With businesses increasingly moving online, starting a home-based business is becoming more and more accessible. Whether you are looking to start a business as a side hustle or to replace your full-time job, there are thousands of ways to start a profitable business at home. So we found the top nineteen home business ideas to give you the inspiration you need to find a great idea for you and your skill set, interests and budget.

Here are 19 home business ideas to start.

1. Virtual Assistant Business

A virtual assistant (VA) helps other business owners and executives handle some of the tasks required in day-to-day operations. A virtual assistant business offers certain services to these executives for an hourly or package rate. Services might include blog writing, social media management, travel arrangements and appointment setting. To be an effective VA, you must be organized and have the skills to adequately meet your clients’ needs.

There are no upfront costs to starting a VA business. All you need is your computer and an internet connection. Many VAs get their first clients by joining popular social media small business groups and offering their services or through freelance marketplaces such as Upwork and Fiverr.


2. Recruiting Agency

A recruiting or staffing agency is responsible for sourcing great candidates for open positions at other companies. Because recruiting and human resources can be a very time-consuming and therefore costly process, many businesses are willing to pay recruiters who manage to find them the ideal candidate for their open roles. For this service, recruiters typically earn a commission anywhere from 10 to 20 percent of the candidate’s salary.

For example, a recruiter who successfully places a candidate into a position that pays $70,000 will earn a $7,000 commission if their rate was 10 percent. Alternatively, recruiters may get paid on a per-hour basis, where they are paid for each hour a placed candidate works (typically the case for short-term contracted positions).

While recruiting and staffing agencies were traditionally brick-and-mortar businesses, many agencies are now fully remote meaning that it’s entirely possible to start from the comfort of your home. To get started, you will need to learn the ins and outs of recruiting and be prepared to spend a lot of time cold calling and setting up email campaigns to recruit businesses as clients and job seekers as applicants.


3. Doggy Daycare

If you love animals and own a home with ample space, a good home business idea for you might be to start a doggy daycare business. On average, doggy daycares charge anywhere from $20 to $45 per day per dog. So, if you have the right space at home and a love for dogs, you could earn, say $100 per day by taking care of just four dogs at $25 per day.

On top of the daily daycare rates, many doggy daycare businesses earn revenue by offering add-on services, such as training, bathing or grooming. Depending on what you’re looking to do, it may be worth exploring relevant certifications and courses to help give you the credentials clients are looking for. Additionally, while it can be a low-cost home business idea, you may also want to consider potential costs such as fencing and home maintenance.

Like just about any home business, you’ll also want a website so that potential customers and clients can find your business online. Learn more about how to easily make a small business website with no web design experience.


4. Property Watch Service

If you live in an area where there are a number of vacation or second homes and you are well-versed in home services, you may want to consider starting a property watch business. Services vary by provider, however, many property watch businesses manage properties that are vacant, such as summer homes during the winter or while homeowners are away.

Though it is not entirely home-based, as you will need to check on homes to make sure they do not have any issues, such as frozen or leaky pipes or a security issue, it is a business that those with a knack for home maintenance and management can do largely from their home. This is because when an issue is found, the job involves delegating work to the right people, such as a plumber or electrician, making appointments and ensuring that any issues are resolved.


5. Airbnb Management Service

Similar to the property watch service, an Airbnb management service offers Airbnb owners with a fully managed service that handles everything from inquiries and bookings to check-in/out, home cleaning and reviews. Vacation rental management services are becoming increasingly popular as they give others the ability to own and rent out vacation homes without having to deal with the day-to-day operation of them.

Airbnb management services can earn an income in different ways, but the most common revenue model is through a commission on the total booking costs or a set monthly management fee. It’s not entirely home-based, but it does not require a commercial space and much of the work can be done from home–especially if properties offer self-check-in and you outsource cleaning to a professional service.


6. Print-on-Demand Business

A print-on-demand business usually involves T-shirts, hats, other apparel and home goods. As the business owner, you don’t need to carry inventory because the items are printed when the item is purchased. They are made to order, which saves you the hassle and cost of buying and storing items for sale.

