Forget about a grueling daily commute and a schedule that’s out of your control.
If you want to be your own boss with your own rules, starting a home-based business is totally achievable. There are millions of people already doing it, and you can too.
It all starts with a killer business plan and a slick website that sets you apart from the competition.
You could use your existing expertise or learn something totally different. There are tons of home-based business ideas that you can start with little more than entrepreneurial spirit.
Need some inspiration? We’ve charted 24 of our favorite home business ideas to help you get started.
1. Marketplace Seller
This well-known side hustle could become your full-time job, if you have the skills to make it work.
Being a marketplace seller is one of the best home business ideas. You can make money by selling your crafts – and let’s be honest, crafts are fun, right?
If you’re good at it though, marketplace selling can be a lucrative way to turn a profit from the comfort of your home.
This business idea is ideal for people with a creative talent, although if you know how to spot profitable products you can start earning via marketplaces, too.
You should start by building an online profile, although you don’t have to stick to one platform. Thanks to integrated inventories, plenty of sellers have a presence on multiple sites.
Your success as a marketplace seller depends heavily on positive reviews, so make sure your products are fit for sale. This isn’t about selling any old thing you can find.
If selling stuff in an online store sounds like a cool home-based business idea, but you don’t want the hassle of actually making products, look no further.
Dropshipping gives you the freedom to start an online store and let someone else manage the inventory.
This eCommerce business model has really caught fire. To set up your business, you’ll need to find wholesalers who supply products to drop shippers.
You pick products, list them on your online store, and contact the supplier once you’ve made a sale. They’ll send the goods straight to your customers.
Ensure you’ve got a good eye for trends, and remember that you’ll make money if you pick something a little niche.
As a dropshipper, you won’t get exclusivity on products unless you buy thousands at a time. So opting for the hottest products of the moment won’t help you stand out.
On the plus side, dropshipping has low startup costs and minimal commitment. With zero inventory, you can switch up your product selection with ease.
All you need is an online store and access to supplier directories, like Salehoo, so you can start sourcing your products.
3. Virtual Assistant
This is a job for highly-organized people only. But that could be you.
Much like traditional assistant roles, you’ll be helping professional people manage their lives and take care of business. The one big perk of being a virtual assistant though is that you can work from home.
In fact, you can work from anywhere. You just need to be good at a number of tasks, level-headed, and innovative.
Virtual assistants might be asked to do anything, within reason. Booking appointments, replying to emails, and doing online shopping are all part of the job description.
Considering it’s a virtual role, you’ll also need to be savvy online and have some technical skills to boost your chances with potential clients.
While a lot of virtual assistant jobs are demanding, you could make this business work as a side hustle, too. Many people are just seeking part-time help.
Start by figuring out your business model. Do you want to work from home all the time, or could you assist in-person as well?
Then market yourself: create a portfolio website, update your LinkedIn profile, and network in your chosen industry until you land some gigs.
4. Social Media Manager
Most of us have wasted time scrolling through social media. But if you’ve built a big following and you’re organized with uploads, you could make a career out of it.
If you create a business as a social media manager, you can work from home but stay connected to the world.
Plenty of companies seek external help to grow their presence on social platforms like Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
You’ll be asked to schedule posts, devise ads, communicate with followers, and whatever else fits your level of expertise.
And if your business is home-based, you could help out multiple companies, from small businesses to established brands.
To make money from everyone’s favorite hobby, spend some time growing your own following. Generate content that’s fresh, engaging, but true to your personality.
Or, send pitches to small businesses and ask if you can work for them. Use this opportunity to start getting experience for your résumé.
5. Online Tutor
Consider yourself a pro in a particular field? You just might thrive as an online tutor – it’s one of the most rewarding home-based business ideas we can think of.
Remember that you’ll be required to know a lot about your teaching topic. You’re shaping minds, after all. That said, there’s a world of opportunities with online tutoring.
Whether for personal self-improvement or a professional qualification, people are willing to pay for lessons in all kinds of subjects.
So if you’re a trained musician, a culinary expert, or you just have teaching experience, becoming an online tutor could be the perfect home business idea.
