Contrary to popular wisdom, real estate prices don’t always go up and catching the trends can tremendously amplify your success in this market. One of my business school classmates caught the trend just right in the Houston commercial real estate market, and then did the same in Boston. Another business school classmate took advantage of the huge 2008 real estate sell-off by scooping up thousands of homes in particularly hard-hit areas like Las Vegas with his hedge fund. The safest way to buy real estate is to make sure that your cash flows from current rents will justify the minimum return you need, then you can look at any appreciation as pure gravy!
If you’re artistically inclined, designing logos is a relatively simple business to start. You can service the high-end, doing very unique logos, or provide low-cost designs that start from templates and are modified to suit the client.
Photography can be very competitive and having a specialty, such as boudoir, can help attract customers and justify higher fees. The market for this tends to be brides and young wives buying pictures as a gift for their husband.
Online businesses are becoming increasingly more dependent on content to delight and attract website visitors. However, not everyone is a born writer, which is why businesses are always looking for freelance writers and editors to help craft and polish quality online content. Often businesses are happy to work with remote freelance writers, which means you can potentially work from anywhere in the world! If you’re a knowledgeable wordsmith, freelance copywriting can be a great home-business idea.
Gardening can be very relaxing, and potentially very lucrative. With both the increased interest in alternative therapies and the demand for locally grown and organic foods, an herb farmer can find plenty of customers, particularly if you’re in an urban area. While this does require some space for growing, herbs are fairly small and nearly any home can be slightly modified to allow for an extensive herb garden.
But before you can graduate from side business idea and start earning a full-time living as a graphic designer, you’ll need to build your skills—I recommend starting with reading the foundational book Graphic Design School and Steal Like an Artist, the incredible book by Austin Kleon about how to become more creative. To accelerate your education in becoming a graphic designer even quicker, check out the online courses Graphic Design Fundamentals and The Graphic Design Bootcamp.
Whether if it’s soup mixes, bread, jellies, cookies, or chocolates, people are definitely devouring gourmet food products. And, since you already have a kitchen, you only need to purchase cooking supplies, packaging, and a little basic marketing materials to launch.Amy’s Kitchen is just one example of a home-based business that became a multi-million business by creating delicious gourmet food.
Even though I wasn’t making very much at the time, when I got laid off in 2008 I was very happy that I had started a side business that was another source of income. Even if you don’t have aspirations of working full-time from home, having a little supplemental income would be nice – wouldn’t it?
After you’ve secured some financing and developed your business plan, you’ll need to focus more intently on the details relating to your business. One of the key pieces to setting up your home-based business legally is determining what licenses or permits you may need.
Since there are more than 46 million people in the U.S. who are 65 years of age or older, and that figure is expected to increase to approximately 98 million by 2060, there are a lot business opportunities involving seniors.This includes companionship, running errands, or providing advice for family members.
Businesses always need graphic designers to help them convey information visually, through logos, advertisements, posters, websites, and the like. While it is possible to be an entirely self-taught graphic designer, most have either a certification or a degree. Other than the cost of design software, this business has very little overhead and can be done anywhere with a dedicated computer. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, graphic designers have a median salary of $45,000.*
Laurie Davis started the dating website eFlirt.com with $50 and a Twitter account reports Young, Fabulous and Self-Employed. Her successful enterprise has been profiled by the New York Times, The Washington Post, Good Morning America, and many other media outlets.
In that case, you buy the building and hire a management company to handle the day-to-day hassles. I once tried to sell one of my online businesses to a 40-year old real estate billionaire who started out his business with just a couple multi-family homes.
Writer, side project aficionado, and part-time entrepreneur. Join me here, on ryrob.com and learn how to start a business while working full-time. Let’s chat on Twitter about business and side projects.
You’ll need to see if any local or state permits are required and you must follow the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s guidelines on pet food products. You’ll need a good recipe and a selling point that will make your tasty treats stand out from competitors.
In Boston one of the very best high skyscraper restaurant locations was taken over by a banquet facility company. The owner of this business grew up in the restaurant business but decided to build his own business exclusively around banquets. A banquet facility is an interesting alternative to the difficult restaurant business. You get to match your labor and food costs closely to your income. And by having a dedicated space and a tightly focused business you should be able to execute well.
One of my business school classmates started a concert promotion business while still an undergrad at Harvard, and even as a student he was making a fortune at it. He started with lesser known groups and smaller venues, and within a couple years he was booking some of the largest venues in greater Boston. He also enjoyed partying with the rock stars!
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!
But if you do go the fashion route, be prepared to do quite a bit of networking before you get your business off the ground. Don’t be afraid to do free consultations for contests and giveaways. The more word gets around about your fabulous fashion sense, the larger a clientele you’ll build. If you’re really good, you can start this business with little to no training.
The local bank or investment advisory service may decide to add a touch of class and the feel of quiet success to their office by adding art to its walls, but which paintings should they buy? That’s where you come in, the expert art buyer. You could offer your services to private art buyers as well. Where do you start? You could simply start with one recommendation for one painting for a friend’s empty wall space.
There are basically two businesses here and I would tend to focus on one or the other. One is providing medical help such as skilled nurses. The other is providing senior companions. Both can be great businesses with long term revenue streams and high demand.
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.
Expertise is another matter, but remember that writing can take many forms—from resumes to news articles to marketing materials and even thank-you notes. (You can even write for businesstown.com, although that gig doesn’t pay … yet.) There’s probably some form of writing you’re qualified to do. Plus, if you’re good enough with grammar and punctuation, companies will pay you to be a freelance editor. One friend made good money editing posts on a popular travel site.
