It doesn’t matter if you’re hoping to kick-start a full-time business out of your home or you are simply looking to bring in some extra income with a side hustle. Starting a home-based business is a great way to do this. In fact, 52% of U.S. companies operate as home businesses, according the U.S. Small Business Administration.
What types of businesses can grow and thrive in the home environment? Here are just a few home based business ideas from the SBA that you can consider:
Become a Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistants (VAs) provide a wide variety of “virtual” services to other businesses including administrative, marketing and technical support from a home office. My local window cleaner, for example, uses a VA to answer his calls and manage his calendar while he’s busy on site. VAs are growing in popularity, too, as firms look to cut costs and outsource administrative functions. If you are organized and have an administrative background, this might be for you. Start with your own connections or take advantage of the services of a VA organization or association who can help you get started and connect you with clients.
Start a Creative Business
Whether it’s making gift baskets or offering interior design consultation services, if you have a creative streak and the room to store and create, then why not consider making money out of your talents? Get to know the market and do some planning to identify an untapped niche. SBA has several tools that can help including the Build your Business Plan tool and SizeUp a market and business analysis tool that lets you benchmark your business against competitors, map your customers, competitors and suppliers, and locate the best places to advertise.
Start a Home-Based Bakery or Food Business
Food production from a home is a heavily regulated but viable business for bakers and culinary lovers. Before you start a home-based food business you will need to understand the rules and regulations that govern the production of food for public consumption in an at-home environment. Check out your state’s requirements for commercial kitchen space and fees for business licenses and food handler’s certifications. If you do need a separate commercial kitchen, check with your church, local community centers, and restaurants about letting you to rent space hourly or daily.
Child Day Care
Home childcare businesses offer a potentially lucrative and long-lasting business opportunity. A home environment is often appealing to parents and once their kids are settled (and assuming you are doing a great job), then it’s likely you’ll have that business until they are old enough not to need care. Of course, this is another regulated business and you’ll need to ensure you comply with state and local regulations that govern issues such as the provision of meals, minimum space requirements per child, and the number of licensed care workers per child.
Start an Online Marketplace
If you have clutter that you want to get rid of and like the idea of selling products to an established worldwide network of consumers, consider starting a business on eBay, Etsy or Amazon. You can source products to sell from charity shops. If you want to get a bit more sophisticated, then consider buying wholesale or adopting a drop-shipping model. The goal is to find products that are in high-demand and not readily available from other sources. On your next shopping trip, check out which items retailers are promoting. Browse various e-commerce sites to see which products they’re featuring and have the most positive customer reviews.