When you have a highly specific product or service, there will be less companies out there with the exact same offering. For example, there are millions of companies out there that sell knives. There are fewer companies that sell knives with handmade wooden handles, and yet fewer that offer customized knives with your initials on them. The more specific your product or service, the less companies there will be to compete with you for customers, and the harder it is for them to duplicate your strategies.
For many years, the IRS has followed a very strict interpretation of "principal place of business," which prevented some self-employed persons—such as an accountant who maintained a home office but also spent a great deal of time visiting clients—from claiming the deduction. But in July 1997, responding to the concerns of small business advocates, the U.S. Congress passed a tax bill that redefined an individual's "principal place of business" to include a home office that meets the following two criteria: 1) it is used to conduct the management or administrative activities of a business; and 2) it is the only place in which the small business owner conducts those management or administrative activities. When this change became effective on January 1, 1999, it was expected to enable many home-based business owners who also perform services outside of their homes to claim the home office deduction.
If you’ve got experience and expertise in a specific area of business, there are hundreds if not thousands of business owners who would love to jump on a phone call and pick your brain. This can be an easy way to make extra money online and to hone your skills to use in your consulting or freelance business. Sites like Clarity.fm let you create a profile where entrepreneurs and business owners can pre-pay to book a phone call with you for a set amount of time. Whether you’re an expert in raising money for startups, building apps, or running a restaurant, you can make extra money selling a few minutes of your time to people in need.
Whether you want to become your own boss, start a side hustle, or earn extra money on the side, any of the strategies listed above can help. By finding ways to increase your income, you can free up more cash to pay down debt, save for the future, or invest for retirement. Saving money is only half of the equation. And if you truly want to get ahead, you might want to figure out how to make money – and hopefully, lots of it.
“Many people talk about ‘finding’ a niche as if it were something under a rock or at the end of the rainbow, ready-made. That's nonsense,” says Lynda Falkenstein, author of Nichecraft: Using Your Specialness to Focus Your Business, Corner Your Market and Make Customers Seek You Out. Good niches don't just fall into your lap; they must be carefully crafted.
One of the most beautiful and exciting qualities about blogging is that you can create a blog that deals with any subject area that you are either knowledgeable or passionate about (and preferably both!). You can write about personal finance, careers, real estate, getting into business, technology, cooking, travel, personal health, or just about any topic you choose.
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.
Write and publish an eBook. You don’t need a traditional publisher and financial backing to publish your own book anymore. In fact, Amazon.com makes it possible for you to publish your own eBook and sell it independently – with no financial investment on your part. And with Kindle eBook publishing, your book will appear on Kindle stores worldwide within 24-48 hours. Just be prepared to market it yourself on social media, your blog, or elsewhere if you expect to generate sales.
Creating your own food blog, will not only be fun but done well it should also be profitable. Link your site to affiliate cooking products, sell your food photos, create and sell your own physical cookbook, or launch a cooking app. Equally, you could turn your cooking blog into a membership site. You would then share all your content, including recipes, how to videos, food photographs, and much more, with only your paid up members.
Marketing to a niche is much easier than appealing to a broad market, since a niche has much more in common in terms of needs, wants, or preferences. Selling handbags is a huge market, for example, and there are many niches with many different uses for a handbag within it. You might have new moms who want a handbag that can be used as a diaper bag, you might have college students who need a bag to hold their books, single women in need of an evening bag to hold their phone, keys, and credit cards, vacationing moms who want a large beach bag to hold their family’s gear, and many more.
You don’t have to pay rent. Other than possibly upgrading your internet service to allow for more speed, working from home won’t cost you any more than your current living expenses. Find an unused corner in the basement, work out of your guest room, or clear off your dining room table. Your apartment rent or mortgage payment won’t change, and you’re utilizing the space you have anyway to actually make money.
With the byzantine complexity of modern medical billing practices, there is a definite need for patient advocates. These individuals take the time to track down hospital billing paperwork and potentially argue with insurance companies. Considering the fact that many of those who need to hire advocates are either ailing or grieving, this is a very necessary service.
You can also market your ebook on your own website or blog, particularly if the site gets good traffic. Still another method is affiliate marketing. You can offer to pay sites related to your ebook a percentage of the sale price – say, anywhere between 20% and 50% – for them to post an ad or linked article for your book on their site. This could enable you to market your ebook on multiple platforms for greater market exposure.
The startup cost is lower. Working out of your home significantly cuts the amount of money you will need to get started, even if you don’t plan to keep the business there for long. Without the expense and commitment of signing a lease, buying furniture, and installing a commercial phone system, computers and other office equipment, you can jump right in and get going with your plans. Use your cell phone for a while, visit the library for a copier or printer if you don’t have one, and make do with your home computer for now. If and when the business grows, you can then decide if you’d like to keep it at home or move out.