BE YOUR OWN BOSS
When you know your strengths, you succeed
“It is an UNIVERSAL TRUTH, if you know your limitations, boundaries it is easy to operate within those, especially when you have a career start without your father or any elder being your GOD FATHER, for those who have chosen to do something on their own, from taking up regular jobs despite the string line of qualifications”. It takes immense courage to start something on their own, being young, with no career support, expecting to make a meagre income initially, till they make a break through. Unless one is very positive about their own confidence, self-belief, the thirst to achieve something in their life on their own, this situation becomes a mere mirage after sometime.
It is THE TREND, to achieve something working from home, balancing home and office work. This need not be necessarily confined to office work only; it can be any pursuit of one’s passion too. It is very fascinating to note that, around 15 million people in India are working from home and they are selfpreneurs (entrepreneurs) that is self-employed individuals running one-person businesses. Let us explore these five self-employment options that will help you earn without having to confine yourself to an office regimen.
In a perfect world, you would have the luxury to do what you loved or were good at and be paid for it without leaving home. In some recent statistics, nearly 15 million people in India are living this dream says the Freelancer Incomes Around the World Report 2018. They are selfpreneurs- self-employed individuals running one-person businesses as said earlier too.
Let us see few classic examples of these selfpreneurs, Mumbai based Jyoti Vora is one of them. She is monetising her passion for cooking by hosting strangers to sumptuous Gujarati meals at home. This concept of social dining has allowed her to earn well and start a small catering business. She says, “I make a profit of about Rs.12000/- per event by catering”.
Working from home offers other benefits like flexi-hours and not having to commute every day in this heavy pollution and traffic. Delhi based Kajal Sengupta realised this, during an online teaching assignment in 2009. Soon after she left her job as a teacher and shifted to online tutoring. This physics teacher says, “I don’t commute. My student base remains intact even if I move cities”.
In this week’s story, we list five such work options, with their earning potential and skill requirement. These are not easy ways of making money. These require you to put in a fixed number of hours daily, struggle with self-discipline and networking.
1. POP UP MEALS:
Average earning Rs.15000-22000 a month.
How to get started? A cook out at home involves inviting 5-8 people to give them a taste of your region or speciality by serving an authentic, multi-course meal. Enlist on platforms like “Authenticook” and “Eat with India, which handle marketing and payments. “We help the host determine the right price based on previous demand and feedback from guests” says Ameya Deshpande, Co-Founder, Authenticook.
Earning Potential: A meal with 5-6 items is priced above Rs.1500/- while a lighter meal with snacks is for Rs.600-800. Non-Vegetarian options are more expensive by Rs.500/- or so. You can also host cooking lessons, priced at Rs.2000-4000 per head. Cleaning and groceries will be the key expenses, costing Rs.400-500 per head. The one-time expense of crockery and decorations of around Rs.6000 will be out of your pocket. The platforms charge a service fee to diners. The host price is marked up by 15-25%, which is displayed as the final price on websites. After deducting costs, you can earn over Rs.20000/- a month says, Sonal Saxena, Co-Founder, Eat with India.
Working Tip: Instead of serving the usual, homemade fare, create a brand image by serving dishes that are specific to your culture or region. Wearing a traditional dress will help enrich the experience.
2. STOCK PHOTO FOR SITES:
Average Earning: Rs.2000-4000 a month, for beginners; Rs.35000 a month after two years.
How to get Started: Whether you click pictures as a hobby or as a professional photographer, there is money to be made by licensing photos on stock photography sites. The images and vector graphics should meet the site’s criteria and standards, which are typically high. The photos should be at least 4-12 megapixel and in JPEG format. Also check for copyright issues. If not a professional, learn the basics of photo editing on Photoshop and Abode light room. As earning depends on number of downloads, constantly add new photos.
Earning Potential: You will be paid a commission for each download. Getty images has the most stringent selection standard, but offers a modest commission of 20% on every download. Abode stock pays 33% and shutter stock initially pays a flat fee of Rs.17 per download. Other sites like Alamy, Stocksy and Shutter point pay 35-80% commissions. Images-bazaar is the most rewarding, offering a 50% commission.
Working tip: Upload photos to 4-5 sites with high traffic, instead of selling exclusive rights to one. Also, use appropriate keywords with each uploaded photo to increase visibility.
3. VIRTUAL ASSISTANCE:
Average Earning: Rs.250 an hour for beginners; Rs.800 per hour for over two years’ work experience.
How to get started: Virtual assistants provide administrative support to companies from a remote location. You should have good communication skills, know the basics of MS office, Excel, Power Point, and be a multitasker. You can go for certification training to establish credibility. Start by finding job listings on career sites and freelancing websites. As you gain experience, create your own website and market your work through social media.
Earning Potential: You will be paid according to the services you offer. For simple tasks like data entry or scheduling appointments, you will get Rs.200-350 per hour. This can go up to Rs.1000, if you offer services like social media campaigning, writing for blogs or creating presentations.
Working Tip: Identify what you do best, specialise in it and look for clients in need of those services. This can make you the go-to person in that industry. Keep upskilling to increase your earnings.
4. WEB DEVELOPMENT:
Average Earning: Rs.1.68 lakh a month.
How to get started: Businesses are increasingly outsourcing jobs to freelancers for one-off projects. Web developers and graphic designers are the most sought-after. A college degree in computer science or related field is a must.
Earning Potential: One-off projects can help you earn Rs.1.5-5 lakh per a month long assignment. For ongoing support, you will be paid by the hour. On freelance websites, professionals with 3-5 years of experience charge Rs.1000-1700 per hour, while those with 6-9 years of experience charge between Rs.2000-3500 per hour.
Working tip: Learn about both frontend (user interface designing) and back-end (database and server) development. Full stack developers are more sought after compared to specialists.
5. MANAGE SOCIAL MEDIA:
Average earning: Rs.1.1 lakh a month.
How to get started: This involves developing online marketing strategies, monitoring presence on social media, researching target audience, running social media campaigns and ads, adapting marketing strategies to changing trends and brand building for businesses. If you are skilled in SEO writing and equipped with marketing tools, this job is for you.
Earning Potential: The payment is either by the hour or fixed. The hourly model pays Rs.350-2000, depending on the scope of task and value addition. Negotiate hard for fixed payment models as they take up a lot of time, leaving less scope for taking on other projects.
Working Tip: Since the social media landscape is changing constantly, upskill and hone your marketing skills to keep up with the dynamic platforms.
DON’T WORK FROM HOME IF……...
· You want to disengage from work: At home, it is difficult to keep personal and professional lives separate. Besides, you may need to work on holidays or weekends.
· You can’t handle distractions: TV, kids and household tasks can ruin your concentration. With your phone, you may feel the need to be on social media frequently.
· You are bad at socialising and networking: Freelancing does not provide enough scope to meet people. Mails and cold calling are not enough to build client relationship.
· You can’t live on a low, erratic income: Initially, you are paid less and clients are hard to come by. If you have switched from a regular job, you are likely to have fixed obligations.
· You don’t mind being isolated: When you are not a part of a company, it is easy to feel isolated. The daily interaction with colleagues can take off a lot of stress, besides helping develop contacts and build a network.
EAST OR WEST, WORKING FROM HOME IS THE BEST!!!!
VIJAYASHREE RAMESH, ADVOCATE & SOCIAL ACTIVIST.