Top 100 Home Based Business Ideas & Opportunities

Starting a home based business is popular than ever. According to the latest business statistics, three out of four businesses started in the last decade were home based businesses. When people who started their business from home were asked why they chose starting from home rather than from a traditional town office, they sighted convenience, cheaper start up cost, enabling modern technology and proximity to customers as their reasons.

When Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com, was asked why he started his business from home, he said it was because in future he wanted to tell a story of how he started the business from his kitchen. That might be showmanship, whatever your reason don’t be shy of starting from home.

Internet Business Ideas That you can Start From Home

1. Freelance Writer

There are over 150 million websites and every day a 10,000 new websites or blogs are set up. All these websites require fresh content. Owners of these website rely on freelance writers to write articles for them. If you love writing or think  you can labour on to pen a 500 word article, you can register at sites like elance.com and start bidding for writing gigs.

2. Editing / Proofreading.

Wondering where to find these types of jobs? Check out elance.com. There are thousands of people at Elance looking for people to proof read their articles, ebooks, books and manuscripts. If you have a natural talent in the English language then your skills set is designed for editing and proofreading. You can make this a home based business that brings in some bucks for you.

3. Graphic Design

This is a great home based business opportunities because the pay is better than freelance writing. If you have good skills in Photoshop, Indesign, CS etc there are dozen of people on sites such as Elance and Odesk willing to pay good money for quality work.

4. Virtual Assistant.

This is a worker who handles any number of small tasks for a business or individual. Tasks include answering emails, data entry, scheduling, managing blogs, and even shopping. Anyone can become a virtual assistant. You don’t meet physically with people who hire you but you will work remotely over the internet and over Skype. You can register at Odesk.com to find Virtual Assistant jobs.

5. Call Center Representative.

You have heard of outsourcing companies that hire an army of people to work from a large call centre but now there are outsourcing companies that hire you but ask you to work from the comfort of your house. What is required is a good internet connection plus an active telephone line. They will get the calls but they will re-route it to your home telephone. This is a nice home based business that requires zero start up capital and the outsourcing companies will do the heavy lifting work of finding customers.

6. Data entry

Perhaps not the most thrilling of home based business idea, but data entry can nevertheless offer an extremely steady (not to mention flexible) source of extra income. You generally get paid for the number of entries you make rather than by the hour, which means you can go back and forth to it when you get a spare few minutes.

7. Converting ebooks to Kindle Format/Smashword/Ibook

The boom in ebook publishing is truly underway and there are many writers who lack the skills to convert their well written manuscripts into formats demanded by Amazon and Ibook. You can set up a home based business to offer this type of service. You can advertize the business over the internet or register at elance and find clients there.

8. Blogging

If you love and enjoy writing, find a topic you’re passionate about and start a blog on the topic. With blogging you make money through Google Adsense, Sponsored posts and selling ads directly from your blog site. Check out website like wordpress.com to learn how to start a blog.

9. Online Affiliate Marketer

The biggest problem most companies have is finding customers. You can help companies find customers by signing up to promote their products on Search engines and social media. You can earn commissions of up to 80% by operating this type of home based business. To find companies, sign up with clickbank.com.

10. Online surveys.

There are companies willing to pay you to do online survey. The fee can start from$35 to as high of $100 per survey. If you get enough gigs, this can be a full time home based business.

11. Online Tutors

Tools such as web chat, Skype, webcam combined with high speed broad band internet has made communicating over the internet easy. If you are a professional teacher, you can engage with private students from the comfort of you lounge of home office.

12. Ecommerce website

With blogging you make money through advertising but with ecommerce website you will make money by selling stuff.

13. Online Day trader (Stock trading)

This was the coolest profession during the great bull market of 90s. These days it is not that popular but if you are willing to do your home work, it may be your calling.

14. Forex Trader

Long time ago trading of forex was a preserve of big banks but thanks to information revolution, anyone can get a piece of this trillion dollars a day business. Beware, this business is not for the faint hearted but if you love risk, go  for it.

15. Online poker player

Online poker playing is banned in USA but in europe this business is booming. It is a lucrative business for those who have the aptitude for it.

16. Lead generator

Marketers are always looking for qualified leads to promote and sell their products. If you can develop a well targeted email list of a niche market, you can sell those contacts to marketers.

17. Ebay Reseller

Ebay has been around since the birth of internet. Ebay allows you to set a virtual store and sell products. Millions of buyers use ebay to get cheap deals. With ebay, you buys goods that are on clearance sale on local shops and reseller them at profit.

