An increasing number of people of all ages now want to start their own small businesses or home-based businesses. While some know exactly what business to start, others are confused as to what businesses they should embark in. With so many business ideas out there, it is hard to know what works and what doesn’t.
The decision of what business to start is a personal choice, and you need to consider your own personal circumstances, skills and talents, as well as what ventures will work out given the present economy. Whether you’re looking for new ideas or already have some idea of what you’d like to do, article series is designed to help you narrow down the many possibilities and find a business that is right for you. Our goal is to point you towards the most viable options for joining the millions of people earning their living from their homes so you can enjoy the freedom of being your own boss.
Here are some home business ideas that could potentially provide you with a high income.
The Web has become a pervasive force in our everyday lives: e-commerce sites continue to grow in number, while small businesses are also finding the Web to be an important showcase of their products and services to a bigger market. Even ordinary people are putting their own personal sites on the Web. As the popularity of the Web increases, the demand for those who create Web sites will rise. Companies need designers who can provide them with sites that are well designed, high-impact yet simple to navigate and versatile.
Website design can be a primary business, but it can also be an add-on business for a graphic design firm. Web designers need to have excellent lay-outing and design talent, plus extensive knowledge of HTML and other programming languages such as Java. Start-up costs can range from $5,000 to $20,000, depending on the quality of your equipment and software you will need. Your initial equipment may include computer, printer, HTML authoring software, graphics software, color scanners and digital camera. You will also need to pay for services that will allow you to operate your business such as software for tracking billable hours, audio or video conferencing with clients, among others. Overhead costs for this business can be low, if you do the work yourself and go higher if you subcontract some of the work.
Web designers either charge an hourly rate or a flat fee for the entire project. Hourly rates can be from a low of $25 per hour to a high of $200 an hour; while project fees can range from $5,000 to over $50,000. Site maintenance updates are charged differently. The average cost of a professionally designed Web site can range from $1,000-$2,000 for a basic website to $10,000 for a custom website using a content management system. Potential earnings for a Web site design business range from $25,000 to $100,000 and more.
For more information, read the article Starting a Web Design Business.”
Recommended Books on Starting a Web Design Business:
- Starting Your Career as a Freelance Web Designer
- How to Start a Home-Based Web Design Business, 4th (Home-Based Business Series)
- Running A Web Design Business From Home: How To Find and Keep Good Clients and Make Money with Your Home Business
- How to Open & Operate a Financially Successful Web Site Design Business: With Companion CD – ROM
In a world of rapid technological development, people are constantly falling behind and becoming technological illiterates. Technology companies are constantly struggling to find effective ways to help customers or potential customers understand the advantages or the operation of their new products. Hence, demand for technical communications has increased substantially. It has proven to be a good field with a lot of growth and income potential.
Technical writing is the delivery of technical information to readers (or listeners or viewers) in a manner that is adapted to their needs, the level of understanding, and background. The job of a technical writer is to write about highly technical subjects but in a way that a beginner or a non-specialist could understand. This ability to “translate” technical information to non-specialists is a key skill to any technical communicator.
The technical writer can work on different projects, mostly in the field of science, technology, and business. Some of the writing projects include user and product manuals, software and hardware documentation and instruction booklets; technical books; marketing materials such as brochures and flyers for technical products; business correspondences; organizational policy and procedure manuals; even business plans.
According to the Society for Technical Communications in its Technical Communicator Salary Survey, technical writers can earn anywhere from $48,000 to as high as $115,000, depending on the length of experience, age, and educational level. This translates to about $25 to $80 per hour for freelance technical writers. However, a cursory check of online job sites shows a much wider annual salary range for technical writers – from $75,000 to as much as $285,000. Start-up costs for this business range from $2,000 to $10,000 depending on the quality of equipment and size of a marketing budget.
