creative online business ideas | how to start a business from nothing

Pet sitting usually involves going to someone else’s house to take care of furry loved ones. Pet sitting could even involve living in someone’s house while the client is away. You have to think about the types of services you’ll provide and the types of animals you’ll take care of, but generally pet sitting is a low-cost, high-pleasure business idea.
Real Estate: Either by REIT, Real Estate Mutual Funds, Buy and Let, or simply buy assets for their future increase in value. Overseas property is also a part of this. Read the following New Real Estate Investor Tips here.
But don’t let any of that hold you back. With the right guidance and some serious preparation, you can be part of the booming home-based economy. Here are some business ideas you can put into motion right now.

Any ideas for me? Am disabled physically/mentally …I had a side job stuffing envelopes..My boss was so thrilled with me and my partner he fired a bunch of workers as we could pull off the bulk of his work!…We got paid well when the economy went upside down we noticed our pay decreased but still made enough to pay 3 house bills. Since about 6 months ago my boss I think lost his house …I remeber his last visit he was so stressed saying he almost had 2 foreclose emergencies:(
An errand service can be a natural business to tie into grocery delivery, or vice versa. Once again, if you already have a car you’re ready to get started. People often need someone to check on their dog at home, or run to the store if they are homebound.
More and more businesses are allowing customers to order products online, such as your local grocery store or pizzeria. Not all of them, however, deliver. That’s where you can into play. You can deliver these products.Or, you could start your own business like Door To Door Organics – which is an online grocer of natural and organic products that’s delivered to your home. The company started in 1997 for just $700 and is posting around $40 million in revenue.
Create a business plan for your home based business. This is the blueprint for your business. It may also help you think of things that had not crossed your mind about your business and help you determine what kind of start up costs you are looking at. At minimum, a business plan should include the following:
Did you know that English speakers are in high demand in Asia?  As a result many are turning to freelance English teachers using websites like Italki.com. The site is basically a virtual online classroom for freelance teachers and students.  Anyone can offer lessons (and set their own price) and anyone can take lessons.
Great list here! Some are very out of the box great ideas. I did find great success working from home myself. All I do is refer people to our services from home. When customers pay their electric or wireless bill, I get a check.
The dreams of working at home and being your own boss (or ruling your own world, perhaps) are very much alive and go hand-in-hand in the modern workforce. It is now possible to start almost any kind of business from home immediately, albeit with varying degrees of investment and experience.
Anyone with a background in dance and access to clients with similar interests can offer dance classes from home. You can either set up the actual studio in your home or rent a space and use your home to do the administrative work.
Check into legal barriers for your business. Some areas have certain rules and regulations for home based businesses, and you need to check into those at your town’s city hall before investing much time or money in your business. Some areas just make home based business owners carry a business license and nothing else. Not knowing about these regulations can be devastating to your business.[3]
When I say hitting a million dollars wasn’t about the money, this is what I mean. I don’t worship my bank account. What really matters is never having to worry about travel, or rent, or taking care of my family. And the money simply allowed me to live a life of MORE. More success, more fun, more family, and more giving back.
If you’re a fast typer with an ear for dictation, than transcription might be right for you. A lot of different businesses require transcription, from medical practices to attorney’s offices, and will pay handsomely for quality work. Why not be the service to meet their needs? All you need to start is a computer, an internet connection, and the will to build a network of professionals and gain their referrals.
There are plenty of platforms and places where you can sell furniture and home décor items. You can find old pieces at flea markets or second hand stores and add your own upgrades so that you can resell them for a profit.
Many direct sales companies offer a FREE starter kit if you meet certain milestones during your first 30 – 60 days. In fact, Angie Nelson has a great list of companies that have an earn your kit option. Need even more ideas? Here are some internet businesses in the fashion industry that allow you to set up shop for FREE!
If you love to cook on a grand scale, why not start a catering business out of your home? How much you make depends on the scale of the assignments you take, and your ability to correctly decide how much your materials will cost. But this is also an industry where you can start small and work you way up to bigger gigs—and profits.
If possible, self-fund your startup and then go for funding when you can create a growth story. This might cause you to break up your product/service offering into smaller pieces so you can fund the early stages and get some traction and experience.
