Most people want more money. For many, they believe it will bring them happiness, but for most it provides freedom. Freedom in the form of options. The option to travel when they want, to go out and eat out more frequently, and it lessens the anxiety about job security.
I've always had an entrepreneurial streak. It's part of my makeup. But, I also saw entrepreneurship as a necessity! It provided a way for me to generate income that I had complete control over and create my own wealth and legacy. When you work for someone else, you work for someone else. They decide when you work and how long you will have the privilege to work for them. For some people, that's an amazing bargain! But, if statistics are correct most people are quite unhappy at work and want to leave their job or their boss.
As a coach, my goal is to develop leaders into the kind of people others want to follow and work for. There are real benefits to having a happy workforce. It has a positive impact on productivity and profits.
Entrepreneurship as a Means of Creating Wealth
But, for the many employees out there who want more control over their finances and cannot get a raise, creating an additional source of income might be the best solution. There's a popular saying out there, "that the average millionaire has at least seven streams of income." While the exact number may vary, it is widely agreed upon that wealth creation requires multiple income streams.
Most wealthy individuals utilize investments (stocks, bonds, etc.), real estate (personal and investment properties), and entrepreneurship to build their portfolio. They create diverse portfolios and launch multiple businesses (or invest in multiple businesses) to create the nest eggs they desire and many people envy.
Now, this is not to say that being an entrepreneur is easy or that you gain success overnight. That is not the message. It is to say that the same effort you put into making someone else rich you could utilize to make yourself wealthy. Any new business will require time and effort on your behalf. You will have to conduct market research, find out the laws that govern your specific venture, talk to an accountant, and develop a strategy.
This is not to dissuade you. I share this with you so that you don't jump from the fire into the frying pan because you haven't set realistic goals or expectations. You must #manageyourexpectations---always. For your endeavor to be a success, you must create realistic goals. If you have questions, like most entrepreneurs do, the best thing to do is hire a coach or get a mentor.
Ask for help
That's what I provide. If you're interested in starting a business, but want some guidance, you can download a free copy of my business startup checklist. Most entrepreneurs and other successful individuals have multiple coaches, therapists, and mentors. So, needing help and guidance should not deter you from following this path; it should guide you in establishing a timetable for your path!
Here's a list of businesses you can start on the side or as full-fledged full-time entrepreneurial endeavors today!
This is one of the cheapest business you can start. All you really need is a computer and a decent internet connection. In about 10 minutes you can set up a website for less than $20. You can easily set up a website. Sign up with Bluehost for hosting, register a domain name, sign up for Wordpress (the free version), and you're in business.
There are different forms of writing and several avenues you can approach to get the word out about your services. A blog site where you write is a great form of advertisement. Your potential clients can see the quality and style of your writing from there. You can also use free sites, such as Medium, to post your stories and articles. Creating a social media presence would be an excellent next step to advertise your services.
Additionally, there are numerous freelance sites, like Upwork and Fiverr, where you can share your business and compete for clients. You can also use Craigslist. Depending on the kind of writing that you do will depend on where you should advertise. But, the key is to consistently put yourself out there as a writer.
I can't tell you how many times I go to Canva, PicMonkey, or Adobe during the day to create graphics for my website, social media, email campaigns, digital products, and more. I've had to learn the ropes through trial and error and a lot of Google searching and YouTube watching. Yet, still, I don't have the creative eye that someone who has a passion for art and design would.
Working as a freelance graphic designer can be quite lucrative. There are so many people who like me are creatively challenged. However, like me, there are plenty of people who need graphics and images for their business. Imagine how boring a blog post would be without graphics. Or, what Instagram would look like without all the pictures.
Whether you helped small businesses create their brands, build their social media posts, or an author illustrate and design their book, your skills are in demand. Like the writer, you can shop your skills via Upwork and Fiverr. However, you can also use social media as a great tool to get your name out there. Think about all of the photographers who share images and get clients.
If you've ever gone to school you know that a tutor can make all the difference. There's always that one subject that stumps even the best student. There are also tests and entrance exams that are necessary to further one's career that the stress alone can make impossible to study for.
Perhaps, you received a great score on your MCAT, LSAT, GMAT, or GRE. Maybe, you're a college student who's getting good grades and looking for extra income. A retired educator, maybe? Whatever your strength there is someone who is looking for one-to-one advisement on the subject matter.
Taking it a step further, maybe you are a Project Manager and received your PMP. Did you take HRI's certification exam? NCLEX? If you did, you could coach people to prepare for the exam and share your on the job knowledge to prepare them for work.
Rates for tutors can be pretty high based on experience and expertise. With the internet and services, like Google Hangout and Skype, you don't even have to be in the same room.
This might be the most expensive business to start so far. If you don't already have the requisite software, purchasing it can cost you a few hundred dollars.
Like a graphic designer, in today's world, just about everyone has or needs a website. Yet, the ability to create one is not a skill that most people have. The competition is heavier here because you not only have to compete against other designers, but different web services who provide themes as an add-on for clients. The key is to be very strategic about your target audience and deliver a high-quality product.
