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Huge List Of 107 Ideas For Finding Your Perfect Home Business

Finding the right business idea is often the most difficult part of setting up a home based business. For those who need a little inspiration in finding that elusive beginning of an idea, here are 107 to explore. Make a list, then research, gather information, look at competitors and critically analyze your short-listed ideas to determine which one will work best for you.

Business Services

  1. Lunch Delivery ServiceLunch Delivery Service: Ideal if you live near offices. Do your research before starting. See if you have competitors and what they are offering at what price. Survey office workers – what type of sandwiches would they like to have? What are they currently paying and willing to pay you? Use pamphlets with a list of sandwiches and prices, and when you will deliver. Deliver on time!
  2. Product Distributor: The initial challenge will be finding a product to distribute. Look at local handcrafts, research magazines or fairs. Use parent organizations, direct mail, pamphlets, newsletters and a website to promote and sell your product.
  3. Virtual Assistant: Depending on your training, skills and experience, you could offer an array of services such as administrative support, technical support, customer service, research, data entry and website maintenance.
  4. Bookkeeper: If number crunching is your strong point, then consider becoming a work from home bookkeeper. You will need to be competent in using Excel or bookkeeping software.
  5. Concierge: Personality is the most important requirement. You will have demanding clients who expect you to deliver what they want on time and be extremely pleasant. For this you need to be efficient, have the ability to make things happen and do so with a smile.
  6. Business coaching: If you have experience and expertise in business, why not use your skills to coach business owners and managers to set and achieve their goals.
  7. Green/Eco Consultant: Consumers and regulators are putting pressure on companies to become more eco-friendly. Small business owners cannot afford to employ large consulting firms to do this for them. You could meet with them, review their environmental impact and make recommendations regarding energy use, waste and costs to create a more energy efficient and environmentally friendly operation.
  8. Warehousing and Shipping for E-Commerce: If you have extra space at home such as a basement or garage, you could try this. Find businesses that want to outsource their inventory and shipping. You will then be responsible for keeping inventory and shipping orders as they come in.
  9. Mobile Employee Monitoring Service: For companies with mobile employees, it is difficult to keep track of these employees for payroll and billing. This creates an opportunity for entrepreneurs, especially if you add some outsourced human resources functions.
  10. Business Presentations: If you are good at putting together presentations, why not offer your services to others? There is plenty of training available online.
  11. Flier Distribution Service: All you need is a telephone and good walking shoes. You can employ casual staff to help scale your business. Research what the current flier delivery services are charging.
  12. Home Office Planner: Assist business owners and employees in making the transition to a home based office by offering a planning service focussed on office layout design, storage solutions, ergonomics, work routine schedules, suitable equipment and supplies, communications systems and security systems.
  13. Mystery Shopping: You will be required to dine or shop at restaurants or retail outlets as an ordinary patron and then give a verbal or written report to owners or managers on customer service and food quality. Other mystery shopping opportunities are reviewing the quality of care at hospitals or reporting on the service from collection agency representatives. In addition, you may be asked to do undercover surveillance of staff (if theft is suspected). Some states view mystery shoppers as private investigators, in which case you will need a license.
  14. Referral Service: Match people to their required service online and by phone. You could specialise in niches such as apartment rentals, babysitters or a homeowners’ network of plumbers, painters, cleaning services, gardening services and electricians.

