In times of economic instability, entrepreneurship always increases. Businesses that can be run from home, without a lot of startup costs, are ideal when people are trying to make ends meet with self-employment income.
For those who are home with children, between jobs, or looking to bring in a little extra income in their off hours, these sorts of home businesses may be the perfect blend between income and responsibility.
These 10 ideas may spark a creative possibility for your own home business. Many of these home-based business ideas can be kick-started with minimal investment, but don’t overlook the potential of small business loans and grants to scale your operations.
1. Freelance Writing
If you were a good writer in college or high school, and have a good laptop and Internet connection, you can start a business as a freelance writer. Don’t expect to get paid a lot immediately, and understand that the higher paid work is often in more technical writing – press releases and white papers, for example, although there are more and more jobs ghostwriting different types of romance.
2. Fixing and Reselling Broken Phones
When you cruise classified ads, you can often see people selling off their old phones that are damaged or heavily used for not much money. Buy them, refurbish them, and then resell them, to bring in a little extra cash.
There are tutorials online to show how to replace screens, correct many internal errors and fix cosmetic problems.
3. College and Financial Aid Application Consultant
If you are familiar with the processes of applying to college and financial aid, helping prospective students navigate the confusing labyrinth of paperwork can be very satisfying. It can feel especially good to work with first-generation college students, who may lack family resources to help them understand what to do at different steps.
4. Herbal Gardening
If you want to make money gardening, herbal and flower gardening is where it’s at. With the number of people who are making their own soaps, lip balms, teas, and herbal preparations, having local organic sources for their products is a boon to their own businesses. Herbs are hardy, and easier to grow than many vegetables, making them ideal for gardeners with less free time.
5. Graphic Design
If you have a good eye for design elements and color interactions, and are familiar with programs like Photoshop and Adobe, graphic design can be a great way to make extra money on the side. Websites like Fiverr and Upwork help freelancers connect with clients and build companies.
6. House Cleaning
Everyone hates having a dirty home, but no one has as much time to clean as they want to, especially in a busy world where people are struggling to make ends meet. By setting up a business that cleans homes, you are filling an important need in your community.
Expect to show insurance in case something in the home is broken or damaged.
7. Mobile Spa
Mobile spas bring the relaxation to people who can’t get to a traditional spa for whatever reason. This might be elderly patients in a nursing home, someone with disabilities living at home, or a high powered office worker who doesn’t have time for a full spa trip. Put together a website and start marketing your services in your preferred niche.
8. Paper Shredding Services
Even though huge swaths of data are now stored on the cloud, many offices still run on paper. Much of that paper contains confidential data that needs to be destroyed. Paper shredding companies pick up the sensitive documents on a regular basis and destroy them for the company. They might also destroy hard drives and CDs that contained information.
Many small businesses don’t want to manage their own income and expense paperwork, but can’t afford to hire a full time bookkeeper or accountant. Freelance bookkeepers fill the gap by helping companies manage their accounts for less than they’d pay to a full time person. Twenty years ago, this meant picking up a pile of receipts at an office and heading home; with cloud computing, this is much simpler and more rewarding.
10. Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistants are much like personal assistants; they take care of a great deal of detail work for executives or CEOs that can’t get everything done on their own. The virtual refers to working through the Internet. Several companies exist which hire VAs to partner with interested CEOs and executives. Check out freelancing websites to find more information on how to get started in this growing field.
For the cost of a laptop, a basic website, and some time, you can be in business. None of these careers really have the earning potential of the CEO of a startup tech company in Silicon Valley, but they also don’t have the hours or dollars commitment that certain high powered startups do.