Freelance Computer Programmer

What would this world be without computer programs? They take seconds to complete a task that would take a human weeks! Like it or not, we rely on computer programs everyday to help us do our jobs, communicate and do business. And who writes these computer programs? A very special type of person indeed.

A computer programmer is someone who lives and breathes computer code. They can sit in front of a computer screen for hours on end, seemingly lost in their own world. They are, actually – lost in a world of syntax and logic. As a computer programmer, you will be writing code for all sorts of programs from small application modules to major accounting softwares. A truly good computer programmer rarely needs to look for work – they are head-hunted by companies for their skills.

Good computer programmers can command huge salaries if they choose to work full time with a company, but top-notch ones often prefer to freelance or work on contract basis. That way, they’re free to work on their own pet project or state-of-the-art software that will make them millions of dollars. Freelance computer programmers are also highly sought as trainers. Many do both, freelancing as programmers and trainers. Even a small utility program, if marketed well, can earn you tons of money! Look at what happened to a nerdy chap named Bill Gates and his small operating system!

Computer Used Parts Finder

Some say that computers go out of date as fast as people change their underwear – that’s everyday(hopefully)! A brand new computer can easily be obsolete in 2 to 4 years. Competition in the computer industry is fierce. They are constantly in a one-up showdown with their competitors to produce the fastest, nicest, most sophicticated machines in the market. People start to realize their computers are out-of-date when they try to get a spare part and they’re told the manufacturers have stopped producing them or that it’s going to take a couple of weeks to track down the part! Still, may people would rather get a second-hand part than to buy a new one or to replace their computer.

So, if your’re a computer wiz who knows the specs of any computer model or if you can tell just by looking at a motherboard what model it came from, then you are going to love this business. You’ll need to have a wide network of contacts or suppliers who deal with computers. You will know where and how to get parts for your customer, and then sell it to them at a marked-up price of course. Obviously with the number of computer models that exist, you can’t possibly keep stock of every part for every model! As you get more experienced in this business, you will know which parts are in demand and you’ll want to keep those in stock. Locating a part can be a breeze with the many auction and computer accessories websites online today.

So why would your customer come to your instead of doing a search on the Internet himself? Why for your expertise of course. You will know which part would be compatible with your customer’s computer. If your customer were to do it himself, he might make mistakes and end up having to return the part and then repeat the process all over again. It can be a very frustrating and time consuming task. They’d rather rely on you to get the part and install it for them. A neat business you can run right from your home and make money in your spare time!

Media Conversion

In the late seventies and eighties, video and audio cassete tapes were the preferred medium for recording music and videos. They were the cheapest medium at that time although the tape itself was flimsy and prone to damage by heat and humidity. When compact discs came into the scene, it quickly caught on as the new medium for data storage, music and movies. Many people still hold on to their audio and video tapes which are sometimes nearly twenty years old! These people represent the main market for your Media Conversion business.

Your media conversion service will convert your customers’ old audio and video tapes to compact dics or computer storage media. You can easily run this business from your home. Your equipment will basically consist of video or cassete players, a computer that will have the necessary video capture hardware and the software to perform any editing that may be required. This is a nice business you can run in your spare time, even setting the machines to work overnight while you sleep. You probably won’t make tons of money running this business unless you include other services like music and video editing. To enhance your business, you might want to get to know your local video rental or computer stores. They may be able to pass business your way. You could also try to get contracts with libraries, colleges and training academies. They usually have lots of material in the old format that could be upgraded with your skills.

IT Network Consultant

Everyday when people go to work and they switch on their computers, they rarely give thought to how their data travels from one computer to another hundreds of miles away! If your could strip the walls, flooring and ceiling panels, you’d see a “mangled mess” of cables – the lifeline of computer networks. A simple network of one or two computers may not require specialized skills to set up and maintain, but imagine tens or hundreds of computers connected to each other, sharing printers, faxes and servers. An untrained person wouldn’t know the first thing to do to set up such a network.

Most Network Consultants start out in IT support, learning and troubleshooting small networks at first and as they gain experience, they work their way up to larger and more complex systems. They are responsible for designing and implementing computer networks for their clients. The ultimate goal is to have a streamlined network that allows optimum utilization of resources from printers to storage devices. Constant training is a necessary part of this business. As a Network Consultant, you will need to know the latest developments in your field. Consultants who are responsible for large networks where critical amounts of data are handled, are often on-call 24 hours a day. Any problem related to the network must be attended to immediately. It’s a huge responsibility but an equally huge paycheck comes with that responsibility. Most LAN Consultants live and breathe IT anyway so most of the time they just love being tackling anything related to networks. After all, they know that they’re building a large network of income!