Recommended Books on Starting a Technical Writing Business
- Technical Writing for Success (Applied English)
- Technical Writing 101: A Real-World Guide to Planning and Writing Technical Content
- Technical Writing For Dummies
- How to Get Started as a Technical Writer
- The Insider’s Guide to Technical Writing
A computer consultant’s job is help companies and organizations realize the profit potential in computers, by helping solve information-management problems. Computer consulting usually serves two functions: to select the appropriate computer system, including which peripherals, systems, networks, servers and software to buy (normally a one-time project); or to integrate the computer into day-to-day management (could be a recurring assignment). Some of the key types of work a consultant does are as follows: business requirement analysis, preliminary system design, hardware acquisition and installation, documentation, system maintenance, periodic evaluation, and audits, among others.
Start-up costs for this business may range from $1,500 (consulting for existing clients) to a high of $10,000 (includes an office and advertising). While this is a competitive market, earning potential of this business can be substantial. Computer consulting rates range from $50 to $150 per hour, with $75 as the most typical hourly rate. Annual revenues for this business may be between $50,000 to $250,000 per year, depending on your specialization (industries you serve; hardware and software you specialize), client size, the length of a project, among others. Your income will also be affected if you use a broker.
Recommended Books on Starting a Computer Consulting Business:
- Getting Started in Computer Consulting
- Managed Services in a Month – Build a Successful It Service Business in 30 Days – 2nd Ed.
- Start & Run a Rural Computer Consulting Business (Start and Run A)
- Security Consulting, Fourth Edition
- Building the IT Consulting Practice
Executive search consulting firms specialize in the recruitment and placement of middle to senior-level executives, within various industries, for domestic and international corporations. The goal is to provide top-notch personnel for management, professional and technical positions for the client’s consideration in an efficient and timely manner.
Also called headhunting, an executive search business is basically a matchmaking service. This service has grown tremendously in the last few years. Few senior positions today are filled without consulting headhunters. The overwhelming majority of senior positions advertised in the classified ads section ask for applications to be made through a search consultant.
The growth of electronic commerce has contributed to a scramble for skilled senior staff, which seems to be in short supply. Studies show that searches for e-business and Internet managers grew 739 percent. Searches in the advertising and public relations industry climbed 45 per cent. Demand for executives earning $1m or more a year grew by 40 per cent. The reason the headhunters are so busy is that capable senior managers are in short supply.
The executive search business differs with employment agencies in several ways. Employers pay the executive recruiters; whereas employment agencies collect their fees from the people they place. State laws also heavily regulate employment agencies, while recruiters are free of licensing requirements.
Headhunting services are not cheap. The fee for executive search services range from 25 to 33-1/3 percent of the position’s total annualized first year’s compensation, including bonuses. The norm for the industry appears to be 30 percent, although home-based establishments normally charge 25 percent to be more competitive relative to office-based competitors.
Normally, the client pays 1/3 of the anticipated total fee at the commencement of each search assignment. The rest of the fee is paid when the candidate begins his or her employment. Some recruiters work on a retainer basis. Other firms are now also demanding companies pay them a third of any signing-on fee the executive receives and some are even insisting on share options equivalent to a proportion of the executive’s first-year entitlement.
Executive searchers can earn as much as $232,000 a year, according to a survey of 2,545 consultants conducted by Fordyce Letter. Start-ups costs can be minimal, ranging from $2,000 to $10,000 depending on the equipment bought and size of the initial marketing budget. Miscellaneous expenses that are related to the search process, such as telephone charges, photocopying, postage, messenger, secretarial services and consultant time are normally invoiced monthly to the client at the flat rate.
Additional expenses incurred associated with bringing in candidates to interview, travel that the client requests, taxi expense and meals associated with the interviewing of candidates are invoiced, at actual cost on the month in which they are incurred.
For more information on this business, read the article How to Start an Executive Search Business.
Recommended Books on How to Start an Executive Search Business:
- Start Your Own Executive Recruiting Service: Your Step-By-Step Guide to Success (StartUp Series)
- The Executive Job Search: A Comprehensive Handbook for Seasoned Professionals
- Executive Job Search for $100,000 to $1 Million+ Jobs: Resumes, Career Portfolios, Leadership Profiles, Executive Branding Statements and More