19 Home-Based Business Ideas: How to Make Money From Your Own Home

For many small business owners, the biggest hurdle to launching a company is the cost of finding a space for their operation. Whether leasing or purchasing a space, a company’s revenue stream can be seriously interrupted by the high price of office or storefront space. A popular option for avoiding this trouble is to launch a business from home, either full-time or in addition to other work. While some industries are better equipped to operate from a home office, many jobs can be translated into a home-based environment with the right preparations. 

Follow this guide for insights into some of the top home-based businesses in recent years. Whether you’re looking to move your tutoring business into your own home or trying to start a consulting service without an office space, there’s a way to make it work. 

Full-Time Home-Based Business Ideas

Childcare or Daycare

If you have children or grandchildren in the home already, or if you’re an experienced babysitter, teacher, camp counselor, or another childcare professional, you may want to consider opening a home-based daycare business. Among families that are seeking childcare, home daycares are a favorite option if the business owner is trustworthy, experienced, and organized. Starting a home daycare or childcare center can be low-cost, high-reward if you ensure the safety of your home and win the trust of parents. Follow these links for a step-by-step guide on how to start a daycare or learning more about daycare loans.

Freelance Writing

If you have some prior experience, freelance writing can be both lucrative and flexible. Businesses often seek advertising assistance, media outlets and blogs seek copywriters, and companies with a social media presence seek professionals when communicating their brand story and value propositions on different platforms. Any of these jobs can be filled by a freelance writer working from their own home, and any can be a good source of income depending on your experience and quality of work. While the perks to freelance writing are clear, it’s important to note that the best jobs go to the best, most experienced writers, and you should have a solid portfolio of work if considering a career as a freelance writer. 

Personal Training

Though exercise has previously been confined to gyms and many personal trainers have worked for gyms and other private establishments, the last several months have seen a shift toward home-based training for many in the industry. With the right licenses and certifications, you can run a fully operational personal training program from your own home. If you provide solid expertise, good coaching and customer service, and the necessary equipment, you can find a profitable niche in this new market. Virtual training, done over video chat, has seen a rise in popularity in the past few months as well. If you’re qualified and prepared, there’s no shortage of training opportunities in the work from homeworld. 

Virtual Assistant

Even before COVID-19 accelerated the shift to remote work, both secretary and executive assistant positions have been transitioning to a virtual setting. Thanks to email, call forwarding, and video conferencing, you can work as a personal assistant to business owners, managers, or public officials from the comfort of your home. In fact, you often do not need to be in the same time zone as your client. Many business owners rely on virtual assistants to keep operations moving outside of core business hours, which helps them effectively extend their workday without needing to be physically present. And because virtual assistants typically decrease their clients’ costs, there is a large market for these positions.

With solid organizational skills, communications experience, and technological literacy, you could take advantage of the recent move to digital work by establishing yourself as a high-quality remote assistant. Like personal training and freelance writing, the nature of virtual assistant work allows you to take on numerous clients but also offers the ability to grow into a broader, higher-paying role with a few select clients.

Bookkeeping

Bookkeeping, or managing financial accounts, transactions, and payroll on behalf of a company, is a service needed by almost every business. And because bookkeeping and accounting typically take place independently of a business’s day-to-day operations, bookkeeping from home is a very flexible option for qualified accountants. Working from allows you to acquire and support multiple clients, while also providing a more flexible schedule than any corporate accounting role. 

Graphic Design or Web Design

Now more than ever, business owners are bringing their operations online. This means that web design and graphic design professionals are in high demand for advertisements, websites, and other digital creative needs. With a computer science or design degree, or a fair amount of coding and design experience which can be self-taught, you can build a high-volume business designing and improving websites for online businesses. A well-managed design business would allow you to work entirely from home for multiple clients at once and often opens up the door for consistent projects if you can partner with an agency. 

Photography

Photography is another great example of a field that naturally lends itself to working from home. Whether you shoot weddings, family portraits, or newspaper photos, the editing portion of your job can likely be completed from your home or on-the-go; all you need is a laptop, some editing software, and at times, a WiFi connection. Though the photo-taking part of your job will still need to be completed on-sight, and editing can be a time-consuming task, home-based photography studios can be very lucrative. With good time management, you can work on behalf of multiple clients and expand your portfolio globally while operating from your own home. 

Real Estate

If you’re a licensed real estate agent, you might also be able to operate your business from home. If you live near the market you work within, you can likely manage your communications and clerical work while still meeting your clients for viewings and closings. Living relatively close to the market you manage and offering a full-time commitment are essential for the job, as clients expect quick action at all times when searching for or selling a home. While real estate agents can center their business at home, they are still mobile workers and should keep that in mind when organizing a home office. 

