online service business ideas | small businesses to start from home

If you have a knack for making floral, food or gift arrangements look pretty, consider setting up shop as a gift-basket designer in your home. You won’t need much more than a few craft supplies—ribbons, bows and the like, plus the baskets themselves—so the overhead for starting this business is low.
If you have experience with marketing, SEO or a knack for getting people excited about the products and services you use on a regular basis, think about refining your skills and putting them to work as a small business marketing consultant in your region—especially if you can become a local SEO expert and can help local clients rank higher in their search results as your side business idea. Businesses of all sizes are in constant need of bringing in more customers, which is where you come in with your business idea. Start by pitching some of these small business marketing ideas by Brian Downard and you’ll be sure to impress the first set of clients you begin working with in your area.
A lot of car repairs don’t require a car lift and you can do them at the customer’s location. Not only does it eliminate the cost of owning a service bay, but it saves your customer the time to drive and wait at a service station.
While you’re not going to get rich completing digital offers, it is an excellent way to get some cash coming in and to supplement your other money making efforts. While I could write a post just on internet earning opportunities, here are just a few to check out.
I couldn’t believe it when I first heard how expensive window treatments were! But now I understand, they add a lot to the appearance of a house, and to the utility of particular room. There are lots of reasons why this is a great business. It is a combination of sales and service, especially if you are doing the installation. And people like to see the textures and colors you have to offer in person. You can start this business on a mobile basis with low overhead, calling on customers at their homes and eventually open up your own storefront.
do you know how to contact those who are in need of an eBay trading assistant? I have been unemployed for the past 4 years and recently my father passed away. SOMETHING HAS TO GIVE QUICK!!! I am 42 years old and have one child in college and another at home. I cannot believe I am in this place financially, as I have worked my entire life until I lost my lat job. I cannot find one. Love your post and advice. Thanks.
Thanks Oak, and I agree that many of these are for when you have a lot more time than money. We put in a lot of time (at least initially) starting our internet publishing business. In fact, you can often substitute time for money in many ways when starting.
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.
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.
If you’ve always wanted to publish your own book as a side business idea, there never been a better time than now. That’s because access to self-publishing tools and marketplaces has never been easier and more affordable. This eBook writer currently earns up to a couple of thousand bucks each month from six ebooks she published; while you can reportedly demand around $1000 per eBook project serving as a ghostwriter. My good friend, Caroline Beaton used freelance writing as her side business idea to eventually go from secretary to self-employed, while focusing on her own personal development and looking inward to discover what she’s truly passionate about.
The human equivalent of a doggie bed and breakfast is Airbnb, the home-sharing Web site that has put a dent in the traditional hotel business. This is the ultimate home-based business, as you literally rent all or part of your home to guests.
If you know how to make jewelry, there’s really no reason not to sell it. Handmade jewelry has long held appeal for collectors and admirers alike. The biggest challenge to setting up a jewelry business might be running the business itself—just making beautiful things won’t be enough to sustain the operation. Study up on what it takes to run a jewelry business and then make it happen. A great place to start is online with sites like Etsy and eBay
If you are thinking of becoming a property tycoon but can’t swing the down payment on your first property, this is a good business to start in. It’s good steady income and you get to learn the ins and outs of owning property. You also may come across multi-family properties that are for sale before they get advertised.
Thanks for all the great ideas. Persistence is key for any business to succeed. Additional business is vegetable farming in case you have a bit of a backyard. I sell the vegetables to nearby shop/green grocers in the neighborhood. This enables me to use most of my salary for other purposes since my daily recurrent expenses are taken care of.
