This one is a real wild card, but a friend in Dallas did it successfully for years. He was a self-taught art expert who advised clients on which pieces of fine art would make the best long-term investments. If you’re an art lover and educated—even self-educated—in art history, you can set up a business like this, too.
Do you enjoy conversational writing? Blogging is an easy and affordable way to start your own business from home. The topics you can write on are endless, and there are tons of ways to monetize your blog. Not sure how to get started? This post has step-by-step instructions on how to setup your blog in 30 minutes or less.
In the beginning, you’ll likely be doing everything yourself or shouldering the responsibilities with a co-founder. As your business grows, document all the daily, weekly and monthly procedures you follow–whether it’s setting up a Facebook ad campaign, scheduling a call or closing a sale–in a way that someone else can replicate.
Sometimes I’d do a little touchup work, such as a new wood trim or a coat of paint, occasionally I would contract out an engine repair, and always I would clean them the boats. Like any trading business, you need to find out what sells easily and at what price, and what you want to stay away from. Brand name outboards, specifically Boston Whalers, sold well for me. Sailboats, on the other hand, took forever to move.
Whether you’re making onesies and quilts for sale online or at local markets or doing repairs and alterations for locals with ill-fitting clothes, your sewing machine could be your ticket to a work-from-home business.
There are plenty of local small businesses that still do not have a website. To overcome this you could start an e-commerce store that sells local products. You could sell to the local community but it could also appeal to a wider audience. You could work with local business owners and negotiate commission for sales you make
Do you hate dirt and grime? Offer cleaning services to friends, families, and neighbors, ranging from laundering clothing and house cleaning to meal prep and washing windows. You can also check out sites like Care.com for house cleaning gigs.
I view a café as positioned somewhere between a sandwich shop and full service gourmet restaurant. You will be cooking a lot of items but not everything, and your dining space will be simpler than a fancy dinner spot. So, you save money on buildout both in the kitchen, the equipment and the dining space. And you won’t need as expensive a chef as you would for a full-service restaurant. Furthermore, if you choose your location well you could have a good lunch business, as well as a dinner time business, and you could do fine in the late afternoon time slot too. Then of course you could offer breakfast as well and really fill in your day!
In August 2015 a popular virtual assistant (VA) company, Zirtual, announced it was shutting down–leaving behind nearly 2,500 clients and 400 employees. At the time, I was already deeply ingrained in the productivity space and figured the news offered a big opportunity to try to fix the existing issues in the VA space.
Creating a profitable app for smart phones isn’t necessarily about having the best or most innovative idea: it’s about creating the best user experience for that idea. That’s how app designers are able to make their work-from-home a full time job—and then just live off the passive income.
The market for music teaching is there, and your instrument is your specialty. The key is to develop reasonable but firm policies on pricing and cancellations and to, if possible, make your home the venue for providing lessons, rather than traveling to visit students.
Live in a destination where travelers frequently visit? If you love meeting new people from around the world and also love the city you live in, starting your own local tour company is arguably the best business idea that will give you both of those perks. Take a unique spin on your local tour business like Erik from Vantigo. He was starting his VW van tour business in San Francisco as just a side business idea while he was still working a full-time job, and grew it to being a sustainable source of full-time income before quitting—now he’s running a multiple van tour company on the back of what originally began as a crazy side business idea.
As people are demanding more fulfillment in their lives and have more options to consider, they are increasingly turning to coaches. You can build your skills in this field by reading up on it, signing up for some life coaching yourself, or taking a course about how to teach life coaching.
Like graphic design, Web design requires skills that can take years to acquire and perfect. But if you have them, the market is there for creating attractive, useful Web sites for all sorts of organizations. Starting a Web-design business does require some up-front investment, particularly in software, although candidates to start Web-design firms might have those applications already.
“Build your business as if you were building a $100 million dollar company, not as if you were building a one person start up. Once you start gaining momentum, you’ll wish you had the systems, processes, and hiring practices of the big companies and not the piecemeal processes of a start up.”
