What Kind of Online Business Should I Start? - The Top 3 Online Business Models

If you were given a personalized roadmap of EXACTLY what to do and in what order to start a profitable online business, you would do what it takes to get your business up and running in no time. Am I right?!

BUT, when you research tips and tricks, you get an overload of info trying to convince you what the next best thing is to build your business. It can get so overwhelming, especially since…you’ve never done this before!

And so you’re really left scratching your head, asking, “What kind of online business should I start?!

  • Do you sell an info product?

  • Do you become a coach?

  • Do you run a course?

Ugh, too many options!!! How do you get clear about what to do?

I feel you! I remember being there myself.

So, after building a few businesses and having the privilege of helping other people build their businesses, I want to share with you three top online business models that have been BIG money makers for my clients…

AND let you know how to decide which is right for YOU!


Whether you’re passionate about social media or branding or you’re wondering how to set up an online coaching business, at least one of these models will probably work for your business niche. Whether or not they’ll work for you is a different story … really, no two businesses are created equally. It’s all about using your strengths and the market conditions to find the best way forward.  I’ve worked with ALL types of clients, and for each we’ve been able to find an online business model that works for them!

Ready to dive in? Let’s go.



The best online business models of 2019

1-1 Coaching

This is a very popular business model and the one I chose for my current business. It starts with offering 1-1 coaching, transitions to providing group programs, and then shifts into creating courses that run on autopilot (seeing money come in on your phone as your traveling in Bali?! YES PLEASE!)

This model is great for those who are entering a market where coaching is already accepted, who feel ready to learn how to make direct sales, and are really interested in providing stellar quality results for people (you’ll get great testimonials this way, too).

It gives you the flexibility to adjust in real time as you’re working with someone and learning the business. You might not have a huge plan in place in the beginning, but you can course correct as you go!

Once you’re more comfortable with sales and getting clients, this model will generate a good amount of income which will help you jump into other endeavors like paid traffic through Facebook advertising or hiring a team.

A quick caveat: this model has you go through a steep learning phase. To charge premium prices, you really have to get good at knowing exactly what your customer wants and how to have those uncomfortable sales conversations on the phone. Knowing how to tell them why you are THE BEST for the job is key!

Group Programs

My second model begins with offering group coaching, first, then moves into offering 1-1 coaching. You can then transition to creating courses.

The idea is to start a short-term group program that offers very definitive stages and deliverables for your members. For this model, you charge each member less than you would 1-1 coaching but still generate similar revenue since you have a higher volume of clients.

From there, you can seed your offer for 1-1 coaching during the group program and convert a few people into clients for your 1-1 coaching services at the end. This will ease you into the sales process since your clients will have gotten to know you over the course of the program.

This model is good for those who need help getting comfortable with those tough sales convos (we’ve all been there!) and acquiring clients 1-1.

An issue with this model is finding volume traffic if you don’t have a large following (especially in the beginning when you don’t want to be spending on paid advertising). Also, it can be difficult for some people to work in a group. Clients might not speak up as often or contribute as much as they would 1-1. People tend to be more dedicated and work for bigger results when they pay more! You, as the consultant, will also have more to juggle in group settings with answering client questions, keeping engagement up, etc! And lastly, it takes energy to launch a program. You’ll be in heavy sales mode for a couple of weeks and then roll straight into a program, and that can really drain your energy.

Done-for-You Services  

This last model has proven to be SUPER successful for many of my clients.

In this model, you start with Done-for-You services. Instead of coaching your client on how to do a service, you actually DO it for them! Once you have built up solid testimonials you can shift into a consulting phase and from there, start creating courses.

Once you start coaching/consulting for this service, you can take a few different paths.

  1. You can coach those same clients on how to move forward with doing that Done-for-You service.

  2. You can start consulting a whole new set of clients on how to provide that service.

  3. You can teach other up-and-coming service providers how to do the service you’ve been providing.

A few really popular businesses that use this model are web designers, social media managers, and copywriters.

This business model is perfect for people who feel comfortable delivering a result but may not feel as comfortable teaching. Or, their market is hungry for someone to do the service for them, but they do not want to learn how to do it themselves.

It’s NOT ideal for people that find it difficult to deal with people that are demanding and want to see multiple revisions … or if the work itself is tiring when you have to do it over and over again.

Interested in figuring out if one of these business models would be a fit for you and appealing for your potential clients … or if you should do something else entirely?!

Schedule a call with me! We can talk about what steps you need to take to launch your dream biz.

Plus, you’ll get a feel for what it’s like to work with a business coach!

Here’s to getting crystal clear on what kind of online business you should start,

Jenna