Nice little earner

By at home

Want to maintain your earning power while working fewer hours? Read on…

You work full-time, earn a fair wage, but don’t have a life. The spare hours you do have are spent doing the jobs you didn’t have time to do because you were at work. So how can you still earn good money and reclaim valuable ‘me time’ in the process? Maybe it’s time to downshift and become a part-time professional. There are opportunities out there for creative and ambitious people to make big money and get a lot more flexibility – particularly if you’re working from home.

The slimming coach

This is great for anyone who has lost a few lbs, as it can be really satisfying to help others do the same. If you’ve been through the challenge yourself, you’re an ideal candidate for a consultant. You’ll be required to run weekly meetings weighing members and giving nutrition, diet and exercise advice. In some instances, you can totally change people’s lives for the better. All you need is a caring, understanding personality and an approachable manner.

Part-time earning potential: As a self- employed slimming consultant for a slimming club such as Slimming World you can earn £150 a week for just one group, and up to £25,000 a year for taking two or three groups a week.

The cake designer
This is one of the most flexible part-time jobs available as you can do it any time of the day that suits you. It’s creative and always a lot of fun. If you have flair and passion for cake-making and an eye for detail, then you could easily manage this. All you need to start is a good visual CV, and a website to showcase your creations. Start low-key with friends or family and the word will soon spread. To get bigger jobs you may need some training to get up to speed with hygiene requirements, say.

Part-time earning potential: Cakes for companies and weddings are big earners – costing from around £200 to £400 for simply decorated three-tier cake. And you’re looking at around two day’s work.

The holistic therapist
People are more health conscious than ever, and an alternative practitioner can make a very good living treating people from home – all you need is a dedicated treatment or therapy room. It’s a case of taking clients through their health issues and working on the cause of their problem. It’s hugely varied and intuitive work. You’ll need to be interested in people, have a caring manner, and be well organised. Enrol on a course in one of the alternative therapies that most interests you. Also consider qualifying in more than one area – so you’ll have more to offer. You’ll also need to investigate what level of insurance you’ll need.

Part-time earning potential: A one-to-one consultation with a client is around £30 to £50 for an hour’s visit.

The bargain spotter
This involves buying other people’s junk and selling it for profit on the online auction site eBay. You don’t need to be an antiques buff – just having an idea of what’s popular when you trawl through car boot sales and markets is enough. Nor do you need any qualifications. Just get familiar with eBay to get a sense for what people will buy.

Part-time earning potential: You can bring in around £400 a week. If you want to bring in big money, consider becoming a power seller. These eBay high-flyers, report making £1,000 a week on two hours’ work a day, however, they’re generally dealing in new products. Take advantage of peak times like the lead up to Christmas and you could earn up to £4,000 a week.

Work smarter, not harder


  • Get more out of your labours
  • Eliminate time-wasters That short call you just had to answer became a 30-minute delay. Put an egg timer on your desk and ensure every contact gets to the point within three minutes.
  • Hire an assistant One person can’t do it all. So employ someone to do those tasks that don’t have to be done by you.
  • Play to your strengths Know your weak points, then stop trying to work on them. If you don’t enjoy doing paperwork, hand it over to someone else who’s qualified. This will leave you free to focus on your key strengths.
  • Work one day less a week It has been proven that cutting one day from your week, focuses thinking and cuts time wasting. If you work four days a week, say, do three. You’ll quickly find that a lot of the things you thought were essential weren’t needed at all.
  • Plan for success In the last five minutes of your day, plan your work for the next day. In the last 10 minutes of the last day of the week, plan your workload for the next week. And use one day every four months, to plan the next quarter of your business. This small but regular investment will help you decide on the essentials that must be done in the coming period – and will ultimately pay huge rewards for what you achieve.

When your office is your home, you to want be sure you’re getting it right. Here’s how…

1 Develop a business plan
This will increase your chances of success. It should include projections for the business itself, and specifics on how you’ll manage working from home. Be realistic, you don’t want a plan that has you working more hours than you can handle or ignores obvious domestic interruptions. If you have young kids at home, plan to be less productive when they’re awake and get the bulk of your work done during their nap times or when they are being cared for by someone else.

2 Establish a schedule
Draw up a list of what you want to achieve each day. It will keep you focused, and will help you leave the ‘office’ at a proper time each day.

3 Differentiate your home from your office
Create a separate workspace. Depending on the business, it can be as small as a spare room or as big as a double garage. The crucial thing is that you have a place that’s interruption-free.

4 Be professional
For some people, working from home means they can flop from their bed to the office without changing out of their PJs. But you’ll do far better if you make a point of changing into your work clothes; it’ll maintain a professional work ethic.

5 Get connected
A good phone system and high-speed internet is a necessity. The internet provides a limitless source of information and a virtual office for you and your clients.

6 Find a meeting place
If you’re not set up for visitors, consider using local coffee shops for business meetings – most have fast internet connections.

7 Taking on employees
If you’re going to take on staff, you’ll need the right insurance. And it’s a good idea to screen prospective employees, as you’ll be letting them into your home.

8 Get out of the house
To avoid going stir crazy, give yourself the odd morning or afternoon off to see a movie, or meet friends for coffee.

9 Avoid distractions
One of the biggest pitfalls of a home-based business is the distraction of home life, such as the urge to mop the kitchen floor. Quash the temptation to do non-business tasks. Set this rule: when you’re at work, you are at work – you don’t do anything but focus on your business.

10 Don’t feel guilty
You’re probably working harder than when you worked in an office. So don’t be made to feel as if you’re skiving.

Pictures: getty images

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