• Explore. Learn. Thrive. Fastlane Media Network

  • ecommerceFastlane
  • PODFastlane
  • SEOfastlane
  • AdvisorFastlane
  • LifeFastlane

26 Home Based Business Ideas That Let You Work From Home

25-home-based-business-ideas-that-let-you-work-from-home

If you plan to start and operate a business, consider aspects like leasing commercial space, commuting to an office, and managing employees.

But with the rise of home businesses, more and more people are discovering ways to use remote work to pursue entrepreneurship, with their company headquartered at home.

In today’s connected world, where technology affords us more flexibility in how and where we work, home-based businesses come in various forms.

Some require you to convert a spare room into a mini-warehouse for products, while others can be run entirely online. But generally, you can start these types of businesses using your existing space and means.

What makes a “home-based” business: the pros and cons

A home-based business is a venture—whether full-time or runs as a side hustle—that you can start and operate using your own home as your base of operations. A few home-based businesses, especially those that sell online and don’t buy and hold lots of inventory, can even be run on the go without the need to be bound to your home. Even for home-based businesses, it is essential to register them legally. To learn more about the registration process and find assistance, this SmallBusinessHQ guide highlights the best business formulation agencies you can consider.

Naturally, there are pros and cons when deciding whether the best home-based business suits you.

Pros:

  • A low-cost business has fewer overhead costs (such as warehousing fees), plus potential tax deductions you can claim.
  • The option to sell products or services locally or internationally.
  • Flexible work-life balance, which is ideal if, for example, you’re a stay-at-home parent or a retiree.
  • You can create a family business where your relations or spouse can chip in.

Cons:

  • You may need to convert space in your home to support the needs of your business (e.g., holding inventory, creating a home office, or storing equipment). The challenge can be doing this without disrupting your life at home.
  • You still have to comply with any regulations that pertain to the business you want to start (e.g., you may need to rent a commercial kitchen if you plan to sell food products or a license/permit to hold inventory).
  • Your business may outgrow your home, require you to rent additional space, and hire employees.
  • Working from home offers you a lot of freedom, but it can also be lonely. This might not be easy if you enjoy being around other people.

26 of the best home business ideas you can start today

While there are plenty of ways to go about starting a home-based business, the following are some of the most approachable paths to creating a profitable business for yourself:

  1. Buy products in bulk and sell them online
  2. Sell homemade products
  3. Start a dropshipping store
  4. Start a print-on-demand business
  5. Offer online services
  6. Teach online classes
  7. Productize your service or expertise
  8. Grow an audience you can monetize
  9. Buy an existing ecommerce business
  10. Start a subscription-box business
  11. Turn your pet into an influencer
  12. Sell unwanted items
  13. Play video games
  14. Sell NFTs
  15. Become a virtual event planner
  16. Launch a photography business
  17. Sell pictures of your feet
  18. Start a beauty business
  19. Start an affiliate marketing business
  20. Start a daycare
  21. Sell stuff on marketplaces
  22. Become a social media manager
  23. Become a virtual personal trainer
  24. Offer bookkeeping services
  25. Design websites
  26. Start a dog grooming business

1. Buy products in bulk and sell them online

Many businesses center on importing products in bulk and selling them individually for a profit.

Maybe you recently traveled abroad and came across unique products that aren’t readily available in your market but that you sense an appetite for. Or perhaps you’ve zeroed in on a niche market and know the perfect way to serve it.

Either way, if these products are relatively easy to store and ship, you may have some solid home-based business ideas.

You can even initially use your home as a showroom to sell locally, allowing you to expand with additional storage space and employees as you validate your idea and sales start to ramp up. This is how Artemis Design Co. got its start.

I lived in the south end of Boston and had my living room full of these products. I would have people come over if they wanted to look at something or try something on, and that’s how I made my first sale.

2. Sell homemade products

If you’re a maker yourself (or know someone who is), consider turning that hobby into a business selling homemade products. Even if you have to create your products elsewhere—in a studio, commercial kitchen, or workshop—you may be able to store and sell them in your own home. To get started, research your local regulations for selling homemade goods, such as obtaining any necessary permits or licenses. You’ll also want to look into proper labeling requirements and best practices for safely handling and packaging your products.

When you can control nearly every aspect of the products you sell, you can make them more cost-effective, improve their quality, or cater them to a specific audience by targeting demand in the market.

