In our current economy and job market, it never hurts to have a Plan B. I work with many budding entrepreneurs who currently have a fulltime job but are interested in starting a business on the side. These future business owners are either at a point in their lives where they want to work for themselves or, given their current employment situation, they’re looking for a fallback plan.
You may be going through the same thing—looking for ideas to start a home-based business, without giving up your current job. That’s a smart plan! Here are a few suggestions:
1. The most common way to begin a home-based business is to take a hobby and turn it into a moneymaking business. What is it people say you do so well, you should turn into a business?
2. Become an affiliate marketer. Receiving a percentage of the sale price for selling another person’s product on the Internet is affiliate marketing. Probably the best-known and easiest way to begin as an affiliate marketer is with Amazon.com. They can even help you set up your own virtual shop.
3. Join a network marketing company. This is a step-by-step way to begin a side business. As with anything, do your homework and stay within your budget. With network marketing, you generally have a built-in support group of seasoned leaders and the tools you need to start a business.
4. With your current expertise and experience, find a need and fill it. I’m sure you’ve said to yourself many times, “I can do that and I can do it better!” There are many opportunities for a side business if you use your imagination. Who needs your expertise—and would be willing to pay for it?
5. Buy a franchise. This can be expensive and may take more time than you have to give. A franchise can give you a proven plan for building a business and the ongoing support of the franchise company. If you’re in a position to invest the money and have someone to run the business while you’re at your job, this could be just what you’re looking for.
6. Become a virtual assistant. Do you know how many unorganized and time-strapped business owners could use an online assistant? If you have the skills, there are clients who will be willing to pay you for help with things they don’t have time to do—record keeping, blog posts, newsletters, reports, etc. It’s all done online, from your computer.
7. There’s always Ebay. This online auction company may prove to be a viable side business opportunity for you. There’ll always be the buyer looking for their next treasure or bargain, and you could be the person offering it.
8. Publish your own book and market it on Amazon.com. Have you been thinking about putting all those journals or notes together in a book? It’s easier than ever to become a self-published author. You can also publish on-demand paperback and hardcover books through various online publishers.
9. Learn how to create blogs, websites and sales pages for small businesses. The demand has never been higher for having a web presence. If you know how to create a blog, there is business out there for you. Many home-based entrepreneurs don’t have the time or skills to create their own blog, website or sale pages. They’re willing to pay for a solid web presence and you could be just the person to develop it for them.
10. Take a long-lost skill or passion and fine-tune it into a moneymaker. Is there a skill that you’ve had to abandon? Could you dust off and fine-tune that skill to start a moneymaking home-based business?
11. Develop a seasonal business that will save others time, energy or money. The most obvious seasonal businesses are snow removal or lawn care. There are so many more opportunities out there—holiday home decorating, making costumes for Halloween, planning graduation parties, etc. Honestly, you’re only limited by your imagination.
12. Become a consultant or researcher. If you love detail and enjoy helping others find answers, you could begin your own consulting or researching business. If you have expertise in a certain area, there are people who will be more than willing to pay for your time.
13. Use your writing skills to become a ghostwriter. I’ve talked with so many blog owners who are willing to pay someone to ghost write their blog posts or help them write a book. There are opportunities for proficient writers.
14. Become a paid tutor. If you have the skill and patience, there are students who want and need your expertise.
15. There is always a market for pet sitters and dog walkers. No, it’s not just in the movies. Busy or physically challenged pet owners are looking for a kind, trustworthy and compassionate person to help care for their pets. This is an in-demand service. I personally know of neighbors who have hired sitters to stay with their pets while they were on vacation—and one who broke her arm and paid a dog walker to walk her dog twice daily.
The opportunities are endless for starting a side home-based business. Take into careful consideration the time, energy and money you’re willing to commit. A side business will take awhile to establish, but the payoff can be extremely rewarding. It may help to read 10 Success Strategies for Women Entrepreneurs. Do your research, weigh your options and use the information you’ve gathered to make a well thought out decision.
It never hurts to have a Plan B!
About the Author
Sharon Michaels is a business coach and the author of How to Give Yourself the Power to Succeed(EmPOWERing Publications, 1996). She produces and hosts the weekly radio show, Women Enjoying Success, interviewing and sharing the strategies of self-made successful women. Learn more at: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/sharon-michaels . Read Sharon’s blog, http://www.sharonmichaels.com/powertosucceed/, check out her weekly Ezine, Unlimited Success for Women and visit her website at http://www.sharonmichaels.com
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