Once you’ve gotten your workspace set aside, decide what you need around you to make you most productive. Aside from the usual paper clips, stapler and pens, here are some other items to keep in mind:
I think a window cleaning business is an ideal way for someone to start their own business because of REPEAT customers. All you need is one large account (nothing too high) and maybe a dozen small storefront customers to make a possible $200 a day.
If you’re tech savvy and understand the ins and outs of internet security, consider becoming a consultant for small businesses. Unlike the big boys, these companies can’t afford the huge security budgets, but they still want to be able to protect their internet customers.
Of course, strictly speaking, this isn’t an at-home business, as the work takes place in someone else’s home. But it can be lucrative. You just need to make sure that your cleaning skills are up to snuff, which means some cleaning practice at friends’ houses might not be a bad thing to do before launching the business.
A mobile pet grooming business offers a convenient service to customers. Instead of having to drag their pets to get groomed, you can bring the salon right to their doorsteps — and you can charge more for this convenience.
Filed Under: Work at Home Ideas Tagged With: Blogging, Digital Earning, Direct Sales, Free Business Opportunity, Holly Reisem Hanna, Home Based Business, Home Businesses, No Money, No Startup Fees, The Work at Home Woman, Work from home
Carpets make your home warm and cozy. But they also tend to gather dust, grime, stains, allergens and bugs over time. You can tap into this opportunity by launching a carpet cleaning side business idea or serving as an independent contract cleaner in your free time. Either way, you’ll need to invest in proper equipment such as vacuum cleaners, carpet brushes, and cleaning chemicals in order to launch this business idea. Look into the possibility of renting equipment for a full weekend and lining up 5-10 clients to service, to offset your rental costs. If you turn a healthy profit, you’ll eventually be able to invest in owning your own equipment and increase your margins, thus going from side hustle to serious business.
The demand for skilled translators is incredibly high as the world becomes increasingly smaller. Whether if it’s translating legal contracts or translating blog posts for global eCommerce sites, this is a low cost business idea that is showing no signs of slowing down.Personally, I would search freelance sites like Fiverr or Upwork and start reaching out to people who are fluent in several languages to join your business. This way you can translate documents in a variety of languages.
Television repair is not a dying business. Consumers don’t want to throw out their TVs at the first time of trouble. Furthermore, if you start this business you may want to expand into related businesses such as servicing computer monitors.
You should also consider home owners’ associations in your neighborhood and consider the potential impact of your business on neighbors, especially if the business will increase traffic or noise in the neighborhood.
What a great excuse to travel and get paid for it! Yes, there are some really cool craft items you can find around the world for really low prices. It could take a little bit of patience to get going, and specialization helps. But this is a very doable business. One of my friends built up a successful import/export business while still in college.
This is one of those businesses that not everyone wants to do, so the profits tend to be above average. Furthermore, you don’t have to collect just by telephone. You can send emails, mail letters and more. Make sure you know all the legal restrictions before you start!
Wouldn’t it be fun to make a gift-basket overflowing with a bunch of carefully selected and really attractive items? Of course, it would! You could have a lot of satisfaction putting together distinctive gift baskets that will delight your customers and bring in sales!
I met Wally Amos who made a blockbuster success out of famous Amos cookies, which he launched after a career as a Hollywood talent agent. Wally eventually lost control of his company to outside investors. However, he came back again with still another cookie line. Everyone loves a fancy cookie and it’s an easy food to both differentiate and to charge a premium for.
Families are looking for expert photographers to preserve memories and milestones in their lives, whether it’s their baby’s first Christmas or Aunt Dorothy’s 80th birthday. Photographers can take clients in the comfort of their own home, provided they have the space and the studio equipment available.
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.
These businesses have been around forever, and I have hired temp workers through them from time to time, typically for simple packing or assembly type work. Historically your success would be largely dependent upon how successful you were at making sales calls on companies that hire temporary help. But today you can also bring sales leads to you through online marketing.
You may need quite a bit of outdoor space at your home for this. But if you enjoy nature, being outside and welcoming people to your property around the holidays, then running a Christmas tree farm or lot may be a fun home based business idea for you.