Interior Design

Do your friends constantly comment on your beautifully decorated apartment? Do you colleagues include you into discussions and planning when the office layout needs work? These are tell tale signs that you could potentially make it as an Interior Designer / Decorative Consultant.

You would have an artistic flair, a natural at color matching and visualizing. You will need to know where to obtain the items that you need for your project so having an extensive network of friends and suppliers is important. You need to be a people person, able to quickly gauge what your client expects from you. Many times, your clients will have a basic idea of what they want. It’s your job to guide them along with suggestions and ideas.

While a formal qualification will help you get started, many in this business built their reputation on the quality of their work and the level of customer service. There are Interior Designers who ‘fell’ into this business without formal training and worked their way up to designing the homes of celebrities and VIPs. At the end of the day, the greatest proof of a job well done is the smile on your client’s face.

Costume Jewelry Designer

Spending hours browsing your local jewelry stores or if you have a large collection of fashion accessories are the obvious signs that you have an interest in jewelry design. Another sign would be compliments and comments from family and friends who notice your natural abilities in this craft. If you like fashioning intricate masterpieces with your hands, this business could be ideal for you.

Having gone through some form of training will help you receive higher prices for your work and operate as a licensed jewelry appraiser. Stretch your creativity and imagination. Think “out of the box” to create unique uses and designs for your products. These days, being ‘different’ catches people’s attention. If you intend to go into the business on a large scale, branding would be crucial. Having a chain of jewelry store bearing your name is not impossible.

Florist / Floral Arranger

In this highly creative and pleasant profession, you assemble unique and interesting arrangements of fresh cut, dried and silk flowers for your clients. There’s always a demand for bouquets and arrangements for weddings, funerals, anniversaries, special events and functions, but you’ll find the holiday season your busiest time of the year.

Since flowers are a perishable item, you need to have the knowledge and ability to preserve the blooms, taking care not to have too much inventory. Ordering too much may leave you with lots of wilted, unsold flowers at the end of the day.

You’ll have to do a fair bit of research into your competition, taking note of the type of equipment they use, their styles, customer base and the general style of arrangements that they do. You want to be able to do whatever your competition is doing AND MORE. Maybe you have a particular style that is complicated to copy. Market this to your clients.

Unless you’re contented with just a small home business, you’ll need to think of hiring someone to help you out, especially for deliveries. You don’t want to be out when customers walk in. Personal service is of particular importance in this business. If you can exceed your customers expectations, you can be sure they will be talking about you often.

T-Shirt Designer

Everybody owns at least a few t-shirts. They’re comfortable and affordable, and are a great way to express your personality. They’re also a cheap and fantastic way for businesses to advertise their products. Imagine millions of people walking around bearing your company logo.

Your role as a t-shirt designer is to let your creativity fill the t-shirt with either your personal artwork or that of your clients. A cleverly positioned logo, an interesting motif, a tagline that makes you read twice – these are some of the things that make a great t-shirt.

To start, you will need a basic flair for design. Equipment can be kept to a minimum for small or single orders, but as your business grows, you will find yourself competing in the big league. T-shirts are a BIG and highly competitive business. What sets you apart from the rest will be your talent for transforming the canvas of the t-shirt into a work of art. You can even create your own line of t-shirts, effectively making you a fashion-designer!

Custom Embroidery

It’s cool to wear a personalized shirt, jacket, hat or shoes bearing your name, picture or favorite tagline. These personalized items are great for teams and clubs – with their names, numbers and nicknames emblazoned on them!

You’ll need to start with an inexpensive machine. Perhaps you could take orders from your local college and clothing stores. In the early stages, your orders will come mostly through personal recommendations from friends and acquaintences. Working from home allows you to keep your costs low, but as business grows, you will need to add on more sophisticated machines which will take up a lot of space. Unless you have loads of room in your home or you have an empty garage, you will need to think about setting up shop.

Having a shop of your own improves customers’ perception of your business and gives you a more professional image. Remember, embroidery work doesn’t have to stop with the customer walking out of your shop. The Internet virtually offers you the opportunity to sell to the whole world!