Fiverr.com takes a dollar of each $5 sale, so you might wonder how sellers make money. It’s all about the extra services. Many of the logo designers there keep it really simple for a basic sale (add a company name to a template), but offer extra services that can add $100 or more to an order.
Do you adore babies? “A birth doula is an individual who offers one-on-one support for a woman in labor as well as her partner and family. The word “doula” comes from a Greek word meaning “woman’s servant.” Birth doulas provide continuous, uninterrupted care for the laboring woman and her partner, helping them participate fully in their experience by offering physical and emotional support and information about the birth process and their available options”.
Before you get excited about starting your home based business idea, you first have to make sure you have the right tools in place. The main tool is a speedy Internet connection. Most home based businesses will require some sort of Internet connection. With a good Internet connection, you can also take care of a phone and fax. Isn’t technology great?
What sort of restrictions could there be? Where do I start looking? The property may be affected by restrictive covenants that prohibit certain uses, and there could be an outright prohibition on business use. Your neighbours are likely to be the ones with the right to enforce these covenants against you and they might be able to get a court order to stop you running your business from the property. The title to the property (held by the Land Registry) should have details of any restrictions and you should check what you were provided with by your solicitor when you bought the property. Even if there aren’t any restrictions on the title, there is a risk that your use could disturb neighbours and cause a nuisance, for example, by noise caused or increased visitors to the property. From a legal perspective, something has to be more than irritating before it is a nuisance and must actually cause damage or interfere with someone’s enjoyment of their property. If the nuisance was severe enough, your neighbours could take you to court.
If your social media postings develop a large enough, or a specialized enough, following you may be able to earn money as a social media influencer. There are social media influencer platforms you can get listed on, and there are advertising companies hired specifically to promote company brands via social media influencers.
I have seen people do very well building and renting residences for the elderly. This is a highly-regulated field and you do need to manage it carefully. Staff turnover can be sky high and “one-time” issues with residents and their families may seem endless, but there is a lot of upside here.
A personal concierge handles everything from managing schedules to running errands like taking clients to the airport or their dog to the vet. In a nutshell, it’s being someone’s personal assistant. But, depending on the market, it can make you some serious bank.
Mild spoiler alert: Viewers of the TV drama Orange Is the New Black might remember that the show’s main character made amends with one of her fellow prison inmates by making her a soothing lotion. Hopefully you won’t find yourself in prison, but if you find yourself wanting to start a home-based business, consider hand-making soaps and lotions yourself.
Arielle sells job search tools. It’s not glamorous at all, however what’s important to me as one of the founders of the business is not the perceived glamour value of our products, but the quality of the problem that our business has been built to solve.
Though certainly not for everyone, recycling the containers from products left strewn around on the ground can become a surprisingly decent side business idea if you put in the time. Attending events like street fairs and outdoor concerts can be a great starting place. Put on a clean shirt, jeans, apply your sunscreen, grab a cheap pick-up tool like this one, sturdy plastic bags, and you can sell them for upwards of $4.00/pound on eBay.
If you’ve developed valuable skill sets or certifications within your industry over the years, consider putting your skills to use in your free time by offering your consulting services to local business owners as a potentially lucrative side business idea. Whether you’re an expert marketer, business strategist, or manufacturing aficionado, there’s likely a local business owner who’s willing to pay you to help them solve an issue with their company—if you can craft an effective cold email that convinces them to hire you. Start with this 18-step checklist to becoming a local business consultant as a side business idea, from Karyn Greenstreet. When you’re ready to get serious about becoming a consultant, check out all of my picks for the best online business courses to keep building your skills and learning how to land your first consulting clients. Personally, I think this is one of the best business ideas you can get started with today.
Then you can move into more actionable online courses like Modern Web Design on CreativeLive and Learn Web Design and Profitable Freelancing on Udemy will teach you everything from foundational web design knowledge to earning your first freelance income as a web designer. On top of that, you can take even more immersive courses and learning experiences with access to direct instructor feedback and personal mentorship with platforms like Treehouse, LinkedIn Learning and General Assembly to get up-to-speed even quicker with this career path and listen to my podcast interview with Ian Paget about how to become a freelance designer as a side business idea.
