36 Most Profitable Online Business Ideas For 2021

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We are towards the end of the year 2020. People across the world are taking their business online or starting their from scratch. And if you are still thinking whether to start one for your own, you might just get too late. Remember,

Early Bird Catches The Worm

However, given the fierce competition in the virtual world, it’s very important for you to find a profitable online business ideas that you can start in 2021. And in this blog post, I am not only going to cover the evergreen business ideas, but also the new and emerging online business ideas which are expected to generate huge profits in the coming years.


Let’s get straight to the list of the Top Ten Online Businesses that you can start right now.

Top Ten Online Business Ideas To Start In 2021

Below is the list of best and most profitable online business ideas that you can start in 2021. So get ready to taste the success

1. Blogging

Being a blogger myself, I can’t help but put Blogging over every other online business. But nope, I am not being biased here. Blogging does have a lot of scope in 2021 and of course in the coming years too.

Blogging will continue to flourish for as long as people continue to seek information on the world wide web. And with more people expected to get access to the internet, one can only predict a bright future for bloggers.

And here comes the best part, unlike other businesses which will require you to invest thousands of dollars, Blogging is dirt cheap. You can start a self-hosted WordPress blog by just purchasing Domain Name and Web Hosting which will cost you as low as $60

And before you get scared off with the technical jargons, starting a WordPress blog is easy as pie. You don’t have to get yourself dirty with the coding. Even a person with basic internet skills can get started with a blog of his own.

In fact, at some hosts, starting a blog is as easy as online shopping. All you need to do is buy a hosting and a domain name and you are done. The host will install the WordPress software on your hosting server and you can straightaway start posting your articles.

Among the recommended host, A2 Hosting provides Hosting account with WordPress pre-installed on it. Bluehost is another hosting company which can not only install WordPress for you but will also help you with the basic set-up of WordPress.

Both the above web hosting companies will cost you $60-$75 for the domain name as well as web hosting. And if you are looking for a cheaper option that Hostinger is cheap and will cost you under $48 for 4 years. And with our exclusive Hostinger Coupon Code you can get an extra 10% discount on Hostinger. 

Recommended Resources:

1. How To Start A WordPress Blog From Scratch

2. Start A YouTube Channel

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If you are looking for stardom, you can start your own YouTube Channel. Of course, the stardom comes with big paychecks.

And before you think, YouTubing and Vlogging is not your cup of tea, according to Forbes, the top YouTuber in 2018 was a 7-year-old boy Ryan, who made $26 million by uploading reviews of toys.

And he is not alone. According to Adweek, the top 1000 YouTube channels make an average of $23,000 each month. So there is a lot of money involved in YouTubing.

You can make videos of anything and everything and upload it on YouTuber provided it complies with YouTube Community Guidelines. So, if you are looking for stardom along with big paychecks, YouTubing is something you can consider as a career option.

And the best part is, if you already own a good quality camera and a microphone, this could be one of the best online business you can start without an investment.

Recommended Resources:

1. How Much Money Do YouTubers Make

2. YouTube Videos Ideas For 2021

3. Start VR/AR App Development Business

You will hardly find any takers for Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality application given their current market size. However, VR App Development is a futuristic concept which makes it one of the hottest and most profitable online business ideas in 2021.

As per an estimate, the VR Application market is likely to grow from $7.9 billion in 2018 to $44.7 Billion in 2024. So if you can start an online business for VR Application development, you can grab a big chunk of it.

If you are totally clueless about what Virtual reality is, you can enroll for a free course on Virtual Reality at Udemy. For the geeks, you can watch out for some advanced courses.

Recommended Resources:

1. Course: Introduction to VR with Unity @Udemy

2. Course: Build Virtual Reality Games for Android and iPhone @Udemy

4. Start IoT Development Business

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The Internet of Things (IoT) is another futuristic concept that is still not very popular in 2020. However, just like Virtual Reality, it is expected to grow at a very fast pace.

As reported in the IoT Analytics, the number of connected devices as of 2018 was 17 billion which is expected to double to 34.2 billion in 2025. As per Forbes, worldwide technology spending on the Internet of Things is expected to reach $1.2 trillion in 2022.

