Many people dream of someday owning their own business. The idea of ditching the nine to five life for one of exciting entrepreneurship and being your own boss is appealing. But everyone knows that business ownership can be incredibly difficult and frequently fails out of the gate. It doesn't have to be that hard, and this article will give you a few ideas for small businesses that take a little less money, time, and risk to start yourself.
1. Go Freelance
If freedom and a flexible schedule are what you're after, starting out your career in freelance could be a great gateway to your goals. Whatever your chosen industry might be, there's a freelance market for it, from graphic design to ghost writing and personal trainers. You can quickly build a client base by getting your start on freelance websites, like UpWork, and creating your own website to display your portfolio.
By having samples of your work on hand, you'll be able to quickly impress potential clients and find work in no time. The best part is, this is work you can do from anywhere. If traveling is your dream, take your business on the road and see the world while you make money from your laptop. While this career choice may not be the most stable with regards to benefits and safety nets, it's an exciting option that works for many people who want to live life differently.
2. Open a Shop
There are lots of small stores out there that require very little start-up costs, such as a mattress company or coffee shop. These smaller stores are always in demand, and will help maximize your earning potential down the line. Plus, if your goal is to provide jobs in your community, you'll be able to do so very quickly. Owning a physical store is a great way to feel connected to your community and fulfilled by providing a physical value to the world.
Many people have found that opening second-hand or consignment shops is a great way to avoid hefty start-up costs. A more artistic and fashion-minded entrepreneur might enjoy curating a selection of donated goods to sell at low cost. Plus, it has the added bonus of being a great sustainable option that will help others find stylish options at a lower cost.
3. Work with Food
Many who work in the food industry, whether they're a waiter or a chef, find that the job is too demanding for the benefits offered. If you're passionate about food, consider opening a catering company. Start small, with things like birthday or office parties, and slowly work your way up to weddings and conferences as you gain experience and a solid customer base. Partnering with local venues will get your company's name on a list that gets handed out to clients, so don't be afraid to make and use your connections.
If you're trained in the culinary arts, you might consider becoming a personal chef. This is a great job for someone who enjoys cooking, but dislikes the hustle of a restaurant job. By offering healthy, home-cooked meals, you'll quickly become a popular choice for those too busy to cook for themselves. Learn to cook vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options to cast an even bigger net, and invest in a good website to show off pictures of your best work.
4. Open Your Home
If you own a historical house, or just a home you feel is a comfortable and aesthetically pleasing environment, you might want to open a bed and breakfast. Many B&B owners these days will start out on AirBnB, listing a room or two in their house for rent, and offering a home-cooked breakfast in the morning. Little touches like matching towel sets and pillow chocolates can go a long way towards making a temporary guest feel at home, and will make your home a better choice than the nearby hotel.
Go a step further and do some research on your area to find where visitors from out of state or country might want to go. Make a little welcome package with brochures, maps, and suggestions for local restaurants. You could even partner with local businesses to provide samples of their wares or coupons. This is a great way to make your guests feel cared-for and get them interested in exploring the area - and maybe even staying an extra night.
There are tons of ways to start your own businesses, but these four options are some tried and true methods for dipping your toes in the world of small business. It might be scary at first to cut ties with your nine to five job and safety nets, but in the end you'll be glad you took a risk and followed your dream of becoming your own boss.