While every successful internet business takes work, some are easier to start than others. That’s especially true if you’re new to making money online in Canada. After receiving countless inquiries about the fastest and easiest online businesses to start in Canada, we decided to share five of the most successful we’ve seen.
Naturally, to operate any business online you’ll need a website that caters to Canadians. Our Checklist: Choosing a Website Host for your Canadian Business is an excellent place to start your search. If you want to sell products on your Canadian website, we have A Canadian Guide to Finding the Best eCommerce Platform Software.
5 Quick and Easy Online Businesses to Start in Canada
Your entrepreneurial journey can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. The following online business ideas for Canadians are relatively fast and easy to start.
1. Drop Shipping
Without a doubt, drop shipping is the easiest, fastest and least expensive way to sell products online. You don’t even need inventory and you don’t have to ship anything. Basically, you connect with a wholesale supplier or manufacturer to sell their products direct online. You can offer these products on your own website, or via online auctions like eBay, or through a sellers’ market like Amazon. The customer price minus the wholesale cost equals your profit.
There are several one-stop options with millions of products from a huge selection of wholesalers. They make it easy with their options to sell on your own site, through their website packages, or even direct to online auctions and marketplaces.
If you’re looking for unique Canadian drop shipping suppliers, consider Spocket. One of the most popular choices for Canadians considering global dropshipping is Wholesale2B. They have several plans that facilitate selling over 1.5 million products directly on Amazon or Google, or through a website (your own or via one of their website plans). You can be up & running with little more effort than searching & clicking.
More information about drop shipping in Canada: Drop Shipping / Wholesale for Canadian Sellers
2. Web translation
In Canada, there are plenty of websites, social media, and videos that need a French version. Set up a basic website and promote your services. You can also network with web designers and even offer them a commission if they refer clients to you.
Start an Online Content Translation Business in Canada
3. Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistants may do anything from online marketing to secretarial tasks. Whatever skill you have that can be done remotely, is marketable under the ‘Virtual Assistant’ label. Tasks like collaborative design and accounting are easily accomplished thanks to “the cloud”, along with other online collaboration and file sharing tools. You’ll need a web presence, preferably with a blog that demonstrates your level of expertise in your chosen specialty.
A closely-related option is using your skills on a freelance basis, such as digital content freelancing. If you need marketable qualifications, you can take a course in digital marketing, social media administration or other profession suitable for working at home.
Check out our guide, How to Become a Virtual Assistant (VA) in Canada, for more info.
4. Auctions and Online Marketplaces
The perfect way to try online business is through auctions and online marketplaces. This option can go well beyond eBay, with massive online marketplaces like Amazon, or specialized marketplaces like Etsy. More and more Canadians are finding out that selling on marketplaces like Amazon can become a thriving business. They use creative methods for sourcing and selling merchandise. Taking advantage of FBA (fulfillment by Amazon) makes it much easier to manage and usually increases sales.
Tools and courses have been launched specifically for Amazon sellers, designed by their colleagues to streamline the marketplace learning process and legwork. Jungle Scout has a highly-rated FBA course, along with a suite of popular Amazon tools for product & keyword research, competitive intelligence and product sourcing.
If you don’t want to learn it all and do it all, you don’t have to! There are lots of freelance experts covering every aspect of selling on Amazon and similar online marketplaces.
For more information about making money online with auctions and marketplaces, read Online Marketplaces for Canadian Sellers.
5. Start a Blog
Lucrative blogging has a learning curve but you don’t have to learn it all at once. The most important thing you need to know right now, is you must choose a niche that is a happy medium between popularity and originality. Set it up on your own domain/hosting for the most monetization options. The majority of hosts now offer easy WordPress set-up.
Once you’re established, you can do quite well with sponsorship from individual companies, product sales, and/or affiliate marketing. There are several WordPress plugins that facilitate a range of ways to make money with your blog.
Learn more from our free ultimate guide: How to Make Money Blogging in Canada.
If you need more guidance, follow our checklist How to Start an Online Business in Canada.
Will you be starting any of these easy online businesses in Canada? Please post any questions in the comments below or discuss this and other online business topics in the Online Business Canada Facebook group.
7 Recession Proof Online Businesses To Start From Home
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Melody McKinnon's formal education is in business management, which she enhanced with more than 60 certifications revolving around business, marketing, health, general sciences and writing. In 25 years of working online, she has owned or managed both educational and ecommerce websites. Her book, 7 Recession Proof Online Businesses to Start From Home, is available on Amazon.
Melody has worked with many businesses & brands in a multitude of capacities. She can often be found on CanadiansInternet.com, CanadianFamily.net and AllNaturalPetCare.com, as well as other quality digital publications. Her content has earned reference links from highly-respected websites, magazines and university textbooks.
Melody you are an asset to this country!!! Thanks for the crazy amount of info & guidence you share with Canadians. Like a zillion other entrepreneurs here I’m scrambling to get a website up & running and I can’t express how thankful I was to find this site. I’m confident I can do this now!!!
Thanks for taking the time to share your kind words, Alton, I wish you all the best.
Get used to it! Thanks for the informative article. Very relevant information, in my opinion. During a pandemic, we are increasingly trying to find a way to make money online. It is a very good idea to start an online business. It is not very difficult for us. The main thing is to come up with an idea and start implementing it.
Amazing how easy it is really. With builders you can have a site online in a few hours but there’s more to figure out than that. It’s actually faster to do it yourself than it is to hire a designer and cheaper too!
Thanks so much for the ideas and kick in the pants ;).
I want to quit my job so bad! I’m going for a virtual assistant business parttime for now and then go fulltime when I have enough clients. Soooooooooonnnnnn!!!
When I checked before I couldn’t find hardly any ways to make money online. Lots that looked shady but that’s about it. Now lots of people are jumping online and doing good. Maybe it’s finally my turn?
Web translation is a good idea, but there are many other lang. in Canada, not only French
I guess I’m going to find out just how quick & easy becoming a VA is LOL! Trying to find clients must be stressful all the time but I guess I’ll get people coming to me after awhile I hope!!
Quick & easy is just what the doctor ordered for this busy mompreneur. Great ideas and very inspiring post.
I’m determined to get an online business going this year. Well…I said that last year too LOL but I mean it this year!!! Thanks for teh kick in my behind.
You just helped with my new year resolution, don’t you feel special now? LOL Thanks!
I’ve done a ton of affiliate marketing but I must agree that drop shiping pays much better once you get it going. Everything on the list can take some time to take off but once it does you’ll never look back. Living the dream!
I started drop-shipping 4 years ago & never looked back! Profits increase the more I learn so do yourself a favour & learn as much as you can as fast as you can.
I started with affiliate marketing but quickly moved into dropship. I like having a little mre control over things and I never have to wonder if I’ll get credit for every sale.
Interestng ideas. I’m Canadian and I drop ship to the US mostly but I’ve started to expand to Canada. Canadians shop online more now and there’s less competition here. This Christmas has been the best yet. I still work part time so we can save for r retirement.
French translation! Why didn’t I think of that? Great idea! I started dropshipping last year and started making sales right away at ebay, then amazon. Now the website is getting traffic and making more sales by itself. I didn’t know hardly anything about ecommerce when I started but Wholesale2b made it pretty easy to get going. Good recommendation.
Learning everything about online businesses has almost made me quit a few times I have to be honest! I’m really starting to get it now and finally got brave enough to buy a domain. Off to read the post about hosting now! Thanks!