By Oleg K Temple, June 2018
PART 2 of 3: 7 Low Risk, High Reward Ventures to consider when starting a company
Before jumping into writing your masterplan for starting a business, consider and compare these seven small business ideas that will do well in the future. These are all areas with high growth potential and a high independence factors, which insulate them from mainstream industries such as construction or forestry, which are very susceptible to market pressures and climate change.
A disclaimer at this juncture: I put it to you that there is no free lunch here. What follows is not the early bird scoop on the next Bitcoin or social media bubble. Every idea that follows will require your full commitment, dedication and careful nurturing to grow into the fecund garden of your dreams. However, the ideas here require little investment and can be launched with very limited manpower.
Perhaps you are wondering why even bother? Why not just seek the security of a snug middle-management position in some large multinational corporation, where your taxes, health benefits, as well as expenses will be paid, the weekends will be yours to enjoy and you will have a set number of holidays per year.
The answer is simple: that ‘safe’ path is for drones who settle. It leads to mediocrity and insignificance. If you truly want your life to mean something, if you want to have the power to make a difference in this world, that path is not for you. Yes, money is very important, but a cap on your income is not the only problem with working for a big corporation or governmental branch. The main problem is that it will sap every drop of your creative energy and you will never muster the time or energy to work on your life’s true passion—be it writing, singing, filming, painting or whatever else. Money may not be able to buy happiness, but it certainly can buy the freedom you need to be happy.
Be aware that most middle-class employment opportunities do not pay a remotely fair wage. We are not talking about grossly overpaid celebrities, top level manages at Google, fat freeloading politicians or bankers on Wall Street. In short, we’re referring to the lower 95% of paid jobs. They don’t pay nearly enough. That is precisely how the elites get to lead their grotesquely garish and lavish lifestyles. In fact these measly jobs often pay the survival minimum, just enough to keep you coming back to punch the clock, as well as just enough to keep social unrest at bay. Middle and lower class workers are not dubbed ‘wage slaves’ for no reason. We are talking about office workers here too, not the 3D jobs (dirty, dangerous and demeaning) a.k.a. modern slavery. The only way to break the chains of this perpetual bondage is to start a company and work to better your own life and the lives of your nearest and dearest, rather than help others in building their dreams at your expense.
So let’s cut to the chase:
The best business you can start for yourself, with very limited risk capital and next to no manpower is an online business. Most people will tell you this, but few take the trouble to explain why or suggest types of online businesses you may wish to examine when starting a company. We are not most people. First and foremost, here are four compelling benefits to starting an online company.
1. Low setup cost
Wordpress is a free and open resource. All you need do is purchase a domain name for about $10, arrange your hosting and you’re set to begin.
2. Largely self-reliant
Tired of a boss breathing down your neck and telling you what to do? Great news! When you start a business of your own, you become the boss. You establish your own deadlines, workload, execution pipeline and pick your customers. You are in charge and hold yourself accountable to the projects that get completed or fail to materialise. Yes, the role of a business owner entails a lot of responsibility, but it likewise means a lot of profit when things begin to go right.
Run it from your garage, basement or armchair, an online business can be housed anywhere! Provided you have unrestricted access to a moderately speedy internet connection. You have complete location freedom.
Picking up on the last point, online companies are not local audience dependent, so they are scalable to as close to infinity, as makes no difference—how do you think Amazon began? Online, you are not restricted by warehouse storage space or the physical constraints put onto a business by logistics (especially if you deal in virtual goods such as consultations, eBooks, music, etc.), utilities, human resources and brick-and-mortar boundaries.
Here are seven big ideas for companies you may wish to create:
1. A power blog
If you are a decent writer, this may be the best way to go. You will be creating value for your readers, generating unique content and hence—an independent income. You will also be self-sufficient and be able to regulate your working hours. The focus of your blog can be on a virtually infinite variety of topics, but it helps if you do proper research and are somewhat knowledgeable in whichever field you pick to tackle.
The drawbacks in starting a company like this, are that you need to do all of your own promotion (and this is not 2005, the competition is fairly stiff these days), be very punctual with postings and have the endurance and dedication of an Olympic athlete to keep this up for the long haul. Don’t expect to earn a living wage within the first year. However, if you can stay the course and post good content 2-3 times per week, all the while promoting yourself in a legitimate way, this venture will blossom and bloom. About 18 months after launch, it will begin to grow very rapidly and more than cover the income you forewent setting it up. So the best way to do blogging, is to take it on as an extracurricular activity or hobby, while maintaining your day job for survival income. Think of it as asset creation, as every article you complete is, indeed, a piece of intellectual property which will yield dividends and royalties in time, down the line. However, don’t fall into the trap of justifying slacking off, just because you are not yet making money. Treat writing like a serious career and it will become one!
Alternatively, if writing is too tedious for you, but you are great at spontaneous conversation, perhaps a podcast is the way to go forward. But punctuality and quality content are indispensable to attaining any meaningful success here also.
2. Start a YouTube channel
If you have been blessed with the gift of the gab, silver vocal chords, athletic ability or hot feet, in other words, if being entertaining in any way is among your talents, YouTube can change your life. Granted, this career path too, seldom turns into an overnight rags-to-riches success story and it most certainly was FAR easier to make money on YouTube about ten years ago, when audience expectations, competition, industry quality standards were low and YouTube policies were much less rigid. However, you can also view the piggybank as half-full: technological advancements have made great strides in allowing you to achieve a much more perfect version of your vision; although Google has in many ways made it much harder for creators to become wealthy, it has made the policies much easier to understand, reduced the chaotic nature of the platform and, to a large extent, culled cyberbullying; although the competition for viewership is fierce, don’t forget that most of the world’s population has no continuous access to electricity yet, never mind a free and open internet! Over the coming years, literally, billions of brand new users will flood onto the internet and YouTube ranks as the number two search engine in the world, right behind its parent company, Google. Do the math. Don’t count yourself out just yet—you still have a great chance at success here! If you have the talent… take it.
3. Open an online store
Although perhaps costlier and more time-consuming to run than a basic affiliate funnel programme, an actual product page you own and operate does have a much higher potential coefficient for success. The reason is that if you just send viewers or readers through your funnel video link or image directly to the seller, without forming a bond, you will have a commission on a one-time sale and no repeat business. And no business can survive without repeat customers. In effect, you are surrendering the customer to the seller, in exchange for the one-time commission. You are consigning your business to failure.
If, however, you first have people register at your store and only then send them off shopping with your affiliate partner, you will receive your commission on the current purchase and be able to approach the client in the future with fresh exciting offers.
Let us know in the comments below which business idea appeals to you the most and if you can think of any lucrative business opportunities we have missed.
Join us for the final part of the Futureproof ideas for starting a business article, where we will bring you four more exciting ideas for starting a business in the modern era—two of these ideas will be offline! Until then, grind on and stay in the black ink!
About the author: Oleg K. Temple has worked as an editor and consultant on numerous projects advising various start-ups and fledgling SMEs (mostly in the travel, accommodation, tourism and HR sectors) for over 12 years. His main project has been The Cornerstones of World Business, international business directory focused on bringing to light the best companies from each country and state, providing them with affordable advertising and marketing opportunities while encouraging them to engage in lucrative B2B and B2C relations. For travel information such as hotels in California, accommodation New York, hotels Illinois and other destinations across Europe and USA; or if you seek reliable financial, real estate, consultancy, insurance, construction or shipping partners – welcome to CornerstonesWORLD.com.