20 Ideas to Start a Business From Home: Starting your own business can be tough, but it doesn’t have to be impossible, as long as you start with the right foundation. Starting and running your business from home allows you to focus on what you do best and gives you the freedom to work around your schedule.
20 Ideas to Start a Business From Home
While this lifestyle takes some adjustments, it can actually be less stressful than managing a brick-and-mortar shop because you don’t have to worry about things like employee scheduling or sales taxes. Here are 20 ideas to help get your business off the ground, so you can start living the life of your dreams at home!
1: Resell Online
If you have expertise in certain items, consider selling them online. If there’s a demand for it and people are willing to pay money for it, why not sell it? Chances are someone will be willing to pay you cash for your product or service. You can also start your own store on eBay or another auction site. Just make sure you read through eBay’s guidelines and make sure your products aren’t illegal or too risky. You don’t want your new business getting off on the wrong foot by doing something illegal!
If you’re good at helping others learn and have experience tutoring, you can put your skills to work by starting a tutoring business. If you are just getting started, check out Varsity Tutors, where you can offer your services as an online tutor for college-level courses. For example, if you’re fluent in French but also fluent in English, take paid French lessons from clients all over the world who want help learning English!
Varsity Tutors connect with thousands of clients each month looking for professionals like you who are qualified and ready to provide one-on-one assistance. All it takes is an application and background check before starting your first lesson.
3: Freelance Writing
Writing has never been more popular. Nearly half of all people say they want to write for a living, and there are thousands of freelancing opportunities available through websites like Fiverr and Upwork. While writing isn’t technically considered self-employment by most entrepreneurs, it can be your first step into self-employment if you have an idea or talent you can turn it into blogging gigs or even articles that get published online!
A word of caution: Even if you make some money at it, don’t quit your day job—you could risk losing money on taxes and get yourself in hot water with your full-time employer if you try selling services on their behalf without permission. But don’t let that stop you from trying it out for fun!
4: Daycare Service
If you have children and are looking for additional income, start a daycare service in your home. You can get training from state programs or local companies that specialize in child development. If you’re caring for one or two toddlers, there’s also lots of information available online. Be sure to let everyone know what you’re doing—your clients will appreciate knowing that their children are in safe hands.
Another option is to open an accredited preschool facility, which provides training on education techniques and management skills while giving parents peace of mind that their kids are being well cared for by experts in early childhood development.
5: House Cleaning Service
House cleaning services are always in demand. Even if you don’t have any house cleaning skills, offering your services for an hourly fee is an easy way to make money from home. Get started by researching your local market and estimating costs. Then begin setting appointments with potential clients. If you have additional employees, consider hiring someone who can work as an independent contractor, scheduling jobs as you find them.
You will also need proper insurance; it is best if your home-based business follows IRS guidelines for a limited liability company (LLC). It’s better if all of your records (including client contracts) are located at home so that there is no confusion about who does what and when payments are due.
6: Painting and Repairs
With an investment of around $100, you can buy some basic painting tools and start a handyman business. A popular way to find jobs is by giving your phone number at local home improvement stores. People who want jobs done will call you and you’ll have plenty of opportunities. Be sure that all customers know that you are licensed and insured if they want you to be able to legally do work for them.
7: Virtual Assistant Service
If you enjoy organizing events and throwing parties, you might want to consider making your hobby more of a business by starting an event planning service. If you have experience in special event planning, party planning, or related fields such as catering or floral design, why not put your skills to use?
There are a variety of ways that you can go about doing so: hosting open houses at homes where potential clients can get a sense of what it is that you do and build up their trust for when you eventually pitch them; giving presentations on party-planning basics at local civic organizations; posting flyers advertising your services around town, or holding workshops out of your home.
8: Event Planning / Party Planning Service
If you have skills in organization, event planning, or promotion, you could start your own party planning business. It’s an industry that has stood the test of time—it isn’t going anywhere. To get started, check out local colleges for event planning courses and networking events that allow you to connect with potential clients and vendors. Once established, your customers will be loyal and refer others as well.
9: Book Publishing/eBooks
If you have expertise in an area, such as cooking, investing, or parenting, you can write a book. You’ll need to find a publisher, which can be hard work but has huge payoffs. It also takes time: Expect to spend at least six months writing and then another six months finding a publisher. You’ll also need persistence: The average writer sends out dozens of proposals before landing an agent and/or publishing deal.
And that’s assuming she gets past literary agents who frequently reject proposals without even asking for sample chapters (an indicator of just how many people are actually serious about making money from their writing). Whatever your passion, it will take time to succeed at freelance writing.
10: Amazon Store
Starting an Amazon store is easy and affordable, as it’s based on an online platform. There’s no need for any investment, other than setting up your store on Amazon, which means you can start and stop when you please—in fact, most people who own Amazon stores only sell one or two products.
And while some part-time businesses focus on selling goods from China or other overseas markets, many people use Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) as their primary source of inventory because it makes shipping and warehousing so simple. If you know where to source products and how to list them correctly, then opening an Amazon store could be a good fit for you.
