Work From Home Business Ideas

Love What You Do!

One of the popular work from home business ideas discussed in detail elsewhere on this site is starting a medical billing business. However not everyone has the desire or aptitude for medical billing and coding. Here we’ll discuss other viable work from home business ideas you may want to consider for career change work from home businesses.

This page isn’t really intended to explore all of the no fee work from home jobs, typing jobs from home, and MLM work from home , and free work from home opportunities out there. There are probably thousands of web sites (actually tens of thousands) that promote work from home business ideas. And after a while they all start looking or sounding the same. So my purpose here is not to sell something and be the definitive index of all these opportunities with a bunch of affiliate links – but to educate you on some of the different paths you can take.

How to Choose an Idea For From Home Business

So what are the characteristics of good work from home business ideas? Successful work from home business had the following traits:

It’s something you enjoy
When you’re using your God given talents to do something you love, motivation is not a problem. Can you remember when you’ve worked on a project and just completely got into it and lost track of time – or didn’t care that you worked ridiculous hours. You loved it and couldn’t get enough. Even though you were exhausted it was the good kind of tired. You look up and the clock says 3:00 AM. That’s the kind of work from home business ideas you should look for – something that moves you.

It’s something you know
Chances are if you really enjoy something you already know a lot about it. Or you have developed certain skills and knowledge on the subject. These can be skills or knowledge gained from current or previous jobs or your formal education.

For example if you’ve got a degree in business or accounting and you know something about starting a home business, you could offer consulting services – or write a blog or website on the subject that generates income from advertising.

If you’re good at fixing things you could offer a handyman type service for small repairs or projects around the house – like installing or repairing, ceiling fans, lights, flooring, repairing drywall, painting, just about any project you can think of around the house.

There are also several work from home business ideas that really don’t require any specialized skills – just hustle and a willingness to do it. These could be services like lawn care, or home cleaning, or pet sitting, etc.

It doesn’t cost a lot
A good example would be this website. It costs about $30 a month for hosting and the services of SiteBuildIt (which is a great and cheap way to learn how to build a web site). As of January 2012 it generates about $1500 a month. That’s a very good return on investment. Of course the cost doesn’t include our time put into creating and maintain the site – but that’s a labor of love. It just goes to show you that work from home business ideas that generate a good income don’t have to cost a lot.

Chances are if you are already doing something as a hobby, you probably already have the tools or equipment necessary to do it.

Stay away from the advertisements you see that promise or imply a large income by buying their system or program. And they are usually kind of vague about what the business opportunity is or what you will get – just a bunch of hype most of the time.

This was common in the medical billing field a few years ago – and you still occasionally see ads about this. You could spend several hundred dollars for a bunch of “training” info about starting a medical billing business that was basically worthless.

It has the potential to be a full time job
Many people who start a home business do so with the ultimate goal of taking control of their destiny. Work from home business ideas that are scalable will allow you to grow on your schedule. You may start out working it a few hours a week, then an hour or two in the evening and some on the weekend. This also allows you to learn and gain experience before committing more time and resources into it. Maybe your goal is to eventually quit your full time job and work for yourself full time.

There’s a demand for your service or product
Remember one of the keys to making money for any work from home business ideas is to create something of value and deliver it. You may have a hobby you are considering turning into a business. Do some research and honest soul searching about whether there is sufficient demand for your product or service. What makes your product or service different or unique? Will you concentrate on the premium market or the economical benefits? Think about who your potential clients would be and how you would reach them. Think about how your offerings will benefit the customer. For example if you’re selling smart phones, instead of emphasizing the benefits of dual processors or a higher resolution camera – sell the benefits to the user – it’s faster and takes better pictures.

Most people wanting to work from home don’t have a lot of money to spend. Look at Apple Computer – it was started in a garage by two college dropouts building computers with borrowed parts. Good work from home business ideas should be scalable allowing you to start small and build as you learn. Be wary of these opportunities that require you to purchase a “Kit” or some sort of “how-to” system with vague promises of all the money you can make if you just purchase their stuff. There’s no real secret here – succeeding in any business takes hard work – and there are really no quick short cuts to get there.

