It’s no surprise that you’re interested in becoming your own boss. Countless people consider it a dream, and that’s why 55% of Americans have started at least one business in their lifetimes.
Unfortunately, doing so is easier said than done. Many people don’t know where to start, so they never begin the process and remain at their current jobs.
Luckily, you can take a few common paths to become your own boss. Read the guide below to learn nine ways to work for yourself and live independently.
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Start Gig Work
One common thing people do when they decide to work on their own is to start doing gig work. Gig work is great because you only need a smartphone, and you can offer your services.
One popular way to do this is to give rides and deliver food. You can work your own hours as long as you have a car and an internet connection. You’ll be paid a fixed amount per ride and a variable amount based on the distance.
Of course, you still rely on one company when doing this. However, it will give you the freedom to set your schedule and set yourself up to work on other things in your own time.
Just keep in mind that this may not be a great long-term option. You have to trust that the company has your best interest in mind and won’t take action to reduce your take-home income.
Become a Freelancer
The next step up after becoming a gig worker is to become a freelancer. Unlike a gig worker — where your income is limited due to the time you have to spend working — the same isn’t true with freelance work.
Many freelancers go on to create successful agencies that make a ton of money. They can do this because as their experience grows and people trust them more, clients are willing to spend more money on the service.
Another great thing about freelancing is that you don’t need a college education to get started. There are many in-demand skills that you can learn online.
Here are a few popular options for freelancers:
- Graphic design
- Content writing
- Software development
- Website development
- Information technology
Your only limit is your skill set and ability to sell your expertise. You can also do this in your free time and keep your regular job. This will allow you to build a client base before you go full-time with your freelance work.
Start a Blog
Of all the online business ideas out there, starting a blog is one of the simplest to get started with. You don’t need a huge budget, a massive presence, or a large skillet. If you have something intelligent to say, you can get attention online for your blog.
The way most bloggers do this is with SEO. They look for search engine keywords that don’t have much competition on search engines and write content that targets those phrases.
The goal is to target enough of those terms to generate website visitors for your website. Once you have enough authority, you can start targeting more competitive terms.
Many people monetize this business with display ads. You get paid whenever a visitor clicks an ad or your website gets enough impressions.
Another revenue stream for bloggers is affiliate marketing. Sign up for an affiliate program and get a unique URL for your website. This URL tracks the traffic you send.
Whenever someone buys something with your link, you get a commission based on the total sale price.
Sell Products Online
Do you have a knack for creating products? If so, there may be people online who are willing to buy.
The eCommerce world has exploded over the past several years. Reports show that the total number of eCommerce sales reached $1 trillion in 2022. There is more opportunity than ever to build an online brand that sells products.
There are many ways to start a business doing this. Crafting websites like Etsy is an excellent option if you want to stay small and have a personal touch. Customers on these sites look for homemade products and will be more open to paying more for a human-made product.
But if you want to set up manufacturing and have larger goals, you can set up an eCommerce store on your own domain. You’ll find manufacturers, create a website, and market to potential customers.
You also have the option of selling products other people make. Some people get their start doing this by reselling.
They are looking for underpriced products in thrift stores, yard sales, estate sales, and other locations. From there, they list products online and sell them for a profit.
There are also manufacturers that will sell you products in bulk. This process is dropshipping and is a great way to sell products without as much initial capital. However, you won’t have as much profit as you would by creating your own product and manufacturing it yourself.
Invest in Real Estate
Real estate is an excellent option for becoming your own boss if you have some money to spare. You can look for homes to buy, fix them, and rent them to people looking for a place to live.
To start, you’ll need to determine what type of real estate investor you want to be. Many people don’t want long-term obligations, so they use the fix-and-flip model.
The goal of this model is to find distressed properties for under-market value. Once you do, determine how much money it will cost to fix everything wrong. Your goal is to make a profit once you sell.
The first part of this process is also a great way to start as a landlord. You still purchase undervalued properties and fix them up. However, you keep them long-term instead of selling them for a profit.
You want to create passive income over time when you do this. Your renters will help pay the mortgage and allow you to do your own thing. You also have the option to hire a property management company to handle much of the heavy lifting.
Become a Coach
One of the best things about working in an industry for so long is the amount of knowledge you gain. Most people offer that knowledge as an employee — you get a steady paycheck in return for what you know.
But you have other options if you want to share that knowledge. One of those ways is to become a coach.
Take a fitness coach, for instance. You can set up shop at a gym and advertise your services there. You can set your own hours and work with the clients you wish.
The same is also true for something like language learning. Since English is one of the most used languages globally, many people try to learn and find resources for their children to learn. That’s why countless English tutoring websites allow you to make an income online.
You can apply this to whatever industry you think of. Find a way to offer your knowledge, and people will pay you for what you know.
Create an Online Course
Although becoming a coach is a great way to start a business, it can only get you so far. It has the same problem as gig work — you’re limited by the hours you work, and you can only charge so much. That means there’s a limit to how much money you can make.
If you want to expand your reach, starting an online course is a great way to start a business online. You have unlimited reach as long as you create a great course and give people the necessary information.
It’s also easier than ever to do this. Yes, you will need to put in the work to create great text and video content. However, you can upload your content to course platforms and use pre-existing infrastructure to sell your courses.
You will give some of your revenue to those websites, but at the same time, they make the selling process much easier.
If you want to put in extra work, you can also create your own website to sell your content. You can keep far more of your revenue when doing this. You’ll only have transaction fees from your payment processor.
At the same time, you may not get the same exposure as you would from existing platforms. These platforms promote their good courses, so it’s on you to create buzz about your course and make sales.
Build a Software Business
Software is all the rage these days. Companies in every industry constantly search for new tools that make their jobs easier. The good news is that there are always problems that need to be solved — and software is one of the best ways to do that.
You can learn how to program if you want to do things yourself. Most companies invest in online software these days, so you’ll probably build your software for the web. Reports show that 90% of enterprises now use cloud software.
This means learning front-end and back-end web development. Research the different programming languages and frameworks available and pick one to learn.
Of course, you don’t need to learn to program if you don’t want to. If you have money to spend starting your business, you can use that money to hire a developer.
If you want a successful software build, you must map out exactly what your software does. Determine which problem it solves, how the user interacts with the software, and everything else you can think of.
An experienced developer can turn those requirements into what you need. Once you have your software prototype, gather a group of potential customers and let them test everything.
Their feedback will help you find bugs and refine how your program works. Once you create a robust minimum viable product, you can launch it to the world and start collecting monthly revenue.
Learn to Recruit
You don’t have to offer specific industry experience to companies that need help. Some companies are trying to find employees to fill those roles. You can take your experience in the industry to find people who meet those requirements.
That’s why many people decide to become recruiters. Yes, many of those people work for recruiting companies. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t work for yourself.
You can start as a free agent in the recruiting world. As long as you can deliever quality employees to companies, you should find plenty of business.
It’s also possible to expand your reach in the future when you start growing. You can change into a recruiting agency and act as the agency owner.
Once you’re in this position, you’ll hire other recruiters to work for you. Doing this allows you to continue growing and make more money, all while not spending more of your time placing talent.
Become Your Own Boss Today
It’s never an easy decision to become your own boss. You’re leaving the comfort that being an employee offers and can’t count on another company for a steady paycheck. Although the job market isn’t a guarantee, it does offer some comfort to people who prefer to work for someone else.
But if you aren’t one of those people and think you can do it on your own and start your own company, you have all the information you need to get started. Whether you want to engage in gig work or build a large business, start taking action today to build a new life for yourself.