1 – Start A Daycare Service In Your Home
Care for other working parent’s children in your home. Talk to friends, family and other parents you know to find prospective customers. Make a list of services you will provide (meals, diapers, activities, etc.) and estimate how much money you will spend to provide these items. Consider the value of your time and your services to determine an hourly or weekly rate to charge customers. Discuss your ideas with people who are experienced childcare professionals. They may provide insight to important issues and offer helpful advice.
Benefits: Spend every day with your child. Earn some extra money without leaving your home.
Necessities: Honest love of children. Patience. Time management and organizational skills. Adequate space and hazard free home.
Considerations: State laws vary, but certifications, approvals, inspections, and licenses are required for some home childcare providers. Check out the rules in your state, as well as possible county or local government regulations.
Drawbacks: Lack of quiet time. Less individual interaction with your own child.
2 – Start A Word-Processing/Data-Entry Service
Brush up on your typing skills and put that computer to use. Talk to friends, family or local business people to get leads to clients, who may be in need of this type of service. Decide what types of documents you will offer to prepare for customers (newsletters, resumes, business cards, legal documents, menus, medical transcriptions etc.) Research prices and options available at other businesses that provide similar services. Name your new company. Create sample flyers of your work and distribute at offices, malls, hospitals, restaurants and any other place that could use your services. Advertise for free by word of mouth. Or market your services with advertisements in local newspapers, business journals, radio, and public television networks.
Benefits: Make your own hours. Potential to earn fairly good profit depending on your time commitment.
Necessities: Good computer. Knowledge of word-processing programs, like Microsoft Windows or Word Perfect. Area in your home for your office (not the living room with the television and your toddler to divert your attention).
Considerations: Set up contracts with your customers that will clarify your services, fees, and payment terms. Check with a lawyer to determine best way for you to develop a contract that will ensure you get paid for your work.
Drawbacks: Establishing yourself in business will require some start-up money to advertise and attract initial customers. Ability to devote certain days/hours to working in your office at home without distractions.
3 – Become An Affiliate Salesperson for Health Products, Lingerie, Handmade Baskets or Similar Items
If you’re interested in cosmetics, consider companies, like Avon or Mary Kay. If healthy living is your priority, seek opportunities with businesses that specialize in nutrition products, vitamins, holistic medicine, or health supplements. Whether you like Tupperware, books or toys, there’s various options to work from home as an independent distributor, telecommuting representative or sales associate with a manufacturer, who makes something you know about, believe in or want to learn about.
Benefits: Work independently in already established business. Choose your hours and level of commitment that will determine your income.
Necessities: Knowledge of whatever you’re selling. Some sales experience or a desire to learn how to sell. Ability to talk to people you don’t know and captivate their interest in the product you’re promoting.
Considerations: Make sure you understand terms of manufacturer’s contract, like your commission, initial investment, length of contract. It’s worth having a lawyer look over a document before you sign it. Ask questions before you commit to anything.
Drawbacks: No guaranteed income. Your earnings depend on your sales.
4 – Start A Tutoring Service Or Offer Private Lessons
Some parents don’t have time or energy to help their children with homework. If you like working with kids and have the ability and knowledge to assist students with a particular subject, consider offering to tutor kids afterschool or on weekends in your home. If the thought of homework still gives you a headache, think about what talents you have that you could share with other people. Some parents seek one-on-one instruction for their kids that schools seldom offer in regular classes. Consider some popular subject areas, like piano lessons (or any musical instrument instruction), dance classes, art training, or writing workshops.
Benefits: Personal reward for providing others with knowledge and skills that are meaningful to you. Set your own schedule.
Necessities: Knowledge of subject matter. Ability to teach what you know to someone else in a way that is understandable, interesting and professional.
Considerations: Responsibility for other people’s children while they’re in your home. Credentials to prove your qualifications, if ever questioned.
Drawbacks: Patience and true passion for what you’re teaching. Potential for people to cancel at last minute or not show up at all for scheduled lesson, which could negatively effect your income.
5 – Start A Sewing Business
If you have a flair for fixing tears, mending seams, altering outfits or making custom clothing, dig that old sewing machine out of the attic, figure out how to get it running again, thread a needle, push some pins, and practice stitching something. If you find out it still fits your fashion sense. If you feel confident and capable after a few crash courses, consider contacting local clothing stores, who may keep lists of referrals for their customers in need of alterations. Look for other places to publicize your new business pursuit, like local drycleaners, Laundromats, schools, wedding shops, or craft stores. Once you get a few satisfied customers, you can almost count on word-of-mouth to carry your name to more people in need of sewing services.
Benefits: Decide how much work you want to do and when you want to do it. Sewing projects can be done in phases, for example, maybe you have an hour to make some minor alterations, while your children are sleeping or 15 minutes to finish fixing a tear, while you’re watching the evening news.
Necessities: Professional Seamstress skills. A good sewing machine. Materials, like thread, needles, pins etc.
Considerations: Must be able to provide the professional services that customers are paying for and deliver on your promises in a timely fashion.
Drawbacks: Potential for problems with sewing machine that you cannot fix. Ability to deal with demanding people, like customers who can afford custom tailored clothing and expect absolute perfection.
6 – Start Selling Your Homemade Arts And Crafts
If you have a knack for creating arts and crafts, like dried flower wreaths, pottery, silk flower arrangements, wooden furniture, calligraphy prints, paintings, or stylish jewelry, turn your home-based hobby into profit in your pocket. Test the market before you make 100 beaded necklaces or build up a stockpile of silk flowers for your future business. Go to craft fairs, art shops, flea markets, and other places that sell products similar to your specialty. Check out the competition – what’s hot – what’s not – prices and talk to people. If you feel confident that your creation is a winner, rent a stand at a craft show to see if it sells. After exploring your market, you will be able to decide how to continue or what to change to succeed at selling your homemade arts and crafts creations.
Benefits: Get paid for doing something you enjoy and decide when you want to work.
Necessities: Focus and commitment to create your products with a personal touch and perfection in bulk quantity. Desire to sell whatever you make.
Considerations: Loss of credibility with customers, if claims about your custom products fail to be completely factual.
Drawbacks: No guaranteed income. Self-motivation to make and sell your special arts and crafts.
7 – Start An Errand Service
There’s plenty of people from busy professionals and bachelors to single parents and senior citizens, who don’t have time or transportation to pick up prescriptions, drop off dry cleaning, shop for groceries or other goods. If you don’t mind shuttling your kids from store to store, shopping from someone else’s list or waiting in line to place an order or pay for a purchase, consider offering to complete these types of errands for other people. Contact friends, family, local businesses, or senior centers, to find people, who fit the profile of someone who would be benefit from this service. If you get a few satisfied customers, word-of-mouth should pave a path to other people, who would pay you to run their errands.
Benefits: Make your own hours and choose your customers.
Necessities: Reliable vehicle. Knowledge of geographic area, Patience and ability to pay attention to details and each customer’s specific desires and directions.
Considerations: Automobile insurance. Responsibility for someone else’s valuable personal goods. Whether it’s their clothing or their medicine, they’re trusting you to treat it like it was your own priceless possession. (Don’t hang the freshly dry-cleaned $200 suit in the back seat next to your two year-old, who’s drinking his little cup of grape juice)
Drawbacks: Ability to devise efficient, economical plan to deliver services to customers. Kids can get bored quick in the car and kids can run away and wreak havoc in stores. (But depending on the age of your children – they can offer valuable assistance and learn something by helping you find items on your shopping list at some stores.)