5 Hot Homebased Businesses

Professional Organizer

Knowing exactly where everything goes is a gift. And people who are born organizers can peddle that talent to those of us who don't know where things are from one day to the next. Steve Skidmore, founder of Transformations Organization Services in Long Beach, California, has the skill. Working from his home, he and his four employees go to clients' houses to organize and create order out of chaos. "We get [clients] to a place where they have a workable space and a clutter-free environment," says Skidmore.

This entrepreneur started out with a housecleaning business in 1993. While cleaning for his clients, Skidmore found himself organizing for them as well. He turned organizing into the main part of his business in 1996. Now a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers, Skidmore says the biggest challenge he faces is educating the community about what an organizing service is. Once people understand what he does, Skidmore typically receives additional business. And he's enjoying the benefits of it-his sales have been increasing about 50 percent per year since 1996.

Technical Writer

It's 2001, and technology continues to grow by leaps and bounds. Now more than ever, people need those tough tech concepts broken down into digestible bites. Technical writers are becoming the communicators of the future. Deborah Sauer in Danvers, Massachusetts, is right in the middle of the milieu. Working as an independent consultant on and off for the past 20 years, Sauer has come to appreciate the freedom that technical writing gives her to work on different projects. "I've been writing for a long time, but I'm always writing about something really new and cutting-edge," she says. "I get to use new tools-new and still developing as we speak."

Sauer advises aspiring technical writers to get a significant amount of experience before taking the leap. "You have to be able to change gears quickly," she says. Like other homebased business owners, you'll have to constantly combat isolation and be able to work without much guidance. Still, working about 30 hours per week, which allows her to be there when her children get home from school, is one of Sauer's greatest rewards.

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