6. Herb farming
Herbs nowadays are very much in demand, particularly with the popularity of specialty foods and cooking, and homeopathic medicines.
The increased demand for medicinal herbs is spurred by the growing public interest in alternatives to conventional medicine. Herbal supplements for the treatment of colds and flu were the big sellers last year, due to the global concern for the H1N1 or swine flu virus. The growing interest in alternative medicine and healing both in America and the rest of the world ensures that this is a market set to expand.
There is also strong growth in the demand for organic and locally grown food, including herbs, which in turn is contributing to the growth of herb farming. Culinary herb varieties, such as basil, chives, parsley, oregano, thyme, mint, rosemary, French tarragon, and many others, are growing in use. One particular herb, the medicinal herb ginseng once grown in Asia, is now grown in some parts of the United States and Europe.
Small-time herb farming can be an ideal business for those who love farming, as herbs can be grown in almost all seasons, in greenhouses, rooftops, sunrooms and/or outdoors in relatively small spaces. Dried herbs can also be sold to crafters and florists for wreaths, floral arrangements, etc. Your first step is to decide what area of the business you want to develop (e.g. plants, herb products, aromatherapy, etc.). You can sell your herbs wholesale to local grocery stores and specialty food markets, sell directly to customers on and off the Internet at retail prices, herbalists and aromatherapists, caterers and restaurants specializing in gourmet cooking, mail order, and several other channels.
For more information about this business, read “How to Start an Herb Farming Business from Home”
- Growing Your Herb Business
- Growing and Selling Fresh-Cut Herbs
- Start Your Own Herb and Herbal Products Business (Entrepreneur Magazine’s Start Up)
- The Potential of Herbs As a Cash Crop
- Herbs for Sale: Growing and Marketing Herbs, Herbal Products, and Herbal Know-How (Bootstrap Guide)
- Herb Society of America (HSA) http://www.herbsociety.org/
- American Botanical Council (ABC) http://www.herbalgram.org
- American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) http://www.ahpa.org/
- American Herb Association (AHA) http://www.ahaherb.com/
- American Herbalists Guild http://www.healthy.net/herbalists/Index.html
- Herb Growing and Marketing Network (HGMN) http://www.hgmn.com/
- Herb Research Foundation (HRF) http://www.herbs.org/
- International Herb Association (IHA) http://www.iherb.org
- Herb Growing and Marketing Network (http://www.herbnet.com)
7. Personal chef
For a growing number of families, the question, “What’s for dinner?” is best answered with a phone call to a personal chef. Personal chefs offer an affordable and great-tasting solution to families with little or no time to cook.
Personal chefs prepare meals (about 6-8 meals) in their clients’ homes, customized to the clients’ taste and dietary preferences. It is extremely important to have a client checklist – from their dietary information and food allergies to favorite ingredients to preferred types of cuisines. They then label and refrigerate the food that the client can then enjoy, prepare detailed instructions for reheating and leave the client’s kitchen clean and spotless.
Personal chef business thrives in busy urban areas, where the disposable income is higher and more people don’t have the time to prepare meals that they enjoy. Cheaper than private chefs, they are in high demand by families who wish to spend more time together, young professional couples or singles who enjoy eating tasty meals without the hassles of cooking.
To succeed in this business, personal chefs need to have the following skills: superb culinary skills, time management skills, great in budgeting, and superior customer skills. To ensure better chances of making a mark quickly, think of a niche that you can serve and offer, such as vegetarian menus or low-carb diets.
Here are some great resources on how to get started as a personal chef:
- American Personal & Private Chef Association http://www.personalchef.com/
- United States Personal Chef Association http://www.uspca.com/
- Personal Chefs Network http://www.personalchefsnetwork.com/
- Hire a Chef http://www.hireachef.com/
8. Elderly Care Business
Senior care services, which typically are an alternative to traditional nursing homes, are growing and thriving. There is a big opportunity for nonmedical home care providers, who help seniors with tasks of daily living. The aging of the baby boomers is ensuring that this business has high demand, plus the rising numbers of senior citizens who want to stay in their own homes means.
