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Entrepreneurship

7 Internet Based Businesses You Can Start for Under $100

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One of my favorite things to talk about at conferences and write about on the blog is the many different ways to make money online. The internet has made it extremely easy and cost effective for anyone to start a business of their own. Not only is there really no excuse to not get started with an online business, there’s actually little-to-no investment required as well. This is especially true for anyone who just wants to test the waters and see what opportunities might be right for them.

While startups are always making news and headlines for the massive amounts of funding and investment money they are getting, this isn’t always required. In most cases, online entrepreneurs aren’t going to need to borrow money from banks, take out a small business loan or ever-present their business idea to a room of investors.

With this in mind, today I’m going to be providing you with 10 different ways to make money online and even start a personal brand or business in the process. Many of these opportunities are free, but at the most won’t cost more than $100 to get started.

Be sure to read through each of the methods below and see which ones might be of the most interest and value to you.

Start a Blog

Blogging is one of the easiest ways to get started with a website and putting your expertise to work. This is something I personally did back in 2007, and it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve made. Through the use of content creation and putting my expertise to use, not only has my blog turned into a business of its own and help me grow my brand into much more than it ever was, it’s also helped me teach others how to make money online in the process. Since starting the blog, millions of people have been to the site and have generated millions of dollars as a result of my free tutorials, guides, and resources.

One of the greatest things about blogging is that the majority of sites on the internet today are powered by the free WordPress CMS platform. This means all you need is a domain name and web hosting to get started with a website or blog of your own.

Estimated cost: Free domain + $100 for 3 years of hosting (with Bluehost)

Freelance Writing

I always get a little frustrated when I hear people say it’s too hard to make money online. Sure, it’s quite hard to make money online as a full-time income, but there’s always going to be ways to make money on the side. One of the easiest ways to actually start making your first few dollars online is through the use of freelance writing.

With more than a billion active websites on the internet today, there is a massive demand for content creation services and hiring freelance writers. Thanks to sites like TextBroker, anyone can join these open marketplace writing sites and simply get paid the start writing content that is being requested from other sites owners, blogs, and brands on the internet.

Best of all, there are no costs for setting this up. You can join any of the freelance marketing sites out there for free. However if you do have a hundred bucks to spend, I would recommend starting a freelance portfolio site of your own, which would fall under the same pricing as starting a blog.

Estimated cost: Free to join writing marketplaces. Improve results with a personal blog and writing portfolio.

Outsourced Expertise on Fiverr

Just like there are platforms out there for freelance writing, there are also micro job sites that allow you to create an online business for pretty much anything you can think of. One of the most popular sites out there right now is fiverr.com. On the site you will find everything from micro jobs that focus on SEO, content creation, people doing video work, pranking people with silly voices, and much more.

This is just another example of a platform and audience that is already in place and waiting for you. There is no need to start a website a blog or even a social profile, all you need is to get active on these sites and start getting a few customers and reviews. Some of the top users on Fiverr are generating over six figures per year.

Estimated cost: There are no costs to create an account or start selling through Fiverr.

Creating Courses to Sell on Udemy

As we all know, content creation and putting your expertise to use are always going to be some of the most effective ways to make money online. As we’ve seen in two of the previous examples, getting your content and expertise in front of an audience is key.

This is exactly what we are talking about in this example as well. Udemy is one of the top websites on the internet for online courses and learning. Not only are there are millions of users on the site actively taking courses and purchasing them, Udemy is also making their instructors a lot of money in the process.

If you have access to a computer, you can start creating an online course of your own. I personally like to use Screenflow or Camtasia to record my screen when doing online courses and video training, but there are free options out there as well. You can also use your computer’s microphone which will work fine for recording your audio. Once you’ve created a course, you can then throw it on Udemy and start earning 95% on all direct sales and 50% of sales generated through their organic traffic.

