As Covid-19 spread across the world in 2020, it left a trail of destruction on the employment front. Around 114 million people lost their jobs across the world in 2020. While many have since returned to work, many lost their jobs forever. While losing a job is certainly a calamity, you will soon need to get up, dust yourself, and look ahead. One way of doing this is by starting your own business from home today.
Deciding to start a business from home is easy; the complications start when you have to decide what business exactly you want to set in motion. If this is a predicament you find yourself in, we have assembled 17 ideas for owning your own business, which could help you get started.
Before You Start
Before we look at the different ideas you can consider, it’s important to say that running your own business requires tenacity and a willingness to work more hours than most other people. This is why you need to consider your strengths and weaknesses before diving in.
Bianca Miller Cole writes for Forbes.com and identifies 17 important factors you will need to consider before deciding the type of business you will do. Some of the important ones are:
Money issues: Consider whether you have the capital required to start your business, how you will charge for your goods and services, and what your tax obligations will include.
Operational issues: Assess different aspects of your business goals, where you will work from, and the number of employees you will need.
Marketing: Determine who your target customers will be, how you will reach them, whom you are competing with, and what makes your goods or services better than those already on the market.
Skills and motivation: Small business owners could easily work 18 hours a day. Therefore, you need to consider whether you have enough motivation and time to dedicate to your business.
1. Dropshipping / Online Store / Amazon Store / eBay Selling
If there is one area that benefited from the havoc created by Covid-19, it is the e-commerce sector. Before Covid-19, the e-commerce share of the aggregate retail sales was 16%. Spurred by the series of lockdowns across the world as the numbers of infected people escalated, the e-commerce share of all retail sales went up to 19%.
The main advantage of an e-commerce business is that you often don’t need to hold inventory. Also, you can start no matter how low your initial capital is. However, you will need to have patience because scaling in this kind of business can take time. You also need to find a reliable dropshipping partner.
2. Professional Organizing and Home Staging
Many people struggle with clutter and are looking for help. As a professional organizer, you can help restore sanity to cluttered spaces and make money from it.
Another related area you may want to consider is home staging. When estate agents or homeowners put houses on the market, they want to showcase the best version of the home. This requires the services of a home staging expert.
The Balance Small Business notes some advantages of this type of business: low startup overheads and no official training is required. In the beginning, you could build a portfolio doing small jobs for people you know. However, it’s vital to consider how you will differentiate yourself from everybody else.
3. Auto Detailing
If you love all things cars, auto detailing may be the kind of business you want to do. This is another type of business that doesn’t require much money to start. However, SmallBizTrends.com advises that “you do need to know all of the proper methods and the business side of the industry in order to be successful.”
There are several places where you can get the knowledge to run an auto detailing business successfully. Examples of places where you can get training include Detail King, Dynamic Detailing, and Right Look. Training can be as short as two days.
4. Freelance Writing / Editing
As businesses seek to augment their online presence, they search for great and valuable content to share with their customers. This introduces massive opportunities for great writers and those that can edit documents to perfection.
Even if you’re not a great content writer yourself, this business idea could still work for you. For instance, you could start a company that connects people looking for writers with good writers. You can earn a commission from each introduction you make.
5. Pet Sitting / Grooming / Walking
Maybe you are tired of seeing suggestions related to pet sitting, grooming, and walking as potential business ideas. However, there is a reason this type of business is constantly being suggested: it works.
The biggest advantage of this kind of business for someone who loves animals is that you get to do what you like. Also, anyone with a passion can start this business without a lot of startup capital.
The American customer service firm, HubSpot.com, advises people that want to start this type of business that “Licensing and insurance will be the two most important factors in opening a dog walking, grooming, or training business.”
6. Social Media Management
We are often advised not to spend too much time on social media because it’s not good for our mental health, but most of us still spend hours glued to our screens on social media platforms. With a bit of planning and structuring, you could start making money managing social media accounts for businesses and individuals.
The most effective way of getting into this business is to start by building a following on all social media platforms. You will have to show your potential clients that you have the skills to help them grow their following. Building followers on social media is painstaking. Therefore, you’ll need patience.
