Online businesses started trending after the economic collapse of 2008. The trend largely stemmed from many people being out of work, or underemployed, and needing some serious cash. The trend now is those with money investing in a part-time online business while continuing to work a regular job.
In fact, 69 percent of entrepreneurs in the United States start their business at home. Not only that, but 59 percent of business owners continue to run their businesses from home after they are established.
Many large companies started out at part-time businesses from home. Generating a part-time income while continuing to work full time is a good way to test a business idea and build up reserves for the business while also using the extra money to pay off debt.
Starting a part-time online business is appealing for several reasons:
1. It often takes little in investment to get started.
2. There are many different routes to take in generating online income.
3. You can set you own rate or product prices.
4. You can work around other priorities such as your full-time job, family and vacations.
5. You can create your own lifestyle of when to work and when to take time off.
6. It can turn into a full-time business.
Online business investment can be as low as the cost of a website, which makes it easy for most people to start. You can quadruple that cost with one project.
Technology has done much to empower online entrepreneurs by giving them a global reach. With email, there is instant feedback.
The right niche and product can net big money. DEVISE CEO Jeff Taylor had a website his company built sell for seven figures. Online entrepreneur Tim Seidler created an online business that got him out of debt, provided for his family, and allowed him to quit his full-time job. He recently sold a website portfolio for six figures!
Marketing guru Neil Patel started out building websites at 16, but needed marketing to sell them. Working marketing part-time online, he met Mike Kamo. They created marketing companies Crazy Egg, and KISSmetrics.
Types of Online Business Models
There are basically four types of part-time online business models. Each has its own pros and cons and is targeted at specific skills. You need to decide which option fits your skills, your budget, and both you short-term and long-term goals.
This is where you sell a product online. Many work this type of business through third-parties like Etsy and Shopify. Third parties can be helpful because they offer step-by-step help in setting up your online store, merchant payment systems and communicating with clients. They work well for those with little to no tech experience, but do cost more money than other models.
There are two challenges. First, you need to rank at the top of searches engines. Second, you need to have ship-ready products. You will likely get immediate money in advertising to family and friends on social media while building up your search ranking.
This type of business works well for people who don't want inventory, but could manage a website. In this model, people buy from your site and you fulfill the order using contracted vendors. You get money from the sale, pay the vendor's wholesale price, and the vendor ships the product directly to the customer.
One of the most popular is Fulfillment by Amazon (Amazone FBA). With this option, you have your own products stored at Amazon Fulfillment centers. You sell your product and Amazon packs and ships it. Amazon also offers customer service for your products.
The overhead on this type of business is low, but it requires ongoing maintenance and diligence. Some costs can escalate, depending on whether you hire someone to handle SEO, website updating, customer service, and other parallel responsibilities.
However, you could get 20 times the return on your investment once your site does well because so many people buy from niche sites.
Many people earn commissions as an Amazon affiliate. Others join affiliate programs to promote products. The cost of this type of business can range from virtually nothing to $1,000. You need a website to do it, but more importantly, you need a business funnel. That is the challenging part.
There are companies that assist with establishing your business funnel, but that typically cost some money. The payout can be huge, $100,000 or more, compared to your investment, but it takes some time to build a well-paying funnel.
The primary benefit of this model is that it practically runs itself once you build your system. You will need to work only a few hours a week once you build it.
This requires almost no upfront cost and doesn't require a website. You are selling your skills, such as writing, editing, logo or website design. This type of part-time business can net you money immediately. It can be profitable because you set you own prices.
However, the downside is money stops flowing if projects cease. You must constantly sell your skills to keep cash flow. Many people who do this also have blogs for passive income.
Continuous money can come from freelancing if you build a product that either reaches more customers or can be sold to other freelancers to automate their work systems. In this way, one product can bring residual income without requiring more hours.
There isn't accurate data on how many part-time online entrepreneurs have used their extra income, but there are countless stories. Atlanta blogger Lauren Bowling had a good-paying, full-time job, but wanted to pay down debt from a home renovation. She paid off more than $8,000 in debt in 90 days by earning money part-time online in a number of ways from selling on eBay to blogging and freelancing.
Whatever route you choose, the key is to have a clear path and know exactly what you are getting into. Research plays a key role in ongoing business success.