Home Business Ideas

The advances in computer-related technologies in the digital media era have paved the way for hundreds of thousands of people to earn a significant income from the comforts of their own home. Although a small percentage of jobs require specific qualifications or skills, the vast majority of home business opportunities only require someone with a professional demeanour who is willing to work hard and meet deadlines to get their business up and running.

Get Your Starter Kit

Some companies look to hire contractors or employers to perform work from home because it saves them money. The costs for health insurance and tax liabilities of an employee can be expensive, not to mention the costs associated with purchasing the necessary equipment for an employee or contractor to do their job. Hiring or contracting with a home-based employee or contractor eliminates the tax liability and cost associated with equipment and various insurance costs. This is a win-win situation. The employee or contractor receives consistent work delivered in-person or via email, and earns a great hourly wage from the comforts of their own home.

Others may choose to start their own home business, based upon a talent or hobby they enjoy. One can provide consulting services, baked goods, accounting services, photography, art, sewing, knitting, painting, and marketing services, just to name a few, from the comforts of their own home or home office. Local small business organizations, tax advisors, and financial institutions are wonderful places to begin to gather information on starting up a successful home business. They can help formulate possible costs, profit margins, tax liabilities and deductions, and discuss options for raising start-up monies.

Starting a home based business simply requires passion, a hobby or interest, a plan of action, and the investment of time or money. Possible home business opportunities include:

Freelance Writing

Freelance writers are among some of the highest paid in the work from home sector. Freelance writers can typically write about anything they enjoy, have great knowledge of, or specialize in. Anyone with a strong command of the English language, the ability to speak multiple languages, or one who can write keyword-rich content has numerous opportunities in freelance writing. There are hundreds of reputable content sites that act as a middle-man between prospective clients and freelance writers. New freelance writers would simply apply to the company, submit a writing sample and any pertinent background information, resume’, and cover letter, and once approved, begin working right away. Most of these companies pay at least once per month. Some even pay the same day articles are approved. Other sites offer a bidding-style platform where a project is posted, and potential writers can view the project and assess the amount which they are willing to receive for the project’s completion. The client would select the best candidate from the available writers. Many successful writers make a full-time wage with only part-time effort.

Data Entry

Data entry specialists transcribe audio and text documents for an hourly wage. Some employees or contractors are offered salaried positions, by completing consistent, quality work. Data entry specialists typically type 60 to 120 words per minute, with few typing errors. Although there are many legitimate data entry companies online, there are also a large number of data entry companies that are scams. It is important to do research on these types of companies. Anyone promising outrageous hourly wages, asking for up-front fees, or stating that one will be processing rebates is definitely a scam artist. There are many forums for work at home professionals. These forums are filled with members that have been working from home for many years. They can offer insight and helpful suggestions to help determine a site’s legitimacy.

Customer Service

The majority of corporations outsource their customer service departments to home business owners. Many major companies and Fortune 500 companies have outsourced their call center operations to cut the traditional costs of a brick-and-mortar call center. This is a wonderful opportunity for those that enjoy talking on the phone to customers, have an innate ability to multitask, resolve customer complaints and issues, and provide exemplary customer service. Work from home specialists apply and are interviewed. Those that are hired are subsequently trained for a significant period of time, usually remotely, to work from home. Most customer service positions pay an hourly wage, with room for advancement opportunities. Some companies even offer a comprehensive benefits package to part or full-time employees. Most customer service positions are inbound calls. Calls are routed into an employee or contractor’s home telephone line, or through voice-over-internet technology via a headset. Most customer service positions require a specific hardware setup. Each company is different, but typically cable or DSL internet is required along with a significant amount of available RAM and a specific computer operating system. Job boards and forums that cater to home-based business owners offer listings for many types of customer service positions.

Telemarketing, IT, and Technical Support

Similar to customer service jobs, telemarketing is a wonderful home business. Telemarketing agents can receive an hourly wage, or be paid a combination of hourly wage plus bonuses and commission. Telemarketers typically place outbound calls offering a variety of services. Some offer newspaper or magazine subscriptions, others set appointments for business-to-business products and services. For those with a strong sales background who aren’t frazzled by hearing the word “no,” telemarketing is a lucrative career. Technical support and IT agents provide various levels of customer support for businesses and consumers. They can provide support for troubleshooting, equipment or software errors or repairs, and even internet or computer-related inquiries by phone, email, or chat. They are patient in working with customers of varying levels of technological experience and are paid among the highest salaries in home businesses.