The work from home business ideas here are one’s that we’ve (my husband and I) have tried or have firsthand knowledge or experience with. If you chose to pursue a work from home opportunity, it should be something you enjoy doing. I think one of the hardest parts in starting your own business is in marketing it and getting people to buy your product or service. Of course once you get it running there will be operational challenges – but it’s a good thing to have so much business you have challenges fulfilling all the requests.

Copy Success
I think one of the best ways to insure success is to find others who have succeeded in what you want to do – and copy what they did – with your own spin. And most people who are successful like to share their experiences to help others succeed. There’s also a lot of help for new business owners. If you need help in business matters there’s, an organization called SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) is a great resource for advice and mentoring on how to start and operate a business.

The Importance of a Vision
As an entrepreneur, the biggest responsibility you have is to have a clear vision and communicate that vision to those helping you. You may not do everything correctly at first – but that’s OK. You will learn by doing – and making mistakes is just a part of the learning process. I think as a women in business, being inclusive and supportive can get you a lot farther than trying to prove what a hard nosed business person you can be. There was a great article recently on Yahoo about a welfare mom who started a business after being motivated by a simple sentence – “You can create your own life”.

Get a picture in your mind of what your successful work from home business ideas venture will look and function like. Or develop a vision of the finished product or service. This gives you a target to aim at and I think when you have that, you kind of naturally do things that lead to the desired result. If you look at all the great business success stories, the common theme is that the leader had a vision and was undeterred in working towards it. A lot of people thought Steve Jobs was crazy – but now he’s thought of a visionary.

Just remember that starting any business is not necessarily easy. But it can be very fulfilling and rewarding. And there’s no feeling like being in control of your own destiny.

Free Marketing Resource for Work From Home Business Ideas
I’ve found a good resource to promote your business for free locally is Google’s local business center tools. It has a feature called Google Places that you can use to help get your business (or website) found locally. Many people don’t even use a phone book anymore as it’s just faster to search on Google. It’s quick and easy to set up. You can also use Google Adwords to advertise in your local area. They allow you to set a budget to suit your needs. It can be a quick way to reach a lot of people.

Work From Home Business Ideas

Sell Women’s Accessories
You can purchase handbags, jewelry, scarves, hats, watches, sunglasses,… just about any women’s accessories online at wholesale. All it really requires is a tax ID obtained through your local or state tax agency. I used to purchase all kinds of women’s accessories at the Market in Atlanta and resell at purse parties or local hair salons. Many hair salons will allow you to come in and sell your stuff – sometimes for free! It adds a lot of excitement to the place and helps draw in traffic. Other great outlets are office parties, festivals, and home shows.

There are several wholesalers in the Atlanta area on Buford Highway that sell just about anything in women’s accessories. And if I didn’t have time to drive over there, just about all of them have websites and will deliver in a few days for very reasonable shipping. If you love to shop it’s a great way to make money, shop, and get some great deals on accessories for yourself.

Create an Amazon Webstore
If you have a product to sell, Amazon offers a great way to set up an online store. They offer solutions whether you are an individual seller, manufacturer, have an existing brick-and-mortar or home based business, or you are an existing online seller.

They have a really nice eCommerce solution that gives you access to Amazon’s customers and the features they are so good at. These include custom website templates and widgets, shopping cart and payment processing. Probably one of the biggest benefits of all if you’ve sold anything online is order fulfillment (shipping) and inventory management. If you’ve every sold anything online you know how much time and effort goes into shipping merchandise.

Here’s more info on Amazon’s Webstore.

Another great source for building an online store is Big Commerce. However they don’t offer order fulfillment like Amazon does.

If you are good at writing there’s a market to write articles, press releases, and web content. I’ve even seen writers offer their services on eBay to write articles, content, or press releases. In order to make money you really have to be able to research and write in a reasonable amount of time. A lot of the articles are 500 to 1000 words.

