Best rated home based businesses
Once you've started to think about home based businesses, you need to start researching the different kinds of businesses that you could undertake. There are several things to think about before you can decide on an area, particularly if you have a wide range of skills.
So your first step is to list your skills and qualities, just as if you were applying for a job outside the home. Then begin to read about the kinds of careers that you can do at home - the Internet makes this extremely easy now. Also think about the facilities you have at home and what equipment you might need to buy.
Below we have listed the businesses / services that we feel are the best rated home based businesses. If you have specialist skills, narrowing down your choices will obviously be easier.
This career may be suitable if you enjoy meeting to and talking to people. There are different ways of selling - direct to individual customers, via sales "parties" in people's own homes, and via networks. You need to be good at demonstrating the products, as well as undertaking some PR and administration. Your appearance needs to be good and an extrovert character is essential.
Direct Sales and Mail Order Sales
Digital communications and IT make this a strong growth area, which is why this area is in our list of the best rated home based businesses. If you are able to purchase a product at a wholesale price, you can sell via the Internet or mail order directly to customers, avoiding the need for a shop. Be sure to research products carefully, seeing what's out there already and how much is being charged for it. You need to have very strong marketing skills to make this work, as well as a solid promotional budget.
You can provide secretarial services from home for small businesses, other home workers, professionals, or proprietors. Services can include any offered by administrative assistants or secretaries.
Many small business owners are minimising their staffing costs by outsourcing their telephone answering. This is an easy service to perform from your home office, providing you are available enough. So think about whether you could do this part-time, full-time, during office hours, over 24 hours per day, weekdays or weekends, etc.
Home Accounting Career
Many freelance accountants work from home, servicing small and medium-sized businesses. Training and certification is needed, although uncertified book keepers can provide a regular service for small businesses. Skills include payroll, tax submissions and returns, tax advice, and annual accounting. A home accounting career can provide an excellent source of income.
Although not the most exciting of jobs, data entry is an extremely steady source of income if you have other commitments, such as children. You can pick the work up and put it down as you please, usually getting paid for the number of entries made, rather than by the hour. This makes it one of the best rated home based businesses.
This service can be offered alongside others, such as Virtual Administration and Resume/CV Writing. Small businesses or independent professionals can provide information to be word processed and correctly presented and formatted. You need the right equipment, and should have good communication skills for dealing with clients.
Resume / CV Writing
If you are skilled at CV writing / resume writing, you can become one of a growing band of professional CV writers providing this service from your own home. The Internet is an excellent source of business, providing you are able to market yourself well online. There is also much local business to be exploited, if you advertise.
If you are fluent or are a native speaker in a foreign language, you can set up your own translation service. This does not have to be a high level affair, as there is often a local need for lower cost services, providing the quality is reliable.
One of the new openings provided by the Internet is that of e-books. If you can write high quality, informative material, people will pay for it. They're easy to distribute via downloads, meaning that overheads are low. You need to see what's out there already before starting a new project, so be sure to research thoroughly. This is easily one of the best rated home based businesses because of the minimal costs involved.
Graphic Design is very well suited to working from home for a distant employer ("telecommuting"). It can be developed into a freelance business run from home very easily. There is a continuing need for design and it's possible to specialise in one of many areas. You can also combine it with website design.
This is a competitive field, as so many people can learn the programs that facilitate site design. However, if you have a good sense of design, some graphic training, awareness of current design trends, and the ability to market yourself and your work, it can be a lucrative area to work in from home.
This is a highly specialised skill, so you need training. It involves transcribing dictation given by medical professionals, so a training in medical language is necessary. The transcriber takes the dictation via tape or a digital voice processing system and word processes the results. Pay is good but training is expensive. It is also hard work.
People who make costumes usually do so for dancers or for parades. It can be time consuming and it's important to know how long it takes to produce a particular style. You also need to know the local rates for skilled labour. Ideally, costumes can be made on a "production line" basis. You need to sew well, quickly, and have a strong imagination.
You can run an interior design business from your home, but you will spend a lot of time visiting clients' premises. Training is usually required and marketing is a major part of the work. Competition for the work can be intense.
If you love children and would like to combine this with your work, you could train for and receive certification as a child care provider. There is a large market for such professionals who provide childcare in their homes in the local community. If you are a parent, this arrangement also means you can look after your own child at the same time, which makes this another best rated home based businesses.
If you enjoy making crafts, then you can always make to sell to local people and/or via your website. Be aware that this is a competitive field and that you'll need to be good at marketing your crafts. Profit levels can be low, for if you overprice, handmade work will not sell. Be sure to research what is already available and the range of prices that are offered. Ebay is another outlet, although again the sale prices are not high.
Alterations and Sewing
If you are good at sewing, there is regular work to be had in altering shop-bought clothes and making new garments to order. Once known locally, word of mouth should bring in new customers. Be sure to find out the going rates for work, as getting the price right is a fine balance.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of home-based work areas. Some others include Internet research, Meetings planning, proposal writing, and marketing and PR. Conduct an Internet search and you will find many others, with scores of websites dedicated to the subject.
Please also take a look at our guide to how to set up the latest home based business ideas.
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