A lot of people dream of being able to work from home. It’s the freedom it offers, the type of work, and the fact that it can provide a good income. Right now, the traditional economy is shedding jobs at an unprecedented rate.

There just isn’t’ the demand there once was for row and row of factory workers or clerks. Now millions of people are turning to online freelance work to improve their incomes.

But there’s a problem with this. The online labour market is frighteningly competitive, and many of the jobs on offer aren’t particularly well-paid. So where are the best opportunities for jobs you can do working at home?

Marketing redesigner

The job title might sound a little boring, but the work itself certainly isn’t, especially if you’re a creative type. Take Melissa Schmechel, a designer from San Francisco. She graduated way back in 2004. For a few years, she worked at a couple of design studios in the city.

But she had bigger entrepreneurial ambitions. At the age of 26, she decided she was going to start her own design and print business. Her core product is sprucing up business cards and brochures and generally making marketing materials look beautiful.

An office space would have cost her upwards of $1,000 a month. So she decided that her best bet was to start by working from home. It was a bit crowded running a business from a 3-bed flat with two other roommates, but she’s glad she did it. Now she charges $50 per hour for her work. And in her first year alone, she made profits of $50,000.

She would up realising that she didn’t need to endure nasty commutes to have the career that she wanted. Instead, she just had to take the plunge and work straight out of her kitchen. And she’s not alone, right now, about half of all businesses are registered to some kind of residential address.

Consultancy

Consulting work tends to be well paid and highly rewarding. And if you’ve got the skills, it should certainly be something you should consider. Most consultants end up making significant margins over their operating costs. And, of course, many make more than six figures.

But when it comes to consulting work, there are two significant hurdles. The first is how to market the service. One option is to use network marketing. The idea here is to make your client base beneficiaries of your service.

Every time they make a referral to you, they get a chunk of the profits. Often, your customers are your greatest advocates. So if you can get them to have conversations with other potential clients, you’ll quickly expand your business.

The other issue is pricing. Consultants who price too low may be seen as being of lesser quality. But new consultants who price too high might be rejected because of a lack of track record. Most consultants charge on a per-project basis.

As a consultant, it’s unlikely you’ll need your own permanent office. You’ll either meet clients at their premises, or in rented meeting rooms.

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