Estimated cost: Free to sell on Udemy. Screenflow recording software costs $129. Find a promotional or discounted copy to knock it under $100 🙂

Start a Podcast

If you already have a website or blog and looking for that next level of content creation and audience engagement, a podcast might be a good idea for you. The benefit of podcasting is that this industry is growing at a rapid pace and advertisers are throwing a ton of money at podcasters to get featured on their shows.

Another great benefit of podcasting, is that audiences are now more interested in consuming content through audio and visual, over text content. As mentioned earlier there are now more than a billion sites on the internet and it’s becoming quite competitive to rank in the search results or even get people to your site. With podcasting still in its infancy, it’s a great way for anyone to jump into this market and grow a successful brand and following of their own.

While I have personally invested around $1,000 into my own podcasting equipment, this is not a requirement. Anyone can start a podcast by simply recording audio into their mobile device and uploading it online. However if you did have $100 to spend on a podcasting business, I would recommend you get a high quality microphone from Amazon.

Estimated cost: Spend $70 to get a high-quality Blue Yeti microphone from Amazon.

Affiliate Marketing

Having been successfully making money online for over 20 years now, affiliate marketing has to be my favorite method. The concept of affiliate marketing is quite simple. All you need to do is join an affiliate program and every time you sent a specific lead, sale, or action to a website, you will earn a commission. The benefit here is that you never have to hold any inventory, deal with any of the customers directly, or even process their orders. You are simply required to send the best quality of content possible while also making sure you’re advertising cost or less than the amount you are generating revenue.

When we start talking about building an online business with affiliate marketing and not spending over $100, you still have a few options to play around with. For example, if you were to create a website or blog focused on product reviews, coupons or “how to guides”, there are plenty of affiliate programs that you could join and recommend products and services through. This is a perfect example, but also one that will take some time to establish as you will need to rank in the search results and get some decent traffic to your site.

If you wanted to spend your $100 on marketing affiliate campaigns, you will need to do this at a slow and steady pace. A good way to get started with this might be through promoting dating offers or email/zip submit offers through media buying. Since these offers are pretty easy to complete and turn a commission on, it will allow you to spend a few dollars per day and split test in the process. The goal here is to not blow through your $100 in a short time. You need to make this initial investment money last so you can reach profitability and then scale the money back into the business when you are paid.

Estimated cost: Spend $5 a day on Facebook Ads and keep a close eye on your daily numbers, ad spend and conversions.

Create an Online Review Site

Another business opportunity with affiliate marketing and earning commissions in mind is to create an online review site. When someone goes to Google and searches for something, they are very interested in what the results are. This is especially true if there are looking for information to buy something, looking for coupons and definitely when searching for online reviews.

With this in mind, one could create a coupon or review site that could rank in Google for long tail keywords and start generating some decent revenue in the process. However, as with all site-building and search ranking efforts, you will need to go after a niche market that isn’t saturated and has a lower level of competition. Revenue generation for such a website could be done through affiliate marketing or simply placing Google AdSense on your site.

Since we are focusing on starting a business with just under $100, this money could be spent on a domain name and web hosting. If you are serious about growing out your site and getting visitors to keep coming back for me, you should also invest in a mailing list, which can be done through a service like ConvertKit. The rest of your time and effort would be focused on creating content and getting your site to rank in the search results.

Estimated cost: Free domain + $100 for 3 years of hosting (with Bluehost) + mailing list

How to Make Money Online… One Dollar at a Time!

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to make money online or even starting a business of your own for under $100. When I first started making money back in the mid-90s, I was actually using free AOL discs and hosting my sites through free platforms like Geocities and AOL member pages. I started to generate a few dollars per day with affiliate marketing and the Amazon Associates program, which then turned into $10 per day, then hundreds per day and eventually growing into what it is today.

The most important thing for you to take away here, is that you take action and build something today. It’s easy to read through all of this and see how many opportunities are available, but if you don’t take action someone else will, and you will miss the boat.

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Entrepreneurship

Analyzing the Many Benefits of Starting a Home Business in 2019

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There are many people these days that would love to run their own business but many have no idea where they should start. Most are put off right away but the thought of raising enough money to start a business. However, what many people fail to realize is that in today’s digital era it has become far easier and cheaper to start a business because you can start it from home.

