Small business ideas from home ( 70+ ideas )

Small business ideas from home

You are looking for profitable business ideas, with good future prospects, that you can operate from home without a large initial investment. This post is for you!

There are many aspects that you can take into account when analyzing the interest of a business idea.

And one way to do it is from the prism of the profitability of the business you are researching.

I am going to present you the great types of online business that exist and we are going to order them according to 2 different criteria: the operating margin and the initial investment.

Not all businesses (online) are equal in terms of profitability, but is profitability the only criterion you should use when researching innovative business ideas?

Let’s see a little …

How is the profitability of a business measured?

business ideas

This simple question can get complicated very quickly.

And since I do not intend to make a post about the most established financial metrics or about company valuation technicalities, I am going to list 3 main elements that make one business more profitable for me than another:

  1. The volume of sales : I am going to focus on small businesses that invoice less than 10 K a year. A good business invoices 4 or 5 figures per year.
  2. The gross margin on these sales (Revenue – Cost of sales – Fixed Costs): some business models will leave tiny margins, others spectacular. You’ll see it in a few seconds.
  3. The balance point of the initial investment : I am going to focus on businesses that do not require a millionaire investment , such as a highway concession. We are going to focus on businesses that you can set up with a very small initial investment, without having to go to the bank to request financing.

From now on, in this post, I will qualify a business as a profitable business if I can set it up as a “Bootstrapper”, without resorting to third-party financing, be it 3 F’s (Friends – Family – Fools) or banks, which allows me to sell 5 to 7 figures per year with a margin of at least 2 digits, ideally between 30% and 50% operating margin (BAI, profit before tax).

According to the definition that I have just given you, the vast majority of the most profitable businesses today, , are online businesses that you can operate from home.

It turns out that these businesses are also the ones that a priori have the best future prospects because they are part of the digital transformation process that impacts 100% of the world’s businesses.

What is a profitable successful business?

It is another essential question to answer and it is not at all easy to define success for a business.

Because this success is measured from the prism of the founding entrepreneur. From your expectations and what you get – at the level of your personal satisfaction from this business, beyond the money.

The best businesses give you 3 things:

  • Purpose , because you really help a specific group to reach their goals
  • Status , because you get public recognition for your work
  • Money is what the profitability of your business leaves you

For me, and again this definition is somewhat subjective, a successful business is a business that:

  1. Capture a customer at a reasonable acquisition cost, without too much effort
  2. It is capable of financing all business operations, and investing in future projects
  3. Pays all employees a salary sufficient to pay for their current lifestyle and make them happy in their job
  4. Leave additional capital (Reserves) for the business founder each year

Common Characteristics Most Profitable Businesses Share

I have identified 3 main traits that the best profitable businesses usually share:

  1. They operate 100% digital, sell digital products or services, which are also delivered digitally. So they can operate instantly all over the world, without needing many intermediaries, and you can work from home or while traveling.
  2. They allow the  automation  of a large part of the operational processes. As a result, teams are smaller and can collaborate on a network, without a physical office.
  3. They have focused on the  scalability  of their solutions, in such a way that selling much more does not mean increasing expenses in the same proportion.
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Now that you have the main definitions clarified, let’s go into the analysis of the different business models themselves.

What business to start when you research profitable businesses from home?

LOW INVESTMENT, LOW PROFIT HOME BUSINESS: ADVERTISING AND AFFILIATION

They are businesses with a low margin (negative) and a low initial investment (positive). 

1. Advertising: put ads on your content such as Google Adsense. It is instant to start trading, but without a large volume of visits, you will not earn anything.

2. Sponsorships: look for brands willing to invest money to appear in your content. Higher margin, but more work to get these advertisers.

3. Dropshipping: the idea is to create an online store without the operations of an e-commerce. You act as an independent distributor for the company that handles ordering, delivery, and customer support. It seems attractive, but the margins are usually tiny, except if you are creating your own Dropshipping agreements with sellers who do NOT usually work with this model.

