QUESTION ON Home-based Business Ideas for Homemakers with No Degree
I am a full-time wife and mother, and I am looking to start a business from home. Can you suggest some home-based business ideas for homemakers like me with no degree?
Without a degree, there are some businesses that you may not be able to do, such as run an economic consulting business as customers expect that you’ve completed at least an M.A. if not a PhD.
The good news, though, is that there are a lot of businesses that you can start even without a degree. Having a college degree is not a prerequisite to success. In fact, there are a lot of entrepreneurs who have succeeded even without a college (read my article “How Important is College Education to Entrepreneurial Success“.)
The key is to focus on the question: What can you do?
Remember, you are only limited by your own fears and inaction. There’s a whole lot of things you can do as an entrepreneur even without a college degree.
I suggest you make a list of the following:
What are you passionate about?
If you love flowers, then find potential businesses that allow you to deal with flowers. If you love organizing parties, then consider businesses along the lines of an event planning business. If you have young kids and you think you can take care of a couple more kids, check your home daycare rules in your start and start a day care business from home. Passion will help you push yourself to learn everything you need to make your business a success — and will give you the energy you need no matter how tedious and tough the challenges you will face along the way.
What can you do, and do well?
If you want to succeed in business, you don’t just need to be good, you need to be super good in what you do. This is especially true if you’re a small home-based business and you are competing against competitors with significantly more resources than you. Choose a business that you know that you can excel in. If you know how to cook really great deserts, then go for it. If you know how to sew well, then think of potential markets that you want and could make full use of your sewing skills. You can start a home sewing business or focus on a narrower niche and start a sewing business for the figure skating market.
What are the things you want to deal with — and things you want to avoid?
Make a list of what you want in your business. Do you want to deal with consumers or businesses? Do you want to deal with inventory or not? Do you want your customers to personally come to you or do you prefer everything done online? Do you want to deal with perishable goods like food or not? Do you want a business where you constantly have to travel or not?
What are your resources?
It’s one thing to think of starting a restaurant business, and another to be faced with the reality that you only have $1,000 with no hope of getting additional resources. It is important to align what you want to start with what you have — and what you can reasonably raise. If you have bigger dreams than your current resources, it’s ok to start something else at this point (e.g. instead of a restaurant, start a cottage food business from your home kitchen depending on what your state allows in terms of food businesses). Then save, learn everything you can about business, and once you are in a much better shape financially, then you can launch the business of your dreams.
What does the market want?
Just because you are passionate about something doesn’t mean that there will be enough people willing to pay for the products or services you will offer. You need to balance what you want vs. what the market wants. You need to look at whether there is a need for what you plan to offer, and how big do you think is the market for it. The worst thing you can do is to drain out all your resources for a product that nobody wants.
Giving you concrete ideas of what business to start is tough, as each person is different and what works for me may not work for you. I suggest you read the article “How to Choose the Best Home Business to Start” for guidelines to help you narrow down the right business for you. You can also use the chart we have created to help you select a business a start.
If you’re ready to dive in to specific ideas, you may also want to check our long list of home business ideas.