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Can Your Talents Help You Earn Money?

Aug 17, 2007
Many stay at home moms would really love to contribute something to the family income. For many this means joining a direct sales opportunity or hunting up the rare work at home job. Some however, take a look at their talents and decide they'd rather do something all on their own.

Now, there's nothing wrong with working at any legitimate work at home opportunity, and I'm not saying everyone will want to use a particular talent to earn money. For others it might be the answer they've been looking for.

These days there are just so many different ways to earn money from home. The internet has made it possible for you to sell products you create or offer services from the comfort of your own home. You don't even have to be a master website designer... unless that's the service you're offering, that is!

One of the biggest challenges can be deciding how much to sell what you create for. It's such a common mistake for stay at home moms to undervalue their work. When you're pricing your creations, you need to consider not only the cost of the goods, but what it costs you to market them, the cost of your time and labor, and possibly some added value for your particular kind of creativity.

You have many options for selling. If you make handmade items, local craft fairs and swap meets may work out, but they do take some serious time out of your house and there's the cost of your booth to consider.

You could also find a store willing to sell your products on consignment. This can be challenging and you need to have a good contract so that you know how often they will pay you, how inventory will be tracked and so forth. But it sure can be nice to let someone else handle all the issues of a real storefront.

You can sell on eBay. The challenge here of course, is selling for a price that you can afford to sell at. There are a lot of bargain hunters on eBay, and particularly when you have little feedback it takes a bit of extra work to get things going. However, since you can have a storefront rather than be limited to strictly auctions, you choose to go by set prices instead of risking auctions.

You can sell on your own site. This can be expensive or cheap, depending on how you go about it. You can hire a website designer to professionally create your storefront and maintain it. You can use a program such as OSCommerce and figure things out on your own. You can use a program such as XSitePro, get some hosting and build your site. You can buy hosting that helps walk you through it all, including website templates and marketing such as Site Build It. You can buy Dreamweaver or FrontPage and build a site that way.

Going any of these routes means that you need a payment gateway. PayPal is quite popular for people new to selling online. They no longer require users to sign up if they just want to pay by credit card, so you aren't limited to people willing to use a Paypal account.

You can also get your own merchant account. Fees vary on these, but it looks much more professional than using Paypal. You will want to compare a variety of companies before selecting one.

There's more to it, of course. I haven't even touched on business licenses, reseller's permits and dealing with taxes. These vary from state to state and even city to city, so it's not something that I can go into here. Try City Hall or your local Chamber of Commerce for those aspects. Most cities now also have information available online.

A lot of work goes into making money from your talents, but it can be a fun and profitable excuse to exercise your talent. If you can profitably sell what you make, you have more reason to make the things you enjoy creating.
About the Author
Stephanie Foster blogs at http://www.homewiththekids.com/blog/ about life as a work at home mom. Visit her site to learn more about starting your own home business .
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