Monday, August 1, 2011

Working from home: Five ways to make ends meet

Everyone in this economy, even people with a steady job, can use a little extra cash to help cover the rising costs of food, gas and just about everything else.
It might seem impossible to squeeze something else into the itinerary — what with work and raising a family — but these five ideas can help you earn extra money on your own time:
1. Consider selling products from home. It doesn’t have to be makeup or jewelry, although both have proved profitable choices for lots of people. These days, products range from health and beauty aids to clothing, sports equipment and even toys. Look for a company that is a member of the Direct Selling Association. Be sure to ask questions about compensation, shipping and damages to the product. One example is XANGO, a global company that specializes in wellness products such as mangosteen beverages and toxin-free personal care products. Yes, I am referring to the tall burgundy jar of juice with the orange cap. XANGO does business in more than 30 international markets, so you can build income in your own community or grow a global business through international contacts. For more tips on how to get started or products you might want to sell, visit Direct Selling For more on XANGO, Click Here

2. Freelance or e-lance, as it’s sometimes called, is another work-at-home job that can provide additional income. Be prepared, however, to provide a resume and samples of your work. To get you started, check out Guru Employer, O Desk and Elance

3. Tutor the next generation of bagpipers or English majors. Tutoring is not just a job to help young students pass their midterms or on to the next grade; tutors can help people achieve their goals. Your skills in areas such as music, foreign languages, scrapbooking and even computers could be put to work to help others. Put together an ad and post it where potential clients are most likely to be: the library, craft store or senior citizen facility. Ask around. Maybe a local business could use your talents for a potential class on cooking, sewing or even writing.

4. Be happy at what you do. If you love to cook, instead of offering to help another business, start a cooking class or catering service at home. If you have a knack for painting, woodworking, pottery or a cool product you invented, consider selling your items online. Visit www.etsy.com, www.amazon.com or www.google.com/checkout and www.buymichiganproducts.com to learn more about community marketplace opportunities.

5. Be adventurous. Remember when you were a kid and needed money for the show or a cool bicycle so you offered to mow your neighbor’s lawn or set up a lemonade stand at the end of your driveway? Consider starting a side business doing service jobs such as housekeeping, personal shopping or running errands for seniors. Print announcement cards and hand them out to friends and family and see what happens. If you get a good response, you’re in business. Then again, even if you only get one, it could lead to another, and another. 

I could never tell where inspiration begins and impulse leaves off. I suppose the answer is in the outcome. If your hunch proves a good one, you were inspired; it it proves bad, you are guilty of yielding to thoughtless impulse -- Beryl Markham, English-born Kenyan pilot and writer.

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