Take a similar idea and make it your own
Starting a home-based business is a dream that many of us share. What could be better than earning a living from the comfort of your own home? The low overhead and flexibility they can provide is very lucrative. In fact, more than half of all small businesses are based out of an owner's home.
You may have your heart set on starting a home-based business, but not sure which kind to try. There are many common ideas that you hear of, but closed mindedness can limit your options. Here are a few unique ones that you may not have thought of.
1. Staffing Agency
Staffing firms come in all shapes and sizes. Some provide temporary staffing, and others provide long-term help. Either way, the model is the same. They recruit workers on the behalf of other businesses. This may be due to a short-term employee shortage, or a company's desire to outsource their hiring.
You'll only need a computer, telephone, and insurance to start a staffing agency. Some permits or licenses may be necessary, depending on your locality. You can perform job interviews over the phone, or at a public place such as a local coffee shop. It's easy to see why you can run a business like this from home.
Common tasks involved with running a staffing startup include:
- Soliciting potential clients by phone, e-mail, or at their place of business
- Recruiting and hiring new employees
- Billing clients and processing payroll
Many staffing startups feel the pain of the heavy cash flow requirements required. They must make payroll weekly, while clients are on net-30 or similar payment terms. There are some various financial products that can solve this problem, though. You'll have to run the numbers and determine which one makes sense for you.
2. Trucking Business
You heard me right, it's possible to start a trucking business from your home. Both truckers and companies that ship freight rely on a third party, known as a freight broker.
A freight brokerage operates as a transportation company that doesn't own any trucks. They contract with outside owner-operators and motor carriers instead. A shipper will pay their broker after a load is delivered. The broker then pays a lesser amount to the carrier they contracted with. The difference between the two is the freight broker's commission.
If you get some customers that offer you their freight, you aren't quite done yet. You'll still have to find a suitable truck to haul the freight. Load boards are the preferred method, but they are usually expensive. Most will use one of the many free ones out there until their brokerage becomes profitable.
This is a business that you can run from your home with ease. You'll need to get a bond and register with the FMCSA to start out, but not much else. Because overhead can be low and commissions high, there are many others trying to get their share of it all too. You'll have to perfect your sales pitch.
Expert salespeople and fierce negotiators will thrive as freight brokers.
3. Brokering Lumber and Building Materials from Home
Lumber brokers perform a service that is much like a freight broker. They act as middlemen between sawmills and lumber distributors. They sometimes sell to retailers or even large construction companies.
They are experts in their industry and know exactly where to source a specific type of lumber based on their customer's needs.
Some can also assist with the transportation of their customer's lumber orders. In these scenarios, they'll work with a freight broker. Some may even become licensed freight brokers themselves and capture that commission too. Now that's an idea that can be a great selling point. Offering an all-in-one service is a great way to stand out in a competitive marketplace.
In most cases, you don't need to secure any special licenses or permits to start a lumber brokerage. You don't need any expensive tools or software either. Grab your laptop and plug in your old landline telephone, and you're ready to go. This is a business that you can run from your dining room table with ease.
Creativity is Key
These examples aren't the most glamorous opportunities out there, but they are proven models. You've discovered some unique home-based opportunities -- now what's your idea? You should try to be creative. Take a similar idea and make it your own. That is the key to rising above the competition in a lucrative but competitive market.