Josh Pigford already had a thriving home business in a business analytics startup but wanted to find a way to flex his creative muscles. He started printing succulent planters at home with his 3D printer—and a new business was born. Cedar & Sail now carries planters, coasters, and other small desk tchotchkes.

example of product business from home

Whether you choose to start on a marketplace like Etsy or build your own branded storefront, selling your creations is a great way to share your passion with others and make money too. Just be wary of regulations concerning products that customers ingest or put on their skin.

3. Start a dropshipping store

So far, we’ve covered business ideas that require you to hold inventory in your home. But there are a variety of online businesses ideas to pursue that don’t involve worrying about inventory and shipping.

These businesses employ a dropshipping model, where a third party produces, stores, and ships your products on your behalf, leaving marketing and customer service as your chief responsibilities. Retailer Subtle Asian Treats is an example of a home-based business that uses a dropshipper.

dropshipping store example

Your dropshipping supplier can be local or overseas, but you need to ensure you find a supplier you can trust to deliver a consistently great customer experience after the sale. Always do your due diligence or you might put your business’ reputation at risk.

There are even Shopify apps, such as DSers, that can connect you with suppliers to import products into your own store while streamlining order fulfillment.

At its core, dropshipping involves becoming a distributor of a third party’s products, taking on the costs (both financial and time-based) of marketing to be rewarded with the margins when you make a sale.

In many cases, this can make your products a commodity with limited opportunity to brand your customer experience. Luckily, there are a few different ways you can still compete, even when there’s no shortage of your products in the market you’re selling in:

  • Curate products from different suppliers to create a store that serves a specific niche.
  • Compete through quality content and customer service, creating value beyond your products.
  • Target an underserved region of the world (be sure to pay attention to your shipping costs).
  • Target a new audience with the same products (e.g., LED shoes can be marketed to music festival goers or runners).

4. Start a print-on-demand business

Using a similar dropshipping model, a print-on-demand business doesn’t require you to hold any inventory or ship anything yourself. Print-on-demand even offers you more flexibility to customize white label products with your own creative designs.

Rebecca Lee Funk launched The Outrage, a women’s rights activist apparel brand that sells print-on-demand t-shirt designs, from her home. The business donates a portion of profits to Planned Parenthood in former US president Donald Trump’s name. Her launch campaign went viral, and The Outrage turned into a thriving ecommerce business.

print on demand business

There are many other print-on-demand products you can sell: books, hats, backpacks, blankets, pillows, mugs, shoes, hoodies, phone cases, watches, and more, depending on the supplier you choose to work with.

Many print-on-demand businesses focus on serving a specific niche or, better yet, a shared identity that resonates with a particular audience. What are people passionate about and proud to share? What about yourself? Identifying a niche market and creating designs that appeal to their interests and values can help your print-on-demand business stand out. For example, you could create apparel and accessories for pet lovers, outdoor enthusiasts, fans of a particular sports team or pop culture phenomenon, or members of a certain profession or lifestyle community.

From pet owners to vegans to gamers, there are plenty of passionate communities you can create products for. If you have the skills, you can create your own designs. But if not, you can always hire the talent you need. When designing for a niche market, it’s important to immerse yourself in that community to truly understand their interests, values, and inside jokes or references. This could involve joining online forums, following influencers, or even attending events to get a sense of the language and visuals that resonate. Authentic representation is key to creating designs that niche audiences will appreciate and want to wear or use.

For a full runthrough of how print on demand works and how you can get started, be sure to take our video course inside Shopify Academy. In addition to learning the mechanics of print on demand, the course covers strategies for building a brand around your designs, marketing to your niche audience, and optimizing your online store for conversions. Having a solid brand identity and marketing plan is just as crucial as the designs themselves when launching a successful print-on-demand business.

Template Icon

Shopify Academy Course: Build a Print-on-Demand Empire

Learn how to create your own custom-branded t-shirt shop in minutes. Expert Shopify merchant Adrian Morrison shares his framework for starting and launching a successful print-on-demand shop.

Enroll for free

5. Offer online services

Services are even simpler than products to start selling at home, but the challenge is allocating your limited time. “Time is money” is never truer than when you’re running a service-based business. To maximize your earnings, it’s important to niche down and specialize in a particular service offering. This allows you to increase your rates by positioning yourself as an expert, while also streamlining your operations. It’s generally better to be a highly paid specialist than to be a generalist offering many different services. You’ll also want to have efficient systems and tools in place to minimize administrative tasks and focus more of your time on billable work.

