There has never been a better time to start a home-based business. More and more people are combining work and family by turning their skills and talents to a home-based career. The spread of the Internet means that many types of jobs can be done entirely from home, and the Internet can be used not only to run your business, but to find customers and advertise as well. But working at home need not mean working alone.
Write Web Content
There are a number of businesses that allow you to work entirely by Internet. You can write Internet content, write blog content for yourself or others, work as a technical writer, ghostwrite books, write resumes or research and write college essays for others. You can start your own service, or work for a service that will assign you writing jobs. For most of these businesses, you do not need previous experience as a published writer, but you do need to be able to write well. There is also a demand for people to conduct online research, collecting information from various sites, building a directory on a particular industry or compiling resource lists.
Buying and Selling
Websites like eBay and QXL have made it very easy for people to run small retail businesses entirely from home. Many people make a living by buying products in bulk from suppliers, or at thrift shops and garage sales, and selling them on eBay, QXL or their personal website at a markup. This works best if you have a niche product or products, such as purses, French lace, wine or toys. This type of business is good for people who want to work their own hours.
Use Your Hobby
If you have a hobby or skill, you may be able to turn it into a stay-at-home business. For example, many people are willing to pay to have others research their genealogy for them. Or you could put together scrapbooks for people, or archive their photos. If you have skill at a particular craft, such as pottery, knitting or jewelry making, you can sell your creations online, or teach classes in your home. If you are skilled at sewing, a home-based alteration, custom clothing or costume-making business is another option. Similarly, if you have cooking or baking skills, you could run a service cooking take-away dinners or baked goods for others, or even teach cooking in your home.
A virtual assistant is a freelance worker, usually working from home, who supports clients in different industries by providing administrative, secretarial, technical or creative services. Virtual assistants are used by businesses to fill in when they need extra help but do not want to hire a full-time worker. You might work on a short-term contract, on a per project basis, or on a week-to-week or month-to-month contract. There are several agencies that help match businesses with assistants.