Are you searching for ways to earn money, or even a college degree, from the comfort of your home? Millions of adults have already said goodbye to their offices and now ply their trade from a computer desk in a spare bedroom, basement, or converted office in the family garage. But, there's more to the new at-home lifestyle than that. Equally large numbers of working adults have decided to avoid the travel costs and other expenses associated with traditional colleges and instead earn online degrees at home. Whether you're planning to learn, earn, or both from your private residence, here are some suggestions for making the endeavor a stunning success.
Turn DIY Projects into Small Businesses
Some do-it-yourself efforts lend themselves to income producing businesses. Crafting is the best example, perhaps, but there are others. For instance, many people who began making original paintings on a DIY basis just to decorate their homes have ended up turning their talent into a part-time or full-time job. Think about the kinds of DIY projects you like to do and have talent for. If the process produces a finished product that you can box up and sell, then chances are that it can be turned into a profitable business. Entrepreneurs have had success with homemade clocks, fabric wall hangings, handmade quilts, acrylic paintings, abstract sculpture, and dozens of other items.
Finance Online College Degrees with Private Loans
If your at-home DIY project entails earning a college degree, then be sure to take care of financing first. There's no sense in having money on your mind while trying to get through an academically challenging course of study. Instead, apply for a private student loan online from a private lender. There's no better way to pay for the rising tuition rates that come with modern education credentials. One of the benefits of private loans is that you can usually borrow the entire amount needed to cover all school-related costs, from tuition and fees, to textbooks and more.
Find a DIY Niche You Enjoy
There's a big difference between having a talent for something and enjoying something you are good at. If you intend to sell things you make, take the time to find a craft, skill, or special gift you have that also brings personal satisfaction. Perhaps, for example, you're an excellent portrait painter but dread the idea of taking on the practice as a regular job. Then, find something else. The key to success for most DIY-preneurs, as they're often called, are identifying that sweet spot where talent and enjoyment intersect. Maybe you're not the greatest jewelry maker but totally enjoy learning about the craft, and have the potential to improve with every piece you make. Now, that's the perfect situation. You like doing it, have room to improve, and can sell the items you produce.
Make a Detailed Work-Study Schedule
It you take on the whole challenge by working from home as a DIY seller while earning a degree, it's imperative to make a detailed daily schedule. In essence, you're taking on two challenges at the same time. Admittedly, it's possible to earn an online degree part-time and do your DIY business part-time, but even at that, a written schedule is an absolute necessity.
Boost Earnings Potential with Design and Art Degrees
Earning a degree in art, design, or a craft-related discipline can super-charge your do-it-yourself project sales. A diploma not only gives you credibility within the business community and among potential clients, but also exposes you to new ways of doing things, working, and creating valuable items.
Make Marketing Part of Your Project
Unfortunately, some of the most gifted do-it-yourself artisans don't know anything about marketing and selling. When you embark on a new project, make a detailed marketing plan first. Spend a few hours online assessing how popular your item is and what people typically pay for it. Decide how you will advertise your wares, who the most likely buyers will be, and what the competition looks like. In order to become a successful DIY-merchant, your first job should be figuring out how to earn a profit from what you create. Sometimes, just a few hours of planning can open up new doors and help get the creative juices flowing, which often leads to higher quality items.
Check System Requirements for Online Courses
Degrees in fields like graphic design, IT, and various other technical fields often mean you'll need to upgrade your computer system. Always check beforehand to see what the tech requirements are for a given group of courses you'll be taking. Note that sometimes, a mere upgrade won't be enough. This is especially true if you aim to get a degree in IT. Be ready to purchase a new computer if need be.
Get Tax Advice
When you become deeply involved in a major do-it-yourself project for a special-order client, it's easy to forget about the cold realities of taxes. Unless you're a self-taught taxation expert, hire a CPA or certified tax preparer to show you how to take every allowable deduction and prepare all the forms for you. It's possible you'll have to file quarterly, which can be a major hassle if you don't have professional help.
Check Accreditation Before Enrolling
In the old days, when people only attended brick-and-mortar educational institutions, there was rarely a question about accreditation. You could quickly find out whether your city's college or university was approved by the authorities. For one thing, there weren't nearly as many colleges are there are today. But with the proliferation of internet-based higher education, it's imperative for prospective students to find out whether the institutions on their short-lists are fully approved and accredited by state and/or national governing associations.
Never enroll in a program or pay any kind of preliminary fees until you double-check the validity and status of the programs you are interested in. Getting a degree or earning a full-time income from your home office is one of the luxuries of modern, digital life. Just make sure to be careful as you transition from an office job or start up a new DIY career. Ask questions and do research before making financial commitments or committing to a full-time do-it-yourself career.