In the past couple of years we’ve witnessed the growth of literally hundreds of businesses that started with a few guys in their college dorm or in their parents’ garage. Tune in to Shark Tank any night and you’ll see at least one group of kids who took some idea they funded with the money they were making at McDonald’s and are now looking for venture capitalists.
The internet has completely revolutionized the way that we find work and the manner in which businesses interact with consumers. You can get your logo designed by a guy in Bangladesh for a few bucks and have some college kid in California write you a decent copy for almost nothing. All you need is an idea and here are seven that we’ve come up with. You just need to run with them. As a billionaire Mark Cuban famously said “it’s not in the dreaming, it’s in the doing.”
- Become a Tutor
If you’ve got a lot of experience or a degree that isn’t exactly marketable at the moment, you simply might not be looking in the right place. There are several tutoring services online that are constantly seeking more people. If you’re a math whiz or an English junkie then there’s a ton of demand, everybody from high school kids getting ready for the SAT to graduates preparing for the GRE are looking for tutors. And 95% of the time you can do it from the comfort of your living room via Skype.
- Handmade Crafts
Sites like Etsy have changed the way that people are buying online, nobody is shopping at Pottery Barn when they can get a handmade piece of furniture from an experienced woodworker. A friend of mine makes his living building driftwood furniture and selling it via Etsy. And the site has opportunities for people to make anything from t-shirts to dreamcatchers. So if you’ve always been great at making sweet hemp bracelets then it’s time to go into business for yourself. For bonus points, take a few minutes to build a Pinterest page for your business because social media marketing is free.
- Run Errands for a Busy Mom
It seems wild but people are actually paying for services as simple as watering plants and picking up the dry-cleaning. TaskRabbit.com is a budding service where people with little time can find cleaners, handymen and personal assistants. It’s quick and easy to sign up or if you’re feeling ambitious, put in a little time and build your own network of steady clients.
- Sell discarded treasures on Ebay
Your aunt’s collection of Billie Holiday records or the portrait of Jimmy Buffet that you found sitting on the curb might not be worth much to you, but to somebody else that’s just what they’re looking for. It’s incredibly easy to find stuff to sell on Ebay, go to local thrift stores and buy all the ties they have and then market them as vintage eccentricities worn in the style of Gregory Peck and you’ve made a two weeks’ pay. Just make sure you deliver every time and you’ll get a 5-star seller rating.
- Run Social Media Accounts
There are a lot of businesses that know they need to engage people via social media but they have no idea how to do it. If you’re a millennial then you’ve spent your entire life on social media anyway. You know how it works, what sort of content engage people and what falls flat. Build a flashy website and market yourself as a social media virtual assistant. Then hit the streets and get a few customers. Be sure to manage you time well, do a good job and watch your client base grow. Why work for a PR firm when you can start your own?
- Start Copywriting Business
If you’re a word nerd or journalist recently looking to reinvention yourself people are willing to pay for quality writing. Content is the new commerce, and if you know how to pump out good copy for website, sales copy, ebook or write bios then you should already be writing online for one of the hundreds of services out there such as mediashower.com. This is a business you can do it from wherever you want. Jeremy Atkins, one of the co-founders of EduGeeksClub.com, an online writing service, says “we started in a dingy living room and in a few months we were in an office with a full staff of writers.”
- Write Yelp/Google Reviews
Every business wants a good online reputation and almost all of them are willing to pay to get it. There are a lot of websites where small businesses can buy positive Yelp reviews and these sites are always looking for writers. The pay is sometimes meager, but there’s no reason to work for them when you can start your own company selling reviews, it’s a market where there’s quite a bit of room for new players.
There are hundreds of ideas just like these that you can do from the comfort of your own home. We decided on these seven because they’re cheap, quick to start and the return-on-investment is almost guaranteed. Of course, if you want to see the money rolling in then you have to work hard to get your name out there and generate business, but when you’re doing it for yourself, you’re the boss and able to make your own hours. All you have to do is remember hard work pays off.
About the Author
Antonio Tooley is a marketing specialist and a blogger. He loves writing about Social media, marketing, education and productivity. He’s also crazy about riding his bike and bumping into new people (when he’s on foot). He will be happy to meet you on Twitter.