Whether you want to provide a freelance accountancy or writing service, set up an online retail business, or even start your own drop shipping business, working from home is an ideal solution. You can enjoy many benefits when you set up your business from home and this includes keeping costs down to a minimum. In fact, more and more people have been able to start their own business these days thanks to modern technology and the online revolution, which is why has become so viable for many people.

Some of the Key Benefits You Can Look Forward To

There are many fabulous benefits that you can look forward to when you set up your own business from home. As mentioned earlier, one of the key benefits is that it is far cheaper to run a business from home than to worry about paying for business premises, business rates, bills, building maintenance and other unnecessary costs. All you have to do is set up a home office, which can be done very cheaply by investing in high quality used furniture and equipment. This immediately makes it more financially viable to set up your own business.

A second benefits is that you won’t have to worry about traveling to and from work every day, which will not only save you a lot of time and hassle but also a lot of money in gas or public transport fares. You can simply have breakfast at home and then stroll to your home office, settle down, and begin work for the day. This is a great way to enjoy working for yourself and improving your work life balance.

The sheer number and types of jobs you can do from home is yet another benefit you can look forward to. Many people these days set up as freelancers working from their own home office or set up a small business from home. You can consider all sorts of options ranging from online sales through to freelance writing, web design, accountancy services, and more. All you need to do is consider your skills and interest so you can better determine the type of home career that will suit you.

If you want to enjoy the benefits of being your own boss and working from home, setting up your home business has never been easier. Thanks to high speed internet technology and the online revolution, there are all sorts of jobs you can do when you set up a home office. What’s more, you have a far better chance of making a great income if you put in the work.  

The Financial Benefits of Starting Your Own Business from Home

You must also bear in mind the many financial benefits that come with setting up your own business from home. You can benefit from minimal upfront costs because you don’t have to worry about things such as paying for business premises and associated costs. You can also benefit from big savings when it comes to travel, as you won’t have to go back and forth from the office each day.

In addition to the many savings you can make by working from home, you also have to consider the boost in income that you can look forward to. When you work for yourself, you have the ability to boost your income dramatically by putting in the hard work and commitment necessary. This means that you can look forward to a far better quality of life for you and your loved ones as well as being able to enjoy far more financial freedom. Many people spend years working for someone else and still find themselves on a low salary at the end of it all. However, when you work for yourself you have the ability to more or less set your own income based on the amount of work you are prepared and able to put in.

Improving Your Future by Setting Up Your Own Home Business

With so many benefits to look forward to, it is very easy to see how working for yourself from home could help to improve your future. You can then look forward to not only the flexibility and freedom of being your own boss but the chance to enjoy a brighter and more exciting future doing something that you actually have an interest in.

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Entrepreneurship

5 Office Decor Must-Haves to Make Your Home Office or Workspace Pop

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When you work from home, you need to have a nice place in your house that is yours, which is also secluded from other noise and distractions. At the same time, you also want to make this an area where you can work and enjoy your atmosphere.

The same holds true for employees and professionals that have their own cubicle or workspace as well.

If you are looking to spruce things up and make your workspace more enjoyable, then you my friend, have come to the right place. Let’s jump straight to it. Below you’ll find the best recommendations to turn your office from drab to fab with four office must haves.

To kick things off, let’s take a look at what my home office looks like today! For more pictures and guidance on how I set up my home office, be sure to check out the full article here.

Now, let’s move on to five helpful decor tips that you can start using to improve your own workspace!

Office Must Haves #1: Natural Light

The modern trend is shifting toward spaces flooded with natural light. The effects of natural light both energizes and inspires your employees. It’ll increase their productivity and happiness. We’re talking large, clear windows with the curtains drawn back.

Evaluate your present sources of light. Open your curtains or shutters. Do they allow enough light to come through? If not, and if you can’t replace the windows, consider changing to full-spectrum light-bulbs.

