10 Small Business Ideas from Home and How to Get Started

June 24, 2024

By: Emily Harper

10 Small Business Ideas from Home and How to Get Started

Have you ever dreamed of being your own boss, setting your own schedule, and working from the comfort of your home? Starting a home-based business can make that dream a reality. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to turn your entrepreneurial aspirations into a successful home-based venture. Plus, we’re highlighting ten of the best small business ideas that you can start at home.

4 Reasons Why People Love Having a Home Business

Working from home offers numerous advantages that traditional office jobs simply can't match. Here are the four top reasons why people who work from home love it so much:

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1. Flexibility: As a home-based entrepreneur, you have the freedom to structure your workday around your lifestyle, not the other way around. This flexibility is perfect for parents, caregivers, or anyone seeking a better work-life balance.

2. Cost Savings: Eliminating commute times and costs, professional attire expenses, and the need for commercial office space can significantly reduce your overhead.

3. Personalized Work Environment: When you work from home, you can create a workspace tailored to your preferences, maximizing your productivity and comfort.

4. Location Independence: Many home-based small businesses can be run from anywhere with a reliable internet connection, allowing you to work while traveling or living a more nomadic lifestyle.

What Makes a Small Business from Home Idea

The first step for a new entrepreneur is to identify a business idea that aligns with their skills, interests, and lifestyle goals.

Here are some practical tips to consider when evaluating potential home business ideas:

Low Startup Costs

A great small business-from-home idea should be a manageable initial investment. Look for opportunities that can be started with minimal expenses. A viable home business idea often requires minimal upfront investments, making it accessible and manageable.

For example, starting a freelance graphic design business might need only a computer and software, while a cleaning service could begin with basic supplies.

Scalability and Growth Potential

The beauty of a home business lies in its potential for growth. It can start as a seedling, but with the right care and nurturing, it can blossom into a thriving enterprise.

Once you’ve considered small business ideas that you can do at home, be sure that they have the potential to expand. This could mean scaling up from local to regional, adding new products or services, or tapping into a broader market online.

Aligns with Your Skills, Interests, and Experience

Your small business idea should be something you're passionate about.

It's crucial that your home business reflects your passion and aligns with your skills. This alignment ensures that you remain motivated and are more likely to succeed because you work within your expertise or interest.

Flexible Work Schedule

One of the most appealing aspects of home-based small businesses is their flexibility. You should be able to set your work hours, allowing for a better work-life balance. This is ideal for those who have other responsibilities like childcare or prefer working at non-traditional hours.

Potential for Passive Income Streams

Your home business should have the potential to generate income even when you're not actively working, also known as passive income. Passive income involves earnings derived from an enterprise in which a person is not actively involved.

For instance, creating an online course or writing a book involves upfront work but can generate revenue repeatedly without continuous effort.

Online or Service-Based

Businesses operating online or providing services are particularly well-suited to home environments. Home-based businesses operating online or offering services are incredibly convenient because they usually don't need much physical space or resources to start. Consulting, virtual tutoring, or selling digital products can be run from almost any location and typically involve simpler setups and fewer day-to-day logistics.

10 Awesome Small Business Home Ideas to Explore

Starting a small business from home is an incredible opportunity to turn your skills and passions into a rewarding career. But with so many possibilities out there, it can take time to figure out where to begin.

To get those entrepreneurial juices flowing, here are 10 promising home business ideas that could be an excellent fit for you. From creativity to coaching, freelancing to e-commerce, there's something for just about every interest and experience level.

1. Virtual Assistant Services

Organized, tech-savvy multitaskers can thrive as virtual assistants. From scheduling to customer service to social media management, VAs provide indispensable support to businesses and entrepreneurs - all from the comfort of home.

What You Need to Get Started

Organizational Skills: Being able to juggle multiple tasks efficiently is crucial. Strong organizational abilities ensure you meet deadlines and keep client needs in order.

Communication Tools: Tools such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, and email software are vital for effective client communication.

Privacy Software: Virtual assistants often handle sensitive information, so solid privacy and security software is necessary to protect client data.

Where to Find Work

Platforms such as Upwork, Remote.io, and Fiverr connect you to clients looking for someone organized to help them with their daily administrative tasks. You can also check out the company Belay. It vets both VAs and clients to ensure a good match and helps you secure a working relationship.

