Starting a business from home is becoming increasingly popular for new and experienced business owners. With the rise of the gig economy and digital technology, including online retail, there are now more opportunities than ever to launch a business that operates out of your home.
Whether you’re looking to supplement your income or start an entirely new career, home-based business ideas provide an excellent opportunity to participate in both the passion economy and the sharing economy.
Whether you have a home-based business, travel to your clients, or cram in a few hours at a cafe, the possibilities of avoiding the 9-5 office life are plentiful. In fact, in the U.S. alone, the most recent census (2017) found that 8 million people worked from home.
Starting a business from home is a quick and resource saving way to get a great business idea off the ground. Yankee Candles started off as a small business in the kitchen of Michael Kittredge's family home. Start small, think big.
It takes a self-motivated, highly disciplined person to make a home business successful. Of course you should choose a good business idea that suits you best. Fortunately, there are options available for all skill levels and areas of expertise. From the lowest overhead costs to the most elaborate ventures, and from freelancers to full-fledged business owners, here are the top 70 home-based business ideas for you to choose from and get started on today:
Pro tip: After coming up with business idea and before you get started putting this into action, take some time to read through the following guides. Begin by reading up on how to start your business, which includes everything from how to create a business website to promote your work. You might also want to check out some business website design inspiration.
Why start a business idea from home
There are many reasons why starting a business from home is a popular choice. Here we go over a few of the key reasons why:
Low startup costs. Starting a business from home can cost from just a few hundred dollars up, depending on which type of business idea you decide to run with. This makes the initial risk of starting a business much more minimal.
Flexibility. Business ideas that work from home allow for more freedom in terms of where you work from. They're often a good self-employment fit for parents with children at home, or for people who live in remote areas.
Profitability. Small businesses started from home can grow and with less overhead costs, they can have great potential for profitability.
Easiest business ideas to start from home
01. Pet sitter
What animal-lover wouldn’t dream of this job? If your friends call you the ‘cat whisperer’ or you light up every time a cute dog passes you by on the street, you’d be crazy not to jump on this business idea. If you’re responsible, caring and organized, it’s worth reaching out to your social circle and online communities to offer your services. This is also an excellent option if you want to earn extra money on the side, or are looking for a job where you can multitask between other projects.
Median annual salary: $30,077
02. Survey taker
Did you know that you can get paid for expressing your opinion? As a survey taker you’ll fill out forms with your general sense of the public’s opinions. To get started, create a custom email address specifically for this because you’ll have a cluster of emails coming your way. Then, reach out to a minimum of five trusted companies initially, as invitations from each can be few and far between and each one pays differently. Overall, don’t expect to make tons of money from this, rather consider it as a side hustle.
Median annual salary: $16,000
03. Uber driver
An excellent fit for social people who want to have control over their hours. Uber drivers responsibilities entail picking up passengers and safely delivering them to their destinations, as well as keeping their vehicles clean and inviting at all times. Based on a rating scale, you can become a crowd favorite and earn social respect fast if you do a good job. And with Uber, above other ride-sharing services, you’ll be working with the biggest network of active riders. Alternatively, if you don’t want to deal with passengers, you can work with Uber Eats and deliver food instead.
Median annual salary: $34,231
04. Professional organizer
If Marie Kondo, the Japanese organizing consultant, is your role model, then getting paid to tidy up others people’s mess could be your calling. Take this a step further and offer your clients tips to improve their organizational methods in the future. Whether it’s apartments or office spaces, the possibilities here are endless. The necessary criteria are communication, motivation and (of course) impressive organizational skills.
Median annual salary: $53,000
05. Personal shopper
Your dream of getting paid to shop has just come true. If you have advanced knowledge of consumer goods and current trends, you can consult or physically shop for others. From wardrobes to groceries to household interiors and more, take your fashion sense to the market and start making money by helping others.
