When many people consider starting their own home based business, their first thought may be – Oh, I cannot do that. It is too hard. If this describes you in any way, take a look around you! How many businesses do you see operating in your town? How many people do you know that own their own business and/or work for themselves? It cannot be THAT hard can it? And certainly worth it if it means not having to answer to a boss every day!
Now you may be thinking – So what kind of profitable home based business should I consider? My advice would be to make a list of all of the things you enjoy doing. What do you do in your free time when you are not working? This is what my list looked like when I began to consider working for myself:
Paid surveys – Crochet – Scrapbooking – Children – Surfing the Internet – Reading – Shopping – Helping other people
When you get your list done, try to think of jobs that involve those things you enjoy, and write them out to the side. Make sure to get suggestions from friends and family! Here is my example:
Paid surveys– you can earn money by doing surveys online. There are many legitimate survey sites that will pay you to complete surveys with them.
Crochet – Sell the things I make at craft fairs, local shops, etc. Possibly make customized items; like a blanket with babys name on it.
Scrapbooking – Become a rep with a scrapbook supplies company, like Creative Memories.
Children – Open a small in home daycare. Become a rep with a childrens toy company, like Discovery Toys. Be a childrens party planner.
Surfing the Internet – Find an internet-based job. Make my own website.
Reading – Sell books on eBay.
Shopping – Start a new store in town. I have always wanted to have my own consignment shop specializing in childrens items.
Helping other people – When I got to this one, I realized that when you are in business for yourself, you are usually providing a service, and you are *hopefully* helping someone!
Ok, now you need to think about the feasibility of all the things you have thought of. What will it cost to get started? How much time to you have to devote to work each day? Do you have children at home; or are they all at school? Perhaps you do not have children! Are you going to be working a regular 9-5 day?
First on my list was crocheting. I did not feel I had the skills needed to quickly make enough items to make a useful amount of money. However, it does remain a hobby of mine! I am currently making a green and off-white blanket for my son Ryan with his name on it.
Next came scrapbooking. I considered this one for quite some time, and I came very close to signing up with Creative Memories! Then, I ultimately decided that sales really was not for me after trying Mary Kay twice.
I decided against doing an in home daycare because I felt it would limit the things I was able to do with my own children, who are still small. I probably would have pursued it if all of them were in school. I tossed out the idea of being a childrens party planner because we live in a small town; and I was afraid I would not be able to drum up enough business.
Next came surfing the internet. I really love this one, do not ask me why. Drives my husband crazy to tell you the truth. I had been looking for a job on the internet for quite some time anyway, so I stepped it up a notch and started job hunting on the internet whenever I could. I had a few jobs that I found and worked for a little while and then quit, for various reasons. I also obtained a couple of jobs that I liked so much I kept! For one, I am a guide for www.ChaCha.com. I really enjoy it because it involves both surfing the internet and helping people! Second, I still participate in forum posting. It is easy, I meet new people, and it involves the internet! If you are interested in forum posting, I have a nice list of companies who hire people to post in forums here.
I tried selling on eBay for a few months. I started out by selling some of our things that we did not need anymore, like maternity clothes, books, etc. I made some nice money doing it and I still list auctions from time to time when I come across something that we need to get rid of. It was very enjoyable to watch the amount of the current bids climbing each day! Also, if you need have any questions about eBay, they have some great discussion forums over there that helped me out quite a bit.
I considered opening up a shop, but dismissed the idea pretty quickly. The reason for that was primarily my children. They are very small (1, 3, and 5 at the time I am writing this in 2007). I was concerned that they would become bored quickly being in a store all day long and possibly break some of my merchandise. However, it is still something that I may get into later in life.
Finally, I had narrowed my list down to two things, surfing the internet and helping people. While surfing the net, I was visiting many forums for people who work at home or who were looking to work at home. While doing this, I discovered I had suggestions for these people quite often! I already had a little experience with writing HTML, which I primarily learned using webmonkey.com. My father has a website about sailing, and makes a tidy profit from that. He has been after me to make a website of my own for some time. After a few trial and errors, here I am – the owner/webmaster of www.legitimatesurveysites.com. I absolutely love it! I love making something to call my own, I love being able to help people, and I really love the money I am making!
If you are interested in making your own website, you can begin by either getting a free site for yourself, or purchasing your own domain name and a web hosting package (such as I did). I have made a few websites, and my favorite (other than this one, of course) is one I made for my local church in 2006 when they held their 3rd Annual 5K Run/Walk for School Supplies. If you would like to take a look. This is a free site, through Geocities.
I hope reading about my experience has helped you in some way! If you have a success story of your own; I would love to hear about it. I also enjoy giving suggestions for people who are considering opening their own profitable home based business, so feel free to send an me an e-mail! And do not forget to come visit home based business forums online.