4. Affiliate Marketing: The idea is to promote third-party products in your content. Amazon or TradeDoubler allow you to find many brands that work with an affiliate network. You are monetizing your reputation in exchange for third-party products. Be very careful who you marry. It takes years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to lose it.

5. Influencers: Both on YouTube and Instagram, “micro-influencers” are swarming, doing product placement actions for big brands. It is a complex model in which brand loyalty is difficult for the content creator, and also the objectives of the brand and the community can be misaligned, which generates tensions.

6. Network Marketing: The favorite model of Termomix, TuperWare and the like. Small meetings between acquaintances in which an action of sale of some products is made. Selling my friends because they are my friends and not because they need it doesn’t really interest me. And if I have to make friends with people because I think about selling them a cosmetic product … it generates internal tension in me, because I would have to redefine my concept of friendship.

7. Online comparators: a priori a fantastic idea. Compare offers on a web page. Super useful, especially on the Internet, where there are hundreds of offers in some cases. The problem stems from their business model, they charge for membership and are likewise judge and party because where there is an economic interest, there is a biased opinion involved.

As you have seen, all these completely legal business models tend to excite kids with the spirit of hackers who want to generate extra money without worrying about creating a personal brand .

For me, these businesses can bring you a reasonable money for many (between $ 500 / month and $ 2,500 / month), they allow you to fully explore the automation of online businesses but they are completely devoid of purpose or allow you to consolidate your personal brand.

HIGHER INVESTMENT AND LOW PROFIT HOME BUSINESSES: E-COMMERCE

They are businesses with a low margin (negative) and a large initial investment (negative). 

  1. Crafters
  2. E-commerce
  3. Direct feed

They are the typical online stores that sell products. E-commerce sell third-party products, crafters create their own products (they are artisans). Direct food is producers who connect with consumers to place orders online and deliver them later, either to the buyer’s home or in temporary markets that are set up to recover these products.

Some sectors are experiencing great competition, but what bothers me the most about e-commerce is the traditional part of the activity, which somehow subtracts some freedom from your lifestyle.

And that selling to consume, in some cases, does not lead you to generate much purpose in your life.

HIGHEST-INVESTMENT, HIGH-PROFIT HOME BUSINESSES: BITS & SOFTWARE

They are businesses with a high margin (positive) and a large initial investment (negative).

  1. Applications
  2. Themes / Plugins in marketplaces
  3. Bits in marketplaces
  4. Programming
  5. Software As A Service (SaaS)

This category includes native digital products, such as mobile apps, addons for certain Software (such as themes or plugins in the WordPress community, for bloggers), the sale of music, photos, and pieces of short code.

In these 4 cases, the initial investment to create the digital product is reasonable, but the sales prices are very low since these types of resources have to be sold in global MarketPlace like those of  Envato .

Creating attractive products is a difficult exercise, but some digital creators make a living like this. It is almost impossible to achieve it with a single product, but if you work with dozens of mini digital products, and they all sell, you can make a living like this.

The fifth model is for me a very attractive model, that of selling a Software from a web platform and charges a monthly fee for the service provided.

It is a very stable and linear business model in its growth, which ends up generating many benefits in the long term.

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The only but that I would put, is that it is NOT for novice entrepreneurs:

  • You have to identify a recurring and real need in a market
  • You have to be able to create the software and make it evolve based on the requests of the customer base

Believe me, it is a topic for established entrepreneurs.

BUSINESS FROM HOME WITH LITTLE INVESTMENT AND A LOT OF PROFIT: VIRTUAL SERVICES AND ONLINE TRAINING

They are businesses with a high margin (positive) and a small initial investment (positive).

  1. Freelancing : web design, copywriting, web writing, community management, digital trafficker, sales closer, virtual assistant, etc …
  2. Services for individuals type online classes
  3. Consulting
  4. Coaching
  5. Mentoring
  6. Online training (ebooks, online courses, info products , memberships, etc.)
  7. Workshops & face-to-face workshops

They are my favorite businesses:

  • You add value and this gives you purpose because you help people achieve their goals
  • You can consolidate your (personal) brand because you are proud of the business you have
  • You apply Premium rates because you have greater interaction or involvement in projects with your customers than when they sell canned goods.

