Home Businesses That Rock

home business

Are you looking for a business you can start but don’t want to leave your home? The internet has made it possible to operate more businesses from home than ever. Most will require no special equipment and cost littleâ”if anything at allâ”to start.

Freelance writer

If you have a talent for writing, the internet has opened up tremendous opportunity for you. There are tens of thousands of websites and weblogs on the internet and they all need content. Much of it is now supplied by freelance writers operating from home.

There are many ways you can take advantage of this trend. One is to become a staff writer for weblogs, which is basically providing regular content to a site. You can write for as many blogs as you have time to accommodate, and this can be a way of earning a steady income.

Another is technical writing. Many sites deal with topics of a highly technical nature, and if you have expertise in a particular specialization you can provide content on either a regular or occasional basis. This can take the form of research, product comparison reports, identification of new trends or even ad copy.

Some other areas available to freelance writers include writing e-booksâ”many people have good topic ideas but no time to write themâ”as well as proofreading, copyediting and writing video scripts.

Virtual Assistant

You may have heard of this concept, or even used it yourself at one time or another. The work is most closely associated with low cost foreign providers, but this doesn’t have to be an obstacle. While foreign entities can provide various services at costs that couldn’t be duplicated here, there are small to medium sized businesses that need local providers to handle certain functions that only a native can provide.

Some of the services you can provide as a virtual assistant include:

  • Live answeringâ”yes, there’s voicemail, but a live voice is better for business
  • Customer serviceâ”this is a job no one in a business ever wants to do
  • Researchâ”every business needs someone to handle special projects
  • Billingâ”this is a back office function that’s increasingly being farmed out
  • Data entryâ”this has multiple applications, but if you can type you can manage it
  • Bookkeepingâ”master QuickBooks and you could be in business pretty quickly
  • Social media point personâ”a a relatively new function, but any business with a website needs to market their site on the social mediaâ”Facebook, Twitter, and a host of media many have never heard of.

Dog Walker and Pet Sitter

OK, you’ll need to leave your home to do this job, but you’ll be home-based and working in neighborhoods that are extremely local (like your own subdivision!) so I think it qualifies.  There are enough businesses doing this that you know there’s a market for it immediately. In many homes, pets are part of the family and owners want them cared for with a personal touch. Once you establish a client base in a neighborhood, you can work on referrals to find more in other neighborhoods.

You’ll need to have a love of animals, a gentle nature, a pooper-scooper and an open schedule to accommodate your client’s needs. Much of the job is walking dogs and this will provide a steady cash flow and some light exercise to boot.  Pet sitting can be more demanding as it will typically require several visits per day, including walks, watering and feeding, but you can also charge more. If you really want to take it to the level of a full time business, you can consider adding pet grooming to list of services. This is more involved however, and will require special equipment, a small inventory (of shampoo), and some training, which you can probably get through a part time job with a local pet groomer.

Web entrepreneur

Many people are making money from websites and weblogs without ever leaving their homes and you can too. The idea with a website is to make it interesting so that people will want to visit it. The idea is to create trafficâ”like an online mallâ”then monetize that traffic.  There are different ways to monetize a website, but three of the more typical ways are:

1. Advertising. Google Adsense is a completely passive way to generate ad revenues since it automatically matches ads with your contentâ”on every page! But you can also generate income from direct ads placed by other advertisers; they’ll start coming around as your web traffic increases.
2. Selling your own products. A website is an excellent way to sell a product or service since nearly everyone is buying online these days. Specialized products and services work especially well when sold through websites.
3. Affiliate sales. If you don’t have a product or service of your own to sell, you can always sell someone else’s, also known as affiliate marketing. You sell the product on your site and get paid a percentage of each sale, much like a commission.


It’s getting more difficult for businesses to get noticed todayâ”let alone to sell their productsâ”because competition is heavy in nearly every niche. If you’ve ever been successful selling anything you can probably sell just about anything else you can think of, especially if you also bring internet and database marketing skills to the table. The combination of technology and personality is a winning one.

And you can do it entirely from home! Many sales transactions today are being done with no face-to-face contact. In fact, there’s almost no function that can be done in person that can’t be done through phone, fax and email. You can sell for a single company, or in a fashion similar to manufacturer’s representatives, you can sell for several at once. Decide what it is you want to sellâ”what it is you believe inâ”and apply your talents. The sky will be the limit!

One of the best features of virtually all of the work from home businesses listed above is that any of them can be started in your spare time. With the job market becoming increasingly uncertain, a work at home business may be just what you need to add some certaintyâ”and a brighter futureâ”to your career.

(Kevin Mercadante is professional personal finance blogger, and the owner of his own personal finance blog, OutOfYourRut.com. He has backgrounds in both accounting and the mortgage industry. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and two teenage kids.)

photo by nikcname