Maintenance And Cleaning Services

  1. Graffiti CleaningGraffiti Removalist: Get contracts for the monthly cleaning of buildings or walls. Make sure you have the necessary cleaning products to cover all types of graffiti on all types of surfaces.
  2. Commercial Office Cleaning: Research what price local competitors are charging. Send a flyer with a list of your services to all the local businesses. Try and get on-going contracts for more regular income.
  3. Lawn Care: For this you need some gardening skills. Think about upgrading your skills to stand out from the rest. You need to be physically fit, reliable and disciplined to protect your reputation. Put your business hat on and think about what to do in the winter months.
  4. Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Service:  First research what equipment you will require and the cost. Then research what training, certification, licensing and insurance you will need and assess your competition.
  5. Window Cleaning Service: Learn how to do this professionally. Research what licenses and insurance you will need and the need for this service in your area.
  6. Pet Cleanup Services:  Dog and/or cat clean up services for busy owners. You offer to keep the lawn clean and clean and refill the cat litter tray. The benefit to owners is that they do not have to worry about buying kitty litter and can use the lawn and garden safely.
  7. Indoor Plant Care Service: Target local businesses, hotels, shopping malls and busy home-owners. It involves, watering, feeding, trimming and replacing plants when necessary. This is a luxury item so may be the first to go when budgeting.
  8. Deck Maintenance Service: This is usually an annual requirement, so you should get repeat business. Deck maintenance includes checking and repairing damaged or loose boards, cleaning and applying a sealant. Research license and insurance requirements, equipment required, competition, market needs and how to market your business.
  9. Gutter Cleaning Service:  You will need proper safety equipment and insurance. It is a potential hazardous occupation, as you will be climbing ladders and roofs.
  10. Hauling Service: Most people have rubbish or refuse that they would like to get rid of. Plus you can offer a service to haul large or bulky purchases from stores to your clients’ homes. You will need to have a truck or trailer.
  11. Computer Cleaning Service: Commercial office cleaners do not normally clean computers. You could establish a computer cleaning business and use the commercial cleaning companies for recommendations. You will need proper equipment and insurance.
  12. Awning Cleaning Service: Ideal for a business run from home with flexible working hours, no skills required and low start-up costs. Target homes and commercial awning signs. Have a list of all the benefits your cleaning service provides and start door knocking.
  13. Toner Cartridge Recycling: It is easy to learn how to refill the cartridges with new ink. Offer fast and free delivery of recycled cartridges to offices, stores and homes. Franchises are available.
  14. Swimming Pool Maintenance: Consider working for a local swimming pool service to learn the ropes before starting your own business. It is not as easy as it sounds. Research the need for this service in your area, your competition and what licenses and insurance you will need. A truck or trailer and a safe place to store chemicals are required.
  15. Garden Maintenance: From lawn mowing, cleaning and pruning to garden preparation, planting, pest control and watering.

Information-Related Services

  1. CopywritingCopywriting/Ghost writing/Magazine article writing/Webpage content writing: If you have a way with words and can write creative and compelling articles, then this may be for you. All you need is a computer. There are many sites like guru.com or elance.com that employ writers. There is also CloudCrowd (through Facebook). This article about building a freelance writing business has lots of ideas.
  2. Website Developer: You can do courses online to learn how to do this. Research training options and licensing requirements. Initially, you will need to network extensively (to find work) and market your skills.
  3. Medical Transcription:  You need to be able to listen and type at the same time. You will need a computer, headphones, printer, medical dictionary and software for audio playback.
  4. Legal Transcription:  You need to be able to listen and type at the same time. You will need a computer, headphones, printer, legal dictionary and software for audio playback. You may require some training in legal formatting and terminology.
  5. Translation services: If you are fluent in 2 or more languages, you can offer a translation service from your home. All you need is a computer.
  6. Website Flipping: Buy established websites that can be improved to increase revenue and build your portfolio of websites. Flippa.com is a good source of websites.
  7. Digital Forensic Service: This involves recovering lost, deleted or corrupted computer content. Do your research on regulations and start-up costs.
  8. Internet Marketing Consultant:  If you have good internet marketing skills, you could help small business owners promote their businesses online.  You can either offer this as a “done for you” service, or coach business owners in doing it themselves.
  9. IT Security Consulting Service: Many businesses store their clients’ personal information on computer. Small businesses cannot afford to hire a data security specialist. You will need a background in IT. Research what training, experience and licenses you need and what the regulations are.
  10. Freelancing: You only have to look at Freelancer.com, Elance.com or Guru.com to see more than a million freelance projects on offer.
  11. E-Book Publishing: Write and publish your own how-to books, storybooks or informational books. Automate your system by delivering your e-books via downloads. If you have an idea but do not want to write the content, you can always outsource the content writing to freelance writers (for example: guru.com, elance.com, odesk.com and others).
  12. Video Production: If videography is your hobby, this is a great business idea. You can offer to make, edit and download videos (online or to DVD) for your clients. You will need professional equipment. Display your portfolio on your own website.
  13. Start a Blog: This is not for everyone as it is hard work with no guarantee of income. For those that succeed, it can provide an income. Research and learn before starting. A good starting point is to read How To Make Money With A Blog.

