Start Small: 7 Businesses You Can Start at Home

by Erin Crum ; Updated September 26, 2017
Woman working in home office


If you want to work for yourself or want more time to spend with family, starting a home-based business might be the perfect solution. From selling handcrafted goods to online blogging, there are many options when it comes to starting your own business without a ton of money or a ton of space. Check out a few of the home-based business you could have up and running in no time.


Smiling woman giving customer a necklace

If you enjoy making crafts such as jewelry, home decor or pottery, consider starting a small business selling your creations through an online marketplace like etsy.com. Create the items that you would like to sell and take photos of each piece. Then list the items on the website and pay a small fee for each item listed. Shoppers find your item on the website, send you payments and you ship the items directly to the customers. It's a great way to put your creativity to work as your own small business.

Related: Etsy is an online marketplace for buyers and sellers of handmade goods


Asian Student Using Laptop at Home

Successful bloggers can earn a full-time income through online posts, articles and regular columns. You can start your own blog through websites like blogger.com or tumblr.com. Find an area of expertise or a topic that you are passionate about and start writing about the latest news and share tips or insight in field. Sign up for a "pay-per-click" account by visiting a site such as Google Adsense, which puts advertisements on your blog. The more visitors to your site, the more opportunity to make money when visitors click on one of these ads.

Related: Generate revenue from advertisements on your blog.

Customer Support

Businesswoman smiling with headset

Many companies outsource their in-bound customer service phone calls to work-from-home employees. Take phone calls directly from customers who have questions or need assistance in purchasing items. The requirements are that you must have customer service experience, a landline and internet access. Companies such as Alpine Access, LiveOps, West and Arise hire virtual customer service agents who work out of their homes.

Related: Put your customer service skills to use as a home-based customer service agent


Smiling woman with paperwork

If you are good with numbers and find yourself always helping out friends during tax season, put your skills to work. By starting your own bookkeeping business, you can sell your own services to individuals and small businesses while working from home. You will need accounting software and a reliable computer. Attract new clients by posting flyers and sending out mailings to other small businesses in your area.

Related: Start a bookkeeping business with some accounting software and a home computer


Mother helping her daughter (9-10) with her homework

If you enjoy teaching, start you own home-based business tutoring students in your area of expertise. You can tutor students at their homes, in your home or at a library. Contact community groups and local schools to see how you can work with students who could use extra academic support. You can also join a online network and tutor students virtually, over the internet.

Related: Make money tutoring students while working from home


Woman sitting on floor using laptop computer

If you speak more than one language fluently, become a freelance translator. Many companies need paperwork and documents translated by fluent or native language speakers. Find freelance translating work through Welocalize.com or sdl.com. You will need to pass a language fluency test and have good grammar and punctuation.

Related: Use your linguistic skills as an opportunity to make money working from home.

Start your own eBay store

Mother and daughter taking a picture for online auction

If you enjoy finding great deals at consignment shops and consignment auctions, start your own eBay store. Turn these good deals around and make a nice profit by selling these products to online buyers. You can list items in auctions, at a fixed price or in inventory format. Your items will appear in eBay search results when buyers type in search terms matching the description of your goods. Payments are processed through PayPal and you ship the items directly to customers.

Related: Profit from your bargain hunting skills by opening an eBay store.

About the Author

Erin Crum has been writing for eHow since 2010. She received her Bachelor of Liberal Studies degree from Arizona State University and is currently attending law school in San Francisco, CA.

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