Most successful print-on-demand businesses have a niche that they serve with logos and designs that are attractive to that niche. For example, if you are an avid cyclist, you might create apparel that is designed for the cycling community. Because there is no inventory, your initial costs are getting designs produced if you can’t do that yourself and having a website where people can buy your products.

For more information, check out these step-by-step instructions on how to start a print-on-demand t-shirt business.


7. Sell Online Classes

If you’re an expert at something, you may be able to create and teach an online course. This might be a marketing class or a yoga class. The course possibilities are endless. Those starting an online course should be an expert in that field with years of experience doing the thing they are teaching. However, you don’t need a special credential to teach an online class.

There are different ways to market the course. You can join online course communities such as Udemy or LinkedIn. Doing so lets you get the publicity and marketing from the platform but share in the revenue generated. Or you can set up a website just for your courses. This, of course, will cost you, but you then get 100% of the revenues generated.


8. Sell Homemade Products

Maybe you love to create unique soaps or have a recipe for a killer barbecue sauce. This might be your next business idea. Many business owners successfully turn a hobby into a business.

Keep in mind that there will be costs associated with your business as you will want to make products and have inventory to sell to consumers. The investment amount will vary depending on the costs of your products and how much inventory you want to keep. You may also want to create a website to market and sell your products.

One of the most popular platforms for those selling homemade products is Etsy. There, you can easily list your products for sale and connect with millions of online shoppers. Learn more about how to start an Etsy shop.


9. Buy Wholesale and Sell Online

Perhaps you traveled to an exotic location and became a fan of the spices used in local dishes. Or you find a niche of selling small instruments (ukulele) popular in some areas of the world. These are great ideas to buy items at wholesale prices and sell them online.

Keep in mind that when you buy wholesale, you need to have the space to store the inventory, plus you’re laying out a sizable amount of cash to purchase the products in the first place. So be sure to do a market analysis to be certain that consumers want what you are selling. Create an e-commerce website that facilitates the sales.

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10. Start a Dropshipping Store

The great thing about dropshipping is that you can sell just about anything and don’t need to buy the inventory to do so. In a dropshipping model, you find a wholesale distributor that will package and ship the product to your consumers upon sales confirmation. The product comes directly from the distributor; you serve merely as the marketer and service representative in these transactions.

Because there is no inventory, dropshipping businesses are generally considered a low-cost business to start. To start a dropshipping business, you will need to find a dropshipper that offers the products you want to sell at a price you can markup and make a profit off of, as well as a website where you can list your products, such as Shopify.

The leading dropshipping suppliers offer integrations so that when someone places an order from your site, it automatically fulfills your order and sends your customer the product they purchased. For more information, learn how to start a dropshipping business.


11. Web Design Agency

If you are creative and skilled in building websites, you may want to look into starting a web design or graphic design agency. Every day businesses look to web designers and graphic designers to help them create marketing materials and to create a professional presence online. It’s a home business idea that can be started with little money. All you need is an optimized website and exposure online, such as through Google My Business, Upwork or Fiverr.


12. Online Dating Coach

Many singles are sick of the online dating game. You can help these people find love by becoming an online dating consultant who gets paid by the hour or a flat fee. Your services might include fine-tuning dating profiles, getting the right pictures to get attention and even matchmaking services outside of online dating.

To be an online dating consultant, you must be a good communicator who loves people and is interested in making connections. While you don’t need a certification, it might help your marketing efforts if you get one. Consider the Hart Coaching Academy’s online dating coach certification as one possible credential.


13. Professional Consulting Services

Those who are experts in their field may want to consider a professional consulting business. There are all sorts of professional consulting services, covering a wide range of topics from restaurant consulting to legal consulting–not just business consulting, which is the most well-known area of consulting. So no matter what your background is, if you have a depth of knowledge, it may be possible to start a home-based business helping others who are new to your field gain an advantage and progress their career or business.


