So you want a home business. You have the time, the ambition, and are excited about the prospect. All you need is the right idea that’s perfect for your first start-up or for a second, third or fourth business. We at Home Business® Magazine watch for these ideas and present them to you with the expectation that one will provide you with home-based success. When evaluating these possibilities, keep in mind the items shown in the box and look at our next issue to get more great ideas for businesses.
If “Surfing the Net” is something you can’t get enough of, then maybe you should get paid for it. E-mail marketing is an exciting new business opportunity. The objective is to compile E-mail address lists to support a client’s mailing and then broadcast your client’s E-mail to that list. A secondary market is to sell you lists to businesses or individuals who market their goods and services by E-mail. Internet experts will be able to search for and collect lists at a moment’s notice. You most likely have all the computer equipment you’ll need, although upgrades may be necessary.
Raising Pets For Money
Do you like dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, or fish? Would you enjoy raising them? Why not turn it into a business? Find out what your local pet stores need or what the general market is looking for, such as rabbits and chickens for Eas ter, or dalmatians to capitalize on the Disney movie. Not only is this business opportunity fun for animal lovers, it’s a great first business for kids. Guinea pigs, hamsters, rats, and mice multiply rapidly and make good pets or science projects. Be sure to evaluate your demand first, or you’ll be sharing your home with permanent pets. Expand ing your business to care for other people’s animals is also a possibility. Make sure that zoning laws and other regulations related to raising animals do not affect you.
One of the most difficult endeavors is earning money through art. The best way to do this is to go commercial. Look at the type of art you excel at: painting, computer art, or line drawings, and decide how it could benefit businesses. For instance, marketing companies hire artists to do artwork for advertising. You can also develop and draw ads and flyers for small shops that need publicity. Approach the shops and offer to develop material that they can buy upon approval. As your sales increase, create a portfolio to show to other businesses. Local rock bands and dance clubs like the more radical stuff. Over time, your art and contacts will enable you to expand into more traditional outlets.
People just don’t have the time to develop photo albums, or they do it haphazardly with no idea about how creative a photo album can be. This is a service that gets you out of the house to meet people. You will build a reputation and can do the work on your kitchen table. You interview clients, go through their pictures, and suggest ways their photo albums can be arranged or improved. Books on the subject are available to help you improve your skills. Use your family or friends as your initial customers and bring their albums to potential customers to show what you can do. It is rewarding to see how grateful people are with the results.
The best thing that could possibly happen to a home-business owner is to have so much business that you can’t do it all yourself. When this happens, you can become an agent for your type of business by sub-contracting excess work out to others and taking a percentage of the fee. In this capacity, you do the billing and maintain the clients. When business is slow, you assume the workload and maintain service to your customers.
People who run everything from home businesses to Fortune 500 companies often lack the time to get everything done. That’s why there’s such a large demand for errand services. If you have a small truck or van, are punctual and trustworthy, and don’t mind an occasionally hectic schedule, you can profit from delivering packages, picking up supplies, and handling similar details for harried home business owners and executives alike. To locate clients, check with businesses in your area, or have your friends and family ask their employers if they could use your services.
Most of us are curious about our an cestors. That’s why written accounts of family history or family trees, known as gen e alogy, make popular gifts. Why not make this your business? Al though the task of digging deeply into someone’s past may seem daunting, there is a variety of software packages and books available that will make this task much easier. Visit large software and book stores to see what’s available. To reach your customers, arrange with local card and gift shop owners to let you display your advertising and samples in their stores. Placing advertisements in local newspapers is a relatively inexpensive way to reach a large audience.
Any appliance, tool, or toy you buy eventually breaks — that’s a fact of life. Al though America is said to be a disposable society, most of us would rather hold on to what we have rather than incur the cost of buying something new. Having a knack for fixing household items means you can earn up to $100 an hour, and you never have to leave your own garage! There are many low-cost ways to advertise your services — flyers, classified ads, and the Yellow Pages are just a few. There are also many ways to expand your business; for example, you could offer pick-up and delivery, stock replacement parts, or refurbish toys and appliances and sell them for less than what they’d cost new.
Do you enjoy working with the public, and helping those less fortunate? If so, you can put your people skills to work by offering yourself to local community, hospital, school, and civic groups as a fund raiser. You help the group raise money for its cause, and take a percentage of the amount for your fee. Your organizational skills, pleasant phone manner, and ability to develop effective direct mail pieces mean success in this career. Keep in mind that those who act as fund raisers for charities are often expected to do so on a volunteer basis, but this is a great way to gain experience, make valuable contacts, and build your reputation.
Leaky faucets, clogged drains, doors that stick — the list of minor home repair needs is almost endless. Most of us just don’t have the time or the know-how to tackle these problems ourselves. If you’re good with your hands and have a general knowledge of home repair, then start a handyman service. Charge your clients less than the professionals. Your customers’ savings is your gain! You’ll need a good set of tools and a truck. It’s also a good idea to check with your city to see what licensing is required. Begin your business with your friends and family, then expand into your neighborhood.