7. Jewelry Making
Statista reports that “Like the apparel market, the Accessories market is developing dynamically.” Adding, that “the Watches & Jewelry segment shows the highest growth potential and is expected to increase by 6.3%, reaching US$366 billion in 2025.”
If you have the skills to make Jewelry—which you may have obtained from your old job in the industry—you could tap into the growth expected by Statista. However, it’s vital to remember that this can be an extremely competitive industry. So, you’ll need to be creative in your marketing.
8. Online Home Tutoring
While the first thing that comes to mind when we talk about online home tutoring is formal education, online tutors can work in various disciplines. So, if you are worried about the competition, you could choose areas that many tutors ignore. For instance, you could build a niche among students with specific learning disorders or those who fail to flourish in traditional schools.
Printing businesses have been around for ages. This is the reason some may ignore the idea, fearing that there is too much competition. However, if you are creative, you could find a niche in a specialized area. For example, people lose their car service books or manuals all the time. You can start a business printing these manuals and shipping them to car owners who have lost theirs.
Entrepreneur.com says, “If it can get dirty, chances are someone will be willing to pay you to clean it.” Adding, “And that’s why few industries can claim the variety and depth of opportunities that professional cleaning can.”
The main advantage of a cleaning service business is that it can be operated from home. You don’t need full-time staff. All you need is to build a team of cleaners in the area where you want to operate and call them only when there is work. However, it’s vital to do proper vetting of the people that will work for you because the security of the customers into whose homes you will have access is paramount.
11. Local Guide / Event Planning
The tourism and event planning industries suffered some of the biggest losses due to Covid-19. However, the collapse of some big companies presents an opportunity for small businesses.
You can start your event planning and local guide business by launching an online presence and working with complementary businesses. For instance, you could arrange for certain restaurants or accommodation facilities to promote your services in exchange for customers from your side.
12. App and Web Development
NerdWallet.com appreciates that “Launching a successful app is no easy task.” But who says that everyone is looking for easy tasks? Also, the more difficult it is, the higher profit you can expect.
Maybe you don’t have the skills to develop applications. In that case, you could become an intermediary between those who can build apps and those who need them. You could become a trusted source where companies know that they are guaranteed a professional service.
13. Home Day Care / Senior Companion
The World Health Organization reports that “Globally, life expectancy has increased by more than 6 years between 2000 and 2019 – from 66.8 years in 2000 to 73.4 years in 2019.” This presents an excellent opportunity for those who want to start home day care or senior companion businesses.
Suppose this is a line of business you would like to follow. In that case, it’s vital to remember the importance of being compassionate and patient.
14. Coaching / Podcasting
People starting their own businesses always require guidance. Therefore, if you have skills in a specific area that you could impart to others, a coaching business could be for you. The rewards are handsome too. You could be taking home between $160 and $325 per hour.
You can transcend borders by creating coaching podcasts. Sujan Patel, in an article for Entrepreneur.com, suggests how you can benefit from your podcasts through sponsorships, relationships, and affiliate marketing.
15. Online Fitness and Yoga Instructor
The numerous lockdowns that started in 2020 across the world saw people confined to their homes, unable to go to the gyms or yoga studios. For those with skills, this presented an opportunity to start online instructor businesses.
In this type of business, you could benefit from word-of-mouth if you are doing a great job. People tend to listen to people they know instead of mass marketing messages. You could also create a YouTube channel to spread the message and connect with more potential clients.
16. Hosting Guests
Whether you want to register on a homestay platform or Airbnb, a hosting business can be rewarding. It can allow you to get to know different types of people and form connections that may be rewarding in the future, while also earning money.
Writing for Entrepreneur.com, Shipra Singh says that “The concept of homestays is quite simple.” Adding, “You rent out your unused property for short spans to guests traveling in your city.” Also, you don’t need to invest a lot because you are already using the house that you are hosting guests in.
17. Stock Photography
The learning company, Shaw Academy, acknowledges that “Stock photography may be a crowded market.” Nonetheless, the academy says that “it still offers some value as a bit of extra income on your photography.”
Stock photography is the kind of business you want to start if you are already involved in other freelance activities. For example, as a freelance writer, local guide, or events planner, you could also sell your stock photos to supplement your income.
Shaw Academy presents 10 places where you can sell your stock photography, including Alamy, Getty Images, and Shutterstock.