This article was first published by MyWallSt.
Working environments are changing everywhere. With the ubiquity of professional technologies such as smart devices and communication software, location-independent jobs are fast becoming the business world's new norm.
Increasingly, all someone needs to make a living is a laptop and a wireless connection. But what if you could go one step further?
Image source: Unsplash.
In her book, The Million-Dollar One-Person Business, Elaine Pofeldt tells us that, in recent years, thousands of Americans have launched lucrative businesses directly from their computers.
Here are three stocks that have aided the rise of the one-person business.
Founded in a Canadian garage in 2004 by Tobias Lutke, Daniel Weinand, and Scott Lake, Shopify (NYSE: SHOP) began life as an online store for snowboarding equipment. Unimpressed with the tools available for e-retailers, Lutke and his partners began focusing instead on building a service that would help merchants around the world sell their wares with ease.
Fifteen years later, Shopify now employs more than 1,300 in the U.S. and Canada and services over 820,000 online retailers, many of whom are individual work-from-home entrepreneurs.
The company continues to expand and adapt. In June, it unveiled its new "shopper fulfillment network," a service that will help third-party merchants better compete with Amazon's (NASDAQ: AMZN) famously rapid delivery times. Shopify anticipates that the service will allow for delivery to 99% of the continental U.S. within two days or less.
Amazon might want to look over its shoulder!
Etsy (NASDAQ: ETSY) is an e-commerce website that focuses on handmade arts-and-crafts supplies. With top categories including home decor, clothing, and jewelry, the site has provided a vital source of income for artisans and creative entrepreneurs around the globe.
The numbers really speak for themselves. With more than 2 million sellers and 40 million buyers, Etsy has managed to outperform analyst expectations in three of the past four quarters. By the end of last year, as many as 60 million items had been sold through its marketplace, most of them by women.
Etsy rides on top of two of the biggest trends in modern business: remote work and so-called solopreneurship. Indeed, 80% of sellers on the site are businesses-of-one, while almost all of them (97%) work from their homes.
For most fledgling businesses, the first step is to build a website. And while there are plenty of website development options out there, none of them have managed to build a reputation for beautiful visuals and ease of use quite like Wix (NASDAQ: WIX). Always innovative, the service has popularized the drag-and-drop method of web page design.
Founded in 2006 by two Israeli brothers, Wix had a similar trajectory to Shopify, born out of its creators' frustration with the state of basic website-creation software. Within four years, the service had drawn in over 3.5 million users, as well as funding from Benchmark Capital, best known as early investors in Twitter and Instagram.
The company's growth has been exponential. Wix acquired a full 300% more registered users in the first quarter of 2019 than its first quarter five years earlier. The current figure stands at about 150 million. While a basic version of Wix's website offering is free for users, the company generates revenue through premium upgrades, meaning that as its customers grow, it grows right along with them.
Image source: MyWallSt.
MyWallSt operates a full disclosure policy. MyWallSt staff currently hold long positions in Amazon, Shopify, and Wix. Read our full disclosure policy here.
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John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon, Etsy, Facebook, Shopify, Twitter, and Wix.com. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.