6 Genuine Work at Home Business Models you need to know about
Did you know that (according to this article) 11.3 million businesses in the US are owned by women. And what is even more amazing is that there are 1,072 women-owned businesses starting up every day!
Did you ever imagine running your own Business from home? (I'm guessing you have since you're reading this post!) Working from home doing something you love, freedom to make your own schedule, fit work around your kids, no more commute. All sounds pretty cool doesn't it?!
But how do you make money working from home? (That doesn't involve spending hours doing surveys for next to nothing or spamming your friends with ads for ‘magic wraps’)
In this post I've shared 6 of my favourite business models for creative entrepreneurs.
None of these are get rich quick schemes and you're likely not about to make 5-figure months in less than a year (though some have managed multiple 4-figure months within a year, so who knows…..) but you have every chance to create a long term, sustainable, profitable business with any of these 6 home business models.
What is blogging?
Blogging is sharing your experience and knowledge, normally on a specific subject in regular blog post articles.
Blogging has grown hugely in popularity in the last few years, I think due to very little start up costs, no qualifications required and the rising spread of successful bloggers sharing their income reports and openly talking about exactly how much they earn from their blogs (some people that have been working at blogging for several years make 5-figures a month!!)
How to make money blogging
The possibilities for making money blogging are pretty endless, especially with the rise of bloggers selling e-books, courses and other digital products relating to their blog subject.
However it is possible to make money with your blog without selling anything. The most popular ways are:
Sponsored posts - you get paid, or compensated with something free (ranging from small products right up to holidays!) in return for writing about a brand’s products and sharing them on your social media channels.
Ads - pay per click ads generate a very small commission every time someone clicks on an ad you display on your blog. Or you could ‘rent out space’ on your blog for brands to advertise to your readers.
Affiliate income - I use affiliate marketing on this blog as an extra income stream. Affiliate marketing works when you share a product on your blog with a special link that generate a commission for you when one of your readers clicks through and buys something.
Most forms of blogging income work better after you've built up a good sized audience but you can make money with a smaller blog by focusing on a specific niche, making it easier to choose affiliate and sponsored post partners that will speak to your audience.
What should you blog about?
Basically, you can write about anything that you know a lot about that other people are interested in finding out about! Popular niches include:
- Saving money & frugal living
- Making money & home business
- Health & wellness
- Food & healthy eating
- DIY & interiors
- Crafts and hobbies
Digital Product Sales
What are Digital Products?
Digital products work alongside most online businesses and many online entrepreneurs create & sell digital products as their primary business. One of my income streams is Printable Planners for Bloggers and Business owners.
Digital products are anything that can be purchased and delivered entirely online. Benefits to selling Digital Products include:
- A scaleable business model. You can sell hundreds (or thousands) digital products with the same amount of effort it takes to sell one.
- They are suited to pretty much any business niche you can think of
- Instant gratification for your customers
How to sell Digital Products
To sell your products you will need to upload your product to a site like Etsy, use a service such as Easy Digital Downloads or a plugin like Woocommerce if you use WordPress.
Purchases, payments and customer downloads are all handled automatically by the e-commerce platform or plugin you choose. All you need to do is create your products and work hard at your online merchandising and marketing.
Digital Product Ideas
Not sure what I mean by digital products? Need a bit of inspiration for relating the concept to your business? Here's a few ideas...
- Online workshops
- Virtual Summit
- Printables (eg; Planner inserts, patterns, invitations, art, cards, stickers, scrapbook papers etc...)
- Templates (eg; Blog themes, resumes, logos, paper crafts, paper cutting, social media, stationery etc...)
- Stock Photography
- Mock ups
- Fonts and design elements
Physical Product Sales
How to make Physical products Profitable
Use your skills and enthusiasm for creating and turn it into a business
Selling physical products can quickly become a time consuming, unprofitable nightmare when you factor in making and postage and packaging time alongside all the marketing and business admin you need to find time for too.
To make physical product sales profitable and sustainable, design and create products with an end goal of outsourcing the manufacturing process (or the admin and marketing if you want to do the actual making.)
How to start an online shop
Create an online shop by taking advantage of an existing marketplace like Etsy or Amazon Handmade, build your own shop on a platform like Shopify or Squarespace, or DIY it entirely with WordPress.
