Home' Border Enterprise : Spring Summer 2010-2011 Contents 41
Vol 3. Summer/Autumn
Is the time right for you
to set up a home-based
WORKING from home has
several enticing advantages.
For a start, you get to kill
that commute, avoid office
bickering and, in a much-
longed for ego trip, become your own boss.
Plus, if your old job has just been outsourced
to Poland, your home may be a great place to
regroup and get over it.
The question is how you make money working
at home. You may wonder what client will take
you seriously when you operate in the same
space as your cat.
But if you are worried about your location,
you can always keep it in the dark, as half of all
home-based small business owners reportedly
do, and pursue any of many easily overlooked
opportunities. Here is a cherry-picked list.
Nice little earners:
1. PET PAMPERING
Pet care may sound too trivial to
commercialise, but keep an open mind. "The
field is growing without a doubt," says Council
of Small Business of Australia executive director
As the world human population swells,
Aussies are having fewer kids but adopting
more cats and dogs, he explains. Pet owners
want their darlings to be pampered even and
especially when they go away.
That means opportunities for dog-sitting, even
cat sitting, which sounds like a plum job. Other
avenues include dog-walking and grooming.
2. WEB-BASED RETAIL
Web-based retail is very much on the up now,
according to Strong.
Selling a quirky cottage industry product like
jam from home over the internet might sound
silly, he says.
But, if you feel "comfortable" with the product
you choose, you are apparently made. Your
broadband-empowered little shop will grow, he
says, "without a doubt".
Business coach Robert Gerrish agrees.
Gerrish's take is that you should focus on a
niche that you "trip over": the right idea for which
there is a market could be right in front of you.
3. VIRTUAL ADMIN (VA)
Virtual admin is a boom area with plenty
more life in it yet, according to Gerrish. For an
overworked executive, the appeal of a virtual
administrative assistant may be magnetic
because the service tackles tedious chores,
promoting productivity gains.
If you are organised and flexible enough,
clients will hand over ever more tasks to you,
fuelling your own venture's growth.
In consulting, typically you go to the client or
meet at a neutral location - serviced offices, a
hotel lobby or a cafe. So, according to Gerrish,
any consultancy can be run from home, whether
the field be financial planning, landscape design
Two days a week, Gerrish uses the CBD
workspace-for-hire hub Bureaux (www.bureaux.
com). Other Aussie options include NDG (www.
ndg.com.au) and SON (www.son.com.au).
Almost everyone has amassed too much
"stuff". Hardly anyone has time to tackle it.
Hence the potential of organising, argues the
author of The 250 Questions Every Self-
Employed Person Should Ask, Mary Mihaly.
"It's a service that clients dearly appreciate:
organisers are in great demand right now,"
Office organisers, closet organisers, home
organisers, garage organisers: all can charge "a
very decent per-job fee". All you have to do is
cast a cold eye over your client's possessions
and judge which items should be sold, donated
or tossed. The client pays for any supplies that
must be covered: shelving, bins and the like.
6. PARTY PLANNING
Party planning obliges you to have the right
clients --- "translate: affluent", Mihaly says.
If you do, you may prosper. If you are paid by
the hour, the best parties to plan are weddings
because you will sink the most time into doing
them well, for services ranging from cake-tasting
to finding the right music (live or DJ), securing a
dream location and ensuring that invitations are
correct and arrive promptly.
"This is a job in which good news travels fast:
do a classy job two or three times and referrals
are sure to follow."
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