If your cubicle is growing more oppressive by the day, it might be time to say goodbye to the 9-to-5 grind and become your own boss. Not everyone is ready to deal with capital investments and profit margins, however, so if you’re still a little unsure about starting your own business, here are just a few easy and unique ways to begin.
1. Sell Your Goods
Do you knit? Do you have grandma’s old peanut butter recipe? Do you love to tinker with electronics and build your own gadgets? If you have any kind of skill that produces real, tangible goods, you can sell them online through an e-commerce site. Etsy, eBay, Amazon, or your own site are all good options, depending on your product. Many modern entrepreneurs have gotten their start this way, and they were able to establish a brand, make sales and generate revenue all from the comfort of their own home. Additionally, with new services like Patreon, you might not even need to ship a physical product at all. Cartoonists, writers, and podcasters have all started making a living producing engaging content, art, and radio, all supported by their fans.
2. Become a Consultant
Being a consultant requires patience, especially for first-timers just starting out. No matter what your industry or specialty, you’ll need time to grow your client base and generate positive word-of-mouth. If you can wait out the slow times, however, a consulting business is a lucrative way to harness your natural talent and become your own boss. It doesn’t matter if you’re consulting about financial risk management or just improving one’s golf swing. If you’re good at it, you can teach it to others.
3. Start a Trucking Company
If you have experience driving or directing semis, you can branch out on your own and start a personal trucking business for the cost of a vehicle and a new license. You can even shop around online at retailers like Arrow Truck Sales for trucks and compare rates from different dealers. You won’t even need to spend money on advertising, at least not right away; free load boards can be found online, and they’ll allow you to bid for clients and loads without paying a cent. When figuring your startup costs, be sure to take into account not only the cost of the truck, but also obtaining a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and fuel costs. For the right kind of person, driving a truck across the continent is a great way to see the country—and to make sure to never see a cubicle again.
4. Consider Franchises
Buying into a franchise is a great way to “get your feet wet” in the world of business. You’ll learn all of the skills and necessities of running a day-to-day company while still having a safety net in the form of an established brand. Once you’re comfortable as the owner and operator of a small business, you can branch out and start something new. You’ll already have the wisdom and experience needed to succeed.
These are just a few ways to start your own business that don’t follow the traditional path. If you’re ready to toss off the shackles of corporate life and follow your dreams, use these ideas to help you get started.