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Have you dreamed of starting your own business but not sure where to start?
Today, it’s easier than ever to start your own home-based business.
If you have skills, you can monetize them to create a lucrative business for yourself. Entrepreneurship comes with so many perks:
- Create your dream schedule
- Be your own boss
- Unlimited income potential
Keep reading to learn about these 20 home based business ideas to start from home.
Home-Based Business Ideas to Start from Home
Why start a home-based business? If you keep business activities at home, you can save so much money:
- Warehousing costs
- Office space
It’s a great way to start a small business and as the business grows, you can transition to commercial office space in the future, if needed.
There are some important considerations for home businesses. Keep these best practices in mind when you start your venture:
- Conquering Work life balance
- Handling Domestic distractions
- Dealing with Interruptions in the home
- Coping with Productivity problems
- Avoiding long working hours and isolation
Work Life Balance in a Home Based Business
Work and personal life can blend when working from home. This is one of the reasons why I sold my first business. It was incredibly difficult to separate the two, work and life.
The business was very demanding and it was a true struggle.
There are ways to improve the work life balance, however.
Check out these top tips:
- Give yourself what you need (i.e. an ergonomic desk, outsourced work, an earlier schedule, etc.)
- Keep an eye out for burnout in yourself
- Promote healthy lifestyle (exercise more, get a treadmill desk, etc.)
- Keep regular working hours
- Avoid working downtime
- Build in breaks into your schedule
- Enjoy your weekends
These small changes make a big difference and will help contribute to your overall work life balance, which will actually help you work better.
Domestic Distractions that Can Arise from Working in the Home
Domestic distractions are things that can pull you away from work at home. Here are some examples:
- Household chores
- Access to TV and entertainment
- Your phone
To cope with these distractions, first, identify them.
Know what your distractions are and then, avoid them. You can do that by keeping a schedule, working in a home office, turning your phone off or putting it out of reach.
How Interruptions in the Home Can Hold You (and your business) Back
When you’re frequently interrupted, it throws off your rhythm. It’s hard to get back on track and continue working on the same path.
This is why it’s so crucial to avoid at-home distractions at all costs. They can lead to some real productivity problems.
Productivity Problems Working from Home
We have all been there. Feeling less than productive (lazy) and not getting up and going when we should.
This is a challenge with working from home.
It can be hard to start working productively and on time when you’re in pajamas, working from bed, playing with pets or the kids, or more.
In my home, I love to graze all over, toting along my laptop with me. I love that flexibility but, of all the places in my home, there’s one place where I am most productive, my home office.
Find that space in your place that meets all your needs and work from there.
Next, declutter that space.
Nothing can hinder creativity and productivity than a cluttered space. Make sure your area is clean and minimal, to avoid distractions and help you hone into the zone to do your best work.
Put yourself in the best position possible to work well.
This starts the night before. Get plenty of rest, set an alarm, and start your day off on the right foot. Then, as you graze into the day, think about setting a ritual.
This is a good way to help you stay on track.
- Set times for lunch and breaks
- Do what you need to, in order to reach that great mindset, whether it be making your morning cup of coffee, drinking water, taking a hot shower or bath, etc.
- Make a list of tasks that need to be completed
- Get dressed for work (no pajamas)
Lastly, get out, sometimes.
You can get cabin fever working from home, especially alone. It’s ok to get at out of the house. Here are some of my personal favorite places away from home that I like to linger during the work day:
- My favorite coffee shop
- The library
- My sister’s apartment (she works a 9 to 5 and her place is empty during the day)
You don’t even have to get in your car. A stroll around the block, walking to your mailbox or just walking a few steps outside your front door to get some sunshine, are some great ways to get out.
Give these things a try to help improve your productivity.
Working Long Hours at Home and Isolation
Working long hours. This can happen while working at home.
This is one of the ways I got burnt out and ended up selling my first business. I would work 60 hour weeks on no schedule at all.
This meant rising for the day at 6am and stopping work at 2am. I would work almost nonstop, even while eating meals.
You must avoid working long hours. Set a schedule and stick to it.
