People’s preference for making money from the comfort of their homes has boomed over the past two years for obvious reasons, and even with the job market trending toward normal amid the COVID pandemic, this preference has held steady — and is likely to continue.
You too may be wondering how you can earn a living at home. If you don’t have a job that allows remote work, consider the following small business ideas that can make you a home-based entrepreneur.
1. Virtual Assisting
If you have great organizational, communication and detail skills, virtual assistant might be an excellent business for you, according to Flex Jobs. While duties vary, virtual assistants often support an employer or client through a variety of simple tasks, such as handling communications (emails, phone calls, even texts), scheduling events and travel, and other administrative sorts of details.
Most likely you’ll just need a computer and a phone.
2. Content Writing
There’s been a huge proliferation in the need for content writers over the past few years, according to attorney Stewart J. Guss, since content is key to search engine rankings. “It’s a field where you can work your way up with smaller and less-demanding pieces of content for modest profits. However in time, as you find your specialties, you’ll be able to command higher per-word or per-hour rates.”
While you can use existing content writing platforms, from Fiverr to Upwork, those will take a cut of your income, he warns. The best idea may be to build up your portfolio and pitch to find your own clients. “As a business owner myself, I know the value of having a great writer on the team to produce everything from blogs, video scripts, and long-form content like e-books for our prospects and clients.”
3. Marketing and Branding
If you have a penchant for package and branding products or people, consider starting your own at-home marketing and digital branding firm. Paige Arnof-Fenn, founder & CEO of Mavens & Moguls suggests the overhead is simple, too. “Setting up any type of consulting or coaching business is possible because all you need is a website, logo, name, e-mail, business cards, online stationery for proposals and invoices, cell phone and a good idea to get going.”
You can raise your profile through public speaking, writing articles, building your following on social media or contributing to existing blogs and newsletters, she said.
4. Online Teaching or Tutoring
If you’ve put in the time to gain a certificate, a degree, or a deep dive in a particular educational area, consider being an online teacher or tutor, according to business expert Hanah Alexander, editor-in-chief of TodayTesting.com.
“If you have any experience whatsoever in education, and online teaching business is the perfect business to start from home. Due to the pandemic, more and more people have become interested in online school and home schooling. As a result, more people are looking outside the traditional classroom for additional help teaching their kids,” she said.
Alexander added that all you really need is “a good web cam, a good backdrop, microphone, and lighting … and a decent computer and internet connection,” along with your own website and active social media accounts.”
5. Affiliate Marketing
With the internet at your fingertips and a good computer, so many business opportunities become possible from home. Big companies are constantly looking for new ways to promote their brands, since advertising is costly. Enter the affiliate marketer.
If you have a blog or a website where you can promote brands through some sort of sponsored content, you can build quite a profitable business driving traffic to your site and earning commissions on the number of clicks or views your links get, according to Forbes.
6. Transcription Services
Lots of organizations and people — from hospitals and researchers to journalists and graduate students — have data that they need transcribed in the form of audio and video. A transcriptionist listens or watches the content and types out the exact words spoken, often with time stamps, so that the client can use the material in their work.
You don’t need much experience either, except to be able to type fast enough to make it worth your while. Like other forms of freelance work, you’ll earn less if you work for a service, so it’s better to put out your own shingle and try to draw clients directly to you.
7. Customer Service
The field of customer service is wide and varied, and more companies than ever allow for home-based or remote work. Depending upon the companies you work with, you may be helping customers with orders, answering questions, guiding them through billing and a number of other possibilities, according to Zip Recruiter. While there is likely special training required, it would most likely be something you can learn on the job.
8. Web design
In our increasingly digital world, starting a web design business from home can be a lucrative avenue, said Roy Morejon, president and co-founder of Enventys Partners.
“If you have internet access and solid hardware and software that meet your needs, you’re already well on your way to creating your business. No formal education is required, though degrees and certifications can make you more marketable and influence a potential client’s decision-making,” he said.
You can also easily parlay this skill set into search engine optimization (SEO), he said, which is incredibly sought-after.
9. Online Sales
With people doing a large portion of their shopping online, Scot J Chrisman, founder and CEO at The Media House, a digital marketing agency, recommends taking advantage of selling items online. While the product is up to you, there are a number of platforms that may offer free or low-cost slots for online businesses, from Etsy to Amazon Marketplace.
“So, think of the things that you can access and believe that there is a potential to earn profit in it. You also need to earn basic knowledge on how to navigate the platform you will be using to ensure that things will fall into place. And most of all, a strategy on how you will market it is highly needed.”