Over the last few weeks, we’ve been looking at some of the best ideas for businesses in the year ahead. If you want to know more about potential future digital business ideas, we’ve put together this guide to give you advice.
More and more people are getting involved in future business ideas than ever before.
In 2021, there were 1.4 million new startup applications in the US, an increase of 42% since 2019. In the UK, over 340,000 businesses were registered in the first six months of 2021.
If you want to launch a new business, one of the hardest challenges can be coming up with a brand new business idea. You want to launch something that plays to your skills, but that is an innovative idea for a business venture too.
After all, you don’t want to invest time and money into your startup only to find a competitor that has got there before you.
If you know you want to start a new business, but don’t really know where to begin, this article might help. In it, we’re going to look at some of the best future digital business ideas and the benefits of launching a digitally-based startup.
Want to find out more about the best industries to get into in 2022? Check out our top ten startup ideas to launch in the year ahead.
What is a digital business?
A digital business is one that uses technology and the internet to provide products and services to people.
Several decades ago, businesses either didn’t use digital technology, or it was limited and expensive. If brands wanted to carry out market research, they had to go to their local library or go out and ask people questions.
When people wanted to purchase products and services, they had to travel to their local supermarket or shopping mall.
If salespeople wanted to sell to other businesses, they had to pick up the phone, send a fax or go out and travel to see prospective clients.
Technology like the internet, artificial intelligence and virtual reality have been around for ages. As an example, the internet has been around since the 1960s! However, with the rise of tech over the last few years, our lives have been made significantly easier.
If you’ve ever bought a book from Amazon, worn a fitness device or scrolled through your social media profiles on your smartphone, you can thank digital businesses!
Why come up with a digital business idea?
You may be wondering why a digital startup business is the way to go. The good news is that digital business ideas are great for founders.
Here are some of the reasons why you should go digital when it comes to launching your brand new startup.
Digital businesses are low cost compared to traditional startup ideas
If you have a small budget or want to bootstrap your startup yourself, a digital business idea has a lot of benefits.
For example, let’s say you want to sell products. If you do this the traditional way, you will need to rent a shop, hire staff and find a place to store all your stock. If you go down the eCommerce route, you can save money by creating a website. When you use drop shipping, you don’t even need to hold your own products!
With most digital businesses, you can do the work from the comfort of your own home. Jeff Bezos famously started Amazon in his garage, Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook in his university dorm room and David Karp (Tumblr) launched the site from his childhood bedroom!
Digital businesses have a large target audience for you to tap into
Everyone uses digital technologies, which means selling your product or service has now become a lot easier.
For example, there are now over 6.6 billion smartphone users worldwide, and this number is set to increase by 13% over the next four years. This means that if you want to create a mobile app, you’ve got a solid captive audience.
Do remember to drill down into your target audience a little bit more though. Your key demographic shouldn’t be ‘anyone with a smartphone!.
Digital businesses are an excellent first-time business to start off with
If you’re new to the world of startups, digital businesses are a great place to start. They’re lower risk, which means if things don’t go right, you don’t lose out too much. And as we mentioned before, you can launch a new digital business idea without having to invest too much money.
Plus, the advantage of the digital world is that it’s easy to get advice about starting out, with lots of online forums and networking events for new entrepreneurs. You can even email prospective investors or connect with them on LinkedIn!
What are the best digital businesses ideas?
So, we’ve taken a look at why digital startup ideas are the future of business. The next question is which type of digital business idea is the right one for you.
There are many options available, and the right one will depend on your budget, skills set and ultimately what you want to achieve.
Here are some of the future digital business ideas that we predict will be big in 2022.
Ecommerce and marketplaces
We’re all buying more and more online, with 2.14 billion people across the world buying at least one item online last year. While eCommerce has always been popular, COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdowns have accelerated its success. Why risk going outside when you can buy items from the comfort of your own home?
If you want to sell products to people, either your own or someone else’s, eCommerce could be perfect for you. Set up a website, launch a store and send your wares out to your customers.
If you want to sell your own products but you don’t want the hassle of creating your own website, a marketplace is a good alternative option. A website where buyers and sellers come together, some of the most popular marketplaces in the world today include Alibaba, Amazon, eBay and Etsy.
