We are at a unique place in business history. The recent recession forced many people to get creative about how they make money, and technology has provided the means for many entrepreneurs to start businesses from home. The good news is that today’s online economy is providing plenty of opportunities for almost anyone to work from home — starting businesses in their homes without worry about a dress code. I know this first hand; my first couple of hours of work take place in my pajamas. The only reason I get dressed as early as I do is because I need to leave the house to take my son to school.
If you are interested in starting a business out of your home, here are a few things you can try, no matter how you dress:
This is everyone’s favorite home business. While I am a freelance writer, this isn’t the only type of freelance career available. Graphic designers, web developers, software programmers, translators and editors can all start home businesses. Freelancers are attractive to many companies because it means that they can outsource some of their needs. Companies don’t have to pay me benefits, and they don’t have to worry about the overhead associated with providing me a workspace and equipment. Figure out what you want to charge for your freelancing services, set up a web site, and get started.
You can make money off a web site with the help of affiliate marketing. There are a number of affiliate programs that will pay you based on the number of purchases made as visitors to your web site click through to the company. Of course, you have to spend the time to build traffic to your web site, and that requires work. However, if you provide interesting and worthwhile content (perhaps with the help of a blog), you can build web site traffic, and direct visitors to other companies. You get a kick-back, without actually having to deal with order fulfillment.
Sell Your Stuff
This is another popular business idea that can be accomplished from the comfort of your home. You can sell items you bought in the past, or you can make items. My sister in law creates crochet patterns and sells them (along with some of her handiwork). A good digital camera is a good idea when you plan to make a business out of selling things, and you should have an account at Etsy, eBay or Craigslist, or some other marketplace-type web site. You can also hit yard sales looking for cheap items to re-sell for more. (Of course, the part that involves visiting yard sales and junk shops requires clothes.)
The career “virtual assistant” is becoming more widespread. There are some people who are busy enough that they could use some help, but not so busy that they need a dedicated personal assistant. You can act as a virtual assistant, providing support from the comfort of your home. You might have to make phone calls, contact people via email and perform some other tasks, but you can usually do all this from the comfort of your home — in whatever clothes you decide to wear.
A related online career is social media consultant. You can provide support services for company social media profiles, and help them keep up with the latest trends in online marketing.