Home And Personal Services

  1. KidsPlayingParty Planner/Co-ordinator: Take the stress off clients by offering to plan and co-ordinate their parties, including invitations, entertainment and catering. You will need to build up a good list of resources, so do your research first to get all the contacts. You may need extra help at short notice as your business grows, so have a back-up plan. You will need to be well organized and disciplined. This article, The Secret To Becoming A Successful Party Planner, has many tips about succeeding as a party planner.
  2. Party Rentals: You will need some initial capital to invest in equipment, and a trailer or truck. You will also need to be prepared to work weekends. Do your own deliveries to cut costs. You can provide a range of items from inflatables, interactive games, jousts, giant slides, obstacle courses, video games, casino equipment to fun foods. Insurance can be expensive, so check insurance rates first.
  3. Event Planning: Events range from parades, weddings, reunions, birthdays, anniversaries, conferences, meetings, graduations, product launches, political rallies, fashion shows, memorials, fundraisers, receptions, trade shows, conventions, company picnics, holiday parties and meetings for staff members, board members or stockholders and athletic competitions to civic events. This may take time to learn unless you are already a qualified event planner. You will need to either spend time in an event management company to learn the tricks of the trade or get a qualification from a local college.
  4. Local Travel/Tour Guide: You do not have to travel all over the place but can concentrate on your local travel business such as a historical walking tour business. Do research and get some interesting facts and some myths to make it interesting but also fun. Design or acquire a map for clients to make it interesting.
  5. Career Coach/Advisor: Have you always been the one people come to for advice? Why not use that skill of listening and mentoring in a career coaching business?  If you are good at counselling, use your network of contacts to get clients.
  6. Pet Sitting: You will need to be an animal lover to do this. Many pet owners have high expectations, so do your homework and become knowledgeable about pets. You will need to be able to answer their questions.
  7. Home Inspection: Research what training, experience and licensing you will need. Work on establishing good communication with real estate agents to get leads. Ongoing education is essential as new products are being produced continuously and safety legislation is updated regularly.
  8. Household Organizer: Are you a great organizer with creative ideas and good communication skills? You can either offer a service to organize customers’ houses, rooms or garages or do consulting work. You need to offer a professional service, so set up a portfolio of design ideas and checklists and questionnaires to get an idea of how the family use the space. Once established, you can expand into other related areas.
  9. Wedding Planner/Consultant: You will have to be the expert on the latest trends, fashions and more. Offer a full service, from minor details to wedding gowns. You will need some capital for start-up costs. Create a uniqueness to stand out from the rest – why would they pick you?
  10. Computer training: Teach seniors the basics on how to use a PC and send e-mails. It can be a very rewarding experience.
  11. Moving Service: You do not want to compete with large moving companies. Target small local household moves. You will have to convince them that you can do it better than they can do it on their own. Advertise locally with, for example, pamphlets, signs and business cards and get to know your local estate agents for possible leads.
  12. Day Care:  Most parents prefer to have their children cared for in a home environment. You will need to thoroughly research what training, equipment, insurance and licensing you will need.
  13. Tutoring: You will need experience and references. Tutoring can be at homes, schools, care centres or online. Research tutoring needs in your area. There are agencies that match tutors and students.
  14. Senior/Elder Care Services: This involves helping seniors with tasks such as house cleaning, transportation, bathing, assisting with taking medication, companionship and meals. Research how many seniors there are in your area and what their needs are as well as what training, licensing and insurance you may need.
  15. Junk Removalist: People always have junk. Research what junk removalists there are in your area, where there is a particular need, what certification you need and what equipment you will need.
  16. Mobile Pet Grooming Service: You will need a well-equipped van and training on pet handling and grooming. Research the competition and find a point of difference for yourself.
  17. Dog walking/Running Service: This is great for any fit outdoor type of person who loves dogs. Research what training, licensing and insurance you need. You will need to be disciplined and provide great customer service, as word of mouth will be your best source of business.
  18. Home Staging: Sellers want to be able to sell their properties quickly and a well-staged home will enhance the appeal for buyers. You can develop a good working relationship with your local estate agents for leads. Research homes that have sold quickly and see how they were styled.
  19. Dog Obedience Training: First you need to decide whether you want to train dogs or teach people how to train their dogs. Then you need to learn the principles and practises of dog training. You can either do this online or look for a course. A good way of marketing your services is to use a temperament evaluation card to show potential clients your training programs.
  20. Nanny Service:  You will have to gain the trust of your clients and be prepared for a background check. Keeping the children and their parents happy can be a challenge. Having good references is essential.
  21. Installation of Home Theatre Systems and TVs: Most households have a TV, but fewer have home theatre systems. There is a great opportunity to enhance the TV viewing experience for home owners. As technology is changing rapidly, you will have to stay on top of this.
  22. Art lessons: If you have the knowledge and talent for drawing or painting, why not teach others?
  23. Packing/Unpacking Service: For people or businesses moving to new premises. You need to be organized and efficient at packing and labelling, have good communication skills and be good with dealing with stressful situations. Target homeowners, businesses and rental accommodation. Use fliers to advertise your services. Think about supplying the packaging materials as well.
  24. Antique and Rare Auto Finder: If you love old cars and have a good knowledge of them, why not use this to help clients find their dream cars and earn a commission?
  25. Transportation Service: Find a niche such as the aging population, after school service, medical or events and research your potential clients and their needs. Also research what licenses and insurance you will need and the regulations governing this industry. You may need start-up capital if you don’t already have a suitable vehicle. Or, perhaps, you may have an interesting, antique or unique vehicle that people may want to have a fun ride in.