2. Freelance Writing

Do you have a way with words? Freelance writing allows you to craft all kinds of content - blog posts, articles, marketing materials, you name it - for clients around the world. This is a great small business idea from home because you have the freedom to pick your projects and set your own schedule.

What You Need to Get Started

Strong Writing Skills: Being able to write clearly and creatively is key. Your ability to articulate ideas grammatically and engagingly is what will set you apart.

Good Laptop: You will spend a lot of time researching and writing, so a dependable computer is essential.

Stable Internet Access: Consistent internet access is necessary to research topics, submit assignments, and communicate with clients.

Where to Find Work

One way to start finding work is on platforms that connect you with clients who need high-quality written content. These platforms are great for newbies because they allow you to market your services and discover multiple writing opportunities.

Here are a few you can check out:




Freelance Writer Success Story

Olaniyi Musediq began freelancing as a content and blog writer on Upwork to make extra money. Soon, he made the choice to leave his teaching career and begin freelancing full-time. Now, Olaniyi writes content and blogs for many niches and has been recognized as a distinguished freelancer at the 2022 Upwork Work Without Limits Summit.

3. Sell Homemade Products

For all you crafty creatives out there, why not turn your hobby into a small business selling homemade products? Whether it's jewelry, home decor, clothing, or something totally unique, sites like Etsy make it easier than ever to market and sell your one-of-a-kind wares.

Starting a small business from home that sells homemade products can be incredibly rewarding and profitable, especially if you have a unique craft or product line that stands out. The key to successfully selling homemade products is the uniqueness and quality of the items you create.

Some of the most popular items sold on Etsy are home decor, homemade jewelry, bookmarks, custom wedding accessories, and other handmade custom accessories. Take a look at some of the best-selling handmade items on Esty. Each owner creates a unique homemade item, and some even have the option of making their products completely customizable.

What You Need to Get Started

Crafting Supplies: You’ll need the materials required for creating your products, such as fabric, beads, tools, paint, etc., depending on what items you plan to make.

Online Store: Setting up an online store is crucial. This is where you'll showcase and sell your products. You can create an online shop on your website by connecting it to a platform like Wix or use platforms like Etsy, which have user-friendly interfaces that make it easy for crafters and artists to set up shop.

4. Online Tutoring and Courses

Share your knowledge with the world through online tutoring or creating digital courses. If you're an expert in academics, business, technology, art - you name it - platforms like Udemy allow you to teach your way to profit. This is a great small business idea from home for anyone who loves sharing knowledge and having the freedom to set their own schedule.

What You Need to Get Started

Expertise in a Subject: Whether it's academic subjects like math or science or specialized skills like digital marketing or cooking, a deep understanding of the subject you want to teach is essential.

Video Conferencing Tools: Use reliable platforms like Zoom, Google Meet, or Microsoft Teams for interactive sessions with your students. These should support screen sharing, recording, and managing groups.

Reliable Internet Connection: A stable and fast internet connection is necessary to ensure the smooth delivery of your lessons and courses without interruption.

Platforms for Hosting Courses

Teachable and Udemy are popular platforms for creating and selling courses. They provide tools for course building, student management, and sales tracking, making focusing on content creation and teaching easier.

Skillshare is an excellent platform for creative, business, and tech classes. It operates on a subscription model, where teachers earn money based on the number of minutes watched in their classes.

Online Course Success Story

Becca Luna started as a waitress, then worked as a virtual assistant and web designer, and now sells website templates. After two years of starting her small business from home, she hit her first $20,000 monthly. She now uses her website and social media platform to sell courses, teaching her followers how to start their own at-home businesses.

5. Voice-Over

For those with a great speaking voice or who have had people say they have the voice for radio, doing voice-over work for videos, podcasts, apps, and more can be a fun, flexible way to earn income from the comfort of your home.

A great speaking voice for voice-over work typically combines several key qualities:

  • Clear and easy to understand
  • Can change tone and speed depending on the project
  • Is easy on the ears and enjoyable to listen to for extended periods
  • Can express a wide range of emotions
  • Has good timing and rhythm

What You Need to Get Started

Quality Microphone and Audio Equipment: Investing in a professional-grade microphone and headphones will ensure high-quality audio recordings, which is necessary to be successful.

Soundproof Workspace: Create a quiet, soundproof area in your home to record without interruptions or background noise. This might involve some initial setup, such as acoustic panels or a dedicated recording booth.

