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The emergency entrepreneur

Starting a thriving business from the comfort of your couch

The coronavirus pandemic (also known as COVID-19) took the world by a storm. Before 2020, it had been ages since the world experienced this sort of enemy, which completely brought the world to its knees. Scarcely any sector was spared by its wrath, although the medical sector was brutally hit. Medical supplies ran out, and emergency personnel was stretched to their limits. Apart from the medical sector, another area that experienced significant assault was the economy. Several nations ran into a recession, and millions of people were laid off from their jobs.

Thankfully, the world is returning to normalcy with the discovery of a vaccine. Thus, there is some hope at the end of the tunnel. However, and rather sadly, it might take a while for the economy to recover. In fact, some jobs have been made obsolete by the online-based approach most organizations took during the pandemic. As a person affected by any of these situations, what can you do?

In this book, we offer you some means to stay economically buoyant: starting and running a business from the comfort of your home. The author,  Gundi Gabrielle, in her true motivational fashion, has written a book that compiles businesses you can start from the comfort of your home. It is titled Top Home-Based Job and Business Ideas for 2020. We will be drawing insight from that book. The idea is that at the end of the day, you will be armed with sufficient information to start and run a home-based business unaided. Here goes.

Top home-based businesses to begin

“Tough times never last, but tough people do.”

Robert Schuller

In Top Home-Based Job and Business Ideas for 2020, Gundi Gabrielle gives a list of twenty businesses to consider. You can count on one consistent theme throughout the suggested jobs: you can do them from the comfort of your home. In addition, they are mostly less tasking, especially when compared with a regular 9 to 5 job. This is to say that you can go to the (virtual) office dressed in nothing but your pajamas. Being at ease while making money on the side, what beats that? We’ve compiled a list of 5 of these jobs. To get the full gist, you can read the book in its entirety. Alternatively, you could read a summary of the book on the Headway App.

Let’s get started:

1. Test websites and apps

Businesses are forever looking for people to test their websites and products. This is like being a lab rat, the difference being that you consent to it, and you also get compensated for your efforts. Ideally, you’ll need a little more than an internet-enabled device fitted with a microphone.

To get started, you register on the website. You will be asked routine questions such as the demographic you are interested in and your likes/dislikes, etc.  When a product that matches your skillset or pertains to your demographic arises, you will be notified and invited to take the survey. Basically, it is usually hassle-free and painless. Also, there is an abundance of developers and business owners who’d like to employ your services.

2. Become a virtual chat agent

If you have an affinity for helping people, this home-based job should be right up your alley. In addition to compassion and empathy, other skills you need are a remarkable typing ability and excellent communication skills. This could be a little tasking because you may have to chat with several customers at the same time. Also, you would have to have a fair idea of the company’s inner workings you want to act as the support agent for. This would help you provide the help the customers need. Thus, the time you’ll spend getting to learn about the company might be significant.

3. Start a virtual consultancy

This is actually at the top end of the skill shelf. Just like in the real world, you’d need to have some experience before acting as a consultant. For this, you can either set up your own agency or work for some company. The first category may be a teeny bit hard, except you’ve had some measure of experience or even an existing practice before the lockdown. That way, it’d be easier for people who require your services to trust you.

For the second option, you may want to ply your trade with any of the companies that have a need for your services. Of course, you’d expect that the vetting process will be thorough and rigorous. You will have to be an expert to be even considered.

Typically, clients may require either phone consultancy or want to go for the video option. This means that you should be comfortable speaking to clients for long hours on the phone. If the client prefers video consultancy, you would have to dress up and at least appear smart so as to inspire confidence in the client. If you snag a consultancy gig, it could set you up for a long time. It might even eventually replace your regular job.

4. Pet sitting

This is another home-based business you could explore during the pandemic. There is no evidence that pets transfer the deadly virus. Hence, as long as you minimize contact with the pet owners, you should be fine.

How will this work? First, you should have some experience with pets, specifically the type of pet you want to pet sit. This is necessary because a pet is like a baby (actually, there is no distinction between the two for some pet owners.) The same way babies have peculiarities, and unique wants are the same way pets have theirs. You cannot hand off your baby to just anyone, correct? How then do you expect to take care of a pet without any prior experience?

Furthermore, it would be great if you actually liked animals. You wouldn’t then have to fake enthusiasm for the job. This option is also quite lucrative because you can charge per hour. The more pets you have, the more money you’ll rake in.

5. Freelance writing

You literally can get your words to pay you. This pandemic would be a great opportunity to put all of your high school literature lessons to the test (and make your teachers proud). Making money from writing is really easy. This is also helped by the fact that the bar for entry is quite low. Basically, anyone can jump into the fray and take some piece of the pie.

What is more, there are many routes you can explore. You can either host your own website where you offer your own services or get on a freelancing app to offer your services. For the latter, some of the more popular ones include Fiverr and Upwork. These platforms act as a meeting point between clients and writers. As a writer, you get to meet clients who pay for your services. However, do bear in mind that the freelancing platform will typically take a cut of whatever you make. This, usually, is not much.

Freelance writing is super flexible. You can choose how often you work, who you work for, etc. It is even possible to carry out multiple gigs at the same time. Of course, you would need to make sure that there are no clashes and that you meet your clients’ deadlines.

“Only the Paranoid Survive”

Andy Grove

You may be unable to predict how the pandemic will eventually be resolved. Nonetheless, you can take charge of your finances, making sure that you stay afloat. Gundi Gabrielle’s book is a good place to start. If you are concerned about finishing the book, you can read a 15-minute summary on the Headway app. The essentials have already been captured, so you’ll lose nothing.

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