What are some of the best home-based business ideas in 2019? Depending on your skills, experience and level of expertise, the answer might be obvious or unclear. Your options are near limitless, from virtual consulting to educational services that open your home office to inquisitive minds.
How do you get started with a home-based business of your own? To help expedite your entrepreneurial journey, we compiled a list of some of the most successful home-based businesses available today.
20 Home-Based Business Opportunities with Low Startup Costs
Starting a successful home-based business begins with finding something in your sweet spot—a passion combined with an area of professional experience and expertise. With so many options available to American entrepreneurs, we’ve put together an expansive and wide-ranging list of home-based business ideas you can establish with minimal startup costs.
If you have a way with words, there are plenty of opportunities for you to work from home without needing to deal with significant overhead.
The internet, if you haven’t heard, is a massive place with an infinite appetite for information. While video demand and production has increased over the past 5 years, blogging still remains the king of the content landscape. To get started, all you need is a place to share your work (like a personal or client website), word processing software and a topic that provides real value to the audience you’re writing for.
Influential speakers and time-strapped executives have a lot to share—but they also have a lot on their plate. While they may want to keep a consistent blogging schedule for their company or be able to contribute to high-profile publications, their schedules or abilities may not allow them to do so. This is where ghostwriters come in.
As a ghostwriter, you’ll be the conduit to folks who want to share their thoughts, opinions or findings but may not have the time to dedicate to actually doing the work of getting it on paper. It’s a special skill to be able to write in another person’s voice and tone, which makes this a potentially lucrative home-based business.
When’s the last time you found yourself doubling back to look at an advertisement on the subway or on your phone? The visual may have grabbed your attention but the words brought you back. Whether it’s for a national ad campaign or simply getting someone to take action from a chalk sign on the street, copywriting is a skill that can be done from the comfort of your home office and applied to thousands of things businesses can put to great use.
Copywriting is different than blogging, however. Plenty of great writers struggle to produce copy convincing enough to drive consumers to take a desired action, further proving the special skill and detail it requires to succeed in this business discipline.
Authoring a book in today’s world is easier than ever. Sure, there’s still plenty of hard work involved, but the barrier to entry has been diminished in recent years. With hundreds of options to publish and distribute your book—from traditional publishers to new self-publishing platforms—achieving your dreams from home can be achieved in only a few clicks.
Editing is an essential part of the content creation process that can often be overlooked. Being an editor-for-hire is a business service that is beyond valuable. Editors are instrumental in shaping the overall voice, intent and composition of a piece, helping a team of writers get to the heart of the ideas. Just like blogging, the only tools you’ll need is access to the proper software, a handy reference guide for whatever writing style format you’re following and a steady stream of clients.
With the sheer volume of multimedia content created today, there’s a need for these compositions to be transcribed. These transcriptions can be used for closed captions, show notes, pull quotes and even blog posts that accompany the original material. It should be noted, however, that transcription services reside in a very competitive industry, earning roughly $1/minute of content time. That being said, if you’re a quick and accurate typist, transcribing could be an excellent home-based business for you.
Many people understand the type of art and design they like but don’t have the skills or tools to do it themselves—and that’s where you come in.
Web and Graphic Design
Humans process visual media 60,000 times faster than they do the written word, underscoring the importance of a graphic designer’s work. Graphic and web design helps businesses communicate exactly what they want and need to get across to their audience. From logos and corporate brand identity to billboards and everything in between, graphic and web designers can (and do) just about anything.
While graphic and web designers are instrumental in getting the message across, the work done by user experience designers is crucial for getting users to interact with a website, mobile app or other software properly. Addressing the needs of a user involves a careful mix of visual design and computer coding. UX designers do require a lot of training and intuitive understanding of a user’s needs, but can easily be done from a home office.
Much like UX designers, the goal of interior designers is to improve not only how a person uses a particular space, but how efficient and enjoyable a space can be. Interior designers are responsible for the entire environment of a space, including its functionality, look and feel and overall safety. HGTV shows may only show the highlights of color selections and furniture choices, but every element of a building or room is considered by an interior designer.
The power of the spoken word is remarkable. If you’re able to paint a picture using nothing but words, song or other synthetic or organic noises, starting an audio business could be a great idea for you.
