It isn’t just moms that prefer to work from home these days. Many dads, who may have been downsized or simply want to escape the rat race, are looking to set up and manage a business from home.
The advantages of working from home include no commute, more family time and a more manageable lifestyle. Disadvantages include start up costs and inconsistent money.
There a number of legitimate home business ideas you can pursue; we list seven of these here.
1. Private instructor — Former teachers, certified instructors or anyone with a talent that can be taught to others has the makings of a private instructor. You may need a degree to teach high school-aged children, but if you’re a talented pianist, then your skills may be sought by parents of budding musicians.
2. Freelance writing — Many a reporter and journalist has had to make the transition from print writing to online writing. You can find customers through your own blog and social media or you can connect with them by running advertisements or using a third-party site such as Elance.com to find work.
3. Independent consultant — When professionals are laid off, what can they do besides join another company? They can consult. If you are an accountant, a business manager or some other professional, you can advise companies big or small on retainer. Reach out to your network of contacts to announce your availability. Create a LinkedIn profile that reflects your business.
4. Marketing representative — Independent marketing representatives have been around since the California Perfume Company was launched in 1886. Now called Avon, this company owned the doors for independent marketing for both women and men, and has spawned countless variations on the theme. Just about anything can be marketed including grave plots, satellite service, pet care and more.
5. Product sales — You can sell products online through your e-commerce store front. Find a niche that you are passionate about and set up a store to sell products that you love. You don’t have to have inventory on hand as drop shipping enables you to contact a manufacturer or a wholesaler to ship directly to the customer. You profit on the markup while the distributor does the shipping.
6. Craft seller — Talented people are always looking for ways to market their crafts. You can set up a booth at a flea market or craft fair, selling what you make directly to your customers. Consider approaching retail outlets too, by supplying your craft and selling it on consignment. If your product sells, you get a portion of the proceeds. If a product doesn’t sell, you can take it back.
7. Daycare provider — You may not want to work from home, but others may choose to. Leverage the need for personal daycare by caring for children in your home. Before you launch your enterprise, find out if the zoning laws permit such a home-based business. You may need to register your company with the state and follow mandated day care provider guidelines for food, safety and instruction.
Your home-based business may need to be licensed and the IRS may require you to obtain an employer identification number. Consult with an accountant before launching your business, for business structure and planning advice.