Businesses From Home
Thinking about striking out on your own with a home-based business?
Here are some ideas to stimulate your thinking. Some are common; others, not-so-common. Some require little investment; others, big bucks. Pick one, and before you know it, you could be pulling in a tidy sum in a business you’ve created yourself.
1. Information gatherer. If you are detail-oriented with a sleuth-like mentality and enjoy researching information, you may want to become an information professional. You will use databases to track a client’s informational needs, interview experts, use reference books, research current magazines, and of course, use the Internet. It would be of benefit to you if you have a particular area of expertise. Place a story about your service with local newspapers. Use small space ads in local newspapers or try a direct-mail effort offering a free trial.
2. Locksmith. If you are prepared to be on call for people who lose keys, break locks, set up new rentals or simply fear people breaking in, you can set yourself up as a locksmith. Prepare a portable display of sample locks to complement several types of homes or businesses. Many towns require a license or registration before they allow locksmiths to practice, so be sure to check with your local government. For more information, check out the Associated Locksmiths of America on the Internet, or telephone 1-800-532-2562.
3. Database manager. Companies maintain mailing lists for their direct-mail and other customer contacts. Put your computer to work by maintaining these mailing lists. Make sure you have enough document storage, establish a good database, then add new names and addresses, update existing addresses, and delete duplicate names for your clients. You can also offer printed labels and subject searches.
4. Mobile disc jockey. Combine an extensive CD collection with a great personality and what do you have? It may be the makings of a mobile disc jockey business. Mobile DJs provide professional sound at weddings, parties and other special events. A DJ-for-hire needs two CD players, a tape deck, a turntable and a mixing board. DJs can charge from $50 to $150 an hour. The key to this business is staying on top of music trends and constantly updating your music selections. Research several companies that compile music especially for DJs. You may want to subscribe to the DJ Times, www.djtimes.com.
5. Paper recycler. Take advantage of environmental concerns over excess paper and establish your own paper recycling business. Find out what types of paper recycling centers in your area accept. Payment is usually made by weight. An SUV or van is all it takes to get into the business.
6. Pet feeder/caretaker. If you like the company of dogs and cats, birds, fish and other pets, set up a business to provide feeding and care while their owners are away from home. Offer boarding services in your home or go directly to the pet owner’s home. You may decide to specialize in one type of animal.
7. Rare book broker. Bibliophiles may enjoy locating rare books for collectors as an excellent way to generate extra income. Start-up costs are minimal. All that’s needed is a solid background in literature and “stick-to-it-iveness.” The search can seem endless at times, but a great find can result in elation and a financial windfall. Collectors are often willing to pay dearly for books to round out a library. Get started by posting information at your local bookstore.
8. Tutor. If you are good at math, reading comprehension, science, or foreign-language instruction, put these skills to work for you by tutoring in subjects from the grade school level on up. You can also offer specialized instruction to help students prepare for their college boards. You may choose to visit your clients’ homes or you may prefer to have students come to your home. The arrangement depends on what you and your clients agree upon.
9. Walking tour guide. Take people on walking tours of your hometown, local parks, recreation areas, and places of historical interest. To provide added value, show your clients how to get maximum exercise benefits from walking, and make the walking tours fun. If you walk several times a week, feature a different theme or route each time.
The best advice for someone thinking of beginning a home-based business to consider first where your talents lie, and what kind of work you would do even if you were not getting paid for it. Armed with that insight, be creative. You might be surprised to find that almost any interest or hobby can be turned into a successful home-based business.
Tags: Work At Home , Entrepreneurs , Home-based Business , Home Careers
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