By Rhonda Campbell
Advancing technology has made it easier for you to start a profitable home business. In fact, and depending on your business acumen and drive, you might be able to start more than one home based business that generates income for your family. However, as with any successful enterprise, it will take some effort. To succeed while working a home business, it’s important to be focused, committed, flexible and open to change as technology, markets and industries are in a state of constant flux.
Succeeding at a Home Based Business
A home based business is a good way to test the waters of business ownership. Unlike starting a brick and mortar company, you won’t have to incur overhead expenses like office space rent, utilities bills that are separate from your home utilities or the cost of a separate telephone line. Expenses you may incur after you start your business include the cost of a new computer, monthly Internet bill, cost of a copier and printer and a slight increase in your home utility bills.
To succeed at home business, you’re also going to need strong time and project management skills. You’re going to have to set boundaries, communicating to people like your family and friends what your work hours are and sticking to those working hours. You’ll also benefit from having the discipline to avoid doing things like watching television, running errands and taking loads of breaks during your work day as these interruptions can chew into your time until you find yourself struggling to get home business projects finished.
Home Business Opportunities
Following are several online home business jobs you can start earning a profit with almost immediately:
- Freelance Writing – Set reasonable hourly and/or project rates and start creating content for a variety of clients. If you start writing content for clients whose businesses operate in industries you have previous working experience in, you can increase your chances of landing jobs you can work from home. Generally, all you need is a reliable computer, telephone and Internet access to start freelance writing. You can do copywriting, grant writing, search engine optimization writing, business writing, etc. as a freelancer. According to the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) writers and editors earned a median annual income of $53,070 as of May 2008. As a tip, as with other freelance jobs, the volume of work for freelance writers can fluctuate, so you may want to consider saving your money when you generate a surplus of income.
- Medical Transcriptionist – Get certified as a medical transcriptionist and you can start an online home based business transcribing medical reports, letters and other administrative documents for physicians. In addition to a computer and Internet access, you may need digital analog equipment to start this type of business. Organizations that certify medical transcriptionists include the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) and the American Health Information Management Association. The BLS reports that medical transcriptionists earned a median hourly wage of $15.41 as of May 2008.
- Hair Dresser – If you get business insurance, you can open a hair salon at your home. You’ll have to get licensed to work as a barber, hairdresser or cosmetologists before you open your home based business. As with other home businesses, you can set your own hours. Median hourly wages earned by hairdressers as of May 2008 were $11.13 according to the BLS.
- Virtual Administrative Assistant – Strong oral and written communication skills are generally required to succeed as a virtual administrative assistant. Previous secretarial and/or project management experience can also help you to excel as a virtual administrative assistant operating her own online home based business. Get certifications and you may be able to land more high paying clients as a virtual administrative assistant operating a home business. Median annual salaries earned by executive administrative assistants as of May 2008 were $40,030.
Home Based Business Tips
Fortunately, you can start a business from home while you work for another employer. This way you can build capital for your online home business and start building cash reserves should you decide to leave your other job and pay your expenses solely using money generated by your online home based business. Another good thing about keeping your current job while you launch a home business is that you can find out firsthand whether or not managing cash flows, dealing with customers, filing and paying business taxes, etc. suits your personality. You can also start to get a feel for the demands that business ownership bring.
Profitable online home based businesses allow you to create multiple streams of income, especially if you create more than one home business. Additionally, you can start earning passive income if you start home based businesses that allow you to generate sales while you’re away from work. Some of these jobs involve selling products like e-books, fashion wear and natural beauty products over the Internet. If you have a strong business acumen, appreciate the art of negotiation, love marketing and advertising, you may find that operating a home business suits you well, allowing you to generate significant profits and cash flows.
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