Median annual salary: $32,808
06. House cleaner
You may not be working from your own home, but you will have a flexible schedule as a house cleaner. Whether you decide to work with one to two houses or set up an entire cleaning service (the choice is yours), the only requirements aside from the basics are that you should be a thorough cleaner and have strong communication with your customers.
Median annual salary: $27,339
07. Data entry specialist
You’d be surprised that a lot of documentation today is still done manually, rather than online. If you want to be a part of converting the stragglers to the digital world, it’s possible to earn an income by entering information from paper files to online computer files. Not to mention, you’ll be helping the environment by saving some trees along the way. The main requirement here is to be highly detail-oriented in order to make sure that no piece of data is left out from your transfer efforts.
Median annual salary: $34,355
08. Gift basket arranger
Gift baskets have become a popular present option for many reasons. They usually include at least one item everyone will enjoy, they can be highly personalized and you can get pretty creative with the items. Based on your customers’ needs, you’ll be able to craft boxes with different assortments. Start small by working with close family and friends, then you’ll be able to use your baskets as samples to get more clients. Take this a step further and create an eCommerce website to sell your gift baskets around the world.
Median hourly salary: $16
09. Freelance illustrator
Take your creative talents and fly solo. Working as a freelancer in the illustration industry allows you to have more control over your work by spending time on projects that you choose, which ultimately will ensue more motivation. You'll have to create a mesmerizing illustration portfolio website that showcases past projects and experience in the field in order to be able to obtain new clients too.
Median annual salary: $49,380
Business ideas from home with low startup costs
10. Bicycle mechanic
11. Pet groomer
12. Music teacher
13. College planning consultant
16. Private tutor
10. Bicycle mechanic
Do you have a knack for fixing things? As most people don’t, your skills are bound to come in handy. This is especially the case with bicycles, where 47.5 million Americans cycle regularly, and the number is continuously rising. You’ll be surprised how many people come your way when you market yourself as the ‘handy-man’ in town. Prior experience required is being able to fix bikes from multiple brands, weights and sizes. And if you can work on electric bikes, that’s an added bonus.
Median annual salary: $21,000
11. Pet groomer
From cutting fur to nail trimming, shampooing and brushing, you can be in charge of helping man’s best friend to look fresh, clean and ready to strut their stuff when they walk through their neighborhood. This job is meant for individuals who consider themselves animal lovers, have a lot of patience and know how to care for pets properly.
Median annual salary: $38,033
12. Music teacher
If you’re gifted at making beautiful, rhythmic sounds come out of an instrument or your vocal cords, this is a way to channel your strengths and spread them to others. From piano to vocals, solfeggio and more, you could become a music teacher. Note that teaching is a skill of its own, so it will require patience, care, communication and fundamental knowledge of your craft in order to start a career or a side gig in this area.
Median annual salary: $46,744
13. College planning consultant
One of the most stressful responsibilities for a high school student is figure out all the answers to their burning questions about college and their future. ‘Will they be able to afford it?’ ‘How will they get into their dream school?’ ‘What will they study?’ If you consider yourself organized, motivating and connected in these areas, your ability to help students navigate their futures can earn you a sufficient income.
Median annual salary: $41,735
If you’re good with kids, toddlers, or newborns, taking on this job is a great way to make a meaningful living. Whether you decide to work as a full time nanny or spend a few hours after school watching your neighbors’ kids, there is always a never-ending demand for work in this field. On top of having the skills and diplomas to work with kids, if you also take a first-aid and CPR course, you’ll be able to differentiate yourself from the market by being a more trustworthy care provider.
Many day care centers often start from a home environment, before expanding and moving into specialized facilities. We love examples like this one. Make sure to do your research before starting a business as either a babysitter or daycare provider—always take legal advice and be sure to comply with local, State and Federal laws and regulations involving the care of children within a private home.
