Nothing beats the ability to work from home. You get to work on your own terms, set your own hours, and design the perfect workspace to accommodate your personal workflow. If you’re between jobs right now, this is a fantastic opportunity to get your remote career up and running. But where do you start? There are so many avenues you could take when it comes to earning money online. Here’s a quick guide to help you choose a path and find online work opportunities right away!
Start a Business
Have a great idea on the back burner? This is your chance to pursue it! Starting a small business can be incredibly exciting and is a great way to take back control over your work life. You don’t even need to purchase inventory or rent a business space! If you’re on a budget, you could start an ecommerce store and sell digital products or drop-ship products straight from your suppliers.
But before you go too far down the business path, take the time to learn everything you need to know about the world of entrepreneurship. Take a small business course online, network with other entrepreneurs in your community, and find out which resources are available to help you get your business up and running—especially during the pandemic. For example, Zen Business lists several resources that entrepreneurs can use to access funding and adapt to the changing business landscape during COVID-19.
Starting a business isn’t the only way to make money online. If you’re looking for something easier, try freelancing! Assess your marketable skills, and think about the freelance roles that interest you the most, whether it’s writing, web development, marketing or social media management.
Keep in mind that freelancing isn’t for everyone. You have to be incredibly self-disciplined to avoid procrastination and stay on task, especially when others in your household are home from work and school due to the pandemic. Take advantage of resources that you can use to keep those clients happy and enjoy your personal life at the same time. For example, using time-tracking tools and online collaboration software can help you stay productive while working from home.
Where to Find Work Opportunities
Finding work online isn’t as difficult as most people think. Once you know what you want to do, get out there and start hunting down potential customers or clients! If you want to try freelancing, online freelancing job boards are a great place to start. Looking for a remote employment role? Tech Republic recommends checking out work-from-home companies like Amazon, Slack, and Zillow. Gig-based apps are especially approachable for people who are new to working online, so give one of these a go if you’re looking for something flexible and low-commitment.
Don’t Neglect the Details
Try not to get so caught up in all the excitement of earning money online that you forget to do your due diligence. If you’re starting a freelance business, remember to write up a contract for your clients. Your contract will serve as a safety net just in case something goes wrong. CreativeLive recommends including several thorough details in your contract, including your scope of work, payment rates, project timeline, and a termination clause.
Another important housekeeping item to consider is taxes. Freelancers and business owners have to track and pay their own taxes, so make sure you keep solid records of your income and expenses. If your taxes become too complicated to do yourself, you may want to hire an accountant.
If you were one of the millions of Americans who lost a job to the coronavirus pandemic, this is a great time to pursue your true passion and look for work online. You could start a small business, sell your services as a freelancer, join the local gig-economy—whatever you like! As long as you take the time to do it properly, your remote career is bound to be a success!