Take the time to create a space where your employees want to spend their time. Think about it — you spend more of your waking hours at work and with fellow employees than anywhere or with anyone else. So isn’t it worth taking the time and money to create a place that people enjoy working? What is the culture at your company? Do you have a strong set of core values and do your employees value these standards? Building a company where people want to go to work is one of the most pivotal ways to building a growing and sustaining company.
You love dogs? You’re good at taking care of them? You want to open a dog-boarding business? Just make sure you’re prepared. Sure, it’s a great opportunity, and it’s totally doable—with some planning. Make sure you know your local zoning laws and, perhaps more importantly, make sure your neighbors would be OK with some extra noise and activity around your place.
Thank you all for this great knowledge and wisdom! Mr. Steve Hillman, I’ll be looking you up on Twitter Sir. I’m open to building great business relationships with anyone. My Twitter handle is @tlb79thereal…
This is a good solid business. Everyone needs their house inspected before they buy it. Network with real estate agents. Become known for being a meticulous home inspector. Leave you clients with a thorough, detailed report.
Health products and supplements are all the range these days. Detox products are becoming more popular, as well as products for working out. There are new blends and health products being created all the time. You could start a business selling your own health products or even just a reseller with an e-commerce store.
My good buddy Steve Chou from MyWifeQuitHerJob.com has created an online course that walks people step-by-step through building their own online store. His wife was able to quit her job, and together their online store produces in the six figures. If you’re interested in learning more, check out his course: Profitable Online Store.
While most direct sales and internet business opportunities have a small startup fee, there are a few that do not. Each company allows you to set up shop online for FREE. Then for each item that is sold through your shop, you’ll earn a specified commission.
Framing services are everywhere and often they are franchised operations with prime retail locations. But you don’t have to be. You could try this service online. Or you could try this service on a mobile basis, going to your customers’ homes. Or you could get that storefront.
If you love to travel and find yourself randomly searching for airfare sales or browsing Lonely Planet, why not carve out a niche for yourself as a private travel agent? Take my friend, Mark Jackson’s lead with what he’s doing to build a travel consulting side business idea. Start with word of mouth recommendations from friends who know they can count on you for the cheapest flights, create a Facebook or LinkedIn group to invite people who want to stay on top of the latest deals and eventually you could spin this business idea into a full-time consultancy teaching people how to make your dream trip a reality.
More and more seniors are wanting to avoid nursing homes in lieu of staying in their own homes. Offering non-medical home care by assisting the elderly with regular daily tasks could be rewarding and profitable.
Thanks to hacking, scamming, and viruses, security is a priority for both businesses and individuals. Besides your expertise and some marketing, it doesn’t cost much to protect the hardware and software of others. Those handling sensitive information are more than willing to pay you a pay bundle to keep that info safe.
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.
To start with almost no cost, and to get a feel for what kind of work the business might involve, sign up with TaskRabbit.com, an online platform that connects people who need errands done with those willing to do them for an agreed-upon price. This eliminates the need to spend money on marketing yourself (at least at first).
You might notice these trucks at specials events like fares and parades, but I think you would do better trying to find steadier income and more consistent clientele, at office parks or other city locations where workers are congregated.
Once you start servicing someone’s aquarium regularly they will come to trust you and view you as an expert, so you will be a in a great position to sell them new fish, new accessories or perhaps once they have seen the pictures or a video—that big new aquarium!
How do all the pets get to doggie day care or make their appointments at the vet? Your pet taxi service! As people offer more and more services for their pets the need to transport them will continue to grow for years to come.
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.
Anyone with a knack for style and design can offer interior design services to clients. And it isn’t a requirement to have a separate office. So you can do much of the brainstorming and administrative work from home.

