Forget about business cards (at least at first) or trying to get travel agencies to recommend your guide service. If you know an area well, you simply sign up with a website like Vayable.com and let them find your customers for a cut of the revenue.
Remember, whatever business you decide to start you must have a passion for what you are doing. Without enthusiasm and excitement, you’ll become bored and unmotivated, and ultimately it will fail. Don’t just follow the money, remember to follow your heart.
Of course, you can’t compete with mass-manufactured soaps, so you’ll want to make specialty products. Finding a new scent or creative approach to packaging and marketing will help. You can sell to friends initially, or invest in a booth at a flea market or craft show.
There are a lot of items that can be purchased very inexpensively at garage sales or thrift stores and sold for higher prices elsewhere. A few years ago I discovered that I could purchase good hardcover books at my local thrift shop for $1 or less. I realized that some of them could be sold on Amazon.com for $15-$20, which turns out to be a pretty decent profit. Find and sell enough items and you have a fun home business.
To create a successful virtual assistant company, I knew we would need a “techie” to manage the platforms, a “connector” to connect us with the right clients, and a few trusty team members ready to get their hands dirty and take on any project thrown their way. Every team member was tasked with becoming an expert in the productivity space by testing other VA companies and learning the latest tools.
For this reason, consider testing out your dishes on a smaller scale first, at a local farmer’s market or a food festival. You can get feedback from customers on your product before investing in a mobile operation.
Companies and non-profits spend a lot of money on meetings, and even when they have in-house staff they will often hire a meeting planner service. They are particularly likely to hire a meeting planner when they are planning a meeting in a distant city. To get going in this business take advantage of any contacts you have, approach local associations and businesses, and build up a strong online-presence.
Working at home can prevent you from developing workplace relationships and doing face-to-face networking for new clients. Push yourself to get out of the house regularly for lunch or meet with prospective clients or colleagues for coffee. And go to industry conferences. At the very least, make it a point from time to time to make a phone call instead of zapping off an email or text.
If you plan to operate a business in an area that is zoned “residential,” you need to become familiar with the zoning ordinances. Certain business activities are prohibited completely in residential areas. For example, operating a website design company is likely to be permitted, but an auto repair shop may be prohibited.
Have a knack for staying organized? If you’re a jack of all trades, you should consider working as a virtual assistant as a side business idea. You can find great gigs on Elance, Indeed, or Upwork. It can be an awesome way to rub shoulders with some very important people, build up your professional network, develop in-demand new skills (like creating GIFs and VR videos), grow your side business idea and you’ll have the added perk of being able to start this as a home based business idea. Becoming a virtual assistant can be a particularly great side business idea if you’re hoping to travel the world while making money online as a digital nomad.
The list given above applies to any business. However, there are licensing rules that are triggered when a business is operated from a home (or in an area zoned as residential) and special considerations that come into play for the general type of permits.
In his days as a commercial banker, my father financed a number of health clubs, and they all complained about the same issue: it was relatively easy to sign up new members but hard to retain them, as customers tired of exercising after just a few sessions. This is a business that you can make millions at with even a single location, but it is also a business that is riskier than it may first appear. I would suggest starting with a very small location, perhaps even a members-only key-card accessible location with no employees on site, and learn the ins and outs of the business before getting too carried away. And of course, there is all kind of potential for specialization in this field.
If you love kids—really, really love kids—starting a home-based day-care center could be a viable option. Just make sure you do your homework regarding zoning laws, background checks and other regulations.
Photography: generally, everyone I know who has a camera thinks they’re now able to shoot professionally, either with micro stock or wedding. Aside from skill issues, wedding photo requires a lot of gear: 2DSLRs, 3-4 pro grade lenses, lights, and photoshop….and you have to know how to use it all under pressure.
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.
Jumpy YouTube videos of cats might be charming, but they don’t do much for business owners or parents of the bride who want quality video production. Video-editing and production services can tap into several markets—business presentation, wedding, parties, even documentary and feature films.
When my Rolex needed repair, I was determined to save some money so I went to an independent repair service. I visited his shop in Ft. Lauderdale and it was a relatively large operation with half a dozen technicians or so serving not just the local community, but shipping watches back and forth all over. Then there is my father’s grandfather clock which I just arranged to have shipped to me. Just to have it shipped, I needed an expert clock service to take it apart, and then on the receiving end I needed another expert service to put it back together. You get the point…there’s lots of demand here!
Do you have a knack for knitting, jewelry making or creating other small crafts? If you can produce a large quantity of items in a short amount of time, consider selling your goods to the public. In just minutes, you can set up an online store and start promoting your business.
This is a worker who handles any number of small tasks for a business or individual. Tasks include answering emails, data entry, scheduling, managing blogs, and even shopping. Anyone can become a virtual assistant. According to Indeed.com, the average salary for virtual assistants is $42,000.
A CV can often be what gets you a job interview. If your CV is not standing out then you are just going to get over looked with the rest of them. There has been a growing trend of CV’s that are unique, colourful and standout from others. You could start a business creating standout CV’s for customers who will find it worth paying for it they get the job they want.
Potential challenges: You will likely run into serious competition from repair shops and phone provider service programs, such as AppleCare. You can lower these risks by offering your services at a lower cost.