Bed & Breakfast

For those willing to put in the time and money, converting a home into a bed and breakfast is a great work-from-home option. If you live in a popular vacation area or historic part of the country, you may be able to capitalize on tourism by offering your home as a Bed and Breakfast for visitors. Though the renovations necessary for launching a BnB (creating private bathrooms and bedrooms, for example) can be pricey, if you can convert your home into an attractive destination and provide good customer service, a Bed and Breakfast business can serve you for years. 

Consulting Service

If you have significant experience in a certain industry, and a proven track record of success, you may be able to start a profitable consulting business from your home. Whether assisting managers with diversity initiatives or helping a business overhaul their digital marketing, your expertise can become a strong source of income. With laptops and cell phones in every office, home-based consultants have easier access to more clients in more locations than ever before. 

Landscaping

Though the work is not itself done from home, landscaping and gardening businesses can easily be run from home offices. Landscaping businesses are well run from the home because of the flexible scheduling and independent nature of the work. And for those in colder climates who run their landscaping companies on a seasonal basis, setting up a home base is a great way to save money by avoiding rent. 

Party Planner

Like landscaping, party planning is a mobile job that can be centered at a home office. While continuing to travel to venues and meet with clients, you can conduct planning and billing tasks from your home office. Additionally, the flexibility of a party planner’s schedule allows you to make the most of your time and lends itself to working away from an office. 

Part-Time Home-Based Business Ideas

Blogging

If you enjoy writing in the public eye, and if your work is good enough to attract an audience, there may be a career for you in blogging. By posting hyperlinks to other sites, writing for corporate sponsors, or selling advertisements on your own work, you can earn good money blogging from home. It’s important to note that blogging can be either part or full time, and you’ll likely need to take it up as a side project for a couple of years before making enough money to launch your career. In order to make money, you’ll need a large audience that inspires ad revenue, and the larger your audience, the more you’ll need to write. 

Social Media or Podcasts

Like blogging, your presence on social media can become profitable if you spend enough time growing your audience. Both social media marketing and podcasting are viable part-time careers for those working from home, and both increase in profitability and workload as your audience grows. It can be difficult to develop a following from scratch so it may take a long time to start generating any revenue. That said, once you grow your brand and assets to a certain threshold, you can drive significant revenue and monetize through different avenues.

Dog Walking or Pet Sitting

If you live in an area with lots of pet owners, you can make a solid income by dog walking or pet sitting part-time. Services like Wag! and Barkly, allow you to register to receive job alerts, and work as many hours as you’d like. The more you work, the more you’ll be out of the home, but the flexibility of the work makes dog walking a great option for those working away from an office. One of the largest perks is that you can choose how many pets you care for at a given time to avoid working more than you want.

Airbnb

Hosting an Airbnb is a similarly flexible employment option that allows you to generate additional income at your convenience. Providing accommodations can be a cost if you have to build a space from scratch, but the nature of Airbnb hosting tends to be more casual and flexible than traditional bed and breakfast services. You might open your home or extra apartment only on the weekends, or for certain weeks of the year when you’re away from home, and in most cases, hosts are not expected to provide more than housing and basic amenities. This option is particularly lucrative if you live in an area with a good tourism and vacation market, or existing Airbnb demand. 

Catering

If you love to cook and prepare food, opening or working in a restaurant is not the only way to make money doing what you love. With a home catering business, you can cook at your client’s request or based on your personal menu, preparing food in your own kitchen for weddings, banquets, and other events. Though the work takes a significant amount of prep time, and requires that you have the kitchen and storage space for large orders, the flexible nature of the job makes this a great part-time opportunity. You can take on as many orders as you can manage, and work at your own schedule all from the familiarity of your own kitchen. 

House Cleaning Service

Running a cleaning service can be either a full-time or part-time option that doesn’t require an office space. With just the cleaning supplies and a vehicle to get from client to client, you can make a significant income at a flexible rate that you can set based on a client’s requests. 

Lyft/Uber Driving

Another great way to add additional income is by driving for Lyft, Uber, or another ridesharing service. Especially in cities or areas near airports, this option has become increasingly popular for people seeking part-time work. The job is as flexible as it gets, as you can log on and off as you please, take jobs at your convenience, and change your schedule as needed. All you need, of course, is a car. 

No matter your field, setting up a home-based business is a great way to exercise your passion for entrepreneurship while sparing the rent and property tax costs that come with owning or leasing an office. Without hefty startup costs, your work can immediately be more flexible and lucrative than otherwise possible. With the right equipment and licensing, many businesses can be run from the home and launched rather quickly. If your line of work is listed above, or if you have a new small business idea that needs a launchpad, consider starting out from your own home office.

 

Author Bio:

Jeffrey Bumbales
Director, Marketing & Strategic Partnerships