All this makes IoT Development to be one of the best online business to start in 2020.

Recommended Resources:

1. Course: Complete Guide to Build IOT Things from Scratch to Market @ Udemy

2. Course: Programming Internet of Things – Beginning to Advanced Level @ Udemy

5. Sell SaaS-based software

Software as a Service (SaaS) is a software distribution model in which the software is hosted centrally on the cloud and customers can access it through their web browser. The licensing is usually on a subscription basis.

Off late, more customers are preferring SaaS-based software as the software does not require any installation and can be used from anywhere. Also, the customers do not have to worry about the upgrades as the same is handled by the company.

For the developers too, it is beneficial as the marketing cost for a virtual software is usually lower than physical software. Also, since upgrading the software do not require replacing the software entirely, more people are likely to go for upgrades. It also brings down the risk of piracy to zero.

Due to all these advantages and with better internet penetration, SaaS-based software are marking their way into the market which makes it a lucrative online business to start in 2020.

Recommended Resources:

1. How to sell SaaS: 9 tips for startup sales success

2. 10 Reasons Why SaaS Model Is Beneficial For Vendors And Clients

6. Start A Web Development Business

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Wouldn’t you agree if I say that digital businesses are replacing the traditional forms of business?

Of course, you would.

Online websites no longer restrict themselves to selling software and virtual products. In 2020, everything from Electronics to Groceries to Furniture and Food is being sold online.

Needless to say, people need websites and blogs to market their products online. And to build and design a unique website, they need Web Developers and Designers.

And Web Development business is on our list of Top Ten Online Business not just because it has huge scope for you to expand. Web Development is also very cheap to start.

If you know Web Development and designing, you can start a freelance business with almost zero investment. To start a web development as a freelancer, all you need is a computer with a good configuration and some software, most of which are free.

Since web development can be started with almost zero investment it can get you huge returns, it is one of the most profitable online business you can start in 2020.

Recommended Resources:

1. Course: The Complete Web Developer Course 2.0 @ Udemy

3. The Ultimate Guide to Starting a Web Design Business @CodeInWP

7. Android Development

Android has a lion’s share in the mobile operating system market with more than 2 billion devices powered by Android. So, the demand for applications in the Google Play Store is huge.

In fact, with more people leaning towards mobile for accessing the internet through smartphones, the demand for Android phones is rising exponentially. Businesses don’t want to be left behind and hence they are spending heavily to develop the best Android Application.

Because of this huge potential, Android development features in our list of top ten online businesses.

Recommended Resources:

1. Course: The Complete Android P + Java Developer Course : 2019 @Udemy

3. How to start Android app development for complete beginners in 5 steps

8. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Business

We have already discussed earlier how every business wants to have an online presence. However, you cannot expect business just by having a website. You need people to visit the website for getting the sales.

And the best way to get traffic to your website is through Google search. However, studies have shown that of all the people that use Google search, 91.5% of them click on a search result only on first page of Google SERP with the first result of the first page getting more than one-third of the clicks.

Therefore, if a business wants to get more sales, they have to make sure to be on the first page of Google, preferably, in the top three positions. And that’s what Search Engine Optimizers do; they help businesses to reach to the top of Google Search.

That’s the reason, in 2020, businesses allot a major chunk of their budget to Search Engine Optimization. This makes SEO to be one of the best online businesses you can start today. 

While SEO is mostly free to start, you will have to spend money to buy SEO tools like SEMRush and Ahrefs.

Recommended Resources:

1. Course: Complete SEO Training + SEO For WordPress Websites @Udemy

2. Training: Get SEO Training In India by @Digital Magus

3. Course: The Beginner’s Guide To SEO by @Moz

9. Start Affiliate Marketing Business

Again, despite being an affiliate marketer myself, I am not being biased here. In fact, any list of Top Ten Online Business will be incomplete without affiliate marketing.

So, what exactly is affiliate marketing and why does it make it to this list of best online business?

Affiliate Marketing is the process in which you earn a commission by promoting a company’s product or services through a unique link, called an Affiliate Link.

Whenever someone clicks on your affiliate link and makes a purchase, the company will pay you a commission for the same. However, a few companies also pay its affiliates for generating sales leads for them.