To cope with isolation, get around people. Try working away from the home in places like a quiet cafe, the park, your local library, etc.
20 Home-Based Business Ideas to Try
Now, lets dive into these home-based business ideas!
This category of jobs is perfect for extroverts. If you love being the life of the party, networking, and meeting new people, you will enjoy these home-based business ideas.
1. Network Marketing
What you’ll love is that today, you’re not just limited to those two companies. There are network marketing companies for a variety of industries:
How it works?
First, sign up with the company. Some are free to join, while others may have a small registration fee. If a fee applies, it usually goes to cover the cost of supplies and materials.
For example, I signed up with a CBD oil program several months ago and the registration fee was $20. That money was put toward my welcome kit mailed to me, which included a ton of materials to help me succeed, including promotional products, training kit, and more.
This is a great, flexible position to try because you make the rules. You can create your own schedule and get really creative with selling. You can earn a part-time or full-time income with network marketing.
Check out this list of network marketing companies to review:
Want even more companies? Here is a list of the 50 best network marketing companies of 2019.
Do you have a love for photo taking? Consider yourself an amateur photographer?
This is a great home-based business that can take you out of the home, allowing you to travel and explore. My former coworker actually did this!
While at my previous employer, I was close with a coworker who did amateur photography on the side.
She really loved it and was completely self-taught. She’d work during the week and photograph weddings and senior portraits on the weekend.
About 6 months after joining my team at work, she left the company to pursue this passion of hers, doing very well for herself.
Today, she’s a top rated photographer in my area and travels the world doing photography.
How it works?
Perfect for socialites, meaning, if you love being a social butterfly, you’ll be able to mingle and swoon clients effortlessly. You get clients, photograph them, and get paid. There are many types of photography:
- High school photos
- Special events (weddings, etc.)
- Travel photography
This is a great business with the potential for a steady stream of income. This is a neat business that lets you explore your creative side and take beautiful photos.
Does this suit you?
3. Public Relations
You can really shine in PR, helping clients get mentioned in the press, managing reputations, and helping people be seen in a positive light.
This is a job with heavy networking, so extroverts will do well here.
How it works?
You start by building your client list. This can be public figures, celebrities, local celebs, influencers, businesses, etc. You can help new restaurants get featured in the newspaper, assist with grand openings, spreading the word about new events, helping a large turnout occur, and more.
You will love PR because it’s a service-based business, which means low overhead and the ability to run a one-person team for the entire company. It is super easy to start from home, build a website, then attend events and make phone calls to build your clientele.
Consultants are experts that help people to improve. They are advisors. And, there are many different kinds of these advisors, including:
- Business consults
- Productivity consulting
- Risk assessment
- Human resources
The list goes on.
If a company is struggling in one area, they may hire a consultant for help to:
- Identify problem areas
- Supplement staff
- Train the team
- Teach others
- Be objective and bring new life to the company
- Influence others
This expert will review the company as a whole, or a section of the company that needs improvement, then share their findings, including a plan to improve. They may also offer coaching, on-the-job training, educate management and staff, and more.
Because this is a heavy one-on-one role, working with different people within a company, it’s perfect for extroverts, who thrive in scenarios like this.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
Are you qualified?
What’s your background, education, skills?
Do you like to network?
Are you well-organized?
Are you good at goal-setting and organizational planning?
Can you help companies improve?
If you have expertise in a particular field like business operations, e-commerce, strategy, or other expertise, being a consultant may be a desirable home-based business for you.
On the other end of the spectrum are introverts. If you’re quiet, low key and enjoy working independently, doing your own thing, this next round of home-based businesses is totally for you.
Bloggers tend to be very underrated. It’s true that the majority of blogger’s don’t earn a full-time income but, if you have the determination to really treat blogging like a business, you can turn this home-based business into a bustling enterprise, quitting your day job!
How it works?
You will start a website, your blog, talking about a niche or topic. This can be anything from vegan cooking to fashion to living as a military spouse. You get the freedom to pick your blog topic.
