Although the economy has shown signs of improvement, many people are still living without any real job prospects. Working from home is a novel solution, but can it be done without investing thousands of dollars in start-up costs? The online business model is revolutionizing entrepreneurship, and providing ample opportunities for job-seekers to find success which would not have been accessible to them a decade ago. There are in fact, many ways you can start an online business without costing you a penny.
eBay Have lots of junk laying around the house? You can make hundreds of dollars selling things you don’t want anymore. In fact, it is estimated that most people have hundreds if not thousands of dollars in unused items laying around their homes. Keep in mind that like any business, you may not be making large chunks of change at the beginning of your eBay venture. It is smart to start small and build your way up to the Power Seller level. Once you have successfully proven yourself as a reliable eBay seller, you can begin taking on clients and selling things with a commission on their behalf. Since the fees eBay charges to sell items are subtracted from your overall earnings and not taken upfront, selling for others is a viable option that can be very profitable.
Etsy has transformed DIY into a lucrative market which allows anyone to monetize on their creativity. Do you enjoy taking photographs or creating digital scrapbook items? Maybe you spend your free-time making crocheted phone covers or transforming thimbles into miniature famous landmarks? Whatever your talent, Etsy is a fantastic platform to sell your vintage or homemade items to people who appreciate the love and care such items bring with them. You control the amount of items you sell in your shop, so you can build up an inventory through the money you make on sales until you begin to make a profit.
There are websites all over the internet which allow you to create a business around your own skills as a freelancer. Whether you can write well, know your way around social media, or would make a great online personal assistant, there are opportunities waiting. Websites such as Odesk and Freelancer, allow you to set up a profile and apply to clients directly. It may be slow going at first, but as you begin to receive positive feedback from clients your reputation, jobs, and pay will increase. You can also set up a website which features your portfolio and allows clients to contact you directly. These can be set up for free on both WordPress and Blogger.
Things to consider
No matter which route you take with your online business, there are a few things you need to do before you set off.
Create an online business plan.
Once you decide what kind of business you want to build, you can lay out the goals, methods, and strategies for making it a reality. It will likely be a lot less detailed than a traditional business plan, but it is important to decide what it is you want to do, how you want to do it, and what you expect to get from doing it.
Decide on a billing service.
You need to have a way to get paid right? Ensure you sign up for a billing service that enables you to receive payments from clients or customers. PayPal is the most popular choice, especially if you plan on selling with Etsy or Ebay. You can also check out Moneybookers or Google Wallet, if you prefer a PayPal alternative. There has never been a better time to start an online business with no start-up capital. Having your own online business can change your life, and it’s a breath of fresh air. You can end the cycle of applying for jobs you are over-qualified for just to be rejected. Starting an online business will let you put your future in your own hands, and allow you to finally find success with your skills and talents.
Jessica Galbraith is an American freelance writer living in the UK. She shares articles on a variety of topics at mediashower.com.