Most companies will require you to have a blog for approving you to be part of their affiliate program. However, some companies don’t put forward any such conditions and you can promote their products in social media and email marketing.

What makes Affiliate Marketing stand out is that fact that income from Affiliate Marketing is often recurring. If you write a Review Blog Post today and put an affiliate link inside the same, you will continue to generate income from it for as long as you are able to drive traffic to that post.

Recommended Resources:

1. Course: Amazon Affiliate Marketing @Udemy

2. Article: Affiliate Marketing Made Simple: A Step-by-Step Guide By Neil Patel

10. Start Ethical Hacking Business

Over the years, companies have invested heavily in securing their software and IT systems. Despite this, malicious hackers continue to exploit the vulnerabilities and crack into the system. That’s the reason, companies have started to hire the services of “Ethical Hackers”

An ethical hacker is a computer security expert that tries to penetrate the computer networking system by finding the security vulnerabilities that a malicious hacker could exploit.

Once the ethical hackers are able to find any vulnerability, they pass on the details about the same to the company. The company then takes a measure to fix the vulnerability and pays the Ethical Hacker for their services.

You can find ethical hacking work on websites like Upwork where organizations are looking out for ethical hackers to test their system. Hackerone is another platform where companies hire Ethical Hackers and pay them if they are able to find any security lapses.

And it’s not the smaller companies who are unable to invest a lot on hiring security specialists that use the services of independent ethical hackers. Companies like Facebook and Google have their Bounty programs where ethical hackers are rewarded for finding bugs.

In fact, in 2018, Facebook paid out a huge bounty of $50,000 to an ethical hacker. So, if you are a hacker using your skills for the wrong purpose, you can join the several hackers who converted from malicious hacking to ethical hacking.

Recommended Resources:

1. Course: Learn Ethical Hacking From Scratch @Udemy

2. Course: Certified Ethical Hacking Course @ SimpliLearn

Other Profitable Online Business Ideas

The above were the top ten online business ideas. However, you may or may not have the necessary skills and interest in these ideas. So, for the ones who want to get more ideas, below are some other Online Business Ideas that still work in 2020.

11. iOS Development

iOS Development lost out to Android Development in our list of Top Ten Online Businesses. However, that does not mean iOS development is not worth it. In fact, it is still one of the best online business to start in 2020. And I say this for a reason.

Though Android is by far the most popular mobile operating system, over the years, iOS is slowly picking up and closing the gap in market share. In fact, in several countries including Japan and Ireland, iOS has a higher market share as compared to Android.

Needless to say, most companies want to have their own iOS App to make sure not to miss out potential business from iPhone users. 

12. Create Your Own Paid App For Apple App Store

We’ve already discussed that Apple is the closest competitor to Android and is slowly improving its market share. However, when it comes to revenue from apps, Apple App store leaves behind Google Play Store by far as Apple users spend twice as much as Android users.

The major reason for this is that the average income of iPhone users is much higher than that of Android users. So if you are planning to create a paid app, iOS App should be your first preference.

13. Resell Web Hosting

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For a website to work, you need to store the files necessary for the functioning of the website on a server. We call this server as a web hosting server. Almost everyone hosting a website prefers renting a web hosting server from a web hosting company to cut down the costs for maintaining and securing the server.

More the websites go online, more will be the demand for web hosting servers. So, if you can start a web hosting company, you can make quick bucks with this growing business.

Starting a full-fledged Web Hosting Business is not cheap and requires huge investments which makes it a risky option. However, several hosting companies allow you to resell their servers with your own brand name.

All you need to do is buy Reseller Hosting packages from a reputed hosting company like A2 Hosting, Fastcomet, Inmotion Hosting, etc and then create a website of your own to sell them.

14. Content Writing Business

On the world wide web, you will find content everywhere. Whether it’s a business website or a blog, everyone needs unique and high-quality content to convert their audience into buyers and subscribers.

And not just blogs and business websites, you will find content along with videos and podcasts too. Content is how you get found on the internet. It’s just the way the world wide web works.

