When it comes to home business ideas, your options are seemingly limitless, from virtual consulting to educational services to freelance writing and design work.
Even before the COVID-19 outbreak of 2020 made virtual/home-based work a necessity for many people in the U.S. workforce, working from home was on the rise. According to an analysis by FlexJobs and Global Workplace Analytics, remote work increased by 7.9% from 2016 to 2017, and it had grown 91% since 2007. About 55% of corporate executives surveyed by PwC anticipate offering home based work options after the pandemic threat has ended.
Looking for successful home business ideas? We compiled a list of the top 17 home business ideas.
17 Home Business Ideas with Low Startup Costs
When you’re aiming to create a profitable home-based business, it’s key to find a project that’s not only a passion, but is something that’s combined with an area of professional experience and expertise.
If you have a way with words, there are plenty of freelance opportunities to explore. And fortunately, writing is one of many home business ideas with low startup costs. You don’t need a lot of capital to start building your book of clients.
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 (such as a personal or client website), word processing software and a topic that provides real value to target audiences.
Some influential speakers or corporate executives want to share their thoughts, opinions or findings but might not have the time to consistently blog for their companies or contribute articles to high-profile publications. This is where ghostwriters come in.
It’s a special skill to be able to write in another person’s voice and tone, which makes this one of the more potentially profitable home businesses.
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 businesses’ various advertising and marketing campaigns.
Copywriting is different from blogging, however. It takes special skills to produce copy convincing enough to drive consumers to take a desired action
4. Technical Writing
Technical writers rewrite complicated information and concepts from various science and technology fields so they can be shared and understood by a lay audience. Examples of technical writing include instruction and policy manuals and analysis reports. When thinking of the best home based business ideas, technical writing should be among them. Throughout the next 9 years the jobs in this field are expected to grow by 7%—which is faster than average—according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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, overhead costs are relatively low for this home business idea. Your primary tools are access to the proper software for your clients and a knowledge of various writing styles, including AP, APA and Chicago Manual.
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. However, if you’re a quick and accurate typist, transcribing could be one of the better home based business ideas.
If you have artistic and graphic design skills, keep them in mind as you consider home business ideas. Many business owners understand the importance of great design in their branding and/or publications, but might not have the in-house talent to handle these projects.
7. 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. From logos and corporate brand identity to websites and billboards and everything in between, graphic and web designers play huge roles in a company’s overall image and messaging.
8. User Experience (UX)
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.
9. Interior Designers
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.
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 one of the great home business ideas for you.
10. Audio Engineering
With a quality microphone and computer and good editing software, it’s increasingly easy for home businesses to handle audio recording and editing. If you have sound editing skills and equipment, you could find home-based work editing, mixing and mastering audio recordings for podcasters or other content creators.
11. Voice Over Work
If you have a pleasant speaking voice and excellent diction, voice over (VO) work is a home business idea to consider. Voice over work isn’t strictly for voice acting 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.
Learning is a lifelong endeavor, and people of all ages will need educational enrichment or want to acquire new skills. There’s always a need for great teachers, even when they’re outside of a traditional classroom.
Students of all ability levels might need extra help every now and then. Educators and non-educators with a desire to help pupils “off the clock” can make this solid home business idea a reality .
In the wake of COVID-19 and its impact on schools, tutoring is one of the most successful home based businesses available today, with some students needing supplemental help as they grapple with the challenges of distance learning.
13. Music Lessons
If you’re skilled at playing one or more instruments, becoming a music teacher is one of the profitable home business ideas to explore. Your potential pool of students could be quite sizable, spanning age groups and ability levels, and some of them will take years of lessons with you. This is also one of the home business ideas with low startup costs because you won’t be paying for studio space and students can bring their own instruments into your home.
Marketing is a key ingredient to a business’s success and growth. However, some small- to mid-sized businesses might not have enough internal resources to devote to every aspect of marketing. This makes marketing services one of the solid home business ideas.
14. Social Media Marketing
Social media quickly went from an interesting little side project to a business necessity. From community management to Facebook advertising to influencer marketing, there are myriad angles for a social media marketer to tackle. Companies of all sizes need help establishing the best strategies and tactics to help them find and nurture their ideal audiences and consumers. Social media platforms can be accessed anywhere, so as long as you can regularly communicate with clients, you can easily execute your strategies from a home office.
15. Search Engine Marketing
Much like social media, search engine marketing is now a staple in the majority of marketing and advertising programs. Using paid advertising through Bing and Google, businesses are able to reach visitors who are searching specifically for whatever products or services a business offers. However, learning these tools and strategies takes time, meaning that there’s a large opportunity for home-based businesses to help companies that want to take advantage of this opportunity, but don’t have the time or personnel to devote to it.
16. Affiliate Sales
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.
17. Data Analysis
Collecting and interpreting data to help guide a business’s future decisions is an invaluable service. Thanks to the rise of technology, there are multiple resources a person can access to analyze consumer behavior, making information collection less proprietary and thus a strong home business idea. There are plenty of companies who’ll gladly pay you to help them unlock some potentially lucrative insights.