It seems to be increasingly popular to find some way to earn a living from the comfort of your own home. People - especially moms - are looking for ways to stay home with their kids and yet contribute to the family income. They prowl the internet at night or on their lunch breaks, looking for just the right opportunity that fits their interests and family. Let me suggest their search may be too narrow.
More often than not, they are looking at and for some variation of internet marketing. But they don’t have a clue how to market, the search engines offer literally millions of choices, and scams and rip-off artists are more common than sand fleas on the beach. There are a lot of other ways to earn an income from home. Lets explore a few, and combine them with some internet activity. The synergy just might surprise you!
The first and most obvious choice would be to open your home to day-care. After all, you are there with your own kids, so you might as well add a few, right? (Stop that laughing!) Depending on your constitution, family size and make-up, home and yard size, etc., this could be just the thing for you. To run it like a business involves a whole lot more than feeding the kids and keeping them from playing in the street, but it works for many and it may work for you. If you have older kids, involve them in the care of the younger ones as well as some of the business aspects. Think of it as on-the-job training in home and business management. It is invaluable training they cannot get elsewhere.
If you like to cook, you might look into something involving cooking or baking. There are candy-making businesses, catering businesses, cake decorating businesses, etc. Some people supply home-baked goodies to local convenience stores, truck stops, sandwich shops and places like that. Of course they have to go through the permit process, but that is normal for starting up a business. Some people create and bake treats for dogs and cats and sell them to pet stores. These are also businesses that can involve your older children. They can help with preparation and clean-up. Teenagers can also learn bookkeeping and once they get their drivers license can make deliveries if necessary.
There are countless products that can be marketed through home parties. It’s not just for Avon and Tupperware anymore. Home furnishings and decorations, candles, rubber stamps, jewelry, children’s toys and clothing, and who knows what I haven’t of are all options. This is popular with moms who are home all day with kids and feel the need to get out and have a conversation with another adult. They schedule evening parties in other people’s homes. Their husbands are home with the kids, and they are able to socialize and make money at the same time. For many moms this is just ideal.
Some people are natural-born “cleanies.” They have figured out that other people do not like to clean houses and offices and are not much good at it either. So they come to the rescue - for a price. Cleaning services do involve leaving your home, which is what some people don’t want to do, but if you have your own business, you are the boss and to some extent can set your own hours. One parent can work day hours and one parent can work night hours. If you have teenagers, again you can involve them in the business, both in labor and paperwork.
Some people are naturally organized and can sell their skill to those who are “challenged.” You would again have to leave your home, but you can set appointments for while your kids are in school and not make appointments on days when they have after-school activities that you quit work so you could attend. This too can be a great business for the right person to run from their home.
You could also turn your home into your business by converting part of it to a bed-and-breakfast. This would require permits and a check with zoning laws and all that. To succeed, you would also have to have the gift of hospitality as well as many of the skills necessary for the other businesses mentioned above. But if you like meeting new people and would enjoy opening up your home - for a price - then maybe you should look into it.
There are many, many other options including telecommuting, letter writing, teaching sign language to moms and babies, proof-reading, website and graphics design, greeting card design and verse writing, and on and on and on!
Now what about that internet part? Many businesses - even small local ones - find they do better if they have a website. Websites can be put up and hosted for surprisingly little money. Some internet companies offer products that can be sold to customers you acquired through some of the above-mentioned businesses. For instance, if you use a particular “green” cleaning product, maybe your daycare parents or the people who work in the offices you clean would be interested. Market your business on your website and market your website to your customers. Print and offer coupons. Put your website on the traffic exchanges. There are even ones where you can earn while you surf! Talk about easy money - and you are earning exposure for your site, too!