Like everyone else around the world, you’re probably reading this article while quarantined at home to keep you safe from the coronavirus. It’s great to have more time with the family but work stoppages and businesses shutting down during the quarantine period is not good for your financial health.
Even if the quarantine period is lifted, there’s a possibility it might get imposed again. Until such time that a cure or a vaccine is found, getting quarantined periodically might be the new normal.
That means more interruptions in the flow of your income.
Now, that doesn’t have to be the new normal! Just because you’re quarantined doesn’t mean your ability to earn money is.
If you’ve always dreamt about starting a business while staring outside the window of your office cubicle, now is the best time to turn that dream into reality.
Here are 10 online businesses that you can start from home RIGHT NOW!
1. E-Commerce/Online Retail
E-commerce is a growing industry.
From a US $1.3 Trillion industry, e-Commerce has boomed into a US $4.2 Trillion industry and is expected to hit US $6.5 Trillion in 2023.
We’re talking global numbers here.
In the United States, e-Commerce now accounts for 11.2% of total retail sales. Six years ago, the number was only 4.2%.
As more people continue to depend on mobile technology to manage their needs for work and life, e-commerce will continue to grow.
Certainly, it is not too late for you to start an e-commerce business!
Of course, you’ll need products or services to sell. The most purchased products online include fashion apparel, smartwatches, jewelry, exercise equipment, and things for your pet.
You’ll need to source suppliers or vendors. Another option is to get into dropshipping where you offer to sell the products of the manufacturer and earn a commission. The manufacturer will take care of the shipping.
For sure, you will need an e-commerce website to showcase the products you will be selling.
The benefits of having an e-commerce website for your business will be the subject of another blog. For now, if you want to learn more about an e-commerce website, give us a call.
Let’s schedule an online meeting and we’ll take you through the process!
2. Online Tutorial
“How to play guitar”
“How to speak Spanish”
“How to make your own video game”
People are constantly searching online for courses on how to learn new skills or how to get better at their hobbies and interests.
If you are considered an expert or certified to teach a specific skill, why not monetize your passion and create a course about it online?
Promote your courses on social media networks such as Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram. Give examples of what you can do or offer limited-time only free lessons so people can get an idea of what your courses are about.
For example, on YouTube, musicians give free lessons. If you want more in-depth instruction, click on the link and sign up for personalized courses on the website.
3. Consultancy Services
As you know, the global quarantine period affected many businesses. The United Nations (UN) estimates that the month-long quarantine could cost the global economy $1 to $2 Trillion.
Business owners, CEOs, and top-level executives are thinking of ways to recover and get back on the road to profitability once the quarantine period is lifted. However, unless a vaccine or cure is found, the business sector will remain at risk of undergoing periodic quarantine.
If you’ve accumulated decades of business success, maybe it’s time for you to leverage your work experience and help these industries recover by starting an online consultancy business.
You need to put up a website with a powerful and compelling BVP or Brand Value Proposition on the Home Page. Your BVP should hook the interest of the visitor within 6 seconds.
Get testimonials from clients who benefited from your expertise. You can display the testimonials on the Home Page or the Services Page.
Finally, blog eight to 12 times a month to improve your visibility. In fact, before going live, your blog page should have 4 to 6 articles published.
Then, heavily promote your business consultancy website on social media. Reach out to your network and let them know you have a consultancy business that can help them get back on track.
4. Affiliate Marketing
Another way to start an e-commerce business is to simply promote and sell the products of other businesses on your website. This is called Affiliate Marketing and if you’re good, you can expect to receive checks worth thousands of dollars in the mail every month!
Let’s say you decided to offer guitar lessons online. It will take time to create high-quality videos on learning basic chord shapes and progressions.
In the meantime, you can reach out to other online music businesses and ask if you can sell their products – string cleaners, strings, picks – on your website. You can mention the products in blogs such as “How to Choose the Best Strings for Your Guitar” or “Flatpick or Fingerstyle – Which One is For You?”
Many online businesses start out as affiliate marketers because it takes time to create their own products and services. Meanwhile, they continue to blog to improve their reputation and attract more followers. Affiliate marketing gives them an opportunity to make money while the products are being produced.
5. Membership Site
A Membership Site is a website that gives subscribers – your members – access to unique content, training tools, and other materials of value every month for a fee.
This is a wonderful feature that you can include on your website if you are offering online instruction or business consulting services.
For example, if you are a business consultant, the membership fee can include one-on-one consultation once-a-week for the entire month. You can offer the same benefit if you offer online instruction.
If you provide good service that delivers results for your clients, the membership site can generate months of recurring income for your business.
