8 home business ideas to make money
How does being your own boss sound? To many people, it sounds like a dream come true. If you are one of those people, then you might want to consider starting a home business and seizing the benefits of being an entrepreneur. Read our guide with 8 home business ideas and find out how to start a business at home.
1. Take your job and work from home
One of the easiest compromises for having a home business, is bringing your current work home. Remote working is becoming more and more common. And many employers are responding to this by also being more flexible. In the EU, working from home is steadily increasing with the Netherlands having the highest percent of people that usually work from home at 13.7%, followed by both Luxembourg and Finland at around 12%, according to stats from the European Commission.
Make sure that you discuss with your colleagues about what this means in practice and how often it is possible. Especially if you have a laptop for work already, then you can get started right away. It is important to have a good internet connection and also note that due to security reasons not all company software can be used when connected somewhere else. Check the practicalities when you discuss with your office mates.
Working from home should still be a separate thing to home life. It is best to have a separate desk space that can be used for working. Other people benefit from a more flexible set-up, like working from cafes or sitting on the balcony. Just remember that you still have a full workday to fulfil, and a comfortable and ergonomic place is important for many hours on the computer.
2. Become a freelancer
Freelancing is a good next step to being independent from a workplace. But there are a lot of practicalities to consider – from gaining clients to taking care of potential invoicing and freelancer income taxes. On the other hand, you will be able to have more control over what projects you do, how you manage your time and it is a home business idea with low investment.
A freelancer salary is not necessarily as steady as a 9-to-5. But your hourly rate has the potential to be significantly more, according to research. That means in the long run you will be able to work less but maybe earn the same as a full-time job. Forbes explains that the life-work balance for freelancers is surprisingly rewarding with 84% of full-time freelancers feeling that their work allows them to live the lifestyle they want (compared to 63% of traditional full-time workers).
This option is not for the unorganised because running a business from home requires dedication. When starting out, prepare to think realistically about who your paying customers are and secure those relationships. Also, although many projects can be done remotely (you can even work for companies in other countries, depending on your tax laws), a good long-term working relationship might require travel and potentially person-to-person networking.
3. Turn your passion into a business
Do you have a skill or a hobby that you would like to do full-time? In our digital age, many people are getting back to basics – so that is a great opportunity for someone that is handy or crafty. Are you talented with yarn crafts? Is furniture upcycling or restoration a passion of yours? Perhaps you can turn these skills into money.
One way to test out the viability of your business idea is to test out selling your products on sites that cater to creative appetites, like Etsy. It is good to establish an online presence and take advantage of social media. Having a website and being active on channels like Instagram are good ways to establish your brand and get the word out. The key is reaching people that might be interested in your products, ensuring you have a way to deliver them, and gaining new customers and keeping interest.
In addition to online, local markets and fairs often have the opportunity for people to rent a table and sell their items. You can sell unique items or even offer customised made-to-order pieces. Whatever you decide, make sure you can deliver efficiently and have the time to deal with any customer service needs.
4. Try vintage or second-hand selling
Perhaps you don’t make things with your own hands, but you are an expert second-hand shopper or collector. This can be anything from brand name clothing to antiques or vintage items. Even everyday practical items are something that people often look out for if they don’t want to buy only new items. For selling pretty much anything, Ebay and local listings are places to check out. If you specialise in certain types of items, for example vintage designer clothing – there are companies popping up around the world that will either let you sell for a fee or they will purchase the items from you.
From a business perspective, like all other home business ideas, a lot of it has to do with the time, energy, and research you will put into it. If you think you have found a niche and a true calling, you can go it alone. In this case, you will need to expect some start-up expenses such as building a webstore, digital advertising and managing business expenses.
5. Become a fitness professional out of home
This category also can connect to a person’s passions. Are you a fitness expert that would like to pass on your knowledge to others? Especially if you are a certified personal trainer (if not, you can consider getting certified), working from home is a possibility for you.
Perhaps you have the space in your home to create a gym or studio. Or you are happy to travel to meet clients. Either way, there is a high demand for fitness experts to help people get in shape, increase their physical fitness or even just become healthier in general.
There are many sub-categories for fitness professionals including: yoga instructors, dance instructors or even wellness coordinators that work as consultants, such as for businesses. Other related jobs are dietician or physiotherapist, which require degrees or official training.
6. Showcase yourself as a beauty stylist or hair dresser
Weddings, high school dances and birthday celebrations – people want to look their best for the key milestones in life. If you have a talent and experience in makeovers or haircuts, why not have a business out of home? Especially if you are willing to travel to your customers, this can be a good home business idea.
Social media is a good way to promote your talents and show happy customers at their best. Instagram is a great place to showcase beauty makeovers and haircuts. Just remember to always get permission to post photos of people publicly. Don’t hesitate to put your work online and let people see what they can get when using your professional talents.
7. Welcome guests as a bed and breakfast entrepreneur
The bed and breakfast concept for homes is actually not a new one and dates back at least hundreds of years. Opening homes to travellers has always had demand and has advantages over hotels. For the hosts or hostesses, it means that you can work from home because your home becomes the business. For the traveller, it often means a cosier experience over a sterile hotel setting and can also be cheaper.
Airbnbs are the modern take on the bed and breakfast, often where the person does not stay in the home at the same time as the travellers. It is also easier for many people because you can use the dedicated site for listing and finding accommodations. Furthermore, a bed and breakfast is typically an official place of business, whereas an Airbnb (depending on local regulations) can be more of a side business, without the same registration. But that doesn’t mean it is less work, happy clients mean good reviews and consistent bookings.
8. Use your writing skills for work
Everyday online you are reading text that interests you. From blogs, to how-to guides, to advertisements and articles. Businesses may not have time or the resources to fulfil all their writing needs, so project work is available all around the world.
On the one hand, this is a very booming business and there is a high demand for written content. However, on the other hand, that also means it is a competitive market. What makes you stand out as a writer? Are you self-taught and have a great portfolio? Or do you have a language degree or communications degree that you want to capitalise on? Showcase your work to any potential clients so they can see why they should choose you as a writer. Also take care to ensure that your work is flawless, not just double-checking for typos, but also formatting issues such as extra spaces and misplaced punctuation.
There is also a market for specialised writers such as technical writers, UX writers and grant writers. Based on your education, professional experience and personal interests – find the right audience for your work and establish yourself as a great writer for the field that suits you best.
Whatever you choose to do, creating a business plan and getting the right supplies are key to being able to focus on your core business. If you need help with start-up capital, find out about short-term loans and financing options that can get your started on the road to success.