If you're ready to be in charge of your own destiny, but don’t have the capital to buy a franchise or open up a storefront, consider starting an online business. When your store is online, you can reach millions of customers instead of whoever happens to wander in - plus, you don't have to pay for retail space. However, like with any business, you'll need an excellent product and a solid marketing plan. See Step 1 to learn what it takes to start your business online.
As an Instacart personal grocery shopper, you will actually be doing the grocery shopping yourself (so don’t crush anyone’s avocados!). Your compensation depends on several factors, like the average size of your orders and average number of miles driven per trip. You can also get tips in addition to the pay that comes directly from Instacart (most people report an average earnings rate of $15 per hour).
Sell scavenged valuables. If you have a metal detector, or even just a good eye, go to public places where people are likely to drop something unnoticed (such as parks, beaches, and shopping areas), and look for money, jewelry and other valuable goods. This method isn’t very reliable, but you just might get lucky and be able to find something you can sell quickly for cash.
Blogging is still a viable online business idea, and one with as much potential as ever. Just make sure that you start a blog on something that people actually want to read about. If that happens to be something you're passionate about that's great. But you need to understand that it's way easier to monetize a blog about organic dog food than it is to make money from a blog about obscure literary fiction.
To work in customer service, it is important that you have a noise-free environment so that you can listen to customers and respond in the appropriate way. One basic requirement for this type of position is a landline phone – not VOIPs (voice over Internet phone service) or cell phones. Some companies listed will hire you as an independent contractor, so you will be responsible for your own taxes. Businesses that provide home-based customer support opportunities include Arise and LiveOps.
Do you love taking pictures and have a general passion for photography? If so, you could make a very nice living for yourself online selling your photos. There are countless people who are willing to pay you good money for your collection of unique images you have to offer. Today more than ever it’s super easy to submit your pics to the masses, which can provide you with a very convenient approach to creating a solid source of additional income. Several stock photo sites like Shutterstock and Fotolia offer enticing incentives for individuals to earn money passively from the photos they randomly shoot in their spare time.
26. Services – You can offer a paid service, such as life coaching, blog coaching, goal setting or financial planning. Just be sure to investigate all the legal implications and make sure you’re not claiming to be a professional if you’re not one. With a service like this, you’re basically using your blog to sell yourself. You’ll need to convince people that you’re worth buying and then be able to back up your claims once they purchase your service.
However, this only further illuminates the exponential rise of online business today. Considering that the internet is still largely in its infancy, as the modern conveniences give way to near-instant delivery of products via drones, 3D printing and other means, and as virtual and augmented reality help to improve the online shopping experience, nearly all our commerce will eventually be conducted through online channels rather than offline channels.
I know what you're thinking. How do you start a webinar business? Well, webinars are quite possibly one of the best ways that you can sell anything online. The best part? You don't even need your own product. Webinar guru, Jason Fladlien, co-founder of Rapid Crush, has grossed well north of $100 million in sales via webinars, which goes to show you the sheer power of this medium for selling.
For a deeper look into this idea, I recommend checking out the case study in Will It Fly? on Noah Kagan, who is really detailed and transparent about starting his business. He validated a beef jerky subscription company (yum!), which proved to be a unique and inspiring example of determining the costs of items before starting a business. He didn’t pay for anything up front; he was just smart about asking: how much does this cost, and how much money do I need to reach my goal? His goal was to validate his idea by making $1,000 profit in twenty-four hours, and that’s exactly what he was able to do.
There's an audience for everything, whether it's making dollhouse furniture or creating organic dog food. With a specialty e-commerce store, you can reach those customers who are seeking your specific products. All you need is a web-hosting service with an integrated shopping cart feature or with e-commerce software, and your business will be operational in no time. You can even work with vendors to ship products to customers on your behalf, which means you don't need to own a lot of inventory. [See Related Story: A Small Business Guide to E-Commerce Shipping]
I know that in the ecommerce and physical product world, there are a lot of costs up front, which vary depending on the product. Sometimes you’re going to have to spend a significant amount of money up front to pay for a mold, like Bret Miller did with his product Brik Book, which is a physical product with a specific shape that needs to be reproduced on a large scale. The mold itself could cost up to tens of thousands of dollars. In this case, a crowdfunding campaign could be an excellent option to cover those costs. Listen to Bret talk about the story of Brik Book on SPI 217.
While this is not technically “at home,” you can still earn great money without ever getting on the phone using your personal car, bike, or scooter to deliver food, give people rides, and even picking up groceries. The great thing about these companies is that it's also very flexible work. No one is telling you when to start and stop. You just do as much work as you can, when you can.