For a variety of reasons, many Americans have turned to home businesses. Starting a home business is a practical solution for stay-at-home moms, retirees seeking supplemental income, or anyone looking to abandon the rat race. There are a variety of business opportunities, some requiring only minimal capital for startup.
Here are a few of the most popular:
Catering / Baking
If you have a well-stocked kitchen and the know-how, a catering or baking business may work for you. Caterers work with their clients to develop a menu for their event, then prepare and serve the food. If you are successful at catering, you may wish to invest in table linens, serve-ware, dishes and the like. However, all these items can be rented, so the start-up cost is minimal. A baking business can also be a lucrative venture, especially if you are skilled at cake baking and decorating. Most decorative wedding cakes are sold by the slice, typically starting at $ 3.50 and up.
Consulting works best if you have technical knowledge and work experience in a specialized field. Most successful consultants have already built a solid reputation in their field and have an extensive network of colleagues who are willing to refer them to other individuals or businesses in need of their expertise. What you earn as a consultant will depend upon your skill level and industry demand.
Starting a home daycare is an excellent option for the stay-at-home parent. This business essentially allows you to earn a paycheck for staying home with your child. Home daycare centers are becoming more popular with parents seeking childcare. As an added bonus, your child gets plenty of socialization and playtime with other children. Daycare costs vary by area, so check out local daycare facilities to get an idea of what you might charge for your services.
All you need to start your home-based fitness business is a decent-sized empty room to hold classes in. With this type of business, you can offer classes from your home or travel to your client's location. In certain areas, you may need a certification to run this type of business, so check with your local licensing board. An hour-long group yoga class typically averages $ 10- $ 20 per person.
Yard Care / Landscaping
You can start a home yard care business with just a lawnmower or string trimmer, though you will need reliable transportation to get your equipment to each job. What you make will depend upon the area you serve and what additional services, such as leaf blowing, are included. If you decide to branch out into landscaping, you will need additional tools. A working knowledge of regional gardening is also helpful.
Secretarial / Bookkeeping / Resume Writing
This home business requires very little capital for start-up. At the least, you will need a computer with word processing and email capability, a printer, and basic office supplies. Maintenance costs for this type of business are also low, though you may find yourself working on projects with tight deadlines. Canvass your area to see what others are charging and price your services accordingly.
Before you start a home business, check local zoning laws and your home owners' association regulations to see if they allow home-based businesses. Thoroughly researching your chosen business prior to starting will help you make your home business successful. Also, remember to speak with a tax professional; There are many tax advantages to owing your own business, especially if you run it from your home. You may be able to write off a certain percentage of your mortgage or rental cost based on the square footage of your home that is dedicated to your business. Be sure and ask about properly writing off the cost of materials and supplies, too. Above all, make sure that the capital you invest in your home business is within your financial means. With that in mind, you are well on your way to starting your own home business.