When you want to start your own home based business, it can be hard to decide what sort of business would suit you. If you have never had a business of your own before, how can you tell what you might succeed at? It can be easier if you start by considering your existing skills and interests. Could you turn your hobby into a business? Here are ten popular possibilities.
If you can reliably produce delicious cakes and pastries, you could start a baking business with very little initial outlay. You probably already own all the basic tools. If your talent runs to making jams or pickles or bottling fruit, you will find your wares very popular at farmers’ markets and fetes. If you live in the vicinity of offices or factories, a sandwich service offers a simple way to make money. The key to success with this business is being reliable; people will become regular customers if they know you will always be there to provide lunch whatever the weather.
If you are good at painting and decorating, you can earn good money with your skills. This might not be practical if you are caring for young children, but if you have a flair for home decorating, perhaps you could offer an interior design service. A variation on this idea is offering a garden design service.
If you enjoy gardening, you could raise seeds and cuttings and offer them for sale. Growing small plants does not need much space. If you have plenty of ground space, you could also grow some vegetables for sale. You could also produce seasonal gifts such as spring bulb arrangements for Mothering Sunday and Christmas table centrepieces.
If you enjoy craftwork, creating gift baskets for special occasions can be very satisfying. Gift baskets are highly popular and can be made to suit just about any occasion. Candle making is another popular source of home based income. The modern environmentally friendly soy based candles are ideal for manufacturing at home. They don’t have any smelly messy ingredients and it is easy to produce lovely scented candles that can be sold online or at craft fairs, fetes and markets.
If you are handy with needle and thread, there are all sorts of possibilities. For example, you could make wedding dresses, offer a garment alteration service, make soft furnishings to order and produce soft toys.
If you enjoy photography, your hobby can easily be turned into a lucrative home based business. Photographic equipment is no longer horribly expensive and this is a business that does not take up masses of space or create a mess in your home. Wedding photography in particular offers a very satisfying career.
Antiques and Collectibles
If you know something about antiques and collectibles or are interested and prepared to learn, the buying and selling of these items can be a great source of fun and profit. Car boot sales and antiques fairs are good places to find saleable items at reasonable prices and to sell your own finds. You can also sell things through online auctions such as eBay.
Buying and selling items on eBay auctions is very popular and people can make a lot of money with comparatively little effort. People often start by selling a few unwanted items they happened to have at home and then finding themselves hooked on the experience. It has been said that you can sell anything on eBay and I honestly think that people really will buy anything they see there if the price is right!
Surveys and Competitions
Do you ever complete surveys in return for a free pen and a place in a prize draw? Do you ever fill in a missing word and send a prize draw coupon off to a breakfast cereal company? These are a couple of examples of fun and free ways to make a profit in the form of cash or goods. You might be surprised to learn that there are people who make a full time living just from entering competitions. Taking paid online surveys is one of the easiest and most popular ways of earning money on the Internet.
Ok, I admit I fudged this one a bit: looking after children is considerably more than a hobby. The desire to keep their children out of day care is the main reason people give for wanting to work at home, so I wanted to include this option. If you are at home looking after children anyway, why not add a few more? Places in good day care facilities are always in demand and it is no more difficult to look after four children than one or two. If you cater for guests in the same age group as your own children, they will play together and entertain each other. All you need to provide is a safe environment and a few extra toys.
Don’t be put off the idea of having your own business by thinking your skills are only at amateur level. Private tuition (including online courses) is available for most subjects and many local colleges offer very cheap evening or summer courses. For a very small outlay, you can easily develop your level of expertise sufficiently to be able to offer a professional service. The important thing is to be doing something you enjoy.
Copyright 2006 Elaine Currie