Starting a business is never easy even under the most normal circumstances, so when Covid kicks in, it’s a real kick in the back side!

I was in my early twenties when I co-founded the Fluqe brand back in 2001, this was the height of the dotcom boom, and very early on I understood that the future was online and today, Covid has only reinforced this belief even more.

2020, has been a very tough year for everyone, the business community has had to make considerable changes to the way it works and functions, with many people now working remotely from home now being the new norm.

From the start Fluqe has always been about endorsing flexibility, fun and fair treatment for our team and in all our products and services.

At Fluqe, we’ve been managing a large workforce that have been working predominately remotely and independently and in many different time-zones for the past 20 years and this was all well before the invention of conference call apps like Zoom and Google Meet!

In 2015, we were thinking of opening a flagship head-office in London for Fluqe and furthermore investing in smaller regional offices around the world to accommodate our global team.

I decided to call every team member that was working for the Fluqe Group at the time to ask their views on this, unanimously the whole global team agreed that the idea of an office was a great one but one which would be most suited for the future. Henceforth, we continue to work very successfully the same we have for the past 20 years – remotely & independently!

At the end of last year in my blog titled A vision of the future, I shared how I would be outlining my vision of how businesses of the future would look like. As such with the new year now fully on top of us, and in response to the current lockdown restrictions, I’ve compiled my top ten pick of home based business ideas that you could start quite easily with little or no start-up costs (and should be quite fun!)

Each business venture has been listed in order of technical complexity and selected on the basis of their ease of doing business during Covid, their current demand and its future growth potential.

1. Vlogging

Seasoned YouTuber’s can make an handsome amount of money from advertising revenue, with YouTube paying around £1000 per 1 million views. Big brand names are now also paying YouTube influencers for promoting their products and services. This can be a great revenue source for once you have an established channel. To begin with you’ll need to create an account on YouTube and then decide on your niche to help you reach out to your viewership. You’ll also need to learn some simple filming and editing techniques, as well as how to write catchy titles and research what content is popular to help grow your channel.

2. Blogging

Blogging is one of the first business models to arise from the invention of the internet. Blogs are basically online magazines and you can find them everywhere on the internet on any number of topics like articles relating to business advice, health information and many other informative resources. Over 4.4 million blog posts are published every day, that’s largely contributed to an increase in amateur bloggers and the entire publishing industry shifting towards a purely online model. Given this, the blogging space is fast becoming an extremely competitive platform to express yourself. It’s not a quick way to make money online, but it’s relatively low cost to start and grow your business.

3. eBay

eBay is an online market where you can buy, sell or auction virtually anything new or second hand. You’ll need to set up an eBay business account for this and a PayPal business account before you can begin buying or selling anything on eBay. Then you need to define what products you’re going to buy and sell through your eBay shop. The market can change quickly so you’ll need to be constantly adjusting your product-line to stay profitable. You can also buy from other platforms and resell on eBay, or you can start a dropshipping business on eBay. This could be the better option for you if you don’t have much up-front capital as you won’t need to purchase or hold any stock.

4. Dropshipping

Dropshipping is where you list a supplier’s products on your online store or selling platform without purchasing the stock upfront. Starting a successful drop shopping business is all about selecting the right products at the right price from your suppliers. Finding the right dropshipping supplier is critical, you need to make sure they are reliable and that the delivery times are within reason, otherwise you could find customers cancelling their orders because they’re taking too long to deliver. Remember that many drop shippers are based in China, therefore the lead time to produce and ship a product can sometimes take several months to reach a customer.

5. Freelancing

Becoming a freelancer requires you to have a specialist skill that is in demand. Prime examples include website development, graphic design, copywriting, software development and business development. From there you can register your skill-sets on platforms like UpWork and PeoplePerHour, then take on as many freelance jobs as you can. To establish your profile and to get regular projects you should get a strong portfolio in place and acquire a decent number of positive reviews, you can easily do this by pricing yourself and your services cheaper than your competitors.

6. eBook writer

With the creation of eBooks, it’s never been easier to publish and distribute your writings. eBooks allow you to access a large potential audience through platforms such as Kindle, without the need for a traditional publisher or expensive printing costs. As with any book you must decide on the premise of what your writing, structure the proposed text, edit and then publish. To distribute your eBook, you can use your own website and list your eBook for sale on platforms such as the likes of Kindle, Smashwords or Kobo. Once you list your book on eBook on any of these platforms above, it’s important to get as many positive reviews as possible to get up the rankings to maximise sales.

7. Virtual assistant

Virtual assistants operate remotely and carry out all manner of digital tasks for their clients. This could include everything from carrying out online research, processing data, ordering equipment to making complex travel arrangements. If you thrive in an organisational role and are an experienced administrator, this is a great home-based business idea. To get started, you can list yourself on platforms such as UpWork for small projects. In order to compete against existing virtual assistant service provider’s, you can start offering your services below market rate to build up your reviews and your portfolio.

8. Handicrafts

Over the years handcrafts have become extremely popular with people and the handcraft market is becoming very competitive. Starting a handcrafted goods business is all about making and selecting the correct range of products to produce. You will need to create a capturing brand and ensure that your social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook are being used effectively to promote your products. In terms of customer acquisition you can use crafting sales platforms like Etsy to advertise and sell your goods. Alternately, you can set-up your own website like WordPress, Magento or Shopify and directly sell your handicrafts to your customers.

9. User testing

User testing is a more technical form of work and requires some computer programming skills and knowledge of testing software, websites or applications for bugs through general use or by carrying out specific actions. A company commissioning user testing will generally give you access to their software to record and report any bugs or errors. User testing varies greatly in terms of complexity and the fee you get paid. If you are a person who is an expert in or enthusiastic about technology, you can sign up as a tester at testing platforms like UserTesting.com or set up your own website promoting your user testing services.

10. App developer

Developing apps is another technical art form and one that requires some beforehand knowledge or experience. You’ll need to be an expert developer and be comfortable with IOS and Android development languages. There are many companies and individuals that want to start an app-based business or create a new application for their existing business, in these cases it’s easier for them to just to buy a ready-made application close to or exactly the app they were looking to develop rather than develop it themselves or outsource and manage the application build. If you have the skill sets to successfully develop and create apps, you can use platforms such as, SellMyApp and Fliptopia to list your services and applications.

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