5 Hot Homebased Businesses

Computer Consultant

Knowing the tricks to making PCs run perfectly is a highly marketable skill. Just ask Tina Richardson, a homebased computer consultant in Spring, Texas.

Formerly a tech support employee, Richardson was unhappy in her corporate digs, but she wasn't sure what to do. A friend set her up with someone who was having computer woes. Fixing those problems made Richardson realize she liked the technology part of her job. So she began offering such services, going from referral to referral and helping people get connected.

That sort of networking can happen anywhere. Richardson's local Women's Club was brimming with connections. Passing out her business cards there brought in lots of new clients, and she didn't do any expensive advertising. Business cards and some basic tech manuals constituted Richardson's start-up materials and costs. In that initial phase of her business, she worked about 16 hours per week; now she puts in closer to 22 hours per week. The best part? "I get to be a geek and have social interaction as well," says Richardson. "I really enjoy being able to talk to [my clients] and teach."

Success/Life Coach

Coaches are empowered with the ability to help people set, focus on and reach goals. They create momentum and provide the tools, support and structure necessary to succeed. They even get the credit when a sports team wins a game. But coaching isn't just for teams. Chris Hamilton has taken coaching to an individual level. The Lancaster, California, entrepreneur started coaching in 1997 because he was interested in working with people. But it was his real estate background that helped Hamilton discover his niche in 1999: coaching self-employed real estate professionals. "[I really want] to help people accomplish more. Each individual has skills and desires within," he says. So Hamilton helps people tackle their problems, move beyond them and attain the level of success they want.

After training online with Coach U, Hamilton currently coaches his clients over the phone or via e-mail, helping each one create an action plan for his or her life. Much of the public is still unfamiliar with the concept of success coaching, so educating people is one of his primary responsibilities. Hamilton works with about 10 clients on a regular basis and contracts with Welfare To Work to coach program members. He says the most rewarding part of his work is "seeing somebody go from that point where they really don't know where they're going or what they're doing to that point where they have a clear direction in mind."

Next Step

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