Once you do that, Creative Market, Etsy, and Mighty Deals will be a great place to start selling your designs. Take a look around each of these sites to get a feel for the kind of customer that they attract and then use that as a guide for where you will get the most traction.
There is no real job description for personal assistants. You work out your responsibilities with each client. However, you must be a people person, thick-skinned, professional, reliable, and extremely trustworthy. Your primary goal is to deliver for your client and that may be at the drop of the hat with on-call hours. Your ability to be flexible will determine the rates you can charge. If you're young and single this may be a perfect job for you.
Do you have a passion for makeup and are the go-to person in your crew to apply makeup and offer skin care advice? Then maybe you should consider makeup as a side gig or full-time career. As social media becomes more a part of our day-to-day activities being "beat" is becoming more and more commonplace. There are also the traditional opportunities for makeup artists: weddings, photo shoots, special events, etc. The better your skills, of course, the better the opportunities. And if you are licensed or take advanced classes, it will enhance your ability to work in the more exclusive areas of fashion and image styling. But, there are plenty of makeup artists making good money teaching classes, too. So, this could be a great avenue if you like to play in face paint!
If you have an eye for interior design and love home decor, home staging could be a great business for you. In addition, to your interior design services, you could offer home staging for sellers who need help getting a buyer. Home staging has become more and more popular. Real estate agents point to the increased sales and more receptive buyers as the benefit of home staging. However, many sellers are reluctant to hire stagers because many don't want to accept their taste isn't everyone's preferred aesthetic.
Being able to deal with people's emotions and manage their expectations will go a long way in this business. Having the ability to sell and get others to buy into your vision will also help. But, the bottom line will be your ability to create an atmosphere that makes potential home buyers see the house as their new home. You need to familiarize yourself with the local market, current design trends and the agent's typical clients taste if you want to be successful. Still, home staging can be a lucrative business. As a bonus, you could add-on home organization to keep clients past the staging process.
If you want a little more structure, working as a virtual assistant may be more to your liking. Being a virtual assistant you get to set your hours and workload. The more experience you have as an administrative assistant the easier it will be for you, but you don't have to have a lot of experience to be a virtual assistant.
To setup your business you need a website, a dedicated email, reliable phone service, and office software. There are also sites where you can advertise your services and find clients. As a virtual assistant, you can complete any number of tasks. Many executives and small business owners use VAs for traditional administrative work, but also for social media management, marketing assistant, website maintenance, bookkeeping, and research. The possibilities are endless and you decide what tasks you want to take on.
This might not seem like a business, but if you set it up right, you could make a lucrative business as an Airbnb host. Airbnb is an online exchange where people can find places to lease or rent short-term. The hosts offer their living space to others to stay for the duration of the term.
If you happen to live in a location that has lots of tourist traffic then opening up your home as an Airbnb might be for you. Often, people want a more authentic experience or want to avoid the high fees of hotels. Also, people may be visiting a town for a large event and find there are no available rooms in your city. If you live in a major city, becoming an Airbnb host might be easier than if you lived in a more rural area. But, you never know. Look for information on tourists to your area and go from there.
Once you've decided which business to start you need to contact an attorney, an accountant, an insurance agent, and your local government. While you can incorporate your business through IncFile.com and other online providers, an attorney will give you pertinent advice on your specific venture and alert you to any pitfalls you may face. It will also establish a relationship later on that you may need in the event of an issue. Your attorney can also help you by drafting the documentation necessary to conduct business with your clients. It's also a great idea to get a registered agent to handle any notices.
You should reach out to a good CPA to discuss the tax implications of your new business venture, and determine which legal structure offers the best tax advantages (or liabilities) for you. You can also establish and accounting system, and get key information to prevent future financial mishaps.
Further, talking to an insurance agent should be on your list of to-dos. You are dealing with the public and there are varying kinds of potential challenges you may face that having business insurance can protect you from.
Many people, and some "coaches", suggest skipping these steps at first, if not altogether for years until "your business is making a steady profit." But, what happens if a pet under your care is harmed? What do you do if your client claims you were negligent and wants to sue? How do you handle illness and short-term disability? What if you post something on the Internet that some takes offense to and decides they want to pursue legal action. If you are not properly established as a business, people can come after your personal assets as well as your business assets. If you cannot show proof that there was a separation between you the person and you the business owner, you may be held liable/negligent. This is why it's imperative to speak with an agent to plan for these contingencies, in addition to a lawyer and accountant. You can't control how people respond to you, but you surely can prepare yourself for potential problems ahead.
Lastly, your local government will advise you on ordinances or statutes that govern the kind of business you want, whether there are zoning issues related to your business, and what licenses and permits you may need to run your business. Contact your state to register your business and secure your business name. Government agencies also have relationships with small business organizations created to help business owners create and grow their business. Your city may also host or sponsor small business events that will offer you free training and resources to get your business off the ground.
With this, you are ready to go, and are on your way to building a stable business and reliable income for you and your future! If you want help developing your business or find you need guidance along the way, I'm here to help. Schedule a session with me and I will guide you through the maze of small business ownership.
This is a partnered post which may contain affiliate links.