There has never been a better time to launch your side hustle from home, with little-to-no capital, and minimal time commitment. With growing internet penetration and a wide range of platforms and marketplaces across niches, a brick-and-mortar storefront is often a pointless endeavor.
Today, the only thing that budding entrepreneurs need is a laptop with internet access, and they can reach an audience or customer base that pretty much encompasses the entire world. The future now is heavily tilted towards micro, and one-person businesses, grossing six, or even seven figures annually.
Understanding Micro Businesses
So, what is a micro business exactly and how does it differ from small businesses? To start with, these terms are often used interchangeably, but the formal definition of a micro business firmly applies to freelancers, solopreneurs, or side hustlers, who often have zero-to-ten employees at the most, with or without a formal office or premises to conduct business.
Micro businesses have been made possible by the remarkable advances in technology in recent years, providing individuals with tremendous scale and reach that was previously not possible without sufficient capital or organizational heft.
Most current trends point towards a future where solopreneurs reign supreme, and while they might collectivize as an organization, they own their labor and capital in its entirety. This is best evidenced by four examples mentioned below that can be started cheaply, without having to step outside.
- Writing Online
Despite the 252,000 new websites and 100s of millions of pieces of content created each day, the internet still remains starved of content. As a result, writing content online, either as a freelancer or as an agency remains one of the most lucrative opportunities off-late.
Whether it is webpage content, blog posts, articles, white papers, or scripts, there are never enough quality writers who can craft compelling, and captivating content for internet readers. This is, of course, a skilled job, but anyone with the right attitude can make it as a writer online with barely any investment, and with just a laptop and word processor at most.
There is a lot that comes under the purview of design, but a vast majority of it can be done online with few barriers to entry. This can be websites, logos, graphics, photo editing, motion graphics, animation, and more.
This is literally a multi-billion dollar industry that people located in the remotest parts of the world can partake in, often without any prior connections, qualifications, or investment. While competition is fierce, design is far from a commodity, and skilled service providers can easily bank six or seven figures with the right approach and attitude.
- Virtual Assistant
This increasingly popular side hustle encompasses a wide range of semi-skilled tasks and opportunities, which require limited skills or qualifications. It includes everything from data entry to transcription writing, and community management to research and analysis using Excel at higher stages.
Often paid hourly, or based on tasks accomplished, there are a number of agencies, sites, and platforms that scout individuals who may not have qualifications but are well versed with the ways of the internet. This mostly caters to people in lower-income countries, but there are good paying opportunities higher up the value chain for netizens in first-world countries.
- Creators & Influencers
There was a time when creating content and sending out messages to audiences that number in the tens of millions was only within the purview of large studios and superstar celebrities.
Today, however, anyone can be a creator online, whether as a writer, model, Youtuber, or literally anything else and reach a vast audience located all over the world.
Social networks and platforms have increasingly democratized content creation and promotion, and pretty soon we will see Youtube channels with less than 10 employees, and no physical offices surpass legacy media giants.
These are exciting times for the creator economy, solopreneurs, and small businesses alike, and while it’s tough to predict what future lies ahead for this new class of entrepreneurs, current trends point towards an increasingly lucrative one.