Ready to make a move and be your own boss, but not ready to deal with hassles like leasing an office and managing a storefront? There are plenty of home business opportunities where you can start small, invest conservatively, and grow nimbly.
It can seem daunting, but it gets easier to choose a business once you answer some basic questions. Do you want to provide a service or sell physical or digital products? Do you have some capital to invest upfront, or would you like to get started with little investment?
In this article, you’ll learn 10 businesses you can start from home—and you’ll get a better idea of what works best for you.
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List of 10 profitable home-based business opportunities
1. Start a print-on-demand business
Love the idea of selling products but don’t have enough space to store inventory? Consider print on demand, a business model that lets you create and sell products without carrying any stock.
Print-on-demand companies allow you to add your own customizations to pre-existing products. These items are created by a third-party vendor and shipped to your customers directly, reducing the need for storage.
Most POD companies allow you to be as creative as you like with a wide range of products, including blankets, backpacks, hats, and t-shirts. You can also choose between creating your own designs or purchasing graphics from freelancers. From vegans to gamers to jewelry enthusiasts, there are plenty of passionate communities you can target with your new business.
2. Launch a dropshipping store
Dropshipping works similarly to print on demand—a third party develops, stores, and ships products on your behalf, leaving branding and product marketing as your chief responsibilities. However, competition is often high because anyone can launch a dropshipping store, regardless of their creativity level.
Still, there are ways you can stand out in the marketplace:
- Compete through upgrades and customer service, delivering value beyond your products.
- Target a new audience with the same products (e.g., dog collars can be marketed to pet groomers or walkers).
- Curate products from niche suppliers to build a store that serves a unique market.
- Sell in an underserved region of the world (while being mindful of your shipping costs).
3. Start a beauty business
The health and beauty industry always provides new opportunities to aspiring business owners. As an ecommerce home business, the more variety of products you can offer, the better. Some of the most popular beauty items on the market today include:
- Personal care items
- At-home spa rituals
- Beauty gadgets (think smart mirrors and massage guns)
You can create your own products at home or purchase white-labeled items from vendors and add your branding. Remember, though, that making certain items at home will require you to acquire health and safety certifications.
4. Become a virtual event planner
The pandemic has prompted a significant shift in the way people organize and manage events. Essentially, they now prefer to host meetings, trade shows, and other events online rather than in person.
But not everyone has the time or resources to plan these events independently, meaning there’s an opportunity for you to offer virtual event planning services. All you need is a laptop or smartphone with an internet connection to start arranging events.
Virtual event planning can include organizing entertainment, speeches, and other components of corporate conferences, trade shows, fundraisers, and virtual parties. You can work on a freelance basis and leverage virtual event platforms like Whova, Hopin, and Cvent. It’s also worth developing your social media skills, so you can help to promote the events you create.
5. Sell NFTs
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are lucrative digital assets you can create and sell from home. To get started, learn about the minting process first. You also need to have artistic skills or partner with someone who does. That way, you can confidently design NFTs that appeal to an audience.
Plenty of artists have found success selling NFTS they created at home. One example is the Brooklyn-based artist Blake Jamieson, who earned $46,000 selling his own artwork as NFTs. Many others, too, have managed to make money selling their work as NFTs.
To find buyers for your NFTs, create an account on marketplaces like SuperRare, OpenSea, Foundation, and Rarible. Additionally, build a presence on social platforms where NFT enthusiasts gather—connecting with like-minded collectors and buyers is key to consistent sales.
6. Offer a subscription box
The growth of online subscription services has led to the creation of new D2C (direct-to-consumer) brands targeting this niche. You can start your own D2C subscription box brand, which shouldn't be a hassle if you already run an ecommerce business at home.
Consider bundling surplus items into subscription boxes to sell through your ecommerce site. With this approach, you can generate income from what would otherwise be dead stock. Major brands like Walmart and Sephora leverage this tactic to profit from extra inventory.
Note: Subscription boxes don’t always have to be about selling. You can start a subscription box company where you let people rent products for a specific period. The clothing brand Haverdash does this, renting clothes to customers who return them after they’ve used the item.
7. Provide dog-grooming services
The dog-grooming market is worth over $10 billion, and demand is constantly increasing. If you have the skills to enhance a dog’s physical appearance, consider starting a dog-grooming business.
With this option, you can either go the service route and focus on grooming or choose the retail route and sell dog-grooming products from your home. There’s also the option to create a portable grooming business, where you visit your clients’ houses to pamper their pets.
To onboard your first few clients, consider pricing your services at a lower rate than your competitors. Additionally, you can offer something complimentary in exchange for testimonials and word-of-mouth marketing.
8. Start a day care center
In today’s fast-paced world, parents and guardians are always on the hunt for reliable, trustworthy sources of day care. If you’re good with children, you can consider opening your own day care business.
Getting involved with the day care market will require you to seek the right licensing and credentials from your local government. Make sure you’re up to date with mandatory background checks and undergo health and safety training.
You’lll also want to look up the local state requirements for running a day care (Google’s got your back). Do your best to comply so you can protect your reputation and avoid getting shut down.
9. Become a social media manager
Social media is among the most valuable tools any business has at its disposal. With the right social campaigns, companies can connect with their customers on an emotional level and increase sales. However, not every business has time to plan its social media strategy.
A social media manager helps organize campaigns and ads and ensures each promotion targets the correct audience. In this role, you’ll need to be comfortable with social media management tools like Buffer and Hootsuite, as well as various social channels.
As a social media manager, you’ll need to be committed to building relationships with clients and advertising your personal brand. Gathering positive reviews and feedback from every business you work with will help you to attract more customers later.
10. Start a photography business
Know how to take good photos? If your answer is yes, consider selling photography by either submitting images on stock photo websites or opening your own storefront.
With a storefront, you also need to know how to develop your own brand, market yourself, and pick a photography niche. This guide offers in-depth insight on how you can sell photos online, regardless of your entrepreneurial experience.
Choosing a photography niche is where you’ll want to get creative. For example, if you choose to focus on product photography, you can limit the kind of products a client can hire you to shoot (only gadgets and tech products, for instance).
All that’s left is to take the first step
There’s a lot to consider, but every idea is 100% doable if you take it step by step. Start by pulling out the ideas that you like most from our list. Then, do a bit of research on your next steps and considerations. After that, all that’s left is to take the plunge into being a business owner.
Home business ideas FAQ
How do I start a home business?
- Think of a business idea.
- Create a business plan.
- Apply for licenses and permits.
- Open a business bank account.
- Start offering your products or services.
What businesses can I start from home?
- Dropshipping store
- Print-on-demand business
- Beauty business
- Subscription box business
- Dog-grooming business
- Day care business
- Photography business
- Virtual event planning business
What home business is good for beginners?
- Print on demand
- Selling NFTs
- Homemade products
- Offering social media services
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