5 Home Based Business You Can Start on a Shoestring Budget

These days everyone is looking for a way to make money. Even if you have a job, it still makes good sense to develop a secondary stream of income that will provide you with an extra money to pay off bills, save for that dream vacation or to fall back on if that full time job suddenly become obsolete. Here are five home based businesses you can get into without spending a lot of money up front.

1. Selling Cosmetics

It is a well known fact that in a down economy the purchase of beauty products goes up. This is because most women purchase cosmetics, which they consider to be small luxuries, as a substitute for the more expensive items they want to buy but cannot afford.

Cosmetic companies, such as Avon, will sign you up as an independent representative for a little as $10. Although most do recommend that you start with a set amount of inventory, it is not necessary. Instead of stocking up on products you may or may not be able sell, run your business on a presales basis. Your clients can order from the catalog, pay you up front and then you can turn around and order the cosmetics with the collected money. Once you have a clientele that orders on a regular basis, you can choose to keep popular products in stock for quick delivery.

2. Article Writer

If you have a talent for slinging around words then a career as a freelance writer might be your path to extra cash. There is always a need for people who can communicate ideas clearly and concisely especially in this time or economic and social turmoil. Businesses need copywriters to sell products and services, newspapers need journalists to report the news and websites need content writers to draw in web visitors.

It doesn't take much to get started especially if you are only interested in doing work on the internet. There are many services online that will provide you with a free website. You just need to provide information about yourself, your qualifications, some writing samples and a way to contact you.

For offline writers looking to cull business from the local community, today's computer technology makes it easy to create professional looking sales letters and business cards. If doing it yourself just isn't for you, look into bartering services with a local graphic designer who can do some design work for you in exchange for a few hours of writing time.

3. Personal Assistant

With businesses downsizing, workers are being asked to do more at the office. Because there are only so many hours in a day, time is a precious commodity and people are willing to pay someone to help them make the most of what little they have.

As a personal assistant, you can offer a range of services, from picking up dry cleaning and scheduling appointments to intercepting calls and cleaning out the email box, which will provide your clients with the time they need to focus on other things.

Your biggest expense will come from the marketing your business. Tap into free business networking events in your local community with the goal of landing your first client. From there you can ask for referrals and use word of mouth advertising to get your business off the ground.

4. Party Planner

If you have a knack for organizing events then party planning is the career for you. As a party planner, you make your clients' lives easier by dealing with all of the details involved in putting on a party. You find the perfect location, book the caterers, arrange entertainment and take care of the thousands of other details that have your client pulling their hair out.

You can organize events for companies or stick with social engagements such as weddings, birthdays or anniversary parties. Since you'll be working with little to no money, it is best to start with packages that your clients prepay for. Once you've built up a steady flow of income you'll be able to offer custom services or large events where you'll collect the bulk of your fee when the event ends.

5. Lifestyle Coach

Life is a journey and thus is chock full of forked paths and detours that leave most people at a loss as to the best way to proceed. As a lifestyle coach you can provide your clients with direction and show them the steps they need to take to get where they want to go in life. You can focus on one aspect of a person's lifestyle, such as their health or their productivity, or you can offer a menu of general personal development services for them to pick from.

Most of your coaching will be done over the phone and so your biggest expense will be your telephone charges. Just make sure you have a really good phone plan to cover the cost of the minutes and bill accordingly.

Whether you are looking to supplement an existing income stream or to completely replace a lost one, with a little hard work and perseverance you can start generating the income you need without having to empty your savings account. Good luck!

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