Get Creative With Home Business

You may plan on lounging by the pool or firing up the grill over Memorial weekend. But why not take advantage of the downtime to cook up a plan for your very own home-based business?

To get you started, I concocted a recipe for home-business success with these five brand new startup ideas:

Open source management consultant: Described as a social technology evangelist, Heather Gold developed the theory of open source management for businesses. OSM is when companies use open source communication tools (such as blogs and wikis) to create a better work environment between employee and employer. My guess is that this might just catch on.

Especially if corporations are convinced that improved communications and healthy relationships equal more money in the coffers. Thus, I spot an opportunity for OSM consultants. If you understand the social aspect of technology, and have a hankering to stomp out interoffice politics and corporate head games, this might be the business for you.

Quinceaeras planners: Traditional party planners, move over, ’cause there’s a new gig in town. A coming-of-age party for 15-year-olds, quinceaeras got its roots from the Hispanic culture.

However, over-the-top bashes are immune to cultural divides, and girls of all ethnicities are clamoring to throw quinceaeras of their own. The lavish events mean muchos de dinero for the party industry. Specializing as a quinceaeras planner is not only a potentially lucrative home-based business, but an entertaining one to boot.

Mobile specialty carts: Sure, the street vendor peddling his food cart has been around for eons. And who hasn’t heard of the mall kiosk? Rest assured there’s room for innovation in the delivery of niche products.

Instead of hot dog carts, think cereal vans. For example, Cereality, a food store specializing in cereal teamed up with Dodge to put a cereal bar on wheels. Or how about delivering homemade baked goods via boat to fellow mariners? Coastal Living magazine featured a Cape Cod family that’s made a business out of doing just that. Take heed. There is room for creativity when it comes to what’s sold on the streets (or ocean) … and what mode of transportation is used to peddle it.

Telecommuting security specialist: There’s not a doubt in my mind that companies will continue offering employees the option to work remotely. However, I can also testify that individuals and their employers have a lot to learn about how to maintain a secure telecommuting environment.

From minimizing general security threats to creating solid written policies, companies should be eager to hire a telecommuting security specialist. And remember, this doesn’t apply to only full-time telecommuters. Any employee who travels or takes work home is by definition working remotely.

Hiring outsourced contractors also translates to remote working conditions. There’s a recent (and unfortunate) example of the potential harm remote workers can inflict. Look no further than the case of the stolen VA records, which has put thousands of veterans at risk of becoming identity fraud victims – all because a laptop was stolen from an employee’s home.

Virtual broadcasting technician: It’s probably no surprise that the next wave of home-based business ideas is closely tied into technology. This one is no exception. Podcasting (broadcasting to iPods), viral videos (low-budget videos distributed over the Internet) and blogs (Web logs) are increasingly becoming valuable marketing tools for businesses.

Yet many executives don’t have the knowledge or the time to implement and manage these tools. That’s why I envision a growing demand for virtual broadcasting technicians. These are folks who can assist a company in identifying a strategy for using these tools.

Sound bite engineer: Yes, attention spans are waning at breakneck speeds. Customers simply don’t have the time or interest in digesting long, drawn-out sales pitches. Ah, but I’ve said too much already.

So here’s the point. Your ability to keep it short and sweet, yet seal the deal, is in demand. Companies need engaging wordsmiths to write product descriptions, Web site copy and multimedia content. But it must be light on words and heavy on persuasion. Future novelists need not bother. This is a job for a true sound bite engineer.

Shannon Belew is a Huntsville-based home business owner.
She can be reached via e-mail at [email protected]
Huntsville Times

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