There are a lot of items that can be purchased very inexpensively at garage sales or thrift stores and sold for higher prices elsewhere. A few years ago I discovered that I could purchase good hardcover books at my local thrift shop for $1 or less. I realized that some of them could be sold on Amazon.com for $15-$20, which turns out to be a pretty decent profit.
Better yet, you can even upload your own book to one of the world’s largest book sellers: Amazon. With Amazon self-publishing, you set the price, retain the rights to your book, and get access to Amazon’s massive audience. For every sale, you keep 70% with Amazon taking the remainder as a fee. If you want to get started, check out Tara Gentile on CreativeLive as she shows you how to use your existing body of work to write an eBook within the next week. Who knows, you might just write one of the best business books of this year!

What It Is: Do people ask you your secret to perfect pie crust or how you made that wreath? "Everyone knows how to do something, or has a hobby they enjoy," says Kimberly Lawson, owner of OohLaLuxe.net, who has created fashion and beauty tutorial videos. "These can easily be turned into profits." Simply sign up for a free YouTube account. Then use a smartphone or digital camera to record yourself explaining and demonstrating how you work your magic. (If you're more tech-savvy or have a burgeoning teenage filmmaker in your house, you can use desktop software, such as Windows Movie Maker, to create a slicker video.) "Once you upload the video to YouTube, enroll in its partner program," Lawson says. YouTube will then place ads inside or near your video, and you will earn money from the ads themselves, video views and click-throughs. "The key is to put a unique spin on your video," says Lawson, especially if there are lots of others on the same subject.
Despite the proliferation of the internet, print media is here to stay for the foreseeable future! Fliers, newsletters, magazines, information sheets, letters and advertisements are just a few of the types of print media that business hire freelancers to create for them. Websites and online advertising need graphic design services as well. Even if your expertise is only in design, offer the works for potential clients, including the editorial creation and the printing and even mailing of the final piece. You can line up regular freelancers for those parts of the job you can't do.

I’ve got a friend who is a stay-at-home mom and also a talented writer. I think the best business idea for moms like her, who are talented wordsmiths, are the writing-type gigs. I know from experience that copy writing is something you have to learn, no matter how naturally talented you are, but it’s good to see how many options people have outside of becoming the stereotypical “mommy blogger.” Definitely going to share this one with her.


Ideas like becoming a personal trainer are great for fitness-loving entrepreneurs. Offer training sessions to clients out of your home gym or workout room. Or travel to clients’ homes. Some enterprising personal trainers take their business online. They provide training and fitness courses virtually through video conferencing apps like Skype. Get a few happy clients and your home business will grow through word of mouth referrals.
If you have a knack for sewing, upholstery repair might be a perfect business for you. One of the best ways to learn how to upholster is to get some discarded upholstered furniture and start tearing it apart. Many books and some videos are available to help you learn this trade. Often furniture ready for upholstering will also need repairs. Have a list available of furniture repair people you can recommend to your customers. Or you can take the piece in, have repair people you work with do this work for you, and add it to the overall cost. You can also learn to do this work, especially minor repairs, yourself.
If you’re not familiar with this one, this is how it usually goes. You sign up with an online survey website and create a profile. Then, you fill out online surveys and get paid. That is if the specific survey matches your profile (gender, age, location, etc.). It’s relatively easy to answer simple questions or provide descriptions. You can’t start a business and become a self-employed survey taker. However, you can do this meticulous job from the comfort of your home and dedicate as many hours as you wish to it.
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