Here are some other topics to consider:
- Nutrition and wellness
- Personal finance
Once you pick your niche, you’ll create your blog and start contributing, writing articles about your topic. Over time you will build an audience, gain traffic, and start making money blogging. You can make money blogging through your own products and services, brand partnerships, advertisements, and affiliate commissions.
Blogging is a low overhead business with virtually no startup costs.
The cost to start a website is under $50 and there are no maintenance fees. You’ll need a hosting plan (we recommend HostGator since you get a 60% discount with our link) and a domain name (we recommend NameCheap).
Ready to get started? Here’s our step-by-step guide to starting a WordPress blog.
6. Video Influencer
This is like blogging but on video, through platforms like YouTube. Believe it or not, you don’t have to be social to be in front of the camera. Furthermore, you don’t have to film yourself to create videos for publication on YouTube.
Some of the biggest channels don’t have a personality behind it, or don’t ever show the creator!
Here are some channel ideas:
- Teaching tutorials
- Screencast walkthroughs
- Day in the life
YouTube is free to join and you can upload as many videos as you want, as often as you’d like.
It tends to be pretty slow in the beginning but, all you need is that one hit video and it will light your channel on fire, in the best way.
This channel started out by filming his experience starting a gumball machine business and he recently shared his first $20,000 month, from YouTube alone!
This channel does $30,000 sponsorships on their channel!
You can see, there’s definitely money in being a video influencer.
If you have a story to tell or something you’d be happy to teach, look into this home business.
7. House Cleaner
As a house cleaner, you will work independently or within a team to clean homes. Vacuuming, dusting, washing windows, and more. For the well-organized with great attention to detail and a love of cleanliness.
This home business is an idea for introverts.
You won’t be micromanaged. No networking or heavy socializing is required and you can do your work in peace.
How to get started?
Startup costs are low for this kind of business. You’ll likely need supplies (like vacuum cleaner, household cleaners, etc.) which will be relatively low priced. You will need transportation, in order to travel to houses for cleaning, and you’ll want to think about these things when getting started:
- How will you get clients?
- What prices will you charge?
- How will you collect payment?
- How long will it take to clean a house?
- What will your schedule be?
- Will you offer specialty services?
Think through every aspect of the business, then dig in!
Freelance Home Based Businesses
These businesses are for freelancers. Here are 10 freelance home-based businesses you can start.
8. Freelance Writing
Get paid to be parked in front of your computer and churn out high quality copywriting work for:
And, all from the comfort of home. Freelance writing is an awesome home-based business that lets you explore your passion for writing and express yourself on paper.
How to get started?
Examine your expertise. It’s best to pick a niche and write in that specialized field. Copywriting is a high demand field. You can find jobs in job banks online, social media networks, classifieds, word of mouth referrals, and other places.
Freelancing has so many perks. Work a schedule you pick, work independently, tax writeoffs, and make an unlimited amount of income. The more your business grows, the more work you can take on. You can even start a writing agency and outsource your work.
Read this to get started: How to start a freelance writing business and work from home and don’t miss out on these 10 places to get started as a freelancer.
9. Social Media Manager
You will have a close relationship with social media, knowing what to post, where, when, and how, to get the best results for your clients:
- Increase exposure
- More traffic
- Sharing their message
- Growing their fanbase
- And, more!
How it works?
You will create and execute a social media strategy for your client, based on their goals. Your clients can include bloggers, podcasters, small businesses, restaurants, real estate agents, accountants, attorneys, and more.
Social media is so powerful. It’s how businesses are finding their target customers but, many of them don’t know how to use it so they outsource to social media managers, which is where you come into play.
Get clients by giving value. Get in groups and social communities on Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. Then, add as much value as you can:
- Answer questions
- Be helpful
- Be an expert
Then, watch clients come to you.
You would be surprised how effective this is. It works!
Create a website for yourself to house all your work. Build a portfolio, share your background, post testimonials and positive reviews, etc.
Keep in mind, this is a business.
So, make sure to track your income, account for taxes, and other business activities.
To get your first clients, consider doing work for free. Reach out to your network, family and friends and work for free to build up your skills, reputation and gain testimonials.
Take a look at this success guide to becoming a social media manager, to get you going.