However, generating high-quality content that is also unique is a big task for businesses whose priority is to focus on sales and not writing content for their website and blogs. Same holds true for bloggers with multiple websites. They just can’t find time to generate enough content.

That’s when a content writer comes into the picture. With the fast-growing online world, the need for content and thus for content writers is at peak. Whether it is copywriting the content for websites or writing blogs, I don’t see the demand for content writers going down anytime soon.

15. Podcasting

If you are someone who cannot express views and emotions in words, podcasting is a good way for you to reach out to your target audience. Though podcasting is not as popular as Blogging or YouTubing, it is slowly picking up pace as people are getting busy with their lives.

As my friend Enstine Muki puts it, a lot of people these days prefer podcasts over blogs and videos as they can turn it on while they drive or complete their daily chores. They don’t have to stick to the computer or their smartphone screen to listen to a podcast.

The most common way of monetizing a podcast include selling sponsorships and promoting your products and services. Of course, as podcasts are getting more and more popular, podcasters are finding new ways to Monetize their podcasts.

16. Social Media Marketing

Most people use social media for relaxing after a hectic day. However, for small businesses and bloggers like me, it is a cost-effective place to get more business.

Not only it helps you to reach out to your target audience, but it also helps you to connect with them and get useful feedback to make your products and services better.

Of course, Social Media Marketing is not as easy as most people think. It’s not about posting random content. Rather you must do thorough research of your target audience and post insightful content that helps your audience connect with your brand.

Of course, that requires skills and that’s the reason companies hire social media marketers. So, if you are a social media junkie who knows social media in and out, Social Media Marketing is a perfect online business for you to start in 2020.

17. Graphics Designing Business

Are you a creative person who loves using the right side of his brain? If that’s a yes, you can make some good money by starting a graphics designing business.

Unlike most online businesses, Graphics Designing is not restricted to the internet. From logos to business brochures and visiting cards to designing of advertising hoardings, you can show your creativity in the offline world too.

And do I even have to talk about the scope of Graphics designing? Graphics are an integral part of every business, small or large, online or offline.

18. Sell eBooks

If you are a writer, you can also consider selling your eBook. The best thing about selling ebooks is that you can start it with minimal investment. Add to it, you can save hours by publishing an eBook which you would have otherwise spent on finding a publication who would be interested in your book.

Amazon is a great platform for self-publishing your eBook.

Of course, there are several other platforms for you to sell your eBook. You can also start a blog and promote your eBook to your target audience through paid advertising.

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19. Online Tutor

If you are a teacher or someone who loves teaching, you should definitely consider providing online coaching. To start an online teaching business you have to pay nothing from your pocket. No classrooms needed, no marketing costs, nothing whatsoever.

There are many websites like Tutor.com where you can join and start teaching your favorite subject. Some websites may require you to have a relevant qualification and experience, whereas others do not have any such criteria as long as you know the subject well.

Talking about the scope, the online education market is set to grow at a CAGR of 10.26% to become a US$286.62 billion market by 2023. So, you can expect quick growth if you can dive into this field now.

20. Sell Your Online Courses

Income from online teaching is not recurring. You get paid for the number of hours you teach. However, if you wish to have a source of recurring income, you can make online courses and sell them at websites like Udemy.

The courses could be anything that people may find useful. From Math to English Speaking to Affiliate Marketing and Money Making, you can make online courses for anything that you know the best.

Apart from Udemy, you can also promote the courses on your own blog or website. By this way, you can avoid paying commissions to a third party and can offer the courses at a cheaper price.

The best way to promote online courses on your own blog is through Facebook Advertising. Several people are making big money by promoting their online courses through Facebook.

21. Sell Your Merchandise

Already got an offline business of your own? It’s a great idea to take it online and sell your merchandise to expand your business.

Unlike offline business which is often restricted to people from the city or even the same area, by taking your business online, you can reach out to people from across the globe. All this without having to develop and manage your dealership network.

You can sell your merchandise on websites like Amazon, eBay, and Craiglist. If you have a fairly large business, you can also consider starting your own website and selling the products through it.

22. Domain Flipping

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According to Verisign, there were 348.7 million registered domains at the end of Q4 of 2018. The data also shows an increase of 6.3 million domains during the Q4 which turns out to be 70,000 domain registrations each day.

Such a huge demand for domain names makes it very difficult for businesses to find desired domain names especially if you are seeking to get a domain name with the most popular .com extension. Over the years, it will be harder to find good domain names.

Domain Flipping is a business wherein you invest money to buy good domain names you think people might be interested to buy. You can then put these domain names for selling at a fixed price or auction them at websites like Sedo.

Domain names are very commonly sold at a price exceeding $1000. Some unique domains are sold for a price exceeding $10000. The most expensive domain deal till date was for LasVegas .com which was sold for a massive price of $90 Million.

However, Domain Flipping is not easy. Professional domainers usually have a portfolio with hundreds of attractive domain names. However, several of these Domain Names remain unsold for years and some of them are never sold.

Despite the risk, Domain Flipping is still an attractive business since Domain Names can be bought for a cheap price of $10 at websites likes Namecheap.

So, if you think you can find worthy domain names that people might be interested in buying and you have the patience to hold several Domain Names for years, Domain Flipping is something you can try.

23. Website Flipping

If domain flipping can give you good returns, Website Flipping can get you even better reasons. In Website Flipping, you buy a domain name, build a website on it, get it ranked on Google SERP through your knowledge of SEO and then sell it at a premium price.

But, Website Flipping is even more difficult than Domain Flipping. To be able to fetch a good price, your website should contain quality articles and at least a few of these articles should be ranking well on the Google SERP.

Add to it, your website should have a clean and neat backlinks profile and a decent Domain Authority And Domain Rating.

24. Sell Your Merchandise On Amazon

The e-commerce business is booming and so is Amazon. So, if you’re already into an established business, you can sell your product on Amazon. Although you will have to share your profit with Amazon, it still turns out to be a good deal as you can push your product to a large number of engaged shoppers thereby increasing your sales multifold.

25. Sell Your Merchandise On Your Own Website

Selling on Amazon is good for businesses who are into manufacturing as well as Wholesaling. The competitive pricing on Amazon makes it an unviable platform for retailers. That’s when you can consider selling your merchandise on your own website. Of course, even if you are a manufacturer or a wholesaler, you can sell on your own e-commerce website to get better margins.

Creating and managing an e-commerce website is not as difficult and cost-intensive as most people think. You can easily create an e-commerce website for yourself using the Shopify Platform. Alternately, you can hire freelancers on Upwork and Freelancer.com to create a customized e-commerce website for $1000 or even lower.

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26. Develop WordPress Themes

WordPress Development is awesome. But not everyone can afford to shell out enough for the efforts required to develop a fully-customized theme. But this client base is too huge to be ignored.

And that’s when WordPress Theme Development comes into the picture. As a WordPress developer, you can develop a WordPress theme which offers a fair amount of customization options at the backend. You can then sell this theme on your own website or through Marketplaces such as Envato.

27. Become A Virtual Assistant

A Virtual assistant is a person who provides technical, administrative as well as creative support to a business from a remote location. A lot of businesses these days are preferring to hire the services of virtual assistants over full-time or even part-time employees to reduce their fixed overhead costs.

As per a survey, the Global Virtual Assistant market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 26.29% to reach US$12.383 billion by 2024, from US$3.052 billion in 2018. So, if providing services from home is something that interests you, then you should definitely consider Virtual Assistant Online Business.

28. Become A Social Media Influencer

Social Media is no longer a way to connect with friends and family. It is one important tool for businesses to advertise their products and hiring Social Media Influencers who have a large fan following is one of the way brands prefer to reach out to their target customers for advertisements.

So, if you are a Social Media Junkie and have a large following on Twitter or Instagram, you can get paid big amounts to endorse products from brands.

29. Online Designer At PoD Websites

Print on Demand websites popularly known as PoD websites are gaining a lot of popularity these days. At PoD websites, you can design T-shirts, accessories and more using their online designing software.

Customers can then see your designs and buy them if they like. Once a purchase is made by the buyer, the website will print your design on the product that the customer selected and will pay you a commission for designing the product.

