Starting a home business is a dream for many people. Whether it’s putting an existing skill to work or building a business from scratch, a home business can provide an additional source of income as well as an outlet for creativity perhaps not found in the founder’s day job. Whatever your creative skill, you can turn it into a side business. The Nigerians call it a ‘five-to-nine’ business and consider that any entrepreneurial streak is good.
There are as many ideas for home businesses as there are people to found them, but they basically fall into the following five categories.
Online content production
Writers can produce articles, reviews, blog posts, product descriptions or whatever else takes their fancy. There are many sites available to help put authors and clients in touch and the gig economy is flourishing at sites such as Fiverr, Constant Content, Odesk and Alakazam. Writers with a specialty may be able to produce ebooks using their knowledge, while creative writers can write novels, poetry, plays and short story anthologies to their heart’s content.
Creative and artistic pursuits
It makes sense for those with a creative skill to turn it into a home business. There is always a market for unique and handmade items of jewelry, bespoke cards, personalised clothes and artwork. Baking is popular; for birthdays, anniversaries and just because days feel better with a cake to accompany them.
For those entrepreneurs with a burning wish to head up their own company, the list of ideas is endless. Harnessing the power of online sales and advertising has led to a boom in demand for website design and management services, content curation and social media experts. But just because the business is advertised online doesn’t mean it has to be an online business. Cambridge Satchels was set up from the founder’s kitchen table in order to provide some extra income to pay school fees for the founder’s children. Choosing a line of work with guaranteed business is always a good idea. There will always be new mothers needing nappy cakes containing essential supplies; there will always be people with new websites, blogs or social media accounts to manage.
Selling or reselling
For those people who hate giving anything away to charity, there are several sites where just about anything can be sold to a new buyer. Second-hand clothes, furniture, electronics and cables, unwanted utensils, old jewelry and more can all be advertised on the likes of eBay, depop, shpock, gumtree and Facebook. Clothes hoarders can thin out their wardrobe, while the more business minded types can buy wholesale job lots ex-stock and sell them on. Pile ’em high, sell ’em cheap indeed.
Many people’s first encounter with the home business model is through independent distributorships. Often for companies such as Avon or health and wellness firms, these models rely on either finding a steady stream of new or repeat customers, or recruiting others to the team and benefiting from a cut of their sales value. This kind of home business is not for everyone but can provide a reasonable level of income for someone looking to augment a regular job’s salary.
Running a home business can be fun. It may well be hard work too, but the business skills learned are invaluable. For many home business owners, this route offers a sense of freedom, of control over their own destiny and an outlet for a creative or physical activity they already enjoy.