online business startups ideas | start a creative business

Of course, photography can take many forms, from photojournalism to portrait photography to general-interest stock photography. You’ll most likely go for either setting up a studio in your home or taking pictures for use as stock photos, as true photojournalism requires years of experience and almost never involves actually working from home. Keep in mind that stock-photo sites work on a revenue-sharing model, so simply selling pictures to one is unusual.
Know your competition. If you plan on working from home locally, look around town for other businesses offering the same services or products. You’ll have to figure out if there is enough business left for you in your area. If you plan to work online, you’re dealing with a very crowded market in most cases, so you’ll have to find a way to differentiate yourself from the competition.
Any moron can open a graphics program and push some pixels around, but that doesn’t make them a designer. The tool does not come with the knowledge. The fundamental skills that are required to do a good job take years to hone. This isn’t something you start and are good at over night. And if it takes years of work to get good at, and hours or days of work to arrive at a good product you should not be selling it for $5.
There is a big difference between mowing a lawn and performing a full landscaping service. At the highest end are landscape designers, who design elaborate and unique landscape changes for your property.
That’s not to say that it’ll be easy. With the rise in working from home comes more competition from other home-based businesses. And any new venture will require at a minimum some serious market research and possibly some fairly complex licensing and legal maneuvers.
KJ Henderson has more than a decade of HR and talent acquisition experience. He has held roles at a Fortune 100 investment bank, a media conglomerate and at one of NYC’s largest executive staffing firms. He currently heads recruitment sourcing at a major movie studio. He read literature at Oxford.
One of the challenges of running a home bakery will be finding customers. That basically means going out and selling your products to stores, restaurants, cafeterias, caterers or anyone else. You want to find customers that you can service on an on-going basis and that you won’t have to travel too far to reach. You may want to canvas potential resellers even before you decide what products you plan to be baking.
For the musically gifted, offering lessons to others who want to learn an instrument can be a great source of extra income. Unless you’re teaching piano, students can bring their own instruments to your home for hour-long lessons. Stock up on sheet music or songbooks in varying genres and aimed at various skill levels so you can offer a wide selection for your potential clients. Voice lessons can also bring in a lot of money if you market yourself to local high school and community theater groups.
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.
If you need further coverage, you can opt for a business owners policy — an insurance package that covers your business property and provides liability coverage for clients coming to your home. These policies generally cost from $500 to $3,500 per year.
Some firms outsource their customer service operations and many of these companies accept home-based contractors. You can start by signing up on freelancing sites such as Upwork to test the waters with this business idea first. If you’re already a CSR specialist with management skills, then you can form and lead a virtual team online and engage clients as a bona fide customer service company or, provide customer service training to such teams as well as individuals.
Keeping our kids safe is so important, but the details of how to do so can be confusing. A professional child proofing business is inexpensive to start up, but there may be state regulations to follow. It’s also a good idea to apprentice with a child proofer in order to learn the business.
Got a thing for numbers? Plenty of companies need to hire talented contractors who are good at data analysis, making this a potentially lucrative side business idea if you have the right credentials and experience. Platforms like Upwork and Digiserved are but a two of many websites that are great for freelancers with an analytical prowess, looking for extra work as a side business idea around their full-time jobs.
Art collectors love to have catalogs of their work both to show off to their friends and to use as potential sales tools. It’s surprising how little some people know about the art they have. If you have photography and research skills, put them to work in this business. It can be surprisingly lucrative.
Rather than replacing sofas and chairs, many people prefer to save money and just replace the fabric, often changing colors in the process. This is a great service business—you can’t be underpriced by Amazon. Furthermore, not only will your customers come to you for more business at some point, but you bet that next time they are entertaining in their living room that your new fabric covering work will come up in the conversation! Eventually you may want to consider offering complete re-upholstering services.
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.
Corrisa, thank you for adding your thoughts on Annie’s list. I wholeheartedly agree with your points to consider and would encourage anyone looking to join a network marketing-based business to do their due diligence before signing up. As I have found in my past ventures into home based businesses, the KEY to success is to treat your business as exactly that and not a hobby or trending fad.
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.
Not only is a fashion blog fun to create, but it is the kind of blog that you have one of the best chances of monetizing. If you can develop a significant following you may be able to earn money as a paid “influencer” for brands. Creating a successful blog can take a long time so make sure it’s something that you enjoy doing.
Strictly speaking, this isn’t really an at-home business, as most of the work takes place outside the home. But for dog lovers who don’t want other people’s pets staying overnight, dog walking is a viable business idea with a low barrier to entry. Still, there are considerations including researching the state of your local dog-walking market and addressing licensing and insurance concerns.
The closest I came to knitting was repairing rips in the sails on my boat, but there a are a lot of people who want to knit and crochet—and you can show them how! You could start with a class at your house or perhaps at a local knitting store. Maybe offer an entry level course at the local adult ed program to get going.
Investment: You can reduce your initial costs by starting small and part-time. Besides needing a professional camera, lighting equipment and editing software, costs may include website setup and marketing, and hiring photography assistants.

