7 Unique Online Business Ideas (+Examples)
It’s a fact. Approximately 90% of all online business ventures fail within the first 4 months. In my opinion, that’s not even enough time to get started. However, it’s never been more important to have a unique online business idea.
When you find an online business idea that’s unique, your chances of ranking and monetizing in your niche increase dramatically. It’s important to understand that an online business idea can’t just be unique, but it should also have a demand. It needs to be something that will help people, solve a problem, or that people will buy.
In this article, we will look at 7 actual examples of unique online business ideas and why they worked. We might even look at some unique ideas that are not yet saturated on the web.
1. Online Course on Launching a Microgreens Business
Nate Dodson started a microgreens business. Then, he decided to create an online course showing others how to start a microgreens business.
I know what you’re thinking. But does $40k per month make it still sound crazy? Nate Dodson of MicrogreensFarmer.com reported “selling $40-50k worth of his microgreens business course” PER MONTH to Side Hustle Nation.
Why does it work?
It works because Nate took a subject that he knows well, that he was successful at, and created an online course to show others how to succeed in creating that type of business.
But wait, it gets better.
He’s selling a digital product. There are no shipping logistics. The sales process, business model, and even the course itself are almost entirely automated. After building his course, he makes residual income without much additional effort.
This online course business model is common, but the topic of the course is what makes it unique. Anyone could create an online course in the topic they specialize in.
2. Sriracha2Go – Sriracha Sauce on Your Keychain
Two friends and sriracha enthusiasts, Kyle and Farbod, think of a way to take the epic hot sauce with them anywhere they go. After perfecting the idea, they launch a company, an eCommerce website, and the flagship keychain product.
Needless to say, the product is a great idea and a huge hit. Less than 4 months after they launched their business, they quit their day jobs and took on their unique idea full time.
Why does it work?
This unique idea works because they found a solution to a real-life problem. They worked hard to manifest this unique idea. It also works because Sriracha is already such a popular hot sauce. They found a sub-niche in an already popular product that solved a problem for customers of the popular product.
Imagine the applications of this business model.
Although there might be some licensing deals that need to be made, you can sub-niche in almost any area. This is where software companies develop plugins for a popular platform, or bloggers start a niche website on a specific topic. You can find a sub-niche or solve a problem in almost any popular topic.
Now, if only someone would do this for Cholula sauce as well…
3. Santa Mail – The Original “Letter from Santa” Online Business
This unique online business started in 2003. What a genius idea. Parents can go online and order a letter from Santa to be personally written to their child. The letter comes in the mail and is actually postmarked and mailed from the North Pole (a small city called North Pole in Alaska).
Santa Mail was the first company to do this online. Several other online businesses have popped up since then doing pretty much the same thing. Actually, that’s what happens when someone discovers a great idea. Other people jump in and try to copy you. However, you have to admit that this is an extremely clever and profitable idea.
If you decide to order a letter from Santa for someone this year, get it from the original website at SantaMail.org
Why does this online business work?
Look. The magic of Christmas is something that’s popular, celebrated every year, and is also really big business. Santa Mail is personable and adds a touch of extra innovation by actually mailing the letter from North Pole, Alaska.
So, I have some additional thoughts.
This company really seems to pay extra attention to detail. It actually stood out to me. I’ve preached about attention to detail ever since I first started working. Attention to detail is an extremely important factor that can make you rise to the top of almost any industry or market.
4. Unique Way to Discover New Fishing Equipment
Mystery Tackle Box is an online eCommerce business that was started in 2012 by Ross Gordon. As strange as it may sound, the website claims that they’ve already shipped over 3.6 Million boxes! This must be a fisherman’s dream.
Fishing is big business, especially in the United States. Mystery Tackle Box has three different subscription box plans. In each plan, you can select which species of fish you want products for. You can also change species at any time! They guarantee that you will never get the same item twice.
Why this idea works.
The fishing industry is big business. The subscription box model is booming. Ross discovered a really nice niche that almost guaranteed to have a demand. Not only that, but even though you are getting a mystery box, the company still gives you options. That way the customer knows what they are getting is relevant.
Additionally, it is important to note that the company seems really focused on keeping their customers happy. In the world of online business, happy customers equal good reviews and customer retention.