Pick your market: school or college kids are always looking for extra help with particular areas like math and English. Or go down the professional route.
Make money by the hour with one-on-one tutoring sessions, or turn a profit by creating online courses for a wider range of students.
About 150 million people in the US listen to podcasts monthly, and this number just keeps on growing.
In a way, podcasting is similar to blogging, except that you’re creating content in an audio form. So, if you prefer speaking to writing, podcasting could be your ideal job.
This is one of the coolest home-based businesses. Pick a subject area that has a growing audience, and make sure it’s a topic you love discussing and researching.
You have to spend money to make money with podcasting. First, you’ll need to invest in technical products like audio equipment and editing software, then you’ll need a platform.
There are podcast hosting platforms, but you’ll have more control over your content and monetization if you have your own site. You can then list episodes on Spotify or Apple.
The amount of profit generated from podcasting varies greatly. The most successful podcasts can make hundreds of thousands of dollars in a year – it’s worth a shot.
Depending on the kind of content you view on YouTube, you might think there’s no way this counts as a legitimate career choice.
But actually, being a YouTuber is a totally viable home-based business. It’s also loads of fun if you’re good at frequently coming up with new ideas.
You’ll be your own boss, and you can choose whatever it is you want to do.
From commentating on video games to baking, to doing makeup, there’s a niche for everyone. It could start out as a side hustle and grow exponentially.
YouTube can be hard work, though – you have to consistently come up with fresh content, for a start. You’ll also spend a lot of time editing your videos.
But if you can commit to an upload schedule, this is a really cool way to make money from home.
The income you’ll make is very dependent on your follower count and the market you go into, as well as the quality of your content.
Invest in a decent camera and microphone, and check out YouTube’s playbook before you take the plunge.
Every website needs copywriters. Whether a business has products or services to sell, or just a lot to talk about, this kind of role is always in high demand.
The job of a copywriter is to craft written content that promotes a company’s services, and persuades customers to engage with the business.
Anything from ads to site copy about products, to social media captions needs to be professionally written.
Copywriters need to be skilled at finding and maintaining the brand’s tone of voice. In case it wasn’t already clear, they should also generally be skilled at writing.
If that sounds like you, consider starting a freelance business from home. For copywriting pros, hold onto your best work to show off to potential clients.
9. Product Designer
Got a degree in product design? Plenty of retail businesses create their own products, but not all of them have in-house design teams.
Here’s your dream home business. You could be responsible for tons of best-sellers, cool trend-leaders, and maybe some future iconic pieces.
If you do start a home-based business as a product designer, you’ll have to have some qualifications to get noticed. Plus some fancy software, like Solidworks.
Why not build a portfolio site that showcases your best designs and favorite products so far? Then focus on your target industry and make yourself available.
There are talent search engines for product designers, so set up your profile to get your business started – take a look at upwork for example.
You can make money from home by charging an hourly rate for your expertise, or setting a fee per design.
Bear in mind that you probably won’t get much credit for your work when the products are sold, unless you’re a big name in your industry.
That said, this is the ideal business model for a talented designer who wants to manage their own time.
10. Slideshow Consultant
The humble PowerPoint presentation is still the backbone of many corporate meetings. It’s likely you’ve had to sit through a snooze-worthy slideshow once or twice.
Not everyone knows how to make an impactful deck of slides. Too much text, weird image placement, and offensive color palettes can totally ruin the intended message.
So it’s no surprise that many people are willing to pay to outsource this task to others.
If you want a more casual home-based business, slideshow design consulting could be for you. You’ll need to have a creative eye to get paid for your services in layout expertise.
This is a neat business idea for graphic designers looking to diversify their workload. You can be paid per presentation and add this job to your long list of skills.
Of course, these days anything can be a full-time job if you work hard enough to make it that way.
Check out sites like 24Slides, where slideshow layouts are the basis of a dedicated consultancy business with a pricing structure. See where this good idea can take you.
11. Graphic Designer
If you want even more design-oriented home business ideas, here’s another one.
