Top 5 stay-at-home businesses

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STARTING AN AT HOME BUSINESS
More and more people are starting home-based businesses. The internet has made it easier for stay-at-home parents to start making extra money with very little risk. All of these businesses are remote. No travel. No face-to-face meetings. Everything can be done online or by phone. That means they are flexible and that parents don't have to worry about juggling childcare. They are easy to start. Very little financial investment and most of them don't require any special training.

The following are a few things to take into consideration:

  • Online research: See how other people are doing it. Flesh out your idea. Sparkplugging.com is focused entirely on home-based businesses and also on some of the challenges of juggling family and business.

  • Make a list of what you will need to get started. Estimate the cost.

  • Set some goals. How much do you want to work? How much do you want to charge? If you don't set these parameters up front, it's easy to get sucked in. When you work at home, you need to set clear boundaries.

  • Just start. Find a way to test it out. Talk to friends, family. Offer it for free or low-cost just to get the experience and to learn. The important thing is not to wait until it's perfect.

    FIVE HOT BUSINESSES TO START AT HOME

    1. Jewelry and Fashion: The craft industry is HOT right now - it generates almost $10 billion in annual sales. If you are creative and are already making things for friends and family, why not start making some money? Women want unique, one-of-a-kind design that isn't massed produced. The products can be sold in boutiques, fairs, or if someone wants to keep it remote, everything can be sold online. And I want to mention a fun sub-set of the fashion industry - pet fashion. For empty nesters and urban dwellers with no kids, their pets are their children and they continue to spend money on pet supplies, including fashion. Some of the big box stores like Target and WalMart are expanding their pet sections.

    2. Coaching: Coaching has been hot for a while now, but it shows absolutely no sign of slowing down. Remember when everyone had or wanted a personal fitness trainer? Now it is just as common to hear people talk about their coach. Coaches help people achieve their goals in either their personal or their professional lives. There are all different types of coaches and how someone focuses can depend on their background and experiences. There are life coaches who focus more on personal goals. Business coaches help entrepreneurs or executives. Couples or family coaches may help with family dynamics.
      >> About 90% of coaching occurs on the telephone, so again, this is a business that you can do from home.
      >> If you're the type of person who is a great listener, who asks insightful questions and who people are drawn to when they need help, coaching might just be the right business for you.

    3. Virtual Assistant: Are you uber organized? If you are the kind of person who loves juggling a bunch of things at once and enjoy checking tasks off your list, you might want to think about looking into becoming a virtual assistant. One of the hottest trends in today's economy is self-employment. More and more people are looking to do something on their own. This is a growing segment of the population and any services that support them will be in demand. Many small businesses operate out of their home office, so hiring traditional administrative support may not be an option for them. This is where virtual assistants come in - they handle many of the administrative tasks that an administrative assistant does in the office. The main thing that sets them apart is that most of the office duties are done virtually with their own computers.

    4. Website Design: We just talked about the trend in self-employment. When you think about small businesses starting up, what is the must-have for every entrepreneur? A web presence. Most of them want something clean, simple and affordable. That's good news because it means that they are not looking for anything too complex like flash.
      >> To get started, someone just needs to learn a basic web design program, create their own website.
      >> Bonus: This is especially great for moms who want to work from home and want flexibility around when they work. The design process can be done anytime during the day or night.

    5. Writing/Copy Editing: Writing is one of those skills that everyone needs, no one wants to do and people are willing to pay for. Website owners often look to writers to help write their articles for them so they can keep their web content fresh for the search engines. If they don't have the time or the talent to write, they will look to someone who does. In a similar vein, many small businesses want to keep a blog, but don't have the time to spend on it. Two other directions you can go - marketing copy or grant writing for nonprofits.
    ABOUT STARLA SIRENO
    Starla's 12-year career in financial services taught her one very important lesson and that is that the only definition of success that matters is the one that has meaning for you. Trading billions of dollars, meeting with the movers and shakers of Wall Street, and living large at beautiful restaurants, box seats, private art showings, and front row tickets. For many, it sounded like a perfect career, but for her, it was stifling. After trying different companies and different roles constantly searching for the magic combination of elements that would lead to fulfillment, Starla realized that she wanted to create a business that centered around people more than numbers. She archived her resume, left a community, gave up financial security and future potential income. She cut the ties that kept her from being herself. Freeing? Yes. Terrifying? Absolutely. Starla founded Fearlessness, Inc. to help others leverage their unique strengths whether they work for a company or for themselves. Fearlessness, Inc. is a training company dedicated to helping teams communicate better. From management training to business etiquette, we can help your people make a greater impact.
    Learn more at http://www.FearlessnessInc.com
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