5 legitimate home based business ideas

work areaWe all know there are countless work at home scams shamelessly being pedaled online and even offline. A legitimate home based business can seem like a pipe dream to someone who has never ran one before. Often seeding these ideas require a lot of connections, capital and ground work. But I can propose some options that don’t require a big network, large amounts of money or years of ground work.

I”ll share with you three jobs I’ve tried my self. And two others I firmly stand behind. They require little to no money to start. But please take note, they do require a little bit of skills and training. So if you decide to try any of these, expect to put in at least one month of training. Also, try to have a few dollars to pay for essentials like paper, pen and a phone. And a printer won’t hurt either.

Ok, so here they are:

Debt Collection Service

The first plan on this list goes right for the cash. Debt Collections as a business is time tested and probably won’t die anytime soon. This is about soliciting payments for past due accounts. Not much cash is needed to get started. And a license from your local Department of Consumer Affairs is required for any State in the US.

Although software is normally recommended, it’s not required in the beginning. As you grow, eventually software can be acquired to help with management of the accounts.

You will be using letters and phone calls to get in touch with the person who owes. Spend a few weeks training on your phone pitch. Research collections best practices online for more training. Also, get familiar with the FDCPA and FCRA. It’s important you don’t violate other peoples right with abusive practices. You can obey the law can’t you?

When you’re ready to take on clients, first create a proposal. Just a few pages explaining how your business operates and what the client can expect is needed. Find collection agency proposals online and take notes. Use these notes to draft your own proposal.

When you have a proposal prepared, make a few copies and start prospecting local business in your area. Some examples are dentists and physical therapists. Retail stores that offer credit. Any business that has customers that owes them. You will be surprised who offers credit. If you are not sure, try them anyway. Offer to send them the proposal. Wait for the callbacks.

Later you can get a website and use Pay Per Click advertising to generate leads. This is something I tried and it worked very well.

When a new client comes on board (on contract of course), start small to prove your self. Scale up as you gain experience. This type of business should be relatively easy for most people. I started an agency several years ago and did make a few thousand dollars. Although I bought the delinquent accounts, I did do some prospecting, ran PPC and generated leads.

Web Coder

The reason I didn’t say programmer, is because I’m focusing on the less technical aspect of web development. Creating web pages using HTML and CSS is really not that difficult. It would take 1 to 3 months to learn most skills in this field for basic web page coding.

To start, visit sites like W3Schools. Their tutorials are very easy to understand. There are also tons of resources online to help you start writing HTML pages. When you are trained, it’s practically as easy as writing an essay.

Once you have attained the skills, create one or two portfolio examples to demonstrate your abilities. This is all you need to start getting work. You can setup a website to showcase these examples. They don’t have to be on their own domain. A sub folder will work fine.

To get work in this area, start with the classifieds like CraigsList.com. Place an ad detailing your expertise, or answer ads asking for someone with your abilities. Show pictures of your example sites. Link back to your website. Prospects will contact you for quotes. Listen to their needs and if it fits your skill level, take the job.

The benefit is you get to set a price, work remotely (at home) and get repeat business from clients. The more projects you do, the better your skills will become.

Sales/ Customer Service

Many business need to generate sales for products and services. Often customer service representative are needed to handle client questions and support.

This is a highly in demand skill. If you are already trained as a sales or service rep, entering into this field will be very easy. Training can be done online or with affordable classes at local colleges.

Often you will need just a computer and phone to begin work. Leads can be supplied by the client. Incoming customer calls or emails again will be forwarded by the client. They will also provide pitches and training materials. These materials will be specific to their business.

Types of business that will need this work done will vary. They include contractors, wholesalers and online companies to name a few.

To find work you can use classified ads, or websites like oDesk. The work is usually ongoing and often pay hourly or/and commissions based.

Online Marketing

This is a popular field that exploded in the past 5 years. Often blogging or writing for companies is the main work involved.

You can work for another company or run your own. To run a marketing business you will need products or services to promote. Use sites like ClickBank or Commission Junction to find great products to write about. This can all be done at home.

Your primary focus is to drive leads and sales. Here you will make a percentage of the sale. With enough sales you can make a good living.

Like almost anything, training will be needed. Learn to write great reviews that make folks interested in buying based on your recommendations is the key.

You can also write generally about a topic, product or service without directly selling. And use advertising as a means to generate income. You can get paid per click through, impressions or sales. The challenge here is to drive traffic to your website. So you need a little SEO knowledge and social marketing skills.

Forex Trading

This might not be right for many people. Forex Trading is very sophisticated and requires extensive training. As an alternative, Stock Trading may work better.

To start trading online, you will need some cash. I would recommend you have risk capital set aside for any investment. Many Forex Brokers provide up to $50000 demo accounts (not real money, just for training).

Once you get the hang of it and see an increase in gains you can scale up. But discipline is very important. Don’t take it for granted, this can be like gambling if you are emotionally involved.

You will lose money. The point is to make more winning trades than losing trades. In the end you can come out with a small percentage gain. With enough money this can make you a few hundred or thousands of dollars per month.

Take the time to research Forex Brokers. Some may be scams, but most are not. Overall the money you make is completely legitimate. This type of business probably will never go out of style.

These are just a few guaranteed ways of making money at home. Some may not be for you. And all require training. If you can master any of these fields you will probably never have to worry about working at home again.

If you have done any of these or you completely disagree with me, please tell me about it in the comments.

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