By: Julie Morris
Do you feel like you have more to offer than what you’re currently doing in your nine-to-five job? Do you have a passion you’d like to share with the world? Are you looking for ways to create additional revenue streams? Then perhaps now is the time to take a chance and dip your feet into the gig economy.
Today, more and more people are pursuing short-term or freelance work thanks to recent advancements in technology that make running your own business easier than ever before. With so many different platforms to buy, sell, and exchange goods and services, ordinary people have watched their personal passions explode into massively successful business enterprises. If you are interested in starting your own success story or even just creating a small additional source of income, here are five tips to get you started.
Find Your Starting Platform
Your very first step toward turning your passion into profit will be to take advantage of any pre-existing platforms to give your small business a jumpstart. For instance, if you’re looking to sell your handmade crafts, you should start listing your items on popular websites such as Etsy. For a small cut of your listed price, these sites makes it easier for customers who want your product to find and purchase it. This gives you an incredible amount of reach for just getting started and increases your business’s chance for success when compared to trying to market and sell locally.
Similarly, if your goal is to sell goods online, you should look into dropshipping options from existing platforms. For example, if you want to sell clothing online (women’s clothing is an especially lucrative option), working with a dropshipping service allows you to sell your product without keeping any inventory on hand, saving you money and stress while allowing you to reliably send your goods directly to your customers’ doors.
When just starting out in the gig economy, most don’t quit their day job. Therefore, most small business owners are juggling two or more different jobs at the same time. To ensure that you are able to successfully manage the baby steps of your small business, you need to keep organized in how you go about your daily life. By efficiently managing your time, you will have a better understanding of how much time you need to dedicate to your small business and how that fits in with your current job.
Maximize Your Efficiency
Another part of maximizing your new business’s potential is by creating your own workspace to operate your business from. When just starting out, many choose to simply work from home. The benefit of setting aside a room of your home for your small business is that it will help keep you organized and maximize the efficiency of your work. Keep all of your materials and work-related documents in one space, and you’ll be ready to immediately get back to work without wasting any time.
Market Your Passion
While large platforms such as Etsy will give you a great starting point to reaching new customers, there are other ways you can share and market your small business. Social media is a great way to stay in touch with friends and family, but for small business owners, it’s also an incredible resource for interacting with customers and creating new business. Start by creating a Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook page specifically for your business. By regularly posting, following, and interacting with other pages similar to your business, you can reach a huge population of people and potentially a few new customers.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
One of the most important things to keep in mind when starting your own business is to remain patient. You might hear about wild overnight success stories, but the truth is most companies find success through discipline, dedication, and slow and steady growth. Don’t feel like you need to move your business in leaps and bounds. Even if the market is ready for your business to explode, you might find that you are not ready to manage a large customer base in so little time.
The best advice is to grow with your business. If you are passionate about what you do, then you will gladly take the time to do it right. Over time, you’ll be amazed at how far following your dreams and investing in your own business can carry you. Just stay patient, and always keep moving forward.
Photo Credit: Pixabay.com
More U.S. government money intended to counter China’s growing influence in the developing world means more opportunities for U.S. small and medium size companies. About $60 billion will now be available, much of it in loans.
President Trump signed the Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development (BUILD) Act into law on October 5, 2018. This legislation will reform and strengthen U.S. development finance capabilities into a new federal agency to help address development challenges and foreign policy priorities of the U.S.
The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (“USDFC”) will be a modern, consolidated agency that brings together the capabilities of OPIC and USAID’s Development Credit Authority, while introducing new and innovative financial products to better bring private capital to the developing world. That according to a press release from the news agency.
When the reimagined government agency gets back to business, it will provide the U.S. more flexibility to support investments in developing countries to “drive economic growth, create stability, and improve livelihoods.” In truth, the monies available are dwarfed by what China is spending and prepared to spend on high speed rail lines, dams, roads and other infrastructure. Still for those countries wanting to avoid the strings that come with China aid, USDFC is welcome news.
How does the program work?
OPIC can meet the long-term capital investment financing needs of any size business in a wide variety of industries such as information technology, health care, education, infrastructure, telecommunications, financial services, housing, and agribusiness. The majority of OPIC’s financing is used to cover the capital costs—such as design/engineering services, facility construction or leasehold improvements, and equipment—associated with the establishment or expansion of the foreign investment (the “project”).
OPIC can also work with financial institutions to fund the expansion of lending capacity—such as microfinance, small business lending or mortgage lending—in a foreign market.
OPIC does not consider financing requests that are solely for the purpose of making an acquisition, though limited acquisition costs may be financeable if additional capital will be expended to expand or rehabilitate the investment.
OPIC seeks to support early stage projects that demonstrate significant potential to achieve a positive social or environmental impact. These projects face obstacles to adequate financing in emerging markets because of their relative size and early stage of development. If you represent an innovative, earlier stage company with that is committed to a high level of social impact, please read more about OPIC support for your company through OPIC’s Portfolio for Impact Program (PI).
OPIC does not finance stand-alone export transactions. U.S. and even non-U.S. companies in need of trade finance should consider the Export-Import of the U.S. and the Small Business Administration. To learn more about other U.S. government programs that support exports, please visit www.export.gov.
OPIC is not right for every business interested in making investments in developing countries. For those considering, the application process is not a walk in the park. But this year there’s a lot more money available and there will be the usual competing pressures on the new agency of spreading the money around.
Enjoy this blog and want more insight on global trade? Check out the WebPort Global blog at https://www.webportglobal.com/Blog-Community/International-Trade-and-Global-Business
If you want more information on how WPG can help your business grow & go global contact Stephanie Misar at email@example.com for more information.