5. Yes Theory – Absolutely Genius and Awesome YouTube Channel
In 2015, four guys decided to start a YouTube channel with the idea that they can do anything. It all started with what they called Project 30. To do 30 things they’ve never done before, for 30 days, and create a video for each day.
So, when I say create a video each day. I mean a lot of work. Not only do they do each new thing on the list, 30 days in a row. At the end of the day, they have a video to edit and post on YouTube. It’s a good thing there are 4 of them!
Right now, they have 4.4 Million Subscribers. This YouTube channel is their “career” now. I use that term loosely.
To understand why this online business idea works, you should watch this video on how it all started. However, after watching this video, I would expect you to binge their channel for a few hours. So if you do, please remember where you got this link from and come back to me.
Okay? If you agree to come back… here’s the link.
6. Mannequin Madness – A Truly Strange and Unique Successful Online Business
This mannequin business is based out of California, and focuses on recycling mannequins. The company has special recognition from the Environmental Protection Agency and received an award for its accomplishments.
You wouldn’t believe how it started.
Judi Townsend wasn’t an entrepreneur, but she was a natural. One day, she saw an ad on craigslist for a mannequin. She bought it for a personal craft project. Turns out, the person she bought it from owned a mannequin rental business and was trying to liquidate their mannequins to close the business.
Judi decided to buy them out and start a side hustle renting out mannequins. She launched her website. One week later, she got her first customer.
Being a natural entrepreneur, Judi found that when retail stores went out of business, it was easy to get their used mannequins. Many of them would have just gone into a landfill.
Fast forward a few years, Mannequin Madness has a client list that every entrepreneur dreams about. Boeing, Apple, ABC Studios, Google, Cirque Du Soleil, Starbucks, Google… the list goes on. Did you notice I didn’t even mention any retail stores?
No, I didn’t… I wanted to prove a point here. Of course, they have retail store clients. Retail companies are probably the bulk of their business. But I wanted to make the point to not have a close-minded view of Entrepreneurship. You have to think outside the norm.
You see, much of Judi’s business comes from museums, corporate headquarters, and other places outside of retail. This is an opportunity to see the possibilities of a good niche. Mannequin Madness is an epic example of an online business niche.
And yes… it’s an online business. They may have a local presence, but their first client was from Canada and their success was through their website using online marketing strategies.
7. Greek Gear – eCommerce Resource for All Things Fraternity and Sorority
This online business was started by some guys in a fraternity, at William Paterson University, that saw a niche. They had a vision of a place where a fraternity or sorority could get all the shirts, clothing, or other swag they need for their organization.
This was a true recipe for success. The college market is huge. Every fraternity and sorority needs branded items for their members each year. It’s still popular to go to the print shop near the university, then go to the screen printing company in your local town. But it’s just so inconvenient to have to work with all of these different places to get your branded apparel, signs, and drinkware for your greek organization.
Most of the fraternities and sororities these days use an online business for their annual needs. Why not use one that specializes in exactly what you need already?
I think it’s also important to note Greek Gears’ target audience. The demographic is college students that are in a fraternity or sorority. Basically, college students with money.
This is one of the absolute best consumers you can have. They are young, have money, and purchase willingly. This is the same reason textbook companies can charge so much money. Now, I’m not trying to upset anyone here, but the college textbook industry is a racket. Some textbooks go for $300 per book these days.
The funny thing is, college students will pay $300 for the textbook. Honestly, I think it’s almost unfair… the prices that most companies charge college students.
Want to start a successful online business? Here’s an idea for you. Find a need or a niche for college students and give them a reasonable price.
If you do decide to enter the “college student” market, there’s another important thing to keep in mind. Every year, you have millions of new, young, adults entering your customer base. There’s a turnover every year giving you fresh customers.
Final Thoughts: Examples of Unique Online Business Ideas
I hope that these examples of unique online business ideas give you some insight into the infinite possibilities that come with online entrepreneurship. You can create an online course to sell, start an online eCommerce business. Some people even opt for starting small with a simple blog to start building website authority for their online business.
Regardless of who you are or what your background is, you can start an online business from anywhere in the world.