K. Hughes has written for a variety of mediums and genres from Baltimore
Magazine to the popular entertainment website, Television Without Pity. She
lives in the Mount Washington Valley with her husband and two children.
You can learn more about Joanna here.
Picture yourself relaxing in the comfort of your own home, working on an assignment while listening to your kids play a game in the room next door. Until recently, this work-from-home scenario was just a pleasant daydream for many parents.
However, home-based work options have become increasingly viable. In fact, according to a March 2013 Forbes article, home-based work is experiencing exponentially fast growth, having added a whopping 1.7 million telecommuters to the workforce over a 10-year period. If you’re ready to jump into the home-based work pool but have limited or no start-up capital, there are plenty of ways to get started.
The Write Stuff
Before you can identify sources of income, you should first consider your
unique skill set. Perhaps you have always had a way with words, a unique design flair or an aptitude with computers? Careers like freelance writing, graphic design and computer programming offer work opportunities with no up front investment. You can accept as much or little of this flexible work as you want, and can be generating income in as little time as it takes you to write your next article or design that latest website.
Virtual freelance marketplaces like Elance and oDesk, as well as content brokerages like Textbroker, are great places to find work while building your own client base.
Codes and Clicks
Affiliate marketing is another method to generate income with no out-of-pocket investment. This performance-based marketing tool rewards affiliates for generating visitors and future customers to designated sites. Just sign on with a company like Amazon and start creating links; customers can then click through to access new products and services, and you receive a percentage of the profits for your efforts. While this enterprise involves starting small, it can eventually grow to have significant earning potential.
Crafting is a major modern market, thanks to the popularity of sites like Etsy and Pinterest. Today's economy has generated a large market for practical, high-quality and original goods. Whether you are one with your knitting needles or make beaded jewelry that is the envy of your friends, you can turn any creative hobby into a career. Likely, you already have the start-up supplies on hand!
Home chefs and bakers can also get in on the buzz by making specialty breads, jams and other delectable edibles to be sold at local farmer's markets and craft fairs.
When starting a home-based business, there are ways to minimize your initial
investment. Forego setting up an entirely new office and instead try to recycle
what you already have around your house. You can also seek out used office furniture and other second-hand items.
Some expenses are unavoidable, however. For optimal home-based work results, you will need a reliable computer and high speed internet connection. If you don't yet have these critical components, they should be worked into your start-up budget.
And be wary if you are asked to pay any fees for job directories or payroll enrollment; legitimate businesses typically cover basic work expenses for home-based employees.
So What Are You Waiting For?
As more employers realize the myriad of benefits both for their financial bottom line as well as for the environment, home-based work will play an increasingly prevalent role in the modern business world. In minimal time and with little up front investment, you can leverage your strengths, talents and experience into successful at-home entrepreneurship.