If, like me, you have a lot of knowledge to share with the world, these business models are ideal for all experts / coaches / Consultants who want to operate a 100% digital business.

Because the idea is to complete your digital transformation process and not only attract customers online but also deliver your solutions online.

What is the most profitable business?

At first, I recommend you focus on a single business model. But I want you to know that combining business models is completely possible.

What’s more, it’s a great income-generating diversification strategy.

Some possibilities that open up for you:

  1. If you bet on services, you can start by providing services to your clients (Freelancing), then sell consulting / coaching and end up selling group coaching and / or online training. They are very complementary business models.
  2. If you bet on consulting you can recommend SaaS tools as an affiliate
  3. If you are a personal trainer or chef or personal shopper, you can recommend products to buy on Amazon or sector Marketplaces, naturally as you progress with the advisory service you provide to your customers.
  4. If you bet on the advertising & affiliation block, you can pull several models since they are completed quite well.

Be careful, it is not always a good idea to mix business models. For example, the sale of service and online advertising are in 2 opposite poles. Better not to make weird mixes.

78 easy, profitable business ideas from home and with little investment in money

I know you want examples of work you can do from home or a list of   low-investment business ideas to pick one, get on with it, and start generating income… right?

Well, here it is!

Some activities are lifelong activities, but I present them to you because they are especially suitable for sale and delivery online:

  1. Write Ebooks and sell them on Amazon
  2. Buy and sell domains
  3. SEO consultant for positioning in Google
  4. Instagram Marketing
  5. Manage campaigns in FB Ads
  6. Manage campaigns in Google Adwords
  7. Personal shopper
  8. Wedding planner
  9. Personal trainer
  10. Distance language teacher
  11. Small Business Consultant
  12. Project Manager
  13. Telephone sales closer
  14. Community Manager
  15. Copywriter
  16. Web writer
  17. Web designer
  18. Musical production
  19. Audiovisual production
  20. Video Marketing
  21. Life coach
  22. Business coach
  23. Health coach
  24. Remote psychologist
  25. Consultant
  26. Mentor
  27. Start a blog and monetize with advertising
  28. Be an influencer and monetize with sponsorships
  29. Set up a niche blog to sell affiliate products
  30. Create a store on Amazon
  31. Sell ​​courses online
  32. Create a private membership
  33. Virtual assistant
  34. Develop applications
  35. Financial controller
  36. project manager
  37. Ghostwriter for experts (white label writer for others)
  38. Translator
  39. Home appliance repairman
  40. Answer online surveys
  41. Mystery Shopper
  42. Yoga instructor
  43. Concierge at AriBnB
  44. Tourist guide
  45. Therapist
  46. Spiritual guide
  47. Music teacher
  48. Sport teacher
  49. School support
  50. Breathing techniques
  51. Self-knowledge
  52. Personal growth
  53. Travel assistant
  54. Interior designer
  55. Feng shui
  56. Investment consultant
  57. Pet sitting
  58. Childcare
  59. Elderly care
  60. Fixes on clothes
  61. Cleaning services
  62. Dance classes
  63. Chess classes
  64. Drawing / painting classes
  65. Image advisor
  66. Tax consultant
  67. Online store of specific categories (example: baby products – special for multiple parents)
  68. Beauty tips
  69. Home staging
  70. Online makeup artist
  71. Resale of cosmetics
  72. Resale of accessories
  73. Crafts
  74. Do It Yourself Techniques for Furniture
  75. Lettering
  76. Creative stationery
  77. Chef at home
  78. Healthy eating habits and diets

What is the secret to starting a profitable business?

I’m glad you asked me this question, because I want you to know that the secret is that there is NO secret.

There is no universal formula for starting a profitable business.

There are no guarantees that your investment will be profitable when you start a business.