Audio Editing Software: Learn how to use audio editing software such as Audacity or Adobe Audition to polish and fine-tune your recordings.

Voice Training: While not always necessary, voice coaching can help you improve your articulation, range, and performance.

How to Find Work

First, create a demo reel showcasing your voice range and abilities. Be sure to include samples highlighting different styles, such as narrative, commercial, character, and informative readings. Then, join freelance platforms like Voices.com, Upwork, and Fiverr to find a variety of voice-over jobs that will be perfect for you.

Voice Over Success Story

Sean began freelancing as a voiceover on Fiverr after graduating from college and realizing how much he loved being his own boss. After taking the leap and committing to doing voiceovers full-time, he quickly gained traction on Fiverr. He has now worked with companies such as NASA, Ford, United Airlines, SlimFast, Subaru, Toyota, and many more.

6. Print-on-Demand Store

Calling all t-shirt designers, artists, and creatives! ​​Starting a print-on-demand (POD) small business means you create designs that can be printed on products like shirts or mugs, and a third-party service prints and ships them as orders come in. You don't have to keep any inventory, which makes it a low-risk and cost-effective way to sell customized items online from the comfort of your home.

What You Need to Get Started

Creative Designs: Your designs are what will set your products apart. Focus on creating unique, appealing designs that resonate with your target market or take advantage of current trends.

Partnership with a POD Provider: Choose a reliable print-on-demand provider such as Printful, Teespring, or Redbubble that can handle the printing, payment, shipping, and customer service on your behalf.

Platforms for Selling

Platforms like Printful integrate with most e-commerce platforms, such as Shopify and Etsy, making it easy to sync your products and start selling quickly. You can add your shop to your website, making it easy for customers to shop and explore other information you have to offer.

Products You Can Sell

Print-on-demand providers have many different types of products available for you to customize and sell.

These items include:

  • T-Shirts
  • Sweatshirts
  • Phone cases
  • Custom hats
  • Posters

Like we mentioned above, there are many options available. To see some of Printful’s best selling print-on-demand products are, check out their article, 23 Bestselling Print-on-Demand Products.

Print-on-Demand Success Story

Dominic and Aleks began their Print-on-Demand business after running a successful meme page on social media. Their business, Dogecore, embodies the vibe of internet culture with a huge mix of humor. After designing their first t-shirt design on Microsoft Paint, the two entrepreneurs looked for a Print-on-demand supplier and quickly began designing products that include t-shirts, hoodies, hats, and more.

7. Start a Dropshipping Store

Dropshipping allows you to run an online store without ever stocking inventory yourself. When a customer purchases, your supplier, who manufactures the product, also handles shipping the product directly to your customers. The benefit of this is a super low-risk, flexible way to dip into e-commerce, and to have a profitable small business from home.

Essentials to Get Started:

E-commerce Platform: Select a reliable e-commerce platform that supports drop shipping. You can create your own website, such as Wix, and integrate platforms that streamline your operations.

Find Reliable Suppliers: Partner with dependable suppliers who can provide quality products and reliable shipping. Platforms like AliExpress and Spocket can help you find and manage these suppliers.

Dropshipping Success Story

Cole Turner made a remarkable journey from a curious teenager to a successful entrepreneur by diving into dropshipping at 18.

Within four years, he established an e-commerce store that generated over $2 million in sales from March 2019 to May 2020. Starting with a general store to test various products, Cole discovered a piece of jewelry that resonated with customers.

He honed his focus, revamped his store to concentrate on this single item, and aggressively promoted it through Facebook ads, resulting in $75,000 in sales before he passed on the successful shop to another e-commerce entrepreneur.

8. Consulting Services

If you're an experienced professional in your field, consider sharing your expertise as a consultant. Businesses seek knowledgeable advisors they can trust, from finance to marketing to operations. Best of all, you can start your consulting small business from home, keeping your overhead costs down.

What You Need to Get Started

Deep Industry Knowledge: You will be selling your expertise to your clients, so make sure you have extensive knowledge in the specific field you want to consult for.

Professional Network: A strong network of industry contacts can help you find clients, partnerships, and collaborative opportunities. It also serves as a platform for referrals and testimonials that can significantly enhance your credibility.

Effective Communication Skills: Clear communication is crucial to explaining complex ideas and conveying the value of your recommendations to clients.

