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Seems like all the news on the economy these days is bad. But here is the important thing to remember: Everyone still needs shoes, clothing, food, housing, tables, chairs, transportation, and so on. People still use plates and spoons and water and everything we ever used. Goods are being manufactured and sold every day. In fact, China alone is shipping millions of tons of goods to America every month. And those goods are going out into the marketplace where they are being sold every day.

Life goes on. The economy goes on. While you may not be able to go back to a previous employer, you can still find plenty to do, if you want to make a living. You don't need to work in a fast-food restaurant or a car wash if you don't want. You can find any one of many thousands of needs that are being filled by men and women eager to take up the slack and make a good living.

This a great time to start your own small business from home. You may already work from home, but you still need income. Start a new micro-sized business.  Generate new income, real income to help pay the bills.


Start and Operate a Real Home Business

Some businesses are especially suited for home operation.  The list below offers just a few ideas of businesses that you can start and operate from your own home.

Starting your own business is an adventure, no matter how you see it.  Operating a business from your home is no small task, but it can have its advantages.  Americans have been working at home since the very beginning.  Farmers, ranchers, many artists, some computer programmers, writers, tutors, plumbers, and a host of others operate a home-run business.  Almost any kind of work you might imagine can be based at home.

Start A Micro-Sized Business in Your Home

Your goal is to make money, to generate real income, and not to go deeper into debt or spend money you don't have.  Make a list of businesses that can be started and operated without capital (especially without capital loans).  I will mention a few here to get you started. 

Grass Roots Marketing. Did you know that you can make thousands of dollars a month by doing something as simple as taking a few flyers, ads or even small samples door-to-door, up and down the streets of your own town or city? And you can do so by charging as little as little as five cents per item. How? Easy!

1. Find a supplier of poly bags with holes at the top (merchandise, sample or retail bags). Buy a few thousand, just to get started.

2. Visit businesses that want to reach the local area. That's just about everyone. Collect from each business, small, letter-sized flyers, business cards, coupons or even newsletters. Also be sure to collect the fee (about five cents) for delivering each item door-to-door. If they send little samples of a product, collect more (maybe ten cents), and limit the number of samples you try to carry on each trip.

3. Put the flyers, sales sheets, coupons, and samples in the bags. Some businesses may prefer to have you simply print an ad for them in your own shopper news paper, which can be a simple ad sheet printed by you that goes right in the bag along with everything else.

4. Start walking, taking bags of offers, samples, sales and coupons to the homes selected. Never leave a bag in or on a mail box or newspaper holder. But you can hang bags on door handles, gates posts, etc. at each home. It is easy to deliver at least 100 or 200 each day.

5. Earnings: How much do you make? That's up to you. If you collect as little as a nickel for each item, and fill each bag with at least 30 items per trip, and deliver only 100 bags, you will earn over a dollar per bag, or $100 per trip. So if you deliver 200 bags a day, you can earn $200 dollars a day. And if you make this a full-time job, delivering a few thousand bags per month, you can earn a few thousand dollars each month for simply walking around the local neighborhoods. Stay fit and keep a roof over your head.

Postcards from Home. If you have a creative flair, you can produce decorative and artistic postcards, sell them to or through local businesses (especially if they reflect the local area in some way) for tourists, visitors and locals to buy. Make them available at small bakeries, markets, drug stores, motels, restaurants, supermarkets, and places where out-of-towners like to go. Locals will often buy (and collect) interesting cards, so make sure to get them displayed at bookstores and other local spots. Designs can be produced with brush, block stamping, or whatever generates the desired effect.  Specialize in custom, one-of-a-kind cards, or develop techniques for reproducing the same cards and themes.

Cover the Walls. Canvas paintings are not just for the few especially gifted with a brush. All kinds of walls, in every home, office, waiting room, cafe, restaurant, airport, (you name it) need to be decorated. Many of the paintings and other bits of art on the walls are more for color and simple forms than for detailed, true-to-life realism. Make interesting shapes, with blocks of color. Experiment with interesting textures and designs. Help someone cover their wall with your own creations and make a living. Begin with pre-stretched canvas, but expand to do your own stretching and also use wood or other surfaces, as well. Use a color printer or copier to create small brochures showing your work.

Real Adsheet.  Easy to start and operate. Help local businesses and make some money doing it. An adsheet can be as small as 1 sheet of letter-sized paper, to as large as a small magazine. Pack the pages with ads and distribute it inside another publication, by mail or by taking it door-to-door. Get details at the Happy Advertiser website.

Small newspaper that covers the local news of a local community, rural region, or special interest.  Not just ads, this is a step up from the adsheet mentioned above. With a newspaper, you can give the community a powerful voice. You can read more about this idea at

Build and maintain websites to support your business or to earn income from the Internet.  If you have a field of special skill or knowledge, or if you can create software or other products for download, you may be able to make a good income from your own websites.  Learn more here.

