Let’s set the scene. You’ve been thinking about starting a business. Maybe it’s been your passion for years. You’ve been dreaming about being your own boss and exploring your true potential. You just need the right home business idea…
Maybe you’ve gone through a lifestyle change, started a family, recently retired or you just want to be able to travel.
If you could just come up with the right idea…
Why Do You Want To Start A Home Business?
First up, how seriously have you tried to come up with a home business idea? Is it just something you wistfully think about?
Maybe after a few too many glasses of wine. Or when you’re stuck in commuter traffic on a cold wet Autumn evening?
Have you sat down with a clear head and thought about the type of business you’d like to run?
If you want to find a home business idea, it’s time to get serious…
Different Types of Home Businesses
First up you need to understand the different types of business. I can’t stress enough that it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into. Spend the time now, before you start your business, visualizing what it might look like.
Ask yourself these questions…
- How do you see yourself spending the day?
- Do you want a lifestyle business or go for growth and become a household name?
- Will you work from home or would you be happy working long hours anywhere?
- Do you want to sell to customers or other businesses?
- Have you thought about running a franchise?
- Do you want to provide a service or sell products?
- Are you interested in manufacturing?
- Will you sell online or on the High Street?
- Are you starting a full-time business or will this be a side hustle?
Some of these answers will depend on your home business idea but it’s best to at least think about these questions before you dive into idea generation. My post Different Types of Businesses gives you the low down to help you think through your answers. Take a look before you read the next section…
How To Find A Home Business Idea
Your tiny business needs an idea to get started. How do you find them?
There can be the “lightbulb moment”.
You’re in the bath, out for a run, visiting your nan and suddenly, out of the blue, you get a moment of inspiration.
The internet is awash with these stories. Some of them might even be true…
If this happens to you, then great. But don’t fret if the best idea ever hasn’t hit you yet.
There are other ways of coming up with an idea.
How To Find A Home Business Idea
- What are you good at?
- What do you like doing?
- Which of these ideas match the type of business you want to run?
- What are other people doing?
- Testing your Home Business Idea.
- Try a Pilot
#1. What are you good at?
This is really important.
You don’t have to be a leading expert in your chosen niche but it’s a lot better to pick something you’re good at.
If you’ve never driven a car, you’re not going to become a driving instructor. A bit obvious but I’m making a point.
This is the time to be honest about your strengths and weaknesses.
Make a list of the things you’re good at. The longer the better.
Ask your family and friends.
Their answers may be insightful once you’ve got over the embarrassment. (Just don’t fall out over it… “what do you mean my cooking’s terrible!”).
It helps to take time over this list.
Start it one day and return to it a day or two later. There may be other things you’ve thought about. Think about tough situations you’ve overcome. Did you learn anything from the experience?
Can you turn any of these skills into a business?
#2. What do you like doing?
It’s not enough just to be good at something.
Whatever you end up doing for your business, you’re going to be spending a lot of time on it.
It’s best that your home business idea is something you’re passionate about… and something you’ll continue to like doing over the next 3+ years, day after day.
When it’s your passion, there’s a much better chance of being successful.
Remember passion equals motivation
Go down your list and cross off the things you don’t really enjoy.
#3. Which of these ideas match the type of business you want to run?
Your home business idea needs to match your lifestyle and the type of business you want to run.
Don’t get carried away… think about what it will mean to run the business every day.
For example, you love cooking and you’re good at it.
What about opening a restaurant? If that’s your passion and you can commit to the long hours required, go for it.
But if you have a young family and you’re the primary carer, not so great.
This doesn’t mean you can’t do something with food.
Enjoy writing? Start a food blog and teach people how to cook through online courses.
You just need to be realistic…
#4. What are other people doing?
This is a great way to come up with ideas. Take your strengths and passions and see what other businesses are up to. Does this give you any ideas?
Could you do something similar but better, or with your own twist? An idea doesn’t have to be original.
Watch a few episodes of Dragon’s Den. How many of those ideas are truly unique?
Most are just a version of someone else’s business. A different slant, niche or branding…
#5. Testing your Home Business Idea.
You can think you have the best idea in the World but if no one will pay money for it, it’s not a business idea.
