22 Work from home business ideas with low startup costs.
The pandemic has changed the way we do business. Working from home became the new norm. However, with vaccines becoming more available and Covid 19 pills getting international approval things are starting to go back to normal.
What some companies do not get is that some employees love working from home: no time wasted commuting, they can stay close to family members, they don’t have to get stuck in traffic for hours every day. All of these got many people thinking of trying to find ways to work from home.
Working from home might be a dream we’ve all had for quite some time, and if you are looking for home business ideas then you are at the right place.
This article will introduce you to 22 work from home business ideas with low startup costs. In most cases, all you need is a laptop, a website, and the desire to succeed and be independent.
If you’re not completely sure about what kind of home business you’d like to start, then use the following list for inspiration.
22 work from home business ideas with low startup costs.
Here are the types of home business ideas we’ll cover in this post:
- Freelance writer.
- Virtual assistant.
- Social media manager.
- Graphic designer.
- Web developer.
- Digital marketing.
- Online tutor/teacher.
- eCommerce store owner.
- Sell online courses.
- Self-publish Kindle books.
- Join a freelance site.
- Data entry.
- Online consignment store owner.
- Sell stock photos/video.
- Pet sitter/dog walker.
- Fitness instructor.
- Electronics repair shop.
- Personal chef/caterer.
- Sell baked goods.
- Run an Airbnb.
Read on for a variety of home-based businesses that you can start. You’ll notice that some are more computer based, while others will force you away from your screen and have you dealing face-to-face with clients.
1. Freelance writer
If you have a passion for writing, then you can build up a great business writing for the web. Even with little experience, you can build up a stable business rather quickly.
The first step is figuring out your niche.
For example, will you write emails for SaaS companies? Blog posts for supplement companies? Or focus on copywriting for fitness professionals?
With your niche narrowed down and your website built, it’s time to start pitching companies who need your services. If cold pitching seems a little daunting, you can always start by browsing jobs posted on freelancer sites like Upwork, Guru and Freelancer.
Related: You can check out this article to learn more about top freelancing websites in the Middle East.
2. Virtual assistant
If you love planning and organization, then a virtual assistant is a home business idea that might be right up your alley. As a virtual assistant (VA), there are a ton of different tasks that’ll fill up your workday. It might range from bookkeeping and responding to emails, scheduling meetings, posting to social media, or doing general data entry.
If this sounds like the right home business idea for you, you can explore gigs on sites like Upwork or Remote.co, or learn more here about this field.
3. Social media manager
Nearly all of us are active on social media these days. But did you know you can build a business around managing and growing social media accounts for others? Brands will pay decent money for people to manage and grow their social media accounts. CNN even lists social media manager on its list of top 100 careers.
If you’ve had success with your own social media accounts, you’re already a step ahead. If not, there are a ton of different educational resources you can use to build up your skillset.
Related: This article provides you with 9 social media simple tips to grow.
4. Work from home blogger
Starting a blog gives you a multitude of opportunities to create an excellent side business or even full-time income. There are tons of success stories floating around online about bloggers earning crazy profits online.
A blog in and of itself won’t make you any money. But there are many different ways you can monetize your site once it’s picking up traffic, such as:
- Selling affiliate products.
- Paid advertising.
- Selling eCourses and eBooks
Related: You can read this article to learn how to build a blog in 19 minutes. And you may as well read this article on the benefits of blogging.
5. Graphic designer
If you’ve always had a love for design, or spend your off hours toying around with programs like Photoshop and Illustrator, then you can work from home and build a business around these design skills.
There are several different niches you can tap into with your graphic design skills. For example, you can find work in markets like:
- Book cover design
- Front-end web design
- Logo design
- UX design for mobile apps
Related: you may want to read this article about Karolina Bashara, the graphic designer who started her business in Dubai.
6. Web developer
If you have a knack for coding or you’ve always wanted to learn how to build sites, then you can work from home and build a viable business.
Your first step is learning how to code, and building up your skills and portfolio. Once you feel confident in your abilities, it’s time to start getting clients.
To increase your chances of success, it’s always a good idea to find a niche for your services. For example, do you build websites for real estate agents and property managers? Are you focusing on a local market? Or maybe you build sites for startup eCommerce companies?
Related: You can read this article for 10 organizing tips for web developers.
7. Digital marketing
Digital marketing is a broad category and can cover virtually any online marketing task. However, as more and more companies jump online to stake their claim, you can build a business by helping these companies succeed.
