Choosing the Best Home Business for You!
Now that you are ready to take the plunge, choosing the best home business for you is the next step. There are so many options for a home-based business. Here is a list of a few that fall into either category – remote employment or self-employment. Please know, this isn’t a complete list. You choices are limited only by your desire, talents and goals!
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Some companies offer remote positions. These are often found in the arena of medical billing, transcriptions, bookkeeping and personal assistant, just to name a few. But technical positions, such as software design, can also be done remotely. Even some corporations, like Employee Assistance Programs and Insurance Companies, have remote ‘offices’, where incoming Customer Service calls are transferred directly to cell phones.
Positions offered through Established Companies
This involves making sales calls or computer contacts in order to sell a product or service. Usually, this involves earning a commission, more so than a set salary.
This requires a certain level of education and certification. It can also be done through a company, or as self-employment.
Again, this can be done through a company or as your own business. Determine what you are good at, and offer your services to teach and/or help others learn how.
Copywriting, Editing, Proofreading
If you are a writer, you may want to go to work for a company doing any of these. There are also online companies, such as fiverr.com, where you can open a ‘storefront’ and offer your services. You earn fee, determined on the amount set for the service. The online company charges additional amounts to cover their expenses.
Grant Writing can be a lucrative position. It does require technical writing skills, taking classes and depending on where you live, some certifications. Grant Writing also takes strong writing, research and math skills. ALL grants require financial break downs of how much money is needed and how it will be spent. Companies, especially non-profits, often hire professional grant writers, but it is also a service you can offer on a contract basis.
Strong organizational skills are necessary to be a virtual assistant. Primarily, the basic jobs will be scheduling, making appointments, replying to emails, and other general office skills.
I am not sure if it is still offered, but when I was younger, I often picked up extra cash through working with court reporters. They would send me the court proceedings, and I would transcribe them and put them in a legal format. Physicians and professors also use this type of service.
This involves learning computer programming, but once you become proficient, you can make a lucrative income.
More and more companies and individuals are learning the value of having a professional online appearance. However, many of them don’t know a host from a platform, much less what it takes to meld the two. With a strong knowledge of web design, you can quickly build a business that starts with the initial construction of a website, and continue earning money with maintenance and updates.
Self-Owned Home Professions
Several of the jobs listed above can also be turned into lucrative self-employment opportunities. Other options to consider are:
If you love baking, whether it be breads, cookies and muffins, or full meals, opening a Bakery or Catering Service might just be perfect for you. You will be required to have kitchen inspections and have to adhere to local, state and federal laws, but it is definitely doable. Want to test the waters? Look for your state’s Cottage Industry Laws for smaller operations.
You will be required to follow local and federal laws with this, but keeping children in your home can be a fulfilling proposition.
Bookkeeping & Tax Preparation
If you have a love of numbers, this could be a perfect business for you. Depending on your state, there may be certifications and classes you have to take, so be diligent in your research. Although tax preparation is thought to be ‘seasonal’, some companies prefer to hire outside professionals to prepare monthly and quarterly tax reports.
Be sure that your local and/or state government does not require this work to be done by a CPA. Also, keep in mind that tax preparation may come with the necessity to attend any scheduled audits.
Are you a crafty sort of person? Hand crafts are making a serious comeback. Whether it is pottery, weaving, quilting or glassblowing, folks would rather purchase hand-made items. You can sell your handcrafts from home, at a craft mall, or establish an online presence through web-based shops such as Etsy. Turning your handcrafts into a money-making opportunity can be lucrative.
If you have talent for something, offer to teach others. Whether handcrafts, small engine repairs, or basic computer skills, there are folks out there who want to learn. If you are a homesteader, offer to teach a class on one or more of the basics – gardening, canning and preserving, composting – or teach an entire eight to twelve week course on all the different aspects of homesteading.
This can start at home repairs, and continue with equipment, bicycles, small engines and appliances. As a repair expert, you can choose whether the items need to be brought to a shop on your property, or if you will ‘travel’. Either way, you will have to consult local and federal requirements for such a business.
Homesteading as a Business
There are as many ways to earn money from a homestead as there are homesteaders. It all boils down to what your homestead produces and your creative talents.
Keep in mind that with some homesteading products, such as dairy and greenhouses, you are required to adhere to federal and local laws and permits.
Fresh Eggs (duck eggs and quail egg can bring in a bit more than chicken)
Aged Chicken Manure
Greenhouse (plant starts, seeds, etc.)
