…continued from last week…
If you have a skill like web design or writing, you can offer it as a service. There is always high demand for creative skills on the Internet. The only requirement is that you have a skill to offer. Keep in mind that it will take time to build a good client list and a good reputation, but service businesses are one of the easiest to start because you already have the “product” (your skills), so your financial overhead is low. However, you will be “trading hours for dollars,” so there is a limit to how much money you can make as a freelance service provider.
Real-world adaptation: Offer your services to local businesses instead of over the Internet. The fact that you are able to meet with the client and deliver your services in person is an added bonus that may allow you to sell yourself more easily and charge more.
You can offer a variety of services to other online business owners who don’t have time to do the work themselves. These might be tasks like updating their blogs, responding to emails, scheduling appointments, or managing their social media websites. The more you know about online business, the more services you can offer. Again, since you’re trading hours for dollars, there is a cap on your earnings potential, but this can be a quick and easy field to break into.
Real-world adaptation: There’s no such thing as a virtual assistant in the real world – but you could offer your services to local businesses as an Executive Assistant. There are some additional services that you can offer which may increase your value and allow you to charge more – including running errands, assisting with meetings and events at the office, and being readily available to handle those unforeseen circumstances that pop up.
E-commerce is a popular way to make a living online. It involves setting up your own online store where people can buy products, both physical and digital. These products could be ones that you make (crafts, clothing, e-books, etc.) or products from other suppliers. Similar to affiliate marketing, you have to know how to publicize your site and generate traffic, as well as effectively showcase the products you’re selling.
Real-world adaptation: The obvious real-world version of e-commerce is setting up an actual brick-and-mortar storefront and selling physical products. Similar to E-commerce, a brick-and-mortar store’s success is dependent upon you knowing how to publicize your store and generate traffic, as well as effectively showcasing the products you’re selling. Location is key and you’ll probably have to pay a premium to get a good one.
Selling through an Online Merchant
An easier e-commerce option is to sell through an established merchant such as EBay, Etsy, or the Fulfillment by Amazon program. The advantage is that the merchant platform is already set up for you, and the customers are already there – like setting up shop in a busy mall. It’s just a matter of creating compelling listings that make people want to buy your stuff. And of course, you still need a product to sell.
Real-world adaptation: Selling your goods through a local consignment shop, or getting a distribution company to pick up your product and sell it to the larger chain stores. You typically need to be selling a very large quantity in order to get mainstream distribution, so your product needs to be one that lends itself well to being mass-produced. You also need to be able to fund that production, or find someone who will.
…to be continued…
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