Once again, deciding upon a niche will help to increase your chances of success.
Here’s a quick look at the types of skills you can build an online business around:
You can either build up a roster of local clients or serve clients virtually across the globe.
8. Online tutor/teacher
If you have a penchant for teaching, you can work from home and start a business teaching or tutoring online.
It’s more of a contractor role than a traditional business, but the work is consistent, and the need for competent teachers is high.
Studies show that there will be an increase in demand for private tutoring because of the effects of the pandemic and home schooling.
If you prefer to take the tutoring approach, you can build a sustainable tutoring business teaching kids about your favorite topics.
9. eCommerce store owner
Ecommerce stores have been growing in popularity in recent years. If you prefer to sell physical products, then this might be perfect for you.
With the right idea, there’s no reason you can’t be the next big success.
Your first step should be creating an E-store to display your products and make your sales through it.
Related: This article talks about all you need to know about Dropshipping.
10. Sell online courses
Chances are, you have some existing knowledge you can package up and sell as an online course. The online education industry is projected to grow to $325 billion by 2025. There’s enough room to make a name for yourself in this space and start a mini work from home business.
You can package up your knowledge and sell it in a ton of different ways. You can integrate your course into an existing blog, sell courses from your social media profile pages, and even use one of many education platforms like Udemy or Skillshare.
The online world is so big. There’s room for even the most niche of information. For example, the course Learn Scrivener Fast is solely dedicated to helping writers master the writing tool, Scrivener.
11. Self-publish Kindle books
If you’ve been dreaming about making a living as an author, this reality may be closer than you think. As a self-published author you can make up to a 70% royalty on your books.
The ease of publishing means there’s more competition, but by writing a book that satisfies reader expectations, you can still make a name for yourself and have a stable stream of income by working from home.
Spend some time figuring out the genre you’re going to write in. Then, write the best book possible, and build an email list of readers to whom you can sell books in the future.
12. Join a freelance site
There are many massive freelance platforms that you can take advantage of by selling your freelance skills.
For example, you can join Fiverr, Guru, Freelancer and Upwork, to name a few.
To build a sustainable business on the back of these platforms, you’ll need to create a niche for yourself. For example, do you do search engine optimization (SEO) for large content sites? Are you a graphic designer who does startup web design? Or are you a writer who specializes in small business finance?
These platforms are a quick path toward a reliable income while working from home. As your experience and reputation grow, you can expand beyond these platforms and diversify your client base.
13. Data entry
Data entry might not seem like the most exciting job, but the fact that you can work from home, or at a beachside bungalow, might help make it a more appealing home business idea.
Plus, the skills required to get your business off the ground are minimal.
All that’s needed is the willingness to learn how to input information into your clients’ desired software program.
14. Online consignment store owner
Thrift stores and consignment shops are more popular than ever. If you have a talent for putting outfits together and finding stylish clothing, then this could be the business for you.
Consignment shops can work well as an online business to work from home too. So, you don’t have to worry about a building lease or employees.
Plus, there are sites like Poshmark and Mercari that allow you to create a virtual closet to sell your products.
15. Sell stock photos/video
If you have a passion for photography or videography, you can turn it into a business. All you have to do is upload content that’s in alignment with what’s selling.
Some stock photo sites include iStockPhoto and Shutterstock. If you prefer to go the video route, you can upload your stock videos to sites like Pond5, VideoBlocks or VideoHive.
To build a long-term business, it can be helpful to create a niche for yourself on these sites, either through you unique style or the topics you capture.
Related: This article guides you to learn how to become a freelancing videographer.
We’ll continue with the work from home business ideas for camera lovers. There are a number of different photography-based businesses you can build from home.
For example, you could specialize in wedding photography, portraits, product photography for eCommerce, studio photography, drone photography, events, real estate photography and more.
Of course, you’ll have to leave your house for most of these niches, but once the photos are taken, you’ll be spending hours in your home office, editing away.
17. Pet sitter/dog walker
If you have a deep love for animals, then it’s hard to imagine a better job. You spend your days watching and playing with pets while their owners are away. Or, walking a group of dogs down to your favorite park for the afternoon.
Most pet owners care for their pets as if they were their children, so attention to detail and a high degree of trustworthiness are essential qualities to possess.
Typically, dogs and cats will be the most common animals, but you may have to take care of fish, birds, rabbits and other animals on occasion.
