If there’s one thing that the millennials know about the modern world, it is that the era of the traditional nine-to-five office is no more. Same goes for cubicles, closed office spaces, while some may claim that it holds true for the office in general. Sure, some may claim that the shared offices are the evidence of the business world regressing back to its original state, yet, they deliberately omit a single important issue: this is a voluntary trend, as well as a minor one. Of course, a millennial online entrepreneur, freelancer or an artist may choose to work in a shared office for a while but as soon as they get bored with it, there’s simply no reason for them to stay.
Apart from this, it is also quite clear that the homeownership rate amongst millennials is at an all-time low, while it is also estimated that they are more likely to start a business at a younger age than their predecessors. When you put these two stats together, it becomes more than clear that they are incredibly inclined towards the idea of start a location independent business. Here are a few more things you need to know about this trend, as well as all the options that.
The benefits of starting a location independent business
The first major benefit of starting a location-independent business is the freedom to pursue your passion from whatever spot on earth you see fit. Some, use this privilege to work from distant beaches, while others are content with the idea that they don’t have to leave their bed on the rainy Monday morning. Either way, this is something quite unique, as well as something a lot of people couldn’t even imagine in the past.
Another advantage is the chance to make a breakthrough on a much larger level. With present-day tools, platforms and policies, you are no longer location-restricted when it comes to your market. A person from Southeast Asia can feel free to sell their e-book to the crowd in the U.S. or Australia, through Amazon as a self-published author. In other words, the potential customer base is now the same, regardless of the physical location of the businessman. Apart from this, people interested in hiring remote workers also have a much larger talent pool to draw from. All in all, the number of options grows exponentially in your favor.
Then, there’s the issue of reduced costs of doing business. Being location-independent means that you no longer have to spend money on the commute. It also means that you don’t have to pick special outfits that are suitable for work (if you don’t want it to). Even more importantly, it means that you can eat at home, which opens up a whole new world of dietary options. With this in mind, there are several options (or sectors that you can look into).
Become a remote worker
In the present day era, it is easier to start a career as a freelancer telecommuter than ever before. Most work gets done in the digital environment in the first place, which means that all you need are the tools of the trade (be it MS Office, Photoshop or some other software) and the collaboration tool you can work through. Even the payment methods are getting more convenient and location independent, seeing as how most freelancers get paid through platforms like PayPal or Payoneer.
Still, being a remote worker is not nearly as simple as people may assume. In most lines of work, one doesn’t have work hours but deadlines, which means that it is incredibly easy to indefinitely postpone one’s work. Another problematic thing about becoming a remote worker lies in the fact that people expect that they will have the same level of productivity on their couch as they did in the office. This is never the case. Nonetheless, with a lot of effort, organizational skill and discipline you can eventually get there.
Start an online business
People who hate the idea of having their effort exploited and underappreciated might want to start an online business of their own. This, however, might not be that simple. You can’t just make a website and start selling products or services without regard to the law or taxes simply because ‘it’s all on the internet’.
First, you need to choose your business structure, pick the name for your company, register it and get a domain name. Then, you need to start thinking about your finances. You would be surprised just how much it costs to start a decent online business. Digital marketing is not cheap, yet investing in it is the only way for your company to truly thrive and prosper. Apart from this, you need to have a proper website design, which, once again, might cost a small fortune, yet, it is completely necessary.
This is why you need to start thinking about the issue of finances early on. Whereas a lot of online entrepreneurs nowadays try to fund their businesses with a pre-order system or crowdfunding. However, the traditional method of applying for small business loans might still be your safest bet. Apart from this, you can always sell an asset or ask for a wealthy relative or a friend to lend you some money until you get on your feet.
Creating a remote team
The greatest challenge that an online entrepreneur faces when making a location independent business is the one of composing a proper remote team. This will take all your inventiveness, skills and prowess, as well as some outside-of-the-box thinking.
First of all, you need to keep your tone neutral in order to properly deal with multiculturalism. You also need to know about the background of every single one of your employees in order to work around their national holidays in just the right way. Being insensitive to these things (even unintentionally) can become a potentially problematic issue.
The next major issue is the one regarding the discipline. Seeing as how you won’t be physically present to monitor your employees, it might feel as if the atmosphere in the office is a bit more laid back than it should. In order to ensure that this doesn’t become a problem, you need to set some boundaries.
Probably the most important part of creating an efficient remote team lies in your ability to set up a proper channel of communication. Emails are definitely the most reliable method of sending vital information to your team, yet, sometimes, you need your staff to be immediately available. For this reason, IM software like Skype or Viber may seem like a preferable option. Apart from this, you might want to schedule conference calls from time to time, in order to create a stronger bond within a team.
Pursuing your dream of becoming an artist
A lot of people have always dreamt of pursuing a career of an artist, yet, they’ve always believed that in order to do so, they have to be at the right place at the right time. This is no longer so. As we stated in the first section, self-publishing authors can sell their short stories, novellas, and novels on platforms such as Amazons and earn money with minimal investment on their part. In fact, those who are unwilling to pay for book covers, can look for free book cover maker apps and use stock photos from their galleries.
People who are passionate about photography can use this opportunity to sell their work online. For this, all they need to do is get a professional camera, invest in their education (courses, tutoring, and seminars) but most importantly get out there and practice. According to numerous people, it takes about 10,000 hours for one to truly master any skill, which means that those willing to set out on this path might want to start right away. Needless to say, in the era of the internet, it is also much easier to sell your photos online and, in this way, get a financial incentive to carry on from the very start.
Finally, content creators like YouTubers, indie video game developers, and others, can turn to crowdfunding platforms. One of these platforms is Patreon, where a creator can decide whether they want to get paid monthly or per creation. The first option is particularly great for those who intend to publish their work as a serial.
In other words, never before was it so easy to earn money off your own creativity. Moreover, the nature of this work allows you to start off these creative pursuits as a side-job and then scale-up the effort you’re investing as it becomes more and more profitable.
At the end of the day, starting and managing location independent business in many aspects seems even simpler than running a traditional company. With all these options for online loans, online collaborations and online profits, it seems as if the entire experience of being an entrepreneur has been gamified. In fact, running a business in 2018 seems more like playing a game from a Tycoon series than running a business in the 1990s or 1980s. Luckily, this is a trend that goes heavily in favor of millennials and Generation Z. Seeing as how these two demographics are quickly becoming the bulk of the business world, this also makes it into a trend that pushes entire industries forward, one step at the time.