Creative professionals, like designers or marketers, might freelance or consult with other companies, juggling multiple clients, often remotely from their own home office with occasional travel. Others might operate based on appointments and bookings to offer their services to individuals directly.

Among the online services you can offer from home, starting a Virtual Assistant service stands out as a versatile and in-demand option, allowing you to leverage your organizational and administrative skills to support businesses remotely. Another business model that’s been gaining popularity amongst entrepreneurs recently is offering credit repair services using a cloud based software.

Service-based home business ideas include:

  • Freelance writing (e.g. copywriting, content marketing, ghostwriting)
  • Virtual assistance (e.g. administrative support, social media management, bookkeeping)
  • Marketing services (e.g. email marketing, paid advertising, influencer marketing)
  • Design services (e.g. graphic design, web design, packaging design)
  • SEO consulting
  • Software development and coding
  • Online tutoring and teaching
  • Consulting in your professional area of expertise

Breaking down these broad service categories into more specific niches and offerings can help attract clients who have a very particular need. It also allows you to develop deeper expertise in that niche over time.

Service-based businesses often require a lot of networking and word-of-mouth referrals to find suitable clients, but satisfied clients will likely retain your services over time.

For this reason, you don’t necessarily need a large number of customers to do well, as you would with a product-based business. Depending on the service you’re offering, a handful of high-quality clients can be enough to support yourself full time while working from home.

6. Teach online classes

Chris Carey, one of the founders of MAPerformance, started his automotive parts and services business from the comfort of home. He began by teaching car maintenance and repair tips to online users in forums. After establishing expertise and trust, people started heading over to his ecommerce site to buy parts.

mapperformance

If you have a teachable skill, you not only can share that knowledge in forums and on social media to get your name out there, you can also turn it into online courses. There’s an audience for just about any desirable skill, whether it’s English as a second language, advanced marketing, everyday home maintenance hacks, or highly specialized skills like coding, data analysis, or professional certification prep courses. The key is to identify an in-demand skill that you have deep expertise in and can teach comprehensively. Thoroughly researching your topic area and competitors is also important to ensure you create a course that delivers unique value.

If I Made is Emily Newman’s home-based business teaching classes to creative professionals. When you teach classes online, not only do you have the flexibility to do it from home, you can also choose to offer live or pre-recorded teaching and training in different formats and pricing tiers. For example, you might offer live group coaching calls or 1-on-1 mentoring at the highest price point, followed by comprehensive pre-recorded video courses, and finally inexpensive ebooks or downloadable resources at an entry-level price. This allows you to create multiple revenue streams from the same core content while catering to different learning styles and budgets.

if i made

Yegi Saryan, founder of Yegi Beauty, does with her business. After establishing a successful online beauty brand and following, she turned her talents into passive income streams by creating educational content. Now, aspiring entrepreneurs and beauty professionals can purchase lash extension application classes, makeup artistry courses, and other skill-building training to level up their offerings. By leveraging her existing audience and authority in the beauty space, Saryan was able to create an additional revenue stream teaching what she already knew well. Her classes are available both online and in-person to maximize accessibility.

yegi beauty

You can also choose the class size and length. If you like small groups or even one-on-one, consider tutoring, mentorship, or masterminds. If you like larger groups, do bigger training sessions and courses. Teach a one-time all-day summit, an hour a week, or somewhere in between.

Not interested in human interaction or live teaching? Create a fully downloadable, self-paced course for purchase. All you need is the core content, be it video walkthroughs, templates, articles, checklists, or how-to guides. Use a screen-recording tool like ScreenFlow to capture your screen, camera, and voice as you create video lessons. For a professional touch, include downloadable resources like worksheets and checklists that students can use to follow along and reinforce the material. The key for successful self-paced courses is creating an intuitive path for students to progress through your content, with plenty of examples, quizzes, and opportunities for practical application.

