Despite the widespread myths about entrepreneurship, starting a new business has never been the biggest deal. The hardest thing about entrepreneurship is to keep this business afloat and prospering.
Plenty of factors need to be considered for achieving that, but there is the primary one. When you build a house, the longevity of the building heavily depends on the quality of its foundation. In business, the foundation is the concept behind your enterprise. The idea has to be viable enough to survive in the long-term. Which is why we have pulled together 5 viable online startup ideas for 2019.
This triggers the question to arise: “What does make an idea viable?”
Your business will be alive until your goods or services remain in demand. This means people need your products (or services) to solve their problems and need your company as a decent provider of such. Thus, the viable idea meets the three requirements:
- To be a relevant solution to the existing problem;
- To have competitive advantages over other businesses;
- To be timely enough to streak ahead.
Speaking of the online businesses, you may launch just another blog, another development studio, or another marketing agency. But will your “product” be relevant, timely, and unique enough to survive in the highly competitive environment?
If you want to take a real lead, it’s better to break into the emerging market with less competition and more customers desperate to find the right solution. We compiled the list of 5 viable online startup ideas as of 2019, so hurry up to take a look before those niches become flooded as well.
- Online educational courses
The idea of making money on educating others is as old as time and bears nothing especially innovative or competitive. This remains the truth in 90% of cases, but not in the one when you teach people something innovative or competitive.
According to LinkedIn research, the most relevant (and therefore competitive) hard skills are cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and analytical reasoning. If you are an expert in these or other relevant fields, you can create your own online course that helps people master specific skills. It’s important to provide materials from a different angle than other lectors, as you need to have some advantages over your competitors.
The other winning case is when you teach people innovations. For this, you should research and make sure there is no online course on the subject or all the existing are incomplete.
The best part about this idea is that you don’t even need to possess any required skills to teach innovations. It’s possible to involve some specialists and only act as a distributor of the course.
- GDPR counselling service
Before proceeding to the business idea itself, we need to clarify what GDPR is and why there is demand for such counselling.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a new European law that regulates personal data collection and processing, primarily on the web. Under this legislation, businesses have to ask customers for their consent before retrieving their data, and implement privacy by design within their organization. Customers, in turn, receive rights to access, data portability, and data erasure.
Any organization that is based in EU or is somehow present on the EU markets should comply with GDPR. Otherwise, it will be fined up to 4% of its revenue or 20 million Euros, whichever is higher. For small businesses, it may be quite time-consuming to explore new policies without prior legal experience, so it’s where GDPR consultants come in.
Despite almost one year has passed since GDPR kicked in, there are still plenty of emerging startups or overseas companies entering the EU market. The demand for this service is expected to be high within the next decade, what makes the idea viable enough to consider in 2019.
- Customer Data Platform (CDP)
In martech, 2018 was a year of customer data platforms. CDP Institute reports the growth of 60% compared to the previous year and 15.4% more vendor funding than in 2017. In 2019, the market is going to stabilize and its growth rates will gradually drop within a decade, yet it’s predicted to rise in value from $903.7M in 2018 to $3.2B in 2023.
But what exactly a customer data platform is and why you can use it as an idea for your startup? A customer data platform (CDP) is a marketing tool for retrieving personally identifiable information from customers. Using a CDP, marketers create a unified customer database and apply collected data to their marketing campaigns.
A CDP is a great concept for your new company because it’s extremely popular among investors. In 2018, a start-up named Lytics received $14M from Two Sigma Ventures, while another company Simon Data raised $20M with the support of Polaris Partners. Young CDPs tend to integrate trending technologies with their marketing tools, as does Amperity, using AI and machine learning to personalize the customer experience. This boosts their attractiveness for investors even more.
You can join the club, too. A pinch of innovation and a bit of creativity, and you’re ready to start seeking funding. CDPs are going to be around for many years, as the needle’s tipping from 3rd- to 1st-party data, mainly because of people’s preference to share data directly.
- AR/VR casino games development studio
Virtual and augmented reality technologies only start to take over the mass market, so 2019 is the right time to enter the industry as a trailblazer. However, the development of top-notch AR/VR video games involves enormous budgets and therefore has a high entry barrier.
Compared to them, online casino games require less money investment, as they are simpler by nature. The way slot machines are programmed is generally less complex than conventional big budget video games, which require much more resources to meet the needs and desires of gamers.
But beware: this is a great startup only for those who don’t mind gambling as a moral issue. Aside from being a nice entertainment, online slot machines are one of the most addictive casino games. Opening an online casino gaming studio resembles opening a bar, so if you don’t want to contribute to addiction by any means, it’s better to go for something else.
- AI chatbot builder
Chatbots are discussed on every corner of the web, but the industry is far from being saturated. According to Business Insider research, 80% of businesses are going to adopt chatbots by 2020, but the number of companies that utilized them for now is much smaller.
The demand for chatbots is driven by mobile messenger domination and their significant benefits over apps and emails, including faster response, higher CTRs, etc. Evolving AI technology only fuels chatbot growth encouraging more innovative AI chatbots to emerge in the nearest time.
You can take charge of the chatbot’s future and create new software solutions in this field, although such an enterprise can be profitable only in the long-term. If you chase quicker returns, become a provider of chatbots for other companies that don’t have in-house programmers for its development.
Rather than hiring numerous specialists on board to develop hand-made bots, you can create an innovative AI chatbot builder and offer it as a SaaS solution. Most of them feature visual drag-and-drop editors with pre-built code, making it possible to create a chatbot even for a person without any coding experience.
We dedicated this article solely to online business, as in our opinion, it’s usually more cost-effective than land-based one. Owning an offline enterprise, you still need to supplement it with online marketing practices and therefore double your efforts to achieve growth. eCommerce and online services are about to dominate the world in 2019, what adds up to the viability of online startup ideas.