Starting a Small Business at Home

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Starting a Small Business at Home

Everyone in the world is at home now, either by choice or not. This might not seem like a great time to become a business owner, but if you’re unemployed, or had to close your business, temporarily or permanently, take advantage of this downtime. Don’t let the pandemic keep you from becoming a business owner.

How can you become a business owner in the middle of a pandemic?

Figure Out What You Want to Do

Assess your skills. Think about what others might need during the crisis that you can offer. Ask yourself these questions to help get you started:

  • What problem do you see around you that you can solve?
  • Do you have a skill that you can teach online?
  • Do you have working knowledge of a software program others may want to learn right now?
  • Are you crafty?
  • Do you love to garden and you’re pining to do more?
  • Are you a great cook and can make casseroles to feed large families?

You may think everyone has these skills, but that is not the case. Others will pay for your assistance.

Get organized

Come up with a name or just use your name. Pick two colors and a font, and setup a Facebook Business Page. This should have your photo, a description of what you offer and your contact info. You can go so far as to set up a website or you can save that for later. The idea is to get started as quickly as possible. You can fill in the blanks when the dust settles.

Tell the World

In this day of the digital technology, you can send an email to your friends, and post on your Facebook page, and just like that, you’re in business. Ask friends to refer you to their audience. Reach out via phone and texts. Tell everyone you know what you are offering, what you charge and how to sign up for your service.

Here are some business ideas to get you thinking in the right direction.

Online Tutor

So many moms are trying to work and teach their kids at the same time. Can you help with home schooling? Maybe you understand the “new math” and can offer a 45 minute session to your local middle schoolers so parents can have a break. You could charge a small amount per child and do a group session.

And what about teaching piano or flute? One on one musical instrument training would be a great online option right now. What about bridge? With so many women at home right now who’s had learning how to play bridge on their wish list, why not start a bridge club with lessons.

Software Tutor

Maybe you’re extremely proficient at Power Point presentations. Why not offer a screen-share class teaching others how to use it? Or maybe it’s Excel or a graphic design program. You’ll want to offer one-on-one guidance that your pupils can’t get from a video. And you’ll want to be cost-conscious. It might be better to charge less and do more sessions. Many people stuck at home are looking to learn a new skill, and if you can help, you can get paid for it.

Online babysitting

Who would have thought this would be a thing, but it is. Back to the idea that moms who are trying to work from home need help with their children. Why not offer a craft class for an hour or two that a few children can join? You could send out the supply list made up of simple household things like toilet paper rolls and cotton balls, and work with the kids to put it together through a zoom call.

How about a meditation class for kids, or yoga, or story time? Moms will do anything to have their children occupied with something constructive so they can work or take a break.

Remote Office Work

Are you organized and self-motivated? Start a Virtual Assistance business. This is a fantastic stay-at-home job where you do office work for others from your home. It might be data entry and organization or social media and marketing help. Or it might be something like answering the phone or sending emails. Do your research online, and learn how other virtual assistants work and get paid. Then hang your shingle.

Put your thinking cap on, and come up with something you can offer. Start small, and see where the path takes you.

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SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship.