Now that we’ve got those details out of the way, here are 67 of the best home-based businesses almost anyone could start from their kitchen table.
1. Drive for Uber
quickly become a great way for people to get their own business off the ground. You will need to pass a background check and have valid instate driver’s license and auto insurance. The process is pretty painless and will get you rolling on your own business. Many people start as an Uber driver to pay the bills while they work on another business that they are more passionate about. Check out our post to learn more about Uber driver requirements.
If you are looking for quick extra cash then signing up for sites like MySurvey can get you a nice side income with immediate results. You will not get rich doing surveys, but each site could net you anywhere from $30 to $100 per month. Some other popular survey sites include:
- Global Test Market
3. Graphic Design
Businesses always need graphic designers to help them convey information visually, through logos, advertisements, posters, websites, and the like. While it is possible to be an entirely self-taught graphic designer, most have either a certification or a degree. Other than the cost of design software, this business has very little overhead and can be done anywhere with a dedicated computer. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, graphic designers have a median salary of $45,000.*
*All median salaries listed are from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unless otherwise noted.
This is a perfect business idea for trained accountants who would like to work from home, although it is not necessary to be a Certified Public Accountant in order to become a freelance bookkeeper—it’s just necessary to have the background knowledge that bookkeeping courses at any community college can offer. This kind of freelance work is especially helpful for small businesses that do not need or cannot afford a fulltime bookkeeper, making it possible for you to have full time work through several smaller clients. Median salary: $34,000.
5. Home Inspection.
An important part of the home buying process is having a professional home inspector go through the house to determine the condition of the building and point out any potential problems. A home inspector needs to meet the state regulations for the profession, which varies from state to state, although anyone who has worked in the construction or housing industry will have a leg up. Median salary: $52,000.
6. Massage Therapist.
While licensing requirements for massage therapy can vary from state to state, the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork can help any budding masseuse fulfill their local requirements. Massage therapists can either work out of their own home or make house calls with a portable massage table. Median salary: $34,900.
7. Tax Preparation.
No one likes doing taxes, and they need to be paid whether the economy is booming or tanking. This is why at-home tax preparation can be a great business for anyone with a tax background, or anyone willing to take training courses. Since there are annual changes to the tax code, you will need to refresh your training each year, and you will also need to register with the IRS as a tax preparer. This is more of a seasonal business than a year-round endeavor, but it can be a great way to earn some extra income each winter/spring. Median salary: $30,900.
A doula is a labor coach that can help a birthing mother in any labor environment, from a hospital to a midwife clinic to home. Doulas are non-medical professionals who offer information, emotional support, and physical assistance in the process of giving birth. While licensing for doulas is not required by most states, getting certified by DONA International, the only certifying body for this profession, is a good idea. Doulas do have to deal with unpredictable schedules, but they easily can do this work from home. Doulas generally charge between $500 and $1000 per birth.
If you have experience cutting hair and giving manicures, opening up shop from your home is an excellent way to start your own salon. Make sure that you follow all of your state’s requirements for doing salon care in a home, as they can be stringent. Median salary: $22,500.
10. Interior Designer.
While you do not need a degree or certification in order to set out an interior designer shingle, it is really necessary in order to make sure you can meet the needs of many clients. An education in the history and theory of design will allow you to understand trends that you may not like, but your clients do. Median salary: $46,280.
Meeting the Remote Needs of Companies
Many small businesses have gaps in what their employees can take care of. Hiring a full time employee to fill in those gaps isn’t necessarily feasible, which is where your work-at-home business comes into play. Here are some work-at-home ideas that every business needs:
These writers put together promotional materials for businesses, including ads, websites, newsletters, commercials, direct mailings, and many others. Copywriters generally have a degree in advertising, marketing, English, or communication, but any excellent writer can do a great job copywriting. Median salary: $55,000.
12. Virtual Assistant.
This is a worker who handles any number of small tasks for a business or individual. Tasks include answering emails, data entry, scheduling, managing blogs, and even shopping. Anyone can become a virtual assistant. According to Indeed.com, the average salary for virtual assistants is $42,000.
13. Courier Service.
If you live in a bustling area, chances are local businesses could use a local courier service. Unlike the big name services, you can offer more flexible pick-up and drop off times, which can be a godsend to many small businesses. According to About.com, half of couriers earn in the $17,000 to $27,000 range.
14. Marketing Consultant.
Whether you are helping a business with traditional marketing materials or instructing them on the fine art of blogging (ahem) and social media, this is a business that has almost unlimited potential for freelancers. Median salary: $108,000 (!).
Like copywriting, this is a freelancing gig where it’s helpful to have a background in English or communications—but any eagle-eyed writer could do great job. Median salary: $51,470.
16. Web Design.
Helping clients design the best website for their needs is a great way to make a living from home. About.com lists the median salary as of 2008 at $65,270.
If you know a second (or third) language, you can make a living at home translating documents. It’s a global marketplace, and even the best translation software can’t understand linguistic nuance. Median salary: $43,300.
18. Video Production.
Everyone wants a piece of YouTube, so talented freelancers can make a great living producing videos for companies and organizations. Rates vary by area, equipment, and background.
19. Internet Security Consulting.
If you’re tech savvy and understand the ins and outs of internet security, consider becoming a consultant for small businesses. Unlike the big boys, these companies can’t afford the huge security budgets, but they still want to be able to protect their internet customers.
20. Green Consulting.
Many smaller companies would like to find ways to make their processes greener without spending more green. You can help them to figure out ways to improve their carbon footprint without sacrificing the bottom line.
21. Grant Writing.
Non-profits, universities, hospitals and other community organizations all have a great need for grant money to supplement their budgets, but grants are notoriously tricky to write for the first time. If you have experience writing grants, or are willing to learn how to do it by practicing your skills without pay for a few non-profits, you can start a lucrative freelance grant writing business. According to eHow, grant writers can make anywhere from $40, 300 to $67,000.
22. Medical Transcription.
You hear about these opportunities, and they often sound like scams. But the truth is that the medical industry has a great need for individuals to transcribe audio dictations into coherent reports. Transcriptionists do need education—generally a two-year degree—to make sure they are clear on the arcane medical terminology. Median salary: $32,900.
23. Debt Collection.
It takes a very thick skin to go into this business, but debt collectors only need a telephone and a computer to work, making it a great work-at-home business. It’s also a recession-proof (or even recession-loving) business. Licensing requirements vary from state to state, so make sure you do your homework before setting up shop. Median salary: $31,300.
24. Call Center Representative.
Believe it or not, it is possible to actually reach a woman named Peggy (and not a man with a Russian accent) when you call customer service. That’s because of the homeshore movement, which is trying to hire more independent contractors to work from home on customer service issues. If you’ve got a phone line and an internet connection, you can work from home as a call center rep. Median salary: $30,460