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.

5 Replies to “online service business ideas | small businesses to start from home”

  1. Steve Gillman is a freelance writer, author of, “101 Weird Ways to Make Money” and the creator of Every Way To Make Money. Of the more than 100 ways he has made money, writing is (so far) his favorite.
    You can buy a beer kit for under a $100 and start experimenting with brewing your own beer. If things go well, you can eventually open your own microbrewery.If beer isn’t your thing, then you can start making wine. Start by purchasing juice or growing your own grapes. If the batch is good, then you can sell your vino online and someday launch your own vineyard or tasting room.
    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).
    I think providing eBay selling and shipping services is a great, high-demand service business. This is a very different business than what I would call eBay trading where you buy and sell products on eBay. A trading business can have high potential but it also has higher risks and may take longer to make money at.
    If you don’t find what you’re looking for there, here’s a list of the 45 best places you can learn to code for free. Once you command a knowledge of HTML, Ruby, Python, Javascript, or CSS, you can start a freelance business as a side business idea to build your portfolio while you still hold onto your full-time job. Listen to my podcast interview with Laurence Bradford about her journey to become a freelance web developer, too. And over time, you’ll build more relationships, have more experience and eventually take this side business idea over to becoming a full-time source of income.

  2. 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.
    Social networks are great for small businesses to take advantage of but many of them do not have the skills required to successfully market their businesses on social networks. If you know how to use social networks such as Twitter and Facebook to successfully market a business then you could start charging for this service. This is a business that you can run from home and will require little initial start-up cost.
    Cigar shops can bring in decent and steady revenue. Better yet the profit margins are good, so you can be very profitable without hitting sky high sales levels. This is a relatively easy business without too many headaches. But choose your location carefully…then roll out your wooden Indian!
    You can rent it out as little or as much as you want and can list it to rent by the night, week, or month. They offer a $1,000,000 guarantee to protect you from any kind of property damage that was caused by renters.
    If you want to broaden your services and earn more, you can opt to make the entire house look neat and clean with this side business idea. House cleaning services cover carpets, floors, lawns, garages, windows, walls, and roofs, requiring a whole range of cleaning tools. You can hire maids and janitors to do the actual cleaning while you handle sales, administrative and customer service tasks. Or, you can start small by actually getting your hands dirty as a contractor, learning on the job before launching your own cleaning operations with the help of cleaning business management tools like Swept. Beyond that, I’d recommend checking out Cleaning Zoom’s ultimate guide to starting a cleaning business if you plan on taking this business idea seriously.
    Peer to peer lending:  Peer to peer lending means that instead of depositing your money in a bank, giving you small-time interest in comparison to the interest earned by the bank (which is lending it), you’ll lend it directly to either private clients or small businesses that need financing. Returns in companies like Zopa have been well over the 5% mark for the last few years. To learn more about these alternative investments click here.
    While having a formal background in graphic design is absolutely going to be helpful, it’s also relatively easy to learn the foundations of graphic design on your own. An increasingly easy-to-use Adobe Illustrator and even more easily accessible tools like Stencil and Visme are making it so that just about anyone with two opposable thumbs, a bit of creativity, and motivation can earn a side income doing things like designing (and selling) images like these motivational quotes that can be printed onto posters and sold on platforms like Etsy. Or you can find a local startup, small business owner, or photographer who could benefit from some extra help designing or altering images.
    If you can craft anything, anything at all, have any sort of design qualities or experience, or just some creativity and a working set of arms and legs, you can create things and sell them. There are so many online market places that you can sell in, eBay, Amazon, Etsy, to name a few… so many product to create, from wearable art (a nicer term for clothing), through craftsmanship of things like pots and jars, through genuine art – painting sculpting etc.

  3. There’s something magical about a cupcake that says fun and silliness and makes you feel good! You can cash in on that feeling and make others happy. But if you are specializing in cupcakes, people expect them to be excellent! And if you want to be remembered, they should be world class awesome!
    Health and fitness services are being rebranded to become trendier and more sociable. Opening a health club or gym targeted specifically to millennials could be a great way to capitalize on the fitness trend, especially if you focus on creating a strong, fun and engaging social media presence to really connect with young members and potential customers.
    If you’re like most of us, window cleaning is my least favorite chore around the house. It’s tedious and never looks “clean.” That’s why I have no problem hiring a window cleaning service for both my home and business. Like a cleaning service, you have the option to do residential or commercial properties and it doesn’t require much capital to start.
    Maybe you’ve decided you’re done working for someone else, or maybe you just want to turn a talent or passion into a second career. Whatever the reasoning behind starting your own business from the comfort of your home, it is an exciting prospect. And as with any endeavor, it’s important to make a plan and set yourself up for success.
    This year has seen a variety of simple and addictive mobile games such as Flappy Bird. These games often are often downloaded hundreds of thousands of times, creating a large profit for the creators. The most successful mobile games are free to download and then feature in-game advertisements.
    This is a take-off on the catering business that makes it clear that you aren’t going to provide the dishes or the food. You just do the cooking. Furthermore, don’t bite off more than you can chew! People expect the chef to prepare a great meal, so don’t take on a menu that you’re not totally comfortable with!
    While the barriers to entry for a retail shop can be very high, one way to keep costs down and limit your time investment while you keep your full-time job, is to set up a weekend popup shop as a side business idea. More of whatever it is you’re selling—donuts, clothing, antique baseball cards, or anything else—will stay in your pockets instead of going to pay for operating expenses such as rent or utilities by choosing to pursue retail as a side business idea with a short-term rental. This guide from Shopify will give you a step-by-step process for getting your popup shop off the ground.
    There is a huge market and a big opportunity selling promotional material. Your best market will be mid to larger sized businesses, who are willing to spend some money to both promote their business to their customers or to use promotional items as incentives and rewards for their employees. Basically, you are reselling the product lines for other companies. I would suggest you have a good diversity of lines to increase your chances of getting your foot in the door, to increase your chances of holding your prospects’ attention and to increase your income. T-shirts, pens, hats, jackets: there are all kinds of promotional items you can sell.
    Disclaimer: NerdWallet strives to keep its information accurate and up to date. This information may be different than what you see when you visit a financial institution, service provider or specific product’s site. All financial products, shopping products and services are presented without warranty. When evaluating offers, please review the financial institution’s Terms and Conditions. Pre-qualified offers are not binding. If you find discrepancies with your credit score or information from your credit report, please contact TransUnion® directly.
    This is a great part-time business because you decide when you want to work. And except for work requiring licenses, you can decide how much work you want to contract out and how much you want to do yourself.

