Online selling isn't always about things. Often it is about selling your services. You would be surprised at the number of service jobs that can be offered from the Internet. You can work from home offering your skills and expertise to others, either as an employee or as your own business. Many companies are now hiring "work at home" employees which means big savings and convenience for both the company and the employee, not to mention the convenience and positive environmental effect.
Of course, working from home means you have to be self-disciplined. You have to set aside your work time and get the job done. You can't just fritter away the day or have friends dop in when ever they like because you are "not in a real job". Working from home is as much a real job as doing the rush-hour thing every day. And it can be tougher to do -- at least to do it right.
I had a friend who gave up his 9 to 5 regular job to work at home. He found it really tough. He slept in. He didn't get dressed in the morning. He tried to do his work at the dining room table but found other things to do around the home. He just couldn't discipline himself. Finally, in desperation, he talked to me about it.
I remembered a success story I had listened to several years earlier and asked my friend what he used to do when he worked the "real" job. He told me he go up to the alarm every day, showered and dressed, took his briefcase, and drove to work. On the way he stopped for coffee and a danish at a little coffee shop he liked. He arrived at his office refreshed and ready for a full day's work.
I helped my friend set up a dedicated office in a spare bedroom in his home. I suggested that when he went to bed that night he set his alarm for the next morning and get up like he used to do. He should get up, shower and dress for work, take his briefcase and drive to the coffee shop he used to stop at. Get that coffee and danish and drive home to his new office and spend his day there working, just like he used to do -- only in his own home.
He took my advice even though he thought it very strange. He quickly found his stride and became very successful in his home business.
Doing business from home can be difficult unless you treat it like a business. But, if you don't want to sell things from your home based business what can you do. Here are thirteen ideas you might consider:
Telecommute: I've never understood why so many jobs require people to drive miles into work to sit at a desk doing all day what they could do just as well from home. Of course, boses and managers can keep a better eye on their employees if they are right there in front of them. Perhaps the company wouldn't need as many managers to watch the workers if the workers weren't actually there.
Companies can set up support lines in India. Why can't they do other things remotely? Answering phones, crunching numbers, drafting and design -- all of these things can be done from home. Meetings can even be held virtually these days. If you have a marketable skill that a company could need think about offering it from home. Your job market expands to include most of the world!
Copy Writer: Getting good copy for websites is often a difficult thing. Even on a selling site good, relevant, copy is necessary both for human interest and search engine optimization. If you write well consider offering your talent to web design companies.
Editor: Others may write the copy but often it doesn't quite fit the need. If you are good at selecting content, and adding the finishing touch to it, this might be the role for you.
Proof Reader: Even the best writers misspell words, make typos, or have an unfortunate lack of grammatical skill. If you have an eye for this kind of thing your services could be in great demand.
Website Project Manager: getting the people to do the job is often the easiest part of any task. Getting the job completed on time -- or even completed at all -- can be difficult. Having someone to organize the project, check the progress, and drive the process can make things run like clockwork. From home you can manage several projects at once thus making your services very competitive for each job.
Website Illustrator: If you have a graphic design flair you could be in demand as an illustrator for websites. I know in my own work I am always in need of great original graphics.
Project Manager: Many real-world projects need on overseer but the budget doesn't justify a full-time project manager. Small self-directed teams can get off track and behind the curve. Working from home, by telephone and the Internet, you could provide the oversight these projects need.
E-Learning Instructor: Many people cannot learn on their own. They needed to be guided through the process. You can offer this skill, working with those who offer courses or building a repertoire of your own courses to offer as well. Personal instruction, help, and feedback, by telephone or the Internet is just what many people need.
Tech Support: Fixing computers or small appliances in a shop isn't the only way to do it. Providing help, support and step-by-step instruction to others via the Internet so they can fix their computer or blender, or learn how to work with a new operating system or software program is a service many people need.
Help Desk: If you have specific knowledge or skills in a certain area you can offer your services to support others using products or services you understand.
Online Sales/Marketing Representative: Selling your own products isn't the only way to go. You can promote other businesses and their products online.
Business Development: Okay, so this whole creating an online business thing is a piece of cake for you. You've got ideas and the knowledge to make it happen but you like the idea of building new businesses more than actually running them. So, hire the service out to others who need help.
Web Design: From listing templates and single web pages to full-blown websites there is a growing need for good web designers. If you have some knowledge, or are just starting at the beginning, you can learn what is required and make it happen for you.
There are many more choices you can consider. Think about your skills. What kind of job would you be looking for in the "real world"? Consider what you can do (or could learn to do), what you would like to do, and find people who need that service. That's building a business!