During the 80s and 90s I ran side businesses whilst enjoying the safety net of a full time job, partly because the extra income come in handy as I had a large family to raise and it wasn't always easy paying for the staples such as a mortgage, food, power and schooling etc, plus all the extras like the school trips, holidays or sports trips that often came up throughout each year.
My side businesses included a lawn mowing round which I built up as well as a free range egg farm where I leased the land and sold the eggs to a marketer who paid me a fixed price and sold them on at a higher price to supermarkets around New Zealand. For a while I also bought and sold the odd car after realising that they could be purchased cheaper through the larger auctions. It was relatively easy to make $500 on a car without having to do too much to it. This money came in really handy when paying for the sporting trips away that my kids were often going on.
The downside to these businesses was that they took up a lot of time, time which I could have spent with my family, although the kids did help out with the free range egg business, but it was a huge tie as eggs needed to be cleared twice a day otherwise the risk of breakages increased considerably, so getting away on holiday breaks was almost impossible.
Fast forward to now and the opportunities are so much greater with the advances in technology and particularly the internet. Whether you want to run a service business or a retail business, the internet has opened up so many possibilities for both options.
Recent statistics gathered by the US Census indicate that 192 million US consumers are shopping online, up 15 percent from 167million in 2012. The average amount spent online by these US consumers has risen from an annual amount of $1207 in 2012 to $1738 currently, that's 327 billion being spent online by consumers in the US this year.
The positives about setting up an online business is that there is very little risk if you do it properly. If you compare furniture retailers you can see straight away that businesses selling from brick and mortar shops with huge showrooms have huge overheads and that's taking its toll on this industry. Compare a brick and mortar furniture business with an online furniture business and you can see straight away that the overheads are almost non existent for the online retailer who uses drop-shipping vendors thus ruling out the need to hold stock . Selling furniture and décor online is currently trending up and for obvious reason.
Selling services online has also got a lot easier now that we have Skype and webinar programs to help reach people via the internet.
Another thing driving all of this is the use of smartphones and tablet computers. These are becoming the norm now which means that people are spending more time online.
I hope this post has been thought provoking.
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