2 Home Business Ideas that you can Start without a Staff


1) Sales Representative

Start-up cost:  $1,000–$3,000

Potential earnings:  $20,000–$50,000+

Typical fees:   Percentage basis

Advertising:  Word of mouth, direct mail, cold calling, Web site that includes your success stories and testimonials

Qualifications:  Energy, persistence, ability to manage time well

Equipment needed:  Computer, fax, cell phone

Staff required:   No

Hidden costs:  Catalogs and other sales materials for which some of your clients may charge, traveling to meetings, inventory replacement

What You Do

Many people try their hand at direct sales, yet only a few of them make it big. What’s the difference? Consider your goals. Do you want to make a few bucks and sell a line of products you like to family, friends, and acquaintances? Is your main goal to make your own purchases at a discount? Or are you planning to put the effort and commitment into direct sales that you would into establishing any other type of small business? Many products are best sold person-to-person because they benefit from the demonstration. Finding an excellent product line to work with is vital, and you should feel confident in the company as well. The rest is up to your selling skills and personal drive. Some companies encourage their salespeople to create networks of additional salespeople whose sales then bring a percentage to the person who recruited them. This practice acts as an incentive for everyone in the sales force. It is one way to large earnings, if you can achieve it.

What You Need

Expenses in the beginning are very low (around $1,000), but watch out for hidden charges and fees from the manufacturers. These should warn you off the companies that might exploit you. An income of $20,000 in the beginning is realistic.

Keys to Success

How many opportunities are left in this country in which your own hard work will define your success? Direct sales is one of them. Are you comfortable with cold calling? Are you committed enough to keep you going with no one to answer to but yourself? Do you genuinely like people and enjoy helping them find products that will add something to their lives or businesses? Or, on the other hand, would you be satisfied with direct sales as an add-on to some other activity? Be sure you’re clear on what you want and what you will need to do to achieve it. If you have big ambitions, you’ll need a very big commitment to achieve them in direct marketing and sales.

2) Sales Trainer

Start-up cost: $500–$2,500 (for spinoff products, add another $5,000– $15,000)

Potential earnings:  $80,000–$150,000+

Typical fees: $125–$150 per hour plus travel expenses

Advertising:  Professional sales associations, networking, advertising in local business publications

Qualifications:  Sales training or teaching experience

Equipment needed:  Computer, printer, fax, high-speed Internet access, cell phone

Staff required:   No

Hidden costs:  Liability insurance, travel expenses not covered by client, incentives to help secure new clients (CDs, books, consulting time, or other business-building freebies)

What You Do

If you have a knack for inspiring and motivating others, in addition to a sales or marketing background, becoming a sales trainer could be a fun and a profitable business option for you. You will travel all over the country offering high-paying workshops, seminars, and keynote speeches that energize sales professionals and motivate them to peak performance. Once you become better known for your   motivational abilities, you will see that the largest part of your job is actually marketing your own best product—yourself—to other companies who might sponsor your seminars. Keeping the calendar full will insure that the money keeps rolling in, so don’t forget to get testimonials from each gig in order to continually gain more interest in your services. Forget the tired buzzwords of the past. Develop your own formula for sales success, and you can make yourself a valued resource among thousands of sales professionals everywhere.

What You Need

Most sales trainers have also written books and produced a variety of spinoff products such as cassette tapes, CDs, DVDs, or videos. Expect to spend between $1,000 and $5,000 for marketing materials, including brochures, business cards, and a Web site that is as dynamic as you are. Aside from your self-promotion tools, you really don’t need more than charisma and tenacity to get a business like this off the ground.

Keys to Success

In this business, reputation is everything. Inspiring others to reach for their best is a noble profession, but it can only be successful if you constantly promote yourself to more prospects. Having a complete portfolio of “spinoff ” incentive products like books, CDs and self-assessments on your Web site is one way to keep customers coming back—and the money streaming in.

Mohsen Reza

Mohsen Reza is a writer/blogger. He uses guest blogging as a platform for sharing his knowledge and experiences in different matters.

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