Do you feel like you’re spending too much time in the office? Are you looking to become more financially independent? A home business may be just what you need to achieve both of these goals. As an independent worker, you can set your own hours and make your own schedule so that it works with your other commitments, like your family or personal time. This guide lists the benefits of working from home, the types of businesses you can start working from home, and some important tips for home-based business success.
9 Home Business Ideas for Women
If you have ever considered working at home, you’re not alone. Many women have chosen to work at home on either a part-time or full-time basis. A conducted by FlexJobs found that there are more than 30 million people in America who work from home and it’s expected that as many as 63 million workers will be doing so by 2015. How to make money with your body as a woman.
One of your options is starting a home business. For women, in particular, several good options provide flexibility, independence, and freedom. Below is a list of 9 ideas for successful home businesses.i
Decide what your end game is
There are a lot of different home business ideas for women, and sometimes it can be hard to choose. Is your goal total financial freedom? Are you hoping that your home business will be able to support you financially, but not necessarily provide you with enough income so that you don’t have to work an outside job? Do you want a side gig as an extra way to bring in money while still being able to focus on other areas of your life? Maybe something else entirely? Whatever it is, it’s important that home business ideas can align with both your lifestyle goals and long-term financial plans. After all, if there’s no point in starting up a home business, then why bother at all?
Decide on your niche
Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, a telecommute, or someone looking for a new income stream, there are tons of home business ideas out there. The first step is figuring out what niche you’re best suited for—and which one you’d enjoy most. For example, if you like working with others and being able to move around as needed, then starting your own childcare service might be just right.
If organizing things brings you joy and helps make your home run smoothly, then starting an organizing business could work well. Picking a niche can seem daunting but it’s all about finding something that excites you and makes sense in your life.
Determine how much time you can spare
If you’re not looking to quit your job immediately, remember that it takes time to create a successful business. A home-based business can take anywhere from a few hours a week (for those who want extra income) up to full-time hours (if you want to make it your main gig).
Determine how much time you have available before starting out and schedule some time every week or so into your calendar. Research shows that regular, consistent work is more productive than sporadic and haphazard activity. Once you have a clearer picture of how much free time you have at your disposal, put together an ideal schedule of how long each task will take.
Learn a few basic skills
With more and more women opting out of full-time employment, more and more women are looking into starting a home business. And there’s never been a better time—the digital age means you can easily create an online shop or launch an Etsy store without having to invest in much (if any) capital.
But before you open up a shop on Etsy, you must learn a few basic skills; after all, working at home doesn’t mean you have to take any shortcuts. To help make sure you start off on the right foot, here are some tips on how to start a successful home business
Start small with your list
Starting a home business is like setting up shop, except you’re not renting a space. You have no overhead, so you can start small with your list of clients. Some women may be apprehensive about selling products that don’t serve a practical purpose—products like cosmetics or diet supplements. But selling whatever type of product or service you want doesn’t mean you have to talk people into something they wouldn’t otherwise buy. If there are real health benefits to using your skincare line, let people know why it could make them feel good in addition to looking good.
Use social media wisely
With hundreds of millions of users, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are great ways to grow your home business. But that doesn’t mean you should just post links on these sites and call it a day. Make sure you’re sharing relevant information with friends (and potential customers) by adding value wherever possible.
If you’re posting frequently, start conversations with people who respond positively to your posts. The more connections you make—and get involved in—the better chance you have at increasing your home business success.
Listen to podcasts while you work section: Take advantage of free tools
If you haven’t already, start listing to podcasts during your workday. Try How I Built This, NPR’s interview series with founders and CEOs that explores their personal stories as well as lessons learned. They talk about what worked and what didn’t so you can draw parallels back to your own projects.
If a podcast isn’t something you would normally listen to, just set it on repeat while working through a task or project. Even if you aren’t listening, having it on in the background is better than silence or music that doesn’t inspire creativity.
Consider outsourcing some tasks
When you’re starting a home business, the learning curve can be steep. But if you embrace it and look at failure as an opportunity for growth rather than something that hinders success, your chances of success increase exponentially. Don’t be afraid to try new ideas or strategies; if they don’t work out, learn from them and try something else. Having an entrepreneurial mindset that embraces creativity and thinking outside of traditional constraints will help you build a successful home business faster than your peers who aren’t open to taking risks.
Finally, consider outsourcing some tasks. Outsourcing may not seem like working from home but it does give you more time to focus on higher-level tasks like making sales calls and establishing long-term relationships with clients. For example, while working full-time I often outsource basic accounting tasks like bookkeeping to freelancers in developing countries. This allows me to spend my time doing what I do best—managing client relationships—while keeping costs low enough that I can still take advantage of tax benefits like a home office deduction.
Embrace failure It’s a learning opportunity
Many women want to avoid failure at all costs, but embracing your failures can actually be a learning opportunity. For example, if you try a new marketing technique and it fails miserably, you’ll learn that method won’t work. And then you can go back to your business plan and find something else that will achieve your goals. As long as you continue growing and trying new things in an organized way, experimenting with failure is totally worth it in the end. You’ll never succeed if you don’t get out there and fail once in a while!
Home business ideas can offer you financial freedom and an alternative to your 9-to-5 job. Many women find they are more comfortable working from home, especially if they have children or a spouse who also works outside of their home.
The best way to decide what type of home business opportunity you want is by asking yourself two questions: What am I good at? And, how do I enjoy spending my time? If you aren’t sure how many hours you should work each week, pick a number that fits into your family’s schedule and consult with your partner first before making any decisions. Also, keep in mind that it may take some time—about six months on average—before you start seeing results.