea. It doesn’t have to though!

Instead, why not start your business in your evenings? You can work a few hours after work or even at the weekends. Then you can see if you’re able to generate enough income from your idea and you can tweak and hone that business model to get it just right. Only once you’re making enough money, should you then consider quitting your job and seeing if you can go it alone.

Take the Path of Least Resistance

Too often, we will be overly ambitious when it comes to starting a business. I have spoken to countless people who tell me they’re working on an app that’s going to make them rich and normally it involves setting up some kind of online community and working with multiple service providers. And these guys don’t even know how to program yet!

Look, it’s great to have a vision but if you want to make money in a way that is reliable enough to earn while you travel – and in a way that is ‘hands-off’ enough to give you the time to do so – then you need to be a little more realistic and straightforward.

You know what? Running a boring business is more effective than running an exciting one! Sell socks through a wholesaler, be a copywriter, do data entry! Just don’t get too elaborate and adventurous or you’ll spend countless hours only to find that you never actually breakeven…

A good tip is to ask someone you know who is already proving successful and to see how they work. In all likelihood, their business model will be very simple! How about checking an online community like #Nomads in order to find more ideas and tips for working online?


Top 10 Online Business Ideas for Digital Nomads

Running a business online is a lot easier these days than it used to be. In fact, you’ll likely be surprised at just how many options there are and at how many amazing business models can be run without necessarily needing any kind of ‘base of operations’.

Here are 10 examples to get you thinking…

1 Copywriting

Become a copywriter and provide websites with the copy they need. It’s a very straightforward job you can do with simple tools.

2 Web Design

Another good option is web design. Building a website is relatively easy these days thanks to the likes of WordPress, while tools such as the Surface Pro 4 provide everything you need for design work.

3 Programming

Coding will always be in demand and you can find all manner of coding jobs easily on freelancing sites like UpWork and Elance.

4 Service Arbitrage

Don’t want to spend your time travelling performing work for other clients? Then why not find someone who’ll do the job a little cheaper and just keep the difference? Yep, it’s that easy!

5 Vlogging

People love challenge and they love to live vicariously through others. So if you can share your travels on YouTube, then you can quickly get a big audience and start profiting from ads or even sponsors!

6 Sports Commentary

Many online sites need sports commentary so that fans of teams can follow games online. You just watch the games and write what’s happening!

7 Instagram

Believe it or not, you can actually make a living from Instagram if you have enough viewers by getting sponsors!

8 Blogging

Running a blog is a tricky business that takes a while to get right… but once you do manage it, you’ll be earning a lot of money writing about things you love!

9 Selling a Product

Sell a product online by using dropshipping. This means you can work with a manufacturer to personalize an existing product and then let them handle storage and fulfillment. All you need do is create an e-commerce store!

10 Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing means selling an existing product for commission. You don’t have to do anything – just a hype up the product and then point your visitors in the right direction with a custom link.

And these are just a small selection of businesses that you can use on the road!