“As a programmer, I need large chunks of time to really make progress on a project,” states Ann Gaffigan, CTO of Land Pros Systems, Inc., “In an office, there are so many potential distractions, with people knocking on the door or customers stopping in. This way I can control when I answer calls and emails and when I 'go silent' to get some work done.”

Robert Nava is the owner of National Parks Depot and an ex-con who never thought he’d end up a highly successful ecommerce storeowner. Today, National Parks Depot pulls in $80,000 a month selling all kinds of outdoor gear and wear for camping, fishing, hiking, hunting, cycling, rafting and scuba activities. Robert says building his ecommerce store through Shopify was one of the easiest things he’s ever done.


TeleReach offers telephone marketing services. This company hires home-based positions in appointment setting, lead generation, information gathering, seminar reservations, website marketing, product introductions, trade show follow-up, direct mail follow-up, prospect education, script development, list development, list updating, database sourcing, list merging, prospect, identification, tracking reports, prospect feedback and program evaluation.
Even the portrait and general-interest options, though, aren’t really for beginners. Photography businesses can be complex operations, with lots of equipment required and years of portfolio and relationship building necessary to really get steady income flowing. Still, if you’re a hobbyist already, starting a photography business as a side operation is a great way to make some extra money and possibly begin a career change.

The home office deduction may become even easier to use in the near future. Colleen DeBaise wrote, in an early 2006 article entitled "Locking In The Home-Office Deduction," about efforts being made to simplify this tax deduction. She wrote, "The National Association for the Self-Employed, a small-business group in Washington, D.C., supports a simplified, standard deduction to ease the burden on home-based businesses. And perhaps someday, sweet relief will be granted: Two bills introduced in 2005 contain language for a standard home-office deduction, although neither has passed. One of the bills, the Small Employer Tax Relief Act of 2005, specifically calls for a standard home-office deduction of $2,500'¦. In the meantime, small-business owners have little choice other than to muddle through the form—or hire a tax adviser for help."

Similar to selling on Amazon, eBay is a place to make money selling just about anything you can think of as a side business idea, with the added excitement of using the auction selling model to sometimes get way more than you expected for that antique baseball card you picked up at a local street fair. To turn your eBay selling into a legitimate business idea, look for opportunities where you can buy in-demand products at a discount—and later sell them for a profit. Eventually, you can even take the lessons learned from your eBay store and build a full on blog or eCommerce business like what the team over at Gear Hungry has done.

What It Is: Many companies pay online testers to make sure websites are intuitive and easy to navigate. "You basically follow the instructions you're given to check out the website," says Anna Thurman, founder of RealWaysToEarnMoneyOnline.com, a site that has reviewed more than 500 online work opportunities. "It usually only takes about 15 minutes per test." Thurman recommends registering with 10 to 12 different companies since the opportunities to test these sites are doled out first come, first served. "There are people who make $100 to $200 a month by staying on top of those tests," Thurman says.

But even if you don’t burrow down into copywriting, freelance writing is definitely worth another look. If you’re able to type fast, you should be able put together a decent blog post in about an hour (once you get the hang of it, which typically doesn’t take very long). If you charge a client $50 for that blog post (which is a pretty typical beginner/advanced beginner rate), you’ve just made $50 for an hour’s worth of work. And the best part is, many businesses will want to hire a writer for recurring work, so it’s not like you have to find a new client every time you want an assignment.
Do you play a musical instrument well enough to teach it to others? How about taking your skills at producing music or sound design and teaching others as a service-based business idea based on your experience? Private music instructors in all disciplines charge upwards of $20-100/hr (or more depending upon skill and experience), and you don’t necessarily have to do them in person, either. This makes for a great side business idea that can channel your passion for music into profits.
Working Solutions hires independent contractor home-agents to provide sales, technical support and customer service. Home agents can put their experience to work and enjoy the freedom of working when they want, where they want. They select highly educated, experienced professionals with product knowledge, certifications and industry experience to match our clients’ business needs. They never charge any fees. Home-agents earn anywhere from $8.00 -$20.00 per hour, depending on the program.

