Hot Home Business: Word Processor

Want to work from home but not sure what you can do? The Hot Home Business Directory helps you find a business to run out of your home, lists the skills you need to do it and tells how to get started and where to get more information. Read on to find out if this Hot Home Biz is for you!

What you'll do:
Type everything from business letters to novels; copy-edit finished work; basic desktop publishing.

Skills you'll need:
Excellent typing skills! If you can't accurately type 65 words per minute, go back to the keyboard and practice, practice, practice! Impeccable proofreading skills are also important: One typo, and you may lose a client's business forever.

Equipment you'll need:
A good computer with word processing software. If you don't have the latest version of Microsoft Word, buy it! Like it or not, this is the industry standard, and clients who bring in partially completed work on disk -- or request backup disks of your work -- are likely to be using it. One plus: Word can read files created by a number of other word processing programs, so if you've saved your magnum opus in Word Perfect, you'll still be able to open it. Invest in a good general dictionary and specialized dictionaries for any industries in which you have clients.

Start-up costs:
$2,000 and up for a computer and software. Anywhere from $100 to $5,000 to market yourself via advertisements in the yellow pages and local publications and through direct-mail campaigns.

How much you can make:
Rates vary by region and demand but generally run from $15 to $25 per hour.

How to break in:
Many successful word processors recommend direct mail and yellow pages ads as the best way to attract clients. If doing the former, start by targeting a specific industry, especially if you have expertise in a certain field. For a good primer on direct marketing, try Bob Bly's "Power-Packed Direct Mail: How to Get More Leads and Sales by Mail."

For more information:

  • "Word Processing Profits at Home," by Peggy Glenn. Aames-Allen Publishing, $18.95.

  • "Words from Home: How to Operate a Home-Based Word Processing Business," by Diana Ennen. $24.95 (info available at:

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