Starting a business from home is easier than many realize. You may think you need to invest thousands of dollars, but you really don’t. I started my business from home 12 years ago as a side hustle to my regular 9 to 5. I didn’t have a website or an office. I was 6 months pregnant and working a couple of hours per night and on the weekends from a little table in the nursery. Being the most technical among my friends and working in an advertising-related industry, a friend asked me to build a website for his new company. I did take HTML classes some ten years prior so I figured why not? I would learn as I go. He had no budget so there was no deadline. I did some online research, bought some books and TAADAA! the website was up before the baby was born! 😛 A handful of referrals came from building the site but most importantly I gained skills that complemented my education and career experience. Two years (and another child) later I started my own fulltime business from home via a mom blog. Today I own two web-based businesses and co-own a local business. You can use your skills, experience, and talents to start your own business too!
Owning your own business is a great way to take control of your life. You are 100 percent in control of when you work, how you work, and who you work with. Some who own their own business may disagree with that but IT IS absolutely up to you how much of that control you want to give away to clients. You can have 3 day weekends. You can schedule to have an online class in the middle of the day to learn that new skill that can help you earn more money. You are in command of how much you get paid. You choose the rate, not the customer. Also, since you’re just you, you can often end up charging less than a huge corporation and still end up more profitable as your expenses are lower. You are in control of your choices and your destiny.
Owning your own business does not require you to work from home. You can literally work from anywhere. For the purpose of today’s article, we’ll discuss 25 businesses you can start from home.
1. Mobile Hairdresser
I’m listing this one first for two reasons.
1. During the current Covid19 pandemic there is not one hair salon open in my neighborhood here in NYC. Forced me to give myself a dye job. It did not go well.
2. Fifteen years ago when I was a single working mom of a 6 and 8-year-old, (I am happily remarried and have 4 kids now) I had no time to sit in a salon. A local woman would come by my apartment twice per week to blow dry my hair straight. She charged the same as the salon but she came to my home which saved me 3 hours a week. I could check homework or watch TV with my girls while she attended to my hair. Whenever my daughters and I had an event to attend, I’d book a few extra hours that week so they could get something special done with their hair too.
How did she get started? She just introduced herself to harried-looking moms that she met at the supermarket, in the playground, at the laundromat. She kept a list of references and photos of the work she’s done in her flip phone to show people. Eventually, she made 5×7 postcards depicting some of her work and handed those out. A social media account and a listing on Google Maps would have done wonders for her business. Gosh, Google Maps didn’t even exist then!
2. Mobile Make-up Artists and 3. Mobile Pet Groomers
Similar to Mobile Hairdressers. All you need is talent, skills, experience, the applicable tools, and the confidence to start up conversations with strangers. An active social media account and a Google Map listing is a must these days.
Blogging is a competitive industry but you CAN make money. When I started blogging over a decade ago, all I needed was a website and a computer. Now? All you need is a website and a smartphone! As a blogger, you can earn money from online ads, by being an affiliate, selling merchandise, selling digital downloads and by charging for premium content. It’s true, you do need a lot of traffic, so understanding SEO and social media is crucial. You also need a super-fast website with an SSL certificate (I am an affiliate of WP Engine because they rock for startups who don’t have a webmaster on payroll). Successfully creating an income via blogging is not easy and requires dedication and some investment, but that’s how we get started with any business, right?
5. Caterer 6. Baker 7. Mixologist
Caterers and Bakers are lifesavers. Forget fancy events. Think family reunions and birthday parties. These can be stressful for any host. Having someone show up with pans of chicken and ribs, side dishes and fancy cupcakes and layered cakes is just amazing when you have a full-time job, a full-time family and have to host a party. As for Mixologists, they’re the life of the party! An experienced Mixologist will create drinks to align with the dishes and desserts being served. But how do you get started? I would recommend a Facebook Business Page with lots of photos of your dishes/desserts/drinks and a Google Maps listing. I would have friends and family who’ve had my incredible offerings leave reviews and post photos. I would host a tasting party for people I know where they can try some of my dishes and we can take lots of photos for promotion. Be sure to ask your guests to refer you to friends, neighbors, and co-workers!
