You might think of your laptop as a way to check email, look at bank statements, and scroll through an endless stream of cat videos on YouTube, but it can also be the core of an entire business. In fact, I am writing this very article on a laptop (not on the couch), and use it to make my entire living for my family. It is completely possible to run a business from your couch, laptop in hand, building your own business empire. Here are some ideas to get you started.
1. Drop Shipper
Some of the most successful online businesses make millions selling products, but never manufacture anything or carry any inventory. Thanks to the magic of dropshipping, you can sell products from other companies through your website, forward the orders on to the drop shipper, and keep the profits.
Dropshipping works best when you have a specific niche of products, like auto parts or a specific style of clothing. For success, you need to find a wholesale supplier and a dropshipping vendor. With those pieces in place, you can build your site and sell, sell, sell!
2. Stock Music Composition
Businesses need stock music for all sorts of projects. Presentations, advertisements, podcasts, conferences, videos, and more require music. For example, when I needed new theme music for my new podcast, I went to AudioJungle, a stock music site where I bought a license to use a song for the show.
You may not bring in the same kind of money as Deadmau5, Tiesto, or Skrillex, but creating music on your laptop can pay the bills. If you have the right skillset and the right software on your laptop, you can create and arrange music from the comfort of your own couch, and sell it online for a profit.
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3. Graphic Designer
The last time I created a graphic to use online, a friend called me out on the poor quality. My partner in the project, who has much better graphic design skills and a copy of Photoshop on her computer took over, and the result was much better. I should have gone to someone with actual graphic design talent to begin with!
If you have those graphic design talents, you can design logos, social media images, advertisements, website graphics, business cards, event posters and flyers, and any other visuals from your couch, laptop in hand. At least now you can get paid while simultaneously binging Netflix shows.
4. Virtual Assistant
I pay a virtual assistant every month to help me with tasks for my blog, podcast, email newsletter, and other aspects of my business. While I don’t pay her enough to make a full-time living, between me and her other clients, she can work online full-time, and make an entire living from the couch if she were to choose to do so.
Virtual assistants, commonly referred to as VAs, can specialize in a specific area, like online marketing, or help with general business tasks. If you don’t mind a little bit of data entry and some tedious tasks on the computer, it is a great way to get paid well for working from home.
5. Video Editor
Whether you prefer Final Cut Pro X, Adobe Premiere, or a different video editing suite, web users demand video content, so businesses demand editing skills to create those videos. Video editing is a well paying online gig, and one that is perfect for freelancers who enjoy working on the couch.
Clients will expect high quality results, so don’t bring anything less than your best to the table. Over the last year, I have hired the same video editor through Fiverr three times to edit a batch of videos. Like him, you can build a video editing business that you can work anywhere in the world you have your laptop and an internet connection.
There are so many types of developers these days that this list could have been “9 businesses developers can run from their couch.” I used to earn about 20 percent of my online income as a WordPress website developer, and it was not my primary focus. If you are talented with any sort of code, you are arguably the most in-demand home worker available today.
Mobile app developers, websites developers, web app developers, cloud developers, machine learning experts, Alexa skill developers, and any other type of developer can make a great living online working from their couch, bed, or a nearby beach with high speed internet. If you have the skills, you might even be able to make more than a day job would pay.
7. SEO Link Builder
One of the biggest frustration for website owners is their Google rankings. The world’s biggest search engine regularly updates and tweaks the algorithm, and between that and SEO at competing websites, web business owners regularly see their rankings drop and struggle to get traffic to their site.
If you can write in English and don’t mind doing some research and sending out the same form email again and again and again and again, you have what it takes to survive as an SEO link builder. Start with small projects, and eventually you’ll have the right skills and systems in place to turn it into a full blown couch based enterprise.
8. Social Media Manager
If you spend hours on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and other social networks, you are in prime position to take over social media for a growing business, or even a few! I used to do social media management for a Silicon Valley tech startup, and built up their online following to new heights!
Social media managers write and schedule content to go out on social networks, and sometimes use tools like Buffer, MeetEdgar, and Hootsuite to schedule and plan out their tweets, posts, and pins. If you can handle that and do so professionally, a new couch based business could be in your future.
Accounting and bookkeeping is one of those things that all businesses have to do, but most business owners loathe. If you are good with numbers and are willing to take an online course or watch videos to learn how Quickbooks and similar accounting packages work, you could start an online bookkeeping business from your couch.
It is best if you have a business degree or accounting experience, but anyone with a calculator in hand can pick up the basics. Just keep in mind that your bookkeeping has serious impacts for the client business, so you always have to pay very close attention to detail.
From the Couch to the Bank
If you can run a business from a laptop, you can run it from a couch. And then you can make a good living without getting out of your bathrobe. Speaking from experience, working on the couch is a fun novelty, but not something I would want to do every day. But I do love working from my laptop and the freedom to work anywhere, including my couch. If you are willing to hustle, you will be on the way to the couch in no time.
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