After getting your massage therapy certification, along with the business license and massage equipment needed to work from home, you can turn your house into a local massage parlor for clients to come to, relax, and improve their health and wellness. Massage therapy involves mental and emotional as well as physical health, and is an important service—that you can offer without leaving your front door.

If so, then consider putting your knack for arts, crafts, and design to use as the manager of an online store. So long as you believe your creations can find a market and sell at a profitable price, there’s very little stopping you from signing up as a seller on a site like Etsy and carving out your niche. While it might be a tough business, there’s plenty of wisdom out there to learn from—and it certainly fits on our list of home business ideas, especially while you’re small!
There’s no need to be an artist, just an expert in some form of art. Visit galleries. Get on their email lists, and go to their parties. Get to know their clients. Gallery owners will love you, even recommend your services, because you’ll be telling people to buy art from them. You don’t have to own any inventory. It’s pure consulting. There is almost no overhead cost for a business like this. It’s really about having a passion for art and a knack for earning people’s trust. And it’s fun!
Consider the space required for your business. If you're planning on doing any sort of manufacturing, product storage, or shipping, you will likely need more than a desk to work on. Think about how much space you have in your home for these activities. Will you be displacing other family members with your business activities? Consider your space requirements and your home's ability to meet those requirements before moving forward.
Organize your business as a legal entity. When setting up for business you have several options in determining the structure of your business. The easiest is to simply act as a sole proprietorship where you, the business owner, are legally the business. In this case, you would use your SSN for tax identification purposes. However, if you plan to have partners or hire employees, you will need to organize your business as a separate entity like a corporation. Doing so will require you to incorporate your business with you state and obtain an employer identification number (EIN) from the IRS.
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:
We don’t manufacture as much in America as we used to, but the phrase “American made” still means a lot to some people. Artisanal items are also popular, making now a great time to start a furniture-making business. This might not be the easiest idea to start from scratch, but if you already own the equipment you need, you can start producing pieces to sell at fairs and online on sites such as Etsy.

Looking for a way to combine your public speaking, communication, and writing skills? You might consider serving as a freelance publicist or public relations consultant. This is one of the home business ideas that can greatly appeal to smaller businesses or individuals who can’t invent in full PR teams or staff, but still need this kind of assistance for their organization.

There’s more to social media than gaining and engaging followers. It is also an effective platform to advertise your business and expand your market. With paid social media ads, you make the most out of your investment with highly targeted advertisements. You also get to reach those in your audience who are most likely to purchase your products or services at a fraction of TV and radio advertising costs.

I’ve found that fear often stops aspiring consultants from starting a consulting business–or any business–and on my blog, I talk about how to overcome those fears. I also talk about practical, concrete things you can do to start and run a successful consulting business, along with tools, tips, tricks, and techniques for automating your business and keeping costs to a minimum. The info I give is applicable to most other types of businesses as well.


Perhaps most importantly, though, would-be eBay moguls need to specialize. Just throwing junk online won’t work. Sellers need to know what they want to sell and how they’re going to market it to their audiences. Again, competition is fierce, so research, preparation and strategy are critical. (For reference, eBay itself provides an extensive guide to selling on the site.)

If you know multiple languages, then this is the job on our home-based business ideas list for you. As a translator, you can service businesses and clients in a number of different ways. You can translate articles, press releases, ebooks, or other written work. You might also translate videos, podcasts, or contribute to international closed captions for a variety of visual products. Moreover, you might connect with international businesses to serve as a translator for meetings or phone calls.


Mild spoiler alert: Viewers of the TV drama Orange Is the New Black might remember that the show’s main character made amends with one of her fellow prison inmates by making her a soothing lotion. Hopefully you won’t find yourself in prison, but if you find yourself wanting to start a home-based business, consider hand-making soaps and lotions yourself.

Recently, I received an email from an individual who was looking for an online business opportunity. This person had just moved to a rural area and was unable to make the long commute to their prior job. Another obstacle this person faced was the issue of needing money ASAP to pay for bills and daily living expenses. However, they still wanted the flexibility and perks of being their own boss.