Find your market and test. Focus groups, online discussions (Reddit is good), go out and get some feedback.
What’s the competition? Can you beat it? What are your costs? Will you be able to compete on price? On quality?
Test, test, test…
The more time you spend testing, the better your business will be.
#6. Try a Pilot
Hopefully, most of you will be able to go through these steps and come up with a home business idea that really suits your skills and lifestyle.
If you’re stuck why not take an idea that you think might work and find a way to start up on a small scale?
Perhaps as a side hustle?
It’s better to take a small step and start than spend the next 10 years looking for the perfect idea or the perfect time to start a business. The smallest version of any home business idea you can start is a blog.
✅ A blog is probably the only home business you can start for less than $100. I have a separate site just for beginner bloggers where you can download my FREE start a blog guide.
Myth buster – the perfect idea doesn’t exist.
Just start something…
Still stuck for an idea? Read on for 90+ home business ideas…
90+ Home Business Ideas
# Fitness Related Home Business Ideas
Body Image is one area people will always spend money on. You may think that the World is overrun with Fitness Instructors but if you think about it, most instructors work one-to-one or with small classes.
This means there’s a limit to how many Clients they can take on at any time. (Getting a place in my popular local yoga class is difficult). The role can range from low key working with Clients in your locality to aiming for guru status via a YouTube channel. Your choice!
These roles need relevant qualifications but make terrific home business ideas.
Ideas in this sector:
#1. Yoga/Fitness Instructor
Turn your gym/yoga passion into a business. Qualifications are advisable.
#2. Personal Trainer
Willing to work one-to-one? This business is all about motivation.
#3. Sports Massage
Qualifications are relatively quick to obtain and reasonably affordable. You can charge good money per massage, BUT you need to build up your client base in a crowded market.
However, don’t be put off if this is something you want to do. There’s good demand and as the sessions are one-to-one you will always need a lot of masseuses.
Good physios are always in demand. The training is a big commitment. More information available here.
If you’re short on qualifications but passionate about fitness, start a fitness blog and make money from adverts or promoting affiliate products. You can even create your own courses for diet tips or fitness guides.
#Style Related Home Business Ideas
The attraction of being one of the beautiful people doesn’t end after the school prom. From consumers of online blogs to one-to-one stylists, this continues to be a growing market.
The good news is a lot of these home business ideas work well with a flexible lifestyle. There is terrific scope for becoming a fashion blogger and earning money through sponsorship or affiliate adverts. Or simply advising other women on how to find their style.
Use your creative skills and love of fashion to help successful people find their personal style. No qualifications required but you have to be good at what you do. The way in seems to start with a popular Instagram account.
#6. Personal Shopper
A different take on a stylist. Think Rachel in Friends…
#Writing Related Home Business Ideas
If you’re a good writer, take a look at these ideal home business ideas:
#7. Freelance Copywriter
Engaging copy on business websites is a rarity. If you can write copy that stands out, you’ll soon be in demand. It’s not all about Upwork. Check out these copywriting alternatives.
#8. Become a Writer/Author and Self-Publish
It used to be really hard to get published. Nowadays, with self-publishing, you don’t have to have that magic book deal to get your stories in front of readers. Times have changed. If you’re a budding author, what’s holding you back? Get writing!
#9. Create eBooks
A variation on the author idea. If you’re really knowledgeable about a subject (or willing to do lots of research), write an eBook. You don’t have to be a brilliant writer for this one. You just need to provide good information, reasonably well written.
#10. Write a Travel/Food/Something you know a lot about Blog
Passionate about a subject? Want to write about it regularly? Become a blogger. It’s a well-trodden route to making money
#11. Freelance Proofreading
With so many writers around there will always be a need for proofreaders.
#12. Resume Writer
Every job starts with a good CV and it’s a stumbling block for many. If this is something you’re good at, it can be a good home-based business.
#Manufacturing Related Small Business Ideas
If you’ve always wanted to be creative – start your own brand. Find a manufacturing idea that matches your knowledge and interests. Here are a few popular ones.
#13. Start a clothing brand
This is so popular and start-up costs can be relatively low if you begin with something easy like T-shirts. Makes a fun home business idea and some people have a lot of success with T-shirts.