Your e-commerce platform handles the order and payment process and will notify you when you get an order. You are then responsible for getting your orders made and shipped on time.
Successful products are individual and a little bit different from mass produced items you'll find in high street stores. You won't be able to compete on price with high street shops so you need to appeal to your customers' desire for uniqueness, quality, ethical products and personal connection with makers.
Here's a few product ideas you could make your own...
- Organic beauty products
- OOAK baby clothing
- Unique design stationery and gifts (eg; notepads, mugs, art prints...)
- Handmade accessories
- Hand designed home decor
- Nursery decor
Find our more about your options for creating an online store here
What does a Coach do?
As a Coach you work with clients to help them 'sort out their lives' (or specific parts of it). Your job as a Coach is not to tell your clients what to do, but to ask the right questions and help them make their own choices about what their goals really are and how they should go about achieving them.
How to provide a Coaching Service
Coaching can be done one-one-one or in a group environment, in person or online using a service like Skype or Zoom, email, or even a private Facebook Group.
Most coaches market their services from their own websites, blogs, email lists and social media. Many offer a free discovery call so you can get to know potential clients (and them know you) before committing to work together.
What should you coach people in?
You can coach people in pretty much anything. You don't need any qualifications to be a Coach, just a strong desire to help people succeed, great communication skills and experience in the area you're coaching people in.
Here's some ideas of Coaching niches to get you inspired....
- Personal development
- Baby sleep
- Health and wellness
Find out more about starting a Coaching business from my favourite infopreneur, Regina
Providing a Service
As an online Entrepreneur you're always learning new skills; writing, editing, WordPress, time management, financial management, marketing..... we have to learn to do all of it!
Remember those 1,000+ women starting new businesses every day I mentioned at the start of this post? The more people that start new businesses, the more your business skills will be in demand. There is something that you enjoy doing, and are good at, that someone out there is willing to pay you to do for them.
And, one of the huge benefits of being an active part of the female entrepreneur community is you are right there where the potential clients are.
How to get started selling Services
As a beginner service provider, you don't even have to have your own website; you can start on sites like Upwork and Fiverr. Hanging out and offering help in Facebook groups will put you in front of people that need your services and give you ideas about what your potential clients are struggling with (helping you market your services more effectively)
When you are ready to start offering services from your own site, blogging is a great way to show your expertise in your niche.
Make your business more client friendly, efficient and easy to manage with a process for easy client on boarding, a contract, a way of effectively managing client communication and invoicing and payment software!
Which services should you provide?
You don't have to provide lots of different services, people look for expertise and are willing to pay someone to do just one job if it's done really well.
Consider creating a few different packages to cater for all budgets and remember you are not just selling a service, you're selling a solution to your clients' problems.
Here are some ideas of in demand services
- Web design
- Web development
- Social Media management
- Content marketing management
- Legal advice
- Business strategy
What is a Virtual Assistant?
A Virtual Assistant (or VA) works for, normally, online entrepreneurs, helping them with the day-to-day tasks of running a business. If you are self motivated, organized, efficient and have a good general knowledge of online business and blogging, then VA might be the job for you!
As a VA you are, of course, selling a service, so what I just said about marketing your service business applies to you as a budding VA too.
I tend to think of the difference between a VA and a service provider is a VA is more like a Secretary or PA and a service provider is more of a consultant with a specific speciality.
As a new Virtual Assistant you will probably start with more general admin type tasks and as your experience grows you might want to specialise in a particular are (and charge more!)
What service do Virtual Assistants provide?
Virtual assistants do any tasks you can possibly think of that can be handled virtually! Here's just some of the popular services you could provide....
- Blog post writing
- Social media scheduling
- Social media image creation
- Email writing and scheduling
- Pinterest account maintenance
- Website updates
- Inbox management
- Blog post formatting
- Online shop updates and maintenance
Find out about the essential qualities of a VA from Executive Virtual Assistant, Sharon and how Zita started her VA business working from home.
I hope you enjoyed that crash course into the world of running your own business from home.
If you are even a tiny bit interested in starting your own business, you need to stick around during June, because I've set myself the rather bonkers challenge of blogging 5 days a week.
So I will be covering loads of good stuff! Including....
- How to decide on your own perfect, profitable business
- How to write a business plan
- What it's really like being a work at home Mom (from someone who's been living it for nearly 4 years)