Working from home is appealing for a lot of reasons, and there’s certainly not a shortage of home based business ideas to choose from.
Whether working from home will work for you is a huge consideration, of course, and coming up with business ideas that are actually viable will make or break the work from home idea altogether.
Lucky for you, that’s what this post is all about: how to make money with a home business on a part time or full time basis.
That’s the beauty of running your own business: ideas you can start at home or online are under your full control.
What’s working from home like?
When you consider running a business from home, take care to consider these questions:
- Can you focus at home, or will you be distracted by household chores?
- Will you have certain hours you can be at home by yourself so you’re not distracted by family or roommates?
- If there a space in your home you can see yourself running a business out of?
- Can you get the buy-in you need from your family or roommates to work from home?
- If you stay at home for your business, will that make you stir crazy or anxious?
- Can you get behind working from home?
Many of these questions might seem obvious, but they’re all important to consider when you’re looking at whether your home based business idea can be successful… at home.
Running a business at home: An exercise
Take care to consider what running a business from home will actually look like for you.
A great exercise is actually visualizing and writing it down.
When I am running a business from home (online), I get up and then…
Create an actual narrative, and walk through the different scenarios that might play out for you given your own personal situation at home, and considering the people around you.
Perhaps your responsibilities at home go way beyond whatever your work looks like. You might be responsible for keeping your home clean, taking care of your children, homeschooling, and any other number of things that could take priority.
Only you know what your home life requires, so be sure to play it out as if working from home were a real-life scenario.
Now that you have an idea of what you need to make working from home a productive environment for you, let’s look at some different business ideas that would work great for a home based venture.
Business ideas for creatives
Maybe you already have a business idea, but if not, and you consider yourself a creative, why not consider freelance work from home?
Whether you’re great at freelance writing, photoshop, video editing, interior design, graphic design, or any other type of creative work, a great way to make money is through freelance work.
To get started all you really need is a 1-page website that shares the types of projects and/or services you’re willing to offer. And in some cases not even that! Sites like Fiverr or 99Designs, a past Entrepreneurs On Fire sponsor, are great marketplaces for finding online work.
Provide a way for those interested to reach out to you (via your own website), or leverage these marketplace sites to find gigs of your own, and you’ve got yourself a way to get paid.
Relying on your own website requires that you be able to properly market and promote yourself online, and we’ll be talking about how to make that happen from home a bit later in this post.
Business ideas for project managers or operations officers
Some businesses start off thanks to an individual taking their existing skills and offering those online.
Project managers and operations officers are two great home business ideas many small businesses need to hire for.
Sites like ZipRecruiter, a current sponsor of Entrepreneurs On Fire, are a great place to start if you’re looking for a virtual or online position in project management or operations.
This is also another home based business idea that could easily be translated into the freelance world. You could offer project management or operations services to multiple small businesses through your own online business — and make decent money doing it.
Business ideas for pet lovers
If you’re looking to start a business, what better place to start than considering the things you love most?
If you’re a pet lover and want to start a home based business, then combining your love for pets and identifying a real need in the marketplace will get you a pretty great business idea.
Dog walking or pet sitting are both great opportunities for pet lovers who are looking to work from home and still make money doing something they love.
And for those not running a business from their home, what do they need if they have a pet?
You got it: they’re going to need a service that will provide dog walking and pet sitting!
Imagine how incredible it would be to spend your days walking and playing with furry friends like Gus!
Business ideas for tech-savvy individuals
If you’re into tech, then there are a whole lot of online businesses that would be intersted in hiring you for your skills!
Whether you’re looking for a part time job, a full time job, or just project-based work, offering up your tech skills on sites like TopTal (a former sponsor of Entrepreneurs On Fire) and UpWork are both great sites to consider.
Make sure you think about the types of projects or companies you’d like to work for, and be proactive about doing your own searches on these platforms to see what’s available online and that you can do from home.