You can scale this up even further by offering a service like mobile grooming services, in addition to pet walking and sitting.
Related: Check out how Mahmoud and Sami built Pet with it in the UAE
18. Fitness instructor
If fitness is your passion, you can create a business sharing this with others.
There are multiple paths to success as a fitness instructor. You can make house calls, create group fitness events in your local park, work out of a gym or have clients come to you (if you have the space and equipment).
Social media marketing tools like Instagram can be very effective in helping you build your brand, whether you’re operating your fitness business out of a gym or offering personal consulting.
19. Electronics repair shop
Do you love fixing your own devices and electronics? If so, you can build a business doing this for others too. Lucky for you, a lot of modern electronics are pretty fragile, and people need help with cracked screens, dead batteries and other problems.
You can start a business fixing a certain type of electronics such as new iPhones while working from home.
20. Personal chef/caterer
As a personal chef, you can have a pretty broad customer base — : anyone who loves to eat who has the budget for your services.
To be a success, you not only need to be a master of the kitchen, but also be up-to-date on the latest food handling and health regulations.
You might only have one client for whom you prepare meals or multiple families. Be ready to adapt to various kitchen setups or invest in your own portable kitchen utensils.
If you want to scale up your cooking even further, you can start to cater events. To produce this volume of food, you may need to rent out a commercial cooking space and bring on additional staff, but the fee you can make per gig can be much higher.
21. Sell baked goods
If you prefer baking, you can create a business selling baked goods to local businesses. Most coffeeshops and cafes don’t make their own baked goods in house. Instead, they outsource this to others with the proper skills.
You can specialize in a certain type of pastry, like gluten-free or vegan baked goods, or instead opt to cast a wide net and bake every kind of pastry under the sun.
22. Run an Airbnb
There’s a lot that goes into managing a successful property via Airbnb. But, if you’re serious about renting out your home, or even just a room, then you have the chance to build a decent side income.
Depending on how desirable your property is, and the reality of your local rental market, you may be able to offset your entire rent or mortgage just by renting out your place on the weekends.
Tips for home business success
Starting a home business can help reduce overhead and shorten the pathway to business success. When looking through the list of ideas above, make sure you choose an idea that you’re passionate about, and not one based solely for potential profits.
Starting and running a business takes a lot of work, and having passion beyond the bottom line will help to carry you through.
Beyond passion keep the following rules in mind as you launch and grow your new business:
Carve out a home office space
You don’t have to convert a spare bedroom if you don’t have one to spare! Even a closet or partitioned-off section of a room will do for your home office. But do designate space for it.
You need to spatially — and emotionally — stake your claim over part of your home for your business. Otherwise, you end up working on the couch, sitting on your baby’s squeaky toy.
Set dedicated hours
Make it clear that you want to focus on work when you’re in your office, and let your family know when you will be available. Time block your calendar to increase productivity — scheduling time for both work and personal tasks.
Treat it like a real business — because it is
You might work from home but you run an honest-to-god business — so treat it like one! Invest in things like a professional website and the right business structure to ensure you succeed.
Build a network, online and off
Working out of your home doesn’t mean you don’t need help or shouldn’t hire it because you don’t have the office space. Delegating work — like creating blog content, graphic design or accounting work — can be affordable if you hire freelancers.
It also can make you feel less isolated if you connect with other entrepreneurs who also work from home online. You can find them in forums, online communities and social media.
Take care of yourself
Work-from-home business owners can get so wrapped up in their work that they neglect their physical and emotional well-being. Before you know it, you’ve been sitting at your keyboard for four hours and you forgot to eat lunch. It happens.
Build a few minutes into your schedule every hour to get up and stretch (set an alarm on your phone if that helps). Keep a water bottle handy to stay hydrated; it’s easy to over-caffeinate when you’re on a mission. Celebrate successes by treating yourself to a massage, a movie, or something else you really enjoy. You deserve it.
Score a home run with your home business
Hopefully, these 22 work from home business ideas have sparked enough excitement and intrigue to help you take the next steps to realize your business dreams.
Spend some time evaluating your skills and thinking about how you want to get paid for your time. Treat this list as a springboard for further research and dive deeper into the ideas that intrigue you.
And remember: You’ll need a strong online presence to make your home-based business a success. GoDaddy offers all the help and tools you need to start and grow your new venture. Good luck!
Image by: Helena Lopes via Unsplash.