Whichever way you slice it, teaching online is a profitable home business idea because it requires relatively low overhead costs and startup capital—just an investment in time to create your course content and materials. However, don’t underestimate the amount of work involved in producing a high-quality online course. Successful course creators spend significant time upfront doing market research, outlining comprehensive curriculums, creating supplemental resources, building their courses on user-friendly platforms, and developing marketing strategies to attract students. The upside is that once your foundational work is done, you can continue selling and profiting from your course for years with minimal additional effort.

7. Productize your service or expertise

As we just discussed, one of the biggest downsides of running a service-based business is that your revenue is directly tied to your working hours, skills, and effort. Emily Newman of If I Made productized her classes into digital courses and other products, allowing her to generate passive income streams that aren’t constrained by her limited time. By packaging her expertise into downloadable video courses, ebooks, templates, and other digital assets, she could continue selling and profiting from that content long after the initial creation effort. This is a smart way for service providers to scale their businesses and increase their earning potential beyond just trading hours for dollars.

“Productizing” your service—creating physical or digital products that package up your expertise and streamline or complement the service you offer—can add additional revenue streams to your business and help you scale beyond trading time for money. You can cater these products to your current customer base, but also use them to attract a new audience of potential customers who may not have been able to afford your high-ticket services. For example, you could offer a free introductory ebook or mini-course to build your email list and nurture potential buyers into your higher-priced flagship products and services.

Gabriella and Andrew Morrison started their home-based business by packaging up their expertise around tiny-home living into a variety of digital products. In addition to selling video courses and construction plans on sites like Tiny House Build and StrawBale.com, they likely also offer ebooks, checklists, worksheets and other downloadable resources at various price points. This allows them to create multiple income streams from the same core expertise while catering to different customer needs and budgets—all while operating everything from the comfort of their cozy, non-traditional house.

And here are some specific ideas for “productizing” your service-based business:

  • Video courses and tutorials
  • Design templates, graphics, or other creative assets
  • Licensable digital assets like stock footage, photos, music, etc.
  • Downloadable whitepapers, case studies, or industry reports
  • Spreadsheet templates, checklists, worksheets, or other digital tools
  • Branded merchandise like t-shirts, mugs, tote bags, etc.
  • Ebooks, guides, or handbooks
  • Membership sites with exclusive content and community features
  • Mobile apps that complement your core services

The key is creating products that package your unique expertise and intellectual property into a scalable format that can be easily consumed and distributed online with little continuing effort on your part.

  • Courses
  • Designs
  • Licensable assets (stock footage, photos, music, etc.)
  • Downloadable reports
  • Digital templates
  • Merchandise
  • Ebooks

As you can see, most of these “productized” ideas involve creating digital information products and media, which means no physical inventory to keep around the house. This allows you to run a lean, low-overhead business from home. If you’re running your home business on Shopify, you can sell digital products seamlessly using apps like Digital Downloads or SendOwl to handle secure delivery of your products. You can also consider using a dedicated platform like Podia or Teachable if you plan to sell a high volume of courses and digital content.

digital downloads app

In some cases, though, productizing your expertise is more literal. That’s how Bullet Journal came about. Ryder Carroll created his own methodology to journaling that morphed into a home-based business idea. Now, he sells physical journals on his website.

8. Grow an audience you can monetize

If you’re a content creator, have a sizable online audience already, or have always thought about starting your own blog, YouTube channel, Instagram account, or podcast, then you can potentially grow and monetize your following using any of the previous ideas on this list.

Andrew Finn co-founded Wait But Why, a blog-turned-business. After amassing more than 371,000 subscribers and millions of visits, the brand created digital content products tailored to an already loyal audience. Today, Wait Buy Why is a full-blown ecommerce site with digital and physical goods for sale.

wait but why

Jordan Ferney, founder of Oh Happy Day Shop!, also built an audience via blogging and later turned it into a full-fledged home-based business. She designed her business around her life and being able to spend time with her family and now sells products on her ecommerce site.

oh happy day

Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark used Facebook groups to develop and nurture a community around their podcast, My Favorite Murder. This group of Murderinos, armchair investigators who are true crime fans, grew to more than 200,000 members before the podcast sunset in 2018.

My Favorite Murder then created its own paid community, the Fan Cult forum, charging members an annual fee. Capitalizing even more on its fandom, My Favorite Murder even launched an ecommerce site with branded merchandise (it also sold event tickets there).

my favorite murder membership

You can also explore becoming an affiliate—selling other products or services for a commission—or accepting payment for sponsored posts to give brands a chance to connect with your audience.

