Ready to transform your kitchen table into a corner office? Four women show you how to earn serious cash--on your own schedule. By Sarah Z. Wexler, REDBOOK.
Jose Luis Pelaez/Getty Images THE GIG: REMOTE CUSTOMER-SERVICE REP
Help people with their billing questions or tech snafus.
HER DEAL: "When my daughter was a baby, I did support work for a Web company via email and through an online live chat system, so I didn't have to worry about customers hearing if she was crying in the background," says Dee Murphy, 37, of Seattle, whose daughter is now 7. "I chose an evening shift, from 4 to 10 p.m., so I could spend the day with her. When she started going to school, I moved up to troubleshooting tech problems, which pays a couple hundred dollars more per month. You don't have to be a champion geek, either--most companies offer training for newbies."
CLOCKS IN: 30 hours per week.
THE PAY: $1,600 per month.
GET STARTED: Dee found her work through wahm.com, a resource site for work-at-home moms. Enter "customer service rep" in their job board's search field to find businesses that are hiring.
Related: 20 Things Every Mom Should KnowCourtesy of Eric McCandless/ABCTHE GIG: BAKER
Why should the PTA get all of the money for your awesome cupcakes?
HER DEAL: "I make cakes for charity events, weddings, and local celebrities," says Mandie Miller, 30, of Charlotte, NC, who runs Got What It Cakes bakery out of her kitchen. "I started off using my Facebook page to advertise. Word spread, and now I'm booked. I do most of my baking while my two daughters are in school or after they're asleep. When they're home, they love to tag along for deliveries."
CLOCKS IN: 40 hours or more per week.
THE PAY: $1,200 to $1,500 per month.
GET STARTED: To legally sell her treats, Mandie needed a business license, which cost about $125 and must be renewed annually, plus her kitchen had to pass a free inspection by the Department of Agriculture. Some states won't allow you to run a baking company out of your home, so find out more at cottagefoodlaws.com.
Cougar Town got it right! Busy Philipps's character, Laurie, started her baking biz from home.
knape/Getty ImagesTHE GIG: ORGANIC PRODUCTS SALES REP
Tap into the growing popularity of all-natural goods (four in 10 families reported buying more organic products in 2011) by hosting Tupperware-style parties.
HER DEAL: "When I first got pregnant, I researched chemical-free cleansers and beauty products, and once I became a loyal user, I wanted to educate other moms," says Alison Price, 37, of Charleston, SC, who has a 4-year-old daughter and a 22-month-old son. "Since 2009, I've been hosting parties for neighbors at my home for the organic skin-care company Miessence, and I launched my own site to sell the products, organicglow.com."
CLOCKS IN: 10 to 15 hours per week.
THE PAY: $400 to $1,000 per month in commissions.
GET STARTED: For a $50 fee, you can begin selling Miessence; find details at mionegroup.com/join. Or, sell products for other natural brands, like the ones at miamariu.com and avaandersonnontoxic.com.
Upgrade anyone's home movies, old photos, and slides to CDs and DVDs.
HER DEAL: "After I converted vinyls to CDs for my local library, it occurred to me to put up flyers to reel in other customers," says mom of four Leslie Michielli, 37, of Allison Park, PA. "Most want me to convert their VHS tapes, slides, and photos to DVDs. Once the files start transferring on my computer, I'm free to play with my kids or run errands."
CLOCKS IN: 10 to 15 hours per week.
THE PAY: $200 to $600 per month (Leslie charges $12 to $20 for videos and $.20 per photo or slide).
GET STARTED: You'll need a VCR, computer, scanner, and other equipment like Honestech VHS to DVD 5.0 Deluxe. To drum up business, place flyers where grandparents will see them -- "they're the ones drowning in years of footage," Leslie says.
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