Interested in Starting a Home-Based Business? Read This

Many readers of this blog tell me that they would like to start a home based business.  I’ve been running one since 1988, so I know the attraction.  I turned to my friend, Emma Miller, to get her thoughts on the subject.  Check out what she has to say.

Not so long ago, when someone mentioned home-based work, most people imagined themselves sitting at the kitchen table, stuffing envelopes. Luckily, we’ve made a lot of progress since then and there are more and more jobs that you can do from the comfort of your home.

Regardless of whether you’re a parent who wants to spend more time with your kids at home, a retiree who needs some additional income or just someone who has enough free time and wishes to make money, you’re bound to be able to find some kind of work that you can do from home. Let’s look at some options available all over the world.

Web designer/Developer

You can definitely count on IT to continue its rapid development in the future, which means there will be a constant increase in the need for all types of experts. If you know website maintenance services, code or perform any other work in this field, you are quite likely to find a job, since most of the home-based hiring is actually related to this particular industry.

If you have no experience or training, you need to start as soon as possible. Fortunately, there are a lot of tutorials and courses available for free and you need to practice a lot until you reach the level expected. Once you get there, you should create some content that you can present to your future employer, as a demonstration of your skills.

Medical Transcriptionist

This is one of the most challenging jobs that can be done at home. The task involves listening to a recording and typing up dictation from doctors. Apart from the fact that doctors use very specific vocabulary, other major obstacles include thick accents, background noise and all other features that make it difficult to understand what the speaker is saying.

On the other hand, you might be able to make just under $20 an hour on average, work from home, learn a lot about medicine and hear some very interesting cases. Since you are unlikely to be hired without some sort of training, make sure you invest some time into developing your skills.

Virtual Assistant

Since the development of technology has also allowed people to be more flexible in their schedule and deal with all sorts of tasks that don’t require physical presence, it comes as no surprise that more and more companies are turning to individuals and businesses to act as their virtual assistants, providing important and efficient front-office support.

Instead of having a person sitting behind an office desk, a company can now have an equally efficient virtual receptionist or a personal assistant and you can be that person. We all know the importance of not missing a call, scheduling every single task and setting reminders about deadlines, so you’ll have quite a few responsibilities, but you’ll still be able to make some income without having to leave home.

Like with all other jobs, you’ll need some training, which can be provided by a company specializing in hiring out virtual assistants and you’ll have to start small, i.e. dealing with small-scale tasks, until you build your reputation and credibility with your employer. Still, if you’re patient and responsible, you may become a very important cog in a big machine, which means you’ll be rewarded better.


If you’re fluent in any language other than your mother tongue, you might consider translating audio files or documents. Bear in mind, however, that translation is much more than just knowing the exact word in another language, since you always have to take cultural differences into consideration.

The rate at which the demand for home-based translators and interpreters is likely to increase is higher than the average for all occupations, primarily because it’s a skill that takes a lot of time and effort to master. While you can learn many skills in under a year, in order to be good at translating you first need to master another language, which takes years.
However, if you were brought up in a bilingual family, this could be a very lucrative occupation, which you shouldn’t be too difficult. Naturally, the amount of work and pay differs significantly depending on the demand for a particular language combination.


Even though there is a widely accepted opinion that the print publishing industry has been going through a rough period, if you just take a look at job advertisements, you’ll see that there’s an increased demand for people who are supposed to create, edit or proofread content to be published on the internet.

The best thing about it is that you could be combining pleasure and business, if you like writing. Ideally, you’d have your own blog, where people would be able to see how you write. If you manage to attract some companies, which would hire you to write blog entries for them, your blog could turn out to be one of the shrewdest investments of time and money you’ve ever made.

Naturally, the list doesn’t end here. Many people all over the world are providing services in the field of distance learning or making travel arrangements, for example, and their numbers are also rising. As the technology, particularly IT, continues to develop, so will the opportunities for people looking for home-based work.

What you have to be careful about, though, is the rising number of scams, promising great salaries for light work. If you decide to find employment through an agency, make sure it’s a legitimate one and that it delivers what it promises.

Unfortunately, if things sound too good to be true, someone is probably trying to take advantage of you.

Emma Miller is a marketer and a writer from Sydney. Her focus are digital marketing, social media, start-ups and latest trends. She’s a contributor at Bizzmark blog.

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