10. Graphic Designer
For creatives, graphic design is great. If you know how to design, this home-based business might be for you.
Graphic designers are in high demand and help professionals and businesses create logos, design business cards, design websites, social media graphics, launch and promotion materials, and much more.
How to get started?
This is the kind of business that needs a portfolio. You’ll find that this is one of the first questions a prospective client will ask, to see your work. If you don’t have a portfolio of your designs, build one.
Places to Build a Portfolio:
Places to Find Clients:
This is an awesome business for introverts because you get the freedom to just plug into your computer and get working.
No need to be at noisy social events, or forced into scenarios where you have to network, uncomfortably. This gig lets you work entirely online.
Sound like a good fit?
Dive into this freelancing advice from 7 successful designers, to give you some insight, then, get started!
11. Web Design/Development
Do you have web design skills?
In today’s internet age, more and more entrepreneurs are looking for web designers. You can earn up to four to five figures per design, working from the comfort of your home.
If you love working independently, using your creativity to build stunning web designs, this career path is for you, perfect for home based business.
Startup costs are relatively low. You will need an office and a computer, and you can start this home business.
How to get started?
Build an online portfolio showcasing your work. Get your first clients through social media, like LinkedIn or Facebook. Network and join communities to help you spread your wings, be known in the industry, learn, and educate others.
Keep your eyes open on classified sites and don’t hesitate to post an ad on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.
As the business starts to grow, web design is a business to scale.
Bring on more designers to manage more projects and multiply your income.
12. Video Editing
Edit videos. This is an emerging field, as more creators are turning to video platforms, like YouTube to connect with their audience.
How to get started?
Get your first clients here:
This is the perfect industry to do some cold pitching!
What’s cold pitching?
Cold pitching involves reaching out to a prospective client cold (no prior contact) to gain their business. It may seem nerve-wrecking but, it’s a piece of cake, if you know how to do it the right way.
The goal is to highlight the client’s needs. Paint a picture for them, helping them identify their problem then presenting a solution, your services. Talk about the client, not yourself.
Forbes shares 5 tips for cold pitching prospective clients:
- Pitch to the right person
- Write a compelling subject line
- Personalize and speak to their needs
- Establish credibility
- Follow up
Pitching the right person
This is all about getting in contact with the right person.
Who is making this decision, to bring on a video editor?
That’s the person you want your email in front of.
Do not limit yourself to research only on the website of the company you are pursuing. Look on social media, publications, etc.
Find that right person and pitch them confidently.
A compelling email headline
Your email headline is going to be what makes the difference between your prospect opening the email, or not!
If your email doesn’t get opened, your amazing pitch will not be seen so, a lot of attention must be placed on your email subject line. Get some inspiration here, with these 39 sales email subject lines that get opened.
Craft each message catered to the person you are speaking to. A templated email stands out like a sore thumb. Take some time and personalize it.
- Address my name
- Identify specific needs
- Offer a unique solution
For video editing, identify potential problems your prospective client might be facing and address how you can help solve those problems.
Establishing credibility (social proof)
There’s nothing like showing off a little. You can do this with social proof.
- Number of testimonials
- Number of successful projects
- Impressive stats about your company
Don’t be afraid to share examples and links of your best examples here.
The follow up
Lastly, follow up!
You would be surprised how often I’ve followed up, to hear that my initial email got lost in my prospects inbox and thanking me for reaching out again. This is where a lot of freelancers stop.
Make sure to follow up. It could be the difference between getting your contract and not!
13. Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing, which can differ from social media management (though the two can be combined in one job role), involves marketing businesses through social media.
This goes beyond posting, and can include:
- Outreach for cross promotion
- Managing paid ads
- Graphic design
- And, more!
You’ll be looking at the analytics to see if your efforts are getting results and analyzing the social channels your client is the most strong in. The complete focus is on increasing exposure of the brand.
How to get started?
I got started doing social media marketing on Upwork. My first client (and current client) needed help managing her Pinterest account. I was a whiz on Pinterest and used the social network to drive hundreds of thousands of visits to my websites.
We established the contract, terms, deadlines, and rate and I started work!
