While advertisers would have you believe that we all want bigger, better, and more, more, more, there is a growing segment of the population that’s more interested in downsizing. These people live by one philosophy: Less is more!
There’s another trend — one that’s been trending upward much longer than tiny-house living: home-based businesses. When you combine the two, something magical begins to happen. You realize that you can live with less, thereby reducing expenses and the amount of money you need to make in order to live.
Nearly any home-based business can be started from a tiny house, so long as there isn’t a need for more space. Even RVers can get in on the action, as being mobile isn’t going to be a deterrent for the online businesses.
Tiny homes themselves are also big business, but you’ll need to have some DIY skills like carpentry at the least. This also won’t make our list as the business of making and selling tiny houses isn’t mobile and will require more space. Though, we do have much love for the tiny-home builders out there, as we wouldn’t exist without them.
Embrace the Cloud
There’s a great exchange in the movie Creed when Donnie, played by Michael B. Jordan, asks Rocky, played by Sylvester Stallone, for training tips. Rocky takes the time to write them down, but when he hands the paper to Donnie, he just takes out his phone, snaps a quick photo, and hands the paper back to Rocky, which leads to this:
Rocky: Wait, don’t you want this?
Donnie: Got it right here. (Donnie holds up his phone.)
Rocky: What if you lose that there or it breaks?
Donnie: It’s already up in the cloud.
Rocky: (Rocky looks up to the sky.) What cloud? WHAT CLOUD?
Rocky aside, anyone looking to start a home-based business in 2019 needs to embrace cloud-based resources. For those who are technologically challenged, like the famous southpaw from Philly, let’s quickly define the cloud.
Cloud computing involves shared pools of resources and services that can be accessed economically and rapidly with minimal effort. This includes hardware and software. Cloud computing allows users to access the cloud with devices like phones, laptops, and tablets, and it allows the users to do things like store information, retrieve information from shared databases, and collaborate and communicate with others.
Anyone who has posted something on Facebook or Instagram is already using the cloud. This collaboration means multiple people are able to work in the same documents, software, social media accounts, and more, simultaneously or at different times of day. With this comes another level of responsibility, however, with so many hands involved in one thing, so you might consider brushing up on your digital courtesy skills.
E-Commerce Tips for Tiny-House Owners
Have you ever seen those lists ? 99 ideas for businesses you can start from home? But then you scroll down and realize that many have been reworded and repeated, and many more are just plain dumb. We’re not going to do that.
Instead, we’re going to give you some simple tips and maybe a few ideas, because for every person that you read about who made it rich selling things on Amazon, there are thousands of others who are confused by the logistics of e-commerce, and their businesses are stagnant.
Entrepreneur.com has five secrets of success for running a home-based e-commerce business. Also, keep in mind that you don’t need to keep a physical inventory, but you do need to find a good dropshipper.
- Treat it like an offline business. It’s not a hobby, so don’t treat it like one. Make the same kind of decisions you would for a brick-and-mortar business, including setting goals and objectives before doing anything else.
- Use the right software. Your software is the foundation of your business. Susan Delly of Zippy Cart recommends software that is “scalable, secure, and user-friendly.” Not sure what’s best? Check out this resource.
- Location, location, location. With your business online, location doesn’t matter, but you still need to find your audience — and don’t say everyone is your audience unless you sell toilet paper. First and foremost, figure out where your audience likes to hang out online.
- Let your customers sell for you. Not literally. Make it easy for customers to leave reviews and seek them out with gusto. Your customers are your greatest asset, particularly in the social media age we live in where social proof will encourage more sales.
- KISS. In sales, this means Keep It Simple, Stupid. Have you ever been frustrated by the checkout process when shopping online? This is what you want to avoid. Make it a simple, stress-free experience for your customers.
There are literally hundreds of thousands of items you can sell online, but if you skip these basic steps when setting up your e-commerce business, you better be selling geese that lay golden eggs, and they better be on sale.
Service-Based Businesses for Tiny-House Owners
As long as your service-based business doesn’t take up much room, you can easily run your business from your tiny house.
Entrepreneur.com has a list of 105 service businesses you can start from home, and most of those can be done regardless of space. The categories that those fall into include:
- Personal services
- Business services
- Marketing and sales
- Home services
- Computer and technology
- Children’s services
- Event services
The main thing to keep in mind is that while experience isn’t always a necessity, skills probably will be. So, you need to ask yourself, what am I good at?
The area of marketing and sales is especially promising when it comes to home-based service businesses. This area includes everything from cold-calling to acquire leads and social media marketing, to graphic design and freelance writing.
These types of service businesses can earn great money, and the overhead is low to nonexistent. Plus, platforms like Upwork make it very easy to enter the market and begin earning immediately. Though, keep in mind that no business is built overnight, so patience and grit will be required.
Then there are businesses that aren’t quite from home, like lawn maintenance, painting houses, automotive detailing, and carpentry. The list is practically endless. One important thing to keep in mind is supply and demand or, in other words, Economics 101. You’ll need demand, there’s no way around it. So, scope out your market, as in your general area, and see what it needs.
There are a lot of traditional brick-and-mortar service businesses that can easily be moved offline, like working as an accountant, bookkeeper, tax preparer, and others. So if you have the skills and experience in one of those roles, why not cut your overhead, or venture out on your own if employed by someone else, and give it a go?
This list of ideas is long to be sure, and getting paid in 2019 is as easy as setting up a PayPal account. You can send invoices through PayPal, too, making your little business look big and professional. Just remember, it all begins with a business plan. Plan your work and work your plan.
Image Source: Pixabay https://pixabay.com/en/wood-tree-outdoors-house-nature-3238640/