6. Digital Marketing
With the quarantine, people are cooped up in their homes where the daily commute has been replaced by trips to the kitchen from the bedroom. To stave off boredom, many are resorting to Netflix, Facebook or YouTube.
Whatever you decide to do to waste away the time, you will notice the undeniable presence of digital marketing.
Online content is everywhere!
If you did not catch on then, hopefully, the quarantine period has made you realize the value of digital marketing. Consumers will see your marketing content and ads whenever they are online, which is estimated to be 6 hours per day!
Starting a digital marketing website is perfect for those with experience in this field. Certification is a big plus but not necessary. What is important is to have good knowledge of the following processes:
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Content Writing
- Social Media Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Link Building
- Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)
As a Digital Marketer, you don’t have to do everything. Assemble a team of remote workers who have these skills. Network for clients via social media and online platforms such as UpWork and Freelancer or go through your contacts list. You could also find lists similar to this that include Web Design Companies.
7. Freelance Services
Similar to Digital Marketing, if you have a specific skill that you are really proficient at, monetize it by offering freelance services.
All you have to do is create an online profile on a freelancer website. Upwork, Freelancer, Guru, Fiverr, People Per Hour, and Toptal are among the most popularly used.
Once your online profile is set, you can start bidding on projects that are posted by clients.
As a first-time freelancer, it might take some time before you can sign up your first client. Look at it as a numbers-game but take a conservative position.
For example, if you want to sign up 1 client, assume that your success rate will be a low 2%. Therefore, to sign up 1 client you have to bid for 50 projects per month or:
1 client / 0.02 success rate = 50 project bids per month or 2 project bids per day
It’s not easy to bid for projects! Read the job ad very carefully and bid only on those projects where you are confident of your qualifications.
8. Personal Training Services
An estimated 23% of the United States’ population gets regular exercise according to a report published by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). We expect more people to exercise regularly once the quarantine is lifted.
Without a cure or a vaccine, doctors and scientists have suggested that a strong immune system will help give you a better chance of fighting off the coronavirus. Exercise is one of the most effective ways of strengthening your immune system.
Even if gyms and fitness centers reopen, people will remain wary of patronizing establishments where social distancing is improbable. Also, gym equipment has been known to harbor different types of bacteria.
If you are a certified Personal Trainer or someone who is particularly skilled in an activity or sport, you may want to consider starting an online Personal Training business.
It will take some time to have high-quality video content produced for your personal training website. In the meantime, why not take videos of your home quarantine workouts and post them on social media?
Let your community know that you can provide online fitness consultation and create personalized exercise programs for them.
9. Homemade Products
Are you an amazing cook? Do people know of your ability to bake delicious cakes and cookies? Can you make elegant jewelry or design unique, eye-catching t-shirts?
Now, is the time to fully-explore your talents!
You have a captive market – the community where you are quarantined. In some areas, you cannot travel past your town or city. People can only leave home at certain hours to replenish supplies.
Having special treats once in a while will help them bring a sense of normalcy.
Post your delivery service on social media. Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook are excellent social media networks to use for image-heavy products.
If possible, distribute samples door-to-door. Don’t forget to include information about your contact number and delivery hours.
Who knows? Maybe after the quarantine period, your sideline can become a good source of income.
10. Graphic Design
If you have an eye for design and a good feel for software programs such as Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape, and Affinity Designer, start an online business offering graphic design services.
Every day, entrepreneurs are working on new business ideas. They will need logos for branding purposes and images for their websites and social media presence.
Put up a website with a portfolio page or “Showroom” that highlights your designs. Promote your services through social media and reach out directly to your business contacts.
You can also bid for projects at online freelance platforms that cater specifically to graphic designers such as Fiverr, 99Designs, UpWork, Freelancer.com, and Behance.
We believe that you should only worry about the things you can control. You can’t control the coronavirus or the onset of other unforeseen events. However, you can control or at least manage, your financial well-being.
If the quarantine taught us anything, it is to value what we have – family, health, and our jobs. Hopefully, the newfound appreciation will help us realize that nothing is set in stone. Work and life remain intertwined in that what affects one affects the other.
To protect life, we must ensure that our work or means of livelihood is covered. If you’re employed, your stream of earnings will be affected by work stoppages.
By starting your home-based online business, you open another stream where new revenues can flow through.
While there is no vaccine to protect you from the coronavirus, an online business will immunize your finances from future periods of quarantine.
Do you have other ideas for an online business that you can start now? Please share in the comments section.
And if you need help in getting a website up for your online business, give us a call or an email. We’ll set up a video conference call and take you through the process of web design.
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