Since then, I’ve had around a dozen more social media jobs, obtained through Upwork.
Job banks like this are a great place to get freelance jobs. You can check out others too, like:
14. Photo editing
If you know how to edit photos, you’ll be doing things like:
- Removing red eye
- Applying touch ups
- Fixing lighting and exposure
You may know your way around Adobe Photoshop well and/or enjoy touching up your own photos. Start a home-based business as a photo editor.
Your clients may include: magazines, bloggers, small businesses, and more. As long as you have a computer and the required photo editing tools/software for your business, you’re good to go and you can get started right away.
If you are a certified accountant, why not start your own business?
Accounting is a profession that will always be in need, especially during tax time. A lot of accountants are retired most of the year and only open up shop around 4 months, January through April, specifically for doing taxes for others.
This could also be an opportunity to branch out and help others with:
- Business planning
- Financial planning
- Operations support
- And, more!
You could freelance for companies like: Accounting Department, Belay Solutions, or Bookminders, among others.
Check out these jobs for the work-at-home accountant and bookkeeper.
Editing is in demand. According to Forbes, the average salary of an editor is $53,500/annually, though your earnings will vary depending on the type of work you do.
Your work will be varied and never leave you bored. Here are some examples of editing jobs you could do:
- Book editing
- Magazine editing
- Website editing
- Research reports
The perks of editing?
You’ll be able to work independently, without being micromanaged. Increased pay, job exposure, and networking opportunities are among the many perks of having an editing home-based business.
Also, you’ll likely be able to earn a byline, which will you help your name get out in the public eye and get you even more gigs!
17. Virtual Assistant
Help others as their personal assistant virtually.
This is a general and specialized position which can pay very well. Some VA’s (virtual assistants) can earn up to five figures per month, doing things like:
- Calendar management
- Customer service
- Responding to customers
- Booking events and meetings
- Social media management
Your work will vary, based on the needs of your client.
How to get started?
First, pick your specialty.
What kinds of clients will you be helping?
What are your skills?
What services will you offer?
Then, decide on pricing. Will you invoice up front or on the back end? Pay per hour, per project, or both?
Lastly, launch your website. This is your calling card so make sure you create a professional, attractive website that showcases your business well. Pitch clients, build relationships, and network to get your first clients.
This groups of sales-related home based businesses is perfect for those with a sales-savvy spirit. This isn’t necessary cold selling so you won’t have to worry about having to pitch the hard sell.
Sales is where I got my start in entrepreneurship. I started a bustling e-commerce store that saw success quickly and allowed me to quit my 9 to 5. Check out some of these sales channels I used to get me there!
18. Shopify Seller
Shopify is an online store platform to help sellers share their products and services with the general public. They are a one stop shop for everything you could possibly imagine you’d want for your online store:
- Access to Shopify experts to help you with SEO, sales, customer service, marketing, and more
- App store offering free and paid apps to help you communicate, fulfill orders, etc.
- Theme store full of gorgeous, professional-looking free and paid themes
- Affordably monthly plans
- Communities across the web to learn, teach, and improve your store sales, in Facebook groups, Shopify blog, and more
How to get started?
First, decide on what you’ll be selling.
In my first store, I chose women’s apparel. I sourced products overseas and had an inventory and dropship model. Here are some examples of products you can sell:
- Home decor
- Digital products
Next, you need to source your products. This means find out where you’ll be getting your products. This can be online, in wholesale marketplaces like Alibaba, visiting wholesale markets, or making the products yourself, just to name a few.
Then, fill your store with products. This includes doing tasks like:
- Writing product descriptions
- Adding stock photos or taking product photos
- Adding a sizing chart
Lastly, market your store so you can get visitors and make sales.
What You’ll Love About Shopify
The platform is multifaceted. In addition to selling in your own Shopify store, you can also connect your store to sales channels like Wanelo, Amazon, and more. You have multiple shopping carts to select from to collect payment, and you have total control over taxes, shipping, and every step of the process.
19. Etsy Seller
Etsy is a handmade marketplace catering to sellers of curated handmade products. If you are selling handmade products, like marketplace is for you.
