ENTREPRENEURSHIP / JUL. 24, 2014
version 3, draft 3

Entrepreneurial Opportunities with Low Overhead and Risk

The job market is fairly rough for up and coming graduates right now. There is no secret that some individuals, those that would traditionally find work easily, are having trouble actually landing a job. At the same time, some have the entrepreneurial bug and want to start something up, but don’t have the capital to do so. Fortunately, especially for the geeky out there, there are a number of places that you can easily start your own business and slowly build some income. With a little luck, it may take off and replace the need for a “real” job for as long as you continue to focus on it.

YouTube (Free. Computer and Free Recording Software Needed)

You may only think of YouTube as a place to watch videos about things you are interested in. Do you know why there are so many videos being produced though? Advertising. The more viewers and subscribers a channel has, the more revenue they make off of advertising. Many YouTubers have quit their day jobs because of the income they can earn from making videos. The amount of time you spend is up to you. The key is to find the thing you enjoy.

For example, if you are a gamer, find a game that you can give a unique perspective on. Make video upon video about that game and engage your audience. As your viewership grows, start adding more options for viewers; other games, news, “vlogs”, whatever you think your viewership will enjoy. If gaming isn’t your thing, give a unique recap on the week’s news, or video tutorials on programming, or share the latest gossip about celebrities. Your niche doesn’t matter, all that matters is you bring your personality and frequently upload.

Twitch.TV (Free. Computer and Free Streaming Software Needed)

Twitch.TV is a powerhouse in the gaming world. You don’t need to do much to get up and running when it comes to streaming, but what you do need to do is similar to YouTube. Engage your audience and stream as much as possible. Spend time talking with viewers, ask them to follow you and in time you should find that your viewership is large enough to start making a little money. Passion is key, and if you go full on with the site you will eventually grow your channel into something with a dedicated following.

Blog (Free. Use a Free Blogging Site to Start. Small Fee if You Grow)

The only extra cost to blogging could come from a custom domain name. You should have no problem finding a place where you can get a domain name for around $2-$10 for at least a year. WordPress is easily the most popular of the blogging sites out there, but if you don’t like it, search around the web for something more to your taste.

Write about your passion, your experience or whatever you think will generate views. Some blogs are review blogs that focus on technology. Use affiliate programs like Amazon’s program to start generating revenue through your blog. Talk to advertisers about putting ads on your page and let the site grow on its own. It is key that you ask for feedback from your readers and keep a level of transparency for them. Let them know that your ads generate revenue and let you continue to blog and they will happily come to you when they need to make a purchase through an affiliate.

Fiverr (Free)

If you have some special skill, or anything that you can do that is worth 5 bucks, Fiverr is a great place to start. I would not say that Fiverr is going to let you replace your income to a point that you can quit your job, but it will let you meet clients and build up a group that needs your particular set of skills. Models, programmers, writers, voice actors, musicians and everything you can imagine offer their services through the site. Take your special skill, make a video, and offer it up for 5 bucks a pop.

Start a Website (Under $100)

Starting your own site is different than blogging. You will need some sort of understanding about what it takes to design a site, and you will need something that will make it stand out. The cost will vary based on hosting and domain registration, as well as advertising, but if you have something unique, and you want to take a shot, starting your own site can bring in some real income.

This is a common way for those with entertainment interests to start covering everything they love with a monetization goal. Others will build a site that is used as a learning hub. Some sites are aggregated news sites. Others focus on making you laugh. Ever website you visit started out as an idea. With the right marketing and networking, you will find a way to get people to come and make it profitable.

Freelance Subcontracting (Enough to Cover Freelancer’s Fees)

If you know how to get out there and get to clients, subcontracting is a great way to build a business. This is likely the most expensive way to start up as you will need some money to cover your freelancer’s until clients pay. I have already covered places to get work in the freelance world here so I won’t go into detail about finding clients. Instead, your goal is to take on too much work and start to find those that are willing to knock out the work for you at a lower fee.

You will take a cut of the payment. Say you have a client that needs something written and they offer you $150 for the entire job. You offer $75-$100 to a freelancer to do the work and give them a time frame. Once you receive the work, you pay them immediately, edit what they sent to ensure a consistent level of quality and send it off to the client. You did very little work here (outside of finding clients and slight editing), but you made $50-$75 off that project. The main reason you are taking a larger cut is because you are taking the risk. A small percentage of clients won’t pay and that is your loss. If you want to stay in the business of subcontracting, don’t let those that work for you take a hit if you don’t get paid. Make sure they are compensated, and you will have a stable of quality writers helping you grow your business.

Closing Thoughts

One thing to keep in mind is each of these options will require some time to grow. That is no different from opening a store that requires $100,000 to start. Everything needs time to grow. The great thing about these options is that they give you the ability to work on them in your free-time. Doing that reduces the risk, and with almost no cost involved, you are only going to ask “what-if” if you don’t give it a try.

Have you found a place that is letting you take a no risk low cost chance at starting your own business? Share it in the comments below. If you want to hear more about freelancing, business and success, follow me for updates on my latest articles. Want to know more about a specific subject, drop me a message in the comments and I’ll research it and write it up.

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