Home-Based Businesses for Fun and Profit
Your Guide to Setting Up Your Own Business at Home
Self Employment and You
The world of self-employment can be a personally and financially rewarding one for the right individual. Many people dream of owning their own business but don't believe it will ever happen for them. The majority of these folks see all the positives of working for themself, but lack the drive and determination to make the transition from employee to employer.
Self-employment is the ticket to higher earnings without limit and the right to control and work your own schedule. But it's not easy work. A lot of self-employed people are working longer hours and weeks than ever in their own business. The difference is they are doing work they truly enjoy, and are getting paid for it!
You have the talent and ability to work on your own! Perhaps you're just not sure what business you'd like to specialize in. That's where this book can help!
We've listed a number of home-based business and franchise opportunities in this booklet based on the latest information available to us. From this assortment of listings, you will probably recognize some that will have a definite appeal to you. This is the first step to taking off with your own business: knowing what you want to do. Beyond that, if you have the fortitude to plow through the first few months, you will ultimately be successful.
A number of these businesses will have you involved as a sales representative of the company, working out of your own home. While many people feel "turned off" by salespeople, remember the important part a salesperson plays in any business.
A product usually has to be sold, right? There aren't many items that you are tuned in to where you can walk straight into a store and pick them out. Usually you hear about a certain product through advertising, such as direct mail or a notice in a local publication. If it catches your eye, you pursue it.
Believe it or not, you've just been "sold" that product. The person responsible for marketing the product to an audience elected to attract clientele through an advertising approach. This is selling, too!
Sales aren't just the slick folks in the automobile showroom who want to know what it will take to get you in that car today. Selling is the process by which a product reaches a consumer. It can take many forms. If you have some preconceived ideas about sales right now, erase them from your mind. Start with a clean slate by remaining open to all possibilities in your home-based business.
After all, if you're marketing a product you would buy yourself, it will be easy to convince others of its value. Since you're selecting the right business opportunity, you'll unquestionably choose the business that has the most appeal to you. Selling something you love almost never feels like work or real selling!
How to Get Started
If you currently have a job, you may want to break into your home-based business on a part-time basis until you've built up a large enough earnings base to leave. There will probably be no greater feeling than when you walk out the door and into a business where you call the shots!
If you're between jobs, then by all means go at this full-force. All you need to do is to contact the businesses listed here that interest you and begin the process of determining if this is right for you.
There may be several opportunities here that are franchises. There is no available data that says that electing to go the franchise route to start your business has any lower success rate than beginning a new business from scratch. Again, view these choices with an open mind and investigate the opportunity thoroughly before making the commitment. If you're working part or full time, you can be even choosier, perhaps.
Franchises are regulated by the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, DC. If you have any questions, or you wish to order some of the publications the FTC puts out on franchises, contact them.
In addition, several states have agencies that specifically administer their own state-specific franchise disclosure laws. This should be part of your evaluation of these business opportunities.
The Top 10 Ways to Make Money at Home
The buying and selling of antiques has been and should continue to be a very productive business, financially, for those who do it. Here, you only need an extra room in the house, or the use of your garage--and you have an office!
If you have a large home that has some antique furnishings, you might consider turning it into a showroom for your antique acquisitions and sales, providing you satisfy any local zoning regulations. The interest in antiques will survive into the foreseeable future. Many people choose to spend their free time on the weekends "antiquating" from place to place to try and pick up a few odds and ends and maybe a jewel or two. If you know anything about antiques, this may be a great opportunity for you.
For more information, check out the book, "Buying and Selling Antiques", by Don Cline and Sara Pitzer. There are many other publications on this subject which can get you started quickly. Your only overhead may be inventory and advertising!
Have you ever been told that you have a recipe which people would line up to get if they could? Have you ever had anyone tell you that you should be selling those cupcakes you make? There are a number of success stories about people who have launched successful businesses by cooking at home and then marketing to local people first. Word of mouth on a good product may start to get restaurants or bakeries interested in acquiring your culinary masterpieces. Then you progress to selling them state-wide and presto! A winning home-based business!