What makes Etsy stand out?
- It’s a unique online market offering one-of-a-kind products that consumers love
- Huge marketplace with millions of views every month
- Access to a huge seller handbook to help you succeed in running your Etsy store
- Communities across the web on Facebook and other places, to help you run a successful store
How to get started?
First, decide what you will sell.
- Hand pies
- Digital planners
- Knit blankets
- Wooden cell phone cases
- Minimal jewelry
Then, decide how you’ll handle inventory.
- Will you handcraft every product yourself? If so, will you batch make products or make products as consumers order them?
- Will you outsource the labor?
- Will you have a warehouse? Use your home?
Lastly, set up shop.
It’s really easy to set up your Etsy store. They offer a lot of flexibility and personalization, allowing you to upload your logo, create a stunning store banner, and more. Once your store is up and running, it’s time for marketing.
How to market your store?
Like with any platform where you sell goods, you will want to reach your target audience so you can have sales rolling in. Here are some ways to accomplish that:
- Social media posting
- Social media ads
- Word of mouth
- Classified ads
- Partnering with influencers
- Pay per click campaigns
20. Amazon FBA
Amazon’s FBA (fulfillment by Amazon) program lets sellers showcase their products on Amazon’s platform, while letting Amazon handle the fulfillment process. Shipping and fulfillment can be a real pain, in ecommerce. Amazon FBA takes it completely off your hands!
New sellers are starting, earning thousands of dollars in their first month!
There are so many perks of the program:
- Free Two Day and One Day shipping to customers
- Amazon trusted customer service
- An online platform to help your business grow fast
- Cost-effective and simple
What are the most successful small businesses?
The most successful small businesses have these things in common:
- They bring repeat business (replenishable)
- Most have lower expenses and overhead
- They don’t require large teams to run them
This doesn’t mean that one-time sale, high expense and large team-run businesses will fail. But, these business traits increase the likelihood that a business will succeed, and faster.
Products that Need Replenishing
Think about it. When you use your printer every month and run out of printer toner, you need to buy more. This is a must and there’s no way around it. You’ll need toner 4 times a year every year, like clock work.
You run a business and pay taxes. You’re no tax expert so you pay a professional to do your taxes for you, every year, every tax season.
These are two real examples of products that need replenishing. Put yourself in a business like this and you set yourself up for success.
Service businesses are a great example of this. Here are some from our roundup above:
- House cleaning
Other examples that we didn’t get a chance to cover, not on the list?
- Online tutoring
- Property maintenance
- Lawn service
- Car maintenance
Low Expenses and Overhead
If you can break into a home business with low expense, you’ll have a higher chance of succeeding. Costly overhead expenses include warehousing storage, staff, utilities, equipment, commercial or personal vehicles, etc.
Many of the business ideas we shared have low overhead costs.
You can start the business right out of your home with very low costs, like:
- Home office
Worried about high startup or maintenance costs?
Here are some tips to help you lower costs:
- Use technology
- Get off your landline and go mobile
- Go paperless
- Stick to online marketing
- Create a business budget
- Look at alternative places to work
Smaller teams are cheaper than bigger teams. That also means that less people are required to run the operation so, less working pieces and a simple business structure, that may even be more smoothly run than a large operation.
How can I start my small business with no money?
While most businesses need some form of capital to start, there are home-based business with no money required.
Check these out:
- Social media marketing and management
- Online coaching
- Virtual assistance
- Logo design
You can see that all of these businesses have one thing in common. They are service-based.
What’s unique about them, other than no money required to start?
- No website is required
- Jobs can be secured through job banks and other online sources
If you are short on funds and want to start a business with no out of pocket cost up front, these home-based business ideas are for you!
What is the best business to earn money?
All the business ideas above are great for earning money.
What’s great about a home-based business is that you have control over the entire process! You can collect payment when you secure the contract, you can set up a deposit structure, get paid once work is complete, or a combination of the above.
Take a look at these 10 business ideas to make easy money and change the world.
There you have it, 20 home-based business ideas to start from home. Ready to dive in?
What business are you thinking about starting? Share with us, down below in comments!