All of us want to earn money and today with the advent of technology and innovation, there are various ways to earn money apart from the traditional ways like having a 9 to 6/8/10/11… job. You can start your own business. It need not be something that requires a huge amount of capital, human resources and material resources. You can start small, earn money and then expand. (Read – Money Vs Job Satisfaction)
Here are some ideas that can be started small but can be profitable if done correctly –
Online Research – You have a good laptop and a good Internet connection and like to spend time surfing the net. You could get assignments related to research especially in fields of your interest and capability. Of course it is not as simple as conducting a Google search on the topic and compiling a report using the first few search results. You need to go through industry journals and research articles and back up your research with hard facts. Law firms, financial companies, marketing companies need lot of research material for their business and tend to outsource some of the work and you can take advantage of this.
Hardware and Software Troubleshooting – If you are an expert in computers and friends and family come to you with problems in their cellphones and laptops, you could give your talent a professional twist by advertising your talent in the neighbourhood and charge a fee for resolving technology problems. It does not require too much investment in the beginning and if you are good at your work, there will be a lot of publicity through word of mouth among people in your locality and then you can take it further by advertising on the Internet and reaching out to more people.
Online Media Management – Most companies have an online presence with a website, social media page etc. They need someone to manage it as it has to be constantly updated and the company needs to respond to customers and visitors efficiently. They look for youngsters for this job who are more in touch with the market, its needs and aware of products and services around. You can contact companies using their Social Media pages or apply for part time assignments with them.
Content development – Content is King and with the whole world turning to the Internet for all kinds of information, there is a big need for good, authentic information online. You can freelance as a content developer for websites in areas of your expertise. If you have design skills like coding in HTPML, CSS, PHP and some database knowledge, you can design web pages as well. You can look for such roles in job websites or freelance assignment websites.
Baking – If you like baking cakes and cookies, you could take it up in a professional manner. There is a lot of scope here as Indians are looking at cakes and cookies as gifting options and many want customised cakes for birthdays, get-togethers and parties. You will need to invest money in a good cooking equipment, good ingredients and samples to pass around. You can start by asking your friends and neighbours to taste them. You can have a stall selling your wares in exhibitions or in events in your locality.
Tutoring – If you like teaching, talking and explaining things, you can try your hand at tutoring. It is a lucrative profession with little investment. Students require tuition for subjects like Math, English and Hindi. If you are good in these subjects, you can try it out. You can try with children of primary school and then take up tutoring for higher classes or even competitive exams. Online tutoring is a big industry where teachers teach in a virtual classroom on the web sitting in one location with students logging in the classroom from any part of the world. It does not require much investment and you can become part of a growing industry.
Few More: Medical Transcription assignments, opening online shop, becoming seller at any existing online store like ebay or amazon, property broker or rental agent, franchise in mall – please share your ideas in the comment section.
How can you start?
You can start off by taking a few assignments and evaluate on various parameters like money earned, costs involved, your interest levels, time spent etc. You will also come to know if you really like working on your own or are happy with a regular day job as each has its advantages and challenges. This can be done before you quit your current job so that you can fall back on your job if you do not like starting your own business. This has to be ethical which means your business cannot be in direct conflict with your company’s interests and profitability and cannot use company resources and facilities for your business. These assignments will help you know the skill gaps you have and take measures to update them via seminars, educational courses etc.
Strategies to follow when you work from home –
Be disciplined – When you are your own boss, you can tend to while away time. You might not always stick to your tasks for the day. You should allot certain time during the day for your work and ensure that you only work at that time. You should stay away from all distractions like watching TV, surfing the net or making plans for the weekend.
Create a Schedule and stick to it – You should create a strict schedule of what task is to be done at what time and the duration of the same. You should schedule in some free time as well between the tasks to re energize yourself. It could be a break to play a game, have lunch, talk to your loved one etc. You should at the end of the day check whether you have followed the schedule or not. You will definitely accomplish more in this manner.
Network – If you work from home, chances are that you might isolate yourself. You should join groups of professionals in your line of business either online or offline. You should attend related conferences/ seminars so that you can get in touch with people in your industry, potential clients and be aware of recent news, innovations, ideas etc. in the industry.
Stay away from social media – It is easy to while away time on social media chatting with friends, browsing their pages and lose track of time. If you work on the Internet, there is a risk that this might happen and end up losing revenue. You should strictly set rules of social media time for yourself. If you find it difficult to stay away from them, you can set up reminders on your phone to stop checking social media updates.
Work-Life balance – It is as important to switch off work completely post work hours just as you would log out of the office and do other things if you are having a day job.. Especially when you just start a business, you will tend to overwork. You will tend to do work related things when you are having dinner with the family or check your emails while shopping. You should not let work and personal life overlap. You should not cook while you are working and at the same time avoid checking your mails when you are in the park with your child. This will help you be effective in all aspects of life.
Be motivated – In the office, there are parties to celebrate successful projects or other events to motivate employees. It is important to motivate yourself to continue doing excellent work. You should celebrate milestones like getting a new client or getting most tasks accomplished on time. This will keep your energy levels and enthusiasm high.
Working from home is a good opportunity for students or housewives to earn money. Retirees can use their time wisely with small businesses run from home, It will keep them active and at the same time give them a regular source of income. If you are staying at home due to family responsibilities, you can take some time out for a business depending on our schedule. This will make you feel good, your skills will get updated, you will have a professional network which is useful and of course you will earn money.