Everything You Need to Know to Start Your Own Work at Home Business

Santo Ae

Everyone knows that there are many online and work at home jobs are for technical services but there are jobs out there for the non-techies too!!

SALES:

Are you hoping to start selling from home? What if you do not have handmade, used or value-added products of your own? If this is the case then there are many other options available to you. You may want to consider investing in a kit business or a franchise . Either option allows you to start selling from home and yet still receive the support of a pre-existing business with well established systems. These options also help to give your business credibility as the products are better known.

Kit Business

These businesses are ideal for people who do not have the time (stay-at-home parents) or comfort to leap into self-employment without a well established business concept and support system. These kits provide everything from products to sell – to marketing material – to business forms – to advice. HOWEVER you need to be comfortable selling and hitting up your friends and family and complete strangers to buy items directly from you. You also need to stage a lot of “home parties” in order to make any money with the low margins a lot of these companies provide. People who are successful with these businesses earn their money by recruiting a lot of other people into their “sales teams”. If you are comfortable with this then these businesses can be great. Also, most kit-based, direct reselling businesses require the salesperson to travel and put on/host product parties. It is important that people realize this before spending the money to buy their start-up kit (typically between $0 to $500).

HINT: Start-up kits are periodically changed to include new or different product samples. Many companies also put their kits on sale once or twice a year. If you are not in a rush to get started then check back with the companies website often for these changes.

Franchises

A franchise is a business where the “franchisor” authorizes the proven methods and trademarks of his business to the “franchisee” for a fee and a percentage of gross monthly sales. Various tangibles and intangibles such as national or international advertising, training, and other support services are commonly made available by the franchisor. Agreements typically last five to twenty years, with premature cancellations or terminations of most contracts bearing serious consequences for franchisees.
With the advances in the internet and the introduction of drop ship manufacturing – it is easy for many people to design and sell their own products with little effort or capital investment. The best part of this new era is that most of the websites listed below offer full services from marketing to payment collection to drop shipping – making it easy to quickly start selling from home!!!

1. eBay or Kijiji – online marketplaces to sell all goods

eBay is the premier online marketplace for selling from home – locally, nationally and globally. I have used eBay to buy things many times and have sold with it a few times. Kijiji is eBay’s free alternative to online auctions – it is an electronic classifieds board. There are a few different forms of eBay businesses:

A. Selling your own used items.

B. Selling other people’s used items on commission or consignment.

C. Resell consumer products at a mark-up. Many people will buy low costs items and re-sell them for more. There are many reasons why this works.

– some items are not available around the world;

– some items are not available in particular lots sizes (ie. you could buy items only available in bulk and then sell them individually);

– items can be modified slightly (ie. painted, wrapped, sorted, etc…) and sold for more money; and

– items can be purchased separately then sold in kits, gift baskets, or complimentary packages.

D. Sell your own goods.

2. Etsy – online marketplace to sell homemade goods

Etsy is an online marketplace for buying & selling homemade or vintage items. Like eBay this service takes care of the listing, marketing, ordering and money transfer for you. You simply need to make the item and then ship it to the purchaser. They have a great help section that not only teaches you how to use their site they also cover: setting you prices, marketing, how-to craft guides and many, many other items.

3. Cafepress – online marketplace that allows users to apply their designs to customizable merchandise.

CafePress.com is an online marketplace with millions of members who have created over 150 million unique products on customizable merchandise ranging from apparel, home and office accessories to music and data CDs and books to prints, posters and cards. With this service you are able to upload graphic designs, logos, sayings, pictures, texts, music and more. Your creative designs are then paired with CafePress.com’s customizable merchandise. These custom items (logo’d T-shirts, your pictures on postcards, etc…) are then marketed on CafePress.com. The site takes care of marketing, ordering, money transfer, manufacturing and drop shipping your items – to allow you to seamlessly sell products from home.

4. Lulu – online, on demanding sale of your books, videos, CDs, DVDs, calendars, reports and more.

In it’s own words “Lulu is not a publisher. It’s a digital marketplace”. Lulu provides tools to format your digital content, market it, print or burn it and distribute it. I have not used this service and do not know anyone who has – however it has won awards and the buzz about it is great. Whether you want to use lulu for vanity publishing or small publishing you can take advantage of their print and ship on demand platform. This allows you to start selling from home without maintaining an inventory and prepaying for volume book publications.
SERVICES:

Service businesses generally fall into one of the following categories:

Small business consulting: Providing expert advice to customers on your area of expertise (in person or online).

Telecommuting: Working for clients exclusively from home.

Infopreneur: Providing free information on a website. Money is earned through advertising, affiliate links and attracting customers to your other business ventures. Check out one of the most successful infopreneur platforms in the world SBI or read about my experience using SBI here.

Lead generation: Generating sales leads, contacts and customer lists for companies.

Other services: Providing other services for clients.
There are many services out there to help people who want to create home based businesses providing services. Some examples of such services are:

A. oDesk.com

oDesk is a lot like eBay for computer services – it allows buyers of services to post technological jobs online. Service providers are able to bid on the jobs. After the buyer has selected the service provider and the work has been completed both buyers and service providers are given the opportunity to provide feedback for each other – again similar to eBay. oDesk also facilitates the exchange of money for the services performed.

B. Elance.com

Elance provides an opportunity for everyone to find work and do what they love. Individuals and firms join Elance and create their online profile in order to be immediately connected to businesses looking for their expertise. The Elance platform is an end-to-end solution for working on demand. Elance lists jobs in the following fields: web & programming; design & multimedia; writing & translation; administrative support; sales & marketing; finance & management; legal and engineering & manufacturing.

C. Guru.com

Guru.com is the world’s largest online marketplace for freelance talent. Through their free service, employers find top freelance and contract talent locally, nationally, or globally. Created in August of 2000, Guru.com’s web-based marketplace directly connects businesses with more than 100,000 active freelance profiles specializing in over 160 professional categories including: website design, programming, graphic design, business consulting, and administrative support. Employers seeking professional expertise post their projects or contract work on Guru.com for free. Professionals seeking work either register as a free (Basic) member or a subscribing (Guru) member. In addition, employers and professionals can take advantage of Guru.com’s SafePay Escrow and Dispute Resolution services which greatly reduce transaction risks.

D. DoMyStuff.com

DoMyStuff.com allows you to post a chore that needs doing (ANYTHING like – picking up dry-cleaning, mowing your lawn, cooking your dinner, installing software, walking the dog) and then individuals or businesses in your area will bid on your proposal.

E. Mechanical Turk

Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) is a crowdsourcing marketplace (breaks up jobs into tiny pieces so that work can be shared by many people) that enables computer programs to co-ordinate the use of human intelligence in providing services which computers are unable to do. Job posters, post tasks such as choosing the best among several photographs of a storefront, writing product descriptions, or identifying performers on music CDs. Workers can then browse among existing tasks and complete them for a monetary payment.
Whatever you decide to try out – it is essential to look into it. Talk to people who have undertaken similar ventures, if possible try to shadow this person for a day and see what it is like to work in this area. This will allow you to have a clearer picture as to what you are getting into while allowing you to network with other business people and get familiar with how a successful person runs this business.
GOOD LUCK!!

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