One of the most common questions I receive by email is “What kind of business can I run from home?” Are you kidding? There are hundreds of businesses you can operate right in the comfort of your home. Start by thinking about your skills, experience and interests – how can you turn what you already know or enjoy into a profitable venture?
There has never been a better time to start a home-based business. The Internet connects services to providers, goods to customers, and organizations to the help they need. Here are 10 of the most popular home-based business ideas:
1. Affiliate Marketing – Affiliate marketing involves creating a website or blog to sell the products of others. You don’t have to actually create the products yourself and you don’t have to handle shipping. To make affiliate marketing work, you need to understand how to drive traffic to your site.
2. Publishing Digital Products – You can also make money publishing your own digital products. Digital products come in many forms but are often eBooks, videos, reports and other resources. For example, you can write your own books to sell on Amazon’s Kindle reader. The work for you is in creating and marketing your products. Focus on something you know that you can teach others.
3. Freelance Services – If you have a skill like web design or writing, you can offer it as a service online. There is always high demand for creative skills on the Internet. The only requirement is that you have a skill to offer. Keep in mind that it will take time to build a good client list.
4. Virtual Assistant – You can offer a variety of services to webmasters who don’t have time to do these tasks themselves. These might be tasks like updating their blogs, responding to emails, or managing their social media websites. The more you know about online business, the more services you can offer.
5. Ecommerce – Ecommerce is a popular way to make a living at home. It involves setting up your own online store where people can buy products they’re looking for. Products could be ones that you make, like crafts, products from other suppliers, or even affiliate products. Like any online marketing, you have to know how to publicize your site and get traffic.
6. Selling through an Online Merchant – An easier ecommerce option is to sell through an established merchant such as EBay, Etsy, or Amazon’s Fulfillment by Amazon program. The advantage is that the merchant platform is already set up for you. It’s just a matter of creating listings. However, you need a physical product to sell.
7. Consulting and Coaching – If there’s a field that you’re an expert in, you can offer consulting or coaching services. People online are always looking for a mentor. It doesn’t have to be in business; many people offer their services as writing, parenting or self-improvement coaches.
8. Data Entry – Large companies and organizations always need people to enter their data for them. If you have good typing skills, this is a great way to make money from home. The pay varies, depending on how quickly you can type.
9. Accounting and Bookkeeping – Every company needs an accountant or bookkeper and this is a job that can be done outside of the office. In order to handle accounting and bookkeeping, you need to be certified to do so.
10. Medical Claims Billing – Medical claims billing is a special type of accounting service that’s often outsourced to home-based providers. This allows doctors to focus on their more important work. Since all claims can be handled electronically, this is an ideal home-based business idea. It involves a mix of data entry, preparing documents, submitting reports and scheduling follow-ups.
All of these types of home-based businesses require some skills and experience, but they are also much easier to start up and operate at home thanks to the availability of online tools and courses.