- in How To
I recently asked Reddit users about running a home based business that could actually work. The goal was to steer clear of the hype and connect direct to people who are actually making a decent living. There were diverse responses to my question:
“Hi folks, a couple of years ago I was able to make the move to work part time at home, a year ago I went full time at home and since then I’ve had more financial and spiritual freedom than I could’ve hoped for, it’s a new world out there.
My current business has steadied out and is going fine but not growing as fast as it was, it’s a niche aspect of internet marketing and while there’s all kinds of work at home schemes out there I’m really looking to get past the hype and find out what other home businesses folks have tried which resulted in stable income. Nothing get rich quick just something where you can offer a reliable service or product and make it grow, any stories would be really welcome, for example “make a blog” sure, how and what niche what blog you made would be even better. Cheers folks!”
User UkuleleBaller mentioned:
“My suggestion: hit random at the top of the page and find a niche sub. Get to know the users and see if you can find any pain points. Then offer a solution.
Its obviously much trickier than that, but its better than waiting for inspiration to strike.”
Searching round Reddit more is actually a pretty good idea, smart online types congregate there you can likely get several solid home based business ideas to implement.
“I have few friends who made blogs and are earning quite well.”
Wish I was one of them, if you blog about debt and running a home and just keep at it those blogs can easily sell for low-mid six figures, just have to build your personal brand and keep posting away.”
JulianneWCary Quilting Company, Patchwork Memories
“9 years ago, my husband created a little website for me and I started making t-shirt quilts from home for clients (I was a stay at home mom to 4 kids aged 5 and under at the time). Now, that business has expanded and moved to a retail location, has 12 employees, and then 2 years ago I opened a retail quilting supplies shop (8 more employees) in the same location. It’s been a wild ride!”
This is a brilliant one, nine years, no fast track, likely minimal marketing experience, just made their own product from home and kept at it. If you have a decent product, build a site, don’t hire a spam SEO firm to mess up your site. Just keep at it! This is a success story open to anyone, and the hardest part is choosing a product you can really be interested in. Those homemade quilts obviously had a lot of personal passion and interest behind them. Then you just have to keep going for nine years, sounds hard but you’ve got to do something for nine years, JulianneWCary did something she enjoyed and made a home based business from it. Smart!
She even got some leads in 🙂
User Rawrr_dinosaurs has a similarly inspiring story:
“Three years ago I found a niche in the costume industry, obviously the bulk of our sales are centered around halloween but we sell a decent amount in the off season. I still have another full time job and i don’t make a ton of money with the small business but its a decent supplemental income and we’ve been growing pretty consistently which is fun to see.
If anybody is interested the company is Big Kid Costumes I just made the discount code /r/smallbusiness for 20% off if anyone is interested in a costume”
I like this one precisely because they don’t make huge money. Few people ever really grasp the long term value of compounding or of saving say 20$/month. If you have regular extra income coming in, however small, you can use it to start something, grow something, scale something up. A home based business and the owner’s life will reach a key turning point in their success journey: when they hit the point of just having a bit more coming in than going out. Nice one.
And they got a sort of lead looking like comment as well!
“do you only do direct sales or wholesale too?”
“We haven’t yet but could”
Well sort of :).
And there’s more, Dirt_Bike_Zero has more personal passion translating into dollars:
“Yes, I make textile bags for the motorcycle community and do garment repair, usually heavy duty riding gear. Zippers, snaps, patches. It’s going well and I feel I could make a go of it if I was to go full time. I’d have to partner with some key companies, cross promoting. I think it’s doable.
My crappy website. www.blackibags.com“
Even a simple looking website can get you sales. In this instance Dirk_Bike_Zero has a WordPress site that links to his Etsy store. Ultimately the quality of the products and services provided by your home based business is what drives success. I’ve seen plenty of lead capture sites that look like a brick wall and make serious income each month. This guy is one, he’s got his product and a site, just needs to scale up and he’ll be there. Same as the 9-year journey above. If he just doesn’t quit and keeps chipping away, he’ll likely make it. As a Confucius meme once said, it doesn’t matter how slowly you go just as long as you don’t stop.
Another awesome story in response to Dirt_Bike_Zero:
That’s awesome man. I’ve been bootstrapping my side project for about 2 years and just a month or so ago finally made the transition to doing it full time. I’m still in that transition phase where I’m nervous that everything will work out and that I’ll be able to support my wife who stays at home and two kids.
But so far revenue is continuing to move gradually up and to the right – so that’s a good thing!
Haven’t quite gotten to the point where I feel the “more financial and spiritual freedom than I could’ve hoped for” – but I’m hoping to get there soon!
My business is an email marketing automation plugin for ecommerce.”
As you can see, a home based business offers the flexibility to take full advantage of the opportunities available when a valuable skill such as coding meets ecommerce. NJStacker22 has yet another great story this time showing how a hobby can transition into paid work, he liked taking pictures, got one chance shooting a listing for a real estate agent friend, got asked for more and now gets 10-30 listings a month. That’s pure awesomeness. Buy a camera and join your local real estate meetup, if you like taking photos this is something you can replicate.
“My business is photography based so even the full time professional photographers typically don’t make great money. My story is simple. I’ve been shooting for a long time as a hobby and I have a friend who is a real-estate agent. She asked me to shoot a listing for her and within a week of doing so I had 2-3 people call for me to come shoot their listing. I’ve been doing this for about 2 yrs now and went official about 6 weeks ago. I’m currently averaging 10-30 listings a month.”
And finally, a somewhat bizarre zeitgeist turn from the marvellously named TonyDAbsolute, who makes a living, well from picking up women.
“I teach guys how to seduce women. Been my full time job for the last six years. Have no employees and make 2-8k per month. http://www.absoluteability.com“
“I actually know a guy who does this full time. He teaches seminars and does extremely well. He’s 23 and is booked most of the year. “
Interestingly, the waves of pure alpha-male awesomeness also marked the end of the conversation.
Reddit is an amazing melting pot of smart people with great ideas, and if this little roundup has rekindled that small voice saying ‘if they can start a home based business, I can do it too’, everyone mentioned here would agree. You can!