When I speak with candidates who are looking into business ownership, sometimes their goal is to keep their day jobs (or be home with the kids) and find something they can do part-time to generate additional income. Those businesses are typically the hardest to find, but I’ve compiled a list with some general ideas to get you started.
Vending. This category includes business opportunities (not franchises) that generally fall into the areas of natural foods, drink machines, ATMs, and water stations. While these businesses won’t allow you to be fully self-sufficient, they can generate some extra monthly cash. They also will require some upfront capital — but remember, the more you invest, the more machines you can put in place. And the more machines you have, the more income you can generate.
Prepare to invest $25,000 to $40,000. Funding is available if your credit score is over 680-ish.
Factoring. These are franchises in the financial services space that offer short-term financing to small businesses that need access to quick funds. Basically, you will be purchasing the accounts receivable of your business clients at a discount, and then collecting the invoices. This isn’t collections and the vast majority of these invoices are rock solid. You can pick and choose which invoices you’re interested in buying. You’ll typically be providing your own capital, usually matched in some way by the franchisor to boost your “banking” power. The franchisors teach you how to do every aspect of this business and how to reduce your risk. Some even do all your back office, collections, and credit checks.
Just like with most home-based businesses, the key is lead generation. Expect to spend your time calling and setting up appointments with bankers and other traditional lending sources who will be your primary sources of referrals. If you are a good networker and are patient, ultimately, these businesses can generate pretty decent income with recurring revenue streams. Typically, small businesses that need this type of funding tend to come back to you every month or two for quite a few years as they grow.
To start, you will need a pool of your own capital of at least $50,000 to $75,000.
Home-based travel consultant. This is the original home-based franchise, and is a long-established type of business that allows you to get paid for selling all kinds of cruises and travel packages and to build a clientele of repeat customers. Again, like vending, this is not a business that generates enough income to cover your entire living needs (unless you become a rock star) but is a fun business to supplement your income.
Your investment can be anywhere between $10,000 and $15,000.
Seasonal businesses. There are a lot of franchises where your work cycle is seasonal or event-driven, something like four times a year or more. There’s a broad range of businesses in this category — everything from smoothies and ice cream trucks you can roll out to events to advertising concepts and even photo booths. You’ll be doing a lot of the legwork from home and then show up for the event as planned. Again, these are part-time hours, so expect part-time pay. These can still be really fun and profitable if you are outgoing and love people.
The investment range can be from $50,000 to $150,000.
This list is by no means exhaustive. There are plenty of other home-based businesses where you can work whatever hours you choose to and make a commensurate amount of income. Recruiting, social media marketing, and virtual assistant/bookkeeping types of businesses are just some that come to mind.
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Jane Stein is a member of the DailyWorth Connect program. Read more about the program here.