  4. A lot of these sign businesses are franchise operations, but you don’t have to be. The key is marketing. Watch what other players in this field do, explore the hundreds of marketing videos on BusinessTown.com. Unless you are really strapped for cash I would recommend starting with a storefront but not a third-rate location, and a simple and small facility should be fine. Alternatively, you could try this business totally online, shipping signs to customers.
    In general, to get the deduction, the area must be used for work exclusively and on a regular basis, either as your main place of business or a location to meet with clients or to do paperwork, such as billing and ordering supplies. That means your kids can’t play games on your work computer when you’re away, and your spouse can’t set up the new elliptical machine in the home office space.
    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.
    How can you expect to grow your business if you’re busy scheduling calls or checking email all day? That, or, buried in the books, subtracting and adding cells into a spreadsheet for half the week? Running your business shouldn’t be like running in a hamster wheel.
    With that in mind, I  put together this massive list of the 101 Best Side Business Ideas You Can Start While You’re Still Working a Full-Time Job, to help give you inspiration with proven side business ideas that can be executed on while you still keep your day job—and primary source of income.
    I like these ideas! Besides being good ideas in themselves, they stimulate MORE ideas! Some of them reminded me of something I was reading about called Craigslist arbitrage – buying low and selling high on craigslist, kind of like the first part of the old Oregon Trail game, but with washers and dryers and bicycles instead of cases of crackers and horses. Sounds like fun!  Anyway, that one about the pooper-scooper business, that works, I know because I was quite successful in the pooper-scooper service I started back in 1988! I’ve been in the industry for 25 years now, though I don’t go out and scoop any more.
    Potential challenges: Starting a food business can be complicated, as you’ll have to deal with permitting requirements and health department regulations. Other obstacles include securing a desirable location and fierce competition, although these factors may depend on your local market.

  5. If you will sell products, you need a seller’s permit. Your state department of taxation’s website has complete details, forms, etc., if you decide to apply online, but most localities have forms you can complete while you’re at their administrative offices.
    You could sell or repair drones, or you could provide one of an unlimited number of drone services. You could provide drone photography or video-taping such as of sporting events, you could offer drones for parties, you could offer drones to inspect infrastructure. There is almost no limit to what you can do with drones!
    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.
    Professional/occupation licenses. In addition to the licensing requirements imposed on businesses, states require certain professions, such as attorneys, architects, hair stylists and tattoo artists, to have state-issued licenses or certificates. Every state has its own list of licensed occupations, so it is essential to know your state’s laws.

    To be clear, providing care for the elderly often requires a broader set of credentials (as it should) so this business idea isn’t one most people can get started with this weekend. These credentials may include licenses, training certificates, business permits, and tax forms depending on which state you wish to operate, the level of care you intend to provide, and whether you plan on running a formal business or just hiring yourself out as an independent worker as a side business idea. If you’re already giving unpaid care to an elderly relative or friend, you may want to review Medicaid provisions for some compensation. In all cases, you need genuine affection for the elderly, a lot of common sense, and good knowledge of first aid, CPR, and elderly care basics to excel with this side business idea.
    As a web developer, you’ll build incredibly valuable skills that are in extremely high demand. You can get up to speed on building websites in as little as a few months with inexpensive or free online education programs like Treehouse, the Web Developer Bootcamp on Udemy and Codecademy.
    I learned a lot about resume writing as my book publishing company became the leading seller of resume books in the US. Resumes are not obsolete, even if you don’t always use one when applying for a position online, recruiters expect you to bring a resume to the interview. With the Internet, you can help write resumes and cover letters for anyone in the world. If you can write succinctly, you can write a good resume.

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