A good small business that you can run from home

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Choose your business

There are many reasons why it would be a boon to be able to be your own boss and earn some income from the comfort of your home. Whether you are a mum with time on her hands, a retired person not quite ready to take up the pipe and slippers, or simply someone desperate to earn extra money to keep them going until they find full time employment, then making a bit of extra dosh through the fruits of your own labour is entirely possible.

Although there are plenty of stories about people making money through using survey and writing sites, it may be helpful to remember that it takes time to build up the revenue that will eventually be generated through click sites, filling out forms and writing articles.

For a quicker and more satisfying return on your labour you may prefer to start up a home based business that you can see an instant show in your bank account.

Selling things via eBay and Amazon: Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but they are user friendly and it takes only minutes to set up an account. Both have similar formats in that you compete with others to sell your product. eBay will charge you more money to actually sell, but you will see a fast result, whereas Amazon is cheaper, but it may take a little more time to see a return in funds.

The Internet can be a useful place to obtain up to date information and there are plenty of interesting sites that will sell your home made products. However, there is no harm in advertising in your local paper and putting a card up in your local shop.

Home-made cards can be a good money spinner if you can build a good reputation with what you do. Make sure that you have a good quality portfolio giving a sample of your work and pop a few cards into your local wedding store, newspaper shop, or advertise on eBay. You could specialize in birthday or wedding invites and add a unique twist such as using unusual materials or ideas. People are always on the lookout for something a little bit different.

Growing your own plants can be a good way of making some extra money but you will be better off selling direct to the public via a market stall, boot fairs or eBay. You may be lucky enough to gain a contract with your local store and if you can produce enough healthy, good quality plants, you will be asked for more at a later date. The good thing about this business is that you get a big return for a few inexpensive seeds.

If growing your own seems a bit too much hard work, then you could get involved in the garden in another way. There are plenty of people who will be willing to give a few pounds to have their lawn mowed and a bit of weeding done for a couple of hours a week. This kind of cash soon adds up and all you have to give up is a bit of your time.

Mending/repairing clothes - you will be surprised to see how word gets about and you can advertise in the local newspaper. If you are really handy with the needle you could even sew to order and make wedding and bridesmaid dresses. If you have young children then make it known that you will be willing to make the fancy dress costumes on dressing up days at school, for a small fee, and if they provide the material.

Envelope stuffing is hard work and you get very little return for your efforts. You have to do loads and loads to get a decent wage and will have to invariably rope the rest of the family into helping you finish making up orders. It is okay to use as a stop gap until something better comes along.

One of my friends used to make home-made baps and sandwiches from her home and ended up expanding into a successful catering business. She ended up doing weddings, birthday parties etc.

Whatever you decide to do to earn yourself a little extra money, it is important that you choose something that you are good at doing and that it is enjoyable for you. It is very hard to stay motivated about something that is either difficult to do or something that you don’t get a lot of satisfaction from.

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