Since your home business is new, you need to market it to let potential customers know it exists. Additionally, your marketing efforts should help customers understand how your product or service is different from or better than your competitors. Speak directly to your potential customers’ pain points to win them over and convince them to do business with you.
It’s one of the first ideas people have when they think of starting a business: making and selling crafts. That means there’s lots of competition. The good news, though, is that people just love crafts. But be careful. Don’t just sell anything and everything. Define a product line and choose a distribution channel (online, craft fairs, etc.), and stick with your plan. And, of course, be creative.
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.
Blake Stockton is a staff writer at Fit Small Business focusing on how to start brick-and-mortar and online businesses. He is a frequent guest lecturer at several undergraduate business and MBA classes at University of North Florida. Prior to joining Fit Small Business, Blake consulted with over 700 small biz owners and assisted with starting and growing their businesses.
This is another example on our list of home business ideas that caters toward outgoing individuals—people who don’t mind talking on the phone and who like guiding others and helping them solve problems. Many companies now outsource their customer service to home-based representatives, so you should have no shortage of potential clients—after all, any service- or product-based organization is more than likely going to have some kind of customer support need.
Another idea someone could do from home is to start a service or write a software program that scours local ad listings (like craigslist) for a particular used item a person wants to buy. They have services like this for new items, but not used. I know others like me who are keeping their eye out for something used (like a canopy king bed!) but don’t have the time or inclination to search for it every day.
Although not home-based per se, becoming a rideshare driver, like with Uber or Lyft can offer the same flexibility and freedom has a business that’s physically based in your home. As a rideshare driver, your business will more or less be based in your car, and you’ll be able to choose your own hours and be your own boss. With the popularity of ridesharing apps continuing to grow, there’s no shortage of clients looking for rides, especially if you live in a tourist area or near a big city.
Set up your home office. To work effectively, you'll need to have a dedicated business space within your home. If you work locally, this is also your commercial space. You'll need to create an area separate from family members, pets, and other distractions.[5] If possible, separate this area as much as possible from the rest of your home. The physical separation will help create mental separation between your home life and work life and also make the tax deduction for a home-based office less subjective.
There's a ton of service business ideas you can perform, from pet sitting to organizing to tutoring. Don’t want to leave your home to work? There are many service business ideas you can do from your computer, such as web design, tutoring, writing, virtual support, bookkeeping, and a host of other ideas. Simply pick a task you're good at, then find people who need help and are willing to pay you.
But if you do go the fashion route, be prepared to do quite a bit of networking before you get your business off the ground. Don’t be afraid to do free consultations for contests and giveaways. The more word gets around about your fabulous fashion sense, the larger a clientele you’ll build. If you’re really good, you can start this business with little to no training.
Spend some time considering your packaging, too. If you sell breakable items, make sure they’re protected during the shipping process. If you sell perishable items, make sure to pack them with dry ice or ship using refrigerated trucks. Packaging is also an opportunity to delight your customers — consider branded boxes, thank you notes, and fun surprises.
Cash 4 Books is an online business where you can sell new and used books. Grab your books and head to the website; here you’ll be able to enter each book’s ISBN, which is a 10 or 13 digit number that can be found on the back cover or inside the front cover of almost all books. Once you have entered each code, you’ll receive a quote for each book. Next, send your books in with a pre-paid shipping label. Once they receive your books, you’ll be paid either via check or PayPal.
Currently, in the United States, millions of self-employed individuals consider their home to also be their place of business. Taking this into consideration, you might not find it surprising that 80%-90% of the U.S. workforce admits that they’d like to work remotely at least part-time. Working from home—in whatever form it takes—has grown in popularity over the past decade, and it’s not difficult to figure out why.
While I’m not an advocate of selling yourself short or devaluing your worth, there is a time and a place for freelance job sites. These sites are job boards for freelancers and businesses; it is a place to connect, shop around, and, most importantly, get some money into your pocket. While many of these sites may offer smaller payouts, they are a great place to gain experience and build up your portfolio.
If you’re passionate about helping people and have any experience in personal care, you might consider starting an eldercare business. Nursing homes can be expensive and people are often hesitant to put their family members in full-time care facilities. Therefore, you might decide to offer freelance care, traveling to your clients’ homes and caring for them as needed. Or, if you have space, you might consider offering your home up to a few full-time care residents.
Mild spoiler alert: Viewers of the TV drama Orange Is the New Black might remember that the show’s main character made amends with one of her fellow prison inmates by making her a soothing lotion. Hopefully you won’t find yourself in prison, but if you find yourself wanting to start a home-based business, consider hand-making soaps and lotions yourself.
You make money with ad revenue. Your first step is to create a YouTube account and start uploading videos. Then you enable monetization on your YouTube settings. Basically, this gives Google the go-ahead to include short AdSense ads with your videos, which you've seen if you’ve watched a YouTube video. When viewers click on those ads, you get paid.
Not everything is just a Google search away. Media organizations hire fact checkers to make sure that items in stories are accurate and that sources quoted really exist. Other organizations need people to find statistics and other data for presentations and reports. There are plenty of opportunities online to get started researching at home. Just be prepared to get into some really esoteric topics that will take you way beyond Wikipedia.