Graphic designers play a huge role in visualizing brands and making them memorable. They’re needed for making an impact online as well as in traditional print media.
Every industry needs a graphic designer at some point. You could be tasked with launching a brand, helping a business scale with a redesign, or anything in between.
Unless you’re a total visionary though, you shouldn’t expect to make money in graphic design without any relevant experience.
As a minimum requirement, most businesses will be seeking designers who know their way around software like Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator.
You’ll also need to be super creative and a great problem solver. A formal qualification is ideal, but you can always take a course.
If this is really how you’d love to make money from home, you can learn your trade online with a graphic design bootcamp.
Set up your own incredible portfolio platform to start building your business. Then get searching – sign up to job boards like CreativeGuild to find freelance roles you can do from home.
12. Fitness Coach
Love to stay active, but also love the thought of a home-based business? We’ve got a good idea for you, too.
Start a home fitness empire, and watch your customer base grow exponentially. This type of business will give you a wider audience than any gym class could.
Everybody dreams of having a personal trainer, but it’s a big-time commitment for many people. You could help revolutionize the fitness industry with your new business.
The best approach is to find a niche that suits you, and stick with it. Maybe you’re a yoga pro, or you could be a master of plyometrics.
Build your own site and be the boss of your content. You can post free workout videos to drive traffic, then make money with personalized coaching for paid users.
This can be a totally virtual setup – offer a mix of live sessions and pre-recorded training tips. People will enjoy doing home-based workouts as much as you enjoy creating them.
If you want to invest in specialist software, check out websites like My PT Hub where you can feel supported as you build your business.
13. Dating Coach
It isn’t always easy for people to find their soulmates.
While online matchmaking sites and dating apps are more prevalent than ever, nearly half of all American users find them frustrating to use. That’s where you could help.
Starting a home-based business as a dating coach is a very legitimate way to make money. If you’re a smooth talker or a self-confident person, you’re in luck.
Single folks are willing to pay for advice that will land them their dream partner, or at least give them a fun date night.
You’ll definitely need to know a thing or two about romance, behavioral cues, and how to appear effortlessly confident.
This is a fun home business idea for someone who can build a personal brand. A strong social media presence will give you a solid platform on which you can advertise your services.
Work from home and offer material like one-on-one video consultations and daily tips for paid subscribers. You can keep your clientele local, or go global with your expertise.
14. Web Developer
If you’re interested in making money from home as a freelance web developer, you’re in luck.
Dubbed as one of the hottest jobs around, the need for web developers to build and manage websites is expected to just keep growing.
Some developers are tasked with maintaining the front end, and others the back end. Those who have skills to handle both are called full-stack developers.
If you’re not already working in this kind of role elsewhere, you’ll need to learn various programming languages along with HTML and CSS.
For beginners, it’s recommended to start with front end languages first. Sites like Codecademy can help you start your journey to turning this into a business.
Once you’ve developed skills, create a portfolio to advertise your services. Apply for jobs on websites like Stack Overflow to find roles you can fulfill while working from home.
This is a great way of making quite a lot of money. If you specialize in a high-demand area of web development, you can command a 6-figure annual salary.
15. App Developer
It’s a long road to success for some home-based businesses, but often they’re the ones that are worth the effort. Take developing a mobile app, for example.
The way to start is to have tons of entrepreneurial ideas and motivation. It helps if you know how to code, and it’s vital that you have patience. Some apps take months to perfect.
You’ll need a standout idea for your app. Just don’t be put off by the notion that this is a saturated market – plenty of apps currently available aren’t even that great.
So there’s still loads of opportunity for you to make it big with this business idea. If you want to go it alone, you could end up selling your mobile app to investors.
You could even develop several apps as a freelancer for other companies. It can be a time-consuming task, so your coding skills could be very valuable.
When it comes to making money, freelance app development can command a hefty hourly pay.
The average rate for freelance app developers in the US is up to $80 per hour. Not bad for a job where you can work from home.
Every piece of written content that you read online or in print has been proofread. Or at least, it should have been.
