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.
With the prevalence of video in social media and marketing, the need for video producers and experts has only grown in recent years. Even if you don’t have prior experience cutting and editing video, this is an online-based home business idea that you can easily learn and teach yourself with classes, tutorials, and general guidance from the online video community.
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.
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.
“The massage therapy business has been growing by leaps and bounds in the last decade, tripling in volume. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, it should grow by an additional 20% through 2016, meaning this home business has strong potential for growth. And, because all in-home massage services are necessarily local in nature, it’s work that can’t be outsourced to another country.”
Anyone considering a drop shipping business should seriously consider leveraging Amazon.com to grow their business and learn more about becoming a profitable Amazon seller, because Amazon is an established marketplace that people already trust and has an existing customer base. Eventually, you should also consider having your own online store as well.

Hi Edwin – Maybe start by taking a look at products you really like, then see if you can improve on them somehow. Can you make it better? Can you make it cheaper? Can you deliver it faster? Can you find a market niche where the product will take off. It’s not necessary to come up with a whole new product, which is also very risky. But if you can take an existing product and make it better you’ll have a better chance at success. Also take old product and see how you reinvent them. That’s what Howard Schultz did with Starbucks. He virtually reinvented coffee, which is something no one thought could be done at the time.
Like graphic design, Web design requires skills that can take years to acquire and perfect. But if you have them, the market is there for creating attractive, useful Web sites for all sorts of organizations. Starting a Web-design business does require some up-front investment, particularly in software, although candidates to start Web-design firms might have those applications already.
Or, if you’re particularly attracted to the brewing process but don’t want to get involved in all of the other areas involved in selling beer, you might look into contract brewing—where you help beer companies make and package their beer. Either way, this can be a great hands-on home based business idea, especially if you like experimenting and figuring out how the best beer is made.
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.
Manufactured products: These are items created in-house or by a third party that are stored, sold, and shipped by you, like dinnerware, shoes, makeup, electronics, or auto parts. This is a great option if you can’t physically produce a product yourself or if you want to scale, but it does involve higher startup costs since you’ll have to acquire inventory up front.
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.
Hi Akshara – You’ve given a lot of good advice. Though a home business seems easy (but yes, they ARE easy to start), it’s first and foremost a business. That means you won’t be an overnight success. It could take years before it earns enough money to live on. It might be best to start it as a side business. But always remember to run it as a serious business, and not as a casual hobby. One other thing about a business…the hardest part is getting it from zero to making money. You have to be willing to overcome that hurdle.

Your host is where your website lives — it stores all of your website files and displays them to visitors around the world. Your host has a big impact on your website’s security and speed — a great place to start is the WordPress.com eCommerce hosting plan, which includes everything you need for an online store. For other options and price points, take a look at our full list of recommended hosting solutions.
Antiques, baked goods, catering, gourmet pet food, daycare, massage therapy, nanny service, personal chef, personal shopper, personal trainer, photographer, tutoring, wedding planning, wine consultant. You might create your own brand of homemade pet food and set yourself up to sell it on your own website. Parents and even older post-graduate students are usually very willing to part with dollars if you have the appropriate background to help them or their kids ace that next important test. As for catering, why not deliver homecooked meals from your own kitchen? Who says you have to invest in a commercial setup and do large events for hundreds of guests?

Market your business. To bring in more customers, you'll have to market your business. This includes advertising, establishing a strong social media presence, and other activities designed to draw in customers. Your type of advertising should vary based on the type of customer you are trying to attract. If you're working locally, advertise on local radio stations or in the newspaper. If you work online, sign up for Google AdWords or advertise your business on relevant websites.
Figure out if you need additional insurance. Visit with your local insurance agent to determine if you are in need of any special insurance for your home based business. When you start a home based business, you immediately start exposing yourself, your family and your home to variety of risks and you want to make sure you are covered before it is too late.[4]
Obviously, I’m a huge advocate for starting your own monetized blog. However, it does become a bit tricky when you’re trying to do it for free. First, you have two options for getting started – you can either use the free WordPress option or Blogger, which is a commercial-free platform. Both have similar features regarding functionality and design, and both can be monetized, but only through their respective ad networks.
Best of all, unlike a brick-and-mortar business, you don’t need a lot of startup capital. In fact, you can get many internet businesses up and running with no money at all because so many free services facilitate the possibility. For example, you can set up a website or blog for free using WordPress. Or you can leverage a third-party site like Amazon or eBay to sell goods with no inventory costs. You use their selling platform in exchange for giving them a cut of your sales.
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.
The only thing better than the smell of grandma’s chocolate-chip cookie recipe baking in the oven is watching cash roll in as customers order those delectable treats. Home baking is an approachable business idea in that it involves doing what you’re probably doing a lot of, anyway, if you love to bake. You probably have all the equipment and expertise you need to get started.
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.
Like starting a home bakery, developing a catering service comes with a unique set of food-oriented challenges. Right off the bat, you need to make sure that it’s legal in your state or municipality to use your home kitchen for commercial food production. If it is, you’ll still need to make sure that you’re following food-safety regulations and other relevant laws.

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.

A Rollover for Business Startups (ROBS) lets you invest retirement funds in a new business without paying taxes or early withdrawal penalties. A ROBS is not a loan or withdrawal; instead, it allows you to tap into your retirement funds early. A ROBS is a great way to use your 401(k) to start a new business, particularly if you have more than $50,000 in qualifying retirement savings. There are no monthly payments and repayment is not required.
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