An increasing number of Canadians are turning to online business as an income option while they’re unemployed, or to supplement a lower-paying job until they find a better one. Many do well enough to never go back to a conventional workplace.
Unemployment numbers periodically released from Statistics Canada tell us very little about the people who are unemployed in Canada. Express Employment Professionals has released the results of a national survey, State of the Unemployed, providing a window into the lives of Canadian job hunters. Sadly, it shows more people are struggling to find work or even get interviews.
“Canada’s unemployed are increasingly stuck – with difficulty getting interviews and work,” says their press release. “Canada’s unemployed are now out of work for an average of 16 months, compared to 14 months in 2015. Nearly half (44 per cent) have not had a full time job in more than a year.”
36% of unemployed Canadians have given up on finding a job. 59% of those who have been unemployed for more than two years have given up on finding a job.
But they have to do something.
An employment option that is often overlooked is creating your own job online. It isn’t only an income opportunity, it’s also a chance to broaden and improve your skill set with coveted experience. You can develop computer, Internet, eCommerce, writing, marketing and business management skills that are in high demand, and demonstrate proficiency in them. A properly marketed web presence can establish you as an expert in your field. In that respect, even if your attempt at online self-employment fails you won’t have wasted your time.
Many Canadian work-at-home online opportunities require little or no investment, or you can use income from some opportunities to help fund your primary business idea. You may even qualify for a business grant from your provincial or Canadian government.
Following are just a few web-based income opportunities:
- Provide services on a freelance basis, doing what you do best. Any skills that can be performed online can be done on a freelance basis, such as office administration, data entry, transcription, translation, programming, and consulting. Sign up on one of the major freelance sites like Freelancer, and away you go. You can provide services on a short-term basis or sign long-term contracts for positions like a virtual assistant. You’ll find lots of free downloads, training and a community for virtual assistants on Canada’s VA Networking.
- Start a blog, which can be monetized through advertising and affiliate marketing.
- Consider drop shipping, which allows you to sell products without investing in inventory or shipping the products yourself.
- Sell products without a website through Online Marketplaces.
We cover more inexpensive online business opportunities for Canadians in the article, 10 Low-Cost Side Businesses you can Start Online from Home.
Having a website gives you the opportunity to sell your own products and services or affiliate products with very little overhead. Building a website is so much easier than it used to be. Most hosts offer “point and click” website builders that can have you online in an afternoon, or you can go with an eCommerce platform like Shopify Canada that is designed for people who have little technical knowledge. The same ease applies to blogging, with many website hosts offering a one-click installation of free WordPress software. Choose a free template and you’re in business. Alternatively, Digital Growth Canada will build your WordPress website for a low one-time fee of $97, and then host it for a hundred dollars per year.
You can maintain your online business part time when you get a full-time job, or be so successful that it becomes your full-time job. It’s reassuring to have something “on the side” as back-up in an unstable economy as well.
The first step is to start a text file for ideas. Outline your goals, and identify what you’re good at and what you enjoy. Then, you’ll have some learning to do.
FREE resources to help you learn about online business:
- Checklist: Choosing a Website Host for your Canadian Business
- 10 Hot Product Niches to Sell or Drop Ship Online in Canada
- How to Develop Your Own Online Coaching Info-Products
- Test eCommerce Waters with Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)
- Free Top 50 Niches Report, online income stream training, Market Feeder software and case studies from Niche Profit.
- Free, extensive affiliate training and affiliate marketing tools can be had through the masterminds at Affilorama.
- Free affiliate marketing courses, community and more from The Wealthy Affiliate.
- There are lots of free and reasonably-priced courses available to help you learn online business and related subjects, such as online marketing.
- If you want to try some books on the topic, check out our list of Top Online Business and Marketing Books. You may be able to find some at your local library.
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