Redefining How, When & Why We Work!

Ideas for stay-at-home businesses and careers
I am in New York City working this week, and doing a little public relations and television work for my keynote speaking business. Every time I am here, I am like a star struck kid walking down Broadway wide eyed from the sites that are NYC – the people, the displays, and the innovative and unique ways people make a living here.

If you can dream it up, you can find it in New York City, and that got me thinking about other cities and what I have seen and learned while traveling this year. When I think about the challenges of our economy, the unemployment rate, and the problems our state and local governments are experiencing trying to fix the problem, it made me think there has to be a better way. And with the rise in entrepreneurship in our country, I believe that Americans have figured it out.

You don’t have to come to New York City to see that where, when, and how we work is changing. The power of the Internet and technology, the global economy, and the pace of people’s lives are all challenging us to change who we are and how we work. Home based businesses are on the rise, and their success rate combined with the lack of certainty in the job market can only mean we will see that number continue to increase.

So what are some great at home careers and businesses? What should you do if you want to start your own business, be your own boss, and set your own hours and level of pay? Well the great thing is you can do anything you want to; the need out there is endless. But just to get you going here are a few ideas:

Meridith’s top 15 simple and easy ideas for starting an at home business or career:

1 Virtual Assistant – everything from scheduling travel, to setting up webinars, to making appointments. Professionals need assistants and there is no longer a need to have you sitting right outside the door.

2 Pet Walking or Sitting Business – we love our pets and with long hours and lots of travel, we need someone to care for them while we are tied up in our corporate jobs or just running errands.

3 Healthy Meal Creator – I love this one, as so many people want to eat healthier but either don’t know how or don’t have the time. And with the emphasis on buy local, what better time to start a health meal service than using local organic produce and meats/cheeses.

4 Image Consultant and/or Etiquette Coach – how critical this is to success! Who knew that for so many of us boomers, our mother’s constant badgering about not wearing white after labor day, or which fork to use when, would come in handy.
5 Healthy and Creative Unique Professional Gifts – gift giving is something busy professionals just do not have time to do, but see it as critical to their success both personally and professionally. While you may have to hire a little extra help (or put your kids to work) around the holidays, this is a great business for the creative individual or one who enjoys shopping.

6 Day Care – licensed – adult and/or child – while this requires a license, it is a growing business, especially in the field of senior care. The perfect thing about this business is that it does not have to be a lot of hours; most people just need a little help, support, or relief.

7 Homemade and healthy snacks and food for infants and young children – this one is a twist on the health meals, so you may want to go ahead and do both. But feeding our kids a healthy snack or lunch is critical for their development, and parents are too busy to pack lunches, and unsure of what is really going into those prepacked snacks. This is your opportunity to create a niche and offer a voluble

8 Ghost Writer, Editor, Proofreader – these days content is king! Meaning businesses of every size need blogs, social networking posts, and articles published about their companies and topics of interest to their customers. If not comfortable writing, then editing and proofreading are in demand as well!

9 Selling for others on EBAY – who doesn’t have old things in their home that would be of great value to someone else? Everyone, between our own houses and our aging parents, we need to sell some stuff but who has time. Enter the EBAY entrepreneur; starting a business where you handle the details, you handle the sale; you make money and so does our customer.

10 Transcriptionist – the cell phone has become the new Dictaphone and busy professionals are using driving, commute, and walking time to create lists, write memos, and develop proposals and speeches. Your opportunity is in helping them get their ideas out of their phone, organized, and into printable form. Start a company that is about being the new transcriptionist

11 Web developer/designer – if you are technology savvy than this could be the business for you. Now I know, it seems like everyone’s brother-in-law has a web developer business, and they do because it is a great business to have. Websites are getting easier with templates and plug ins, and with that ease comes more demand to change them and keep them updated.

12 Call center representative – love to talk on the phone? Yes, people still do that, talk on the phone, and customers still want to hear a happy, kind, and helpful voice. That is where you and your business come in – with call centers expanding you can go to work as a part-time employee, or be an independent contractor.

13 Tech support specialist – understand mobile phones, computers, or these new complicated televisions? Then you are in demand, personally and professionally. Those of us who are not tech savvy are waiting for you to start your business.

14 Travel agent – love to travel or at least plan vacations? Then this is a great business for you. Travel has become complicated again, and with busy lives, having someone organize a great vacation or business travel experience is money well spent.

15 Children’s Party Planner/organizer – if you love to play or never grew up, this could be a great party for you. Parents are going over the top planning great parties, and they need ideas, resources, and someone to do it.

So there you have it – see something you like and get started, or just use the list to as a jumping off point and brainstorming tool. While this all reminds me a little of the Scotch Tape store on Saturday night live (yes I realize I am dating myself), we have truly reached a time in our economy when working from home is not only a convenient idea, it can very much be a profitable one!

Business Growth Expert, Meridith Elliott Powell is a keynote speaker, author and business strategist. Her work focuses in helping her clients build cultures that inspire ownership at every level and drive sales at every turn. For more information visit her website at or contact her direct at 828 243 3510.

Meredith Elliot Powell
Written by Meredith Elliot Powell