You can also make good money writing content for your own blog or website. Steve Pavlina has a good article on How to Make Money From your Blog. This is also applicable to a website.

House Cleaning
Yea – it’s hard work. But if you are young and energetic, you can make some decent money. Many people don’t consider paying $100 a big deal to clean a reasonable sized house which takes about 3 to 4 hours. If you can get several clients lined up and set up on a regular schedule, the pay can add up quickly. With a full schedule – two homes a day – you could make up to $4000 a month. And your overhead is practically nothing.

Handyman Services
There’s always a good demand for dependable and affordable handyman services. Someone who can fix small things around your house, small painting jobs, installing ceiling fans, patching holes in dry wall, plumbing leaks, – just about everything you can think of as part of normal home maintenance. We’ve always appreciated having someone to call for these whose trustworthy and affordable for issues around the house we can’t fix or don’t have the time to. This is a good work from home business ideas for the mechanically inclined or the recently retired who are still capable.

Virtual Assistant or Personnel Assistant
People who don’t have time to run errands appreciate having someone else who can. This could be just about anything – like shopping for groceries and gifts, doing laundry, running errands, chauffeuring kids. Just think of all the stuff in life that you have to do but don’t enjoy – getting the car serviced, paying bills, getting the air conditioner fixed, getting the dog groomed, getting birthday cards and gifts, … the list goes on…. Of course these types of services are usually desired by more affluent people so you may have a limited pool of potential clients unless you hang out with wealthy folks.

Administrative & Clerical Work From Home Business Ideas
If the desire is just to escape the office environment, consider doing administrative, clerical, or accounting work from home. Home-based bookkeepers, administrative assistants, and office clerks are in constant demand. Some companies simply cannot afford to pay these individuals as employees so they outsource the functions to independent contractors.

Meet their needs by setting up a home office and obtaining additional clients through word of mouth. Anyone who is not ready to be so entrepreneurial can find employment agencies that specialize in matching virtual workers with businesses across the country. The challenge as with most work from home business ideas is to find clients.

Sell Stuff on Ebay
eBay has been one of the more popular work from home business ideas. You’ve probably seen or heard about the show on the History Channel – Storage Wars – about the entrepreneurs who buy abandoned storage units at auction. There’s a lot of money to be made in “junk” – especially if you know the value of it. Old magazines, albums, jewelry, guns, toys, etc. It’s a great market place for unique and hard to find items.

Another good source for these kinds of items is garage sales and thrift stores. These can be great sources of valuable finds. You may even find deals on Craig’s List. If you have the skill to fix or restore things, this is a great outlet for sales. You can sell to people all over the country or world. Ebay has great training and tutorials on how to make the best use of its services. My husband has upgraded his guitar and amplifier collection via Ebay without spending any money. This is one of those work from home business ideas that doesn’t require a lot of investment.

eBay is a great outlet for niche sellers. Becoming a niche seller on eBay involves catering to people who are willing to spend substantial money on their interest or hobby. An example of a niche seller is someone who sells tennis equipment or paint ball supplies.

Finding a niche that is under served, purchasing inventory at discounted prices, and reselling it at a profit can be quite lucrative. If you have specialized knowledge it makes you an even better retailer because you can provide recommendations on the best products. When customers don’t have access to a retail store that meets their needs, the first place they look to find products is the Internet.

Some people are great researchers and truly enjoy this work. Home-based researchers offer their services to individuals and companies on a contracted basis. They spend time online and in county courts, libraries, and other record repositories, searching for information requested by clients. Many legal offices require background research for their cases.

Companies and individuals are willing to pay others to perform research tasks when they don’t have the time. This work is time-consuming and tedious which lends itself well to being outsourced.If you’ve done this kind of work (or similar) previously it’s a good opportunity to use your contacts to see if they would consider your services on a contract basis. You may even want to send potential clients samples of your work to demonstrate your competence.

Build a Website
Just like this one. If there’s a topic you know a lot about – or want to learn about – you can create a website that makes money. The income is from ad revenue and from affiliate referrals. If you build a site that gets a lot of traffic this can really add up – I mean thousands of dollars a month!