Median annual salary: $33,722
15. Elder care provider
If you’re looking to step into a growing field, the senior care industry is it. Approximately 24% of the total U.S. popular will be 65 years or older by 2060. And just like working with kids, this job involves being responsible, being trustworthy and having a knack for helping others. Here, you will need to provide hands on assistance with large responsibilities, such as meal prep, giving out daily pills, bathing, trips to the doctors and more.
Median annual salary: $23,874
16. Private tutor
Here’s an opportunity to provide assistance in a field you consider yourself gifted in, as well as able to communicate the process. From mathematics to grammar, languages and more, tutors are always needed at all levels of education, from grade school through post graduate studies.
You can choose to run online tutoring completely from home, and hold all of your lessons online. This also allows you to tap into a global demand for online tutors. Teaching English online for example, or music lessons, are always in high demand.
Median annual salary: $23,345
As more business and communication is going global, language barriers are one of the major obstacles in correspondence. If you’re fluent in multiple languages, this skill will serve you wonders in the job industry. Your assistance has most likely been requested before, whether on the job or through family and friends. Yet, now it’s time for you to start earning from it by taking on tasks from companies and individuals that demand these services to function.
Median annual salary: $47,190
This is a job that’s always in demand for individuals looking to mend their precious clothing, from fixing holes and loose threads to hemming skirts and pants—and so much more. It takes skill to work with different fabrics and lines of stitches, as well as sometimes redesigning or creating items from scratch. So, if you’re a needle and thread guru, this could be a great ‘fit’ for you.
Median annual salary: $32,560
19. Party entertainer
The popularity of the entertainment industry is on the rise because having fun is a serious matter. Considering this, if your comic level or vibrant personality make you the life of the party, you might consider becoming a party entertainer. Whether you’re a clown, magician, balloon artist, cartoonist, comedian or something else, your talents will be requested in all areas of fun - just like this versatile performer, Shelley Siller.
Median annual salary: $23,290
If you’re unfamiliar with this term, you might recognize it under other names like ‘birth companion,’ ‘birth coach’ or someone that provides both emotional and physical assistance throughout and after pregnancies and birth. From breathing techniques to birthing plans, and communicating all of the procedures and processes involved, you can be a vital aid in helping women get through this incredibly exciting and stressful life-changing experience. Aside from the necessary training and skills, being a supportive, patient and responsive caregiver is crucial.
Median annual salary: $42,000
This job entails getting media coverage and managing the publicity of businesses, brands or public figures. If you enjoy working with the media, crafting promotions and consider yourself an excellent networker, you can make a living out of it from home (versus being employed at a big PR firm). Some of the duties and responsibilities you can expect with this job include helping each of your clients create a press kit, pitching stories to publications and following up consistently.
Median annual salary: $51,385
Unique home based business ideas
23. Party planner
25. Video editor
27. Freelance graphic designer
32. Jewelry designer
22. Personal chef or caterer
Are you a cooking or baking enthusiast? If so, your work can stretch further than delivering your neighbors fresh baked cookies or impressing dinner guests to a plentiful spread. You can start a business straight out of your kitchen by providing meals and goodies to individuals, households and events. Cooking skills, some basic business skills and a food-related website are required to kickstart your career here.
You can also take this to the next level by extending your home based cooking into the realms of Youtube and TikTok. Take inspiration from Chef Joshua Weissman whose cooking videos and cheap eat recipes have earned him a large social media following.
Go once step further again and combine cooking from home with a food delivery service, to make sure you really offer next level service to your customers.
Median annual salary: $45,929
23. Party planner
If you thrive on planning events, set your goals on turning it into your own business. From weddings to birthday parties, corporate outings and more. Most people don’t have time in their own lives to deal with all of the operational details required in order to make their events as extravagant as they wish for them to be. This is where you come in, with basic planning skills, organization, communication and more. You could be organizing caterers, hunting down event spaces, creating wedding websites and more.