18. Internet Research Firm

If you have tried to do online research you know how difficult it can be to find reliable information.  If you’re an info seeker by nature you can start an online business that conducts internet based research for people who value time and quality.

Unique Home Based Business Ideas

19. Sperm Donor

This is only for men. According to this article, If you are 18 to 40, you can make $400 to $1,000 each month donating sperm.

20. Egg Donor

Ladies, did you know that you can earn $3,000 to $5,000 or more by donating your eggs? If you’re relatively young and in good health, this could be an option for you to add some significant income to your budget.

21. Surrogate Mother

If you don’t mind carrying a foetus for 9 months, this is an opportunity to make money. According to Surrogatemothers.com, the average fee is approximately $20,000.

Home Based Business Ideas For the Professional

22.Book Keeping

If you have the necessary qualifications in accounting, this is a nice side business that you can do at home and on your own time and will pay you well. There are a number of small businesses out there that need a book keeper, but don’t want to pay someone full time. See Strategies of starting a home based business consulting business.

23. Computer Programming

Programming is another job that can be done easily from home. Programmers with more than just one or two programming languages are always in high demand.

24. Business Coach

That MBA may be your ticket to greatness. There are many full time businesses out there who need a good business coach in order to be more successful – You can set up a home based business consultancy to service these businesses.

25. Online Social Media Consultant

This is a modern career. Do you know Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter like the back of your hand? Then you are social media consultant. Many businesses out there are clueless on these media work and your expertise can make them successful. Setting up this type of home based business is very easy. All you need is internet connection and a website.

26. SEO/SEM Consultant

Do you have a real skill in SEO, online marketing, and the tricks of the trade to increase website and blog traffic? If so, consider starting a business that advises webmasters how to get more visitors to their website.

27. Tax Advisor

Filing tax returns is mandatory and most people and small business owners have no time and desire to do their own returns. This can be a viable home based business.

28. App creator

Cellphone platforms such as android and iphone have created massive opportunity to create niche apps. The app makes money through ads or by selling it.

29. Software creator

If you are good in coding you can start making money by creating specialized software for small business and institutions.

Home Based Business Ideas for those with special talents

30. Musical performance

If you are one of the lucky people who was born with a gift of playing a musical instrument then you can use that talent to start a home based business. You can start by spreading the word locally – weddings and other formal functions can be a lucrative source of performance income.

31. DJ (Disc Jockey)

Being a DJ takes some natural music talent, if you think you have an ear for music, why not turn it into a business. You can start by performing at neighbourhood birthday parties, weddings and social events. Once you have enough experience under the belt you can start looking for corporate events.

32. Interior Designer

Some people have a good eye for color, shapes and arrangement and these make them good at interior design. Interior design can be done easily from home because the job consists of meeting with potential clients at their home or office. Starting an interior design home based business is a low cost way to turn that passion into a cash flow stream.

33. Videographer

The rise of internet has created a demand in quality videos. The demand is from personal bloggers, small and medium sized businesses. If this business is for you – don’t wait, get started today!

34.  Website Design

According to latest statistics, 20,000 websites are created everyday….If you do have the skills to start a website design business – What are you waiting for?!?! This is a great home based business idea . You can do all the work from home at times that is most convenient for you and the profit margin is spectacular.

35. Photographer

Do you have a good eye for quality pictures. People pay big money for pictures to be taken during those special days; wedding, birthdays, birth, graduations etc. Read How to Start a home based photography business.

Craft Ideas

36. Cake making and decorating

Enjoy baking? This type of home based business doesn’t even require purchase of expensive equipment to get started. You can start with your kitchen wares and oven.

37. Candle making

This is one of the oldest cottage industries in the world. People have always made candles from home since the birth of industrial age. If you don’t know how to do it, you can get started by watching free tutorials on youtube.com. The candles can be sold at at local shops and also through websites like Etsy.com.

38. Candy making

Homemade candies are easier to make than you think and quite popular. Package them in nice little boxes and sell them through a local gift shop.

39. Card making

This is another artistic “crafty” business idea that can be done from the comfort of your home. Make greeting/birthday cards from scratch using blank cards. You can take orders from neighbours or sell them through cafepress.com

40. Cookie making

Some people just love homemade cookies.  Bake the cookies, package them well, and resell them door to door. Facebook is another good place to find customers.

41. Furniture making

Starting a furniture making business from home requires garage space or a big yard. You can buy the necessary materials and equipment from home deport. Before sending those flyers out, make sure you have a ready photo album of the type of furniture you make.

