Do you dream of starting your own business, but would you also like to spend more time with your family? Working from the comfort of your own home, you can combine the best of both worlds. This week, we asked Kellyloren Metzger from TheWorkFromHomeCoach.com to write about opportunities for self-employed people to work from home. So without further ado… Take it away, Kellyloren!
Once upon a time about 3 years ago now, I looked at a major need my family had: mom needed to be home a whole lot more. My two-hour roundtrip commute was no longer a feasible option. I felt like I was missing everything. I yearned to be able to spend real quality time with my kids every day.
Needless to say, I was blessed to find something from home. The only down side: it was seasonal. I took a look at my family’s financial situation and realized, “Gee, after this coming April I might not have enough to live on through to next October! What can I do to reduce the risk that we’ll run out of cash before I get hired back… IF I get hired back!?”
Folks, I don’t know about you, but the prospect of not having an income can be terrifying - especially when you’re a parent and / or if you have recurring monthly bills. Let’s face it, life is too short not to have some control over your life and finances.
So, what did I do?
I started a business.
When needed, I took up some side hustles (independent contractor opportunities) too. I’ll share the opportunities I’ve used myself in this post, as well as many other work from home options!
But first, what’s the difference between having a business and being an independent contractor?
Having a business vs being an independent contractor
In terms of work from home opportunities, there are a few approaches you can take.
- You could be an employee (where you are hired exclusively by an employer and they handle many of your work expenses and taxes for you),
- you can be an independent contractor
- or start your own small business.
In this particular post we’ll focus primarily on independent contractor and small business opportunities.
For our purposes in this discussion, an independent contractor and a small business owner are both considered self-employed and are rather similar: in the USA both are subject to self-employment tax.
I personally make the distinction between the two when it comes to whether or not one hires employees and to what degree the person operating is supported by the ones they are providing services or products to. For instance, if you are selling products on eBay, Tophatter or Amazon, you are merely using their platform to run your own business. Conversely, if you were helping Amazon by taking customer service phone calls for them from home but weren’t considered an employee, I’d likely call that being an independent contractor.
Bring on the Work from Home Opportunities!
Without further introduction here are some places you can start your own side business relatively quickly. Keep in mind that your country may have special rules or guidelines for how to register your business and pay taxes.
Starting a reselling business
My recommendations for where to start a reselling business are:
Amazon – A very popular selling platform for just about anything you can think of! In some markets, you can even do Fulfillment by Amazon (List your items, ship your inventory to their warehouse and they do the rest). Check this platform out in more detail here.
Tophatter – Rapid auctions for all sorts of items from accessories and jewelry to electronics and apparel. As of this writing they claim to have an 87% sell rate which translates to a decent profit for sellers. I personally have run a business on the Tophatter platform for over 2 years. While there are frequent changes and improvements to how seller items get scheduled for auction, the potential is there to be selling every single day. They pay out once every two weeks. Go here to learn more about this platform and opportunity!
For a how-to on getting started with work from home opportunities like these, see my great post called How I made over $5,000 reselling online and you can too!
Starting a direct sales business
If selling your own handmade items instead of purchasing items to sell, try these platforms:
HyenaCart – A handmade item platform that has a less rigid definition of “handmade”. According to their website, “there are three ways to sign-up to sell items on HyenaCart, depending on whether you will be sharing a store, running your own store, or selling used items.” Check them out here to get started.
For additional places to sell handmade items, there is a longer list here on this post: 7 places to sell your handmade items online.
Independent contractor and freelance work opportunities
Would you prefer to make money from home but have no financial risk involved (the way you do when you are reselling)? Then any of these 3 types of independent contractor opportunities might be for you!
Social Media Evaluation
- Appen – Frequently has projects that, though competitive, allow you to use your Facebook feed to help them find out what kind of content is most popular. At the time I personally held this position, it paid over $13/ hour. The position is called Social Media Evaluator. Appen also hires Search Engine Evaluators in which you’ll help them discern if search engines are producing relevant results.
- Lionbridge is similar to Appen in that they also have positions open for Social Media evaluators and Search Engine Evaluators. Click here for their jobs pages so you can apply!
- Leapforce – According to their job opportunities page, they're experiencing unprecedented demand and growth for qualified home-based independent agents. "We are looking for highly educated individuals for an exciting work from home opportunity. Applicants must be self motivated and internet savvy. This is an opportunity to evaluate and improve search engine results for some of the world's largest internet search engine companies.” Opportunities include ones where you would need to know either Chinese or Spanish.
- iSoftstone offers project based work in search engine and/or social media evaluation. Check here for their work from home job opportunities page as there is a wide variety available at any given time.
Virtual Assistance and Customer Service
- Time etc. is a UK based company seeking virtual assistants to work from home. To apply, you'll need at least 2-3 years relevant work experience; you'll also need to be able to work Monday to Friday, work part time and work from home (you need your own computer and Office software).
- LifeBushido believes that people at home, such as stay-at-home-moms, are an incredibly capable and vastly underutilized group of people for getting great work completed. They offer opportunities starting at 5 hours per week; it can increase to up to 20 hours per week.
- Great Virtual Networks offers independent contractor positions for customer service. You can explore current opportunities here by creating a free profile.
- Great Content – “If you love to write, can turn your mind to a wide variety of subjects and can work effectively with clients from around the world, you could be the ideal fit for our pool of writing talent. Apply to join and within days you could be taking on orders from clients as diverse as property firms to fashion labels.
- eZdia – “Our projects range from product descriptions to blog posts to in-depth technical articles. Most of the current projects are for eCommerce content. You'll be paid on a per word agreement, based on the word count of the final draft. The amount varies from project to project. Usually we have plenty of work available; however, the amount of work does rise and fall with the number of orders we get from our clients.” Apply here.
Want even MORE freelance writing leads? Here is a post full of writing opportunities: Make a full-time income as a freelance writer.
For those that are seeking even more opportunities, please feel free to visit the International Work from home Directory.
Here’s to a lifetime of Work from home freedom!
About the Writer
Kellyloren Metzger is the principal writer at TheWorkfromHomeCoach.com, a blog full of work from home jobs and opportunities as well as work life balance success strategies. A wife and mother of 3 who knows the value of being a stay at home mom (and her own boss) her mission is to help as many people as she can discover and take full advantage of the numerous work from home opportunities out there via incredibly useful work from home job leads and work from home life hack posts from her own personal experience. Second only to Jehovah and her family (including her dwarf hamster Georgie of course!), she’s a complete nerd for all things DIY, innovation and learning.