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Top 35 Best Working From Home Based Business Ideas [Low Startup Costs]

home based business ideas

Oh, the freedom of being able to roll out of bed, brew a cup of coffee or tea, and sit down in your favorite chair for a day “at the office”. For many, the idea of working from home is but a tantalizing dream, never realized, never pursued. However, that is not the case for you. With the following home business ideas you too can obtain the glorious freedom of working from home in 2017.

There are numerous home businesses you can start with low startup costs and we are going to take you through many of them today. As long as you are self disciplined to be your own boss, which entails getting up every morning, setting goals and objectives, and working hard to achieve those personal business goals, you can make this dream a reality.

The following home based business ideas are part of our How to Make Money series. These ideas are highly effective and you are likely to find one that fits your interests. With the amount of technology around today – you probably already have a computer/laptop and an internet connection – home-based businesses aren’t just for the ‘lucky’ any more!

Find Your Passion

Before we launch into the many exciting home business ideas we have for you today, we should note that a business in which you have no interest will not succeed. If you are starting a business just because there is the potential to earn good money, you are doing it all wrong because you will soon get bored and the customers will notice. Rather, find something you are passionate about. Once you find an industry you will enjoy, you won’t need to work so hard to get out of bed every morning because you will be excited and invigorated to get to work! Imagine that.

Take Your Time

Furthermore, you don’t necessarily have to quit your job tomorrow in order to start these home businesses. With most, you can do it on the side until you start earning enough money to make it your primary income. Remember, the pressure to perform increases many times over once you leave your job so only do it when you have the foundations laid and there is a real prospect to earn enough money to not only survive, but thrive!

5 Tips to Success Working From Home

Before we get to our homebased business ideas it is important to keep some things in mind before you start your business. There are no fool proof keys to running a successful home business. However, there are a few key points to keep in mind when running your own home based business.

1. Create Your Space. Here is your opportunity to be creative and create a working environment that is conducive to maximizing your productivity. Consider the lighting, are you using artificial light or do you have natural light from a window? Perhaps you need some background music or a small fountain to provide some white noise in the background. Will you design your home office to accommodate a standing desk or will you be sitting down primarily? How about the walls, should they be adorned with pithy sayings and words of wisdom? The point is, you create your space so create a home based business workplace that will stimulate you and provide encouragement to keep on keeping on.

2. Pace Yourself. A lot of would be home business entrepreneurs burn out because they try and do too much, too fast. Instead, pace yourself. Find that point where you are working hard but not hardly working. In other words, recognize that you are most productive when you are fresh. So find your own rhythm and stick too it. You don’t have to work harder than everyone else, but you certainly have to work smarter.Are you a night owl? Then schedule your work day for your most productive hours. Are you an early riser? Make sure you don’t plan anything in the morning, when you are at your best. In other words, know thyself.

3. Avoid Needless Distractions. Protect your time. It is your most valuable commodity. You can mindlessly surf the internet after your home based work day is done. However, avoid surfing the web or checking social media in your most productive hours. You can set a schedule for your day and put in some time for checking your email, social media accounts, or surfing the web. However, limit your time to 15 minutes after you have worked hard for 2 hours or more. By doing this, you are setting a home based work goal that will keep you inspired and provide a reward once you have obtained your goal, because the secret to succeeding in a home business is to set goals and be disciplined.

4. Set Goals. As you finish your work day make a list of your goals and objectives for the next day in order to grow your business. If you don’t, what will happen is you will sit down at your desk the next day and wonder what you should do. Without direction and solid business plans you will be like a boat without a rudder, going wherever the wind and waves take you. Instead, making goals in advance helps you get into the flow of the workday. Once you are in the flow, coming up with “what’s next” home business ideas are much easier than trying to figure out how to go from zero to 100.

5. Be Disciplined. Book ending our tips for working from home is to be disciplined.  It is easy to sleep in. It is easy to mindlessly surf the internet or take a midday movie break. It is easy to answer that phone call from a chatty friend. Home based business distractions are legion and will suck you dry of your most valuable resources: time and energy. Covet your time and energy and avoid distractions. Stay focused. Be disciplined.

So with those keys for running a successful home business aside, let’s get to our ideas for starting your own business. These are all ideas you can start today; so don’t delay.  

Home Business Ideas in 2017

Web Design – Every year, businesses are opening new websites or trying to update the one they started many years ago and you could be the service that transforms them. If they don’t have a specialized IT department themselves, they will look to outsource this task to someone else and you could be this person. As long as you are willing to learn how to do it and maybe even take a few courses on website design, you can soon market yourself as a premium service.

Over time, you will build reputation and people will hear about the fantastic service that is transforming websites all over the internet. As you gain customers and experience, your website will start to look more credible and you can increase your prices. Even if you start on a freelancing business website battling for gigs, we all have to earn our trade somewhere!  