As well as checking grammar, style, and spelling, proofreaders and editors are also responsible for fact-checking written work and making sure it’s actually interesting.
If you have a good eye for detail, a solid grasp of English, and an ability to read at speed, you can get started with building a new business in proofreading.
As a freelancer, you can choose to specialize in areas like developmental or copy editing.
Much like a copywriter, you should be able to grasp the tone of voice for the publication or brand you’re working with. It helps to have some work to show off, too.
List your services on a writers’ jobs platform, as a way to start making money. Why not reach out to businesses you’d like to work with as well?
If you’re a keen writer who’s happy to work behind the scenes, a home-based business in ghostwriting might be your forté.
People hire ghostwriters to write novels, blog posts, and other content for them when they don’t have the time or skills to do it themselves.
Sounds a little crazy, but ghostwriting is an in-demand role – think of all the celebrities and influencers with stories to sell.
This is a cool way to get started in the writing industry. You’ll probably build a network of useful contacts, plus it can be a lucrative way of making money.
Promote your services on a personal portfolio site and by connecting with potential clients.
You can also find ghostwriting jobs on online job boards. Reedsy is a great marketplace to start if you want a gig in the publishing industry.
Can you speak, read, and write in more than one language? If so, you could build a thriving home-based business as a translator.
If you’ve never translated before, don’t worry. You can sign up for online translation courses to get started – after all, every teacher needs to train before they teach.
Next up, start your own translation projects. You could work from home, and try writing up your own subtitles to a movie.
As with all good business ideas, it pays to pick a niche. If there aren’t many translators in your chosen market, you can make money by charging higher rates.
Create an online portfolio that showcases your personality as well as your abilities.
How much you make will depend on the languages and where you market yourself. For example, you can make money more easily with rare language combinations.
19. Business Consultant
This is a business idea for true networking heroes and industry experts.
While it sounds a little vague, business consulting is actually a hugely valuable role. It can be a great fit for companies looking to scale.
What exactly does a business consultant do? Well, that depends on the industry, but essentially they’re there to provide expert advice on a project-to-project basis.
Finance, retail, and marketing are some of the industries that use consultants to gain insights into particular business areas.
And you can make money from home in a consulting role. All you need to start out is to be known as a pro in the subject you’re advising on.
To make it a successful home-based business, make sure you have a strong network of contacts and that others in your field can vouch for your services.
Consultants can charge fees by the hour or by the project. If you’re an industry expert, get started and see what you can make from your home business.
Nowadays it feels like everyone is or has been a blogger. The thing is, it’s still a viable way to make money from home, and one of the best home business ideas if you want to be your own boss.
It’s not all about storytelling and having a nice niche, though. You’ll make your money as a blogger from things like affiliate links, sponsorships, and merchandise.
So, to make this work as a successful home business, it’s important that your blog has a sizable following and a strong online presence.
Start your blog as you mean to go on, with high-quality posts. Build connections with other bloggers and pitch partnership ideas to relevant businesses.
Pick up some technical skills and digital marketing strategies, and you can make your blog perfectly search optimized for an increase in traffic.
This is one of those business ideas that can take you anywhere. If you want to go full time with a blog, it can be one of the most fun ways to work from home.
21. Affiliate Marketer
We’ve mentioned affiliate marketing as a part of other home business ideas – but what exactly is it?
Well, in this type of role you promote products or a business for a fee. Many influencers, YouTubers, and podcasters do affiliate marketing related to their niche.
But you can actually build your own affiliate marketing business, as long as you have a platform to recommend new products, plus a growing audience.
Usually, affiliate marketers would use blogs or social media to promote products. You could also build email lists, and mail out recommendations to your subscribers.
It will probably take some time to make money from this idea. Income varies depending on marketing tactics used and the types of products you promote, but estimates say you can make about $50k per year.
22. Travel Consultant
The phenomenon of low-cost travel is still thriving, but there’s definitely still a market for customized vacations. Why not make this your home business?
You could sit at home and help others travel the world in style as a travel consultant. This business idea is perfect for networkers and customer service pros.