To be successful, home-based business owners need to be aware that time-stealing temptations exist and take steps to counteract digressions before they turn into habits. If distractions seem overwhelming, the first step is to analyze the situation. If the problem lies with household chores, eating, or the television, the solution may be to get the distractions out of sight. If the problem involves family members or friends and neighbors, it may be necessary to have a frank discussion or family meeting concerning work time and free time. Options for resolving people conflicts include moving the office to another part of the house, hiring a baby-sitter or arranging for day care, or not taking personal calls during business hours. Ideally, an entrepreneur should set up a daily work schedule, try to work diligently for several hours at a time, and then take a break as a reward.
Like birthdays, marriages happen all the time. Which means you can treat weddings as a recurring fountain of business opportunities: wedding dresses and coats, jewelers, food caterers, venue providers, photographers and videographers, performers, flower shops, travel agencies, souvenir crafts, and a host of other ventures. Now imagine if you can form a network of these service providers so you can offer engaged couples a range of hassle-free wedding packages as a turnkey business idea. The process is certainly fun (and time-consuming), but as a side business idea, the pay can be pretty great.

Welocalize works with global companies in a variety of specialized industries such as technology, consumer satisfaction, manufacturing, learning and education, legal, travel and hospitality, finance, oil and gas, and life sciences to translate their website and content into local languages. Hourly contractors earn between $23-$43 hourly, depending on their area of specialty, language, and availability.


(Note: We are hiring from the entire state, not just one city or region.)Your future is calling….Answer Now.We’re Convergys, a leader in customer management.  We make our clients’ (Fortune 500 companies) interactions with their customers smarter, more effective, and more profitable.  We’d like to have the exact same effect on your career.Exactly what do we do?  We provide excellent customer service on behalf of our clients.  Instead of working in a traditional call center environment, our Convergys Anywhere program hires sales & service agents who work from home.  For example, when you call the customer service department for your cell phone or cable provider, you just might be talking to a Convergys home based customer service & sales agent – answering that call on behalf of one of our clients.  These calls might involve billing questions, changes or cancellation of services, inquiries on the status of an order, troubleshooting services etc.  Why Convergys Anywhere?We offer paid training and employee benefits too!  You can save a lot of money and time, and often times have less stress, when you work from home.  There is no gas to purchase, windshields to scrape in the winter and bad weather to drive through, clothes to purchase or dry clean, and no lunches, coffee or snacks to purchase daily.Where Are We Hiring? We are currently hiring in 35 states (see full list of locations on our website).This particular job requisition is only for (Montana) residents.  If you are not physically residing in Montana, please do not apply to this requisition.  Please visit our website and apply to the appropriate state requisition. We have three types of work at home positions that we hire for regularly:  Sales & Service, Customer service and Technical Support Representatives.  Every position we have is centered around providing excellent Customer Service and some positions are more sales or technically focused.  Your answers to the questions during the application process, your qualifications and your experience will all be reviewed as part of the evaluation process to determine which one is the best fit for you.Minimum Requirements/Additional Info:High School Diploma or GED and at least one year of customer service experience (One year of sales experience required if you want to be considered for a Sales position). We need you to have your own PC (less than six years old) and high speed Internet service, both of which will be tested as part of the application process.  You can work from a laptop, but will need to be hard-wired while working. Your monitor will need to be 17” – minimum (capable of 1024 x 768).  A flat panel display is highly recommended, televisions cannot be used as monitors. (External monitors are permitted for laptops with less than 17” screen) A quiet, distraction-free, location in your home to work. A telephone (landline or cell) is required for part of your training and team calls.  This phone is not used receive your incoming work calls; your Internet connection is used for that. An approved headset and flash drive will be required before you start working with us.  They are not required as part of the application process, so please do not purchase them before we extend a job offer to you. A strong candidate will be computer/Internet savvy, comfortable operating in several applications simultaneously. We need you to be a “people person” who enjoys talking and assisting others.  Think about how much you enjoy receiving excellent customer service yourself?  Well, we need you to take pride in providing that same great service to others.We require 7 days/week availability, as customer service is something that is provided by most companies every day of the week. Schedules vary and will be discussed during the interview. Great benefit options include: medical, dental & vision benefits, and 401K.  We also offer attendance based wage increases, performance bonuses, and some programs include sales incentives.     Career Framework Role  Has program required basic skill set to perform routine tasks within simple processes but lacking program/product specific knowledge.  Works with close supervision and clearly defined procedures.  Starting to demonstrate familiarity with client terminology, operating standards and procedures.  Starter without sustained metric performance levels.        Disclaimer   The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this job. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of personnel working within this job title. Convergys is an EEO/AA/M/F/Vet/Disability Employer.
I find that a lot of people want a turn-key business – one that doesn’t require a lot of capital to start and maintain. Unfortunately, the majority of the businesses listed here either require significant start-up costs because in a lot of them you need liability insurance, licenses, money to buy the inventory to start the business, and or a physical location in order to operate.
I like these ideas! Besides being good ideas in themselves, they stimulate MORE ideas! Some of them reminded me of something I was reading about called Craigslist arbitrage – buying low and selling high on craigslist, kind of like the first part of the old Oregon Trail game, but with washers and dryers and bicycles instead of cases of crackers and horses. Sounds like fun!  Anyway, that one about the pooper-scooper business, that works, I know because I was quite successful in the pooper-scooper service I started back in 1988! I’ve been in the industry for 25 years now, though I don’t go out and scoop any more.
Another idea someone could do from home is to start a service or write a software program that scours local ad listings (like craigslist) for a particular used item a person wants to buy. They have services like this for new items, but not used. I know others like me who are keeping their eye out for something used (like a canopy king bed!) but don’t have the time or inclination to search for it every day.

