When making the decision to become an entrepreneur, the first question that often comes to mind is: “What business should I start?”
1. Virtual Assistant. One of the hottest new home businesses today is the virtual assistant business. It is the reinvention of the secretarial and administrative assistance business in the age of the Internet.
As a virtual assistant, you perform the typical tasks of an administrative support professional such as word processing, researching, event planning, and other office chores – except everything is done online. Your client may even be hundreds of miles away from you (even from a different country), and you may never even get to meet them as all communication are often done via email, password-protected web sites, instant messaging or phone calls.
For more information about starting a virtual assistant business, check out:
- Virtual Assistant, The Series: Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA
- The 2-Second Commute: Join the Exploding Ranks of Freelance Virtual Assistants
- Virtually Successful: 8 Simple Ways for Virtual Assistants to Find (and Keep) Clients
- From Suits To Sweats: How To Work At Home As A Virtual Assistant
- The Virtual Assistant Handbook: Insider Secrets or starting and running your own profitable VA business
2. Blogging. The number of blogs has grown significantly in the last few years, and many women are publishing and posting to blogs. According to a 2009 study by BlogHer.com , about 8 million women publish blogs. Blogging as a business is ideal for home-based women entrepreneurs, as it is an activity that can easily fit into a busy schedule running the household.
To earn from blogs, the most common way is through advertising. There are a number of advertising programs out there that you can use such as Google Adsense, and for higher trafficked blogs, Federated Media.
The key to success in blogging is creating compelling content that will attract a lot of readers. If you’re using advertising based model, it is important to choose a topic that attracts a lot of advertisers to get better payouts for your blog.
For more information on how to earn from blogging, read:
3. Home Staging Business. The tough economic climate hit the real estate very hard, and sellers nowadays have to try harder to sell their houses. To compete with other sellers, they need to make their homes look a cut above the competition and be the hottest property in the neighborhood.
When home sellers do not have the budget for extensive renovations and repairs, the best option is to turn to staging their real estate listings, using quick fixes that can turn their house for sale into a showcase. For a fraction of the cost of renovation, home staging can make the house look bigger, brighter, warmer resulting in a faster and more profitable sale.
The ongoing recession and buyers’ market in real estate has significantly boosted the demand for home staging. Agents and sellers are embracing home staging to sell their real estate listings during this time when there are more home sellers than buyers.
To become a home stager, some start out by taking some courses on home staging to better understand this business (note: there are even online courses that are available to learn about home staging). You need to have a good eye for design and a talent for organizing. More importantly, you need to be able to communicate with clients well, and listen to what they want. It is important to network with real estate agents and make your business, as their go-to stagers should their clients need such services.
- How to Start a Home Staging Business
- International Association of Home Staging Professionals
- American Association of Home Stagers and Redesigners
For more information on how to become a home stager and start a home staging business, read:
- Home Staging for Profit: How to Start and Grow a Six Figure Home Staging Business in 7 Days or Less OR Secrets of Home Stagers Revealed So Anyone Can Start a Home Based Business and Succeed
- Staging Portfolio Secrets: Learn How to Create a Powerful Home Staging Portfolio to Showcase Your Talents and Get Clients to Hire You OR Secrets to Getting Prospects to Instantly Trust You
- Become a Home-Stager Today!: No Experience? No Problem!
- How to Open & Operate a Financially Successful Redesign, Redecorating, and Home Staging Business: With Companion CD-ROM
- Home Staging in Tough Times OR How Home Stagers Can Profit from a Real Estate Staging Business in a Down Economy or Any Economy, Even Without Cash
4. Daycare. Childcare has always been one of the common businesses run by women entrepreneurs from home. As the number of two working parents grows, there is a demand from busy working parents for reliable, loving and safe day care for their children.
Before starting a daycare business, learn the licensing regulations in your state. Make sure your home is in compliance with the rules regarding daycares. Check the zoning requirements in your area, as well as rules in your homeowners’ association (if your HOA has any).
Consult with your neighbors and let them know that you will be running a daycare business. The last thing you want is for neighbors to complain to the city or county office about the noise and traffic resulting from your daycare business. Neighbors may object to the noise of the kids playing in your backyard, as well as the comings-and-goings of parents dropping and picking up their kids. Once your neighbors complain, your county or city may move to close your business.
For more information about starting a daycare business, read
- How To Start Your Own Day Care Center
- Licensing Requirements of Starting a Daycare or Child Care Center: State Requirements
- How to Open & Operate a Financially Successful Child Care Service: With Companion CD-ROM
- The Business of Child Care: Management and Financial Strategies
- How to Start a Home-Based Day-Care Business, 5th (Home-Based Business Series)
- Family Child Care Contracts and Policies, Third Edition: How to Be Businesslike in a Caring Profession (Redleaf Press Business Series)
- So You Want to Open a Profitable Child Care Center
5. Handcrafted Items. Hand crafted items have been given a huge boost with the popularity of online auctions, giving handicraft enthusiasts and business owners a wider venue for their products. EBay.com has allowed handicraft makers and easier and wider way to reach the market, but it is Etsy.com that has really opened spurred the market for handcrafted items. Etsy.com is a dedicated marketplace for handcrafted items, where sellers pay as low as $0.20 fee for an item for a four months exposure on the site.
If you are making crafts now, think about kicking your hobby into a higher gear and turn it into a profit-generating endeavor. Depending on your craft, you can sell your crafts retail, wholesale, or one-of-a-kind in fairs, online auction sites, bazaars, boutiques as well as mail-order catalogs, gift shops and department stores.
The challenge for many craft enthusiasts is turning their hobbies into full-blown businesses, and developing a more professional attitude toward their home business. Finding the right price for their products has always been a difficult task, but the cardinal rule is to always make at least twice as much as you have paid for your supplies. Keep up-to-date with the latest trends by reading crafting magazines and try to find your own “niche” market for your crafts.
- Craft, Inc.: Turn Your Creative Hobby into a Business
- The Savvy Crafters Guide To Success: Turn Your Crafts Into A Career
- Craft Inc. Business Planner
- Crafty Superstar: Make Crafts on the Side, Earn Extra Cash, and Basically Have It All
- The Handmade Marketplace: How to Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, and On-Line
- Craft and Hobby Association http://www.craftandhobby.org/
- Sewing and Craft Alliance http://www.gotsewing.com/
- American Craft Council http://www.craftcouncil.org/
- Craft Magazine http://craftzine.com/magazine/