Simply Sweet Home

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Starting Your Business: Just a Few Ideas, Part 1

February is Start a Business month.  This week I'm featuring a few posts to help our bloggy-friend business owners and would-be business owners out there.  Today I'm starting with an article that I wrote a few years back, detailing some business ideas for women because I think decided what kind of business you want to start is one of the most difficult things.  It's sort of a long article, so I'll just be sharing half of it today, and here in a couple of days I'll be publishing the rest of it. Enjoy!

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In today's world of online business and internet marketing there are more people working from home than ever before in recent history and still more who would like to try it, and a large percentage of people who hope to start a home business are women, namely stay at home and would-be stay at home moms. One of the hardest parts to starting a home business is actually choosing what business to go into. A lot of people think to themselves, "I would like to start a home business, but what kind of business could I possibly start?" There are actually a lot more options than many people think. All you need is an idea, (and usually a product or service), and you can start your own business. Once you have your initial idea and you begin planning and marketing it, the possibilities are virtually unlimited. Here are a few business ideas for stay at home moms who would like to be work from home moms.

1. Writing - There is a whole host of ways to make money from writing. You can produce content for sites like Helium and social networking sites that pay for content. There is also money to be made from writing for your own blog, website, or newsletter. You can use these methods to market your writing, network, sell products, and make money from affiliate marketing. You can also make money from writing articles and ebooks. Additionally there are several sites available that post freelance writing jobs on the internet. Some of these job postings are for writing a single article while others can lead to a full time job producing website or blog content or articles for offline publications. It generally takes patience, persistence, and hard work to make money from writing, but for those women who enjoy expressing themselves and being creative, there are many options and methods to make money from writing.


2. Web graphics and design - For those women who are internet savvy and skilled with html/java script and creating graphics there is a lot of money to be made in web design. People search the internet every day for graphics and banners for their site, as well as layouts/templates/skins for their webpage or blog, and they are willing to pay for original, customized designs.

3. Cleaning homes & businesses - Women can easily make money as a housekeeper. This would require you to leave the house, but it is an easy business to start, and it does not require a lot of start up money. There is also a high potential to make a lot of money working only a couple of days a week, and all you really need is a few clients to earn a decent wage. When I was young my mom did housekeeping work for a close relative. She was able to make some extra money and take care of me at the same time, which was a big plus. I also have a friend who earns $500 a week, working part time. In fact a couple of her clients are dentist and doctor's offices which are fairly easy to clean and not at all time consuming. You can take out an ad in your paper or market your services online or in the phonebook, and you can choose which households and businesses you work for and how much you will work depending on how much money you want to make. 

4. Babysitting/Daycare - Stay at home moms can make money by babysitting for other kids, and if you really like kids, you can get apply for a license to run your own home daycare. But you may want to find a partner before going into the daycare business. You also might consider sitting with an elderly or disabled person a couple of days a week. It is a fairly easy job for someone who wants to make a little bit of extra money, and the work generally involves things like cooking a meal, going the the store, some light cleaning, chatting with the person, and perhaps a little cleaning.

5. Craft and jewelry sales. You can make money by making and selling your own jewelry and crafts. You can sell items to family, friends, neighbors, and people from church. In turn these people will refer other customers to you. You can host jewelry/craft parties at your home to show off your wares and make sales. In fact, you can expand your business by getting a friend or family member to help you host a party at their home. They would invite their own friends and family members whom you may not be aquainted with, and you will have the opportunity to meet new customers. You can also make money by selling your items at a flea market or taking them to a consignment shop or boutique. The shop or boutique will get a percentage of your profits, but you will have an opportunity to reach a market that you could not reach on your own. Finally you can market your items on the internet. Make your own website or use sites like Etsy, Ebay, or Upillar.

6. Create corsages, baby wreaths, bouquets, and flower arrangements. The florist business is extremely profitable. If you've ever ordered flowers for a prom or homecoming, or if you've ever planned a wedding or purchased a wreath to go on the door when a baby is born, then you know what I mean. These items cost very little to make, and yet the cost can be outrageous. You can start this business by marketing to friends and family or coworkers of your spouse. If you do good work, then they will come and buy from you the next time they need flowers, especially if you charge a slightly cheaper rate for your items than your local leading competitors. Also, if the initial people who buy from you, like your work they will recommend your services to their friends.  This is also a great business to market on etsy.  And because you are in business for yourself, you have the opportunity to personalize the items far beyond what the local florist will do.

Come back for part 2 on Wednesday!

-Jerri

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