Thinking outside of the box

Picture of Agnese Geka
Jun 01, 2012 - 11:06

Making a Living from Home Working Ideas

Home working is one of the fastest growing movements around today, and the number of people relying on their own abilities, ideas and talents to earn a living is rising. The economic downturn, never ending global financial crises and a double dip recession has prompted people to rethink their individual situations and to come up with more novel ways of earning a little bit extra to either stretch the household budget or to replace a regular wage they no longer receive.

Who are the People who Work from Home?

Whatever image of the home worker you have, you will be amazed at just how many opportunities there are to choose from. The internet has provided an excellent platform for innovative thinking and options have broadened sufficiently to create new ways of working to suit more people, whatever situation they may be in. In the past, it was usually stay at home mums or housewives who took on jobs at home to earn a little extra and some of those women went on to set up their own businesses, out of which arose various cottage industries which created employment for other people along the way. Today, the stay at home mums are not the only ones working from home. Stay at home dads, students, the disabled and people made redundant due to the downturn, are all taking control of their working lives and benefiting from a much more favourable work/life balance - but exactly how are they doing it?

How to Create your own Home Based Working Opportunities

Once you've decided that working from home is the key to better job satisfaction, you will need to think about the ways in which you can make it happen. Simply willing yourself to be more creative in thinking up ideas won't help on its own - you've got to seriously think about every option and find innovative (and perhaps quirky) ways of redeveloping the already existing avenues. Some of the ways in which you could begin - and further branch out into thinking outside of the box - are as follows:

Clothing Alterations

If you're handy with a needle and thread, or if you own and can use a sewing machine, you could easily earn cash carrying out clothing repairs. Advertise in your local free paper or think about placing a card in a shop window. People would much rather pay someone local than the bumped up prices of professional businesses. With more and more people mending and making good, rather than buying new, a clothing alteration business could be a real money spinner.

Crafting Handbags and Quirky Denims

At the present time, many people don't have enough spare income to buy new clothes as often as they used to, so if your craft skills extend to sewing on a few sequins, beads and other bits and bobs, you could soon be redesigning items such as denim jeans, jackets and skirts, fabric handbags, hats, scarves and much more besides. Work on some of your own clothes, take photographs and print a few flyers to deliver around your neighbourhood. You could also think about setting up your own blog to demonstrate what you can do, together with photographs, prices, and even testimonials.

Start an Ironing Service

Ironing is one of those jobs that people are very much willing to pay other people to do! If you're a stay at home mum, you could easily take on ironing jobs in your own home whilst being around for the children. Start by making up some flyers or cards to put through your neighbours' letterboxes and take it from there. You could further extend your ironing services to professional people with lots of shirts and blouses to iron - word of mouth recommendations in this area could see you bring in plenty of work.

Typing and General Word Processing

Can you type reasonably well? If your accuracy and speed are reliable you could offer your services to local small businesses who can't afford the luxury of a full-time secretary. You could extend the service to designing and typing up menus for local restaurants, designing posters for local events and various other tasks that could save small businesses a lot of money whilst generating income for you. You could further extend this service to transcription jobs and proofreading - start building a small portfolio to showcase your work, and call on local businesses in your area.

Cleaning and General House Maintenance

Not many people don't have experience of cleaning and general maintenance in their homes; and although it can't be avoided, most people would rather pay someone else to do it for them. By setting yourself up as a cleaner in your neighbourhood, you can offer your services to people who know you - if only a little - and word of mouth could see you building an impressive list of clients whose homes you take care of regularly.

Can you Cook, Make and Bake?

Small catering or other types of food related jobs could be just what you're looking for, particularly if you have a skill in one or more areas. Cake decorating is just one of the many things that people can undertake from their own homes, and could lead to bigger jobs over time.

Seasonal Crafts

If you've got green fingers, you can easily make some extra cash by selling plants you've grown from seed. Some packets of seeds contain enough to make 50-100 plants - and you could be selling your plants to anyone passing by your street. Make a sign and point the way. Many people would be happy not to pay Garden Centre prices!

Ideal Working Conditions

One of the many frustrations of working for somebody else (particularly in the current climate) is that employers are becoming increasingly more expectant that their workforce will work longer hours - often picking up the slack of any employees that have had to be made redundant as part of a money saving exercise. This often affects people with young families and children of school age as parents feel that they can't be there enough for their children during their formative and developmental years. On the whole, home working has not only revolutionised the ways in which people work, it has also induced people to be more creative in how they make their living. As time evolves and opportunities broaden, more people will become more self sufficient in their careers and the meaning of 'going out to work' will be redefined.

Spread the Word!