Many people are considering starting their own business due to work-from-home arrangements and changes to traditional business models. If you enjoy the convenience of remote work and are interested in starting a full-time business or even a part-time one — for example, as a side hustle to earn extra money — there are plenty of opportunities at home.
Whether it's joining the growing ranks of freelancers, doing online tutoring, or creating an e-commerce store, here are some of the best business ideas for stay-at-home opportunities.
Before Starting Your Home-Based Business
Technology has made it easier than ever to start and run successful businesses at home. Modern tools provide the flexibility and power to operate home offices efficiently, enabling you to have a big work presence with low startup costs, investing in equipment that includes:
- Computer: Whether it's a laptop or desktop computer, its power and configuration all depend on your needs. If you are in a creative field, such as design or music, you might also consider a full-featured tablet.
- Monitor: With a laptop, you may not need a monitor. However, if you stare at the screen a lot, using a large monitor can help prevent eye strain. A large monitor might help some professions that need to see large-screen images of work, such as animators and architects.
- Software: You should have the latest version of software essential to your business, whether it's a suite of office programs, accounting software for bookkeeping, or graphics software for creative applications.
- High-speed internet connection: This is table stakes for any new business, allowing fast downloads and uploads and enabling lag-free video conferences.
- Phone system: If you spend a lot of time in your home office on the phone, you might want a full-featured phone system and perhaps earphones to focus on conversations. Many small business owners, especially if they travel a lot, prefer to use smartphones as a central feature of their mobile offices.
- Multifunction printer: As much as things are going online, it's also good to be able to print hard copies (e.g., for legal contracts or to provide a client with proofs that are easier to read than a screen version).
Beyond that, your home-based small business will require office furniture, including a desk, an ergonomic chair, storage space, and good lighting.
7 Home-Based Small Business Opportunities
When considering which great home business ideas you want to pursue, look at what experience and know-how you already have to see if you can leverage them for your new career. If not, there are usually a lot of online courses and resources to become educated in almost any online job field and to draw up a business plan. Once you learn, it's time to earn money.
Can you string words together into a compelling sentence? Can you take an assignment and turn it into prose that engages target audiences and provides tangible results for clients? A life as a freelance writer might be for you. The online universe provides plenty of opportunities for freelance writing.
You can help clients by writing blog posts, website copy, email campaigns, branded content, and much more. You can work for businesses directly or through content marketing companies and search engine optimization (SEO) agencies.
Social Media Marketing
Social media is a fast-changing business. Many companies, especially small and medium businesses (SMBs), have a hard time keeping up or just don't have the manpower to have someone devoted to maintaining their social media channels. They need a social media marketer like you.
To become a social media marketer, it helps to have a strong social media presence with a lot of engaged followers, as well as a track record doing social media work for clients, with metrics to prove the benefits you provided.
You should be well-versed in social media marketing strategies, knowing how to increase brand awareness, generate leads, create conversions, and build customer relationships.
With the growing power and reach of the internet, it makes sense that web designers would be in demand. Web designers combine creative, commerce, and technical skills to build websites and webpages that are aesthetically pleasing, easy to navigate, and achieve specific business and performance goals.
Some of the skills the job requires include:
- Graphic design
- User experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design
- Digital marketing
- Design related to web conversion
- Managing and maintaining online presences
Some web designers will add coding skills to their repertoire, especially for front-end development, and become web developers.
With online learning becoming a necessity for many schools, the need for online tutoring has grown in response. Kids may need help finishing homework and learning difficult subjects. Older students may also require assistance in staying focused and preparing for entrance exams to colleges.
If you have experience and training as an educator, online tutoring could be a natural step for you. Your experience, education level, certification level, and content area will determine how much you can charge.
You can find clients by exploring your professional networks, approaching specific schools with your services, or working through an online tutoring service that matches qualified tutors with students who need help in specific areas.
Create an E-Commerce Store
Many businesses offer their products and services through e-commerce stores. These online stores let customers check out inventory, ask questions that you can answer through live agents or automatic chatbots, and make orders for delivery or pickup, with a variety of ways to make online payments.
Starting an e-commerce store doesn't need to be difficult. E-commerce platforms and shopping sites, such as Shopify, eBay, and BigCommerce, have template-driven designs that enable you to create branded storefronts quickly so you can establish your online selling presence and get to work.
Start a Blog
Blogging can be a good way to start a small home business, offering a chance to earn passive income. Of course, a successful blogger doesn't just write anything they want and hope they'll get an audience and income. You need to have a sound blogging strategy, which 55% of marketers claim is their top inbound marketing priority. In fact, marketers who implement blogs are more likely to see a positive return on investment (ROI) than those who don't.
To start, you need to define your blog's focus and purpose, ensuring that it will have a strong appeal to your target market, align with your business interests, and be broad enough to accommodate different articles. Once a blog is launched, best practices include consistently writing to a defined buyer's persona, monitoring what competitors are up to, doing SEO and keyword research, and deciding how you will promote your blog and distribute its content.
Online Business Consultant
If you have the right experience, you can help other businesses through your consulting or coaching services. What area do you have special expertise in? Are you prepared to serve in roles as a problem-solver, growth catalyst, working team member, new business adviser, or instructor?
Business consultants are in demand in fields that include advertising, auditing, career counseling, communications, computer programming, marketing, payroll management, publishing, taxes, and more.
Starting a consulting business usually involves choosing a target market, identifying specific problems that you can help them solve, testing the idea with some short, free consultations, and then determining the best ways to reach potential clients.
Other Potentially Profitable Business Ideas
The above is only the tip of the iceberg. You can have a successful home business for almost anything, including for services as a virtual assistant, affiliate marketing, personal training, real estate sales, and even businesses for pet sitting, dog walking, designing T-shirts, personal training, and house cleaning.
No matter which type of business you choose, you should be prepared to do a lot of work and have a strong marketing plan in place. This can include word-of-mouth referrals, an SEO plan, advertising, social media boosts, or other means of promotion.
Manage Your Own Home-Based Small Business Finances With Skynova
Starting your own home-based small business takes discipline and organization. It's also important to have the support of a service like Skynova, dedicated to helping manage your finances and billing so you get paid faster, creating a strong cash flow that will help you survive and grow.
Among our online products aimed at small businesses is our accounting software, which will help you easily record and track your expenses and payments so you can always see your big financial picture and have your records in good order during tax time. You can also generate customized invoices that are sent with a few keystrokes, letting you know when they are opened and read.
Launching a new online business can be an exciting but daunting prospect. Skynova can give you the backup you need so that you can focus on standing out from the crowd.
Notice to the Reader
The content within this article is meant to be used as general guidelines and may not apply to your specific situation. Always consult with the appropriate professionals to ensure that your proposed small business meets all necessary legal and financial requirements.