The following is a post to from Patrick Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post , Patrick speaks about starting a business even in recession. Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.
Any business will have some start up costs, however, a home based business focused on providing service through the Internet can be a flexible, inexpensive answer.
Traditionally, home based businesses appeal to people who want to have the freedom to run a company independently. Working hours can often be spread throughout the day, which can coordinate with schedules of stay at home moms and dads or employees seeking a second income.
The Internet provides a low-cost way to find customers as well as produce and market goods and services.
With a computer, Internet connection and some planning and motivation, you can use skills to launch a successful home business. Here are four opportunities that have growth potential, flexibility and can be implemented quickly.
Virtual Assistant. Are you organized? Enjoy working with people? Use these skills to become a virtual assistant. With clients anywhere in the world, a virtual assistant can provide administrative skills and more. Virtual assistants serve as a right hand assistant, and can do everything from secretarial skills to event planning to web site development.
Entrepreneur.com names this field as one of the fastest growing, and it’s easy to see why. As more companies downsize, executives still have work that needs to get done. Outsourcing that work to a virtual assistant saves expenses. For a Virtual Assistant (VA), much of the work can be done at home via the Internet. With a fax, phone, reliable computer and good quality printer, the tools are in place. The International Virtual Assistants Association (www.ivaa.org) educates and develops VAs and promotes the career to businesses.
Online Retail. While consumer spending has decreased, the search for bargains has increased. Marketingcharts.com describes a recent survey that shows that one in three adults will look for bargains such as coupons and discount codes when money is tight. Enter ebay.com and craigslist.com. Each of these online businesses offers consumers a chance to shop for bargains, and allows the business owner to start up with minimal inventory and expense. For those business people who make their products (a craft or food item) an online business is a way to market directly to the consumers’ homes, while saving money by only making the product once it is ordered.
Online Writer. As web grows and becomes more interactive, the need for web content increases as well. Businesses are expected to have websites with well-written landing pages, product descriptions and about us pages. Companies market through newsletters and blogs. Writers craft the message that the businesses want to send out. Copywriting and blogging are popular ways for entrepreneurs to make money while writing on the web. Resume writers can also grow a business as unemployment rates increase.
Infopreneur. Sometimes it’s not who you know, it’s what you know. An infopreneur is an entrepreneur who can share needed experience. This can be via a webinar, teleconferences, phone or e-mail consultations. It can branch into digital media such as e-books, podcast or other material. By honing in on a specialty, you can develop a niche and basically sell your knowledge in various forms.
Once you have determined your business, use the Internet to help the business grow through online marketing and networking.
By using your skills to create an Internet based home business, you can develop a thriving career, even when times are tough.