If you are knowledgeable about something, can write, and have a little bit of computer aptitude, this is a great way to earn income from home. There’s hardly any overhead – just the cost of hosting the site. No employees, no inventory or product to sell. It does take a lot of work to write the content, but once you get it up and running it doesn’t require a lot of work.

This site gets most of its income from mostly Google AdSense – that’s the little blue text or image ads you see at the top of the page or on the right side. We use Site Build It which not only hosts the site but provides all the tools to create web pages and optimize of the search engines. It frees us up to concentrate on the content. As referenced above Steve Pavlina has a great article on how to make money with a blog or website.

Making money from a website is actually is pretty simple if you follow some basic guidelines. The key is to get traffic and the key to getting traffic is great content. The other key is having a topic where there is enough demand to get visitors. Again that’s where Site Build It is so helpful with their Brainstormer tool for identifying keywords and topics.

That way you don’t waste your time on content that nobody is searching for. We’ve followed those basic principles and seen the traffic go from 100 visitors a month when it started to over 11,000 – and growing 18 months later. It’s really not about how pretty the site is or fancy graphics or flashy video – it’s about good content. If you write good content with your visitor in mind, the search engines will recognize it and reward you. And it’s one of the work form home business ideas that doesn’t require a lot of investment.

Sell Gift Baskets
One of the work from home business ideas that requires some creative talents. If you have a creative aptitude, making gift baskets is great way to make money with your talents. If you have the talent to create beautiful baskets with goodies inside this may be a good fit for you. Again probably the biggest challenge is getting the word out and creating demand for your product. You may even want to offer free delivery in your area – or a unique slant on gift baskets. I recently saw similar work from home business ideas where someone offered a bouquet of cookies – like flowers – in a basket or pot. Something that sets you apart can really help people remember you. Having a web site that people can go to that shows you product options and price can be a real selling point also.

Transcription is the process of converting voice recorded or handwritten information dictated by doctors or other health care providers into a text form. The equipment used is called a medical transcriber. The medical transcriptionist will typically listen to the recordings on head phones and while entering the text into a PC word processor or similar application made specifically for transcription.

You don’t hear as much about medical transcription jobs from home as you used to. I think with technology these jobs are not as popular as they used to be – and so many bogus claims made many suspicious. But there is still demand for competent medical transcriptionists. There’s more information on medical transcription employment here.

Multi Level Marketing
Multi Level Marketing (MLM) is probably the most popular and common of the work from home business ideas. There are really too many direct multi level marketing opportunities to list here. Here are some of the more reputable and popular. To make any real money in MLM, you have to have people under you. You must be able to sell, recruit, and motivate people. While all MLM opportunities have different compensation structures, most have certain goals or thresholds to meet in order to qualify for commissions.

Make sure you go with a reputable and established company if you commit. It’s also easier to sell a product if your potential customers have heard of it before and you don’t have to sell the company as well as the product. You’ve probably purchased products from someone who has a MLM work from home business.

If you pursue ads for work from home business ideas or opportunities, be careful before you pay anything. Unless it’s a reputable organization or business don’t give any credit card or payment until you’ve really checked it out. There are these unsavory opportunities who want you to sign up for something saying you can cancel at anytime. However once they get a credit card number they will start charging their monthly “membership” fees that are very difficult to stop.

Money Making Mommy is a good site for a lot of detailed info on many popular work from home business ideas.

Choose Work From Home Business Ideas You Love
Remember the end goal of pursuing work from home business ideas is to make money and enjoy what you do. God has given each one of us unique qualities and strengths. We should pursue work that uses those talents and strengths. If you are miserable in your work, then that’s probably a good sign you are not where you should be. Starting a business I can tell you that it’s not easy, but in the end it’s vastly more satisfying than being stuck in a job that’s not for you. And sometimes it’s the journey that’s the reward – not necessarily the destination. The feeling that you’ve built something – that sense of accomplishment – that’s hard to obtain in the corporate world.

Work From Home Business Ideas

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