The best friend of a modern human being is the Internet, and it has made many things much easier. Today you can do almost anything without even getting up from your chair, including business. There are multiple online services and platforms that can help to become your own boss and start own business.
To start with, it’s probably worth mentioning the most famous online service – eBay. In order to start making money on this platform, you don’t need to have any savings or special skills. The only thing you need is an attic or a closet full of old useless stuff. It is very likely that each gadget will find a buyer on eBay. You can sell literally anything, from your used shoes to cosmetics to a preserved pig fetus in a jar! And I’m being serious. Some of the most bizarre items sold on eBay include someone’s old doorbell, canned unicorn meat, a haunted baby doll with the spirit of a neglected middle child with severe autism, and a scary dead zombie baby doll riding a skeleton horse lamp! It might sound ridiculous and funny, but the sky is the limit when you want to do business on eBay. All you need to do is register on www.ebay.com, provide your PayPal account and start searching for bargains.
Another way of starting your own online business is by participating in online surveys. Apparently they pay high prices for your opinion. Every year businesses and companies spend large sums on surveys and market research campaigns to understand what products consumers want to buy! They need random opinions in order to promote their products to help them make more money, and they are willing to pay you for your help. The process is easy. You have to first check if you are eligible to register for the surveys because some countries are not on the list of target markets. There are various options you can choose from ranging from 5-10 minute short surveys to ones that may take up a few hours where you have to write in detail about your opinion. They will pay you on an hourly basis or based on the number of surveys.
But it’s a distressing reality that scams are frequent when doing business online. Luckily, more and more people are becoming technically sensible and are competent enough to pick out a paid survey scam from miles away. The easiest way to avoid this kind of scam is to look up the company offering the job on Google. If it is a scam, most likely someone has already bothered to post information about it on various online forums, etc.
Another option is crowd funding platforms. Crowd funding refers to the concept of people pooling their money, generally online, to assist efforts initiated by other people or organizations. This is used in a wide multiplicity of activities, including startup company funding, free software development, inventions development, disaster relief, citizen journalism, support of artists and political promotions etc. So if you have a new business idea or if you are a budding inventor but can’t get your project launched because you are stuck without funding, this is a way out. Kickstarter and Indiegogo are such platforms, where members can share their ideas with other users and receive and donate funding to the ideas and projects they think are interesting. For inspiration check our list of most backed projects on Kickstarter or best tech inventions on Indiegogo. Also read a story of a Serbian film maker about how crowdfunding helped him to get his idea off the ground.
According to the latest statistics, there are over 450 crowd funding platforms available, and it’s up to you to do your own research to understand which platform is the best to use depending on the type of idea that you want to share. The choices that many crowd funding platforms make available provide a broad range of options.
The main problem with crowd funding sites is that intellectual property rights are not safeguarded. Once you post your idea, it can be copied and used as someone else’s and there might not be anything you can do about it.
One of the great advantages of modern technology and of the various platforms is the fact that you do not have to sacrifice your day job or your education to participate. While the current tech boom might be unstable and unpredictable, the disruptive shift has also led to a world in which entrepreneurs need to be ready to accept certain risks in order to realize their projects. Many young entrepreneurs are utilizing social media apps and websites to generate cash for their projects. There are a lot of databases for freelancers. You know how to typeset, sew, write music or poetry, or you can do something else? Register with one of these resources, and it is likely that you will find customers. In the long run, when you get enough regular customers, you can open your own firm. By the way, the internet resources which provide information about freelancers can also be extremely useful when searching for potential employees. If you are just starting your own business and you need, for example, a promotional text, but you can’t do it yourself, it is much easier and cheaper to get a freelancer to do it for you.
Do you have a spare room that you don’t use for anything? Then there is a chance to earn money out of it by renting out the room to travelers who are visiting your area. There are websites such as Airbnb which allow you to rent out extra rooms to tourists and visitors. The web site transfers the payments collected from guests electronically via direct deposit, check, wire transfer or PayPal. Some of the websites collect an optional security deposit on your behalf in case you need extra peace of mind. This is a great way to earn money from home and depending on your location your earnings can be highly lucrative.
A wisecracking man once said that the hardest part about doing business is minding your own. Nowadays, a “self-employment revolution” is taking place thanks to the advance of technology. Start minding your own business and giving wings to your dreams, because if you don’t build your dream, someone will hire you to build theirs. But be careful. Despite the fact that the risks in online business are relatively low you need to think twice and research your options before taking a decision.
Collection of stories about youth start-ups