Working from home was already popular even before anyone had heard of COVID-19. But since this international health crisis came to pass, remote work has become even more popular. And with downsizing, layoffs, and total closures becoming more prevalent worldwide due to the novel coronavirus, many people have had to really get creative when figuring out how to make money.
Although this isn’t necessarily an ideal time to start a new business, necessity is truly the mother of invention. Whether you lost your job due to COVID-19 or you’re simply looking for something that will allow you to reduce your risk, switching professional gears and starting a home-based business can allow you to earn a living while you keep yourself safe. But what do you need to know before embarking on this new venture? Here are just a few tips to keep in mind.
By 2027, freelance workers were already projected to make up the majority of the U.S. workforce. In other words, there are a wealth of opportunities available that don’t require you to be an in-house employee. That said, not every opportunity will be a good fit for your unique set of skills. If you have no experience with writing a blog or taking product photos, you shouldn’t try to launch a business that hinges on those skills. However, you could leverage the skills you’ve developed throughout your career in pursuit of something new. If you have advertising or public relations experience, for example, you can take this opportunity to learn more about digital ads, social media, or other aspects of digital marketing that you could feasibly do from home. If you’ve worked as a personal trainer in a gym, you could start offering one-on-one virtual coaching sessions or develop some home workout videos as part of a paid fitness and health package. You could start an online tutoring business, market your capabilities as a consultant, create art or clothing to sell online, or offer transcription or translation services to other businesses. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something you know you can confidently offer and that there’s an increased demand for during this time.
Statistics show that around 70% of all business partnerships fail — but even if you’re on your own, there’s no guarantee that you’ll succeed. That’s especially true if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the idea of creating your own website, marketing to the masses, and finding new customers. When you’re starting your at-home business from scratch, it’s a good idea to take advantage of different platforms that may already be available to you. An online marketplace or a platform like Fiverr, UpWork, or Thumbtack can help you to spread the word about your business, find clients, and get the ball rolling. Eventually, you’ll probably want to branch out in order to make more money and have more control over your business as a whole. But when you’re first starting out, these channels can take some of the responsibility off your shoulders and allow you to establish your business before you invest a lot of resources in it.
With that in mind, you won’t want to spend a ton on your business before you really get going. With 30.2 million small businesses in the U.S. alone, there’s probably a decent amount of competition already. While you don’t want to skimp on the important stuff, lest you do damage to your brand before you even get off the ground, you should also be careful not to put the cart before the horse. Beware of over-ordering supplies, paying for unnecessary services, or hiring extra help before you actually need to. Unless you happen to go viral for whatever reason, your business probably won’t blow up overnight. Resist the urge to prepare for every possible scenario if it means spending money you don’t yet have.
Starting your own business is never easy. But with many people continuing to work from home, you don’t have to invest in a physical office or brick-and-mortar store to be taken seriously. With these tips in mind, you can conceptualize your home-based business idea and get on the right track with your career.
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