What’s more, it’s time to get those list-making muscles in working order. Without face-to-face communication, it’s easy to let things slip through the cracks, so you’ll need to find ways to be as organized as possible. You might find that you like to write things down in a notebook, or perhaps you prefer calendar notifications. Find what works best for you to keep you organized and on task.
I kind of “fell into” my at home business. I was a customer of their website division a few years ago. When my husband got downsized – I closed my business and started working with my current company. It’s been such a blessing to be able to stay at home (2 girls in elementary school) and help contribute to our family. When our company started another division helping non-profits with alternative funding – it was something I was passionate about. I feel very blessed to have found the real deal with my at home businesses and in the two years I’ve been with them – it all keeps getting better.
A friend in Boston made a living doing this. He had lived in the Netherlands and was fluent in Dutch. He contacted companies who sent people to the Netherlands to work and live, and offered to provide not just his language expertise but important information on Dutch culture and living in the country. It worked. If you’re from or have lived in another country, consider channeling not just your language but your cultural expertise into a new career.
If you own a car but barely use it, you can make some easy cash as an effortless side business idea by renting it out on Turo. Before you freak out, know that there’s a $1 Million insurance policy on all cars, plus drivers are prescreened, so you can have peace of mind. Closely related to renting out your car is another new service I recently came across (available only in the UK at the moment) called YourParkingSpace where you can sign up to list your available parking space through the app, and earn when people decide to use your spot.
Have you ever been turned off by a business’s generic-looking website layout or logo? If you have a good eye for design, you can launch a service to create attractive, easy-to-use websites for small businesses. You can put your skills to good use for business owners who want to take their online presence to the next level. Build up a portfolio of work with smaller freelance jobs, then create your own website to show it off and bring in a steady stream of clients. [10 Things Every Freelancer Should Know]

Employment Options offers work-at-home jobs for citizens receiving SSDI and/or SSI disability benefits in 47 states. Their services are free as part of a national return to work program. The jobs they have with leading national employers are for various skill levels and are Customer Service or Tech Support based with opportunities to specialize in Billing & Coding, Information Technology, Nursing, Case Management, Concierge, Sales, Reservations, Travel and more. They also offer onsite community positions as well. Simply apply on their website to get started and their staff will follow-up within two business days.

It’s true what they say, “it isn’t until you’ve lost everything that you’re free to do anything”, and I was faced with the daunting task of finding my way into another career when most companies were laying off people in droves. “Hire you now?“, they’d say, “We just let 20 go!”  After looking down the barrel of my dwindling savings and unemployment, I realized it was time to take control of my future and fail or succeed on my own merits.


How to Get It: Customer service is the biggest work-at-home field, with companies including Spiegel, Hilton, Best Western, HSN, 1-800-FLOWERS and many others using at-home reps. Fill out an application with staffing companies such as Arise, Alpine Access, VIPdesk, LiveOps, and Convergys, all of which vet the companies who are hiring through them. If you need benefits, search through a staffing company that will hire you as an employee (Alpine Access, VIPdesk and Convergys do this) rather than an independent contractor. If you're a contractor, you may be asked to pay a small fee (between $15 and $35) for a background check. While a fee can be a sign of a scam, independent contractors are responsible for their own expenses.
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