For more practical advice on the assorted aspects of setting up a specialty foods business, you should contact your local U.S. Department of Agriculture Home Extension Agent in your county. Since every U.S. county has such an individual, that person shouldn't be hard to find!
3. Bed and Breakfast Proprietor(S)
Have you ever stayed in a bed and breakfast and thought, "Hey, I can do this!" You probably went on vacation and simply chalked your thought up as one of those pipe dreams people get when they stay in a beautiful spot.
Don't toss that thought away! While it's not easy work, as the hours can be long and it's usually a seven days per week business, it's often something that you can work into a daily schedule. After all, it's merely an extension of doing the housework for family, right? More and more Americans are taking after Europeans and opening their homes to travelers. If you have an extra room or two now that the kids have moved out, you can start a bed and breakfast in your own place!
Bed and breakfast popularity will continue as more and more vacationers and business travelers seek a different accommodation away from the predictability of the average hotel room. If they enjoy their stay, many become "repeat" customers, coming back to the same familiar surroundings time and again.
If you don't need to do any major renovations in the house to accommodate this type of establishment, you can be off and running with very little money invested, other than advertising and some new "guest room supplies". If your dream is to buy a bed and breakfast somewhere in a vacation paradise, there are houses for sale that will probably work for this purpose.
Whatever your design, there are several good books on the subject of starting your own bed and breakfast, including "Start Your Own Bed and Breakfast", by Beverly Mathews. Your local library should have a nice variety of such books to choose from.
4. Child Care
Due to the financial pressures many families face today, many parents work outside of the home to bring in enough income to pay daily living expenses. A single parent is obviously working, but all too often both members of a two-parent family are in the workforce.
This creates a home-based opportunity. Children must be watched all day if they're not in school, or for a brief time after school before the parents finish work for the day.
Caring for one additional child may not be that lucrative, but taking care of several children can certainly be a full-time, financially successful business. Often, taking care of several children is made somewhat easier as the youngsters will play together and keep busy.
You can do this at home for only a small investment in basic equipment and toys for the kids, in addition to the advertising of your business. There are several publications that address starting this type of business, including Family Day Care, by Betsy Squibb.
Another resource is the Day Care Council of America, 5730 Market Street, Oakland, CA 94608.
5. Computer Specialist
The advent of the computer age has changed the concept of self-employment. Having a computer at home has opened a number of opportunities for running your own business by utilizing this equipment. Companies everywhere are "outsourcing" work that can be done by someone else on their computer, out of their own home.
If you're not that familiar with a computer, there are many low-cost (or free) seminars and classes that will teach you what equipment you need and how to use it.
If you're a whiz in computers, you may end up working as a consultant, writing programs for companies. If you're a beginner, you may find yourself able to obtain work as a writer, using your computer to produce copy that's easy to edit. You can also keep accounting and payroll records for companies on your computer's database.
Word processing software can be used not only for writers but for those that can offer secretarial services out of their house. Desktop publishing software can allow you to do newsletters for businesses and other organizations.
If you like working in your garden each year and growing vegetables for your family to eat, it's a definite possibility for home-based employment. Imagine clearing a little more space and growing more items that you can sell directly to the consumer.
Most produce stands will buy from you if your product is one of high quality. If you enjoy gardening, this could be your ticket! If you have some more land to use, do it! Plant what you can, when you can! Contact your local produce stands to ascertain their buying habits.
You can even inquire about your own produce stand if you have enough product. The more space you have on your land, the more likely you will be able to generate enough crops to run the business.
People love home-grown vegetables. They just don't have the time and do not want to be bothered doing it themselves. That's your open door!
7. Importer and Distributor
There are a substantial number of products manufactured in other countries which can be bought inexpensively and sold here in the United States at a profitable level. The recent passages of the Congressional bills, NAFTA and GATT, may make it easier to bring in other products from other countries.
This is a business easily operated out of the home, depending on the types of stock you're carrying. You may have to rent some storage space, but the capital required to start should essentially be limited to the products you're buying to sell here.
If you know the type of product you want to import and you know the market which is most likely to purchase your goods, you have great potential for a successful home-based business.
