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.
Becoming a freelance coder is an especially great home-based business idea since it’s already a very commonplace gig. Whether you want the flexibility of being your own boss, enjoy taking on a wide diversity of projects rather than working with a single company, or prefer to travel instead of staying in one place, you’ve got many reasons to pursue freelance software development—even though technology companies and startups offer their own perks as well.
Know your competition. If you plan on working from home locally, look around town for other businesses offering the same services or products. You'll have to figure out if there is enough business left for you in your area. If you plan to work online, you're dealing with a very crowded market in most cases, so you'll have to find a way to differentiate yourself from the competition.
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:
What this means is that you’re able to monetize your blog, but only by using WordAds or Blogger’s Adsense ads. WordPress does allow affiliate marketing on their free platform — as long as you comply with their terms. Using a free platform may limit your earning potential, but it gives you the initial foundation for building an audience. Once you have a little bit of money rolling in, you can easily transfer your blog over to the paid version of WordPress, where you will be able to monetize your blog any way you want.
A WordPress theme defines the design and layout of your site. There are thousands of free and paid options — a bit of browsing will lead you to the right fit for your store. Choose something that looks good on devices of all sizes, integrates with WooCommerce, and looks professional. The Storefront theme is one great option that’s both intuitive and flexible.
Can you type extremely quickly while listening to someone talk? If the answer is yes, you might consider transcription services for your home business. Like data entry, this might not be the most exciting of our home business ideas but is certainly low-cost, flexible, and you can get started very easily. There are all kinds of companies out there who hire freelance transcriptionists, as well as specific services that employ individuals to transcribe audio for various clients.
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.
There are a couple different options to start a business if you have no money. The best option is to offer services that don’t require any additional costs for you to provide. What skills, software, or tools do you already have that allow you to offer a service for free? For example, if you already own a dog, maybe you can start an at-home pet sitting business. Or if you already possess design-related skills, maybe you can make graphics for a small business’ social media posts.
Expertise is another matter, but remember that writing can take many forms—from resumes to news articles to marketing materials and even thank-you notes. (You can even write for businesstown.com, although that gig doesn’t pay … yet.) There’s probably some form of writing you’re qualified to do. Plus, if you’re good enough with grammar and punctuation, companies will pay you to be a freelance editor. One friend made good money editing posts on a popular travel site.
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.
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.
The research and thinking that you do as you work through the business plan will help you refine your business idea and plan for how you will successfully launch yourself into your market without costly real-world trial and error. If your business plan shows you that your idea isn't viable, don't be afraid to shelve it, choose another home-based business idea, and go through the process again.
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.
Successful home business ideas give contractors, freelancers, and entrepreneurs the freedom to control their work, time, and personal growth. Maybe you’d prefer to wake up late and take long lunches, confident in your ability to finish your work on time. Or, maybe you prefer to be your own boss, setting up best practices and ditching those quarterly reviews. Or perhaps, you want to travel or be at home for your family, and you view commuting as a pain.
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.