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.

Still, knowing something about how the flower business works is a good idea, and your online presence and photos of your work will be critical to your success. Remember, the business is all about visuals, so make yours as compelling as you can. Get started networking by contacting local wedding planners and funeral homes and letting them know you’re in business. From there, let your business bloom. A friend in Maine turned a flower-arranging business into a successful flower shop she later sold at a profit.
The basic idea behind an online drop shipping business is that, as a small business owner, you don’t have to maintain a large inventory (or any inventory whatsoever) of products or handle any delivery to your customers. That eliminates the financial cost and risk of having a warehouse full of stuff you might not sell, and the hassle of arranging to send orders all over the country or the world. In fact, you don't have to manufacture or store any products at all.
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.
If you have the expertise or a passion or interest for a subject, you're ready to start making money with a blog. With a service like Blogger (www.blogger.com), you can start up your blog totally free. You can also create your own site and secure your own hosting for a low price, which is generally the route I recommend, as many free blogging sites have restrictions on what you can say or do, including making money or advertising.
But if you get the green light to do it, starting a catering service is a relatively low-overhead way to create a new business. It’s a lot of work, but if you enjoy cooking, it could turn into a lucrative and fulfilling career. To get started with minimal investment, you could first cook in your customers’ homes and use their dishes. Also, a narrow specialization on a particular type of cuisine or event may help you attract clientele as you work develop a strong customer base.
But if you get the green light to do it, starting a catering service is a relatively low-overhead way to create a new business. It’s a lot of work, but if you enjoy cooking, it could turn into a lucrative and fulfilling career. To get started with minimal investment, you could first cook in your customers’ homes and use their dishes. Also, a narrow specialization on a particular type of cuisine or event may help you attract clientele as you work develop a strong customer base.
Pay-per-click advertising is the easiest way to get traffic to a brand-new site. It has two advantages over waiting for the traffic to come to you organically. First, PPC ads show up on the search pages immediately, and second, PPC ads allow you to test different keywords, as well as headlines, prices and selling approaches. Not only do you get immediate traffic, but you can also use PPC ads to discover your best, highest-converting keywords. Then you can distribute the keywords throughout your site in your copy and code, which will help your rankings in the organic search results.
Another option to start a business with no money is by running a crowdfunding campaign. Crowdfunding allows you to presell products before making them. For example, if you wanted to start an at-home bakery, but need to raise $3,000 for equipment, you could presell baked goods on a platform, like Kickstarter, to raise funds. Before starting a crowdfunding campaign, it’s important to have a network of potential customers who are interested in buying your products.
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