Keep your regular job until you are able to make the same amount of money or more consistently. Many people who have a home based business give up their regular job when they have saved a year’s income.
This seems like a fun and easy business and it can be very rewarding. However, it is very competitive and can be hard to break into. Interior design is also increasingly sophisticated, with software design simulation and specialized educational backgrounds becoming more common.
Toby Woodward has been in the flooring business for twenty-five years. He tells Construction News, “I started my business with $50 and a box of business cards.” His company, Aladdin Floors, started out doing just installation in order to avoid the need to invest in inventory.
By using a site like Flippa you can purchase a website, build-it-up, and sell it for a pretty penny. Sounds silly, but it’s actually become a lucrative business.Personally I’ve been able to earn an additional $25-$30k flipping websites each year on the side. Just imagine if I did that full-time!
A perfect example of this is if you make specialty cakes and, because of the extreme designs, sizes and amazing flavors, people are willing to pay you $350 per cake. However, due to the work that goes into producing such amazing cakes, you are only able to make one every week which brings your profit to $1400 a month minus the cost of your supplies.
Potential challenges: Don’t expect to quit your day job right away. You’ll likely need a ton of traffic and followers to earn anything significant, and building up your fanbase will likely take some time.
But be wary. Food service—even a delivery service, which is the most likely scenario for home bakers, as opposed to setting up a storefront—comes with built-in risks. Prepare yourself, and read up on your local insurance requirements. And don’t be afraid to start out by making just one or two really great treats. Consistency is more important than variety in the baking business.
Set yourself up for success by taking these early steps to create your ideal home office. By dedicating thought and consideration to your workspace, you’re already well on your way to being productive.
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!
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.
For example, if you are streaming video as part of your business, you are justified in buying faster internet. However, if you are mainly using the internet for browsing and email, there is no reason for you to get a higher speed internet package.
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.
What makes drop shipping so attractive is exactly what lands it on this list; there are no big startup costs or expensive investments in inventory. You can sell products online, collect payment, pay suppliers, and let them send out the products — even using your company logo if you like.
This is very specialized and you need to have a good amount of expertise to get started. But what a fun way to make a living! Visiting clients’ homes, viewing and researching their art: what could be a more fun business than this?
This is basically an employment temp service, but you may be “leasing out” employees for longer stints of time. The advantage to the customer is that they don’t have to get involved in sourcing, screening and qualifying candidates, and importantly, they are not responsible for employment taxes, withholding and reporting. To succeed at this business, you need a strong ability to sell your services and place employees. This can be a “messy” business with employees coming and going, tax filing requirements, and customers to please. However, the upside is unlimited, some employee leasing firms have grown into mammoth enterprises!
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.
To even qualify for the contest, his company had to have a business selling between $1 million to $50 million; an achievement in itself. Yet Allen and his co-founder Cathryn Lavery–along with the other contest winners–managed to grow their gross merchandise volume by an additional 500 percent throughout the contest.
While this is a long list of business ideas—I have carefully pruned it for you. I started out with an initial list that was more than twice as long…and ruthlessly chopped off the weaker business ideas that I didn’t want you to consider starting.
I find that a lot of people want a turn-key business – one that doesn’t require a lot of capital to start and maintain. Unfortunately, the majority of the businesses listed here either require significant start-up costs because in a lot of them you need liability insurance, licenses, money to buy the inventory to start the business, and or a physical location in order to operate.
Believe it or not there’s a treasure trove of valuable items being thrown away by big box stores around the world. Electronics stores toss out everything from printer cartridges to tablets, and if you’ve got the stomach for rummaging around in dumpsters you can easily earn a bit (more than you ever thought possible) with this side business idea.
Many small companies simply don’t have the time or staff to properly run their billing operations. That’s where entrepreneurs who want to offer invoicing, bookkeeping, human resources and other clerical services to business owners on a contractual or part-time basis come in. With just a laptop and a few clients, you can get the ball rolling from home.
Counted amongst the most valuable tech giants, Amazon is also a massive global market where virtually anyone can cash in on the rising tide of eCommerce if you have the right business idea. But, like everything else that involves money, you have to do quite a bit of work to earn it. In this case, you need to do tons of research (looking for generic products such as clocks, key chains and mugs to attach your brand to) as well as developing a sensible inside sales strategy that’ll help you generate profits from your private label side business idea. For an incredible deep dive on how  to launch this kind of business idea, check out how digital marketer Neil Patel recently did this as a public experiment right here on his blog.
“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.”

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