Website builders such as Shopify integrate seamlessly with T-shirt dropshipping suppliers. All you have to worry about are your designs. Expect to have a lot of fun. There’s a lot of competition and success will depend on rocking your Instagram account.
#14. Sell Your Handmade Arts & Crafts Products on etsy.com
If you’re someone who’s always making things why not turn it into a business. Etsy is the perfect match for small-scale artisan business ideas.
#15. Hat Making Business
Love hats? Learn the trade and become a milliner. The best hats are still made by hand offering tremendous scope for a small business opportunity.
#16. Shoe Maker
Or maybe shoes are your joy in life? Shoe lovers will pay good prices for quality handmade shoes. Take inspiration from this small company in Bristol.
#Food Related Small Business Ideas
As a necessity of life, there will always be scope for new and exciting food businesses. There are no surprises in this next list, but you can make your offering stand out by hopping on the latest food trend…
#17. Lunchtime Sandwich Delivery Service
An easy business to start up and scale. The trick is to make sure you’re starting in a market that’s undersupplied or where the quality of competition is poor.
#18. Become a Personal Chef
There’s growing demand for personal chefs as the latest accessory for wannabees. If you can cope with the demands of working for the mega-rich, this can be a high earner.
#19 Run Cookery Classes.
If you’re a great cook why not pass on your talents to the local community.
#20. Get a Food Truck
Seduced by the film Chef? Get yourself a food truck and hit the road. Farmers markets are a good place to start.
#21. Cake Decorator
Making and decorating cakes for birthday parties, weddings, anniversaries is an excellent home business idea.
#22. Outdoor Catering
Good outdoor caterers can be hard to come by. If you’ve got what it takes this is a terrific small business idea…
#23 Food Business selling via Farmers Markets
A variation on the food truck business. Make cakes, biscuits, sausages, jam… find your specialty and sell via your local farmers market.
#Hobby Related Home Business Ideas
If you’re good at something don’t be shy about it. See if you can find a way to turn your hobby into a business.
#24. Teach a Musical Instrument
You spent years learning to play an instrument. Now it’s time to teach!
#25. Become a Voice Coach
Trained singer? Become a voice coach and help to create the next X Factor winner!
#26. Become a Photographer
If photography is your hobby, could you turn it into a business? Offer profile headshots or get into the lucrative world of wedding photography. Makes a great home business idea.
#27. Create Online Courses and sell on Udemy
If you know a lot about your hobby, other people may want to learn from you. Try creating online courses. This would work well as a side hustle.
#28. Create a Podcast Series
A similar idea to creating online courses. If your hobby lacks a good podcast series, this could be your opportunity.
#29. Bicycle Repair Shop
Turn your repair skills into a business within the growing cycling community.
#30. Open an Art Gallery
Love art? Knowledgeable about art? Why not open an art gallery?
#31. Landscape Gardener
If your passion is gardening, this is an ideal business opportunity. Especially if you live in an area with older residents who need help to maintain their gardens.
#32. Jewellery Business
Sometimes it seems that there are enough jewellery businesses, but if making jewellery is your hobby try it out as a side hustle. It may develop into a full-time home business idea!
#33. Clothing Alterations
If you’re good with a sewing machine this is a good opportunity. A variation is making made-to-measure curtains.
If you’re extremely knowledgeable about diet and nutrition, you’ll always be in demand. Get some qualifications to back up your information.
#35. Pet Grooming
Love dogs. There’s a huge demand for pet grooming.
#36. Dog Walking
A lot of people own dogs but don’t have the time to walk them regularly. Dog walking is a low-cost startup business.
Setting up kennels requires more capital but it’s worth investigating. If demand in your area exceeds supply, this is a good business for animal lovers.
#38. Dog or Cat Breeder
Check licence requirements and regulations but if you’re serious about animals becoming a dog or cat breeder is worth investigating.
#39. Boat Cleaning
This is a good business for the winter months. Work all winter and spend the summer sailing!
#40. Interior Decorator
If you’re a follower of style programmes and fanatical about the upkeep of your own house, consider becoming an interior decorator.
