There are a lot of items that can be purchased very inexpensively at garage sales or thrift stores and sold for higher prices elsewhere. A few years ago I discovered that I could purchase good hardcover books at my local thrift shop for $1 or less. I realized that some of them could be sold on Amazon.com for $15-$20, which turns out to be a pretty decent profit.
Like other forms of self-employment, home-based businesses face a number of challenges relating to financial management and tax compliance. Part of the business plan that is prepared prior to forming a home-based business is a financial plan detailing how much it will cost to begin the new venture and keep it running. After the business has been established, it is vital that the entrepreneur set up a good bookkeeping system to manage cash flow and ensure compliance with tax laws. Bookkeeping systems can be manual or computer based. Experts also recommend that entrepreneurs set up a separate checking account for their home-based businesses in order to better document business expenses. Canceled checks, paid bills, invoices, sales slips, receipts, and other financial documentation should be kept on file in case of an audit. Another important aspect of financial planning for a home-based business is tracking working capital—the difference between current assets (cash, accounts receivable, and inventory) and current liabilities (operating expenses, debts, and taxes)—in order to maintain a realistic picture of where the business stands financially.
Build customer loyalty by creating a VIP mailing list. Send exclusive deals, sales, events, and inside info to your fans and customers. Look at how Under Armour – a company that began by offering moisture-wicking compression shirts to active people – does it on their website with a pop-up welcome mat offering free shipping in exchange for the visitor’s email address.
Earn cash back for shopping. Earning cash back on your purchases is a smart idea, and credit card rewards aren’t the only good cash-back strategy out there. With sites like ShopAtHome.com, eBates.com, and TopCashBack.com, you can earn up to 10% cash back on purchases made with approved merchants. Many frequent shoppers also love the Ibotta app, which lets you earn cash-back on every purchase.
Though it may seem like niche marketing and branding could isolate segments of your audience in a negative way, that’s unlikely to happen, especially with good targeting in place. Instead, by creating segmented niches and creating content that appeals to specific interests and pain points, you’ll be more likely to better connect with the exact customers that you want to build relationships with.
While customer service positions are some of the most readily available to those looking to work from home, they aren’t a good fit for many. The good news is there are some customer service positions that allow you to assist customers by way of email or chat. You should also consider alternate industries like transcription, search evaluation and writing. Learn more about those opportunities and others at:
If you are a creative type, then you could make money online by designing and selling crafty products on Etsy. Etsy sells a range of beautiful and original items from independent suppliers. Categories range from jewelry, clothes, and accessories, to art, collectibles, and vintage. So if you have some stunning crafty creations, Etsy is the perfect platform from which to sell from.
Sheer competition. For starters, there’s a ton of competition out there. Depending on your industry, there are likely thousands of businesses just like yours competing for space; targeting a narrower niche immediately alleviates you of some of that competition. Take SEO as an example here; there aa re millions of businesses competing for the top spot in search results for general terms like “marketing firm,” but far fewer going after specific phrases like “marketing firms for personal injury lawyers.”
Become a virtual assistant. Virtual assistants perform a wide range of services for their clients, all of which can be completed online. Depending on the day, they may open and reply to emails, schedule online work or blog posts, write mock-up letters and proposals, or perform data entry. You can look for virtual assistant jobs on sites like UpWork.com and Problogger.net.
Targeting a niche is a broad strategic objective that affords you plenty of flexibility to accomplish your other marketing goals. It even allows for the gradual expansion of your targeting to a more general, further-reaching audience (once you’ve established yourself). If you want your marketing and advertising to be competitive, you need to get specific and focus on just one niche to start.
Mild spoiler alert: Viewers of the TV drama Orange Is the New Black might remember that the show’s main character made amends with one of her fellow prison inmates by making her a soothing lotion. Hopefully you won’t find yourself in prison, but if you find yourself wanting to start a home-based business, consider hand-making soaps and lotions yourself.
Work remotely for a call center. Because many call center jobs are location independent, finding work in this field is an easy way to earn some money from home. Dozens of sites list job openings for call-center representatives, including Freelancer.com and SimplyHired.com. Meanwhile, you should check local job listings for openings and opportunities as well.
Businesses don’t always pick their niche and pursue it. Oftentimes, they accidentally find their niche in the process of serving their target audience. A photographer whose target audience is people (as opposed to landscapes or animals) may find that she is especially good at capturing candids of children. A landscaper might find that he particularly enjoys jobs in senior citizen communities. A financial adviser may find that he works better with teachers. The benefit of niche marketing is that since your niche arises from your interests, passions, or special abilities, you are doing more of what you love.
It’s something akin to picking stocks. You want to buy undervalued domains, and sell them later on at a higher price. For example, you can pick a domain that is out of favor, but could be related to some future event. So if you decide that the stock market is likely to crash in the future, you can buy a domain that includes the words stock market crash during a rising market, and then sell it in a falling market.
2. InboxDollars – InboxDollars is similar to Swagbucks, since you’re going to be taking surveys, shopping, etc., so if you want to maximize your return, sign up with both websites. They also offer a search engine that pays you (like Swagbucks) and you get $5 just for signing up. I won’t continue to list survey sites one after another down the list, but if you want to get paid to take surveys, also check out GlobalTestMarket, E-Poll Surveys and Survey Club.
29. Videos – This could be an entire section on it’s own. Many people have made money by creating YouTube videos. Evan of EvanTube is a kid and he has made millions by creating reviews of products that other kids his age would use. It’s not easy to get views into the millions, but once you do, you’ll start seeing some cash come in. Many bloggers have completely turned to videos to get their point across by starting a video blog.
With few exceptions, such as American Idol, the Super Bowl and the Olympics, it is not common for a substantial audience to watch a program at once. Still, networks do target particular demographics. Lifetime targets women and MTV targets youth. Sports channels, for example, STAR Sports, ESPN, STAR Cricket, and Fox Sports, target the niche market of sports enthusiasts.