According to 2019’s Infinite Dial Study by Edison Research and Triton Digital, the total number of Americans over the age of 12 who’ve listened to a podcast is more than 50 percent of the population. That’s a lot of people. With so many folks listening to podcasts, clearly, there is an opportunity for you to do one of your own. Sure, there are plenty of shows that have a head start, but all you need to start one of your own is a quality microphone, a distribution plan and an excellent topic that will attract and engage a small niche of the American (or International) market.
Voice Over Work
Have people ever asked you if you had aspirations of being a radio broadcaster? If so, they’re saying you have a great voice—you should take it as a compliment. Voice over work isn’t strictly for voice acting (though that, too, would be a great home-based business opportunity) and audiobook narration. Beyond finding work in animated movies, there are plenty of local businesses looking for talented voice over professionals to bring their advertisements and marketing messages to life. VO performance is representative of a wide-ranging group of work covering many industries and mediums.
There’s too much to learn in this world to ever stop learning, which means there’s always a need for great teachers, even when they’re out of the classroom.
Regardless of their age, students of all ability levels need some extra help every now and then. Educators with a desire to help their pupils “off the clock” can establish a solid business for themselves. While you’ll certainly need the proper prerequisites to tutor, the costs to get started are quite low, requiring only the knowledge of a specific subject and the time and materials to do so.
Just as we see with tutoring, there are plenty of life-long learners who are interested in expanding their lives through education. Today, there are a plethora of online-learning platforms offering classes that can be taught by experts in nearly any field. If you’re able to teach someone how to skateboard using the halfpipe you’ve built in your backyard and the curb on your street, there’s an audience that’s interested in learning how to improve by watching an expert.
It’s common for many school-aged children to learn an instrument, though not everyone is skilled enough to practice on their own. Even for those performers who’ve long since graduated, there’s value in learning new techniques.For each lesson, students can bring their own instruments into your home, making the burden of establishing a business much lighter.
In an ever-connected and measured world, it’s remarkable just how much marketing can be done from your home office.
Social Media Marketing
Social media quickly went from an interesting little side project for many large-scale corporations to business necessity. With more than a decade of exposure to the general public, businesses need help establishing the best strategies and tactics to help them find and nurture their ideal audiences and consumers. From community management to Facebook advertising, much of the execution of social media can be done from home, whether it’s for your own company or a collection of clients.
Search Engine Marketing
Much like social media, search engine marketing is now a staple in the majority of marketing and advertising programs. Using programs through Bing and Google, businesses are able to reach visitors who’re searching specifically for whatever products or services they offer. However, learning these tools takes time, meaning that there’s a large opportunity for home-based businesses to help companies looking to take advantage of these capabilities through a third-party resource.
People are much more likely to believe someone who they perceive to be like them—meaning that the ratings and reviews of strangers end up holding the same weight as the opinions of family and friends. Knowing this, companies have turned to influencers with large, sometimes niche audiences who’ve earned the trust of their fans.
If you’re looking for some truly passive income, affiliate sales could be right up your alley. Affiliate sales are links placed on your own web properties (website, social media, email newsletters, etc.) that link directly to a sale page for another company’s product or service. For every conversion you generate, you receive a portion of the revenue. Of course, you’ll need to disclose your relationship with the company, but this is a terrific way to generate income from the comfort of your home office.
To give you an idea of just how much potential data there is to process for prospective clients, consider the fact that between 2011 and 2018, the total number of Internet users doubled. There is so much information floating around in every business that most don’t understand how to tap into its potential, let alone know where to begin. If you’re the type of professional who’s able to parse through spreadsheets like a hot knife through butter, there are plenty of companies who’ll gladly pay you to help them unlock some potentially lucrative insights.
Similar to the wide-scale success of podcasts, YouTube has experienced another surge in popularity of late. Thanks to its status as the world’s second-largest search engine, combined with Google’s powerful advertising platform, there’s plenty of opportunity for your home-based business to find a worthwhile niche. High-quality content, along with a professional-level camera and microphone, focused to a specific audience is your best shot at making a YouTube-based business successful.
Final Thoughts on Home-Based Business Opportunities
As long as your business idea can function out of your home without impeding the success of your organization, nearly any industry can be a fruitful endeavor. Companies that operate from a home office are just as legitimate as those working from a skyscraper in Manhattan. You’ll need to, of course, work hard to be as well-known as some of these companies, but the opportunity to build a profitable business is quite strong.