Full-spectrum bulbs offer up the same spectrum of light as our sun. You can choose wavelengths that imitate morning, afternoon, or evening sunlight to create an awesome office space.

#2 Plants and Flowers

In addition to natural light, plants and flowers will lend your industrial office an organic quality. Don’t settle for fake flowers. Regardless of what you’ve been told, they won’t give your office an organic feel.

Stick with the real stuff. Potted plants work wonders. If you water them every few days, you’ll have them for years.

Bouquets of flowers are far better, but they can be expensive. You can always compromise. Buy fresh flowers during the summer at farmers markets. They’re much less expensive than florists.

For the rest of the year, keep a few potted flowers around. Lilies are our recommendation.

#3 Interactive Whiteboard

Whiteboards are paramount in today’s communal workplaces. They offer your staff a place to throw around ideas and think through strategies. If you leave your written work on the board between sessions, your staff will unconsciously continue developing ideas.

It’s also a simple way to keep all your business’s ideas in one place. It’s much easier and less time consuming than dozens of back-and-forth email chain letters. With whiteboards, you can take in the entire scope of your strategy in one glance.

Don’t worry, they’re not hard to find. Here are a few suggested online stores for office goodies (outside of Amazon):

Next, let’s talk about your furniture choices.

#4 Comfortable Chairs

No, we’re not talking Barcaloungers. We’re talking office chairs, seats, and stools. The only reason to furnish your office with uncomfortable chairs is that you want to push people to leave. That works fine in cafeterias and coffee shops.

For everything else, think ergonomically. When your visitors or your staff sit in a comfortable chair, their stress levels decrease. This leads to an increase in their productivity.

Comfortable chairs are also a sign of prestige. They work the same as a stylish desk or a gorgeous bouquet of flowers. They signal people that you care about more than the function of your space.

You also care about the people in it.

#5 Add Some Minimalist Art and Photos

Have you ever been to a home of office where there are pictures and photos all over the place? Sometimes it can get quite overwhelming.

There is nothing wrong with having motivational messages or pictures of your loved ones around you, but there are nice ways to set this up as well.

Try to stick with only a few art frames or photos on your desk, and make sure they have a nice frame and compliment the area around you.

It also couldn’t hurt to add some motivational posters to your walls for those days that you need an extra work ethic pick-me-up.

Motivational_Posters_Zac_Johnson_Office

What’s Next?

Now that you’ve discovered our office must haves, it’s time to start shopping. But, before you do, evaluate your present office style. Look at your color schemes and overall style. Then you can match your new goodies and your old.

Was this information helpful? Then come to pick through our library full of other helpful articles.

So long and good luck!

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Entrepreneurship

Pros & Cons of Offering Small Business Benefits Packages to Employees

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If you are planning to expand your business from a one man company, to a multi-person organization, you will likely need to start thinking about employee benefits and how you might be spreading the best packages across your employees and staff. As much as I love the concept of being a sole-entrepreneur, if you want to grow and scale your business in size, this is just another process that is required to have in place.

Wondering if you should go the extra mile for your employees?

79% of employees would choose a benefits package over a salary increase. But a small business may have as much to lose as it has to gain by offering a benefits package.

Below, we’re taking a look at the pros and cons of offering a small business benefits package to employees.

Pro: Attracting Quality Employees

The most obvious advantage of offering employee benefits lies in the quality of candidates it helps attract.

A flat salary actually has limited use to the modern worker. It may help pay for basic living costs, but it leaves many of the big stresses of life up in the air. A single look at life insurance quotes will be enough to show you what your employees are up against when they’re trying to cover everything with only a salary.

Add the medley of other life expenses, and it’s clear to see why employees are getting pickier about who they work for. By offering a benefits package, you can attract employees who are more serious and selective about their careers.

Pro: Giving Something Back

“But I already pay a salary!” we hear you cry.