Building a loyal audience requires patience, consistency, and focus. This isn’t the easiest way to start a home-based business, especially not in the short-term, but if you’re able to build a following around something you love it can be one of the most fulfilling and enduring, giving you the flexibility to pursue multiple revenue streams at once.

The potential to monetize your audience often depends on the niche you choose to serve. If you’re starting from scratch or are in the midst of growing your own audience, be sure to check out the following guides to learn how to best grow and monetize the most popular channels:

9. Buy an existing ecommerce business

If you’re more interested in investing in a source of income you can maintain while at home or on the go, consider buying an established ecommerce business.

Prices vary greatly based on a variety of factors, including total revenue generated, profit potential, available assets (like an email list or social following), inventory, and more. Some sellers will even onboard you and teach you the ropes of running their store.

Exchange is a marketplace powered by Shopify for buying and selling ecommerce stores. You can browse the listings for great businesses that suit your budget, level of experience, and needs.

Maybe you want to buy a proven business and are willing to invest more money to acquire it. Or perhaps one catches your eye with untapped potential that you’d like to build on.

Exchange by Shopify

Just be sure to vet each listing and consider everything that’s included in the sale. Revenue and other data can be verified through Shopify, so you can rest assured those numbers are accurate. If you’d like some more guidance, check out our guide Buy a Shopify Store: A Step-By-Step Guide to Exchange.

10. Start a subscription box business

The online subscription box industry is forecasted to grow at 20% each year from 2021 to 2026. That explosive growth has led to the emergence of new direct-to-consumer brands targeting this niche, as well as the adoption by major brands like Sephora and Walmart.

You can start a subscription business from home. Ashley Reynolds bundled surplus products into subscription boxes to sell via her ecommerce site, Cloth & Paper. If you already run an ecommerce business at home, you could do the same to make use of what would otherwise be dead stock.

cloth and paper

Subscription boxes don’t have to necessarily be about selling. Haverdash is a subscription box company that rents clothes. When customers are finished using the items, they send them back—and Haverdash rents them out to another customer to generate even more revenue.

haverdash

11. Turn your pet into an influencer

Pet influencers are all over social media, promoting brands like BarkBox and inspiring thousands of likes with their cuteness. If you’ve got a pet of your own, you could turn them into a social media influencer and work with brands to promote their products online.

Bodhi the Menswear Dog—a.k.a. the most stylish dog in the world—has made a name for himself on Instagram in particular. Browse his feed and you’ll see collaborations with several brands like Booking.com, Spotify, and Poly & Bark.

mensweardog

No pets at home? Take care of other people’s pets. Apps like Rover opened up the sharing economy to pet sitting and dog walking. The pet care industry was valued at $232 billion in 2020. If you’re looking to make money from home, offer pet owners a place to drop off their animals when they head out of town.

12. Sell unwanted items

As consumers become more environmentally conscious, they’re also looking for ways to adjust their shopping habits to support sustainability. The resale of clothing is a $4 billion industry in the US alone.

COAL N TERRY is one successful home-based business that sells vintage finds. And while the business didn’t exactly start from home—it was a college dorm room—it has since grown into a brand with a loyal following and celebrity fans.

coal and terry

You can start small with your own home-based business—sites like Poshmark and Mercari are great places to sell unwanted clothing. You can even use Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.

Unwanted items aren’t limited to previously used clothing. Food waste is an unwanted item that also presents a viable home-based business opportunity.

13. Play video games

While many may think video games are a waste of time, it’s a hobby that can actually turn a profit. And there’s nothing more home-based than sitting on your couch in front of your TV.

Esports and video game streaming platforms like Twitch have opened the door for gamers to gain notoriety—and eventually money—from their talents. The esports industry alone is worth more than $1.5 billion, and a Twitch streamer can get up to 100,000 viewers at a time.

So how do you monetize this? Sponsorships are one of the best ways to start a home-based competitive gaming business. Companies will pay you to play their games and stream it to your audience.

Video gaming is even known to be a great résumé booster. Note, though, that all of the above requires some level of gaming skill.

Here’s a unique spin: Twitch isn’t limited to just gaming anymore, and Maxx Burman and Banks Boutté used the platform to launch an online festival where they featured 12 top video game art directors.