Other Income Producing Avenues for Homesteaders
Writing is one of the easiest ways to work from home. It is a solitary profession, and can be relatively inexpensive. You don’t even have to have a computer to do it, at first. However, I highly recommend you getting one eventually. Manuscripts have to be formatted in a certain way, and a computer does that so much quicker and easier than writing by hand or using a typewriter.
With writing, you can choose your genre. Fiction has almost unlimited categories. Mystery, Sci Fi, Police Procedurals, and Faith-based are just the tip of the iceberg.
Non-fiction also has unlimited options. If you live on a homestead, you can write a book on homesteading in general, or drill down to a specific area. Some Memoirs sell well. Cooking, baking, computer tips and hacks…if you are proficient at it, you can write a book about it.
Writing is also one of the hardest ways to make money. Sales are dependent on the quality of your writing and strong marketing skills.
With the popularity of self-publishing, you don’t necessarily have to have an agent or go through a publishing house. But without them, you have to do all the hard work yourself – marketing, accounting, layout, design, covers (front and back) and much more.
It takes patience and determination to write. But if you stick with it, eventually you can get published! If I can do it with The Farm Wife: Living a Simple Life on the Farm, you can, too!
Blogging is, at the very foundation, an online journal, and a good choice for an at home business. Most blogs chronical the day-today lives of the blogger. They are also primarily focused on one general subject, with categories in more specific areas of that subject. Although there may be one out there, you rarely see a blog that covers everything from changing a diaper to rocket science.
Think of it as Teaching. Most people today are in search of information – especially the ‘how-to’ type. They are interested in doing something, and turn to the internet to find websites that can teach them how.
The Pitfalls of Blogging
There are also pitfalls within any category. I will use homesteading as an example. In general, a Google Search of homesteading websites netted me over 31 million results. They ranged from individual blogs to real estate to books to tools, and on and on. I can’t even tell you how many pages I could view when I searched for homesteading blogs. And the first 10 on the list were lists of homesteading blogs I should read.
In order to set yourself apart within the homesteading blog world, you need to narrow – or ‘drill down’ to a certain area. That doesn’t mean you can’t add other areas of homesteading to your blog, but you do need to stand out as an expert in at least one major category.
During the beginning of blogging, it was relatively easy to get noticed, as there were very few blogs on the internet to read. Today, there are millions of them. Which means competition is tough. It takes long hours and tremendous dedication to set yourself apart from the ‘herd’. But once you have, it can be fun and exciting.
Be Prepared for Frequent Changes
The basics of blogging change almost every day. The more content you have and the larger your readership, the more effort you have to put into it. Trends change, and you need to be able to spot them and change with them. This especially comes into play when dealing with SEO (Search Engine Optimization), which is a way search engines rank your site.
The Price You Pay for Blogging
At the initial outset, blogging can be fairly inexpensive. To be a recognized blogger, the one thing you need to do is to purchase your domain. This can cost as little as $9.00 a year, or can cost in the thousands, if you have chosen to purchase one already owned. From there, you will need n, you need to spend money on a hosting company (SiteGround, Host Gator, etc.), and a platform (WordPress, Blogger, etc.)
However, the more you grow, the more you may want to spend in order to obtain and maintain a high ranking. If you want your blog to have a large following, you need to be ranked highly with Google and other search engines. This means knowing and understanding SEO, and possibly spending money on plugins and other tools.
There are other tools of the trade that can be extremely helpful. With some, you can sign up for the free version. In most cases, this works well. But in others, it is advisable to go ahead and purchase the Pro Plan. One case of this would be a graphic image site. I use Canva, and it didn’t take me long to realize purchasing the Pro plan was a wise decision.
Trello is another consideration for the serious blogger. A Trello board is designed to help you keep all of your posts in one location, with a ‘Template’ or section to keep all of the necessary information for that post together. There is a free version, which I have used. But it did get confusing, and eventually I had to reach out for help.
My friend Annie at 15 Acre Homestead designed one of the best Trello Boards I have seen. It is already set up and ready for you to add your information. She also is on standby to answer any questions and to help you get set up. In all honesty, it was one of the best investments I could make.
Working from Home
Depending on your willingness to do the work, a home-based business can be an exciting and fulfilling venture. It will take some time, dedication, efficient scheduling and learning how to deal with interruptions and distractions. But overall, working from home can be a lucrative venture.
Thank you for sticking with me through this 3 Part Series. If you missed Part 1 and Part 2, you can read them here. If you do decide to start your own business, let me know what you decided to do, and if these posts helped.
And let me help you out just a bit with your marketing. Do you work from home? Are you looking for sales? Share your business and/or your website right here in the comments. My readers may just be looking for exactly what you have to offer. The best part about that is, it is free advertising!