If you’re thinking about starting your own home-based business, the available options can seem overwhelming. What type of business is the best fit for your background, skills, and interests? If you don’t have a lot of initial capital to invest, which ones can be started at a low cost? And, most important, which home business has the best chance of succeeding, especially with the U.S. economy still on the rebound?
One factor that you must be aware of though is that Care.com is a peer-to-peer arrangement. That means that you will be in direct competition with other pet sitters in your area. You must price your services competitively in order to get business. Once you begin to develop a list of regular clients, you will be in a better position to raise your rates. This will be particularly true as you get referrals from those customers.
Become a freelance writer or editor. If you have a passion for storytelling or a background in writing or editing, it’s possible to find freelance writing or editing work online. To search available job openings, check out sites like UpWork.com and Problogger.net. You can also check traditional job sites such as Indeed.com and enter “telecommute” or “anywhere” in the location field.
If you can find and restore items like furniture and appliances, you can make a substantial amount of money. You can acquire the items on Craigslist, or even at garage sales or estate sales, restore them, and then list them for sale on the site. You may also be able to market certain items on eBay, particularly if they are small, unusual, but high in price.
It can be lonely. Without the camaraderie of coworkers, you can occasionally feel isolated and alone. Now, some of us may work best with fewer distractions, but even then, from time to time we like to share a joke around the water cooler or bounce an idea off a colleague. You may want to schedule socialization time during your work day. You can work from the local coffee shop for a couple of hours, plan to attend a monthly networking meeting, or meet a client face-to face. Just don’t spend every work moment at home by yourself.
You can earn above average rates of return because peer-to-peer lending eliminates the bank function. That means that you participate in nearly the entire interest rate being paid by the borrower, rather than the less than 1% that you will typically earn on certificates of deposit. And you can reduce your risk by investing in slices of hundreds of different loans.
I find that a lot of people want a turn-key business – one that doesn’t require a lot of capital to start and maintain. Unfortunately, the majority of the businesses listed here either require significant start-up costs because in a lot of them you need liability insurance, licenses, money to buy the inventory to start the business, and or a physical location in order to operate.
But if you do go the fashion route, be prepared to do quite a bit of networking before you get your business off the ground. Don’t be afraid to do free consultations for contests and giveaways. The more word gets around about your fabulous fashion sense, the larger a clientele you’ll build. If you’re really good, you can start this business with little to no training.
When you are an expert at something, not only do you obtain more customer trust, you also gain more brand recognition. If you do everything, you’re going to be average at everything, and you will blend in with the crowd. If you do a lot of things but are really good at one specific thing, you will stand out. You may be even become known for that specific thing. This won’t detract from other services you provide. The key here is that you become known. People may learn about your business because of a specialty you provide, even if they’re looking for a different service you provide.
Being able to work at night or first thing in the morning is a great boon for those entrepreneurs who are juggling children or other obligations. Mobile phones, faxes and email allow you to interact with your customers and suppliers at any time of the day or night. You can more easily accommodate customers in different time zones and kids' school schedules.
No business—particularly a small one—can be all things to all people. The more narrowly you can define your target market, the better. This process is known as creating a niche and is key to success for even the biggest companies. Walmart and Tiffany are both retailers, but they have very different niches: Walmart caters to bargain-minded shoppers, while Tiffany appeals to upscale jewelry consumers.
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