They are generally solopreneurs who offer their services to small businesses who need help with a given range of tasks. Some people might argue that being a virtual assistant isn't really running a business. But somebody like Gina Horkey can prove that's simply not true, and she has a booming business to back her claims up. She's also seen as the “go to” person for a step-by-step guide to running your own VA business.
However, like anything else truly worthwhile, apps require a significant investment of your time or money upfront. If you don't have the skills, then you have to hire someone who can assist you in creating a great app. But first you need to come up with an idea that will sell. Do the proper market research and analytics to come up with the right app.
Sir Richard Branson, one of the world’s most recognizable billionaires, and the founder of Virgin Group, has built an empire comprised of more than 400 companies including airlines, record stores, publishing organizations and he's even tackling commercial space travel. He's also the author of more than a dozen business books, including his latest (fantastic) autobiography, Finding My Virginity that shares from behind-the-scenes of the ups and downs throughout Branson's more than fifty year career as an entrepreneur. During his interview on 30 Days of Genius with CreativeLive, I got to hear his best business advice for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to start a business of their own, first-hand:
If you’re the type who geeks out on software design and development, then this online business model is right up your alley. Can you think of an enormous problem people face and come up with a software solution that solves their problem? People will gladly pay for your product, and this is especially true if they can’t find this solution anywhere else.
More often than not, your niche will be something you have worked in for years. If you have been a carpenter for a local construction company, home remodeling and restoration may be your area. If you have worked at a restaurant for many years, you probably have a good understanding of how to run a food service business. Your current experience is a great place to starting looking for your niche.
If you can speak and write more than two international languages, then you can make money from the internet. All you need to do is to list your services online and people who need the services your offer will contact you. Just ensure that you have resource materials (softcopies that can aid your teachings). If you know how to speak and write 2 or 3 of any of these languages; French, English, Spanish, Chinese, German and Arabic, then you should consider starting an online foreign language training / tutorials / coaching.
2. Be open-minded. Know when to say “when.” Your idea of what’s right may actually be wrong. Be open to other suggestions and ideas. Remember, your business is actually not about you. It’s about delivering a good product to your customers and doing whatever it takes to ensure that your customers turn into repeat customers. In other words, be ready to embrace fresh ideas, even if they go counter to your own beliefs.
This is a great way to make extra cash if you’re always plugged in to the events around your city. It’s also a great way to deal with wanting to go to an event, but not being sure you’ll be able to make it. You can just buy the tickets, and if your plans don’t work out, sell them on StubHub for a profit! Keep in mind that StubHub takes a 15% commission on all sales, so make sure your prices are set where you want them to be!
Starting an online business, no matter how small you aim to have it can take time and money. It can also involve legal research and some accounting knowledge so you may find there is some upskilling involved in many different areas. Have no fear though because once you get the wheels moving on your adventure starting an online business will be fun and motivating. As a great source of income, online business opportunities are abundant as you don’t need to be located next to a customer in order to provide the goods or services to them.
"The way we’ve gotten around that is to always work with somebody on a project before we start handing over significant equity stakes or large sums of money. If the trial project goes well, then talk about expanding the scope of the relationship. Sam Altman from Y-Combinator once said something to the equivalent of 'a bad hire in the first few employees can be detrimental to a startup.' I've really taken that to heart in my business."