Imagine being able to make money from the comfort of your very own sofa. No uncomfortable swivel chairs or office politics to contend with. No arguing over who never makes a brew. It sounds like heaven, doesn’t it?
There’s such an emphasis at the moment on the importance of work-life balance. With 45% of people spending more than an hour commuting each day, that’s almost 5% of your day you’re losing when you could be doing other things.
Finding a way to make money from home is the dream for most people. In this article, we’ll give you some suggestions on how to do it with some stories from people who already do…
Use your skills and start a business
Is there something you can do that not many other people can? Maybe you’re an artist, a carpenter or a qualified electrician. Could you make some moves towards going freelance, starting your own business, or supplementing your income by selling your talents?
Laura Barlow of alicelily.net began making clothes when she was on maternity leave and now, 18 months on, has a fully fledged handmade clothing business along with two children under two.
“I got very bored on maternity leave so started a little business selling tutus and skirts. It was just a hobby at first, but it quickly got busy, and I had to register as self-employed. I get to earn more, and I’m doing something I love. It’s lovely being able to be home with the kids.”
Laura recently announced she had received over 2,000 orders and is inundated with people wanting to be brand representatives.
Not everyone is doing it from home. Some people started that way, but now they’re earning money wherever there’s wifi. Daryl Newby used to be the Regional Operations Manager for the largest backpacker travel agency in Australia. After almost six years he felt burnt out and decided that he wanted to have a go at launching a backpacker related business himself. He now operates welcometo.travel, a tour operator helping those new to their backpacking experience in Australia. They’ve been operating since April 2017 and, though there have been ups and downs, he says it’s changed his life for the better.
“Not having the steady income is always hard to give up, but having the freedom to work from anywhere in the world more than makes up for that.”
Sell on behalf of another company
Do you have a big bunch of connections and a personality that goes great with sales? There are hundreds of companies out there who are looking for people like you to sell their products, and they’re willing to give you a hearty commission for your efforts. It’s known as ‘MLM’, Multi Level Marketing and there are all types of companies with different products that you could sell but with the freedom to do it on your own terms. Find a product that you genuinely like and would feel passionate about selling.
Heidi Mavir, also known as ‘The Slap Addict’, partners with Younique makeup and skincare. She sells their products for them on social media and has 800 men and women who buy from her all over the world.
“I was working full time when I joined Younique. Gradually, over 18 months, I built my Younique business part-time by working on it on my lunch hour, evenings and weekends, until I was able to reduce my hours at the day job. Now I have freedom. I work the hours I want and don’t have to fill out a form to go for lunch with my best friend. I also earn more now from my Younique business than I did in my day job. I love to travel and this year have taken trips to Milan, New Orleans and Berlin. I’m flying to Vegas next month for 5 days. Running my business from my smart phone means I have the flexibility to do it from anywhere with wifi.”
Sell your skills on a freelance basis
Do you have skills that other people want? Maybe you’re a video editor or a voice over artist? Perhaps you’re great at writing business development plans? You can sell yourself to companies on a freelance basis. They’ll set you a deadline, and then you can complete the work around your working hours. Maybe you’ll become so good at it eventually that you’ll be able to give up your job and do this full-time.
That’s what Saima Omar did. She’s a freelance writer with more than five years of experience. She said it was hard work in the beginning, but it was worth the effort.
“I made the transition by working long hours! I worked extra hard in the evenings and weekends, while in full-time work. Working as a freelance copywriter is a dream. I get to pick my clients and the industries I write about. Every month I’m learning something new about business dealings. I enjoy the flexibility too.”
Recommended read: 10 Things To Consider Before Going Freelance.
Work for an organisation where staff work from home
There are lots of organisations now that let staff work remotely. Gone are the days in which your supervisor would stand over your shoulder to make sure things were done. In the last few years, companies have seen the benefit of letting staff work independently. As long as they are getting their work done on time and to a high standard who cares about the rest, right?
Chief Executive of Veganuary Simon Winch says the format has worked for them.
“There are reduced overheads, we’re able to attract staff from a wider geographical pool and some staff are more productive on their own terms. There are some cons, of course. There can be issues with inefficiency and morale because staff like to see one another. Some staff struggle with productivity and we can sometimes find people don’t want the job because they really don’t want to work from home.”
Make sure you’re up to the job
Making money from home might sound like a great idea, but you have to make sure you are motivated and productive. You won’t get paid if you’re not actually working. Everyone we asked about earning their money from home specified that they had worked hard to get there and that they continued to work hard to stay there. There’s no sick pay, no maternity leave and, often, no company, so you must be a motivated self-starter who can get things done. It won’t be easy, but if it’s what you really want to do, then it will be totally worth it.
Working from home may mean you get to work on your own terms, but, there are still some essential things you need to consider even if you work for yourself; such as registering your business, filing tax returns, paying the correct amount of tax and having the right business insurance.