They repurposed this content for other digital channels like Instagram and YouTube. After building a loyal audience, the two launched KitBash3D, where they sell 3D assets for video games and movies.

Kitbash3d

14. Sell NFTs

Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, are getting a lot of attention lately as a lucrative creative business you can start from home. If you have artistic skills or know someone that does who you can partner with, creating and selling NFTs can be a great way to generate income from home.

Artists like Fewocious have managed to make money selling their art as NFTs to the tune of millions. While that might be an outlier success story, plenty of other artists sell NFTs they create at home. Take the story of Blake Jamieson, a Brooklyn-based artist who made $46,000 selling his art pieces as NFTs.

To get started, get familiar with the minting process first. It would be best if you had a general idea of cryptocurrency, what crypto goes up and down, and how blockchain technology works. That way, you can confidently create NFTs to sell on marketplaces like OpenSeaSuperRareHEN, and Foundation.

NFT gallery

To make a living selling NFTs, staying active on social platforms where NFT communities gather is key. As you get your name out there with your social media presence, connecting with like-minded sellers and collectors is critical to ongoing success.

15. Become a virtual event planner

With the onset of the pandemic and the shift from in-person to virtual events, there was a boost in the need for virtual event planning skills as companies like 6Connex saw a 1,000% increase in demand.

The best part is that you can start with a smartphone, a laptop, and an internet connection while keeping expenses relatively low as you operate from home and find your niche. Virtual event planning spans many different needs, whether that means planning for:

  • Corporate conferences
  • Work meetings
  • Virtual parties
  • Fundraisers
  • Trade shows
  • Webinars
  • Educational conferences

Maybe you’re good with organization and love creating work schedules. You might have a natural ability to network, negotiate, and bring people together. If so, these skills are invaluable when you’re trying to market yourself to potential customers.

Getting familiar with virtual event platforms like Hopin, Cvent, or Whova can help you gain the know-how to win over your first customers successfully. To illustrate the marketing process, businesses like Virtual Events Creator use Instagram to get the word out about their offer.

As your virtual planning business grows and your skills with it, repackaging your services and selling them as toolkits can add an extra revenue stream for steadier income.

16. Launch a photography business

Consider selling stock photography by either opening your storefront or selling photos to established stock photo websites like Adobe Stock, iStock, or Shutterstock.

Creating a good business from your images takes more than simply knowing how to take a good photo. You must also know how to market, develop your brand, and pick a photography niche. Our video goes deeper into the process, including creating a storefront for your images, with plenty of examples.

For inspiration on turning selling photographs into an at-home business, be sure to check out some of our seller stories. This guide also provides in-depth insight into how you can sell photos online regardless of your level of expertise.

17. Sell pictures of your feet

In today’s digital age, selling pictures of your feet has become a lucrative side hustle for many. With platforms like FeetFinder, individuals can easily monetize their foot photos.

The key to success in this niche is to ensure high-quality content. Selling can attract potential buyers by taking diverse shots from various angles and using descriptive titles. I think it’s essential to showcase some of your foot pictures for free to entice potential customers, but always make sure the quality remains consistent.

Additionally, platforms like FeetFinder offer features that blur uploaded content, ensuring buyers must pay to view the full image.

While some individuals have turned this into a full-time venture, earning up to $70,000 a year, it’s crucial to approach it with professionalism and caution. Always prioritize your safety, use secure payment platforms, and avoid revealing personal information.

For those considering this avenue, it’s worth noting that there is a variety of foot pictures that sell best. The market has varied tastes, whether soles, heels, nail polish, or pedicures. However, building relationships with buyers and understanding their preferences can significantly boost sales.

18. Start a beauty business

The pandemic damaged many industries, but the health and beauty industry wasn’t one of them. As an at-home business, you can start selling health and beauty items to customers through dropshipping or white-label products. 

surviving businesses

As an ecommerce home business, the more shipping options you can offer to accommodate customer demand and the more variety of items you can offer, the better. Some beauty items with the highest demand as of late have been:

  • At-home spa rituals
  • Personal care items
  • Beauty technology (think massage guns and smart mirrors)

As you dive in and think about the best products to list in your storefront, consider convenience as part of your seller strategy. Consumer trends research shows customers are keener to buy from businesses that offer convenience through multiple purchasing and delivering options like subscriptions.

