The 200 Best Home Businesses

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Introduction
There has never been a more exciting timeto start your own business. New busi-nesses are springing up every day across the country, and the majority of them are 
started right at home. Whether these new ventures are inspired by stay-at-home 
moms looking to earn extra cash, young people starting their careers with their 
own businesses, previously employed middlemanagers, or just regular folks look-ing to increase their monthly income, many are fi nding themselves caught in the 
entrepreneurial spirit.
As companies are learning to be leaner and meaner, career-minded indi-viduals are learning that the only place to fi nd true job security is right in their 
own home. Th ey already know that the best way to prevent a layoffis to open up 
shop for themselves. Changes in government programs and tax benefits for these 
entrepreneurs have created a market situation for which it has never been easier 
to startand operatea new business. Its almost as if youd be foolish not to try 
your hand at running your own show. 
New technology in both the communications and computer industries has 
made home offices the norm, instead of the exception. Many entrepreneurs have 
been able to start their own home ventures while still employed, thus increasing 
their capital and minimizing their day-to-day fi nancial risk. 
This book, revised and updated with twenty-four new business opportuni-ties, emphasizes the potential for many businesses that might start out as hobbies, 
personal interests, or an expansion of a particular skill you might already have. 
Take time to read through all of the business opportunities included here. Youll 
fi nd that there is a balanced mix of part-time and full-time opportunities. Many 
jobs listed are considered white collar, but there are plenty of businesses listed that 
require a more hands-on approach and specific technical skills.
As you read each business description, youll notice some specifi c statistical 
information at the beginning of each entry. It is organized as follows:
Start-up costs:Start-up costs can include everything from outfitting your home 
offi ce with furniture, computer equipment, and business cards, to advertising cam-paigns and staffi ng. Weve calculated these costs by adding together all potential 
viii Introduction
equipment, advertising, and operating capital estimates (such as payroll, benefits, 
and utilities). We considered every possible cost, and then asked the question: 
Whats the least amount of money you would need to start this business the 
right way?
Potential earnings:For most businesses listed in this book, this range is 
calculated by multiplying typical fees by a forty-hour work week. However, the 
market for some of these jobs is such that, while they would provide great extra or 
part-time income, they are not likely to provide forty hours of pay per week, year 
round. Obviously, your potential earnings will change dramatically if you are only 
considering starting any new business part-time. Please note: Potential earnings 
do not take into consideration the costs incurred during startup. 
Typical fees:Each business idea has been thoroughly researched to fi nd out 
what people who are actually in the business are charging their clients. For many 
entries, you will see a range instead of one fl at fee, since pricing strategies often 
vary depending on geographic location.
Advertising:Here we have listed all the possible ways you could promote your 
business, from methods that cost nothing, such as networking, to developing actual 
media campaigns that might cost thousands of dollars a year. These expenses have 
been figured into initial start-up costs.
Qualifications:This category contains everything you need to know about pro-fessional certifications, licenses, and other information pertinent to what it takes 
to work at home in a particular field.
Equipment needed:The equipment purchases you are likely to make to run 
your business effi ciently.
Staffrequired:A high percentage of these businesses wont require anyone but 
yourself, but those needing additional staffare identified, often with a suggested 
number of employees.
Hidden costs:This is probably the most important element of each entry. Th e 
costs that you dont think about are often the ones that drive your business into 
the ground. Th ey include insurance coverage, workers compensation, and even 
fluctuating material costs. Many of these are expenses that you simply cant predict 
or that you might not have realized are incurred by state and federal government 
requirements. Some may be as simple as the cost of additional gasoline.
Introduction  ix
The rest of each entry provides detailed descriptions of what the job entails and 
what you would need to be effective in your new venture. With each job, youll get 
a total picture of whats involved in successfully running the kind of business that 
matches your skills and interests.
What You Do:This section supplies the details of exactly what each business 
demands of its owner, what your daily activities would be, and who your cus-tomers would be. Th is section also includes information on specifi c marketing 
opportunities.
What You Need:Here youll fi nd an in-depth breakdown of your start-up costs, 
including offi ce furniture, computer equipment,and advertising costs. You will 
also fi nd valuable information on how toarrive at specific income goals for each 
business.
Keys to Success:This section points out the positive and negative aspects of each 
business, so youll know exactly what youre in for. Remember, there are positives 
and negatives for every opportunity.		
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