The national unemployment rate has been see-sawing for the past few years, and is at 9.2% as of March 2011. This does not include those who are working part time jobs although they’d like full time positions, nor does it include discouraged workers who have stopped looking for work. These people are still in need of money to cover their expenses, and feel hopeless. Some have chosen to go into business for themselves. If this sounds interesting to you, here are some home based business ideas you can start during this economic downturn:

  1. Professional Organizer: If you’re a neat person, you can help others get organized as well. That include sorting papers in offices of corporations and homes, or even organizing closets of families. If there are containers or bins you recommend, you can charge extra for supplying these to your customers.
  2. Event Planning: Weddings haven’t stopped, and neither have parties. Some people don’t have time to plan it themselves, and are willing to pay someone else to plan for them. Start with your friends and family and expand your services locally.
  3. Resume Writing Service: Sounds a little weird for this situation, but many people are still looking for work and are in need of an overhaul with their resume and cover letter. If you have experience with editing resumes and have an idea of the preferred format and know what hiring managers are looking for, this could be a great business for you. Your target demographic doesn’t have to just be the unemployed; graduating college students could benefit from this service.
  4. Virtual Assistant: If you have access to a computer, know programs like Microsoft Word and Excel, you can be of help to many small businesses who are looking for virtual assistants. There are certifications you can go through, join an agency, or be a one man (or woman) show.
  5. Travel Agent: Since the economy is getting better slowly but surely, families are starting to go on vacations again! If you’ve done your fair share of traveling, you can help people nail down their itineraries and find the best price.
  6. Interior Designer: People love walking into a home or office that is well decorated. Those who love furniture and decor can thrive as an interior designer. You can find great deals at discount stores, and still decorate an entire home on a dime, but charge more.
  7. Dinner Delivery: Sort of like Meals on Wheels, but delivering food for people who are too busy or too sick to get dinner on their own. You can make an arrangement with local restaurants and fast food places who don’t normally deliver and let them know you’ll take the food from the restaurants to your neighbor or customer. Be aware of gas prices, though.
  8. Dog Bakery: Probably haven’t heard of this business too much, but it’s a great business! If you’re a dog lover, and care about what they are putting in dog food, you can start a dog bakery. Cook food and treats for dogs and sale them to others who care about man’s best friend. Whether it’s chef-like cuisine or even doggie desserts, you’ll get a tail wag in return for healthy, good food.
  9. Catering Business: This would be for people instead of dogs. If you love being in the kitchen, offer your services for people who are having large parties, or even small gatherings and families who are too busy to cook for themselves.
  10. Bed and Breakfast: If you have extra rooms available in your home or a rental property, start a bed and breakfast. Not everyone likes to stay in big hotels and casinos. Many people like the small town feel and a home cooked meal in the morning.

These home based business ideas can be started in your own home and can provide you with the flexibility you’re looking for in a career, as well as the extra income you’ve been lacking.


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Briana Myricks is a 20 something freelance writer and blogger. Striving for financial independence as a newlywed, she blogs about young married life at 20 and Engaged.