Median annual salary: $33,092
24. DJ (disc jockey)
Do you have an eye for crowd-pleasing music? If you know how to mix songs and beats into flowing sessions that can keep a room full of people entertained for hours, this could be a great fit for you. And if you don’t have the skills but love the idea, you can take classes and practice with different DJ softwares to get started and feel it out. This is your chance to turn your hobby into a realistically paying job, just like this DJ did.
Median annual salary: $56,779
25. Video editor
The power of video today is inevitably strong. Brands have come to realize that consumers are eyeing this content more than any other form. So, working as a video creator is certainly worthwhile. And if you’re passionate about production and know how to create engaging clips, you’re almost all set. Once you create a video website and market your talents, brands will start to build trust with you and your work.
Median annual salary: $50,584
26. Freelance photographer
Here’s another hobby turned into a career. Photographers are needed across all realms, from weddings to businesses, magazines and so much more. Bring your talents to whatever field you specialize in, be it nature landscapes, family portraits, newborns, etc. Of course, you’ll need to be tech-savvy with the camera, but business and personable skills will truly keep your business afloat. For starters, you can create a photography website and add your portfolio so that every time you reach out to clients, you’ll be able to market yourself. Here are more tips to help you earn money as a photographer and some places to find freelance photography jobs online.
Check out this photographer’s site for more inspiration on how to get started with freelance photography from home.
Median annual salary: $35,726
27. Freelance graphic designer
Working in this field is one of the utmost creative feats. You’ll turn images, text, shapes and colors into company assets, like logos, business cards, posters, websites and other promotional items. If you’ve studied graphic design and are looking to pursue a career of independence where you can pick and choose your projects and clients, then consider flying solo. This freelance graphic design checklist will help you get started.
Median annual salary: $50,028
28. Interior designer
Are you constantly imagining ways to improve the spaces you enter, from offices to apartments and homes? Taking on the job of an interior designer will allow you to scale your visions into reality. You’ll be in charge of creating and finding elements that artistically fit together within a space. Oftentimes a level of schooling is required to get started, be it a bachelor's degree or a course. Ultimately, it’s about showing your clients how experienced you are and providing them with a vision and proof of your work.
Median annual salary: $51,775
29. Home staging professional
This job entails preparing homes and buildings for sale by “staging” the look of them via furniture, paint and accessories. Essentially its interior design, but for mock properties. Therefore, having an eye for visually pleasing design elements and colors is necessary for this job.
Median annual salary: $41,812
In Japanese, the act of arranging flowers is expressed through the term ‘Ikebana,’ or ‘making flowers alive.’ Such a vibrantly fulfilling job is great for creatives with a knack for arranging different types of flowers into uniquely packaged styles for events or sentiments. In order to work in this industry, a high knowledge of these plant species, the ability to arrange them in beautiful ways and work appropriately with clients, budgets and timeframes is required.
Median annual salary: $27,200
31. Voice over artist
This job entails working in the entertainment industry providing voice-overs for commercials, video games, cartoon movies, movie trailers and more. If you have a very clear voice and fit the tone, you just might get a job. This market is very specific though, and having the right connections sometimes helps more than specific work experience. It’s recommended to take theater or acting classes to sharpen up your vocals.
Median hourly salary: $47.31
32. Jewelry designer
Whether you already create jewelry or are considered a crafty person, this fun hobby can become a business for you. It’s possible to sell your goods online, in stores, at festivals and other locations. To do so, you might want to take some jewelry making classes for specific materials you want to work with, from precious metals to wire, beads, stones and more.
Median annual salary: $57,485
Writer focused business ideas to try from home
34. Resume writer
40. Grant writer
If you feel strongly about your writing skills and have ideas for novels, it’s possible to take on writing your very own books as a profession. A job like this certainly requires strong grammar, organization and creativity, but also a lot of motivation to get past the rotating stages of writer’s block. If you set your mind to it, like almost anything else, it’s definitely possible.