Think of it this way: is a salary enough compensation for the many long hours of their life an employee spends at your company? After all, we only live once. A salary represents the minimum possible compensation for the raw labor an employee provides.

In truth, most employees provide a lot more than that.

Offering benefits can give something back to the people who spend that time bringing success to your company. It also shows them that you value them as individuals with personal lives and circumstances.

Pro: Driving Motivation and Retention

A business needs more than warm bodies to become a success. It needs employees who are engaged and motivated. Motivated employees will work hard, innovate, and even boost sales.

Extra incentives are a great tool to add that extra spark of motivation. Employees with access to benefits feel they’re there for more than the “daily grind”. Not only are they less stressed, but they’re also more positive about the company they work for.

Over time, that means more productivity and less attrition through employees moving on to better opportunities.

One of the benefits of offering company health benefits to employees should be clear: fewer sick days. Your staff might take more days off for smaller problems, but the upshot is that those smaller problems won’t progress into more serious conditions.

Pro: Creating Brand Ambassadors

Even for megacorps that have achieved the status of a household name, marketing makes up a huge percentage of their business spend. For small businesses, it can bleed them dry.

So, the value of free marketing is clear. But free promotion doesn’t begin and end with social media. Have you considered the value your employees have as brand ambassadors?

People expect employees to be a little cynical about the company they work for. It’s a real achievement to turn that cynicism into positivity. A benefits package could lead to your employees singing the praises of your company.

Positive word-of-mouth about your company then starts with your employees – and ripples out through their social circles and online presence.

This is also something Sarah Lahav, CEO of SysAid, had to think about. Founded in 2002, the company has grown their customer base to over 10,000 companies, while also serving locations in more than 140 countries around the world. This simply wouldn’t have been possible as a single-person company, but being a brand ambassador and an image for her company, Sarah continues to see daily improvements and growth within the company.

Con: The Visible Cost

The additional cost of offering benefits isn’t always welcome for a small business.

On top of that, a small business also won’t have a lot of buying power to negotiate cheaper rates. For a small business, benefits might turn out to be a luxury you can’t afford.

Benefits can also obscure your cash flow. The price of insurance can fluctuate over time. Any benefits you offer based on reimbursement are unpredictable.

It’s vital for a small business to control its cash flow. Providing benefits is often undesirable for small businesses, as it introduces uncertainty.

Con: The Hidden Cost

The full cost of offering benefits isn’t obvious at first glance. We’ve outlined the obvious costs, but what about the hidden costs of a benefits package?

Offering benefits sucks up a wealth of administration time. You might even need new hires capable of delivering the details of your benefits scheme. That heaps extra costs on top of the obvious cost of offering benefits.

As you offer more benefits, your administrative time increases. For a small company, those costs can run out of control. This isn’t an option for some small businesses that struggle to control their cash flow.

Con: Legal Pitfalls

When you enter the insurance game, you’re also entering a legal minefield.

Making a misstep along the way could leave you subject to legal action. That could be a deathblow for a business operating on thin margins.

Legal action against your company will soak up time and money. It’ll also drag your reputation through the dirt, making it harder to attract quality employees in the future. It could even damage your brand.

You could take extra care to make sure this doesn’t happen, but that’s yet another expense on top of the cost of providing benefits.

Con: Finding the Benchmark

Information is one of the most powerful weapons you can have against your competition. But it can be hard to figure out what sort of benefits package your competition has on offer.

In contrast to offering a flat salary, that makes it tough to decide where your benefits package should stop. You’ll need to put some serious work into finding out what candidates in your industry are searching for.

If you lowball your benefits package, the accompanying reduction in salary will drive candidates away. Overextend, and you risk bankrupting your business. You need to find the balance that keeps you competitive.

The Small Business Benefits Package: Yea or Nay?

The exact situation of every business is different, so we can’t tell you whether a small business benefits package is right for you. But we’ve given you enough info that you’re now equipped to decide whether it’s the way to go for your business.

Looking for more business advice? Check out our top podcast episodes.

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Hi, I’m Zac Johnson

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