Running a home-based business is a lot different than heading into an office for a 9 to 5 job. You’ll have to deal with considerably more distractions for starters, but you’ll also need to have a certain level of discipline to make it work. After all, you won’t have a boss looking over your shoulder anymore.
47 Home-Based Business Ideas To Start Making Money Now!
Recent figures from the Small Business Administration (SBA) show that total private employment dropped by 15 percent once COVID-19 was declared an emergency on March 13, 2020, yet employment at small businesses saw a higher rate of decline at 17 percent. The unemployment rate keeps fluctuating as the pandemic runs its course, but it’s likely the job market will be slow for a while.
This guide covers some of the best home-based business ideas, which range from one-off side gigs to actual businesses you can grow over time. Not all of them will work for everyone, but every single person can use one idea from this list to earn some cash without ever having to “clock in.” Some of the home-based business ideas are easy to implement, while others require a certain level of skill.
The amount of money you can earn will also vary depending on the path you choose. For example, you may be able to earn a few hundred dollars per week delivering food with DoorDash or GrubHub. This gig is one that does not produce passive income, so you’ll only get paid for the time you work.
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47 Home-Based Business Ideas to Start Today
Whether you are looking to quit the daily grind or trying to make extra cash as a way to get out of debt, starting a home business or a side hustle can be the ideal way to meet your goals. Fortunately, there are countless home-based business opportunities just waiting for you to begin.
Some of the best home-based business ideas are ones that can operate entirely online. This lets you keep your overhead expenses at a minimum, but having an online business also means you can work from anywhere. Here are the best online business ideas you can try this year.
#1: Build Passive Income with a Blog
#2: Become a Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistants take on a variety of tasks for their clients, which can include answering emails, creating documents, designing basic graphics, and more. Some virtual assistants also write and edit content, and they may even help their clients schedule content for publishing on various mediums.
#3: Become an Online Freelance Writer
Everything you read online was written by someone, and there’s a good chance the writer was paid handsomely for their talent and skill. Freelance writers can easily earn a few hundred dollars for each article they write, but it’s possible to earn a lot more than that if you learn how to master longer and more complicated content.
The hardest part of getting paid to write is finding those first few gigs, although you can usually get started using a website like Upwork. Still, you should check out this post on How to Become a Freelance Writer, which is written by Holly Johnson. Johnson has been earning multiple six figures as an online freelance writer for years, and she has a free webinar and a course you can buy. If you need help getting started, you can read more at EarnMoreWriting.com.
#4: Start an Online 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 business produces six figures in income each year.
#5: Piece Together Some Micro Jobs
With the advent of Fiverr, we saw a brand new way to assign and accept work. While many beginner jobs on Fiverr only pay $5, it’s possible to earn considerably more with this platform if you are able to secure more advanced gigs or pick up some regular clients.
#6: Write and Publish an E-Book
#7: Surveys During Your Spare Time
#8: Get Paid to Shop
This is how it works: Let’s say Rakuten partners with Target. When you buy something from Target on Rakuten.com, Rakuten receives a commission. Because Rakuten wants you to return to their site, they offer you cashback. For example, if you bought a lamp for $60, Rakuten might offer you 3% cashback (800.80).
Some home-based businesses require you to do “gig work” for other companies. These business ideas tend to be extremely flexible, meaning you can work whenever you want. You can also earn a base rate of pay and tips in some cases.
#9: Join a Food Delivery Service
When restaurants receive an “order for delivery,” they are responsible for delivering the food. If you’re a pizza joint or a restaurant that gets a lot of delivery orders, you hire employees to deliver your goods.
Uber drivers take passengers from one place to another. Uber Eats drivers, however, take food orders from restaurants to customers. Exact same concept. Instead of the app pinging you that a passenger needs a ride, the app pings you that a restaurant needs food delivered somewhere.
#10: Mystery Shopping
#11: Start a Catering Business
#12: Landscape Design
This is a relatively new field, yet you can learn some skills for this type of work by finding a part-time gig with a landscaping company. From there, you can start building your own client base of people who want their landscapes to look wonderful without having to do the work.
#13: Become a Tour Guide
While it’s possible to create a website that advertises the tours you offer, you can also create “experiences” and market them on Airbnb.com. This will help you reach a wider audience when you’re first getting started, and it can also create some brand awareness about your tours.
#14: Start a Daycare In Your Home
This is an especially good idea for stay-at-home-parents who need to bring in some money. You’re already staying home with your kids, so why not invite a few others to the party? Licensing for in-home daycare varies from state to state, but you will want to make sure you comply with your local regulations.
#15: Care for Elders in Your Community
#16: Drive for Uber or Lyft
Driving for Uber or Lyft requires you to leave home for the day, and you’ll also need to have a newer, reliable car. However, we love the fact that rideshare work is so incredibly flexible. You can typically work any hours or days you want, and you can even drive for both apps (Uber and Lyft) at once.
If you’re a great writer, then you could make a great freelance writer. And best of all, freelance writers work from all over the world. Whether you want to sit in your neighborhood cafe all day or country-hop all year, this job could apply to you.
Of course, successful writers need to have a firm grasp on grammar and tone, superb editing chops and the ability to do their own research and synthesize content that they might be unfamiliar with. It could help if you become an expert in a few different fields, like technology or small-business finance, and it’s always important for all freelancers to know how to market themselves and network with potential customers.
And finally, don’t forego the possibility of writing your own e-books to sell on Amazon and similar websites. With basically zero publishing costs and low design costs, this is another way your writing can benefit your bank account directly. (You could even write an e-book about freelance writing — the possibilities are endless.)
When busy executives reach a point in their careers where they can’t manage all the calls, emails, appointments and smaller responsibilities on their plates, that’s where you come in. As a virtual assistant, you would use your phone, email, computer skills and any number of online tools and applications to handle their online calendars, schedule appointments and meetings, make reservations, purchase tickets, set up reminders, organize events, file documents and more.
If this kind of work isn’t your thing, then it might sound a bit unglamorous. But if you’re the type of person who color-codes their planners and sends out Google calendar invitations for coffee dates, then being a virtual assistant could be a fun and fulfilling job — that you can do from home.
How to start a home business
Once you have a good idea, starting your own home business doesn’t have to be overwhelming. While working with a small business lawyer and accountant can be helpful, we’ve got a five-step guide below to get you started.
1. Come up with your business idea
2. Create a business plan
A business plan helps put you on the road to success with your new home business. You’ll put together information like your company overview and its product/service offerings, your target audience, a competitor analysis, and more.
3. Start the legal process
Apply for your business license, set up your legal entity, and make sure you have all the proper business paperwork set up. This is the part of the process where you may consider getting the help of a small business lawyer to ensure you’re setting up your business’s legal entity correctly.
4. Open a business bank account
Keeping your business finances separate from your personal finances will make tax time much less stressful. There are a number of institutions you can turn to for opening your business account(s), but it may just make sense to use the same bank you use for personal banking.
Again, speaking to a professional can be a big help in this step. Consider searching for a local or online accountant who can help you make the most-informed decisions when it comes to opening your business accounts.
5. Start providing your products/services