You have to choose a business model that you like and that can offer you the profitability to expect from your business, but then you will have to correctly execute the necessary actions for your business to generate the expected profitability.

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In other words, profitability is not a characteristic of a sector or a type of business.

Profitability is the tangible result that the entrepreneur who owns the business is doing well in their day-to-day operations:

  • Enough customers are captured at a reasonable acquisition cost
  • The team delivers the purchased solutions in such a way that customers are happy
  • The manager manages human resources, time and money correctly, in such a way that all collaborators receive their compensation and are happy working in this company
  • After paying all the taxes of a business, there is an economic benefit that is the profitability of the business.

But while there is no secret, there is a fundamental ingredient in every business that works .

The key to profitable business from home

All profitable businesses know better than anyone the dreams and frustrations of their ideal customer.

At the foundation of any profitable business is the ability to sell well to your target audience.

This presupposes that, instead of looking for profitable businesses, you should first focus on identifying the group of people that you can best help, because of your accumulated talent capitalized during your professional career, your life experiences, and your natural gift.

And then in a second step, propose how you can make this activity as profitable as possible.

Below you can choose one of the profitable businesses that I have presented.

How to distribute the money ?: Investment tip

The question , what business can I put in my home that is profitable? It is accompanied by how do I get the money to invest? , and we know that finding the right answers can be tricky. At this point we have a strategic proposal on how to distribute the money from your income and we will help you discover how to start a business with little investment .

Our investment advice consists of a distribution percentage that you can use to differentiate and strategically separate the money. 10% of your total income must be used for investment . Therefore, when you ask yourself, what business can I put in my home ?, remember that it must be an idea related and possible with 10% of your income. 

When deciding to invest in a business, you must take into account the other responsibilities that exist in your daily life. Although investing in a home-based venture brings positive results over time, you must ensure that the level of investment you make does not exceed your basic expenses or outstanding debts.

Advantages and disadvantages of home business

We already mentioned some business ideas to start at home, and your doubts up to this point are more or less resolved. But everything in life has its positives and its negatives. Let’s see what are the advantages and disadvantages of home businesses.

Advantages of starting from home

  • Starting from home implies a reduction of important expenses in points such as transportation, work clothes, and expenses on food outside the home.
  • If you have good home business ideas, it is possible that you develop a project that provides balance in the personal and work aspects.
  • Your hours can be flexible, and you won’t have to ask a boss for permission every time you have to take time out on your personal business.
  • You are working on your own, so it is easier to be motivated because everything you do is for your own benefit.
  • A home business can become so successful that it could become a family project.

Disadvantages of a home business

  • It is important to allocate a space to work from home, so there is the possibility that you will have to make some drastic changes in the layout of the spaces in your house.
  • Depending on the type of ideas to start a home business that suit your profile, you will have to manage permits and licenses so that your business has legal endorsement. This can be time consuming.
  • To start from home and be successful, it is important to focus on all business-related processes, and sharing the workspace with the domestic space can generate a large number of distractions.
  • When working in an enterprise from home, it is difficult to establish limits and allocate adequate time to each of the aspects that interest us.

Tips to start from home

After having read our advice on entrepreneurship, you surely know what business is good to start at home. However, we want to give you some tips on how to do a home business so that nothing escapes you.

Tip 1: Choose a business or enterprise from home that fits your level of income . 

Tip 2: You can acquire a loan to start your home business , but you must make sure you develop a self-sustaining venture that allows you to cope. 

Tip 3: Saving money can help you have capital at the disposal of your business or startup at home. Therefore, do not spend on unnecessary things !

Tip 4: Look for a product or service that people like , always highlight a unique value to what you decide to do.

In addition to these tips, we recommend that you keep your work life separate from your personal life. For a home business to work, it is important to establish schedules for each thing, and manage money separately and autonomously.

We hope we have helped you to give you a broad perspective of all the trending ideas to know what business to start at home. Starting a business is a difficult decision, but it is necessary for your personal and professional growth. Go ahead and promote your ideas and launch them on the market .

Good luck!