One of the 2 most impressive writers I’ve ever met is Vidya Sury. She has an MBA in Human Resources and Marketing and a Diploma in Training and Development. She also graduated with a B.Sc. in Zoology, Chemistry, and Botany. WOW, right? She currently, and for as long as I’ve known her, works from home as a Writer, Editor and Business Blogger. Clients find her through her LinkedIn Profile and hire her for copywriting, blogging, and manuscript editing. Want to start a business as a copywriter? Build your LinkedIn profile and an Upwork profile. You can search Upwork for openings and bid on paying projects.
9. Social Media Manager 10. Virtual Assistant 11. Virtual Bookkeeping 12. IT 13. Marketing Campaign Manager 14. Software/Platform Specialist
The other most impressive writer I’ve ever met is Angel Austin. She is also a fabulous singer, the owner of a media marketing business and of a mobile concierge business, and a heart-centered activist. Angel has a BA in Public Relations and Mass Communications and currently provides Social Media Management and Consumer Engagement services to a multi-million dollar company, from home. Angel left the corporate grind years ago so she could pursue her dream of a work/life balance where she calls the shots!
How did she get started? Through personal recommendations in her community working with local businesses. Executive assistants, ITs, software/platform specialists, marketing campaign managers, and bookkeeping administrators can also start their own business by offering their services. Reaching out to your network and local businesses is a good way to start. You can also offer your services on upwork.com.
15. Mobile Masseuse 16. Reiki Practitioner 17. Massage Therapist
If you’re trained and certified as a masseuse, a massage therapist, or a reiki practitioner, you can build your own mobile business where you travel to your clients. Groupon is a good platform to offer deals on your services when first starting out. You will definitely need somewhere online to direct people to read reviews and learn about you. That could be a website, a social media business page or a free About.me page.
18. Custom Art Commissions
My very talented artistic daughter, pictured in #1 above, is now a 21 year old Art Major in college, who started her own business painting on sneakers and clothing. How does she gain business? She wears her personal projects! People stop her in the train and on the street to ask about her boots and jacket. Friends and past clients recommend her too! And of course… Instagram, cause what 21 year old isn’t on Instagrram?
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No, you don’t need your own laundromat to make this one work. Have a car? Know how to separate whites from colors and fold clothing? I’d pay good money to have someone pick up my laundry, wash it, dry it, fold it and bring it back to me all within a day. Take in several orders a day. No website needed. Hit the pavement and use social media.
This is one of my favorites. I’ve come across women with an amazing eye for photography. Some who trained professionally, some who it comes to naturally and grew up with a camera in their hands. AMAZING photographers, i should know, I worked in the imaging industry for 12 years with photographers. Guys who make big bucks from name brands. I know when a shot is breathtaking. When the lighting is right. When the picture is retouched or the real deal. Take that camera, build your portfolio, build a search engine optimized website offering your niche of photography (family photographers are the best way to start) to local customers and go for it!
Design the Life You Really Want to Live
The truth is working too much is not suitable for your life. If you really want to have a happier and fulfilled life, you need to build balance into it. You need to be able to schedule family time, friend time, work time and YOU time. As a business owner, you are in control of that schedule and can live a more fulfilled and happy life by managing your time to include all parts of your life.
Owning your own business also provides you more security, more options, and generally more money than working hourly jobs. You can stop trading hours for dollars and work with the people you want to work with, in a way that enables you to have more flexibility with your family and your life. There really is unlimited opportunity out there if you’re willing to invest in yourself. You can start small with a side hustle and seriously plan to scale to your own business.
Great post Vanita!
Nice to see you Maria!