Cooking with home-grown herbs holds a special appeal these days. If you have a green thumb, you can capitalize on this culinary trend by growing herbs to sell to small restaurants, specialty shops, health-food stores, or even your friends and neighbors. Use your computer to create attractive, eye-catching labels for your packages. Cultivating an herb garden can require very little space – in fact, you can grow a fair assortment in flower pots on your window sill! Put your gardening expertise to work in another way by becoming a “gardening consultant,” — assisting your clients in setting up their own herb gardens.
Companies of all types and sizes use direct mail to advertise goods and services. However, many of these companies may not have the personnel to undertake a mass mailing, especially if it involves a large base of potential clients. That’s where you come in. Contracting with these businesses to handle their mass mailings could result in ample financial rewards. You’ll need a computer, special software to create labels and process lists, and most importantly, clients. Check with local businesses, especially those involved with publishing, computer accessories, or special events. Friends, relatives, and business associates can also provide leads. Expand your business by writing the promotional material, obtaining the target lists, and maintaining the client lists.
Do you have a talent for sewing? Starting a sewing service in your home is a profitable and enjoyable business. You al ready have the equipment and skill, and the demand is great. Busy professionals need to keep their clothes in shape. Local dry cleaning and clothing stores are good sources for leads. Also, try advertising in the classified section of your local newspaper, or posting flyers in your neighborhood. Put your creativity to work by creating curtains and other home decorations, or sewing costumes for holidays and stage productions. To expand, consider the large demand for upholsterers.
BBQ Catering Service
If you like to barbecue, get compliments as a chef, and like to meet people, why don’t you set up a barbecue catering service? You need a truck, portable barbecue pits, and a little marketing. Send out flyers, post them at grocery stores, or advertise in your local newspaper or weekly ad magazine. People will love having outdoor parties with you showing up, setting up, cooking, and cleaning up afterwards. You can offer various options on meat and expand out to more and more food options and drinks. You thought outdoor cooking was fun; well, it’s profitable also.
If you notice the messes in other people’s homes and businesses, then maybe you should be an organizer. There are many books on organizing and a multitude of products that help conserve space or provide filing or stacking capability. Gather material on the subject. To start your business, practice on people you know for a small fee, then use this experience to sell yourself to others. You can purchase and mark up ready-made products, or call in carpenters to put in closet organizers, shelves, and furniture. What people save in time and money will more than make up the difference.
Apartments must be cleaned, painted, and repaired after renters vacate. Since this is a frequent event, this event provides an opportunity for you to make money. Apartment unit sizes, damage, and cleaning needs vary widely. So develop estimates after a walk-through or charge by the hour. Cleaning equipment and a small truck will get you started and college students can provide help. Your target market is defined, so visit and send mailers to apartment complexes, rental management companies, condo complexes, and also offer your services to real estate brokers who need property prepared for sale.
Baby furniture is constantly being cycled in and out of homes and sold at garage sales. Acquiring baby furniture can be expensive for new parents, so a service that will satisfy them and give you a good income is to stock their homes with what they need. You can get beds, chairs, tables, potty seats, and the like at garage sales. Clean and paint them, and turn them around for sale. Market at pediatrician offices, Lamaze training classes, and prenatal care services. You can provide single furniture items to full set-ups, and get the parents to resell them to you after they no longer need them, ready for you to make money on them again.
You can be the answer to the April 15th blues. Use your accounting background and your computer to process tax returns from your home. This business is seasonal and starts out slowly, building over time as you get returning clientele the next years. There are a number of great tax preparation software packages available that makes this task easier. Start by doing returns for your family and friends, then use them to help get business referrals. Be sure to keep up the with latest tax rules and join accounting organizations to work on accreditations.
Used Computer Sales
Are you a tinkerer who likes to take computers apart and put them together? Used computers that are gathering dust can make money for you. Although technology advances rapidly, much of what people need computers for can be handled by the simplest of machines. Make yourself available to buy the obsolete machines at fire sale prices. Many of the parts are interchangeable; you can cannibalize and rebuild computers that are fine for normal use, and add new parts as necessary. Then, sell the computers with your own warrantee. This is a business your high-school children may love to assist with, or even run. Repair books and training are readily available.
Flea Market Sales
Flea markets are like the ultimate garage sale. If you like garage sales maybe you should become a participant in flea markets. There are a number of products that you can sell: Your own crafts, collectibles from your own hobby collections (trains, coins, comics, etc), and products for resale (polishes, toys, tools, garage sale items you purchased). Some markets are opportunities to sell your skills or services such as furniture refinishing, car detailing, sewing and handyman services. Find out what flea markets are local to your area and which apply to your products or skills. Contact the organizers to find the cost of booths, qualifications, tax laws and other necessary information.