Online Tutoring

With the increase in the number of online institutions and e-learning facilities, there is an overwhelming demand for online tutors and teachers. One does not necessarily have to have a degree or certification to tutor or teach online. Significant experience or expertise in a particular subject, hobby, or industry will usually qualify an individual to teach a specific subject. Most online tutors make a significant hourly wage, depending upon the hiring institution and subject being taught. Tutor sessions are typically in chat format or classroom simulation environment where a student and tutor can post questions and answers. Sessions can sometimes be held over the phone, or in person, depending upon the subject and the proximity and willingness of the tutor and student.

Virtual Assistants

Virtual assistants are a steadily increasing sector in the home business industry. Many small companies hire virtual assistants to essentially run their offices. Many companies with only one or two people handling all operational aspects of a business find it too difficult to balance the day-to-day operations with the money-making core of their business. Hiring an employee or contractor to handle the financial, receptionist-based services, accounting, bookkeeping, or customer correspondence allows them the opportunity to focus on the business-side of their operation, while simultaneously ensuring that the day-to-day operations are running smoothly. Virtual assistants are paid very well, and successful VA’s often have several clients that they provide services for. Although not required, there are virtual assistant certification programs that one can take online that will increase the number of job opportunities. There are many virtual assistant placement companies online that act as a middle-man and perform the hiring and qualification testing of job candidates on behalf of the hiring client. Many job board websites have postings for virtual assistants. Keywords such as: telecommute, virtual, online, home-based, and home work are great words that can be entered into the search bar on job board sites. Usage of these words filters the desired results and narrows down the choices to jobs that are primarily work from home business opportunities or jobs.

Medical or Legal Transcription, Coding, and Information Systems Experts

Those with medical or legal transcription or coding experience are invaluable in the work from home community. Medical offices, laboratories, and hospitals presently battle with the conversion of paper files into digital transcriptions. The large number of patients they see on a daily basis and a shortage of medical transcriptionists or medical information systems experts to transpose these documents is detrimental to operations. Medical-related transcription, coding, and information systems are the single fastest-growing sector in the home business market. The amount of available work far exceeds the number of qualified individuals. This is great news for those with the experience or looking to gain the qualification or certifications. Most who apply will be rewarded with a generous salary or hourly wage, benefits, and bonuses. The job search for these types of careers is typically short. Most applicants only have to wait a week or two before they are hired and begin working. Local businesses and medical facilities are a great place to begin the job search. Many offices and hospitals cannot find the time to market or post jobs looking for these professionals. A well-written resume’ highlighting applicable experience, cover letter, and business card can open many doors of opportunity within one’s own community.

Affiliate Marketing or Blogging

Imagine earning a residual income for life by selling or marketing other’s products. Hundreds of thousands of individuals earn monthly income and residual income for life by blogging and affiliate marketing. Users have the option of driving traffic to their website with pay-per-click advertising or article marketing. With pay-per-click advertising, users are directed to one’s site and click on accompanying affiliate links to purchase products. With article marketing, longtail keyword research is conducted to find targeted, lucrative phrases which are the subject of the article. Articles are submitted to article-submission sites and traffic is generated. Affiliate marketing can take some time before significant income is earned. Six months to one year is the standard amount of time one can expect to work part or full-time before generating significant income. It is important to search online for free topics on how to start a successful blog. One must also look for a free e-course on search-engine optimization. These courses on blogging and optimization often have video tutorials, screenshots, and even individualized lessons that teach a prospective blogger how to hone their skills. The idea of working hard for a period of time, and earning residual income for life is appealing to many. One should have supplemental income opportunities that are consistent, like freelance writing, in addition to blogging, until blogging becomes the primary source of income.

Daycare Operators

For those that have young children and/or enjoy the company of young children, starting a home-based daycare business may be the perfect opportunity. Anyone with children can attest to the outrageous cost for daycare expenses. It is best to check with local governmental agencies and local legislature to determine qualifications, zoning, the number of children one’s residence can accommodate, and necessary steps to take to start a daycare business from home. Many day care operators receive substantial tax breaks, and monies to support their business and food costs. One interested in owning a home-based daycare business will need to have great interpersonal skills and be creative in planning daily activities for children of a variety of ages. Those who can offer late evening or weekend daycare hours, in addition to weekday hours will have parents lining up at the door to sign-up.