When my book publishing business grew to the point when we needed forklifts, I was shocked by how expensive they were. So, we went to a used industrial equipment dealer and bought all of our forklifts there. Selling industrial equipment allows for specialization and it also allows for you to build up long-term relationships with customers. Furthermore, you can have add-on sales such as maintenance, supplies and repairs.
Part of the reason is that I often want a great breakfast later in the day and yet I frequently can’t find a convenient place to go. Also, breakfast foods cost little money, allowing for higher markups. And breakfasts are easier to prepare than gourmet dinners. Also, this kind of restaurant would potentially be busy for many hours during the day.
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
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.
A friend of mine had a baby and didn’t like the style/design of any of the baby products at the stores, so she started making her own. After getting some compliments, she realized that she could turn her idea into a business that she could run from home (with the babies).
Gardening is really big. Many people like to do their own gardening but they can use a little bit of help! That’s where you come in! Maybe you specialize in flower gardens or vegetable gardens, or even something more exotic. You will need solid expertise, but you will find a clientele willing to pay for it.
Then you can move into more actionable online courses like Modern Web Design on CreativeLive and Learn Web Design and Profitable Freelancing on Udemy will teach you everything from foundational web design knowledge to earning your first freelance income as a web designer. On top of that, you can take even more immersive courses and learning experiences with access to direct instructor feedback and personal mentorship with platforms like Treehouse, LinkedIn Learning and General Assembly to get up-to-speed even quicker with this career path and listen to my podcast interview with Ian Paget about how to become a freelance designer as a side business idea.
Many people have the impression that in order to launch a business you need to raise millions of dollars. I disagree. What worked for us was making the right decisions early on, and also having tight constraints. When you have constraints you are forced to make highly calculated decisions.
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.
It’s easy to get drawn into work filling every waking hour. You must be disciplined, manage your time well and be a self-starter. Set daily work hours and do your best to adhere to them. That’s easier said than done, but burnout will do nothing to boost your business.
She just created an online store and sold all of her products via her website. If you aren’t creating your own product you can always find a product to dropship – that way you don’t have to store any inventory in your home.
Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest have become popular not just for business use, but also for plenty of individuals who simply enjoy using them. You can have the best of both worlds by starting a business where you help businesses shape and carry out their social media strategies on the sites you already use.
Interested entrepreneurs can either open a franchise from an existing vending machine business or sell vending-machine friendly products to help stock up schools and offices with healthier, affordable snacks.
The biggest gaming companies spend millions developing their latest offerings and lots more money promoting them. Can you compete? Yes, you can. A recent college grad we hired had just launched her own game, and was getting hundreds of thousands of downloads. Sure, it’s a whole additional level to get people to start paying for your games, but it can be done.
Research continues to prove that mobile apps or mobile Web browsers .are a must for businesses of all kinds. But most don’t have the in-house teams to create them. Smaller companies also don’t have the budget to hire an expensive firm to create their apps. A freelance app designer who works from home could specialize in creating apps for one or two industries and build a strong following.
Always remember to personally connect with neighbors, friends, and family and let them know about your services. You can also check out third-party platforms like Care.com, SitterCity, and Task Rabbit where they connect caretakers with caregivers. If you are connected with a job on one of these platforms they’ll take a small percentage of the total transaction fee. In fact, the on-demand economy has made it easier than ever to make money on demand — to find out more check out this post.
Are you an extrovert that loves meeting new people? Selling insurance products—particularly life insurance—may be a great way to bring in some extra cash and build residual income in your spare time. Selling life insurance on the side could quickly generate a consistent $1,000 – $2,000 per month depending on how much time you invest in this side business idea. To get started you’ll likely want to take an online course to brush up on the subject matter, and then pass a state licensing exam. The biggest challenge you’ll face as a new agent is generating sales beyond just helping out friends and family. From there, it’s all about networking and lead generation to grow this one. Learn more about this side business idea with this getting started in life insurance guide from the team over at NoExam.
Maybe it is just me, but I feel like I have had way too many experiences with mechanics not be truthful with me that I would gladly pay more and give all my business to an honest one. If you know your way around a car and have a few tools, this could be a great business idea for you.
Not only is Airbnb a great way to make money by renting out your spare bedroom or living room couch as a legitimate home-based business idea, but you also have the benefit of meeting new people and making new friends if that’s your kind of thing. You can even rent out an entirely new apartment just to manage as an Airbnb side business idea, but don’t make the mistake of thinking this will be a passive source of income—you’re on call whenever you have a guest and you’ll always need to keep the place clean for incoming visitors. On top of just renting on Airbnb, you can take this business idea to the next level by offering your guests add-on and personalized experiences for an extra charge. Take Lauren Gheysens’ Airbnb-based side business idea, Royal Day Out in London, England for example—where she gives visiting tourists a local’s only tour of the city, complete with bespoke 18th century costumes.
Online Post Office: Believe it or not, your business will not be 100% digital. There’s a very good chance you will need to send paper statements, invoices, presentations or more to your clients and vendors. Instead of venturing out to the post office every day, it might be worth investing in a postal scale so that you can weigh your packages from home. Online services, like Stamps.com, allow you to also print out the exact postage you need, making a visit to the post office unnecessary. You can evenschedule pickups with the United States Postal Service at your home.
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.