Custom woodworking.  This kind of business can be started in a garage, or even on a porch or patio, if needed.   One big thing to consider, when selecting a location, is the dust produced by sawing and sanding.  As a micro-sized business, you may do better to be very specialized, so as to gain a strong reputation in a much wider market.  Woodworking, for you, may be primarily furniture building, cabinet making, or manufacturing small boxes.  Or it may be the custom milling of rails and trim items for the interiors of houses.  Doors are another item that may prove profitable.  Another specialty that may work for you is the refinishing and refurbishing of old furniture, kitchen cabinets, or doors and trim.  Keep in mind, when choosing your product line, that transporting finished goods may become a big cost factor.

Picture of man yelling at friends: Hey guys! It's really Free!

A woodworking shop can be set up with just a few tools, and they do not need to all be power tools.  Of course, if you want to have a large production shop, then your shop will have to be more like a factory.  But a microbusiness can be started with hand saws, home-made tables, hand drills, chisels, sand paper, and so on.  On more than one occasion, I have been able to set up a home shop with little more than a $100, in which I built custom furniture, refinished and rebuilt old wooden chairs, and more.  A golden rule: Only buy a piece of equipment when you need it for the next project, and when you can afford to buy it with cash.

Build with paper.  I know, it sounds crazy.  Yet it could easily become the very way you pay the rent, put food on the table, and keep gas in the car (or pay for public transportation).  This is a business that really needs a shop, so that you can spread out your projects, and make a mess without ruining your living space.  But you can start this business in the kitchen, the living room, a spare bedroom, or wherever you want to make room for it.

a waste paper basket in progress

Just what can you build with paper?  Much more than you may ever have imagined.  You can make paper waste baskets from recycled paper (literally, a waste paper basket).  You can make other baskets and containers as well.  You can make functional and decorative tables , combining used paper products and bamboo or small, thin wood sticks. 

Again, using wood for the frame, you build privacy screens for rooms and small apartments, and businesses such as cafes and restaurants.  Make decorative bowls and vases (not for holding liquids) for coffee tables, bedrooms or kitchen display, or for offices, corporate lobbies, waiting rooms and hallways. 

The point of building with paper is this: You take an item considered mostly worthless, such as old newspapers, office papers, old packaging, etc., and with a little imagine and skill, you produce very attractive and functional items that bring in income. 

Building with paper does not stop with the few ideas I've mentioned.  Decorative trim for the home can be produced with paper.   Cabinets and shelves, toys, jewelry, serving trays, plaques and decorative displays for home or business can all be made with paper.  For centuries, people have used pressed and woven paper for furniture.  Once the strengths and weaknesses of any building material are more fully understood, just about anything can be produced.  Paper combined with starches, with varnishes and other materials can be made into just about anything you and I might imagine (and probably a whole lot more).  Paper combined with soil and cement is even used to build homes.

Considerations include protecting your carpet or flooring, if you start this business in the home.  A large tarp, old or cheap plastic shower curtain liners, plastic table cloths, etc., can be used.  Just be careful of what your feet may track onto the carpet anyway, and when taking up and putting down your tarp, watch that you always use the same side, so that you don't transfer old residue onto your nice floor.

Home-Operated Businesses You May Want to Consider:

FEATURED IDEA: Advertising with Benches

FEATURED IDEA: Make Miniature Concrete Blocks

FEATURED IDEA: Make Soap & Skin Care Products

FEATURED IDEA: Make Custom Clocks

FEATURED IDEA: Earn Money with Websites

Make Stools, Benches and Tables

Make Plant Stands and Holders

Build Greenhouses for Home Gardens

Make Decorative Figures

Make Unique Wood Toys

Publish Small Community Newspaper

Distribute Ads and Product Samples Door to Door

Build Room Dividers & Screens

Build Merchandise Stands (Figures, Shelves, Tables)

Build Bookcases & Decorative Mantles

Raise Herbs for Cooking

Raise Tomatoes for Restaurants

Make Specialty Candles (Square Molds)

Painting Homes

Commercial Painting

Sign Making

Restore Antiques & Relics

Restore Houses

Make Jewelry

Publish Books

Copy Writing

Ad Design

Printing Broker


  What About Starting an Small Ad Sheet or Mini Advertiser Paper for Your Area?

Lots of people have asked me for information on starting a smaller-sized publication for their community.  For various reasons, new publishers sometimes feel that a newsletter-sized adsheet would be better for their area.  Some are unable to locate a web press within a reasonable distance.  Others feel that ads are all that is really needed for now, just something to help the local businesses advertise without having to spend a huge amount.  If this is you, be sure to visit the Happy Advertiser website.

thumbnail image of a typical adsheet advertiser paper.  

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