Have you ever wanted to retire, but just needed a little extra income for day-to-day expenses? Perhaps you have children, and your dream is to be a stay at home mom. If you have a hobby or love doing crafts, you can make money doing what you love working from home. Even if you have very little experience in the business world, you can start your own home-based business with just a little money and your time.
Make Money Working from Home: Decide What You Want to Sell
This is the easy part. Do you sew or knit? Have you been scrapbooking for years and spend all of your time choosing the perfect embellishments? Whether you make jewelry, take photographs, sew cloth diapers, or make scrapbook pages, decide what you do well and what you want to sell. Do some research online to see what is popular, and develop a niche for yourself. Consider what you do that makes your items unique, and think about how to capture that special something in a product that people will buy.
Make Money Working from Home: Research the Legal Requirements for Selling
The next step is a little more difficult. If you lack business experience, consider contacting a local attorney and investing some money in getting sound advice regarding the legal requirements for selling your product and setting up your business. Determine what license(s) your state or locality may require for selling products out of your home, and obtain the appropriate licenses. In addition, find out what your tax liability will be and obtain the necessary forms before you start selling.
Further, decide what type of business entity is best for your home business. Again, this is where the advice of an attorney and a tax preparer will come in handy. Find out whether a limited liability company, an S corporation, or a sole proprietorship will meet the needs you have as a small business owner and entrepreneur. Choose a catchy name that people will remember, and be sure to do a thorough search to make sure that it is unique. Fill out the necessary paperwork, pay the fees, and register your business with your state’s business office.
Finally, if you have a particularly unique product or idea you will be selling, consider contacting a patent attorney and patenting the idea or product. Even home-based sellers should consider protecting their ideas, especially if the idea is one that will really take off and spur copycats.
Make Money Working from Home: Decide Where to Sell Your Product
There are numerous options for setting up shop on the Internet, and this article links to a view examples of simple stores. While you can sell your wares on Ebay, the fees can be prohibitive.
Artfire markets itself as a global marketplace for buying and selling handmade goods. If you have very little start up capital, Artfire is a great place to start because it charges no fees for listing or selling your products using a basic account if you list up to 12 active items. If you want to list more items, you will need to pay $12 per month for a full featured verified account.
Another place to sell handmade items is Etsy. Etsy allows sellers to list handmade goods, vintage items, or supplies. Signing up is free, but you will pay 20 cents for each item you list plus a 3.5% transaction fee for every item you sell. Nevertheless, getting started on Etsy is easy and relatively inexpensive.
Finally, if you are selling earth-, child-, or family-friendly items, you may want to sell on Hyena Cart. Hyena Cart charges a $10 set up fee, plus a $5 fee for each month you choose to list items. You may stop paying the fee at any time, but if you stop paying the monthly fee you will no longer be able to stock your cart. Simply paying the $5 fee will unlock the stocking page, and no past-due fees will be charged.
Make Money Working from Home: Have Clear Policies and Great Customer Service
Before you list any product, decide what your store policies will be. One of the most important policies for a seller is a return policy. If a buyer is unhappy with your product, will you issue a full refund? Think about the type of product you are selling and whether accepting returns is possible for you. For instance, if you sell cloth diapers, you may not wish to accept a return of a used item. Establishing reasonable store policies that are clearly written will give your buyers confidence.
Make Money Working from Home: Take Photos and List Your Items
When it comes time to list your product, be sure to take good pictures. If possible, use natural light. Get shots of your product using interesting angles and backgrounds to add visual appeal. Remember that your customers will not be touching and feeling the product, so a great picture can really help you sell.
Next, prepare clear, interesting item descriptions. Note the number of items the seller will receive in the listing, the cost of the product, and the shipping amount. Again, it is essential to do your research in these areas. Look at lots of other listings, especially the listings of successful sellers, to determine how they describe the items they sell. Also, research the price carefully and decide how much you will have to charge for your products to make a profit after fees, costs, and your time.
Make Money Working from Home: Market Your Product
Once all of your products are prepared and listed, you still have work to do. Now it is time to market your product. Use established forums to promote yourself and your product. Make friends online, and use your relationships to draw potential buyers to your store. If you have the money, buy advertising on the websites where you are selling your product. Every page view you get may be a potential sale, so marketing is essential to a successful business.
You can make money doing what you love and working for home. While it takes work, your hobby can become your own home-based business.