Households across the United Kingdom seem to face a common problem of wage shortage these days, with income being quite less than the expenses lined up for each month. No, these are by no way additional expenses; just that the essentials have come costlier and which has made it difficult to manage regular bills and debt repayments out of the cash inflow. With unemployment on the rise, and regular jobs becoming scarce and in some cases more specialised, it is now time to explore home-based self-employment alternatives, which will not only serve in honing and promoting inherited skills, but will also help to pay off debts.
Conventional cottage industries were purely into home-based manufacturing of products and today the scope can safely be extended to both products and services that can be delivered from a home-based facility. A self-mastered hobby or an acquired skill, when well-planned and supported by friends and family can be monetised to improve inflow of funds. Here are some of the options that can be explored:
Going by conventional definition of manufacturing products, one can experiment with making cuddly toys, scented soaps and candles, decorative artefacts based on wood or ceramic, paintings if skilled in art, lace making, custom clothing if one specialises in design or tailoring, and last but not the least, indulging in gastronomic ventures based on the specific skill sets. Baked foods, pickles, jams and jellies, home-made chocolates, and fruit drinks have now become quite popular. Home-based catering services too are welcome than ever before as people tend to spend most of their time studying or working away from home and rely on fast-food for daily survival.
With the Internet a constant companion of the urban population, services rendered online also form a part of the cottage industry. Designing e-cards and websites, content creation for websites, proof-reading and editing content, resume-writing are some of the few relatively easy tasks that can prove useful to those who are comfortable working with computers and with less supervision.
Tutoring is yet another classic example of a home-based service that can generate income. If one is well-versed in a specific subject or topic, then virtual or real-time classes can ensure a steady income, while also serving to continuously hone subject expertise in the process. It, therefore, clearly proves that if cottage industries are given importance and treated in a professional manner, then it can easily get transformed into a profitable business venture and become a sure way out of debt.
Image credit: Alícia Roselló Gené