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Five Low-Cost, Work-at-Home Business Opportunities for Women

Small Business Ideas With Small Start-Up Costs

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With today’s economy heading towards a recession, the best business opportunities for women who want to work from home involve little to no startup capital, and minimal risk. Industries that remain strong even during tough time include: services that can save other companies money, and child- and pet-care related products and services.

1. eBay Entrepreneurs

Designer on telephone
Reza Estakhrian/ Stone/ Getty Images
With the right marketing tools, you can sell anything on eBay. The giant of online auction services, eBay continues to be an inexpensive, lucrative selling tool for everything from broken tools to real estate. Best eBay business tip: Search for retail stores going out of business or discontinuing product lines. Buy as many items as you can at a discounted price and sell them on eBay. Devoting 20-30 hours per week to serious eBay sales, you can easily make a $1,000 - $2,000 a month.

2. Are You a Peacemaker? Think About Becoming a Mediator

Mediators are neutral, disinterested persons who try to reconcile differences between parties in an effort to avoid arbitration or costly litigation. Unlike arbitrators, they do not make decisions favoring one party or the other. In most of the U.S., there is no special licensing or certification required to become a mediator, but you will have to be good at networking among lawyers. Mediators charge $80-$100 per hour for their services. Start by contacting the American Arbitration Association.

3. Telephone Answering Service

If you have a pleasant speaking voice, excellent communication skills, and are attentive to details, consider starting a home-based telephone answering service. Depending on the range of services you offer (weekend, weekday, or after-hours) phone services typically charge each client about $200 per month for handling after-hours calls. Startup costs include: telephone service, business licensing and advertising.

4. Are You a Social "Mompreneur?"

With 222 franchised units operating from home-based franchise, “Stroller Strides” is the 17th fastest-growing franchise in the country. Stroller Strides offers in-home, prenatal and postnatal fitness sessions, weight loss programs, and retail products. Franchise Startup costs: $3,300-$5,500. Contact Kim Maske at 866-348-4666.

5. Start a First-Aid Kit Supply Business

This is not one of those “assemble products at home” schemes. In 2003, the USPS awarded a $10 million contract to a one-man business for customized first-aid kits. Medical and first-aid kits are popular among fund raisers because they sell. Specialized, pre-assembled first-aid kits are in high demand by schools, corporations, and industries that are required by law to have first-aid kits on site. You will need to purchase parts wholesale, assemble customized kits, and find a market. Customized kits can be sold for $5.00 to $150 depending on your market.

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