To help you in your exploration, we’ve gathered this list of 40 of the best home business ideas. All of these home based business ideas are affordable, engaging, and most importantly, flexible—and we’re confident that if you don’t find the perfect idea for your home business here, you’ll at least have the inspiration you need to continue your search.
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.
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.
Exchange is a marketplace powered by Shopify for buying and selling ecommerce stores. You can browse the listings for 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.
Starting a freelance writing business online involves choosing a niche (or two), becoming an expert in that topic, and creating an online portfolio for future clients to see. Freelancers have to prove their worth before landing reliable and high-paying clients. One way to jump-start your freelance writing career without any clients is by establishing your own blog.
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.
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As a freelance publicist, you can be based at home and work online with press releases, emails, social media—essentially, assisting with all facets of your clients’ public-facing presence. Plus, this home business idea doesn’t require a specialized background or substantial startup costs. You can easily get your feet wet in public relations and roll with your business from there.
In fact, transcription services can be particularly attractive to writers and journalists who don’t have the time to type up interviews but need the exact wording of the content spelled out on the page for them. Therefore, a great, simple way to get started in this business is to connect with writers groups and advertise or offer up transcription assistance.
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.
If you know how to make jewelry, there’s really no reason not to sell it. Handmade jewelry has long held appeal for collectors and admirers alike. The biggest challenge to setting up a jewelry business might be running the business itself—just making beautiful things won’t be enough to sustain the operation. Study up on what it takes to run a jewelry business and then make it happen. A great place to start is online with sites like Etsy and eBay
Once you determine your customer personas, it’ll be time to do research and ensure there are enough customers available to make your business a success. The type of market research you do for this depends on your business. If you’re servicing local customers, you want to ensure there are enough prospective customers physically located near your business to make it successful. If you’re an online-only business, you need to focus on where customers are spending time online versus if they live near your home.