Professional Organizers

Anyone with a knack for order and organization will find substantial income opportunities and enjoy having and organizing their own organizational business. People simply do not have the time to organize closets, pantries, or garages with their busy lives. Working, raising families, house cleaning, extracurricular activities, and carpooling keep people too busy to deal with their mounting piles of disorganization. The stress that is associated with clutter can be insurmountable. Most do not have the skill of organization or do not know where to begin. The process seems daunting and too stressful to undertake. This is where professional organizers come in. Advertising in local newspapers and handing out business cards to anyone a potential organizer encounters is a great way to network. Posting services on grocery store, hospital, or college bulletin boards is another great way to spread the word about one’s organizational services. A great way to secure an abundance of repeat clients is to offer a free service or consultation. During a consultation or free service, the organizer gets the chance to show a portfolio of before and after pictures, from finished projects of close friends and family, and earn the trust of the homeowner or renter. Once a potential customer sees a professionally-finished project, or completes a small project within the home, they will hire them for subsequent projects. Rates can be discussed at the free consultation. An organizer can set their hourly wages and rates based upon the complexity of the project.

Cooking, Baking, Arts, Crafts, and Photography

Those with a particular skill or trade in the textile, cooking, or art industries are in demand in virtually every community. Local businesses thrive on the support of community. Consumers are always on the lookout for locally-grown and locally-crafted goods. Hand-made products are often of the highest quality and consumers pay top dollar for quality craftsmanship. One interested in selling their goods for profit may acquire many stores and clients by setting up a meeting with a shop or store owner and presenting samples of their goods. If a store is interested, they handle the marketing, placement of goods, and advertising within their shop. This takes the guess work out of the equation for the artisan. The shop receives a percentage of the final sale, typically 30 percent, and the artisan is able to keep a steady stock and supply of goods on hand for the local merchant. Local craft fairs are another great way to increase sales. Craft fairs feature a variety of booths and tables where local artisans can showcase their work and provide samples and gain contacts. For those that like to have more of a say in advertising, craft fair sellers have complete control over their marketing and sales strategies. Whether one specializes in gift baskets, candle making, baking, or knitting, there are craft fairs and stores where goods can be sold and the artisan will earn a good income.

Online Auctions

One of the most profitable home businesses today is the selling of new and used goods on online auction sites. These auction sites handle the marketing, hosting, and provide templates for sellers to create their auction listings. They handle the technical side of routing customer questions, providing invoicing and print labels, and calculating shipping and bidding costs for the seller. The best way to get started with an online auction business is to clean out the house and sell items from one’s own home. Thousands of dollars for start-up capital can be generated by simply cleaning out the closets and posting the items for sale. Jewellery, electronics, authentic designer goods, collectibles, rare books, new makeup and skincare brands, and children’s clothing sell very well on auction sites. The auction site will take a percentage of the final sale price as their commission. It is the seller’s responsibility to communicate with the buyer, ship the goods in a timely fashion, provide appropriate feedback, and follow-up with the customer to ensure that the customer is satisfied with the transaction.

Once one collects the monies from the sale of their own items, they can branch out into acquiring liquidated, overstock, or pallets of refurbished merchandise to sell for profit. It is always best to acquire goods that one is interested in and that have a higher value overall. It’s faster, more profitable, and easier to sell one big thing and make a large profit, than it is to take the time to post auctions for many little things that make small profits. Business owners need to balance their time with their profit margins to ensure they are maximizing their earning potential. Selling cameras, for example, would be much more profitable than selling DVDs. There are a plethora of local and online merchants that sell wholesale pallets of goods to consumers and small business owners looking for procurement. These agencies will gladly send out a manifest, or detailed listing, of each item in a respected pallet. The business owner can then determine if the lot is profitable to re-sell, after assessing the value of the items in the lot, compared to the purchase price and re-sale value on auction sites. There is a little bit of research involved, and this is why it is important to only sell what one knows. If someone who knows about designer accessories attempts to buy and re-sell computers, they may have a harder time recognizing a good deal and listing the item for sale on the auction sites. Taking a free course in keyword research will help formulate eye-catching titles that will draw in anyone searching for items in the respected categories, and increase the profit margins tenfold. A tax advisor can also provide information on deductions. Shipping costs, packaging, fuel costs associated with the business may all be deductible.

Whether one chooses a home business that requires a specific trade or qualification, one decides to start their own business by applying to existing companies, or one decides to start their business from scratch selling their own services, there are opportunities for anyone interested in having a home business. A home business will succeed when one has taken the time to research, interview local businesses and ask for help from tax, small business, and financial advisors. A plan of action, reasonable and attainable goals, patience, and persistence are also vital to success. The most important thing to remember in searching for a profitable job or opportunity is that if it looks or appears as too good to be true, it probably is. The freedom to create one’s own schedule, work around family obligations, and avoid costs associated with fuel, child care, and eating out is easily attained by starting a work from home business.

Home Business Ideas & Articles:


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