42. Jewelry making

If you have a good eye for detail work and a lot of patience, homemade jewelry can be quite profitable.

43. Knitting

A good number of people are non-conformist and prefer custom made sweaters, carpets, towels and blankets. The only thing you need is a large loom to do the knitting. The services can be marketed through local trade fair or you can sell directly to local stores.

44. Soap making

You might think this is not a viable home made business but if you think about it the latest craze of natural and herbal products has created an opportunity. As smart idea is to make you soap from locally sourced material and promote it as LOCALLY MADE WITH PURE LOCAL MATERIALS!

45. Toy making

Toys were originally made from home before industrial revolution. Despite the mass production of toys, many people are willing to pay good money for handcrafted toys that you can easily make at home in your spare time. Again, gift shops are the place to go with items like these.

46. Auto detailer.

This is not a hobby that only exists on MTV pimp my ride show. There  are people who will gladly pay someone to make their vehicle look like new. This business can be done from the yard or garage.

47. Jerky maker.

Wondering who is a jerky maker. Jerky is lean meat that has been trimmed of fat, cut into strips, and then dried to prevent spoilage. This is a job that requires skillful operation.  You can get orders from neighbours, local restaurants and butchers.

48. Antique refurbisher.

If you enjoy refurbishing antiques in your spare time, why not have people pay you to refurbish theirs?

49. Computer Repairs

All most every home has a PC or Laptop. These equipments experience glitches now and then. A home based computer repair business would find ready customers.

50. Wood worker

Do you have a talent of making unique sculptures? This can be a viable home based business because people are paying top dollars for unique items.

51. Painter

Instead of thinking family portrait photographs think of hand painted family portraits.

Home Based Ideas for the professional seller

52. Antique Dealers

You can start buying unwanted antiques from yard sales, polish them and resell them on ebay.

54. Garage Sale

Garage sales is not just a small matter of getting ride of your unwanted stuff. I remember reading the story of Aaron LaPedis and Jeffrey Kern. These two guys made a million dollars turning other peoples trash into treasure. They even wrote a book The garage sale millionaires.

55. Real Estate

A real estate business requires a well furnished home office where you will be meeting potential clients.

56. Multi-Level Marketer

Multi level marketing companies like Avon, GNLD and Herbal life are always looking for marketers to sell their products. This business can easily be done from your home office.

57. Cosmetics sales.

This is very much a social business activity so be prepared to spend lots of time meeting and talking to people.

58. Selling lost luggage

Auction houses round the country routinely sell off lost luggage that the airlines have failed to match with their owners. You can sell the stuff on eBay or at a car boot sale.

59. Insurance Agent

Insurance agents are another class of workers who can easily operate without a town office.

Service Providers.

60. Plumbing services.

Most of the plumbers i know run home based businesses. This business requires a few basic tool to get off the ground. You can advertize your services through local classifieds. You will be amazed at the simple things people are willing to pay others to help them with.

61.House Painting

If you are professional painter you can set a home agency. You recruit professional painters and promote the service to contractors.

62. Personal shopping

Believe it or not some of the rich blokes are so rich such that they don’t have time to do shopping. They hire people to do shopping for them.

63. Pet grooming

Millions of dollars are spent each year on making pets look good. Do you love animals and a steady hand, maybe this is your dream home based business?

64. Pet sitting

Just like baby sitting, some people don’t have time for their pets. Pet owners will hire you to pet seat their animals whenever they have a dinner engagement, away on holiday or excessive work load.

65. Pet walking

A well exercised dog is a happy dog. This service is highly sought by the elderly who due to poor health are unable to take their dogs for regular walks. The best areas to set this type of home based business is in communities with a large number of senior citizens.

66. Pet yard waste cleanup

Think of it as waste management for dogs…Dogs are always pooing in the yard and many people have a problem scooping up that poo. Their problem is your business opportunity.

67. Pet Fence (electric) Installation

If you can get an exclusive contract from a pet fence installation franchises this can be a full time home based business. An exclusive contract will give you the monopoly and freedom to provide this service in an enough scale to make it a viable full time business.

68. Babysitting

This is not just a business for high school or college kids. If you live in an affluent neighboured where people have no problem paying top dollar for a professional baby sitter this is a viable home based business.

69. Bed and Breakfast

Do you own a large home with many rooms? Maybe you want to consider opening a small bed and breakfast? This small adventure could lead to a much larger business in the future, but even running it small scale could bring in some big bucks.

