Choosing to start a home-based business is a big decision that will likely require you to invest some money. If you want to work at home as a career change or as a second or third household income, there are many things to consider.

Established Home Businesses

When becoming a salesperson or representative of an established company, it is important to do research. Learn about earning potential, hours of work necessary to achieve goals, rules of employment and of course, become an expert on the product. Compare the business models and methods of several reputable companies to decide which will work best.

Advertisements that promise high-paying jobs from home, should be researched carefully. Beware of scams; if it seems to good to be true, it probably is not a legitimate opportunity. While working from home or running a home-based business requires some risk and investment, be cautious of working for a company that asks you to invest money upfront.

Tips for Entrepreneurs Working From Home

  • Use skills – Work to create a business that will make the best use of established skills or talents.
  • Seek expert advice – For aspects of the business plan where there is uncertainty or a lack of skills, seek out advice from experts. In some cases, this may mean joining with another entrepreneur and working on the business as partners.
  • Create a time line – Time management skills are necessary for building a strong business.

Creative Work From Home Ideas

Here are some ideas and suggestions for applying skills to a home-based business:

  • Errands – Become a personal shoppers or driver. Provide basic pet care and services.
  • Writing/data entry jobs – Personal assistants, secretaries, editors and ghost writers are often based from a home office.
  • Teach: Consider teaching a music, swimming or art class, or provide private lessons.
  • Invitations: Use calligraphy or letterpress talents to start an invitation-making business.
  • Seasonal work: Use talents to create holiday crafts and food. Use muscle and know-how to start a yard work, gardening or snow shoveling business.

Gaining Home Business Expertise

  • Check out the competition by researching what businesses of a similar size or type do to be successful. Talk to other entrepreneurs to get advice and inspiration. Sharing ideas and asking for help will spark great business relationships and opportunities.
  • Look for workshops, night classes or online classes to help develop business skills, like time-management techniques. Also learn about practical things, like how to file taxes as an entrepreneur.
  • Begin to a establish a name for the business by advertising online or in print. Learning to promote the business efficiently and effectively will take time, but it is well worth the effort.

Small-Business Advice

Starting a business at home requires a well-organized plan, based on creative thinking, strong organization skills and commitment. With patience and perseverance a good idea will blossom into a great home-based business.