Besides a beauty product, what are you providing that makes for an experience that keeps your customers returning? Keep in mind that customer loyalty, as well as customer retention, are a vital part of maintaining recurring revenue.

19. Start an affiliate marketing business

Affiliate marketing is a profitable and unique business idea when you have digital marketing skills. Product affiliates can make money on various platforms that allow partner links. Affiliate portals like ShareASale, RewardsStyle, or LikeToKnowIt are only a few of the places you can find products to be an affiliate for.

Deciding on an affiliate strategy is where you’ll want to get creative. For example, some businesses share their affiliates through their Instagram Stories while others create a website with valuable content that contains affiliate links to partner products.

Your Social Team has a highlight reel on Instagram where it shares its best affiliates with its existing customers. It’s a great way to generate passive income as your target audience visits your profile.

affiliate marketing example

Affiliate pins on Pinterest are yet another possible route. The more people repin your affiliate pin once you create and pin them to your boards, the higher the chances you’ll be able to add up commissions.

The affiliate industry does come with its own set of regulations. So, if you’re looking to make money through affiliate links, it’s important to disclose that you’re a partner with that brand publicly. FTC regulations surrounding affiliates are mandatory. So, don’t gloss over those as you establish an affiliate online presence.

20. Start a daycare

Reliable day care will always be in demand. If you’re good with children, consider opening a daycare business. The daycare market is currently valued at over $50 billion and is only expected to grow over the coming years.

Opening a daycare does take some upfront startup costs, even if you’re starting it from home. There’s equipment to think about and paperwork to file. Yet, consider how costly child care can be. Offering a more affordable yet quality alternative to local parents can be a steady source of income as you win your first few recurring customers.

It’s essential to ask: How do you get started opening a daycare that’s compliant with your local regulations? You’ll need to check out child care licensing requirements, mandatory background checks, and health and safety training.

A quick Google search should fill you in on your local state requirements for offering day care services so you can avoid getting shut down and stay compliant. FreshBooks provides a helpful guide on how to get started opening a daycare from home, including legal implications and the startup process.

21. Sell stuff on marketplaces

Amazon, eBay, Etsy, OfferUp, Facebook Marketplace, and Bonanza are all viable platforms where you can profit from selling stuff. By “stuff,” we mean anything in demand that customers are actively looking for that has the potential to bring in revenue.

As an at-home business, flipping items on online marketplaces is one of the easiest businesses to start. Once you open an account and figure out how to list your prices and upload images, you can be well on your way to selling your first item. No large inventory or costly overhead is necessary.

Take the story of Dallas Wolford, a med school student who started making money online with platforms like Mercari by listing smaller items she wasn’t using. Anything from shoes to jewelry helped her make her first couple thousand dollars within the first four months.

As you get started, get familiar with seller regulations on each platform so your seller account stays in good standing. As your business grows, you can recruit contractors and send them to scout garage sales and thrift stores to source higher-value items worth listing.

22. Become a social media manager

Social media platforms gave birth to a new job title: the manager. The good news is you don’t have to work for an agency to dive into this line of work.

You can start your own social media management business from home with a laptop, tools like Sprout Social, Hootsuite, or Buffer, an internet connection, and your social media presence.

Take it from Rachel Pedersen. With a TikTok following of one million and a strong presence on Instagram and YouTube, she could quit her job as a hairdresser and start her social media business from home.

The hardest first step in a service-based business is landing your first customer. Leverage your network to let them know you offer social media services. Use social platforms like YouTube and Instagram to show your expertise and attract customers.

The average salary of a social media manager hovers around the $70,000 mark. As your boss, earning potential can surpass that.

23. Become a virtual personal trainer

Personal training is estimated to be a $12.9 billion industry with increasing demand because of rising obesity trends. With increased disposable income as the world moves past the pandemic, consider creating a virtual personal training business.

Once connected with knowledge or certification in the industry, you’ll be well equipped to offer virtual personal training classes. There are plenty of ways to get personal trainer certification, like courses offered by established providers. With some certification to back up your services, it’s a matter of marketing your service packages to an audience interested in getting fit from home.

Take heed from businesses like Loisa Kurang on Instagram or Triumph With Vin to learn about ways to market yourself on social media. Then be sure to check out 25 lost-cost alternatives to running paid ads to draw out a marketing strategy and promote your virtual services.