70. Rent out an Extra Room

If you have an extra room in your house or flat you can list it on a website like airbnb. The website will promote your room to travellers who prefer staying in a private flat than at a regular hotel room.

71. Catering

A catering business can be run easily from home premises. What is needed is an area to store all your equipment and an area where you do all the food preparation.

72. Event Planning

Events like family reunions and large office and birthday parties provide a massive business opportunity for the go getter entrepreneur.  If you think you can handle all the planning and coordination this is your opportunity.

73. Urban farming

Farming is not just for the rural folks. There is growing movement of urban farmers; people who are doing small scale farming on roof tops of storeyed buildings in large cities like New York. For how to turn small produce into dollars, check out urban farming association.

74. Gardening

Using technology like green house can help you harvest a large produce from a small area of land. The green house can be set up at your back yard and the produce can be sold at local market.

75. Nursery Bed

Many suburban dwellers are doing small scale gardening of vegetables and fruits. You can set up a nursery to supply them with necessary germination plants.

76. House Cleaning

To turn this into a full time home based business you will need to have a large number of clients.

77. Home Inspector

A home inspector works with Real estate agents. A home inspector does thorough audit on homes and points out any potential problems. Anyone can run this type of business, although anyone who has worked in the construction or housing industry will have an advantage. You will need to get certification from your state. For certification visit Nachi.org.

78. Day Care

Day care business was originally a preserve of women but the movie Daddy Day Care , starring Eddy Murphy opened the doors to men. If you are a stay at home dad, don’t feel shy trying this out. Just make sure you meet all your state requirements before opening you home to day care.

79. Wedding Planner.

Despite high divorce rates, doing a wedding is popular than ever. People will pay professional wedding planners to plan and coordinate their wedding.

80. Hairstylist.

If you have experience cutting hair and giving manicures, opening up shop from your home is an excellent way to start your own salon.

81. Doula

Have you given birth 4 – 6 times and you have uttermost respect for this noble activity. You can use your expertise to help other mothers prepare and give birth. Register with online doula registries.

82. Carpet Cleaning

A carpet cleaning business is best done by buying a franchise from a national carpet cleaning service.

83. Window cleaning

Window cleaning is not the easiest of jobs especially when you talk of cleaning windows of a two storey house. This can be a great business opportunity for anyone leaving close to a town.

84. Buy and Sell cars for profit

If you love cars and aren’t afraid to haggle, you could start a car flipping biz.

85. Massage Therapy

Do you have a spare room. You can set up the room as a massage studio. Alternatively you can meet client in their homes.

86. Yoga Instructor

If you live in a big house with a large hall size room, you can convert that room to a yoga studio. You can drum up for business by sending out fliers to your neighbours.

87. Lawn Care

Before you start a home based lawn care business you can first work as an apprentice with a professional mower.

88. Landscaper

You don’t require a degree in civil engineering to start your own landscaping business. The only requirement you need is a keen eye for details and structures.

89. Laundry services.

Some people hate washing and ironing clothes so much they’re willing to pay others to do it.

90. T-shirt design

Websites like cafepress.com has made it easy to start a home based design business. You set up a free account, upload samples of your work and people will contact you if they are comfortable with your work.

91. Boot Camp

If you leave in a farm area you can convert some of your land space into a boot camp. To get started you just need to set up challenging obstacles.

92. M.C (Master of Ceremony)

If you’re the type of person who can get the attention of a room easily, being a master of ceremony might be for you.

93. Courier Services

To get started you can re-brand your personal car into a delivery van.

94. Vehicle Tracking Services

Vehicle tracking is not just for the large corporations. Small and medium sized business require detailed analysis on their transport spend. To start this type of home based business you will need licensed software and a control room in your house where you will monitor all vehicles.

95. Work as an extra

Are you an accomplished actor/actress? Movies/TV Productions/ Advertisers are ever looking for people to fill in. They pay is not the greatest for starters but it can open opportunities for bigger things.

96. Seasonal Decorator

A seasonal decorator specializes in coming with unique themes for seasonal celebration. From Easter, Halloween to Christmas.

97. Mystery Shopper

Big brands are paying people to shop for their products. Your job will be to report back on customer experience.

98.Dinner Cook

Not to be confused with catering. This unique idea is slightly different than catering. As a dinner cook, you go into someone else’s home once (or more) per week and cook a meal for them.

99. Travel Agency

Some people don’t have the time to plan for holiday or vacation. You can charge people to do for them all the research and booking.

100.Translator

As a translator you will be paid on hourly basis. With a good internet connection and reliable telephone line this is an easy to do home based business.