Often easier said than done, making money from home is a dream for millions of people around the world. Sound like a pipe dream? We say down with negative vibes! With the right idea, some clever planning and more than just a bit of grim determination, this dream can become a reality in a flash.

Here are our top 7 foolproof ideas for making money from home:

1. Website Consulting

Use your know-how of the net to your advantage by starting a website consulting service. Everybody wants a great website, but not everyone knows how to go about it, which is where you come in. For clients who don’t have a website yet, give them guidance on how complex their site should be, how it should be laid out, as well as what it will cost them to get a site developed.  If they already have a website, advise them on how it can be improved and offer basic SEO services. Whether they have an existing website or not, put clients in touch with reputable website designers and developers who will pay you a commission on all business that you send their way. The beauty of this business idea is that you don’t need to be a graphic designer to do it – you just need to have good connections to one. See yourself as more of a website doctor… one who detects or prevents problems, offering the perfect remedy for a successful, dynamic online presence.

Foolproof because a website is a must-have, but a phenomenal website is first prize.

2. Restoring Old furniture

Forget lazing about watching television on weekends. Rather spend your down-time trawling charity and pawn shops, looking for furniture, frames and décor accessories that can be given a new lease on life and resold for more than twice its purchase price. A good place to start is Bid or Buy – South Africa’s answer to eBay – where you can pick up some great deals under the Antique furniture section. Start with one or two items that need re-upholstering or a fresh coat of paint. Find cheap fabrics at discount stores like Waste Centre for your upholstery needs and source paints from a local BuildIt store. Signing up as a seller on Bid or Buy is easy and free – you only pay a small commission if your items get sold, and you can start promoting your items instantly with inexpensive featured listings starting at R15. Why not list your for sale items on the popular community site Gumtree as well? You’ll be surprised at the number of enquiries you’ll get. Remember this though: The price must be right! For inspiration, subscribe to the Ideas Magazine e-newsletter. Once you’ve become an expert, advertise your services to local interior designers who’ll keep you in mind next time they’re going for a shabby chic look.

Foolproof because the old adage “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” will always hold true.

3. Equipment Hire

If you have extra storage space and a bit of capital to spend, consider starting an equipment rental business from home. There are lots of options here – from kids’ party equipment to printers, what you buy to hire out will depend on your interests, the amount of space you have and how much you’re willing to put into the business. Whichever way you go, it’s a viable option for those wanting to make money from home. You’ll have to spend a certain amount on maintaining the equipment, but it’s an exciting prospect to make money over and over again from something that you’ve only had to purchase once!

Here are some examples of items that you can rent out:

  • tools
  • construction equipment
  • mountain and quad bikes
  • office furniture
  • movie props
  • kids’ jumping castles
  • birthing tubs

Foolproof because people can’t always buy everything they need, so they hire it. Simple.

4. Selling Online

If you’re keen to make some dough from the comfort of your home, selling online may be just the ticket.

First things first: source an interesting product (or, even better, develop your own niche brand). This point is obviously key to your success and you should exhaust every avenue before deciding what you’re going to sell. Remember that location is not an issue when you’re selling online – but uniqueness is. Rather than going for a common product that you can’t offer competitive pricing on, you should focus on a niche product that can put you on the map.

Second, get yourself a fantastic website. Don’t underestimate the power of a good site, because today’s online shoppers are ruthless – if your site doesn’t speak to them, they’ll simply move on to the next one. Lastly, start selling. eBay and Bid or Buy are obvious choices, but there are literally hundreds of online marketplaces. Check up on your competitors… Where do they sell their stuff? Who do they sell to? There is a ton of information on the web about setting up an online store, so jump onto your favourite search engine and do your homework. A good place to start is by reading The 10 Secrets of Online Selling Online by Paul Graham

Foolproof because buying (and selling) online is fun, convenient and habit-forming.

5. Bookkeeping

Many small to medium-sized companies outsource their bookkeeping rather than hire a permanent employee for the job. This is a cinch for anyone with self-discipline, a flair for figures and a penchant for dotting every ‘i’ and crossing every ‘t’. If you are a qualified bookkeeper or financial accountant, this is a foolproof way to make money from home, but if you haven’t studied in this field, your best bet is to find out about the Accounting Certification Programme as recommended by the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers. It’ll take some time to complete the modules required for the qualification, but, before long, you’ll be a bona fide bookkeeper with a successful home-based business.

Foolproof because money makes the world go round.

6. Mobile Spa

The stress of modern living has had a direct impact on the popularity of lifestyle-enhancing therapies and treatments, which have recently become regarded as more of a must-have than a luxury. Beauty salons are now booked up weeks in advance with clients who see the value in therapeutic massage, aromatherapy and beauty treatments. If health and beauty is your thing, a mobile spa may be the perfect way for you to make money from home. Offering pampering to companies and private individuals alike, these roving, stress-busting businesses are becoming increasingly popular. This probably has a lot to do with the fact that, according to recent medical research, massage can ease insomnia, prevent PMS, boost immunity and drastically reduce stress levels. Read what the Mayo Clinic has to say about massage.

Foolproof because nobody can resist a good back rub.

7. Career Coaching

Nothing can be more frustrating than being in a career that is either unfulfilling or financially unrewarding. It is very true that success is almost guaranteed if someone loves what they do, but sometimes it isn’t always clear what the perfect career for someone is.  If you have a passion for helping people and are willing to go on a course or two, consider offering a home-based career coaching service. Your guidance can help school-leavers establish their ideal career path, as well as give new direction to employees who dread getting out of bed on Monday mornings. Unlike career counseling, which requires a university degree, a home-based career-coaching business can be offered by anyone with a sincere desire to help others find life-changing solutions. You’ll need to do a short life-coaching course (click here to find a course near you) before going on to specialise in career coaching. An idea may be to link up with various recruitment agencies so that you can keep an eye out for potential jobs for your clients. Word of mouth will most likely be your best form of marketing, but it won’t hurt to place a small, inexpensive ad in Gumtree’s employment section. The modern business world is competitive and stressful, with the average person changing career paths up to 10 times in their working lives – so, chances are that you’ll always have a queue of customers whose lives you can change with your empathy, perceptiveness and positive outlook. Helping others find fulfillment while establishing your own financial success? Now if that isn’t the perfect home-based business, we’re not sure what is!

Foolproof because everyone should do what they love.