As a mom who has opted to stay at home with your children, you may seek opportunities to work from home, either full-time or part-time. If so, you’re in luck. An increasing number of companies are seeing the benefits of hiring remote workers. Unfortunately, the number of scammers has also risen. So how do you protect yourself?
Diane Hamilton, Ph.D., AAA suggests checking out any potential work at home job with oversight agencies such as the Better Business Bureau, the Federal Trade Commission or Scams.com. Another way to uncover unsavory operations is by doing a Google search using the name of the company you’re considering plus the word “scam” as an online search term. What you discover may spare you from making a potentially expensive mistake.
Another consideration is whether to pursue a work-from-home job, or run your own home-based business. Although both options are feasible, it’s important to remember that running your own business carries significant management demands, although some mothers sub-contract bookkeeping or other administrative aspects of running a home-based business. If you have no idea where to begin, the following options should provide inspiration and a launching point. Ultimately, the right decision is the one that best utilizes your talents, interests and your ability to juggle!
1. Teach Others What You Know
The chances are good that you have knowledge other people would pay to learn. You can hold classes from your home or from a nearby facility. Possibilities include gardening, jewelry making, scrapbooking or exercise routines. Besides providing income, teaching classes allows you to spend time with other adults. Check out similar classes taught in your area to determine a reasonable amount to charge.
2. Rent Space in Your Home
Since August 2008, Airbnb has provided a means for people to rent out rooms in their homes for travelers. You can make money without sacrificing family time. If you have travel plans, you can rent out your entire home. Either way, all you need to get started is to set up appealing space for your guests.
3. Sell at Farmers Markets
Nearly every town has at least one farmer’s market. If you love to garden or can create appealing packaged foods, selling at farmers markets can provide a source of extra income. Keep in mind that you may need a license from your local health department before you can set up shop. You’ll also need a cash box as well as boxes or bags for your customers to take their purchases home.
4. Crafts and Art Sales
Do you have artistic talent? Are you a whiz with crafts? If so, you could make money from the fruits of your labors. you have artistic talent, this is the time to make money off your artistic creations. Such outlets as Etsy provide outlets for artists and artisans to sell their wares at good prices. Whether you create embroidered doilies or conjure up tasty edibles, odds are there’s already an online market. Just be aware that you will need to put time and effort into establishing and showcasing your online storefront.
5. Sell Your Sewing Skills
If you have a sewing machine, you have the means for a potentially lucrative home business. Seamstresses for sewing and repairing wedding attire, tote bags and even cushions are in high demand, and it’s easy to develop a sizeable following in a short period. Check local zoning regulations and establish contacts with local fabric shops before setting up shop.
6. Collect and Sell Old Books
Do you love scavenging estate sales and garage sales for rare books? If so, you can tap into an entire sector of potential buyers who scour sites like eBay, Amazon, Abe Books and Halfbooks.com for vintage volumes. You must be able to store your finds to preserve their condition, and factor in shipping costs and website fees when pricing. A good resource is Sell Your Books Online, but there are others as well.
7. Writing Skills
These days, many businesses have their own blogs — but no one to provide blog entries. In fact, writers are needed to provide online content for magazines, website copies, ebooks and even letters. You’ll need a computer and reliable high-speed Internet access, along with decent grammar skills to enter the market. Sites like Elance, oDesk and Freelancer can help you get started.
8. Call Centers Work
If you have the patience to deal with people on the phone, call center work is a potentially easy way to make money from home. Call centers supply workers with specialized software and equipment, so you won’t have to make a large investment to become a call center worker. Check out websites like workingsolutions.com, liveops.com or alpineaccess.com—that offer extensive training.
9. Virtual Assistant
Former administrative assistants are especially well suited for becoming virtual assistants. Other suitable backgrounds include bookkeeping, event planning and administrative scheduling. Virtual assistants work for placement services or directly with individuals. If you have the proper skills, check out check homewiththekids.com to find work on your own, or go to a staffing agency like Team Double-Click or VIPdesk to obtain contract jobs.
10. Data Entry Jobs
Many companies hire workers to type paper documents into computer files. If you have fast, accurate typing skills, this could be a means to make money with little upfront investment. Check out the Work at Home Jobs page at homewiththekids.com, search Craigslist and Google (type in “online data input jobs”), and cold-call companies’ human resources departments to find available work.
If you have solid experience in fields like fundraising, public relations and financial advising, you can make good money working from home as a consultant. You may need to take a course or become certified or registered to obtain the proper credentials to convince clients to hire you. Get involved in your local Chamber of Commerce and join relevant organizations to launch your consulting practice.
12. Interview Transcriber
If you have good listening skills combined with fast and accurate typing skills, journalists and nonfiction writers will gladly hire you to transcribe interviews. You’ll need a computer with a large hard drive to handle digital audio files, plus a good set of headphones. Services such as verbalink.com and scribie.com list opportunities for transcribers, or branch out on your own by contacting local newspapers, magazines and TV news stations.
13. Online Seller
Do you love making and selling things? If you answered “yes,” you can make a very good living as an online merchant. You must be product savvy to know what will sell and willing to take the time to develop a good reputation on sites like eBay. You can create your own goods, specialize in reselling old coins or collectibles, or provide a general service to help others unload unwanted stuff. Check out allyou.com/home-business for advice on how to launch your online storefront and market your services.
14. Answering Service Employee
If you have ever called a doctor’s office outside of business hours, you might have spoken to someone just like you — a mom at home in her pajamas. All you need to get started is a pleasant demeanor, a land line telephone and a computer. Look for listings on indeed.com, simplyhired.com and careerbuilder.com to get started.
15. Content Writer
With new sites springing up every day, content writers are in huge demand. Pay for content writing varies from nothing to hundreds of dollars per assignment — although the vast majority of available work is very low paid. Therefore, you must write concisely and quickly to make content writing financially worthwhile. Check out sites like Elance or Craigslist for possible listings. Be forewarned: you’ll have to wade through a fair number of scams and phony listings that prey on desperate would-be writers– but genuine opportunities do exist.
If none of these ideas resonates with you, try checking out Flexjobs.com, which is a reliable source of 25,000 companies providing real opportunities for people seeking to work at home.