Being a travel consultant is nothing new – before online booking was a thing, people would go into a travel agency to arrange flights, hotels, and expeditions.
Now that the industry has moved online, though, it’s important to find a niche for your travel business.
Are you organized enough to arrange hiking trips or desert camping experiences? Could you tailor-make memorable honeymoons?
Consider your strengths and establish how your services can stand out with this home business idea. Take a look at sites like Wanderlust for some inspiration.
23. Tour Guide
You’ll have to actually leave your house to make a success of this home business idea. But there are so many perks to being a tour guide.
If you live in or near a city with a vibrant culture of food, arts, or history, you can earn a reasonable income.
Specialize in one particular area and build an online profile so that you can connect with people all over the world. Don’t forget to network on social media, too.
You could set yourself up on a site like Airbnb, where you’ll have exposure to a huge number of travelers, or go it alone and have your own website.
This is a great move for entrepreneurs with connections. If you’re able to work with local restaurants or galleries to privately host your tour groups, you’ll set yourself apart from other guides.
You can occasionally work from home as a tour guide. Create a blog to generate regular content, or find a travel niche that means something to you.
24. Life Coach
If you’ve ever wanted to improve lives, now’s your chance. This is our top home business idea for people with an endless supply of motivational skills.
Becoming a life coach can be incredibly rewarding. Your job is to help people overcome issues, set goals, and learn how to deal with certain situations.
As always, start with finding your niche by researching groups of people who need guidance. You could work with athletes, for example.
You don’t need qualifications in order to start a home-based business in life coaching. That said, you’ll probably stand out more if you do.
Find out if there’s a course that suits your business plan or target market. Then get to work with building your client base.
Your own goal is to make money from home, so establish how you’ll communicate with clients. Online video calls are great, and super easy.
Depending on who it is you’re coaching, the hourly rate for a life coach can vary. That said, this is a pretty well-paid profession, if you’re good at what you do.
How to Ensure the Success of Your Home Business
Whichever one of our home business ideas resonates the most, a surefire way to ensure your business succeeds is to get yourself a website.
Today, 97% of people check out a business online as a first step in familiarizing themselves with the brand.
With a website, you’re putting a face to the name of your business, making it credible, and showing potential customers that you’re trustworthy.
It’s also just a great way of marketing your business. You can get really clever with SEO to push your site to the top of search rankings, and make full use of online advertising.
Your business site doesn’t have to look like every other business site. It could be a one-page noticeboard, a portfolio, or even a store space. It’s up to you.
Here are our top tips on building a website with Zyro for your new home-based business, so that you can get started with working from home in no time:
1. Sign up to Zyro
First things first, create a Zyro account and choose a payment plan that fits your needs.
Feel free to test how Zyro works with the free plan before committing. You can upgrade to a premium plan when you’re ready.
If you opt for an eCommerce plan, you’ll get all the perks that Zyro has to offer plus the opportunity to sell products or services directly from your website.
2. Pick a domain name
Your domain name is going to be everywhere: in your branding, your marketing, and your customers’ minds, hopefully.
Factor in the purchase of a custom domain name as a business expense. Otherwise, your URL will be yourdomainname.zyrosite.com.
Not sure what your domain name should be? Use the domain name generator for some ideas, and make sure whatever you land on is relevant to your brand.
3. Create a logo and a website
We’ve got a tool for logos, too. Unless you’re that pro graphic designer we were talking about, check out the Zyro Logo Maker and have some fun with your branding.
Now for the star of the show. Head over to our Templates page and take your pick. They’re all beautifully designed and whatever you choose, you can customize it.
Once you’re ready to start building your site, there are plenty of tools at your disposal to make it completely perfect before publishing. You can:
- Edit text size and placement, and even use the AI Writer to take care of your SEO-rich copywriting needs. All home-based businesses deserve great copy, after all.
- Upload custom images from your own portfolio or brand file, or find something suitable from Unsplash to use instead.
- Add in more elements like call-to-action buttons, extra text, and extra images. You can even embed videos and maps.