Cartoonist / Caricaturist

When billions of people pick up the newspaper every day, they instinctively flip to their favorite cartoon strip. People like Jim Davis (Garfield), Jim Watterson (Calvin & Hobbes) and Charles Schultz (Peanuts) belong to that elite group of famous cartoonists who have become millionaires with their globally syndicated comic strips. There are even training courses that teach students how to pen and market comic strips.

If you have an artistic flair and enjoy expressing your views through cartoons, caricatures or comic strips, then the best way to gain recognition as a cartoonist is to build a portfolio of artwork. Competition is fierce and only a small percentage get their big breaks and eventually become famous cartoonists. You need to be persistent in sending your work to potential clients, newspapers, magazines, greeting card companies and the like.

If a world syndicated comic strip is not your target, there is alway the option of developing your own line of premiums or apparel that feature your artwork. Many caricaturists make a decent living at malls, charging a fee to customers who want a caricature done of themselves or a loved one. Taking this a step further, you could offer to transfer their caricature to T-shirts or mugs. Unless you operate this niche business near an art school or cartoonist community, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about competitors. The cartoonist’s and caricaturist’s skills are not something that can be picked up overnight. A pretty nice way to turn your passion for doodling into money!

Collectibles Dealer

Visit Internet auctions sites like eBay and you’ll be amazed that people are selling (and buying) all sorts of things! One of the most popular categories is the collectibles section. Back-dated comic books, out-of-print novels, baseball cards and toys are examples of collectibles that can fetch prices that reach as high as thousands of dollars.

With the Internet, you could reach out to customers all over the world from the comfort of your own home. You’ll enjoy high profits as your item is up for grabs through competitive bidding. The secret to being a success in this field is to always be on the look out for collectibles. You need to recognize the current and future value of certain collectibles. Your aim is to build your inventory with as little cost as possible.

It’s imperative that you know your product. Sometimes, an item that’s sitting in your store suddenly shoots up in value. For example, that old recording of a singer that nobody was particularly interested in suddenly jumps in value with the singer’s passing. Obviously, timing plays a factor in this business. You don’t want to give away a fortune because you didn’t know the true value of what you’r selling. As your freelance business grows, the obvious progression would be to set up shop. This gives you the benefit of having a physical location where customers can browse.

Candle Making

The simple candle that once used to provide light before there was electricity has transformed into a modern day work of art. Beautiful yet functional, these days candles are used as decorative articles more than for lighting!

Your investment would be minimal, with wax, your main raw material being easily obtained and cheap. While it does require some artistic talent, learning the basic skills is fairly simple. A trip to your local bookstore or the internet will provide you with information about candle making. Your candle designs will be limited only by your imagination and creativity. The Internet has made it possible for Candle Makers and other craftspeople to sell their products around the world at the click of a mouse.

To make more money, you can try to set yourself up as regular supplier for a crafts outlet or marketplace. You could also conduct classes on candle making. Unless you have a family or friends that share your passion for candle making, this business is more about fun than it is about money.

Freelance Writer

 

Startup Costs: Under $1,000
Mode :  Home based / Full-time / Freelance
Group : College / Adult / Seniors
Franchises Available : No

Whether it’s running a business, organization or website, great communication is critical to success. The written word is by far the most common and cost effective way to communicate with the world, but NOT everybody has the knack for putting ideas, strategies, product descriptions or benefits into words. That’s why companies have a marketing and communications department, where you’ll find copywriters or communication execs whose primary job is to write and communicate. However, in an increasingly competitive world market, many companies have opted to outsource much of their writing tasks to freelancers, rather than keeping full-time staff on the payroll, and incurring the costs of medical, dental and work benefits. Continue reading

Computer Refurbishing

 

 

Startup Costs: Under $5,000 if home based / $5,000 to $10,000 and above if shop based.
Mode :  Home based / Shop / Part-time / Full-time
Group : College / Adult / Seniors
Franchises Available : No

Technology moves so rapidly that the computer that you buy today, will possibly be obsolete in five years time. Even if the hardware doesn’t go obsolete, technological advances and needs drive manufacturers to create new products to keep up with the insatiable hardware and software needs of users. While manufacturers once prided themselves on making products that lasted for a lifetime, planned obselescence is now an accepted norm. This means that manufacturers actually expect that their products will be obsolete within a few years of production. The fields of I.T. and computers are probably where this is most apparent, leading to the birth of a whole new industry – computer refurbishing. Continue reading

Clip Art Designer

 

Startup Costs: Under $1000
Mode :  Home based / Online / Part-time / Full-time
Franchises Available : No

Bloggers and writers often use clip art and images to complement their articles and posts. Clip art is used in almost all kinds of presentations to be screened live or printed. There was a time when people only have the clip art resource in Microsoft Office applications to use, but these days, there is a wealth of free and public domain images that can be used royalty free. However, sometimes you cannot find the images that relate to your content or the free and public domain resources are not up to your standard. It’s then that you might need to search for paid clip art resources. While paid clip art does not necessarily mean better quality, if you buy your clip art from a reputable website or resource provider, you can be sure that you would be using those clip art legally and within stipulated requirements.

