The following is a guest post by Joel Ohman. If you like to guest post on this blog, please contact me.
The person who says that there’s a business that can be started in a day without any real work or planning involved is simply lying, and the person who says freelancing is not a real business but just someone living day to day finding whatever work happens to come along is plain wrong.
Growing any business takes time and effort, and freelancing takes dedicated determination — sometimes even working a regular 40 hour job on top of the freelancing until the freelance work begins to bring into the household a regular, steady paycheck.
That all said, here are 10 freelance jobs that can be started up in a single day without requiring a large upfront investment or causing you to ring up charges like crazy on your business credit card and go into debt:
- Delivery Driver
- Desktop Publishing
- Event Planning and Promotion
- Freelance Writing
- Home Cleaning
- Web Page Design
Each of these freelance positions require little to no equipment, have very low start-up costs and do not necessarily require any special kind of education (additionally, most do not even require any special business licenses or certification as does many types of sales oriented careers like selling auto insurance as an insurance agent or selling real estate as a realtor).
A lot of people believe catering is all about setting up fancy dinner parties inside hotels or entertainment halls. For the most part, they would be correct; however, there is much more to catering than big wedding parties or corporate sponsored events. Plus, one can start up right out of his or her own kitchen.
Some caterers specifically work for restaurants, providing specialty dishes and desserts. Other caterers work on a smaller level, coming into someone’s personal kitchen, preparing several weeks worth of meals, then freezing the rest for the client to use at a later date.
To work on a larger scale, such as a wedding or graduation party or other event, a caterer can contract with a company that provides catering equipment and supply rentals. Most larger cities have such a service, and the caterer can rent anything from salad forks and tablecloths to candle globes. The caterer does not have to store or maintain any of these supplies, only pass the cost onto the client, set-up and tear down.
In today’s tough economic environment where the displaced worker seems to be more of the norm than full-time, regular employment, consulting can become not only a viable option, but a lucrative option. Anyone that has acquired enough experience in one specific field can become a consultant. Flip to the back of any industry trade magazine, and there is a list of consultants for hire.
Of course, advertising in a trade magazine can be an expensive up-front investment, especially for someone just starting out or for someone who has just lost his or her job. Job, Interview, and image specialists (which are consultants themselves) offer the following advice: put aside bad feelings, and approach the company that fired you. More than likely, the company did not want to do the firing or the laying off in the first place, but the budget had to be cut somewhere, and now they are left short-handed.
Small companies are popping up all over the country’s metropolitan areas offering delivery services. These delivery services handle everything from medical supplies to hospitals and nursing homes to hamburgers and milkshakes to local households.
Interestingly though, these delivery companies normally do not have employees; instead, they contract out with people to do the deliveries. All one requires to get involved in such a freelance job is a vehicle and a clean driving record, and depending upon how the delivery service is set-up, the driver can contract with various companies.
Desktop Publishing does require at least the availability of a computer. Software requirements include software applications such as:
- Adobe’s InDesign
- Microsoft’s Publisher
- Quark Express
However, these commercial-grade desktop publishing software solutions can cost a hefty penny—Adobe’s InDesign, for example, costs nine hundred dollars. Freeware is not a bad option to get started with. Several excellent programs are available for desktop publishing experts. Here are a few:
- Serif PagePlus Starter Edition
- Avery DesignPro
Some of the different products a desktop publisher can put together and design are:
- Business cards
- Invoice and purchase order designs
- Print media kits and news briefs
- Professional letterhead
Event Planning and Promotion
Event planning and promotion is sometimes confused with catering, but the majority of event planners actually contract with caterers to provide the food needs of their clients.
An event planner and promoter coordinates and advertises an event. An event planner can provide theses services to many different and varied clients. The most common clientele is the up and coming music band.
A band schedules a gig at a local bar, but they want to turn this into more of a party or public relations effort as opposed to just a gig at a local bar. The band then hires the event planner and promoter to turn a simple gig into the must attend event of the season.
The second most common event a planner and promoter will coordinate is a wedding. Other possibilities include:
- Corporate team building events
- Anniversary parties
- Class reunions
- Gala openings
- New Business Opening Celebrations
For the general public not involved in freelance work, the most common or well known freelance job would be that of a writer. People tend to picture a brooking author hunched over a desk or sipping coffee at the local coffee shop, alone and enjoying the solitude.
This is far from the truth.
The freelance writer is heavily involved with people – editors, clients, newspaper and magazine publishers, just to name a few.
Some of the possible jobs for a freelance writer include:
- Newspaper sports stringer
- Magazine author
- Short story author
- Creating online content
- Brochure content
- Greeting card content
One does not need a degree, experience or a computer to get started freelance writing. He or she just needs to be a good writer. For Internet work, a library computer can easily be utilized.
Of course, experience is a plus, but this can be easily aquired through online based writing sites such as textbroker.com or Demand Media Studios.
Home cleaning can be an interesting line of freelance work. People who don’t want to clean or don’t have the time to clean will hire the cleaner to come into the house either while they are present or sometimes when they are not present.
A home cleaning freelancer will do everything from the laundry and dishes to dusting and sweeping. The home cleaner may also branch out to office cleaning as well.
In the past, telemarketing jobs involved going to a call center office to make the phone calls. A lot of companies still operate in this traditional method of telemarketing. However, with today’s advanced technology, the possibility of telemarketing from home is a real and valid way of making money (and usually means that you do not even need to purchase business insurance as your home insurance policy may cover you already).
A lot of home-based telemarketing companies are a scam though (not all), asking for a considerable upfront investment of money and/or equipment.
For the most part, a tutor does need at minimum a bachelor’s degree in the field of study he or she will be teaching. Some cases may not require the degree — such as a parent looking to tutor his or her child in math may opt for a current college student majoring in math.
Or a college student can contract with the university he or she is attending to tutor other college students. Normally, in this situation, the tutor must have passed with high grades in the specific class he or she is tutoring for.
Tutoring is a business one can start pretty much immediately if one does possess the degree.
Web Page Design
Web page design is completely different from web programming. One does need to have a basic understanding of HTML, which is pretty easy to grasp, but the designer does not need to understand CSS sheets, java, C++ or PHP scripts.
The web page designer does need to have an excellent working knowledge of a graphics program such as PhotoShop (the industry standard) or its freeware equivalent Paint.NET.
The designer puts together the web site’s artwork design concept, then forwards this information off to the programmer who tears apart the artwork and design and turns it into functional programming for the Web.
Though no entrepreneurially spirited venture can be totally and successfully started in a single day, this list of 10 freelance jobs that you can start today, come pretty close.
One still needs clients though.
Clients can be found through services such as Craigslist, Freelancer.com, posting your own website, or approaching your friends and family.