Kids are your future customers, so gaining their loyalty now isn’t a bad idea. According to Common Sense Media, three-quarters of kids have access to a mobile device. This spells a big business opportunity for anyone who can create products or design apps just for kids. And, if they also happen to be educational or promote good health, you’ll win their parents over, too.
Do you love woodworking? Even without a huge workshop, you can create some of the more popular crafts and sell them. And like most things, your success in business isn’t necessarily related to how skilled you are as a woodworker. So if you can figure out which products consumers want and just create those, you could have a good business plan. Etsy.com and farmers’ markets are a great place to start selling.
Becoming a known person of interest on YouTube is tough work, and earning views and subscribers is competitive, as more people are getting dollar-sign eyeballs when they see what the big YouTube power users make. Still, if you have something unique to bring to the table or have a great onscreen personality, YouTube could be the spot for you to make your millions (from the comfort of your own home, no less)!
Still, knowing something about how the flower business works is a good idea, and your online presence and photos of your work will be critical to your success. Remember, the business is all about visuals, so make yours as compelling as you can. Get started networking by contacting local wedding planners and funeral homes and letting them know you’re in business. From there, let your business bloom. A friend in Maine turned a flower-arranging business into a successful flower shop she later sold at a profit.
You can power wash houses, commercial buildings, driveways, patios, motor vehicles and more. You will need to be registered, probably have to post a bond, and there may be environmental issues because of the water usage. This is a business you will want to learn carefully. But the upside is that there are many potential markets for your services.
Creating beautiful flower arrangements can be a fun activity for anyone with an eye for design and a love of plants. And you can turn that activity into a career by selling flower arrangements and other plants that you create in your home.
With more websites now using WordPress as a content management system, there is a demand for fresh new WordPress themes.If you are good at designing and coding then you could start to create and sell your own WordPress themes. As they are a digital product, you can create them once and then make a profit for every single sale. There are numerous marketplaces such as Themeforest where you can sell your themes.
Everybody’s on social media, which is both a blessing and a curse for the would-be social-media specialist. On one hand, every organization that sells anything needs a presence on social media, so the market for experts is huge. However, there is also no shortage of social-media experts—or people who think they’re experts, anyway.
A small business typically doesn’t hire a full-time HR person until it reaches about 50 people in size. Until it reaches that size a company might contract for an HR person one or two days a week through a human resources service. One of my friends with experience in HR built up a good business on this model. It helps if you are a good networker or are comfortable approaching small business owners to sell them your service.
Believe it or not, eBay is now more than two decades old, but it’s still the most viable platform for setting up a home-based business online. Big success stories have been around for years now, but there is an enormous amount of competition on the site.
It sounds too good to be true—getting paid to represent your favorite brands at events across the nation. But, if you have a friendly and outgoing personality (a growing social media following helps too), you can forge a potentially paid relationship as a brand ambassador with companies who want to reach other people within your community with this side business idea. As a Brand Ambassador, you do anything from demoing the latest technology, to passing out free swag at music festivals, to going on nationwide tours, to pumping people up as a mascot, and more. Depending upon the gig, you can expect to earn anywhere from $18-$100/hr. You can get started as early as this weekend by joining the Brand Ambassador Facebook group for your nearest major city (e.g. join the “Brand Ambassadors of Seattle” group if you live in/near Seattle). Once you’ve been approved to the group, you’ll get access to daily job postings from big brands and agencies with opportunities in your area. All you need to do is submit your resume and headshot to apply. For a step-by-step guide on how to get hired for the best gigs and the highest pay rates, I recommend checking out The Brand Ambassador Blueprint.
Are you good with animals? Spread the word to friends and neighbors that you’re available to watch their pets while the owners go on a vacation or weekend trip. Pet owners often feel more comfortable leaving their furry friends in the care of an individual rather than placing pets in a boarding facility, so getting referrals shouldn’t be too difficult. If you can’t commit to lodging animals in your home, consider starting a dog walking or waste cleanup business.
If you’re never happier than when you are landscaping your yard, landscape design might be the home-based business for you. This is a relatively new field, so you can get some background knowledge through a degree, although schools that offer these degrees are somewhat rare, or you can intern with another landscape designer.
When I set out to start in on a new business idea, I always make sure it aligns with both my core competencies and my interests. It starts with learning how to discover your strengths as an entrepreneur, and it’s how I make sure I’ll be engaged, even when the going gets rough. I learned this the hard way when I decided to start a freelance business a few years ago to offer my freelance content marketing services.
Everyone wants to feel special now and then. If you can create the right setting, you could make your customers feel great and be happy to pay top dollar for a sophisticated beverage! Get everything just so–the name, the furniture, the wall coverings, servers’ attire, the lighting, and the background music. If you get all the details right, this could be a really fun and highly profitable endeavor.
Get a post office box for your business. This is especially important if you have business cards or will be regularly corresponding through the mail. The simple fact of the matter is that PO boxes look more professional than using your home address.
Cooking classes have become much more than just a way to instruct people in cooking. They have become more of a social event where for example, couples enjoy a cooking class together, get to meet some other people, enjoy sampling the food they cook, perhaps try some fine wine, and have a great experience. So carefully define whether you are selling the expertise, the experience, or both, and build your business model accordingly.
If you already have your own website or blog, you can earn money by becoming an affiliate. You can either sell products directly and earn money that way, or you can sign up others as affiliates, much like multi-level marketing.
After you’ve been freelancing for a few months, you should have some good samples, testimonials, and experience that will give you the leverage to start going after bigger and better-paying freelance opportunities. Remember to set up your digital footprint from the beginning, the majority of social media sites are free to join, as well as a basic blog from WordPress or Blogger. For more information on setting up your freelance business,