For tech-savvy individuals, anything from website coding, to app development, to working for a SaaS company will offer you the stay at home life and give you a way to make money.
Take care to build some type of virtual portfolio or online resume you can share with potential small businesses you’d like to work with. This will help you appear more professional and it could make the hiring process a whole lot faster.
Best home business idea
Okay, so maybe I’m biased, but the best home business idea I can think of is to start a podcast!
A podcast is the perfect idea for someone looking to work from home or do something completely online.
Of all the ideas you can start online, podcasting is also one with a pretty low barrier to entry. Meaning, you can stay at home and start a podcast without investing a ton of money or the need to study for weeks to figure out what you’ll need.
To make it super simple for you to get started, we created a Free Podcast Course: a video series that walks you through every step you need to take in order to create and launch your own podcast!
If you do decide to start a podcast so you can stay at home and start a business that will create a big impact, then know this: podcasting is a marathon, not a sprint. Meaning, you can’t launch a podcast and suddenly make a lot of money and grow an online presence.
To make a podcast work, you need time, dedication, patience, drive, a great idea, and a strong WHY.
And a note for existing businesses: Many existing businesses decide to start a podcast as a marketing arm for their business, which is a great idea. Because you already have a business with an existing brand — and presumably, some sort of audience — you can get started quite quickly.
Other home based business ideas
Freelance writing, customer service, virtual assistant work, social media services, heck, any type of service that will make someone’s life easier — the sky is really the limit when it comes to ideas in this category!
In today’s online virtual world, small businesses thrive off of being able to hire talent all over the world. And if you’re looking to get started at home, then you’re in an excellent market to do so.
If you’re feeling stuck with finding an idea businesses would be attracted to, consider what it would look like if you were marketing your talents, skills, or services to an individual. To start a business, you don’t have to be offering a service or selling something to other businesses.
Whatever your idea, it doesn’t have to serve a small business — it could serve a niche market via an online store, for example.
Many people think working online or being able to stay at home isn’t possible, but the truth is you’ll need very little to get started, which is why this is one of the best ways to make money all while staying at home.
In some cases you don’t even need any ideas to get started and make money right now!
Sites like TaskRabbit make this possible. If you don’t have your own idea for a business right now, but you’re able to help someone do something they need, taking on a single job via TaskRabbit just got you paid.
How to market and promote yourself online
In order to be successful with your home business ideas, you’ll have to have a way to market and promote yourself online. Many businesses don’t do this very well, so make sure you put time and energy into focusing on this aspect.
Your business won’t succeed — especially at home — if you’re not able to let people know it exists.
Starting a website, having a presence on social media, creating content that is helpful and valuable for your target audience, and making connections with people or another small business will be key to running a home based business.
Make sure when you post on social media, or attend networking events to connect with other people or a small business, that you have a clear and concise pitch that tells them exactly what you have to offer.
Get feedback, talk to as many people as possible, and continue to improve your strategy for marketing and promoting yourself over time. Spoiler alert: none of this happens overnight.
You can stay at home and create a business where you make money doing something you love. Again, whether it’s through virtual assistant work, being a graphic designer, freelance writing, dog walking, pet sitting, an online store, or any other example mentioned here, just make sure it’s something you actually enjoy doing.
Starting businesses from home
Making money from home is a very freeing and empowering thing. To not be tied to a job, having rights reserved for your very own idea, and to not have a boss telling you how to spend your time and what types of projects to work on — it’s truly one of the best and most fulfilling ways to make money and run a business.
If you’re not sure where to start, take out a piece of paper and write your top 20 business ideas down.
As you think about being at home and running your own business, do any of the ideas on your list seem like they might not be best suited for home?
Start to consider all the angles, and ask yourself the questions listed above about what running a business at home is like to narrow down your options. Actually get through the exercise so you can visualize and write down what a stay at home scenario looks like for you.
You can also join us in our completely free course, Your Big Idea, a video series with exercises and PDF downloads to help you discover Your Big Idea in less than 3 hours!