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Home-based businesses you can start

By Winnie Makena | June 17th 2020

The pandemic has changed attitudes about the nature of work, and now, more than ever, many realise that working from home is indeed possible. With high-speed internet and proliferation of devices, making money from home is now a reality. 

Here are a few business ideas you can consider: 

1. Food business

What makes a food business viable is the fact that people will always eat. It is a basic need, meaning customers will always be there regardless of any other external factors. If you have a passion for cooking and baking, this is the job for you. 

For a bakery: “How to start a cake baking business from home” was the most searched question in Facebook groups in Kenya towards the end of 2019. Kenya has a huge appetite for baked food and you can never go wrong with one of the oldest industries. You do not have to start with all the equipment, start small and keep ploughing back the returns until you build on to a large investment.

Fruit vending is another great option. All you need is fruits, a blender, a knife, and willingness to work. Shop for your fruits from the cheapest markets in your area.

If you can cook good food, catering is yet another viable opportunity. Cook local meals like githeri, beans, pilau, chapati and mandazi and find the bachelors in your estate to sell to. For as much as Sh200 a meal, you can grow gradually into a catering business.

2. Crafts

A craft is anything skillfully made by hand. If you have the skills, you can make ornaments of different types like glass, wood or beads, and shells. A twist to it would be to make African pieces or jewelry with a personalised message. Alternatively, import bracelets, necklaces, earrings and resell online. Paper jewelry making, candle making and gift basket making are other lucrative crafts that only require creativity and as little capital as Sh3, 000 for materials.

Crafts could include soap-making which is even more feasible during this coronavirus pandemic. With people needing to wash their hands more frequently, there is a market for soaps especially those with fewer toxins than industrial made soaps. With just Sh1,500 you can get a 100 per cent profit for 20 litres of home-made soap. You can easily learn this craft on YouTube.

3. Freelance writing

The gig-economy has received a bad rap in the past and received little to no serious attention, but you can actually make a career out of it in 2020. Realise that everything needs writing. All businesses need things written. They need newsletters. Copy for brochures, memos and press releases.

Freelancing platforms such as Upwork, Freelancer, goLance, 99designs, and many others are connecting people in need of the service and service providers who are the online freelancers. And that makes them a perfect starting point for every newbie. If well done, you can earn over Sh5,000 per 500 words in Upwork. This is a bidding site so you first need to make sure you complete your profile then submit it for approval. Once approved, you will be able to send proposals or apply for jobs on the site. Make sure you really understand the art of sending winning proposals. Read a lot about that.

Academic writing, copy-writing, transcription and captioning are in huge demand in freelance work. Once you get the job, be sure to ask for half the money up front as some clients may take you for a ride.

4. Create a YouTube channel

‘How to Cook Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs’ has 2.5 million views on YouTube and it is not even close to the most viewed egg video on the platform.

You cannot afford to ignore the huge opportunity available in YouTube, especially in Kenya. The market is still widely untapped and even when saturated, there is space for everyone.

If you are passionate about something like video games or makeup, you can share your passion with the world while you make money. It is estimated that 44 per cent of internet users are interested and watch video blogs (vlogs) every month. That is half of all internet users.

The only challenge is creating content that interests your target audience. There are limitless video ideas like prank videos, comedy videos, kitchen recipes, how-to-do videos, travel tips, or anything you think is useful for people, even boiling an egg.

As your views and subscribers grow, so do your earnings. Reaching at least 1,000 subscribers already entitles you to have advertisements placed and with these ads, you get paid. With a laptop, high-speed internet and a camera phone you can start as soon as now.

5. Forex trading

 Forex trading is a very lucrative way to make money for those who have a good knowledge of the market. For beginners, forex may seem very complex, especially when you listen to mentors who make a living out of their phony advice and never on the Forex itself but in reality it’s pretty simple.

To start trading, you should first open up a practice account and gain experience as well as knowledge by reading. There are a number of free or paid courses available on the internet that can train you for online trading like the BabyPips school to learn basics. Once you have learned the basics, open a demo account, download MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and start trading with virtual money. MT4 is the most popular trading software but there are many others a google search away. Spend at least two weeks doing demo trade and learning the basics.

However, be critical of who you learn from, as some courses teach methods that do not work and in the long run you may lose money.

A better route to forex is learning financial analysis, about currencies and all of the variables that can impact them Macro, Technical, Politics, and many more, as this is what will drive the currency prices resulting in the profits and losses for you as a trader.

If you search LogikFx on YouTube you will learn how to do analysis.

Keep in mind that forex trading is not something to learn in a month or two. Be sure you are ready to commit months’ worth of time.

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