Spending a leisurely afternoon in a swimming pool can be a lot of fun. But cleaning it can be a pain in the neck. Hence, most pool owners hire people to do the cleaning for them. If you need extra cash and don’t mind getting physical, then pool cleaning is a viable side business idea for you.
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.
Becoming an Uber driver has quickly become a great way for people to get their own business off the ground. You will need to pass a background check and have valid instate driver’s license and auto insurance. The process is pretty painless and will get you rolling on your own business. Many people start as an Uber driver to pay the bills while they work on another business that they are more passionate about. Check out our post to learn more about Uber driver requirements.
Do you have a proven track record in a particular field? Can you prove past success or have trained in matters of the mind? Then life coaching or mentorship is another low-cost and profitable business opportunity since you can run the business out of your home.
If editing and advising college students on how to write compelling 500 word essays on topics such as “You were just invited to speak at the White House. Write your speech,” seems like a compelling business idea to allocate your free time towards, trust me—tons of parents will pay you to edit admissions essays and offer constructive feedback for their children. Be careful not to blur the ethical line of actually writing their essays, but serving as an editor to help them convey their message can become a great side business idea that has the potential to spread by word-of-mouth referral in your community.
There are people now making a living creating viral YouTube videos. If you create a unique and entertaining video then it could soon be getting millions of views online if it goes viral. YouTube pays you as a partner for the advertisements that are in front of your videos meaning you do not have to find time looking for advertisers. There are also other potential revenue streams such as endorsing products and affiliate marketing.
Many businesses seek out freelance graphic designers for logos, custom letterheads, infographics, and web design work. With digital visual assets becoming ever more valuable online, graphic designers have plenty of opportunities to make money remotely from home.
People have discovered that they can make so much money at yard sales that they turn it into a regular business, including buying additional merchandise such as at flea markets or online specifically to sell at their yard sales. One town that I vacation in decided that too many people were turning yard sales into a business, and passed an ordinance limiting how many yard sales you were legally allowed to conduct. This is of course another indicator that yard sales can be highly lucrative!
An irrigation service installs and services underground sprinkler systems at homes and businesses. I use a one-person irrigation service at one house and have a larger landscaping service handle the irrigation at another house. The big work comes when you install a new system. But an existing system needs service every year including being “blown out” and turned on, and always there are sprinkler heads that need to be adjusted or replaced.
People will pay a lot of money to get their dog trained and you can provide the service. To get going you can read a book or take a dog training class yourself. This business would also be a great source of clients for dog walking services, if you want to expand your dog services empire!
Mobile tech is now a must-have for almost any business, but finding ways to go mobile is a challenge for many business owners. If you can provide affordable mobile solutions to businesses that need them, you’ll find mobile consulting a rich business opportunity.
Just to add for those who are looking for ways to make money from home without leaving home, think about services you can provide to businesses i.e. being a virtual assistant – taking calls, marketing, data entry.
Decluttr is an online platform where you can sell CDs, DVDs, and video games. Just enter the item’s barcode on the site to get a quote. Decide which items you’d like to sell (must be between 10 – 500) and send them in using a pre-paid shipping label. Once items are received, Music Magpie will send you a check.
If you already have a website that’s driving in targeted traffic, a great way to make passive income from the content you’re already creating as an easy side business idea, is through affiliate marketing. ShareASale, Rakuten, Clickbank, and Skimlinks are a few of the best affiliate networks and tools that can help you make money from the content you already produce, thus amplifying your side business idea income. Check out this extensive list by Justine Grey, covering the 59 Best Affiliate Programs for Business Bloggers to get some inspiration on how other bloggers are growing affiliate blogs from side business idea to full-time company.
Potential challenges: You’re responsible for the safety and well-being of people, so getting the proper insurance and setting up the right legal structure is a must. It can be a stressful business to run, with long hours and frequent travel required.
If you have experience cutting hair and giving manicures, opening up shop from your home is an excellent way to start your own salon. Make sure that you follow all of your state’s requirements for doing salon care in a home, as they can be stringent. Median salary: $22,500.

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