Graphic Design – Once again, this is a task that many people outsource because they don’t want to spend the money hiring an expert full-time when they will only be needed a handful of times. As a graphic designer, you can help with logos, graphics for their website, infographics for social media, and more. In truth, you could start with one service, such as whiteboard videos, and really work hard at mastering this service. As this becomes natural, you can then extend your product range and work with more companies. 

Writing – Following the same sort of idea, you could offer to write copy or blog posts for those in need. Whether on a freelance website, such as fiverr, or on your own, you will be attractive to companies because they may not have anyone in their company who can write solid articles. As you can see, these first three ideas are a simple case of finding a service that is needed and offering small businesses and companies the chance to pay a fee to have the task done without any stress. In this home based business example, everyone is a winner because they get their article and you get your money.

Blog – In the past decade, blogging has become extremely popular but this doesn’t mean that it is ‘too late’ to start. Ultimately, a significant amount of people that start a blog give up within a few weeks so there is a chance to appeal to a niche if you are consistent with your posts. As you start to build a following, you can introduce your own products relating to your niche or you could join an affiliate marketing group to make money. Not only can you make money from blogging, it can be really enjoyable because you get to meet other people, blog on other sites, attend events in your niche, and more.

Uber or Lyft – If you haven’t yet heard of Uber or Lyft, you could be missing out on a great way to make money driving with Lyft or Uber while remaining in control of your schedule. Essentially, driving for Uber or Lyft is similar to a taxi service.

Steps to start include downloading the company’s mobile app. After downloading the app, you can apply to become a driver for all those who need a lift somewhere in the same town or city. For the customer, it is cheaper than a taxi and you have an opportunity to make money whenever you have some free time.  If you live in the city this makes driving for Uber an easy home business opportunity since your customers will be all around you.

Princess and Pirate Parties – A great home based business for event planners is to set up princess parties. The initial cost of hiring competent actors and costumes and marketing your services might make this home based business a little harder to enter but once you have put together a good team you can focus on marketing your parties. All you need is an internet connection and access to social media, like Facebook and Pinterest, and you will be off and running. Some current favorite characters are Anna and Elsa from Frozen and Captain Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Caribbean.  But don’t forget the classics as there are many parents looking to get nostalgic for their child’s birthday party.

Wedding Planning – Come rain or shine, recession or no recession, people still get married every day and you can be there to plan their perfect day for them if you have fantastic event planner skills. In the majority of weddings, the couple hire an expert for help with decorations, venue, flowers, photographer, etc. If you are organized and love to plan events and consider yourself a great party planner, this could be the home based job for you. Furthermore, we should also mention that you will need to be able to perform under pressure as nothing ever goes as planned at a wedding. Above all else, this business is rewarding because you can be responsible for two people starting the next chapter of their lives together.  

Tutoring Students – Today, there are more parents hiring online tutors for their children than ever before; if this isn’t an opportunity to start a home business then we don’t know what is. Again, there are some websites available online where you set up a profile and offer you services and this is a great way to start. If you find success, you can then attempt to set up your own website and go it alone. In truth, all you need for this is a laptop and an internet connection. Also, you will need to decide whether to go face-to-face for students in the community or purely online for anyone in the world.

Bookkeeping – If you are a trained accountant or perhaps you are willing to train for the basics, bookkeeping is a great example of a home business because you are putting yourself out there doing the tasks that others don’t want to do. When it comes to accounts, many small companies are struggling each year. As long as you price your service correctly, you should be able to have an impact in the market.  

Tax Preparation – Thinking along the same lines, preparing the accounts for tax season is something that companies prefer to avoid. Therefore, you can appeal to these companies and offer to get everything ready on their behalf. Despite actually being a simple task, most businesses would much rather pay someone else to sort their taxes than take the time. Of course, you wouldn’t say this in your advertisement but you could say ‘I will complete your taxes so you don’t have to take time away from other important tasks’. Since this job is vital for a business, you will need to build a reputation before you really start to see customers.  

Catering Business – the advantage of a catering business is all you need is a good kitchen, a knack for preparing excellent food, and an internet connection. The kitchen will allow you to create your dishes and the internet connection will allow you to create a website advertising your service. There are many success stories of chefs who got into catering and simply blew it up. A catering business is often a favored alternative for many chefs to opening a restaurant where the overhead is high and the margins are thin.

Personal Chef – in the same vein as a catering business, becoming a personal chef is a great way to make a living for anyone who loves to cook and who has a penchant for nutrition. Grab yourself an Instagram account and start documenting your amazing food creations. Be aware that you need to build trust with your clients in order to become their go to choice.

