The internet reigns unchallenged and dominates all types of business nowadays. But making a legit income from home existed well before the ‘world wide web’ was invented by Sir Tim Berners-Lee back in 1989, or before the internet world business took over. Some of the ideas I propose below do not necessarily mean that you can operate solely from the comfort of your domestic bliss, but it means you can run some of them from your own premises, or you can alternate them with other home-based ventures.
Internet, this green gremlin
For those who still struggle to get to grip with a screen and a keyboard (and there shouldn’t be that many nowadays, as working on the internet has become easier and more user-friendly by the day), well do not fret. For two reasons.
Yes, you will have to master the knowledge of the internet, but learning is not as mind bogging as it used to be. These days the use of the internet is open to all, and from all ages, backgrounds and walks of life. Admittedly, if you have monetary restrictions, you may struggle to get hold of a laptop or tablet, or to pay for monthly bills towards broadband connection. But you can self-teach and practice at libraries, where more and more courses are organised. And free-wifi areas are on the increase in many public areas, such as restaurants, shopping centres, airports – you name them.
The second reason why you should not fret though is because of this. The fact that you are still to fully understand how the internet works and how best you can apply it to your business is not the end of the world, when it comes to working from home. You may be in between employment, you may be a stop-at-home mum, you may be a student wanting to make some spare cash – well, there are the old ways to do so from prior to when computers and the internet took over the world.
Make Lord Alan Sugar your idol – he is deemed to be the 95th richest man in the UK, and yet he started his career working at a greengrocer when he left school, and then selling car parts from a van he had got himself for 50 quid from his savings. And yet, he went on finding his success by funding one of the most renowned brands of computers to this day! You can be a Lord Sugar too, and I have got a few ideas where you can start from that I am going to share with you.
I hope you are internet literate enough to have landed to my blog, so you can discover the good old ways!!
This is the oldest ‘trick’ in the world. You invest however small or big pot of gold (or money, to be more precise) in stock of any type and resell it at a higher price. How much or little profit you want to make over the sale of the items, again is up to you. You may want to resell by advertising your items on resale platforms such as Ebay or Amazon, but you do not have to. You can become a regular attendee of boot sales, church and school fairs, or indeed you can advertise your stock on local papers or in corner shop windows. You can book a space in regular brick-a-brack markets, or indeed take place in auctions, specialised in merchandise you deal in or general ones.
You are the master of your own domain in doing so, but like with all self-employed businesses, you need to market yourself, i.e. find your own customers and build your own clientele. Also, with physical items, you need to have storage space available. Far too many times I have seen stock taking over your family’s living quarters, especially when you build up stock to sell at specific periods of the year, such as Christmas fairs.
Be a Freelancer
With this type of business you are not entirely your own boss, as you answer to the specific demands and requirements of your client. As a freelancer, you are paid for your skills as a writer, as a photographer, as a virtual assistant, as a translator, an actor – you name it, the list can become an endless one. Again, you can advertise yourself and make your services available through the many companies available online, but if you are computer phobic, the easiest way is to register with different recruitment agencies at the same time, and manage your contracts and daily commitments trying to balance the different offers to see you in employment during the week. You need to affirm yourself and build a healthy reputation, but once different companies start rating your services highly, they will propose you for more and more contracts.
I feel this type of self-employment is one of the most diversified. It certainly enables you to follow your different passions whilst trying to make a living out of them. But it also requires high standards of self-organisation and self-management – skills that some people may prefer to others. Then again, working on self-employed basis, no matter which route you decide to take, means having to be more proactive creating your work and finding your contract.
Earn whilst sitting
This type of arrangement is more suited with younger people, though not necessarily restricted to the younger generations, but it is certainly not home-based. Again through local paper advertising or through ‘word of mouth’ you may learn that your neighbour needs babysitting a few evenings a week, or cat sitting during their holidays, or dog walking whilst they are at work. Indeed a lot of people nowadays and for security purposes look for people that will house sit their property, again whilst they are away for a period of time. If you manage your commitments well, you can make a few ‘bobs’ out of this venture. The downside of
The typical arrangement, as old as time, is the au-pair one, where you are employed for a period of time to look after the family children whilst also do some house chore. The family you are employed by may agree to pay you a nominal fee, but this will be compensated by the fact that you live bills free, as you will not have to pay rent or food or utilities and council tax.
Why not teach?
Again, this is one of the oldest jobs in the worlds, but it does, nor should be limited to the classical academic subjects. Nor do you have to work for an establishment. You can offer private tuition, or set your business in offering lessons in well being activities, such as joga, pilates, or cookery, flower arranging, private trainer, music tutor, and such like. Naturally you must have a qualification in order to provide such services, but, like with the previously mentioned ideas and whilst waiting for your business to flourish, you can run your lessons along your every day 9-5 job.
Like with some of the above mentioned opportunities, you can run this job from home, but more often you will be required to go to a venue or to your pupil’s house. It will all depend on the individual arrangements.
Shopping, what a mystery
This is a recently introduced avenue. I am not necessarily referring to the permanent employment you can get with with big department store chains to assist customers with their shopping choices.
I am in fact referring to the secret shoppers that more and more marketing companies recruit on behalf of their clients to monitor whether the store staff performs to the standards required. I have worked in this environment myself, and the money is not grand, but by completing a couple of assignments a week for a couple of months last year, I managed to put together a nice £100 pocket money. It is not money that will pay your bills, but the tasks assigned do not take more than a few minutes at a time. And as part of the assignment, you get to purchase food, or items, whose expense you get reimbursed along with the fee you get paid.
The issue with this type of side line work is that it is often advertised online, more than on papers. Likewise, as it is more and more the case, you are naturally required to produce a report on completion of your task to outline whether customer services targets have been met whilst you were served. And those reports companies want you to file online!! So those gremlins may get be best of you again.
Personally I found it fun and remunerative enough. But you must have nerves of steel in ‘pretending’ to be a genuine customer whilst secretly timing the transaction. A job such as this will reveal to you if you have the secret acting in you.
The list could be endless of ideas for self-managed employment. And sometimes you may consider a combination of all the above in order to make a living out of self-employment. Remember that, whilst you are your own boss, you must still meet the requirements of your customers. But at least you can manage how much or little you want to work every week, hence gaining a bit of freedom over the 9-5 desk job.
The difficulty is in finding more and more work commitments without the aid of a computer or with no access to the internet. As mentioned, the internet nowadays reigns undisputed in more and more aspects of our lives and internet work opportunities are far wider than the ones promoted offline. My advice is that you invest in lessons to get to grip with the use of the internet, whilst trying out some of the above ideas – familiarising with the internet will broaden your career horizon, especially if you intend to work from home more actively.
If you have more ideas of self-employed earning to share, do let me know – leave your comment 🙂