I like these ideas! Besides being good ideas in themselves, they stimulate MORE ideas! Some of them reminded me of something I was reading about called Craigslist arbitrage – buying low and selling high on craigslist, kind of like the first part of the old Oregon Trail game, but with washers and dryers and bicycles instead of cases of crackers and horses. Sounds like fun! Anyway, that one about the pooper-scooper business, that works, I know because I was quite successful in the pooper-scooper service I started back in 1988! I’ve been in the industry for 25 years now, though I don’t go out and scoop any more.
Owning and maintaining an online business gives entrepreneurs the freedom to make money remotely from anywhere in the world. The idea is enticing, and more possible than ever, but many entrepreneurs struggle with how to get started. The most important step in starting a profitable online business is finding a business idea that matches your skills and strengths.
Cesaire Assah Meh found that corporate taxes create an incentive to become an entrepreneur to avoid double taxation. Donald Bruce and John Deskins found literature suggesting that a higher corporate tax rate may reduce a state's share of entrepreneurs. They also found that states with an inheritance or estate tax tend to have lower entrepreneurship rates when using a tax-based measure. However, another study found that states with a more progressive personal income tax have a higher percentage of sole proprietors in their workforce. Ultimately, many studies find that the effect of taxes on the probability of becoming an entrepreneur is small. Donald Bruce and Mohammed Mohsin found that it would take a 50 percentage point drop in the top tax rate to produce a one percent change in entrepreneurial activity.
Larger enterprises can hire an agency or full-time staff member to run their social media accounts, but small businesses often have to handle their own social media marketing. With so many responsibilities, business owners are often too busy, overwhelmed or undereducated about the importance of a social media presence to spend time developing and implementing a great social media strategy. As a social media consultant, you can help small businesses determine the best tactics, posting schedules and content for their target audience. As their follower count grows, so will your business.
According to Paul Reynolds, founder of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, "by the time they reach their retirement years, half of all working men in the United States probably have a period of self-employment of one or more years; one in four may have engaged in self-employment for six or more years. Participating in a new business creation is a common activity among U.S. workers over the course of their careers". In recent years, entrepreneurship has been claimed as a major driver of economic growth in both the United States and Western Europe.
At least early on, entrepreneurs often "bootstrap-finance" their start-up rather than seeking external investors from the start. One of the reasons that some entrepreneurs prefer to "bootstrap" is that obtaining equity financing requires the entrepreneur to provide ownership shares to the investors. If the start-up becomes successful later on, these early equity financing deals could provide a windfall for the investors and a huge loss for the entrepreneur. If investors have a significant stake in the company, they may as well be able to exert influence on company strategy, chief executive officer (CEO) choice and other important decisions. This is often problematic since the investor and the founder might have different incentives regarding the long-term goal of the company. An investor will generally aim for a profitable exit and therefore promotes a high-valuation sale of the company or IPO in order to sell their shares. Whereas the entrepreneur might have philanthropic intentions as their main driving force. Soft values like this might not go well with the short-term pressure on yearly and quarterly profits that publicly traded companies often experience from their owners.
Flexibility – Not everyone fits into the rigidity of a traditional corporate culture. Entrepreneurs are often looking to free themselves from these constraints, find a better work-life balance, or work at times and in ways that may be unconventional. This doesn't mean they are working fewer hours – oftentimes, especially in the early stages of growing a business, they are working longer and harder – but, rather, that they're working in a way that is natural and instinctual to them.
Entrepreneurship is one of the resources economists categorize as integral to production, the other three being land/natural resources, labor and capital. An entrepreneur combines the first three of these to manufacture goods or provide services. They typically create a business plan, hire labor, acquire resources and financing, and provide leadership and management for the business.
The majority of scholarly research done on these topics have been from North America. Words like "leadership" and "entrepreneurship" do not always translate well into other cultures and languages. For example, in North America a leader is often thought to be charismatic, but German culture frowns on such charisma due to the charisma of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. Other cultures, like some European countries, view the term "leader" negatively, like the French. The participative leadership style that is encouraged in the United States is considered disrespectful in many other parts of the world due to the differences in power distance. Many Asian and Middle Eastern countries do not have "open door" policies for subordinates and would never informally approach their managers/bosses. For countries like that, an authoritarian approach to management and leadership is more customary.
And don’t forget social media as a home-based business. Many churches, other non profit charities, and business owners NEED to advertise via social media. You can either be hired to do theirs or become a consultant who trains their staff. Many churches don’t know the Internet laws like an avid social media user does. They’ll need someone to teach them how to use social media and protect their organization while doing it. Ask me how I know. 😉 My husband and I have worked with some organizations who refused to listen and they ended up with some scandals. Take a gander at what happened to Pastor Alios Bell’s ministry reputation when someone who knows social media happened upon her indiscretion at Applebee’s. Google it. It went viral.
Entrepreneurs are faced with liquidity constraints and often lack the necessary credit needed to borrow large amounts of money to finance their venture. Because of this, many studies have been done on the effects of taxes on entrepreneurs. The studies fall into two camps: the first camp finds that taxes help and the second argues that taxes hurt entrepreneurship.
Facebook and Twitter are still the top business networks, but businesses often tend to struggle with more visual platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and Snapchat. All of these platforms have huge consumer audiences, but many businesses don't realize how big they really are, how effective they can be and how to make them work for their brand. If you have a background in social media marketing and a passion for photography, focusing your consulting business on one specific platform, like Instagram, can be a great way to make money while helping other businesses improve their content and achieve their business goals.
Michelacci and Schivardi are a pair of researchers who believe that identifying and comparing the relationships between an entrepreneur's earnings and education level would determine the rate and level of success. Their study focused on two education levels, college degree and post-graduate degree. While Michelacci and Schivardi do not specifically determine characteristics or traits for successful entrepreneurs, they do believe that there is a direct relationship between education and success, noting that having a college knowledge does contribute to advancement in the workforce.
The internet changes so fast that one year online equals about five years in the real world. But the principles of how to start and grow a successful online business haven't changed at all. If you're just starting a small business online, stick to this sequence. If you've been online awhile, do a quick review and see if there's a step you're neglecting, or never got around to doing in the first place. You can't go wrong with the basics.