8. Interior Decorator
While this business will require you to be out and about, meeting with customers, it's the type of work many people would love to do. If you have a fascination for decorating a home, this could be your line of work.
Many people don't know where to start when they are remodeling or buying a house for the first time. If you have the knowledge of colors and patterns and what looks good together, plus the expertise of knowing where to get materials and furnishings, this can be a winning home-based business for you.
The sky's the limit here! Armed with your trusty camera and some good advertising, you can do weddings, models, family portraits, passports, student photos, local newspaper coverage--almost anything that requires a picture!
You can easily start this work part-time, and work into full-time work based on your success and inclination. Not much equipment is necessary to get going, as a camera off the store shelf can often do the trick today. Pick up a tripod and have sufficient room for developing your pictures, and you're in business--at home!
There are a number of excellent books available in your local library to get you started on the path of professional photography.
10. Sewing & Alterations
Many people love to sew. If you're one of them, consider offering this service out of your home. When someone buys a new outfit, it rarely fits perfectly, meaning some kind of alteration must be done.
People look long and hard to find reliable individuals to do their alterations. If you can sew, you're well on your way to opening the doors to this type of business.
One resource you can review is "Sewing for Profit", by Judith and Allan Smith. Or your library will have a handful of capable publications on starting up this type of business.
These are our suggestions as to the top ten ways to earn money at home, enough to be a full-time, self-employed businessperson!
But there are many other opportunities. The listings that follow may give you some other ideas you need to get started in business for yourself.
The word "franchise" is often associated, rightly or wrongly, with the term "instant wealth". There is no mystery about franchises. Many of them are legitimate opportunities to start your own business, hopefully, with the advantage of name recognition.
Franchising is a marketing technique used to distribute a product or service. There are many individuals, perhaps laid off from their regular job, who have turned to franchises as a way to return to the business market.
Take the example of V.H. of South Carolina, laid off from a textile firm after ten years. He bought a "Subway" franchise in Rock Hill, South Carolina and now owns seven other such franchises in the area. Success!
Securing a franchise is no guarantee of success, but it's a good head start and shouldn't be ignored. Our listing that follows has both franchise and home-based new opportunities for you to explore, with the franchises being more at-home scenarios. But don't overlook the franchise possibility outside the home today.
Are you ready to start up your own business now?
Whether you begin from scratch or invest in a franchise, the time has never been better to get a home-based business off the ground. It's become almost routine in the business world to work with independent contractors. Many times, it's more cost-effective, too.
Most of these businesses do not require a substantial amount of start-up cash. Many of these franchise opportunities offer financing.
This Handbook on the basic regulations and related services administered by the Department of Labor (DOL) is designed primarily for small businesses in general industry. It begins with a general overview of DOL requirements.
The cottage industry, an old-fashioned enterprise, is enjoying a revival so strong that it's difficult to find out just how many Americans are now working at home. Estimates range from two to five million and the numbers may double by 1990.
Some small business persons cannot understand why a lending institution refused to lend them money. Others have no trouble getting funds, but they are surprised to find strings attached to their loans.
Here again, it is helpful to form your corporation in Delaware. In this state the law allows you to assign any "par-value" to your stock as you like - even though there are no assets to back up your valuation.
In these days, it's becoming increasingly difficult to make ends meet with just one source of income. Thus, more and more people are investigating the possibilities of starting their own extra-income business.
Success in business comes as a result of planning. You have to have a detailed, written plan that shows you what the ultimate goal is, the reason for the goal, and each milestone that must be passed in order to reach your goal.
Once you have formed your own non-profit organization, you merely place in your corporate charter the provision that medical care be paid by the organization of which you are a member.
Twenty million home-based businesses will be in operation by 1999, according to Link Resource's 1995 National Work-at Home Survey. All around the country, people who want more control over their lives are starting home businesses
Every year, several thousand people develop an interest in "going into business." Many of these people have an idea, a product or a service they hope to promote into an in come producing business which they can operate from their own homes.
There isn't a day that goes by that I don't hear another small business owners complaining about some of the customers they have to do business with. And some of them REALLY are legitimate complaints.