Working from home is becoming more popular. Even Richard Branson calls this “an age when remote working is easier and more effective than ever” and almost three million Brits now choose this option. The Office for National Statistics reported that the number of people choosing not to travel to work increased from 2.1 million in 2001 to over 2.8 million in 2011, equal to one in 10 people.
Kick-starting this way of life can be quite daunting, and you may find a sudden drop in income can be a problem. While you are getting your new venture off the ground, don’t forget that credit is available to plug those gaps. Ask your own bank or building society to give you a helping hand, or choose one of the many payday loan lenders like Wonga.com or a Credit Union in an emergency.
So, what can you do? Think of the skills you have first, and be thorough. Don’t forget that your hobbies can also turn into a money-spinning opportunity. Can you draw? You could design logos for companies. Do you watch TV? Start a blog with reviews and place links to places like Amazon where your readers can pick up a copy and earn you referral fees. Are animals your passion? Dog-walkers are always hard to come by and this can earn you some good money and keep you fit at the same time.
Companies like PeoplePerHour, Textbrokers and Pure Content offer a range of paid work for the ‘pyjama brigade’, from writing blogs, product descriptions and translations to helping people with tax returns, designing flyers and web design projects. They bring home-workers and companies together with obvious benefits to both.
A Virtual Assistant provides administrative, technical, or accounting assistance to clients remotely from a home office. For a small business who can’t afford a secretary or accountant, this fits the gap perfectly. Without leaving your front door, you could gather a number of small businesses to your fold and offer skills such as book-keeping, appointment making, letter writing or sales calls.
Arts and Crafts
Turn your knitting, crocheting or dress-making into a business. Find an individual style, take good photographs and sell your designs via a website, a local outlet or at craft markets. This is great way to make a hobby into a money-making project. Funk hand-knitted jumpers and baby clothes can be real earners.
Do you love cooking? Again, there are a number of ways to bring home the bacon this way. Maybe you could offer a small range of evening meals (lasagne, cottage pie, beef stew) to those still spending too long commuting. You could set yourself up as a party caterer, with a range of elegant, festive dishes and nibbles. Baking is another profitable vocation. If you can make stung wedding cakes and imaginative birthday cakes, you can earn great money.
There are endless other ways to make money from home. Examples are ironing, house sitting, baby-sitting, child-minding, caring for pets when owners are away, decorating, gardening, card-making and cleaning. The HMRC can give you help with tax and self-assessment.