Platforms for Networking and Visibility

LinkedIn is ideal for building professional relationships, showcasing your expertise through articles and posts, and connecting with potential clients. It also offers groups and forums where you can discuss industry topics and establish yourself as a thought leader.

You can link your website in the bio section of your profile to direct people to see more of what you can do to help them. Remember, your website is the modern-day business card that will help you get clients while you’re working at home.

Take a look at this list of LinkedIn post examples to get a little inspiration for your next post!

9. Affiliate Marketing

Do you love talking about and recommending your favorite products or services? With affiliate marketing, you can get paid by promoting company offers and earning commission on any sales you refer. This is a great small business idea for anyone who is already writing blogs or creating content on social media. Many followers want to have recommendations from people who they follow, so this is a great way to earn a commission.

What You Need to Get Started

Identify Your Niche: Focus on areas you are passionate about, whether that's tech, beauty, or fitness. This will make your recommendations more genuine and engaging.

Platform for Sharing: You’ll need a medium like a blog, YouTube channel, or social media profile to share your recommendations and post affiliate links. A website is a great way to keep your content all in one place, making it easier for potential customers to shop.

Where to Find Work

One of the most popular ways to become an affiliate marketer is to contact brands you would love to work for directly. Many brands have affiliate marketing partnership programs, and the good news is that you don’t have to have a ton of followers on social media to be considered!

Websites like ShareASale, Commission Junction, and Amazon Associates provide a list of brands that want someone to promote their products.

Affiliate Marketing Success Story

Nate O'Brien is a successful YouTuber with a channel with over 1.25 million subscribers. He offers valuable content for those looking to improve their financial situation and quality of life. On top of earning commission off of YouTube ads and sponsorships, Nate uses his YouTube channel and other social media platforms to promote his affiliate links and in 2020, he was named as one of the top nine Millennial Personal Finance YouTube channels by Forbes.

10. Digital Marketing Services

For those well-versed in SEO, social media, email marketing, and more, offering digital marketing services gives you the flexibility of freelancing with the potential for high income. Or, you could create your own digital marketing small business and sell digital templates.

What You Need to Get Started

Marketing Skills: You should have a solid understanding of various digital marketing tactics, including SEO (Search Engine Optimization), PPC (Pay-Per-Click advertising), content marketing, and social media strategies.

Analytical Tools: Knowledge of tools that analyze website traffic, consumer behavior, and campaign effectiveness is crucial. Platforms like Google Analytics, SEMrush, or Moz are invaluable for optimizing marketing strategies.

Platforms for Service Delivery and Visibility

Sites like Hootsuite and Cloud Campaign are great for managing multiple social media accounts, scheduling posts, tracking engagement, and analyzing the results of your campaigns.

Digital Marketing Success Story

Shruti Pangtey was given an ultimatum: switch roles or quit. So, she left and started her digital marketing business from home with $400 as her startup capital and started digital marketing products. 3.5 years later, she’s about to cross 1M in revenue. She now teaches courses to help others start their own digital marketing business, hosts a blog, and has been featured in an article in Forbes Australia.

How to Market Your Small Business from Home

Good marketing is vital to getting and keeping customers. Use different marketing methods to connect with your audience, such as social media, email, search engine optimization (SEO), and content creation. Make sure your marketing really speaks to what makes your business special and what your customers need.

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Check out our blog, How to Market Your Small Business and Reach Your Customers, to learn more about attracting customers to your business!

Make Sure You Have a Business Website

Having a website is essential for home-based businesses like dropshipping, virtual assisting, or online tutoring. It gives your business a professional look, makes it easy for customers to find you online, and lets you run your business around the clock.

A website is the central spot for all your marketing efforts, letting you control your brand and how you talk to customers. Plus, it helps with customer service—think FAQs and chat features—and for businesses that sell products, it handles everything from showcasing your products to making sales. In short, a website helps your small business reach more people and work more smoothly.

Do you need a website? LOGO.com offers a seamless website experience for your potential clients or customers to learn more about you.

Start Your Business and Begin Working from Home

The path to launching any of these ventures begins with careful planning, but the potential payoffs are huge—financial freedom, lifestyle flexibility, and the pride of running your own show.

So what are you waiting for? Take a closer look at the ideas that intrigue you most, and start turning your small business idea from home from a dream into reality today!

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