Health And Beauty-Related Services

  1. Pregnancy Fitness Classes: You will need a certificate in pregnancy fitness. Create a comfortable and secure environment for these classes. And then keep up to date with new developments in pregnancy fitness training.
  2. Fitness TrainerMobile Personal Fitness Trainer: If you enjoy exercising and keeping fit, why not become a fitness trainer? You will be the best advertisement for your business, so you need a good physique.
  3. Massage Therapy: If you have an interest in alternative health and enjoy working with your hands, consider specialising in one of the different types of massage therapy such as craniosacral, aromatherapy, Shiatsu, reflexology, trigger point and sports massage. Research what training and/or license you need in your area.
  4. Birth Doula: Ideally you need to be a calm and patient person to be a birth doula or a postpartum doula (assisting new moms). You can start by working with an experienced doula to gain confidence and experience and determine if this is suitable for you (and get a good reference as well). A birth doula provides emotional and physical support for couples during labor and delivery. A postpartum doula provides help for new moms while recovering from childbirth such as support on breastfeeding, bathing or handling siblings.
  5. Yoga Instructor: Yoga appeals to all ages. You can have classes at your home or a venue or visit clients at their home.
  6. Stress Management Service: If you have experience and training in meditation or yoga or other stress management techniques, you can help others with their stress management.
  7. Home Beauty: Body Piercing, hair removal, make-up artist, manicure (and pedicure) salon, mobile foot massage service, wigs, organic hair and skin products are just some of the options for a beauty business.

Product-Based Home Businesses

  1. Balloon ArrangementsBalloons:   Find a unique angle such as designing and delivering balloon arrangements, a balloon decorating service or balloon themes for parties or weddings. The best marketing strategy is to demonstrate your product with a free display and lots of flyers. Find restaurants, supermarkets or other local places that will attract your potential customers.
  2. Online Store Owner: Sell products online through E-bay, Etsy or your own website. You will need to research registering the business name and what licenses you require (you can find most of this on our site). Use social media to promote your store or website. Research what others are doing, how they sell and learn as much as you can before you launch.
  3. Jewellery Making: You can work with various types of material such as metal, glass, plastic, beads, wood or feathers. Research what skills, tools, training or licensing you may need.
  4. Gift Basket Service:  Trying to provide for everyone’s tastes will be an enormous challenge, so choose a niche market such as pet lovers, animal lovers, women, men, teenagers or seniors and cater for their specific needs. If you have hand made products such as soaps, why not create a gift basket service around your product? Try to find something unique that will give your service that extra boost. Do some research on what the people in your chosen niche would like to buy?
  5. Delectable Desserts: If you love making desserts and you have a knack for making amazing desserts, why not start your own dessert business? Research what regulations govern having a food business at home.
  6. Baking From Home: Whether it is cakes, cake decorating, cupcakes, cookies, artisan breads or pastries, people always prefer homemade. Do thorough research on what the regulations are for home food producers, licensing requirements and health regulations. Also research your niche to see if it is a potentially profitable business.
  7. Herb Farming: Herbs are very much in demand. You will need to have a big enough space to grow your herbs. Decide whether you will sell them in pots, freshly picked or dried. Research your potential market (chefs, local markets…).
  8. Dog Clothing and Accessories:  If you have good sewing skills and enjoy designing, this could be a great business for you. Research what is in fashion and what appeals to dog owners. Sweaters, rain jackets, T-shirts and even dog boots are popular.
  9. Pet Travel Accessories and Toys: Travel accessories such as pet carriers and car seat covers are in demand. Pet owners buy toys for their pets to play with and to exercise them.  You can sell them through EBay, Etsy or your own online store.
  10. Handmade Chocolates: Make unique chocolates to sell locally or online.
  11. Online Shoe Sales: This is a growing online business. If you have a passion for shoes and can find a special spin for selling your shoe line, this is worth researching. You can design and market your own niche shoe range. This can be anything from flip flops to heels.
  12. Vending Machine Operator: You could do the traditional soda and chips or the more niche health-oriented vending machine franchise. You can start small and build your operation as you generate cashflow.
  13. Craft Kits: Sell ready-to-make kits of materials for craft projects aimed at a specific market (kids, teenagers, bird lovers…). Keep the projects simple, as you will have to include assembly instructions. Research what is popular, easy to assemble and fun. To start with, market your products through demonstrations, fliers, local newspapers and online.
  14. Scrapbooking: Create and sell custom designed scrapbooks, scrapbook kits, templates, accessories and how-to books online. You can also give classes and/or do webinars.
  15. Cosmetics: Decide whether you want to join a direct sales organization, make cosmetic products yourself or find your own wholesale supplier. Register your business name and research what licenses and liability insurance you may require. Use product samples, catalogues, price lists and order forms at host parties.

