Nearly everyone who starts their own home based business does so because they perceive self-employment as the shortest route to self-actualization. In other words, they wish to unleash the potential deep inside themselves and seize control of their own destinies.
Yeah, right. In reality, almost everyone who starts their own business does so for two reasons. First, they think they’ll make more money. And secondly, they relish the precision of the exquisite anatomical detail with which they will tell their existing boss exactly where he or she can put their job.
Budding entrepreneurs need to find work that they can do during the flexible hours that make up their spare time. That way, they can deliver that much-rehearsed speech to their existing boss only when they’re sure they can afford to.
Here are the top ten home based business ideas:
If you’d like to own a store, but can’t afford either to pay the rent or to put in the hours, then e-commerce is for you. It takes very little investment to start up, you can begin on eBay and you can expand with your own Web site once revenues start to flow.
The principles behind e-commerce are exactly the same as those for other forms of retail:
- buy cheaply, usually in bulk;
- sell the goods for more money;
- make sure that the difference between your buying and selling prices (your gross margin) is enough to cover your costs, and deliver a profit stream.
It ain’t rocket science, not least because someone who builds a successful e-commerce website can often make more than a rocket scientist.
2. Freelance Writing
If English was your favorite subject then why not think about writing for profit? It’s not easy getting started, and you have to have a real way with words to make any money at all. But it’s a great life once you’re established.
Don’t expect to be paid much (or, perhaps, anything at all) until you have a body of published work under your belt. Most people start off by offering free feature articles to local newspapers and magazines, and then build up from there.
3. SEO (search engine optimization)
Once you’re established as a writer, you can go on to specialize in search engine optimization (SEO). This is a specialist form of content writing for the world wide web, which helps a Web site to appear higher in the search rankings on Google, Bing and other search engines. With SEO, you need to repeat relevant keywords without that repetition becoming too obvious. You see? The keyword “SEO” appears three times just in this short paragraph.
Not everyone wants to be an entrepreneur. Maybe it would suit you better to find part-time work that you can do from home around hours that largely suit you. In that case, why not investigate telemarketing opportunities?
Of course, you’ll only succeed if you’re good with people, and don’t mind the occasional bit of ripe language from callers whom you’ve dragged out of the john. You won’t make a fortune (most telemarketing companies offer $8-$12 an hour) although there may well be commission opportunities.
Ninety-nine percent of all professional artists fall into one of two categories. The first comprises those who are purists. They produce cutting-edge work and are driven only by inner demons. Financially they are almost all either poor or destitute. Think rat-infested garrets.
The other category includes those who understand marketing, and cater to popular (in artspeak “bad”) taste. Their work is despised by critics, but loved by most people who buy pictures.
If you’re good at art, and don’t mind being in the second category, then you need spend only a few hundred dollars at your local art shop to set up in business.
6. Call Center Services
Providing you have a broadband connection, you could always think about becoming a virtual call center agent. This is quite similar to telemarketing, but you’ll be handling inbound calls from customers and the public, so it better suits people who can’t cope with cold calling. You just log on to the call center using your home computer, and calls are automatically routed to your home. And you have exactly the same applications, on-screen scripts, and information that someone based at the real call center has.
Just think. You might end up working for your mortgage lender, bank, or credit card company. As if you aren’t already.
People are always willing to pay a premium for high quality, hand-made originals. And the opportunities are endless: from fine jewelry to furniture, and from quilts and cushions to wrought iron gates.
Don’t bother starting unless you’re good enough (or can quickly become good enough) to compete with factory-made products. And don’t be put off by gender stereotypes. Many consumers would pay more for the novelty of a suite of bedroom furniture or a dining table that had been built by a woman.
8. PPC Management
PPC is all about pay per click advertising. This is when advertisers don’t pay a flat rate to have their ad appear on a Web site. Instead they pay only every time someone clicks on the ad and lands on their web page.
It’s absolutely essential that these ads are constantly monitored in order to make sure that they continue to achieve the desired results. The bidding and monitoring is called Pay Per Click Management, and takes the form of someone analyzing huge amounts of data. If you love data, this may be an ideal home based business for you.
9. Website Design
It was only recently that Website design was an incredibly difficult job that required many skills and much specialist knowledge. Nowadays, anyone with a good eye for layout and professional web design software can build very professional looking websites. To check it out, just type “Affordable Website design” into a search engine.
Of course, large companies still need specialist web design companies, but with mom-and-pop stores going online all the time, there’s plenty of demand for talented e-commerce website design at the bottom end. You’ll do even better if you team up with a copywriter.
Entrepreneurs are often bad at keeping their books in order. So there may be plenty of small businesses in your area that would welcome help with their bookkeeping.
You may have to offer to pop in every week or two to pick up the latest invoices, receipts, bank statements and so forth, but the work itself can be done in your own home at times that suit you.