image via Shutterstock / Sergey Nivens
Being your own boss sounds just so enticing that most people leave the corporate world to start their own business. With the promise of time flexibility, an ideal effort-to-income proportion, and the chances of limitless growth, more and more individuals are venturing into the business scene and tinkering their entrepreneurial instincts.
If you have been considering starting your own business but don’t know where to look for ideas, then this should be a good-read.
Make Money from your Hobbies
There’s probably nothing more fun than making money from something that you already enjoy doing for free. Hobbies such as photography, sewing, cooking, and even gardening are a few niches that can turn into promising businesses. The key is making time to learn beyond the basics and to hang out with people who can help you improve your hobby and turn it into a moneymaking craft. If you simply like taking photos, then you may want to take extra photography workshops and become an events photographer in the long run. Occasions like birthdays, showers, and weddings happen all year round so if you take it seriously, your hobby may just land you frequent bookings for the whole year.
Craig Jenkins-Sutton, the owner of Topiarius, considered himself a green thumb and did gardening only as a hobby. He had no formal landscape training but his love for designing gardens has turned into a business with average annual revenue of $1.2 million. Megan Duck had a similar story from sewing. From her first project of sewing ornate linings for the coffins of her employer’s Halloween décor, to the silk chandeliers that she made for The Mirage in Vegas, her average annual income from her sewing and rental business is now at $6 million. Both have been featured on the site of Entrepreneur.com, and they continue to inspire new breeds of entrepreneurs across continents.
Turn your Network into a Pool of Talents
The 21st century has definitely changed the business landscape in terms of offshore and outsourced projects. From BPOs building operations facilities in Asian countries, to Western brands banking on offshore talents for services like accounting, design, translation, IT jobs, etc., you cannot argue that there is indeed a growing demand for a diverse and competent workforce who can get the job done without having to think of added operational expenses and employee benefits.
If you are one of the rare people who have quite a diverse network of skilled people, then this simple “advantage” can be turned into a thriving business. Third party vendors like agencies are becoming lucrative businesses because they bank on a local pool of talents those offshore providers are looking for. For instance, if you are an engineering major, you may have a lot of connections with a similar crowd. You may find it surprising that there are actually dozens of real estate companies who are looking for freelance teams who can do structural drawings and renderings on their behalf. A lot of Japanese, Chinese, and Korean students also run online to find English teachers who can teach from home. If you have friends or relatives who fit the bill, then you may want to connect them with these students. The trick is finding legitimate providers and matching them with the skills of the people who are already in your existing network. Just be sure that all terms and fees are set at the beginning to maintain a smooth and professional workflow for everybody. Remember, you want to build bridges while helping people and earning in the process. The last thing on your list is a fatal mismatch that can give your “agency” negative publicity. If your “hires” provide quality service, then referrals can come pouring in. Good output always translates to better business transactions.
A Pocketful of Passion
Most of us have passions. Genuine passion means loving something on a deeper and more profound level than just a hobby that you simply enjoy. Some develop a different passion for vintage cars and end up with an auto shop that specializes in car restoration. Your passion for instruments or the performing arts such as dancing, acting or singing can be turned into conceptualizing a small school where you can help more people share and develop the same passion as yours.
Terry Finley had an intense passion for horse racing which prompted him to buy his first horse at $5,000. With a lot of learning and advice from the pros, he has managed to build a business with 55 syndicated horses and 550 investors who also earn when their chosen horses are sold, bred, and even when they win those infamous horse races. Terry has mastered the art of the trade and decided to share his passion with the same people who loved the things that he was into. In the process, he was able to start West Point Thoroughbreds, a label that now earns around $6 million annually.
While being an entrepreneur takes a lot of technical strain in terms of cash flow, permits, and marketing strategies, newbies have to realize that they definitely need to start somewhere. They can start small, but at least take the first step and test the waters with one foot. Starting a business and building a label empire does not happen overnight but when you start to take off, you’ll realize that you’ve built a business that will be positively rewarding even after retirement age. By then, you’ll realize that those paperwork, sleepless nights, and zero months have finally become worth it.