Entrepreneur and avid explorer of entrepreneurial opportunities. Master of Business Administration & Sigma Beta Delta honors society member.
What Stops Most People From Getting Into Business for Themselves?
Is it a lack of money? No, that's not it! Most of us have some form of a resource at our disposal that we can use to multiply our assets. Do you have a Nikon D5100 DSLR camera sitting on your side table at home? Then what's stopping you from becoming a photographer? Don't you dare say you don't have the skills—those are things you could pick up on YouTube.
Get Motivated Like Willow Tufano
The thing that inhibits us from starting a business is a lack of adequate motivation. Good God of Moses, we live in the world's largest economy! You could poop in a bag, label it hot cellulose, tout some organic benefit, and people would line up to buy it.
Okay, maybe that's a stretch of the imagination—but there are actually people who make money flipping other peoples' garbage. That's exactly what a 14-year-old girl from Florida did. Check out young entrepreneur Willow Tufano's interview on Ellen below.
Her story is just so amazing; at only 14, this girl had the motivation and grit to take free stuff from Craigslist and resell it—on Craigslist! She pocketed the profits from flipping these 'treasures,' saved her money, bought a house, and became a landlord.
Not bad for a nascent startup in your early teens, right?
Starting a Business With Little Money
If you're highly motivated to start a business but don't have the capital, these business ideas may be the perfect fit for getting up and running with little or no cash. These scalable opportunities can generate tremendous revenue, but they will require a decent amount of effort—and maybe some skills, too. Don't be misled: these are not get-rich-quick schemes or cash-on-delivery tasks.
In fact, I recommend that you pursue these start-ups while you still have the safety net of a full-time job or a salaried position. You can give up your day job once your new business is pulling in a regular, sufficient income—but not before. Let's discuss.
1. Affiliate Marketing
This is the right hustle for someone who has the finesse to make a sales pitch sound like good advice and the ability to garner a following with their content. Just about anyone can attempt to become a successful affiliate marketer; all you need is a cell phone with a data plan or a laptop with internet access.
How Easy Is It To Become an Affiliate Marketer?
Affiliate marketing is the use of personal influence to get others to buy items you endorse or review. The affiliate marketer is subsequently paid for generating whatever activity you've caused others to engage in. Blogs, videos, images, and podcasts are all great examples of publications that affiliate marketers can utilize to expand their influence. Some helpful skills in this business would include charisma, creative content generation, and search engine optimization.
How I Became an Affiliate Marketer
I started my journey as an affiliate marketer by building a free website with Google and then signing up with Amazon as an affiliate. It was pretty easy to get into their program. I ran Google Ads through AdSense, and later signed up as a publisher with Commission Junction and LinkShare. These partnerships allowed me to add product feeds to my website and share links via various social media platforms from some of the world's most notable stores and brands.
Affiliate Marketing Takes Time
Please understand that building a sufficient following that will allow you to produce income from your own website will likely take over a year, even if your website offers super-rich content exploding with keywords. However, sites like YouTube for video content and HubPages for articles are platforms that offer an opportunity to be a successful influencer right out of the gate.
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2. Solve a Popular Problem With an App
If tech is the future, why not become an app creator? The Changed App featured on Shark Tank( season 9, episode 20) was developed to round-up purchases, accumulate spare change then automatically make payments toward student loans. After just $800 in revenue, the app creators valued their company at a swell $1.6 million and managed to attract the investment of billionaire Mark Cuban who seeded $250,000 for 25 percent equity.
Make Money—and a Difference
Building an app for computers, businesses, Android or iOS can be life changing for the creator and its users. Apps tend to either entertain, educate or improve the overall quality of life and there is a wave of investors seeking to invest in the next life-changing app. Creating your own app requires more than just a creative idea, though; you’ll need technical skills. Luckily, DIY mobile app creation platforms like outsystems.com are open source and offer free tutorials.
I haven't created an app yet—but it's something I hope to get around to in the next few years. I have seen apps that simply compile YouTube videos on specific topics, such as affiliate marketing or muscle-building workouts, rake in passive income which makes the effort worthwhile.
3. Become a Social Media Guru Like Tai Lopez
A social media guru can take the form of a tutor or manager of social media. There are thousands of 'mom-and-pop' stores, small businesses, and even government agencies that would like to have a strong social media presence but don’t want to be bothered by the nuisance of interacting on various platforms—and they'll pay someone to do it for them. According to payscale.com (2018), a social media manager's average salary is about $49,010. An interesting way of scaling this business is to create courses for those clients that would like to purchase your know-how. This can be done with platforms such as Teachable and Udemy.
Some helpful knowledge in this field includes content creation, optimizing paid advertising for keywords, social media setup, and management tools.
4. Become a Real Estate Agent
Earning a small commission selling big-ticket items can make for a rewarding career. One of the attractive elements of being a real estate agent is the ability to be your own boss and determine your own hours. It can also be very lucrative, depending on your market and ability to land clients.
A Small Investment for a Lifetime of Opportunities
For under $1,000 and 100 hours of training, you’ll have the education and licensing to go make about 3.5% commission on every house bought or sold. According to payscale.com (2018), the average real estate agent makes about $46,724 per year.
Gain Financial Independence or to Increase Your Income
A healthy number of banks offer zero-interest credit cards for 12-15 months. This is a good method of funding small investments like the education necessary to become a real estate agent.
5. Launch a Web Store: As Easy as Setting Up a Lemonade Stand
Once upon a time, getting into retail required a storefront or going door to door with brochures. Nowadays, it is far less capital-intensive and much less personal; entrepreneurs can launch a web store completely stocked with a fully functional shopping cart and a payment system in place—and all within a couple of hours or less, depending on your prowess.
Find a Good Platform
Several well-established platforms allow entrepreneurs to expedite the process of store ownership a lot of them are free, including Amazon, where you can get into the high-margin business of selling merchandise even by simply uploading designs. They take care of the materials, printing, and customer service, and you reap the royalties.
Other platforms like Shopify will get you set up on some of your favorite social media platforms where you can list merchandise that will ship directly from a wholesaler all you have to focus on is building your brand and acquiring customers. Platforms that charge a fee typically come with a trial period.
No More Excuses!
These five unique opportunities show how much the landscape of starting a business has changed and why entrepreneurs can easily overcome the obstacle of having no money to start a business. Whether an entrepreneur has the capital to purchase an emerging business outright or starts up with no cash, there is still risk associated with any venture.
Emerging businesses, as well as the opportunities listed, can take time to become successful and may fail for several months before they start generating dependable revenue. But you have nothing to lose and everything to gain, especially if the time you will invest in these opportunities would have been spent languishing. Why spend your time aimlessly when you could invest that time in changing your life for the better?
No more excuses!
"Excuses are like armpits: we all have them, and they all stink."
If you're still shakey about getting started in business, check out the video below of four young men explaining how they stumbled into different entrepreneurial opportunities. These rising YouTube stars compare and contrast their success in Amazon FBA, affiliate marketing, social media marketing, and real estate. They started so young, and with so little. Take a look at how long it took for them to achieve their different levels of success, and get inspired!
These guys literally started with nothing and researched their way into the business. They had limited knowledge at first but became experts along the way. They are proof that you really don't need experience or the perfect product to get started. What you need is a fearless attitude and the motivation to power through the drought before the income starts to pour in.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2018 Angelo