Unique Ideas for a Small Home-Based Business

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For people tired of being stuck in an office or just looking to make money from home, a home business can provide income and a flexible schedule. With a bit of entrepreneurial spirit and startup capital, you can start a small business from your couch, kitchen table, or home office. As you research business ideas, consider how you can capitalize on consumer trends and your individual talents to make a profit.

Man-Centered Products

With a bit of ingenuity, you can create products that are designed for men with disposable income to spare. Entrepreneur magazine reports a rising interest in luxury or novelty products for men, such as bacon-flavored toothpicks and men's shapewear. As part of your home-based business, use a site like Etsy.com to sell your products, and mine your brothers, fathers, friends, and personal experience for ideas. If you are interested in fishing, for example, sell custom fishing hats or lures that transform into a tie clip.

Eco Audits

The push to go green has become mainstream, and many businesses are making sustainable practices part of their operations plan. To capitalize on the need to go green at work, start an eco audit business from home. Read up on ways to improve a business' environmental impact, and use your background and expertise to make industry-specific suggestions. Contact businesses about your services and focus on their desire to save money and bolster their reputation. By getting straight to the point -- going green can benefit the bottom line -- you can get businesses interested and save them the work of doing it themselves.

Adventure Fitness

If you want a small business that allows you to be active, help people bust out of the gym by leading adventure fitness classes. Market your services as an entertaining alternative to running on a treadmill or attending indoor fitness classes. Lead groups on trail runs, cardio hikes or adventure bike rides, stopping to do strength training on rocks and trees along the way. Create a website to market your classes, and offer an introductory free session to inspire word-of-mouth marketing. Have clients sign up online and meet at a public spot; you can manage the website from home and handle payments online with PayPal or in cash in the field.

Expert Witness

If you have experience in a specific field, consider starting a business as an expert witness. This is particularly effective if you have multiple degrees or many years of experience in your chosen profession. Make a brochure or a sell sheet that explains your credentials, your public speaking experience, and any theater or performing experience. Send this to law firms in your town and region. Expert witnesses are called on to provide an unbiased opinion in court cases, and you can make a significant amount of money for a short period of work.