11: Dog Walking Business
A dog walking business can be started at home and requires minimal startup costs. People will pay you to take their dogs for walks, and as long as you have some exercise space for them (or a dog park nearby), you can build up your clientele. If you like animals and enjoy being outdoors, starting a dog walking business may be perfect for you.
The only downside is that your clients need to trust you and want to work with an independent contractor who isn’t part of an established business that provides lots of backup services. This means they’ll probably ask many questions before they hire someone new—as opposed to hiring someone recommended by friends or family members.
12: Craft Business
If you’re a crafty person and are interested in selling your work online, Etsy is an excellent resource. Handmade goods can be lucrative if you already have some experience under your belt; many of Etsy’s sellers make over $100,000 annually from their little boutiques. If you’re only starting out with needlework or woodworking, it might be best to stick with an at-home hobby before diving into business ownership. Nonetheless, Etsy has almost 20 million active buyers that see products like yours every day—so don’t miss out on all that potential revenue! (Hat tip: Entrepreneur)
13: Home Bakery
While you may not have thought of it, starting a home bakery is an excellent idea. Most people love desserts, and they’re often willing to pay extra for something they can only make at home (at least in theory). You might not start out with a ton of money-making potential, but there’s an opportunity here. Open up a shop by selling your baked goods at local farmer’s markets on weekends or try setting up as an online business; there are many products available to help you do that from your own home kitchen.
14: Landscaping Business
If you have some green thumbs, turn it into cash. Take care of other people’s yards so they don’t have to do it themselves and you can make money when no one else is working. If you can handle heavy machinery then landscaping isn’t just something that you can try on weekends.
You could get a job doing it full-time. It won’t be easy at first but if you are good with your hands and hard-working then you will get there eventually. The key is keeping up with demand and getting more business each week through word of mouth.
15: Subscription Box Business
Subscription boxes are popular among consumers. If you love shopping and making people happy, then you might enjoy launching a subscription box business. This can be an affordable way to start your business without having to spend too much upfront on inventory or supplies. However, it is important that you have experience running your own business before starting one of these.
If not, you may want to consider hiring someone with experience in operating subscription boxes until you become comfortable with it yourself. It’s also important that you don’t overpromise or underdeliver because potential customers will quickly learn about it and stop buying from your company.
16: Painting Business
This business idea can be set up at your home with very little investment. People usually hire painters on a regular basis. So, why not be one of them? Make sure you have an appropriate place for work and reach out to people in your neighborhood that need help with their painting needs. Do not forget about posting flyers around your neighborhood!
17: Online Clothing Brand
You don’t need your own e-commerce website to start selling—you can create an online store on platforms like Shopify, Oberlo, or Printful. These will help you set up and manage shipping policies, payments, and order fulfillment. Depending on which platform you choose, they also handle some of the customer service and marketing for you.
For example, Shopify has pre-made templates that display different types of products in a specific way on your site; it offers free social media tools and advice on online marketing; if you sign up for Oberlo (an Etsy partner), it manages everything from product creation to order processing.
18: Import/Export Business
Much like importing or exporting goods, you can also import and export information in today’s digital age. It’s still important for businesses that deal with large amounts of data to keep it safe from hackers, but there are plenty of ways you can go about doing so. For example, Amazon Web Services provides a cloud computing platform that lets businesses securely store large amounts of data and make quick work of retrieving it when needed.
This has saved countless companies time and money by allowing them to focus on developing their own products rather than keeping up with powerful servers that can process immense amounts of data. If you know your way around enterprise-level services like AWS and Salesforce, we have tremendous opportunities for you on our platform!
19: Online Resume/LinkedIn Profile Writing
If you have experience writing résumés, LinkedIn profiles, and cover letters, you can make money online from home. Even if not, there are plenty of sites that will pay someone with sharp editing skills to edit their résumés. If you have experience writing web content in another language like French or Italian, copywriting might be worth looking into; these jobs often involve translating text on websites that have already been written by other people (because Google Translate doesn’t work that well).
20: Bicycle Rentals/Bicycle Repairs
This is one of those ideas that many people will say, Why didn’t I think of that? A business opportunity with multiple facets. Do you love bicycles? Can you fix them? Are you mechanically inclined? If so, set up shop outside your local college campus, rent out bikes and keep them running smoothly. Students always need bikes! You can also double down on your efforts and sell accessories such as helmets and water bottles too.
Great way to make a little extra money while working at home. #BusinessOpportunity #HomeBasedBusiness #Entrepreneur #Startup Mobile DJ/Mobile Disc Jockey Service: If you have an outgoing personality and love music, consider starting a mobile DJ service.
Finally, it’s important to note that there are countless ways you can start your own business from home. You don’t need much money or any experience and many businesses are very scalable (meaning, if you can do it with one employee, you can probably do it with ten). For some people, starting their own business from home is really just about making enough money for rent and food.
Others have dreams of growing an empire—and they want to start small while learning how everything works. As long as your goals align with your idea, keep at it. Don’t stress over how much money you make right away.