14. Start a Subscription Service

Everything from food to razors has become an opportunity for someone to market a subscription service. You can jump into this growing industry. Choose a subscription box niche and put together some samples to get photos of and market.

Depending on the type of subscription you sell, you’ll likely need to keep some things on hand as inventory. However, if you are creating something such as a food subscription service, then you can buy the ingredients as the subscriptions come in to reduce your overhead. Make sure you have the space to organize and compile the boxes and prepare them for shipment.


15. Online Tutoring Business

If you’re a subject matter expert and have a knack for explaining things to others, consider a career in tutoring. You can make upwards of $80 an hour by helping high school and college students through their coursework. There are sites that you can sign up on, such as BuffTutor, that will help you market your services, or you can set up a website and source your own clients.

Either way, the startup costs are low, though you may want to invest in some textbooks that will help you with explanations and problems to give to your students as well as one of the best video conference software systems to facilitate tutoring online. You may also want to invest in online teaching programs such as Canvas or Blackboard to help you work with students remotely.


16. Professional Photography

If you have an eye for composition and the ability to get the best pictures out of people, you might consider a photography business. You can be a niche photographer, focusing on weddings or special events, corporate headshots, real estate or family photos. It’s up to you and your skill set as to the types of images you capture.

To become a photographer, you’ll need to invest the time into learning professional photography, honing your skills and building a portfolio to showcase your work. Additionally, you’ll need a quality camera with the right lens attachments, lights and filters. You’ll also need to get a good digital software editing program to help you fine-tune the images once you capture them. You may also want to have a website that shows your portfolio and helps you get new clients.

For more information, check out our article on how to start a photography business.


17. College Advisor

For some, getting into the right college is the first step to career success. Many parents will spend a lot of money to help their children get into the best schools. As a college consultant, you help assess what the options are for a student, help prepare students for tests, advise on school essays and assist with financial aid.

There is no certification required to become a college consultant, though you should be well-versed in navigating the financial aid and scholarship avenues for students. Some certifications will help you market yourself better, such as the College Consultant Certification from Heartland Institute.


18. Professional Translation Services

More and more businesses need to translate content into other languages to access certain demographics of customers. If you know multiple languages and are fluent in conversational and professional tones, you could start a business as a translator.

You don’t need any certifications or educational experience to become a translator. Instead, you need to be well-versed so that you can translate a variety of content subjects.


19. Cyber Security Consultant

Cybersecurity is important for all businesses because getting hacked is costly and can bankrupt a small business. A cybersecurity consultant will look at a company’s risk profile and help find solutions to prevent hackers from getting in. The consultant tests programs, conducts software backups and establishes firewalls and encryption services so that companies can rest assured that they are prepared to thwart possible attacks.

You’ll want to have a degree in technology and certain certifications that are necessary for training as well as providing the credentials clients want. Many colleges and universities have certification programs that specialize in cybersecurity protocols.

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Bottom Line

If you are ready to start a business at home, this list will help give you some ideas for easy-to-start businesses. Most don’t require a degree or any specialized training. Find something you love to do and turn it into a profitable business.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do I need to register a home-based business?

If you plan to incorporate your business or establish a limited liability company (LLC), you will need to register the business with the Secretary of State. This is where new business entities get permission to conduct business in the state. Learn how to start an LLC.

How much does it cost to start a home-based business?

The costs of starting a home-based business range from nothing to several thousand dollars. It depends on what you are offering as a product or service. For example, a freelance writer only needs a computer, while someone selling candles needs to have inventory.

Do I need money to start a home-based business?

Many home-based businesses don’t require any startup costs. You can use your existing computer to do the work and market your services. Examples are virtual assistants, writers, bookkeepers and tutors.

What is the most profitable type of business?

There is no one answer to this question because the most profitable type of business will vary depending on a number of factors, such as your industry, location, target market and business model. However, some businesses tend to be more profitable than others, such as luxury goods, high-end services, business-to-business companies and subscription-based businesses. If you’re not sure what type of business to start, consider your strengths and interests, as well as the needs of your target market, to help you choose a profitable business idea.