Let’s pretend that we’re not in a state of great economic and commercial flux. Let’s pretend that markets aren’t responding and reacting to a global pandemic. Let’s pretend that the face of business is changing by necessity all around the world. Even if legions of people weren’t finding out that their jobs and their careers aren’t as secure as they thought they were, even if employers weren’t letting scores of employees go out of sheer panic. Even if none of this were happening… you’ve been thinking about going into business for yourself for a long time now. You’ve spent longer than you’d care to admit stagnating in a cubicle, letting your skills, talents and passion atrophy a little at a time. You’re tired of opportunities passing you by. You were in a comfortable rut. You were paying the bills (just about) and coasting by well enough, but in this climate of turmoil and uncertainty, it’s become abundantly clear…
Something needs to change.
Even if you’re one of the lucky ones who still has a job or is able to do their job from home for the foreseeable future, you might still be feeling an itch that you’ve been waiting to scratch for some time now. The itch to go into business for yourself and make a living doing what you love on your own terms. But in these disruptive times, is entrepreneurship really the best idea? It could be argued that now is the perfect time to ditch the 9 to 5 and strike out on your own. Still, it’s completely understandable that you might be risk averse. Here are some business ideas which are inherently low in risk, so entrepreneurs can attempt to make a new life and a new career for themselves without burdening their nascent business with crippling overheads or enormous debts.
Some great low-risk business ideas include…
If you already generate content online in your free time, you’re already ideally placed to join an affiliate marketing program. Affiliate marketing is rapidly on the rise, expecting to reach a value of approximately 7 billion dollars before the year is out. All you need to become an affiliate marketer is a few lines of HTML code which you can embed on your blog / website / social media profile. You don’t need to buy any stock or keep your spare room full of boxes of inventory. All you’re doing is effectively generating sales leads for your affiliate partner and earning a commission.
Affiliate marketing is a particularly promising avenue in this period of uncertainty. In a time when people are scared and confused they’re likely to gravitate towards the familiar. Because most affiliate programs allow affiliate members to capitalize on the name recognition of the brand, they can find great success with few-to-low startup or operational costs. Your readers / viewers / followers simply click on your affiliate link, choose items that they would have bought from a familiar brand anyway, and you make a small commission on each sale. As your following grows, so too does your potential income.
Take some time to learn about the best affiliate programs of 2020. If you can, it may be worth investing a little in Pay Per Click advertising to grow your following with some highly targeted ads designed to introduce you to the kinds of people who are likely to enjoy your content. Of course, your chances of success in affiliate marketing are also increased if you’re delivering a constant stream of engaging, entertaining and above all useful content for your followers. Get it right, however, and you may be surprised by just how profitable it can be.
So, you want to set up a brick and mortar business, but are scared of the crippling overhead costs. That’s extremely prudent, especially in the current climate of uncertainty. However, there may be a way in which you can have your cake and eat it. And that is by buying a franchise. Franchises come in all shapes and sizes and whatever you do best, you’re likely to be able to find a franchise in that industry.
A franchise gives you the best of both worlds. You can enjoy the freedom and autonomy that come with running your own business, but at the same time you have access to the kind of support, tuition and guidance that so many small business owners wish they had. What’s more, you’ll be operating under a name that consumers already know and trust.
We often tend to think of franchises in the service industry or retail, but there are all kinds of franchises out there, and whatever you want from your own business there’s an excellent chance that you can find a franchise that aligns with your goals and needs. Take a look at this moving business opportunity for example. With an emphasis on being supportive without restrictive and helping franchisees chart their way to sustainable growth it’s a great example of what you should expect from a franchise.
Some may worry about the franchise model being restrictive, but you may be surprised by just how much freedom you’re afforded while being well insulated from risks in ways that many of today’s startups are not.
If you’ve reached the top of the corporate ladder, like Alexander The Great you may well weep because there are no challenges left to conquer. Still, that doesn’t mean that you can’t make a lucrative career for yourself by striking out on your own. Many successful executives find success as consultants, achieving greater work / life balance and often exceeding their corporate earnings.
A consultant either survives or thrives based on the strength of their network. The good news is that you already have a network of business contacts who could become tomorrow’s clients. Reach out to them. See what they think about the idea of you becoming an independent consultant. Touch base with them (either online or over coffee). Get to know their needs. Deliver the exceptional results on which you will build your reputation. Write thought leadership articles on LinkedIn and your own personal blog that will establish your authority in your chosen field. Attend networking events, meet people and line up tomorrow’s clients as you service the needs of todays.
In these challenging times, businesses of all shapes and sizes need leadership more than ever. You might just be able to provide it for them!