As mentioned previously, in “2 Main Ways To Work Towards Financial Freedom“, one of the ways is to lay your hands on a part-time business.
This article will cover some of the most common business vehicles. For the sake of clarity and everyone’s benefit, business in this article is referred to a money making vehicle which requires your conscious effort and has components such as a team or a system.
There are many branches of online business, some include selling products from a blog shop, selling intellectual products through internet marketing, provide writing services and other forms of freelance work etc.
Much of this avenue requires the purchase of goods at wholesale price or pre-agreement with the supplier. Thereafter which, the owner of the blog shop markets the products and makes a profit out of the sales. Very much like the traditional business, but in an online manner. This should not to be confused with affiliate marketing or internet marketing.
Some blog shop owners may also leverage on other platforms to sell their products such as ebay.com, Amazon.com, Q0010 and Carousel.
Often these sales will also require delivery of products and goods to the buyers. Location, target audience, industry and niche are some of the major considerations to think about for anyone thinking of setting up a blog shop.
Affiliate marketing is very similar to blog shops and internet marketing. They often step into the grey areas and can be easily confused. In this article, we break down into clear distinctions so everyone can get an idea of how has the industry been doing so far.
Affiliate marketing refers to someone who helps to market for existing physical or intellectual products. Often the representative can be viewed more as an extended sales representative who doesn’t have to fork out cash to pre-purchase the goods in order to sell them. The affiliate marketer simply generates traffic and direct them to the website or their affiliate links and whenever there is a sale made, a commission will be paid out.
Amazon.com provides such affiliate marketing that comes together with a business support system. Newbies intending to take part in it, or drawn in by online ads (such as “Stay home and make $50,000 per month”) – will have to pay a few hundred dollars for the business support system. The business support system will then comprise of a support team that will teach you how to build your affiliate website. They usually will try to upsell you on further services and hence incur a larger monthly cost on your end.
ShareASale.com is also another platform where you can set up links and banners on your site to promote other merchants website, services or products and when there is a sale, or a lead – you get paid. Pretty cool concept in my opinion. You can now work for multiple merchants to your own liking and determine your earnings from the Internet.
Internet Marketing by itself is yet another broad spectrum of skills and techniques. Personally I am tempted to write more on the skills and techniques, but let’s keep things on track here.
Internet Marketing usually involves traffic generation, leads capture and continuous email marketing. Certain network marketing companies specialize in Internet marketing and sells on the idea of having a home business – such as Empower Network. Then again, I will segment that into Network Marketing, not Internet Marketing.
Internet marketing often sells on intellectual property such as books, content, guides and music. “How to date a girl tonight”, “How to make that girl yours”, “How to grow your worm into a huge rod”, “How to lose weight in 90 days” – these are very common content that people search for and hence very common topics for IM marketers to market.
IM can also refer in the corporate world as an essential service to engage if anyone at all wants their business to be “search-able” on the internet. They help businesses engage and interact with their existing clients, help generate traffic, exposure and hence increase the conversion rate into clients. IM includes website design, website management, content management, EDM, social media management and article marketing.
There are platforms out there that allow you to do additional work according to your liking and skill level – then pay you for it. For example, getting paid to do surveys for PanelPlace.com, getting paid to do freelance writing online, or even other various types of gig via Fiverr.com
These freelance work should be categorized as home-based work instead of home-based business.
Depending on your locality, some admin jobs, telemarketing jobs or coordination work doesn’t require you to be at the office and you are able to still work in the comfort of your own home.
** However, please note, freelance work is an excellent way to build your own customer base for your future business. For example, if you are a graphic designer and you accept assignments from other sources aside from your full-time job. In time to come, with a customer base broad enough, you effectively transition into becoming a self-employed. Likewise for sales engineers, eventually setting up their own companies after garnering support from various clients. **
Network Marketing Business
This industry could easily become the most misunderstood one around. Just as it creates the highest number of self-made millionaires, it also “created” a lot of failures. With a low entry barrier, nearly anyone could take part in a network marketing company if they like to. What matters thereafter is, could most people continue staying in business. Many people enter this industry with the mindset that there is quick and good money to be made, and failure to see the returns in short-term basis, coupled with the various challenges they face, they eventually leave the business on the wrong foot.
There is certain truth in the quick and good money portion. Yet it is completely dependent on the representative’s mindset. From an entrepreneurial mind, this industry indeed offers a faster route compared to other vehicles out there. This is however not a “Get-Rich-Quick scheme”. The learning curve in this industry is also much steeper than other vehicles and hence has the capability to bring an employee into a business owner’s mindset at a comparatively short period of time.
In the network marketing industry, some of the things the representative can expect to learn are:
- Entrepreneurial mindset vs Consumer mindset
- Communication skills
- Sales and marketing techniques
- Personal branding
- Financial management
- Social media and internet management
- Character and personal development
There are many companies out there dealing with various types of industry and products, and what might be confusing is they might be internet-related even!
- Nutrition products (juices, supplements)
- Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG: such as dish washing detergents, toothpaste, daily necessities)
- Internet marketing skills, knowledge and services (Yes, there are companies selling these as products!)
- Network marketing skills, knowledge and services (training videos and courses)
- Self development courses
- Plastic containers
- Pots and Wares
- Water filters
- Sanitary pads
My suggestion: Pick one that you are passionate about and inspect the industry size. It matters from a business point of view. Pick also the right team with the values that fit yours best.
“Conventional” Brick and Mortar Business
Otherwise, you can pick on a certain idea and start a brick and mortar business. Leverage on what you already have and think on how to make the best use out of everything available. I would strongly recommend that for such businesses, draft out a business plan as soon as possible. DO NOT jump into it until you see at least 30% probability that this idea might work out for real.
Most of the times, you can’t tell it can or cannot work, not even with a business plan. A business plan is meant to help you gain clarity on all aspects and details of your new brainchild. In time to come, the business plan will also be able to help you submit a business proposal to investors and venture capitalists. If you are considering external funders to help fund for your new start-up, gain clarity on your direction then start talking to people. Listen to what they have to feedback and tweak accordingly.
Having said that, just a word of caution, watch closely who you seek advice from. Free advice is cheap advice. Anyone can give comments but bear in mind your actions will determine your business’s future outcome. If you are looking for ways to improve the product or service, then yes, consumers feedback and opinions will really help you fine-tune your business in that sense. Yet, if you are looking out for marketing advice, branding advice, marketing strategy, business development and procedures, seek advice from the successful business owners.
Truly successful people love to help! Fire away!
* Avoid pumping in financial resources until you gain clarity from your business plan. A mission statement can take up about 7 days to structure, while a business plan can take months. Do careful market research and observe surroundings to how other boys are doing their show and how are their audience responding. Learn from the big guys.
You may create any industry, business concept, product and services so long as your mind can think of it. For example, this is my very own proud brainchild – Pay What You Want Tuition. It is based locally in Singapore where this organization allows clients to pay the tutors for their services at the amount they deem fit. It is a great way of promoting graciousness in the society and also allow the tutors to be paid for what they are worth. The secret behind this business model lies in the membership component. While I do not charge for my clients, tutors will have to pay a monthly license fee in order to practice under this concept. This is a carefully thought system to regulate the organization, ensure quality services to clients and also to add value into the tutors.
This has become a lengthy and detailed article, which has the sole purpose to benefit those who are seeking the path that we have walked and chose to continue walking.
Birth by destiny, Success by choice.