30. Resume Writer

A study revealed that recruiters spend around an average of six seconds to review a Resume. That’s the reason a lot of job seekers these days get their resumes designed and written by a professional resume writer.

A professional resume writer, not only makes the Resume attractive enough to last more than these 6 seconds, but he also designs it in such a way to pass the maximum information during this short span. With the job market expected to get more competitive, Resume writing can be one of the best online business ideas for you to start a business right now.

31. Online Proofreader

Not everyone who writes content on the internet is a native English speaker. English isn’t my first language either. So, for people like us, it becomes extremely difficult to make sure our content is grammatically correct. That’s why proofreading the content becomes so important for people like us.

While Proofreading tools like Grammarly does help a lot. They are far from accurate, especially if your content has to be Grammatically perfect. That’s when professional proofreaders come into the picture.

A professional proofreader is needed not only by bloggers but also writers and small businesses.  Also, proofreading jobs are not just limited to the English language, but also regional languages.

So, if you have excellent command over a language, you can start a proofreading online business.

32. Search Engine Evaluator

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Google and Bing (Microsoft) use bots to analyze the content of the page. They then use an algorithm to share the best search results for you. However, bots cannot see pages like humans do. So at times, Search Engines can mess up the results displayed for a search query.

As a Search Engine Evaluator, you will be responsible for evaluating the quality of search results. The job does sound easy. However, it is not the case.

Every search engine has a quality guideline. For example, here is Google’s Search Evaluator Guidelines. As a search engine evaluator, you need to understand these guidelines and apply the same while accessing the quality of search results.

That’s the reason, Search Engine Evaluator jobs pay really well especially gives that they fall into the Work From Home Online Jobs category.

33. Website And Application Tester

Gone are the days when you could build a shabbily designed website and application and still get people to visit it. With so much competition out there, the UX of a website and application has become really important.

That’s the reason, businesses hire people to test their website and application and share their review of the UX as well as the flow and ease of using the same. They use the feedback received to make the website or application better.

As a Tester, you need access to a Computer with a Screen Recorder and Mic. You could very well work from the comfort of your home. All you have to do is record your screen as you browse through various pages or screens and record your feedback through the mic.

34. Online Fitness Coach

Are you a fitness coach? If so, you can take your business online and provide fitness training services via Skype, Email or Apps like Trainiac and Fitbot.

In today’s world, a lot of people have realized the importance of staying fit. However, not everyone has the budget to hire a one-on-one personal trainer. That’s the reason more and more people these days are preferring to hire Online Fitness Coach.

Also, by offering your fitness consultation services online, you are not limited to getting clients in your locality. Rather, you can get clients from around the globe.

35. Blogger Outreach Specialist

Guest Blogging is one of the best ways to build your brand, get backlinks to your blog as well as get some real traffic. However, being a blogger myself, I know reaching out to webmasters and other bloggers for guest posting opportunity is a very tedious and time-consuming task.

That’s the a lot of bloggers and webmasters including myself prefer hiring services of a Blogger Outreach Specialist. A Blogger Outreach Specialists first prepares the list of possible websites for guest posting, drafts and sends out email pitches and then follows up with these bloggers until your article is published on a relevant authority website.

Blogger Outreach Specialists usually charge on the basis of the number of pitches sent or the number of guest posts completed.

36. Online Translation Business

With the globalization of the world, online businesses are not limited to their respective country, but they cater to customers around the globe. However, the biggest obstacle they face while dealing with foreign clients is the language barrier.

The problem is huge especially if the communication is between countries where English is not very common, for example, Germany, France, Japan, China, etc. That’s the reason, it’s important for online businesses to design websites, user manuals, etc. in multiple languages.

An Online Translator makes it easy for businesses, say in the US, to hire a native translator from Germany or Japan. You can either work as a freelance translator via websites like Upwork and Freelancer or start your own website dedicated to translation business.

Final Words

Online Businesses are the need of the hour. However, finding a profitable online business idea is the most difficult part. In this article, I have tried my best to not only include the Top Ten Online Businesses but also 25 other online businesses for you to consider.

Do you think any other ideas on this should be promoted to the Top Ten Online Businesses list? Or got any new business idea to share? Use the comments form below to share it with us.


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