No, I am not referring to ways to store your weekly supply of eggs in your kitchen. What I am referring to is to make a success of working from home. Excuse my wacky attitude, but allow me today to suggest a flexible approach to help becoming an entrepreneur right and proper.
Keep your eggs in many baskets
A couple of years ago in my line of work (my ‘day’ job, that is) I came across a young lady who told me she was an actress. I asked what she was working on at the moment, and she answered me she was freelancing. This meant her keeping her eggs in many baskets, so to speak. She was registered with different acting agencies, she was doing some teaching, she was doing some online work, and of course she worked with her agent for potential auditions and gigs.
My concern was: how could she make a living based on such uncertain terms? The way she put it to me though was equally eye opening.
She explained, if my employer went burst, or less dramatically decided to reduced its workforce and I was given redundancy, I would be left with no income at all, given that my sole source of income was my day job. Equally, if I were to fall sick of some form of ailment that prevented me to carry on working (such as particular cancers, which could potentially affect my current day job), my employer would pay me reduced sickness salary for up to six months, but after that and if still not fit for work, I would be asked to leave. And some employers do not even have such more generous sickness packages, but pay the bare statutory basic sickness. In other words, working for an employer is only marginally more secure than working on a self-employed freelance basis – that is what the freelance actress was trying to point out to me.
When you juggle many balls at the same time, she explained there is always something going which will generate an income. She was primarily referring to various and different ways for her to advertise her acting skills and to reach out to potential gigs and opportunities.
But her take on ‘keeping your eggs in many baskets’ got me thinking.
Diversity is key to run a successful home business
And there is nothing more true than this approach when working from home. Especially at the beginning, when you are barely monetising from your ventures, and you are far from matching a full time average salary if not more, it is advisable not to focus on one business only. If one venture earns you a quarter of your monetary target, four entrepreneurial activities will make up the full salary that you are aiming to and that you need to sustain household and living bills – exactly as if you were working for an employer.
Diversifying versus specialisation
But how does diversifying translate in practice? At the end of the day we cannot all be good at every type of home based business, surely!
If for instance my speciality were teaching maths, and I were to plan to do freelance teaching, how can I branch out into other areas of expertise?
Well, that is where you need to appeal to your most entrepreneurial vein. When working from home, you need to become most creative. And specialisms can walk hand in hand with diversification.
So, if teaching, you may want to advertise your freelance lessons actively, both on local papers, on shop windows of local newsagents, in the local community notice board. But you may want to also approach local school, to see if they may be happy to refer students to you that may need additional tuition. Or you may want to enrol with specialised recruitment agencies.
And you may also start learning how to leverage social media to advertise your enterprise. Or you could learn how to build a website and attract further teaching business leveraging on your website outreach.
Retain your identity
As mentioned above, diversification doesn’t have to stretch as far as doing a variety of different things to earn a bit of extra cash. You can retain your identity as specialised entrepreneur in a specific business enterprise.
If for argument sake you were setting up an online selling point on eBay, and your speciality were to buy and sell antique items, nothing stops you from keeping a small ongoing stock of electronic gadgets, as you see fit pending the demand on the market for the latest trend.
Likewise, as I am specialising in blog writing, I could consider stretching my efforts into writing an e-book, and market it on Amazon Kindle with the aim to make a bit of cash and to create an ideal form of passive recurring income.
In other words, and like with the example of the maths teacher, you can still retain your identity as a teacher, trader or writer, but employ your skills and expertise in a more proactive and interactive way.
The main thing, I believe, is that, whichever business activity you embrace, you never loose focus in believing in what you are doing, and in wanting to share your findings with others and for the benefit of others. If the sole motivation for what you are doing is making money, believe you me, it will not work. Potential customers and clients will smell your thirst for money, and that will work as a deterrent instead as an incentive for people to trust you and your business.
Think outside the box with online business
Online business possibly lends itself better than other ventures to diversification, possibly due to its nature where you can find wide ranging and endless opportunities.
Let me introduce you to a short tutorial put in place by one of my dear friends at Wealthy Affiliate, Robert aka boomergp08, on diversification as a writer. The tutorial, How to Earn Money Writing Online, goes through the various revenue possibilities as an online writer. Click the blue link to find out Robert’s take – I can assure you, it is inspirational!
With an online business, and with a website, you can easily monetise on your blog, but it will take time for you to become visible to online browsers in order to attract clicks that will convert in purchases. As mentioned in my page on creating good website content, the revenue generating process does take its time. But whilst we produce content for our website, we all become better and better at it. So, why not put our newly found expertise to use to others and produce writing for others?
And again, whilst putting together a website for ourselves, why not getting paid by acquaintances and friends for designing their website, based on their requirements and needs?
As Robert mentions in his tutorial, think outside the box, and use your skills to the benefit of others.
Diversify your skills with telecommuting
Naturally, diversification is not solely limited to home based business enterprises. You may well be working for an employer, part time or full time, and have additional ways of making extra money on the side. The general approach, as far as employers are concerned, is that so long as the employee’s additional income attempts do not interfere or clash with the employer’s line of business – in other words, so long as there are no conflicts of interest – employers welcome the proactive attitude of employees, so long as your additional revenue activity is not run whilst you are working for your employer.
In the home based business opportunities examined so far, I can easily work on my 9-5 job, whilst trying to sell some items on eBay, and whilst doing some online marketing job, and whilst chancing my luck at binary option trading. Or you could make a monetary investment for additional source of revenue in the shape of passive income.
But diversification is not solely about making money, or making additional money. It is very much about expanding your areas of expertise. So, whilst working for an employer, you might want to approach your HR or line manager with a view to be put forward for courses or workshops to gain additional skills.
Because it is through the initiative, a proactive and creative attitude and a variety of acquired skills that we can broaden our horizon and become a 360 degree entrepreneur. We are all born naturally gifted with the mind set of an entrepreneur – I most certainly am not! But we can all reach success if we work hard at it.
Please share your story about how you established your entrepreneurial business venture successfully. Or tell how you diversify your business. Leave your comment below.