10 Essential Tools for Running a Successful Online Business

Essential Tools for Running a Successful Online BusinessAre you looking to make money online – and learn how to work from home? Discover tools for running a successful online business venture with these ten creative strategies. 

Gone are the days when making money was limited to the 9-to-5 grind. The internet has opened up new avenues to harness your skills and provide effective ways to make money online. From freelancing platforms that connect you with potential clients worldwide to creating and selling digital products, the options for making money online can be limitless. 

So, now is a great time to break free from the constraints of a traditional office job and set your own schedule working on projects that genuinely excite you. Whether you’re a budding writer, a creative artist, a tech-savvy developer, or an entrepreneur, there’s a path for you to explore in the online realm.

I know because I left my senior vp career in advertising to become a bestselling author and entrepreneur with about 2 million books and courses sold globally.

Plus I created a digital program to help entrepreneurs to make money online, called Make Profitable Courses Without The Overwhelm.

And I offer private business consulting …helping people around the world to make extra money online through various online opportunities, including freelancing platforms, online marketplaces, and e-commerce platforms.

I love sharing insights and strategies to empower entrepreneurs to be more successful.

With this in mind… here are ten creative ways to get started running a successful online business.

1. Dropshipping – Best for No Capital

You can start an online business without inventory by using a dropshipping model. Find a supplier who will ship products directly to your customers and list their products on your website or your own online store.

  • Difficulty in getting started: Easy
  • Potential Income: The usual markup is 30-50% depending on the product. This means that if a product costs $10 wholesale, the drop shipper may sell it for $13-$15 to make a profit after accounting for their overhead costs, such as website maintenance, marketing, and shipping fees
  • Tools Needed: Local suppliers in Singapore that you can consider for dropshipping products:

2. E-commerce: Best for Global-minded Entrepreneurs

Online or E-commerce stores have a wider market reach than physical or offline stores. There are many user-friendly platforms for e-commerce entrepreneurs, and it may only take a few minutes to sign up for an account and get your product listing ready online.

  • Difficulty in getting started: Medium. Set up your own website and utilize some advanced tools to boost sales.
  • Potential Income: You can earn between S$1,300-$130,000/month depending on the product demand or sales volume. 
  • Tools Needed: A computer or mobile device, physical products, and your chosen platform:

3. Sell your Skills – Best for Freelancers

You can record your blueprint and sell your skills, such as content writing, programming, data analyzing, or digital marketing online through your website or social media channels or find jobs from online sites. With the right skills, you can offer freelance services as a virtual assistant or a freelance graphic designer and find clients worldwide. 

  • Difficulty in getting started: Medium. You can search for a freelance job and earn if you already have the required skills. Otherwise, you need to upskill and learn a few online courses before you can start earning as a freelancer.
  • Potential Income: You have no limits on your income for as long as you can take on more work, have a solid internet connection, and deliver value to your clients. Freelancers can earn from S$15 to S$500, depending on their skills.
  • Tools Needed: A computer or mobile device and freelance platforms like:

4. Print-on-Demand (POD) – Best for Entrepreneurs with a Branding Focus

Print-on-Demand is another excellent money-making idea. It is an innovative and flexible e-commerce model that allows individuals to create and sell custom-designed products without needing upfront inventory or production costs. Use platforms like Printful or Printify to create and sell custom-made products like t-shirts, mugs, and fan merch.

  • Difficulty in getting started: Medium. Like other online stores, you must set up your shop through a chosen platform, list and advertise your products.  
  • Potential Income: Individual income may vary depending on market demand, uniqueness of designs, product range, and other factors. Some POD business owners earn money online, as much as S$10,000.
  • Tools Needed: A computer or a mobile device, a print-on-demand provider, and platforms like:

5. Affiliate Marketing – Best for Students and Stay-at-home Moms

Affiliate marketing is a popular online business model that can be particularly advantageous for students and stay-at-home moms seeking to earn income from the comfort of their homes. You can do this in a few hours, quickly promote other people’s products on your social media sites and earn a commission for every sale through your referral link.

  • Difficulty in getting started: Easy
  • Potential Income: Affiliate marketers earn 5 to 10% commission for every sale.
  • Tools Needed: A computer or a smartphone, a social media account

6. Online Tutoring – Best for Educators

Online tutoring is an excellent opportunity for educators to leverage their teaching skills, expertise, and passion for education in a digital setting. Depending on your skill set, you can tutor people online and teach subjects like math, science, or languages online and earn extra cash through platforms like Chegg, TutorMe, or VIPKid. 

  • Difficulty in getting started: Easy
  • Potential Income: You can earn S$25 to S$50 per hour for basic subjects and S$100 for complex or higher-level subjects.
  • Tools Needed: A computer or mobile device, communication apps like Zoom, Skype, or Google Meet, file sharing tools, and other relevant online tools for teaching students.

7. Blogging/Vlogging – Best for Travelers and Adventurers

Blogging and vlogging are well-suited for travellers and adventurers passionate about exploring new places, experiencing different cultures, and engaging in outdoor activities. You can create high-quality content YouTube videos and earn money through advertising, sponsorships, or affiliate marketing.

  • Difficulty in getting started: Hard. 
  • Potential Income: Depending on your audience’s reach on your YouTube channel, you can earn money fast and up S$175 to S$5,000 per blog.
  • Tools Needed: A laptop, a smartphone, a digital camera, a selfie stick and tripod, and photo or video editing software.

8. Sell Music or Digital Art – Best for Creative Artists

Selling digital art is another great business idea for designers, graphic design artists, or any creative person looking to sell art or music online and build a passive income stream. The most important thing about creating sellable art is uniqueness.

  • Difficulty in getting started: Hard. You have to establish your personal brand  to attract customers. 
  • Potential Income: The income may vary wildly from one digital artist to another. Art business owners can earn anywhere from S$50 to S$100,000 figures. 
  • Tools Needed: To sell your art online, you must have your website or an eCommerce store.

9. Write and Publish an E-book – Best for Niche Experts

Niche topics often have limited resources available. By publishing an e-book, you can address your target audience’s needs and interests, filling the market gap. This can make your e-book highly sought after and establish you as a go-to resource in your specific niche.

  • Difficulty in getting started: Hard. You need to be a subject-matter expert in your chosen niche.
  • Potential Income: E-book writing is one of the best ways to earn a passive income – but you need to sell a lot of books because there’s a cap on the price you can charge for the e-book.
  • Tools Needed: A computer or laptop, word processing software, e-book conversion tools, grammar and editing tools, and a publishing platform like Amazon. 

10. Develop a Mobile App – Best for Software Developers

If you have programming skills and expertise in software development, creating a mobile app allows you to earn online. You can build and launch your applications, providing value to users and potentially gaining recognition as a skilled developer.

  • Difficulty in getting started: Hard. You will need solid programming skills to begin developing an app.
  • Potential Income: S$6000 up
  • Tools Needed: You will need a computer or laptop, programming tools


The possibilities for making money online and working from home are endless. From simple tasks like taking online surveys and data entry to more complex ones like monetizing your skills and leveraging digital platforms, there’s almost something for anyone. Indeed, the online world offers a vast playground for innovation, entrepreneurship, and exploring new ventures.

Key takeaways:

  • Online opportunities like blogging/vlogging may take time and effort before realizing gains.
  • You can always turn your work-from-home setup into a fulfilling and profitable venture.
  • We must adapt to the changing trends, keep learning, and be open to new online opportunities.

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