For many people, working from home on the side or full time can be an attractive option, whether they're trying to make a few extra bucks or start a new career. However, starting a home based business, like starting any other business, requires a large amount of planning and personal commitment. You'll have to plan out your strategy, work out all the little details, and then put in the work to make it happen. Luckily, by using your home as your business space, you avoid some of the costs and hassles associated with classic businesses, like renting commercial space and meeting certain permit requirements.
Handcrafted products: These are items you make yourself, like jewelry, clothing, paper goods, wooden decor, and food. This is a great option if you’re crafty, want full control over production, and are looking for lower startup costs. But bear in mind: it can be harder to capitalize on success — it’s more difficult to scale when you personally make each and every product.
A friend in Boston made a living doing this. He had lived in the Netherlands and was fluent in Dutch. He contacted companies who sent people to the Netherlands to work and live, and offered to provide not just his language expertise but important information on Dutch culture and living in the country. It worked. If you’re from or have lived in another country, consider channeling not just your language but your cultural expertise into a new career.
While most entrepreneurs rely on their personal savings to start a business, others seek funding from banks or family and friends. In fact, 75% of small businesses used their personal finances to fund their business, while 16% went to banks, and 6% solicited the help of family and friends. Let’s look at several funding options and see which one’s the best for your home business.
Beta is when you’re testing out your product or service with the goal of receiving feedback. Find potential beta customers at trade shows, festivals, farmers markets, and other types of events where you can sell your product or service to a relatively small group of people. Consider offering discounts in exchange for customer feedback. While you can make some money with the beta, don’t let it distract you from your goal of testing and improving your idea.
Evaluate your talents. Keep in mind, there is a huge difference between talents and things you enjoy. Just because you enjoy something does not mean you can turn it into a business. Think about your skills, or the hobbies that you do better than anyone else. It could be baking cake, making jewelry, or stitching dresses. Your business can also be based off of a professional skill you've developed or been educated in.
If you have the expertise or a passion or interest for a subject, you're ready to start making money with a blog. With a service like Blogger (www.blogger.com), you can start up your blog totally free. You can also create your own site and secure your own hosting for a low price, which is generally the route I recommend, as many free blogging sites have restrictions on what you can say or do, including making money or advertising.
Pay-per-click advertising is the easiest way to get traffic to a brand-new site. It has two advantages over waiting for the traffic to come to you organically. First, PPC ads show up on the search pages immediately, and second, PPC ads allow you to test different keywords, as well as headlines, prices and selling approaches. Not only do you get immediate traffic, but you can also use PPC ads to discover your best, highest-converting keywords. Then you can distribute the keywords throughout your site in your copy and code, which will help your rankings in the organic search results.
A great way to test your business idea without spending a lot of money is to run a crowdfunding campaign. This is preselling a product before you’re ready to deliver it so you can raise money to create it. Crowdfunding is a great way to determine if there is a market for your product. Typically, a crowdfunding platform charges a 5% fee of the total amount raised plus a 3% transaction fee.