In my experience, one of the greatest challenges people face is deciding why they are starting a business, what they hope to accomplish and what they really want to do. Starting a business, particularly from home, sounds glamorous and free but, in reality, it can put a strain on home life if not done right. People I talk to often need help decision-making which is an essential quality in running a business.
Nothing beats playing your favorite game. But getting paid for coaching a sports team and staying close to the action is the next best thing. Not only will you learn new skills, you’ll earn money getting your team into shape with this side business idea. The median pay for sports coaches clocks in at $30,400 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Expect to have only a slice of that if you’re signing up for part-time coaching as a side business idea only.
If you don’t mind parading yourself around in public places as a side business idea, and enjoy a little attention, then working as a human billboard can pay a surprising amount of dividends. Renting out your beard, for example can earn you as much as $5 a day while having a brand logo tattooed on your shaven head for five years could pay as much as $7,000—though this type of earning opportunity is admittedly rare. This business idea is definitely not for the faint of heart, and is a little extreme for me, but nonetheless it’s been done as a side hustle for many people. You can start by holding a placard or wearing a sandwich board. If you think this is a good side business idea, you can go all the way and turn it into a full on small business idea with enough hard work—plus you won’t have to deal with all the issues other more complex businesses have to constantly think about (like reducing churn).
As a PR agency you work with businesses to promote their latest products and represent them as a business. With many niche businesses these days, you could start a PR agency focusing specifically on a specific business niche. Operating in only one niche would allow you to specialise in that niche and know exactly what the market wants.
If you’re proficient in a highly specialized software, you can get paid to pass your knowledge on to amateurs and professionals looking to expand their skill sets. Technical manuals are available for programs like QuickBooks and Final Cut Pro, but these are often expensive and difficult for the average user to get through. Schedule small group workshops or private sessions, and charge by the hour for a full tutorial of the program. The best thing about this gig is that it can be done part time.
Not everyone wants to find a babysitter by responding to a hand-scribbled note on the bulletin board at the local coffee shop. That’s where you come in. Set up a babysitting service that includes vetting your sitters and giving your customers confidence that they are dealing with safe and dependable service providers!
Wedding photographers command premium rates. After all, you are capturing one of a couple’s most important life moments, making it a very lucrative side business idea. Many professional wedding photographers charge between $2,500 – $10,000 (or more) to shoot a wedding, so it’s realistic that this side business idea could quickly blossom into becoming a full-time endeavor with the right happy clientele base that’s willing to refer you to their friends and family. Check out the Complete Wedding Photography Experience over on CreativeLive to get up to speed on everything you need to launch a successful wedding photography business.
It takes some time to grow an audience and find ways to monetize your blog, but if you love to share your point of view with the world, this can be a good way to work from home. Niche blogs are a particular area of growth in this ever-growing profession. Pay can vary widely, but the income potential is nearly limitless.
Purchasing and installing a stair lift is a major decision for a mobility impaired customer. Offering excellent service including carefully presenting the best alternatives and being quickly available for follow-up service can help make your stair lift business stand out from the competition and build positive word of mouth.
Everyone wants videos for their website, and corporations and non-profits are willing to pay good money for high quality service. This is a local business because you need to be onsite with your camera.
With the popularity of cycling, there is going to be an increasing number of cycles that need repairs. That could be anything from a puncture to new brakes being fitted. If you know how to repair a bike then you could start a small business repairing them. The business itself would be low-cost to start off and the main cost would be labour. You could even start from home.
A career plan has a dead line for action steps that includes taking new courses, learning a new language, networking or improving issues at work. A career plan should be kept in your wallet because it will motivate you to keep pursuing the role.
Blogging can potentially be a profitable home-based business, but you need to pick a niche that’s not already saturated with competitors. After you’ve figured out how to generate enough Web traffic to your blog — either through SEO, content marketing, or other means — the next hurdle is to find just the right products, services, and/or ads that your readership will respond to. In my experience, it’s often a matter of trial and error before you find the winning combination of strategies.