Approximately 3.7 million people in the U.S. were self-employed as of 2018 and working from their homes. Nine out of 10 American workers have wished at some point that they could make the transition to working from home. With the ups and downs of the economy, the slicing of employer benefits, and the crazy pace of life, many people are deciding to take control of their careers and incomes by launching a home business.
Once a pie-in-the-sky idea, home businesses are a reality for millions today. It’s easier and more affordable than ever to build a home-based career. This doesn’t mean that profits will be automatic, immediate, or easy to achieve, but you can be a successful home-based entrepreneur if you have the desire, a plan, and you’re willing to put in the work.
Starting a Home Business: The First Step
The first step involves figuring out what type of business you want to run. Too many people focus on fast profits over choosing the right idea. Although the goal is to make money, you shouldn’t base your decision on profit potential alone, ignoring your interest in or compatibility with the business. It’s always better to choose a business idea that you’re passionate about.
You can turn a hobby into a home business, or you can take a skill acquired from your job or volunteer work and go out on your own.
How Will You Make Money?
The next step is determining how to turn your idea into income. There are essentially three ways to make money. You can sell stuff, you can sell your skills, or you can sell your knowledge.
For example, you might open an online store selling baking goods if your passion is baking, or you could provide baking services to others, or teach baking skills.
Some Home Business Ideas
This list is by no means complete, but it might lead you to more potential ideas.
Appliances and electronics home business ideas: Appliance repair, computer repair, home theater design, television repair. Almost every household has a computer these days, and people need help when those laptops go toes up. The same applies to all their other electronics and appliances. Making house calls could really put you in demand if you have the skills.
Arts and crafts home business ideas: Faux painting home interiors, furniture refinishing, gift baskets, picture framing, stained glass creation. If you’re the artsy type and you have a gift, you might be able to turn your creations into a solid business.
Business-to-business home business ideas: Bookkeeping services, commercial cleaning, consulting, corporate party planning, courier services, graphic design, direct mail marketing, internet marketing services, social media management, virtual assistant, web design. Virtual assistance is simply the art and knack of organizing an executive’s life…from a desk in your own home. It can involve scheduling, making reservations, or planning events. This might be for you if you’re detail-oriented.
Home services home business ideas: Lawn, garden and yard care, bathtub reglazing, carpet cleaning, floor installation, green cleaning products distribution, home decorating, remodeling or restoration, house sitting, pet sitting, pool cleaning and maintenance, snow removal, window cleaning, auto repair and maintenance. Many people might grab your services if you’re mechanically inclined and willing to go to their location to repair or maintain their vehicles. In many cases, you might be saving them the cost of a tow to a garage.
Health and medical home business ideas: Medical billing and coding, patient or health advocate, health coach.
Online home business ideas: Affiliate marketing, blogging, eBay, Etsy, Google Adwords consulting, information products.
Personal services/products home business ideas: Antiques, baked goods, catering, gourmet pet food, day care, 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?
The Last Step
Choosing your home business idea is just the first step. Research the viability of your idea to determine if there’s really a need for it in your area. Write a business plan. Create your marketing strategy. Set up your business entity, creating a business name, deciding on your business structure, and getting any necessary licenses and/or permits.