Skilled Home-Based Business Activities

  1. Furniture Repair:  Buy functional furniture cheaply at garage sales and repair or modernise it. Select a particular niche such as furniture for kids, lamps, or coffee tables. Invest in business cards, advertise locally or use pamphlets.
  2. Pet PhotographyPet Photography: If you love pets and enjoy photography, why not combine the two and offer pet owners unique memories of their beloved pets. Use a digital camera and offer discounts things like referrals or more than one pet.
  3. Graphic Designer: Use your training and creative skills to create logos, images, sales brochures, business cards, advertisements, packaging and more from your home. You will need a computer and relevant software. Target small businesses, individuals or companies and assist them with their marketing.
  4. Electronics Repair:  If you have the expertise you can start your own repair business. Either limit it to small electronics only or offer general electronic repairs. To limit costs, ask clients to bring their small electronics to you. Make sure to have a plan for getting spare parts quickly to reduce your stock holding costs.
  5. Upholstery Repairs:  You can learn how to do this through books and videos. Ideally working with an experienced upholsterer would help you learn the skills quickly. Make sure you also have a list of good reliable furniture repair people that you can offer your clients.
  6. Appliance repairs: Either do small and/or large appliance repairs for your own clients or contract to appliance stores to cover their warranty service calls or both. Check what training, experience and licensing you require.
  7. Music lessons: Use your training, skills and experience to teach individuals, groups and “introduction to” classes (for those that think they may want to but are not sure). Your service could be for school children, adults or families.
  8. Photography: Find a niche such as portraits (families, individuals or homes), events (weddings, birthdays and special occasions) or landscapes. Research what training and licensing you may need.
  9. Making Furniture:  If you already have a workshop, why not turn your hobby into a business selling handmade furniture? You can use sites such as E-bay and Etsy to sell your items.
  10. Catering: Identify a niche where you can start. Research licensing requirements and health regulations.
  11. Mobile Hairdressing Service:  Offer a hairdressing service at home and a mobile service for seniors or disabled people. You will need experience and training. Research what licenses and insurance you will require.
  12. Tablet/Smartphone Repair Service: Almost everyone has a tablet or smartphone these days but getting it repaired is impossible and costly. If you have the skill and knowledge to do this, it is a great business opportunity.
  13. Contracting: If you are an electrician, plumber, roofer, carpenter, cabinet-maker, welder or painter, now is a good time to start your own contracting business. Start small and build your business.
  14. Handicrafts: Create custom or made-to-order items of sewing, knitting, crochet or quilting. You could also sell patterns. Have a look at this Pinterest page for inspiration.
  15. Financial Advisor: You will need certification, a diploma or a degree.  Refer to CFP Board for more information.
  16. Window/Mural Painting/Sign Writing: Put your artistic skills to work by painting windows, signs or murals for businesses. Establish a portfolio of your work for marketing your business.
  17. Mobile Bartender: You will need some start-up capital to invest in purchasing your mobile bar (or you could build one) and stock. Research what licenses or certification you may need. Choose a catchy fun name for your business that is easy to remember. Advertise your services to local event planners and use social media.
  18. Tax Preparation: This is seasonal work and you will have to consider other accounting or bookkeeping options for continuous income. Check to see what educational qualifications you need for tax preparation (depending on what state you reside in) and register with the IRS.

We hope this list has been useful in providing you with potential business ideas. If you have come across other ideas that we can add to this list, please let us know by contacting us via the links at the top or bottom of this page.

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