Is your skillset more on the web development side of things? No problem! You can look at creating an eCommerce/marketplace platform or app of your very own.
AR and VR
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are trending right now, and with good reason. These two technologies have exploded onto the scene over the past few years, creating virtual and enhanced worlds that help a wide range of industries.
The brilliant thing about AR and VR is that their uses are so varied. From the army using VR to train personnel to drive tanks to AR showing people how furniture will look in their homes, there are so many ways you can utilize these technologies.
Computers can now be used to carry out small, repetitive tasks, helping save time and make our lives easier. Artificial intelligence (AI) can do everything from managing voice searches on our mobile phones to helping diagnose diseases.
Artificial intelligence-based startups require a lot of technical skills as well as funding, so they may not be the most straightforward startup idea to implement. However, choose a great idea, and the sky is the limit!
Software as a Service
Software as a service (SaaS) is a cloud-based service (more on that later) which people can subscribe to.
Back in the day, if people wanted to use a piece of software, they would have to purchase it on CD-ROM and install it on their computer. SaaS opens up technology to a broader audience and makes it easier for people to access their tech from anywhere in the world.
Many of your favourite programmes and apps are SaaS. Dropbox, Zoom, Photoshop… Even Netflix is technically software as a service, as you have to subscribe to it!
One of the advantages of creating a SaaS startup is that once you have created the software, it’s easy to make money. All you need to do is get people to sign up! SaaS is easy to scale as well, meaning your digital business can grow as your needs do.
Whether, Apple Store or Google Play, the market for mobile apps is huge! It’s estimated that people spend nearly five hours a day using apps on their phones, in a market worth almost $350 billion.
The advantage of the mobile app market is the variety. Apps can be as simple or as complex as you like, and cover a wide range of different functions and purposes. From apps to encourage kids to brush their teeth to matchmaking apps for singletons, you can turn any business idea into a smartphone app.
Our top tip when it comes to creating incredible mobile apps? Create a minimum viable product (MVP) first. By creating a simple version of your app with the features your target audience want, you can get to market so much quicker.
Cloud computing is when you store and access files and data over the internet instead of your own computer. This technology powers SaaS and means people can access their content from anywhere in the world.
The rise of 5G technology and remote working has made cloud computing more important than ever before, with the market estimated to reach $1.6 trillion by 2030.
More and more information is moving online, meaning that cloud computing is a great digital business idea to get involved in.
Digital marketing services
Last but no means least on the list, we have digital marketing services.
Even though more companies are moving online, not all of them know how to promote themselves to the best of their ability, or have the budget to hire a full-time digital marketer. This means freelancers and agencies can take advantage by offering SEO, PPC, social media marketing and content writing skills.
The great advantage of getting into this niche is that you don’t need a lot of money to get started. All you need is a computer, an internet connection and a good set of skills!
In conclusion: the best small business to start is a digital one!
We hope this article has given you lots of insight and inspiration into starting a brand new digital business.
The great thing about digital startups is that they are relatively low risk, easy to set up and there is so much variety! Whether you want to launch an eCommerce store, a mobile app or the best SaaS that money can buy, there is a wide range of options.
Whatever digital business idea you choose to move ahead with, we wish you the very best of luck for 2022!
Looking for more inspiration to help start your new business idea in the year ahead? Here are some of our previous articles:
- Computer intelligence – how can startups use it in 2022?
- Ten ways to use IoT in the retail industry in 2022
- Top 10 eCommerce trends in software solutions 2022
- Top 10 marketplace ideas to work on in 2022
- Best startup ideas to launch in 2022
- Top 10 startup tools and platforms in 2022
- Healthcare Technology trends in 2022
- Top AR and VR ideas to work on in 2022 and how to use AR and VR in eCommerce in 2022
Need a new business idea for 2022? Let You Are Launched help
If you’re looking for the best future digital business ideas, we can help turn your thoughts into reality.
We’ve been working with startups and new businesses since 2014, helping them refine their ideas, receive funding and most importantly, get them to market.
If you’d like to find out more about how we can work together in 2022 (and beyond!), get in touch with us today.