Published July 23, 2020
Chances are you’re reading this in the comfort (and safety) of your home during this crazy and turbulent time. I can relate to that, as I’m writing this from mine.
2020’s been an incredibly unpredictable year. It’s brought along some of the roughest speed bumps and potholes in our lives. There have been many milestones sidetracked, plans postponed and travels canceled. In short, it’s been nothing short of a disaster.
However, with every event comes opportunity. Take me, for example. I was supposed to graduate this year as an industrial engineer, and probably work for a big company. The coronavirus had other plans for me, though. I was left at home, without a degree, jobless. But I knew I had a knack for writing, so I thought, “why not give that a shot?” And here you are today, reading my article.
Working from home was an afterthought for most of our lives. We’d been programmed with the concept of working a nine-to-five at an office somewhere, and at the end of the day, we’d go home. But times have changed. There are self-made millionaires in their pajamas working from the comfort of their living room, for crying out loud.
There are a ton of things to consider if you want to start working from home. The first question you should ask yourself is: “do I want to be a boss or an employee?”
The answer to that will determine whether you should look for an online job or start your own business.
An online job is a quick way to turn your hobbies and competencies into a career. I’d never written professionally before this job. But many job opportunities don’t require you to pass a specific course or certification to get them. You have to ask yourself, “what am I good at?” or “what skill of mine can make money?” There are many platforms for you to get started in this space, such as Indeed, Glassdoor, and CareerBuilder.
Freelance work is quite widespread nowadays. If you don’t know what freelancing is, it’s basically taking contract work from companies, but not being employed by them. You’d be surprised at the number of opportunities there are and what kind of skills people are willing to pay for. Take, for example, Fiverr. This platform offers a wide array of opportunities, from graphic design to marketing to lifestyle lessons.
Let’s say you’re a housewife, you’re exceptional at cooking, and you firmly believe in your skills. Fiverr offers a platform for you to make money off of cooking lessons. As long as you possess expertise in something, you need only look for opportunities to exploit them!
Start a blog.
Blogs can be very profitable. This platform is relatively simple to learn and operate. You can share ideas and insights that people might value. Once you start gaining a lot of traffic, you can start monetizing it through ads and digital marketing.
Start an online business.
Before you start an online business, you have to think about the business model you want to utilize. You have to consider whether you’ll be selling a product or service, inventory, logistics, etc.
Here are some options for you if you want to start a business with zero to minimal inventory:
Dropshipping is a supply chain management method wherein you, the retailer, do not hold inventory for your product. As the retailer, you’re simply connecting customers to the supplier by creating an interface on platforms like Shopify and Amazon. Your main objective in dropshipping is to find a unique product that people need. You won’t need to worry too much about manufacturing, but your main focus is on marketing the product.
Print On Demand
This is another business model that requires minimal resources. Contrary to many fashion brands, you don’t spend a single cent until you receive an order in this model.
But how does that work?
Traditional fashion companies manufacture shirts and keep them in inventory until they’re purchased. Print on demand entails creating shirt designs under your brand, but you don’t have to print a single shirt until an order comes in. Here, you put out shirt designs on some platform, and when someone purchases it, the vendor begins printing the shirt.
But what if I’m not a designer?
That’s okay. You only need good ideas to start a business like this. A third-party freelancer you can hire online will be able to handle the graphic design part. The downside of this business model is that margins are expectedly lower than manufacturing in bulk.
If you have space for some inventory in your home, you could opt for the following businesses:
Buying and selling products in bulk
This business model is one of the more traditional ones. It can be a great one if you address a need for a particular product in your community. The possible risks of this model are the perishability of products and inventory needs. But if you have a solid plan on how you’re going to execute this business model, those risks won’t pose a problem.
I highly recommend this for homemakers who are gifted in arts and crafts. Some products you could sell are jewelry, candles, greeting cards, and apparel. Those products are generally straightforward to produce and market.
Other products, such as skin products and food, are much stricter. You’ll need to comply with the laws and regulations regarding products of this nature.
These are just some of the opportunities available for you online. This information age has opened up an incredibly vast avenue through which we can learn and make money. As long as you’re willing to put in the time and the effort, you can make something of yourself while you’re at home.
About The Author
Terrence Tan Ting is an industrial engineer by profession but a full time writer by passion. He loves to write about a wide range of topics from many different industries thanks to his undying curiosity.