24. Offer bookkeeping services

If you’re good with numbers, an at-home bookkeeping business can be the way to go. There are plenty of free resources, like this YouTube guide from a bookkeeper who successfully started her business from home, that can teach you how to land your first customer.

Setting up a home bookkeeping business can be broken down into three general steps:

  • Registering your LLC
  • Marketing your services
  • Generating return customers

The average bookkeeper’s salary is around $45,000 in the US. But as a freelance bookkeeper, you stand to earn more as you increase your rates and build your customer base. To do this though, you first need to file paperwork to establish a limited liability company or LLC.

Be sure to bookmark our in-depth guide on how to start an LLC so you don’t miss any steps along the process. Our small-business accounting guide can shine a light on the creation and maintenance of small business books if you’re just diving into the world of bookkeeping.

As far as marketing your services, social media can be a great place to start. Businesses like Zeal Bookkeeping and Good Cents Bookkeeping are great examples of how to leverage platforms like Instagram to reel in a customer base.

As you win more clients, it’s important not to get too caught up in the creation of a brand or an overly complex website. In the beginning stages of any business, what matters is what revenue you can generate to fuel your growth.

25. Design websites

It’s easier now than ever to create websites if you like graphic design. The problem is, many people don’t want to put in the time to learn how to use website builders like WordPress to do it themselves. If you’re savvy with technology, try operating a web design service from home.

Platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, and Dribbble are solid starting points for getting out there and landing customers to showcase your design skills. As you get traction with testimonials and samples, it becomes easier to land a steady stream of customers over time.

Courses like Shopify’s How to Design Your Online Store (with Zero Design Experience) can be a good place to start to brush up on design skills. Though the Shopify platform isn’t the only one you can have success with. There’s also demand for creating websites through WordPress or Squarespace.

Shopify Experts, a digital service marketplace, is also a place where you can list your design skills for hire. Though applications are closed for now, there’s a waitlist you can sign up for to hear when they open their vetting process in the future.

26. Start a dog grooming business

Try offering dog grooming services if you have space in your home to set up a grooming station. It’s an in-demand service with a market size of over $10 billion that busy pet owners will always need.

Now, you can choose to either go the retail route and sell dog grooming items with a store or go the service route and do the grooming yourself. Businesses like Paw La La offer plenty of pet services that go beyond grooming that you can draw inspiration from. The Pupper Club offers an array of spa services worth looking into.

grooming business example

The beauty of a dog grooming business is that you don’t have to start big. And you can leverage your network to find your first handful of customers. You probably know a pet owner or two who could benefit from your services.

To onboard your first few customers, consider offering your services at a lower rate in exchange for testimonials and word-of-mouth marketing.

Be sure to check out these in-depth pet resources to learn more and get some inspiration:

Find a small business idea that works best for you

The best home business depends on your goals. Do you want a part-time gig as a stay-at-home mom or do you want to become a full-time business owner? How much capital do you have to start up? What skills are already in your arsenal that you can tap into?

A home-based business today is simply a remote-friendly business where technology can close the gap between you, your suppliers, your employees, and your customers. This is a home business opportunity to start small, grow nimbly, and invest conservatively—especially when you can cut out the costs of renting an office.

As you would when starting any business, think carefully about your goals and what you enjoy working on to create a new business that works for you.

Home Business Ideas FAQ

What are the most successful small businesses?

According to our research, the most successful businesses that survived the pandemic are: (1) health and beauty businesses, (2) subscription businesses, and (3) businesses that sell B2B and B2C.

What businesses can I start at home?

  1. Sell homemade products
  2. Offer online services
  3. Start a subscription box business
  4. Sell NFTs
  5. Grow an audience to monetize
  6. Start a dropshipping store
  7. Start a print-on-demand business
  8. Become a freelance writer

How business is good for beginners?

  1. Dropshipping
  2. Print on demand
  3. Selling unwanted items
  4. Homemade products
  5. Offering services

 

This originally appeared on Shopify and is made available here to cast a wider net of discovery.
Prev
9 Awesome Furniture Ecommerce Websites
9 Awesome Furniture Ecommerce Websites

9 Awesome Furniture Ecommerce Websites

Next
The Hidden Aspects Of Running A Hospitality Business

The Hidden Aspects Of Running A Hospitality Business

You May Also Like
Share to...