Home Staging – home staging involves helping would be real estate sellers properly stage their home so that prospective buyers want to purchase the home. If you have a knack for interior design, then home staging might be the best home business for you. One of the first steps to start would be to network with some real estate agents in order to get your name out there. After a few successful house stagings you can up your price and make a good living doing what you love.

Mobile Hairdressing – Although you may have to travel to people’s homes, mobile hairdressing is a fantastic home based business because it is all about convenience for you and your clients. For those people that don’t require any of the expensive equipment in a hair salon (for hair coloring and other activities), they don’t mind welcoming a hairdresser into their home because it saves them from leaving the house. Once again, you might need training or qualifications but it will allow you to set your own hours and work as you please.  

Mobile Dog Grooming – If you have a love for animals, particularly dogs, then consider mobile dog grooming. You initial investment might include a mobile grooming truck fitted with a place to give dogs a bath, a creative name and logo, and some good grooming equipment. The service you provide by coming to the pet owner’s home rather than have them come to you is invaluable. Build up a loyal clientele base and you can keep yourself busy or hire a staff of mobile dog groomers to meet the increasing demand. 

Dog Walking and Dog Trainer – The other day I saw a guy walking down the street with 10 dogs. This guy was a pack leader and had all of the dogs following at his side or behind. It was quite impressive. And at $25 a dog for an hour walk it was probably quite lucrative if he was doing this daily, or even a couple times a day. If you have a knack for dog walking and training you could very likely be the next Dog Whisperer, at least as far as your clients are concerned.

Virtual Assistant – As technology advances over time, this has been a huge industry because most small companies don’t have enough money in their budget to hire a full-time assistant. Therefore, they will outsource the task to someone like you who will complete data entry, answer emails, managing a blog, scheduling, and anything else that needs doing. Ultimately, this is a true home business idea in that you can work from a home office and then walk a few feet to your sofa at the end of the day. 

One industry that seems to have a large offering of home based jobs opportunities is the insurance industry. Many insurance companies have job openings that allow the employee or contractor to work from home. So if you don’t know where to look for a good job from home, start there.

Mechanical Turk – If you have not heard of a Mechanical Turk it is time to get familiar. Amazon has set up a an online crowdsourcing marketplace. Different jobs or gigs are posted and you can make money working from home by completing the various jobs, called tasks. Once a task is completed you receive a reward.

From Amazon’s siteCommon use cases include image recognition, audio transcription, machine learning algorithm training, sentiment analysis, data normalization, and surveys.

Translation – If you can speak a second or even third language, there will be needs for your services in translation. In truth, there are numerous people looking for people like you whether it is students for tutoring, businesses when opening their website in another language, or anything similar. If you want to get some experience under your belt to start, visit a freelance marketplace type website where you can build your profile and reviews before you attempt going it alone.  

Dropshipping – Yet again, this is another term that has been floating around for the past couple of years. In the past, people would buy their own products, stock them in their house or wherever possible, before then sending them to the customer. With dropshipping, you set up your website as normal but you work directly with the manufacturer. While they keep hold of the stock, you market the products and attract customers and then the manufacturer will distribute whenever orders are placed. Rather than you holding stock yourself, this is a much easier solution and you keep a percentage of each sale.

Selling Breast Milk Online – Yes, this is an actual home based job opportunity and a particularly good idea for stay at home moms who want to raise some extra cash while tending to the new arrival. And with the advent of sites such as Only the Breast, you can find buyers without much effort.

Digital Marketer – Do you spend significant amounts of time on social media? If so, you might be able to continue this but getting paid at the same time as a digital marketer. As before, it all comes down to the tasks that businesses may not have time to complete. When they get busy, they have to leave certain tasks behind and social media often suffers because of this. However, we know how important social media can be for a business. As a digital marketer/social media manager you need to have a firm grasp on the various platforms out there, such as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube. Once you build up a few clients and brands, you will really start to see the results.  

Landing Page Specialist – When it comes to conversion rates on a website, a huge depending factor is the landing page. It is also an important skill to have if you want to bee a successful internet marketer. As the first page that customers see on a particular website, this will often decide whether or not they will proceed with an order or even their interest. Once you learn what does and doesn’t work, you can go around the internet optimizing the landing page of every client who hires you. After listening to their needs, you can use your own knowledge and spruce up their website to improve their conversion rate.  

Local Everything – So far, we have focused quite heavily on the internet and what you can do with a laptop but what about a home based business that works in your community? To start, why not go around the area helping with anything in which you have some skills or knowledge. For example, you could be a gardener, handyman, decorator, or whatever else. With simple tasks like this, they don’t require qualifications like a plumber or electrician and they are things that we don’t enjoy doing. By sticking cards in the windows of local shops and giving out professional leaflets, you could start a business doing simple jobs in the community.  