#41. Start a Membership Only Site In Your Most Knowledgeable Subject
Provide information about your chosen hobby through a paid membership only website. Is there a gap in the market for your pet subject? Exploit it. If you’re an expert in your subject, other people may well pay to access your knowledge.
#42. Use Affiliate Marketing to Earn Money from Your Blog
If you’re blogging in your spare time, you can turn it into a side hustle or even a full-time business with affiliate market. Promote products you believe in through your blog and gain a commission every time one of your blog followers buys a product from your link.
#43. Become a Wedding Planner
There will always be weddings to plan and many brides-to-be will hire a wedding planner for their special day.
#44. Become a DJ
Know your music and your way around a deck – become a DJ. Start off with some local gigs.
Don’t hide your skills away. Get creating and sell via your local galleries.
#46. House Sitter
Okay, this isn’t really a business but house sitting is a terrific way to keep your costs down whilst monetarising that travel blog.
If you’re a skilled artist have you considered illustrating books? With the rise in self-published books, there’s an increased demand for illustrators.
#48. Independent Tour Guide Through vayable.com
This is really a side hustle, but if you’re knowledgeable about your local area, you can become an independent tour guide. Advertise your tours through Vayable.
Think you can be an inventor. If you’ve always thought you could improve something related to your hobby… just do it!
#50. Mystery Shopper or Review Writer
This is a home business idea I love. Setting up a website providing reviews is a good business idea for your chosen specialism. It could be anything from luxury airlines to walking boots.
#Retail Related Home Business Ideas
#51. Sell the Work of Local Artisans
Set up a retail business selling the work of local artisans. There are always local crafters looking for retail outlets and customers looking for unique products. Sell on Etsy.
#52. Sell on eBay (or Amazon)
Flipping on eBay or selling items via drop shipping on Amazon are potential ways to make money. Be prepared for hard work and low margins (at least on drop shipping) but these models are still legitimate for successful businesses.
#53. Start a Pop-Up Shop
This can be a great way of testing out an idea or just as a side hustle. Often small towns have empty premises and you can negotiate with the owner to take them over for short periods.
#54. Purchase an Existing Website
This can be a shortcut to starting an online business. If you find the right website with existing traffic and customers, it can be an easier way into starting your own retail business.
BUT do your research thoroughly and go through accounts with a fine tooth-comb. Make sure the seller’s claims stack up. You’ll have the website purchase costs to find but this can be cheaper in the long run than starting a business from scratch.
#55. Franchise Owner
This can be an attractive option stating your first business. The benefit of a brand and franchise support reduces startup risks. Franchise costs vary greatly. Again, do your research.
#56. Start a Drop Shipping Business
Rather than sell on Amazon, you can start a drop shipping business via your own website. The big key to success will be promotion.
#Website Support Home Business Ideas
The growth of the internet has completely changed business. There are now numerous support services unique to the online industry. These all make excellent home business ideas…
#57. Graphic/Website Designer
Not everyone is confident enough to build their own website and certainly, as websites become successful, businesses are looking for a custom build. Website design is a busy market but there’s a lot of demand, especially if you’re someone who can understand the needs of an eCommerce entrepreneur.
#58. Become a Virtual Assistant/Freelance Secretary
Many small businesses starting out don’t have the capacity to hire office staff. As a virtual assistant, you can provide services at the level they need and extend those services as their companies grow.
#59. Become a Social Media Manager
There so much to think about as a small business owner and not everybody is a whizz at social media. If it’s something you’re good at, you can become a freelance social media manager, hiring out your services to different businesses.
#60. Provide a Telephone Answering Service
Similar to the virtual assistant role, you can provide a telephone answering service to start-up businesses. Their new company benefits from a more professional image and for you, it’s an easy office hour role you can run from anywhere.
#61. Become an Affiliate Manager
Affiliate marketing programmes can be time-consuming for businesses to run. By offering affiliate marketing services you’ll be freeing up their time to concentrate on other aspects of their business.
#62. Instagram Marketing
A variation on the social media manager. Instagram can be extremely important for several sectors such as lifestyle entrepreneurs, music artists, and young fashion brands.