Continue reading

Child Transporter

 

Startup Costs: Under $1000 / $10,000 – $50,000 (if you don’t own your own vehicle)
Mode : Home based / Part-time / Full-time
Franchises Available : No

Kids these days seems to be just as busy as their parents – after school, it’s piano lessons, ballet lessons, karate classes, baseball practice and the list goes on and on. The problem is – kids are kids and they’re not old enough to drive! Many working parents have this problem – rushing to pick up their kids to and from school, extra classes and sports practice. It takes a lot of creative time management and schedule juggling to transport kids around and most times, it leaves everyone – parents and kids alike – frazzled by the end of the day. What happens if there’s a miscommunication or an unexpected car breakdown or traffic jam? The kids are left waiting, maybe for hours. Statistics show that criminals who target kids often look out for kids who are waiting for the parents who are late to pick them up. Continue reading

Efficiency Expert

 

Estimated Startup Cost : $5K – $10K and upwards.
Mode : Home Based / Office Based / Part-time / Freelance / Full-Time
Franchises  : No

Efficiency and effectiveness are hallmarks of profitable companies. Not every company is like that though. CEOs understand that the key to optimal profits in highly competitive markets is to make sure the company runs like clockwork – a well-oiled engine. This is especially so if there are production goals that have to be met regularly. Time is a hot commodity – it is everything in a business. Wasted and under-utilized time translates to millions of dollars in lost revenue for companies each year. The bottom line is – to trim the fat and streamline your company to make it better, faster, more efficient. This is where an efficiency expert comes in. Continue reading

Business Broker

pmi_business_brokerEstimated Startup Cost : $5K – $10K and upwards.
Mode : Home Based / Office Based /  Freelance / Full-Time
Franchises  : Available

People sell and buy businesses everyday – just take a peek into your newspaper’s classified and you will see all types of businesses being offered for sale. However, buyers and sellers both face problems if they are unfamiliar with the processes involved in the sale and purchase of a business. Business owners will want the best price they can get for their businesses. That’s understandable because they’ve put in years of hard work and money to build it up to where it is – and there is a certain sentimental value attached to their asking price. The buyer on the other hand, wants the lowest price he can get simply because he wants the best deal – after all, he knows he has a lot of expenses ahead of him as he starts out his new business. Pretty much like real estate agents, people approach business brokers for their knowledge and expertise in expediting a business sale transaction. Continue reading

Mobile Auto Detailing

car_wash

Estimated Startup Cost : $2000 to $4000 and upwards.
Mode : Home Based / Shop Based / Part-time / Freelance / Full-Time
Franchises  : Available

These days, it’s normal for everyone to own a car. It’s not uncommon for families (or individuals even) to have more than one car. For many folks, their cars are more than just practical modes of transportation, they’re their pride and joy. The problem is that their busy, hectic lives often leave little time to do the mundane chores like washing, waxing and cleaning out precious cars.

An Auto Detailer is someone who loves cars and loves to keep them shiny and beautiful. You love stripping the dirt and grime off cars after weeks of road use and returning them into their almost pristine condition your specialized cleaning skills. You will visit your clients’ homes or offices to wash, wax and clean their car. You will also clean and shampoo carpets, clean upholstery, and give chrome and tires a shiny polish. Continue reading

11 Ways To Make Money With Your Crafts And Skills

pumpkin_crafts

When you say “make money with crafts”, most people can think of only one way to do it – to make your crafts and set up shop in the mall or marketplace. If you’re a hobbyist, stay at home mom or dad and you just want to earn a little extra on the side to supplement your household income, setting up shop may not be ideal for you. However, the good news is that in today’s connected world, the traditional brick and mortar way of selling your merchandise is NOT the only way to do it. Many people DO make money selling their crafts and using their crafts skills in many interesting ways. Here are 11 ways people make money with their crafts and crafting skills, in the hope that it sparks your entrepreneurial spirit and helps you to think out of the box. Continue reading