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10 Best Home Businesses for a Lean Budget

written by: Sylvia Cochran•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 6/27/2011

There are plenty of recession proof home businesses that a savvy entrepreneur might start on a shoestring budget. Our list of the ten best home businesses require varying levels of education, training and expertise. In some cases, a hobby is all you need.

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    A Legitimate Business Opportunity?

    Sorting through home businesses requires the would-be entrepreneur to keep a close eye on the job market. Although s/he desires to work from home, business ideas that closely align themselves with in-demand salaried positions have a better chance at succeeding. This is in stark contrast to the off-the-wall ideas that may appeal to a highly specialized niche, but have little appeal outside that demographic.

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    Jobs That Use Education or Training You Already Have

    A quick perusal of Forbes’ ‘10 most recession proof jobs’ proves that they are excellent for connecting with at least five legitimate work-from-home ideas.

    1. Personal connections are for a people-person who is passionate about a product or service. Multi level marketing companies are one good option. The business is not a good choice for the entrepreneur whose fiscal liabilities require a solid monthly pay check that cannot withstand the fluctuations of commission-only income.
    2. Software design might be a great corporate job, but when combined with website design, it is also a potentially flourishing online home business. A solid background and education in the field is a must; a secondary training in marketing is another plus.
    3. Starting a small business around the nursing profession may seem odd, but registered nurses or those with training in other aspects of the medical profession can put their skills to work as medical transcriptionists, medical coders or virtual assistants for physicians’ offices and hospitals. Equipment, training and field experience go a long ways to making this one of the best home based business ideas for the medical professional ready to stay home.
    4. Business opportunities in the accounting field may fall in line with those virtual office assistants experience. For tax savvy entrepreneurs with a state license or training, this can also translate into home based businesses doing tax returns for consumers and businesses. A mobile tax preparation service may not even require the use of an at-home office space.
    5. It is possible to earn money online doing research. This is a bit of a niche business and requires a solid understanding of the business, current trends, expert insights and future potentials of data. In some cases the research is tied in with freelance writing and the preparation of extensive reports that highlight the findings.

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    No Formal Training Required

    The preceding recession-proof home businesses all had one thing in common: niche-specific education. It is hard – although not impossible – to break into one of these niches and hit the ground running without formal training and at least some hands-on industry experience. There are five other home businesses that may appeal more to the hobbyist without specialized training.

    1. A newly minted entrepreneur may distribute products that s/he uses on a daily basis. This may include Shaklee, Avon or a host of other wellness and beauty product lines. Distributing closely aligns with sales, but in this case the product choice is limited and largely depends on the social makeup of the distributor, her/his sphere of influence and ability to be personable.
    2. Selling on eBay is another home business that can generate quite a bit of income. This is especially true for the entrepreneur with either a consistently replenished supply of desirable collectors’ items – estate sale mavens listen up! – or handmade crafts that appeal to a sufficiently large segment of buyers.
    3. Going green and recycling consumer electronics, also known as e-waste -- is another way of making money. The growing environmental consciousness is not diminished by tightening purse strings and the savvy entrepreneur quickly forges relationships with electronics recyclers. S/he then provides the service of pickup and delivery to the consumer, which is essentially little more than a convenience.
    4. Capitalizing on a hobby is another way of making money from home. Freelancing software designers, writers and photographers may be able to profit from their passion. Since competition in these fields is tough, passion and skill must adequately balance one another.
    5. Childcare is also a recession-proof industry that may require little more than state licensing and some training classes on the safe and state-approved method for running an in-home daycare. Keep in mind that managed communities sometimes require a special application before this kind of business may be run.
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    Scam-Proofing Yourself

    It is quite easy to fall for a work-at-home scam when first starting a search for potentially lucrative business opportunities. Entrepreneurs must exercise due diligence and extreme caution before investing in the startup of any home business.

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    Source

    • Forbes: “10 Most Recession-Proof Jobs” at http://www.forbes.com/2008/07/18/recession-proff-jobs-lead-careers-cx_tw_0718recessionproof_slide_2.html (accessed May 30, 2011)