#63. Voice Over Artist
Someone has to provide the voiceover infographics – why not you?
#64. Develop an App
Yes, I know, it’s a rubbish suggestion unless you’re a techie or have enough money to pay a techie.
#65. SEO Consultant
There continue to be high levels of demand for consultants who can cut through the complexity of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).
#66. Video Producer
The best way to promote a brand is through video. Video helps to improve search engine ranking of websites and many businesses don’t have the expertise to produce their own. It’s a big market.
#Business Support Home Business Ideas
These are more general business support ideas. Most of them are also relevant to eCommerce businesses.
#67. Become a Consultant
It helps to have a profession. For accountancy, finance, law, you’re playing the long game.
It’s a relatively speedy route to gain bookkeeping qualifications. If you have an eye for detail and enjoy numbers, this is a lucrative role. Start as a freelancer and you can grow into an agency.
#69. Computer Repairs
Training and skills required but there’s huge demand and you can charge high hourly rates.
#70. Public Speaking
With the growth of business conferences for different sectors, there’s an increasing demand for motivational public speakers.
If you’re fluent in another language this is an obvious choice for a freelance business.
#72. Start a Recruitment Agency
If you have specialist knowledge of a particular industry, starting a recruitment agency is an attractive possibility. Helps if you have existing contacts you can tap into.
#73. Celebrity Gifting PR
If you’re the type of person who’s terrific at networking, this could be a good idea for you. Help businesses and brands connect with celebrities to try out their products.
#74. Conference Founder
Love organising events? Experienced in a particular profession? How about founding a conference?
#75. Marketing Specialist
Branding, social media, advertising, a marketing specialist helps companies reach their full potential.
#Personal Support Home Business Ideas
#76. Life Coach
Hard to ignore although I’m not really a fan. The life coaching business is huge. Personally, I think a lot of preying on vulnerable people goes on. If this business appeals to you, at least make sure you’re professionally trained.
#77. Start a Dating Agency
In the busy internet age, we seem to have forgotten how to meet people. There’s always a new niche for a dating agency.
#78. Financial Advisor
An essential role to help all those self-made new business owners invest their hard-earned cash.
#79. Cleaning Services
From small beginnings, its possible to grow into a national franchise with the tried and tested cleaning services route.
#80. Teach English as a Foreign Language
All it takes is a short course and the ability to speak a high level of English.
#81. Event Planning
If you have a knack for organising events could you use your skills to create a business around event planning? Brings endless possibilities.
#82. Airbnb Host
Make use of those spare rooms. With Airbnb and TripAdvisor, it’s become much easier to attract customers.
#Beauty Industry Small Business Ideas
It would be amiss not to have a short section on the Beauty Industry, even if the ideas do seem a little obvious.
#83. Beauty Salon
We have three in my small town of 2000 people. Three! Business is booming.
#84. Skincare Products
Everyone loves new ideas and there always seem to be skincare products arriving in Dragon’s Den every season. Some of them become very successful.
#85. Hair Salon
In my small town, the hairdresser is always booked solid for weeks ahead. Everybody needs haircuts.
#86. Nail Studio
Getting your nails done is just so… Always room for a new business.
#Childcare Services Small Business Ideas
Obviously complying with qualification and regulation requirements are essential in this sector.
#87. Private Nursery
Anxious parents are always looking for the highest possible standards. Good nurseries are hard to find.
#88. Baby Planner
New parents look for advice and support as they expect their first child. A baby planner helps and consults with birth preparation.
#89. Baby Proofing Consultant
A variation on a baby planner. Consult with expectant parents to ensure their home will be safe for the new arrival.
#90. Home Tutor
If you’re a teacher this is a great side hustle. With online tutoring, many teachers are turning to home tutoring as a full-time occupation.
#91. Start A Blog
✅ Starting a blog is simply the best way to make money from home if you only have a small budget. I have a separate site just for beginner bloggers where you can download my FREE start a blog guide!
#Now It’s Your Turn
These are just some ideas to get you thinking. It’s far better if you search your own strengths and experiences to come up with something that uniquely fits your capabilities.
Most of these ideas will need an online presence, a website or a blog. Find out more about building a business website and turn your home business idea into a reality…