56 businesses you can start from home

home-based business ideas

Many entrepreneurs run home-based businesses. These self-employed entrepreneurs work alone, or have a few employees. Home-based businesses usually don’t have a storefront, street advertising signs or customer parking. Home-based entrepreneurs, despite the name, may have an office, studio or workshop, depending on their business. This sort of business has several pros, including greater schedule flexibility, no dress code, potential savings on expenses such as childcare, and availability of tax deductions. And with the prevalence of online productivity and collaboration tools, running a business from home is easier than ever.

Sounds great, right? If you think starting a home-based business might be ideal for you, here are 56 small businesses you can start from home, either full-time, or on the side:

  • Social media influencer
  • Video creator/editor
  • Copywriter
  • Travel writer
  • Personal trainer
  • Tutor
  • Home inspector
  • Financial planner
  • Bookkeeper/accountant
  • Photographer
  • Event planner
  • Visual artist
  • Blogger
  • Computer repair
  • Make-up artist
  • Freelance journalist
  • Personal assistant
  • Editor
  • Graphic designer
  • Web designer
  • Web developer
  • Wedding planner
  • Bicycle repair
  • Social media management
  • IT consultant
  • Marketing consultant
  • Grant writer
  • Alterations or sewing
  • Hairstylist
  • Manicurist
  • Personal shopper
  • Virtual assistant
  • Transcriptionist
  • Massage therapist
  • Bed & breakfast
  • Daycare
  • Clothing designer
  • Dog walker/pet sitter
  • Pet groomer
  • Dog trainer
  • Online reseller
  • Jewelry designer
  • Gardening
  • Video game review writer
  • Ceramicist
  • Music instructor
  • Purse designer
  • Notary public
  • Language instructor
  • Home organizer
  • Home cleaner
  • Interior decorator
  • Business coach
  • Personal chef
  • Caterer
  • Woodworking

As always, we strongly recommend proper research and planning when starting a small business. Entrepreneurs starting a home-based business should be especially wary of scams and opportunities that sound too good to be true. Also, investigate any licenses and permits your home-based business may need before getting started.

Check out these posts for more information and advice about home-based businesses:

How to identify a work-from-home scam
You should sell these! How to start a business selling your handcrafted work
Perks and snags of internet or home-based businesses
Home-based business permits and expenses
Small business permits and licenses in Canada
Tools to help entrepreneurs stay productive

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How to sniff out a home-based business scam

For many of us, entrepreneurship isn’t about renting out office space or hiring employees; it’s about operating a sole proprietorship out of our homes. And some entrepreneurs seek out home-based businesses within an already-existing operation. Examples of businesses like these are sales representative businesses or online home business programs. Home-based businesses like these have their benefits – you’re part of an established brand, you get support from the company and networking events abound. However, not all home-based business programs are as good as they seem. Here are a few ways you can sniff out home-based business scams:

  • Read the terms and conditions on the company’s site very carefully. You may be asked to pay a small fee for the start-up DVD or instruction guide. Be sure you can return the information without incurring even more fees.
  • Look for money-back guarantees or free, no-obligation trials.
  • Look for a contact number. If you can discuss the program with someone directly, then there’s a good chance it’s a legitimate home-based business opportunity. Be wary of people who are evasive about your questions or pressure you into signing up on the spot or paying for more information.
  • Research the company as thoroughly as you can. This can take the form of online searches on messageboards or member blogs, or it can also involve talking with people you know who may be involved with the program.
  • Be wary of sites offering mind-blowing income promises. No business can promise you $10,000 a week for three hours’ work. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Trust your gut feelings!
  • Even if income promises are realistic-seeming, many companies post the income expectations of their highest earners – not the average.

For more information, check out what our GoForth Expert Norman Leach had to say about finding legitimate home-based business opportunities.


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