Median annual salary: $62,170
34. Resume writer
Writing a resume is vital if you want to land a job in most fields today. Yet, many people claim to have trouble crafting their own. If you consider yourself an expert in spewing out marketable paperwork to attract employers, then this online business idea will prove itself beneficial to many eager job seekers.
Median annual salary: $35,000
There are many facts and stats that will tell you why creating a free blog is the way of the future. These reasons include generating more engagement and sales for businesses. It’s also become the norm for researching and consuming information online today (look at what you’re doing right now). And what’s in it for you? 45% of marketers outsource content creation, which is a justifiable reason to sit at your favorite café or on your sofa in your PJs and crank out excellent content for the Web. If you have the research and writing skills, along with prior experience, you can get started.
Not sure what to blog about? We recommend starting with something you love, start writing and go from there. We love how this blogger combines her love of wine and her dogs into one really interesting blog.
Affiliate Marketing is often used by bloggers to earn commissions from promoting other people’s products or services. It involves creating content around a product or service, and including an affiliate link in that content. When a customer clicks on the link and purchases the item, you earn a commission, making it a popular choice with bloggers and other content creators.
You can also consider turning your content into ebooks, that can be sold online or used to generate leads to a product or service. Self publishing is a great way to create and promote your own content online.
Median annual salary: $42,170
Journalists have one of the most important jobs today, as they educate the public about matters happening around the world. The angle that they choose to take on a story can completely sway public opinion one way or another. That being said, a job in this field is certainly possible. Your responsibilities include thoroughly researching your subject matter and conducting interviews, then conveying all of this through strong writing skills. In this field, it’s about standing your ground and choosing projects that you feel passionate about and believe in. It’s an exciting and independent journey you will venture into. If photography is more your thing, you can also consider photojournalism which also works from home.
Median annual salary: $45,845
37. Freelance business writer
If you’re an experienced researcher and know how to craft your knowledge into beautifully written text, this job is a match for you. From writing blog posts to user experience text, marketing emails and more content-related material, there are many directions you can go with this. Writers either branch off from full-time content positions, or take this up on their own, but either way connections in the industry and previous writing experience to back up your claims is important to land yourself gigs. If you want to impress the businesses you work with and create a funnel for them to request your skills, create a freelance website.
Median annual salary: $42,120
A level up from writing content is being able to edit it for both grammar and style. So if you love the field, you might just enjoy making adjustments and improvements to others’ work. A job such as this one requires a high level of grammar and specific knowledge on editing styles. Oftentimes that’s learned on the job, but an editing course will give you a leg up among competitors. You can do this with articles, novels and various other mediums of written content.
Median annual salary: $59,480
Essentially the purpose of this job is to craft the written content for a company for various mediums, from blog posts to ads, newsletters and more. Unlike a business writer, your job is more concentrated on promotional marketing rather than entertaining. It’s a great fit if you love to write and are able to adapt to different companies needs and styles. Most companies need someone to create great content, so you will definitely be able to find work. Digital journalism has been on the rise for a long time and so plenty of opportunities exist.
Median annual salary: $62,170
40. Grant writer
This job is not the most creative, but it’s always in demand. Your duties would entail writing proposals for a nonprofit organization or institute of education to apply for financial assistance from the government, companies and others. Requirements include knowing the ins and outs of the organization you’re working for, and being able to write, submit and manage proficient grant proposals. Some jobs require degrees, and others are just looking for writing experience.
Median annual salary: $53,806
Beauty and wellness home business ideas
42. Fashion stylist
44. Health coach
48. Personal trainer
Coloring, highlighting, cutting and styling hair is something you can totally manage from your very own home salon. If you’re passionate about the beauty industry and follow your state’s requirements for opening up shop (licensing, beauty school and certificate, etc.), there’s no doubt you can pamper guests and make them feel more glamorous from the moment they walk into your home.