The service is aimed to be more personal and affordable compared to a nursing home. Typical clientele includes elderly men and women who cannot live safely in their own homes but do not require the full-time skilled nursing care provided by convalescent hospitals. They are looking for minimal supervision and assistance — as well as companionship — in order to live independently as possible.
Personal and home-care aides work with the elderly, physically disabled, or mentally disabled clients whose family or friends cannot provide extensive personal or home care. They also provide housekeeping and personal care services, meal planning, and instruction or psychological support to their clients. Elderly caregivers also provide social activities, recreation, and some health-related services.
According to the government site longtermcare.gov, the average cost in 2009 for a Home Health Aide is $21/hour and $19/hour for a Homemaker service. If you visit your elderly client 3 times a week, you can potentially earn about $18,000 a year for those services.
- National Adult Day Services Association
- US Department of Health and Human Services, Regulatory Review of Adult Day Services: Final Report
- Starting an Adult Daycare Business
- Home Health Care Provider: A Guide to Essential Skills
- Pocket Guide for the Home Care Aide
- Providing Home Care: A Textbook for Home Health Aides
- How to Start a Home-Based Senior Care Business: *Develop a winning business plan *Market your unique services to families *Create a fee structure *Develop … care manager (Home-Based Business Series)
- Start Your Own Senior Services Business: Adult Day Care, Relocation Services, Homecare, Transportation Service, Concierge, Travel Service and More (Start Your Own…)
If you are an expert in a specific industry, such as finance, marketing, or mediation, consider beginning your own consulting business
One of the best businesses you can start from home is to sell your expertise as a consultant. In fact, consulting is one of the hottest trends in the market today, as more and more people appreciate the independence and flexibility it brings and the range of potential income that this business can generate.
To be a consultant, you need to have the experience, skill, and knowledge in your chosen field. You may also qualify as a consultant if you have taken any advanced academic degrees, certifications or special studies in your area of expertise. There are a number of fields that require certifications and special licensing before you can begin operating as a consultant.
However, you do not need to be recognized as the ultimate best in your field to become a consultant (though of course, it helps). It is also not necessary that you have been a CEO in a top company or even held a titled position. You also do not need to have owned or operated business to become a successful business consultant.
You will, however, need the ability to sell yourself, and an up-to-date understanding of the area in which you intend to be involved with. Look over your educational strengths and combine them with any training and on-the-job experience gained in the marketplace. Insight, thorough study, and common sense can be joined together as a substitute for years of experience in a field.
If you want to become a consultant, the first step is to take an honest look at your own training and experience. You may have worked all your life in a particular field and received special training and education along the same lines. If you’ve worked as a special event coordinator for an exclusive island resort, you can offer your services as a consultant who helps plan, develop and execute theme parties for corporations and other hotels.
- Getting Started in Consulting
- Million Dollar Consulting
- The Business of Consulting: The Basics and Beyond (CD-ROM Included) (Essential Knowledge Resource)
- The Consultant’s Manual: A Complete Guide to Building a Successful Consulting Practice
- Million Dollar Consulting (TM) Toolkit: Step-By-Step Guidance, Checklists, Templates and Samples from
10. Medical claims billing
This industry is one of the most popular work-from-home businesses. A medical billing service helps physicians obtain payment from insurance carriers and patients by handling insurance claims, and provide information to help physicians to more effectively manage their practice.
Medical billing is a business that can easily be done at home, even on a part-time basis. However, running it like a business takes more than just the technical know-how: you need to know how to manage and run a business, market and promote to get clients and possess financial savvy to turn it into a success.
It is a business that has grown by leaps and bounds in the past decades. With the passing of President Obama’s massive health care reform, new opportunities await the medical billing business as complexities of the health care system are expected to grow. While demand is great, competition in the medical billing market is fierce. There are a number of large and well-established firms dominating the market, though the medical billing business has a lot of room for a small and home-based business entrepreneur.
For more information on starting a medical claim billing business, read “Starting a Medical Billing Business”
- Start Your Own Medical Claims Billing Service (Entrepreneur’s Startup Series)
- Claim Success! Absolutely Everything You Need to Know to Start a Successful Medical Billing Business and Create a Viable Career for Yourself
- Medical Billing 101
- How to Open & Operate a Financially Successful Medical Billing Service
- Understanding Hospital Billing and Coding