House Cleaning – With a low barrier to entry this job is a great opportunity for anyone who has the gumption and a heart for service. Consider offering a few different packages and price points to your clients. You may even want to advertise yourself as a “green” cleaner that specializes in non-toxic cleaning. Word of mouth is huge for this profession to take off so impress a few clients and they will most certainly tell a friend.

Window Cleaner – After you buy a bucket and all the other pieces of equipment (not expensive), it won’t take long before you gain the right skills after practicing on your own windows. Soon enough, you can head out into the community and find yourself some clients who need their windows cleaned. You can post leaflets, pin cards to noticeboards, or even knock door-to-door on houses and businesses. Although you will get some doors shut in your face, you might also pick up a handful of clients on day one. Even with just one client to start, you never know how far the power of ‘word-of-mouth’ will take you.  

Sitting – Sometimes, people go away, they go out for the evening, or they have to go to work. On all of these occasions, they need help either sitting their home, pet, or child. Therefore, you can start a local sitting business which includes housesitting, babysitting, and pet sitting.

If you are a little older or wouldn’t necessarily be able to gain many clients, you could act as the middleman. By this, we mean start by launching the sitting business. Then, find the right people who normally sit houses, pets, and children. Typically, they are college students looking for some extra money. If you find these college students jobs by building a list of clients, you can keep a percentage of the fee (i.e. be the middleman between people who want to sit and people who need sitters).  

Photography – If you love to pick up a camera and take shots, there are various niches you can choose from this. For example, you could start earning some money by taking pictures and sending them into stock photo websites. If they accept them, you will make money on each sale. After this, you could go into weddings, christenings, parties, or any other event where photography is important.

Again, this is one that will require you to work under pressure because you will have disappointed customers if the photos aren’t quite right. Therefore, we don’t recommend buying a camera and attending a wedding on the first day. If you have little experience, we recommend taking a photography class.  

Etsy – On eBay, you can buy and sell items to try and make a profit but Etsy is a little different. Instead of buying or dropshipping through a manufacturer, you make money on Etsy by selling products you create. If you are into arts and crafts, you can set up a profile and start selling your homemade items. With millions of people visiting the website every single day, you can take advantage of this regardless of whether you sell wooden ornaments, mittens, or little hats for babies.  

Greetings Cards – In this niche, there are a couple of different options but we have picked it out because there will always be a need for greetings cards no matter what happens in life or to the economy. With around 320 million people in the US alone, think about how you can take a slice of this market by making your own. As well as 320 million birthdays, you could also do cards for anniversaries, congratulations for having a baby, passing a driving test, graduating college, etc. If you are creative, you could design your own cards and start a website or work on Etsy. Failing this, you can actually earn money for coming up with card ideas and poems! 

App Designer – With so many companies offering app creation services, this no longer has to be an expensive exercise. Of this whole project, the biggest investment will probably go towards research so you can find a niche that needs to be filled in the mobile app market. Whether it is a game or a useful service, you could do very well if you choose the right niche. Remember, you will need to think outside of the box here because there are hundreds of thousands of mobile apps available.  

Trading Domains – Ever since the internet was first introduced, the action of buying and selling domains for money has been around. With so many opportunities these days, it is more profitable than ever before but only if you are willing to be sensible and learn how it works. As long as you spend the time researching the basics, you will be able to trade and make money regularly.  

Proofreading – Sometimes, companies will write their own articles but they need someone to take a look through and point out any errors they may have made. If you have a natural ability to spot errors with a good level of understanding for the written language, you could take this role and help many companies. Furthermore, fiction writers will also look for people to assess their work. Of course, you won’t have to worry about the story or plot lines but rather the spelling and punctuation.  

Fitness Trainer – On the whole, starting exercise is actually very easy but there is one huge problem that everybody has to face; lack of motivation. For this reason, they seek personal trainers who will be their motivation. After this, they also look for knowledge but this can be learned in a short while with the right course or resources online. Over time, you can become the neighborhood personal trainer running classes and fitness clubs. If you build enough clients, you could start to invest in halls, gyms, and more.  

Medical Billing – We put this one last for a reason; it is not all it is cracked up to be. The Balance put together a good article on why a home based business around medical billing is not what it seems. So while many home based business idea articles will list medical billing as a potential option, we are here to offer a warning that it is not the job you are looking for unless you already have experience in this field.

Conclusion

As you can see, the possibilities for home based businesses are endless and we could keep this list going for hours. Ultimately, you should be looking to enter an industry where the demand is high but the supply is limited. If you enter an over-saturated market, you will soon struggle to find clients. With the right market, you can fill a need and become successful in your home business whether you are looking for money on the side or a whole new career. Remember, nothing can take the place of tenacity, persistence and a desire to serve. Now get to it!

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