If you’re doing a job you love, you’re absolutely passionate about your work and find yourself submerged in work but still love every single minute of it, congratulations. You are among the lucky few! Unfortunately, the reality is different for most people. So many people are just waiting for a chance to ditch their crappy 9 to 5 jobs. So many of them cannot wait to leave the office after work and slam the door behind. And the sad truth is that they have the potential to do so much more. This is why I am going to suggest 5 profitable business ideas that will give you flexibility in terms of working conditions and make you earn more money.

1. Real Estate Agent

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NAR’s 2010 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers states that 83% of homes were sold through a real estate agent and the typical home is on the market for eight weeks only before being sold. Not convinced yet? The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the median pay for real estate brokers and sales agents in 2015 was $45,610 per year.

With minimum start-up costs and flexibility of working hours, anyone with some knowledge of real estate can get into the business. Not sure you master the basics? The article “All About the Business of Real Estate” from The Balance Magazine can be quite a helpful guide.

2. Personal Brand E-commerce

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40% of worldwide internet users buy products online. This represents over a billion online buyers and the number is expected to increase. However, with so many e-stores emerging almost every single day, we often wonder how to survive in this highly competitive market. Personal branding might be the solution. Every start-up should go for their own private label. Not only does this reduce competition, but it also allows you to have more control over your business. You may fix different prices from other companies selling similar products.

Start-up costs for a personal brand e-commerce might be high since you have to buy a stock of products where each has to be privately labeled. Also, marketing for a new brand can be harder. For instance, you are likely to get more customers if you open a McDonald’s franchise instead of starting, let’s say, “Sam Fried Chicken” food outlet. With McDonald’s, however, you are expected to follow standard prices. The prospects for growth are limited.

3. Affiliate Marketing

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Simply put, affiliate marketing is a way of earning a commission by promoting other people’s products. “20 Affiliate Marketing Stats That Will Blow Your Mind” provides a few pretty interesting statistics on affiliate marketing. One of them is that U.S. affiliate marketing spend nears $5B. That is twice the economy of Belize. Affiliate marketing is indeed one of the fastest growing markets in the world. If you have the skills to attract customers and drive them to the website you’re affiliated with, why not give it a try? The good news for you is that 78% of CMOs admit affiliate marketing to be their least mastered area of digital marketing. If you master this area and can deliver an impressive performance, this should be your 2017 business idea. After all, over the next five years only, the affiliate marketing industry is expected to grow to $6.8 billion!

Affiliate marketing can be a tricky business, I get it. However, there are many guides, tips, and strategies for newbies online. You can easily learn all you need about affiliate marketing online. Before you get started, Smart Affiliate Marketing Strategies might also be a good read. Also, like any other business, you’ll get better at it as you acquire more experience. Don’t forget that affiliate marketing is also a great way of generating a passive income! Once you have a product’s link on your site, your readers will still be clicking on it whether you’re online, having lunch or sleeping.

4. Professional Freelancer

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Few people tend to think of freelancing as a lucrative full-time business. And why not? When you hear about freelance writers earning $5 per hour, you are bound to think this way. But did you know that those who do it right can easily make $50 an hour? Freelancers contribute an estimated $715 billion to the US economy. A study estimates that more than 40% of the American workforce, or 60 million people, will be independent workers by 2020. These include freelancers, contractors, and temporary employees.

Flexible working hours and the ability to work from anywhere in the world are mainly the factors that get people in the freelancing business. The numbers are only expected to grow with half of the working U.S. population moving into the freelancing economy within the next five years. As a beginner, freelance sites such as Upwork, Freelancer, and Peopleperhour are there to help you get a start. It is relatively easy to land one of the thousands on jobs on these sites. However, once you gain experience, it is best to move away from these platforms and aim higher. For freelance writers, “Do’s and Don’ts to Earning More as an Experienced Freelance Writer” will prove helpful at that point.

5. Consultant

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Although the words freelancer and consultant are often used interchangeably, there is a world of difference between them. A freelancer offers a deliverable, whereas a consultant provides professional or expert advice. Yet, the future seems as bright for consultants  as it does for freelancers. The financial advisory consulting market, for example, witnessed a growth from 55.8 billion in 2011 to 67.3 billion U.S. dollars in 2015. An increase in the number has been predicted for subsequent years.

So, what will your work be as a consultant? You first have to choose an area you’re an expert in. For instance, if you have been working in the accounts department of a company for 15 years, you will make a great accounts consultant. You may be hired by companies looking to have expert advice on how to draw their accounts in a more efficient and less costly way. As a crisis communication consultant, you may be asked to step in to resolve issues within a company through professional advice. Marketing consultants are hired by companies to conduct research and oversee development of ad campaigns. You just need to choose the area you have the most experience in.

Take Home Message

Leave the fear behind and take the big leap. Starting a new business is a challenging step. However, sometimes it’s now or never. You’ll never know the outcome if you don’t give it a try. These 5 businesses are profitable, provide flexible working hours and allows you to work from the comfort of your home, or home office. With the numbers supporting the growth of these industries, there is no room for pessimism.

P.S. If you start of these businesses, let me know how it goes by dropping a comment below. Feel free to like and share the post to let others know about these profitable business ideas.

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