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.

I’ve been providing a simple ‘green’ service at commercial properties since 1981. Using only hand tools, I perform a daily litter cleanup service for the exterior property (sidewalks, parking lot, landscape). Almost as easy as going for a walk! I generate a six figure income yearly from this simple, home based, low cost start up business and I can teach you how to do the same. Details online: http://www.cleanlots.com. Affiliate program available.
Strictly speaking, this isn’t really an at-home business, as most of the work takes place outside the home. But for dog lovers who don’t want other people’s pets staying overnight, dog walking is a viable business idea with a low barrier to entry. Still, there are considerations including researching the state of your local dog-walking market and addressing licensing and insurance concerns.
I like these ideas! Besides being good ideas in themselves, they stimulate MORE ideas! Some of them reminded me of something I was reading about called Craigslist arbitrage – buying low and selling high on craigslist, kind of like the first part of the old Oregon Trail game, but with washers and dryers and bicycles instead of cases of crackers and horses. Sounds like fun!  Anyway, that one about the pooper-scooper business, that works, I know because I was quite successful in the pooper-scooper service I started back in 1988! I’ve been in the industry for 25 years now, though I don’t go out and scoop any more.
How can you make a living as a real social-media expert? Practice. Build an audience for yourself before offering your services to others. Determine your target sector, build your own online presence in that community and start making contact with the social-media elite. Twitter is a great place to start. Keep cranking out content and getting it to the right users, and you’ll find a way to get yourself hired even in an ever-expanding universe.

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.


Build a trusting customer base. By adjusting to your customers' needs and consistently providing good services or products, you get the best form of free advertising: word of mouth recommendations. Your customers will recommend you to their friends if they are truly satisfied with your work, and your business will grow accordingly. You'll have get some customers coming back for repeat service and build up a consistent revenue pipeline.

Once you determine your customer personas, it’ll be time to do research and ensure there are enough customers available to make your business a success. The type of market research you do for this depends on your business. If you’re servicing local customers, you want to ensure there are enough prospective customers physically located near your business to make it successful. If you’re an online-only business, you need to focus on where customers are spending time online versus if they live near your home.

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