Want to start a small business from home but have little to no money?
In today’s post, I’ll cover 90+ businesses you can start from home in 2020.
This includes businesses that:
- Allow you to work from home.
- Can be started at home but get you out of the house.
- You can start for $100 or less!
- You can start with no investment at all.
Also, I’ve included ideas that suit all backgrounds, skills, and education levels.
So, some of the business ideas on the list will indeed require qualifications, but many won’t.
Similarly, some of these ideas will require you to invest some money upfront, and others you can start without any investment at all.
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I’ve also included, where applicable, courses and training resources for some of these business ideas that do require a little studying or training to get started with.
So, take a look at these ideas for business you can start right from home!
What will I learn?
Home-based Business Ideas with Low Startup Costs
These businesses all involve working at home, primarily.
So, if you don’t fancy going out of the house, and want the luxury of being able to work in your jammies, give these online business ideas a try.
1. Start a blog
Looking for a legit work from home job that can be started with less than 20 bucks (although there are ways you can even start with zero dollars invested!)?
It’s easy to start and can be super profitable.
But, I’m going to level with you here: making money from blogging doesn’t happen quickly, and it does require constant effort. This is because you have to upload articles to your blog consistently to build a following and keep the attention of your audience.
Stick with it, and put in that effort though, and you could make $1,000s each month from blogging. In fact, some bloggers grow their blogs into a six-figure business!
You can create a blog on pretty much any topic that you want, whether that’s cooking, travel, or parenting.
Whatever topic you love, create a blog around it.
To get started, you’ll need to sign up for WordPress.org, and also sign up for a domain name and a hosting service.
Places to get domain names and hosting services include:
Once you’ve created your blog, you’ll need to put content on there, and find ways to monetize it.
There are lots of ways to make money with your blog.
You can put affiliate links on your site, work with an ad network, like Google AdSense, and make money from displaying these ads on your site, or get paid by brands to create sponsored blog posts.
2. Graphic design
Starting a graphic design company is the answer to “how to start a business with your talent and without money“.
If you have design skills and know how to use programs like Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, then consider starting your own graphic design business.
You could advertise your services on Facebook or Craigslist.
Or you can find freelance clients who’re looking for a designer on:
3. Online coaching
Are you skilled and passionate about a particular subject or field?
You can leverage your skills and knowledge as an online coach.
Develop an online coaching business, and make money from it!
You can offer your services with one-on-one online coaching.
Of course, you’ll need to have your own website to advertise your services and consider setting up a Facebook group for your community.
4. Sell t-shirts and other merch
Another option to consider if you know how to use Adobe Illustrator is designing your own t-shirts and other merch.
This can turn into a full-time business.
You can work with a printing company, or you could use a site that does everything for you, including:
- Handling customer orders.
- Printing products.
- Shipping items.
Sites like this include:
- Merch by Amazon
- Gear Bubble
With these sites, all you need to do is upload your designs, and wait for customers to purchase your stuff.
These sites will charge you a commission rate though for their services.
You could make $100s, even $1,000s a month selling your own merch.
5. Web design
Becoming a freelance web designer is a great business idea because web designers are incredibly valuable for technology companies.
As a web designer, you create a great-looking site or app that gives the customer a great experience.
Now, you will need to do a little learning for this one, about things like CSS and HTML.
Here are some courses to consider:
- Webflow University
- Web design courses from edX.org
- Web design courses from Coursera
Now, you could set up your own site, and drive traffic to it. You could also advertise your services on social media.
You can also find freelance web design gigs on:
6. Web development
Web development skills are in high demand. This means you could make money as a web developer.
Thankfully, there are web development courses you can take for free, or at a low cost:
- Web development courses from edX.org
- Web development courses from Coursera
- Learn to code for free with Codeacademy.
7. Sell courses
Many side business ideas allow you to use your skills for profit. And, selling courses is no different.
If you’re really knowledgeable about something, there’s likely an audience of people online who would be willing to pay for a course from you.
You can easily create a course about anything, like writing, painting, coding, or biology.
Whatever subject you’re skilled with, you could sell courses about it online.
There are lots of platforms where you can sell courses, like:
You can make $100s or even $1,000s from this each month. Skillshare says its top teachers make $3,000 plus!
8. Non-fiction eBooks
Another way to turn your skills into a full-blown business venture is to sell eBooks.
People love to learn stuff, making non-fiction books a great business to get into.
From working out to starting a blog, you can write a how-to book on pretty much anything, and sell it online.
It’s so easy to do now, thanks to Amazon KDP.
Kindle Direct Publishing is a program that anyone can use to publish and sell their books on Amazon.
My husband has written books on exercising and makes money from them each month – residually!
This is one of those business opportunities that once you’ve put in that initial effort of writing the book, keeps making you money without you having to do anything. So, it’s a great passive income idea.
My advice if you’re going to consider writing eBooks is to write lots of them.
The more books you have to offer, the more money you’ll make.
Plus, once a reader finishes one of your books, if they like it, they’ll want to read another, so have one ready for them to buy!
Make money by starting your own podcast. They’re super popular. Center your podcase on a specific topic, build up a regular audience, and you’ll make money.
Podcasters make money through sponsors and advertisers.
If you’re new to podcasting, then you’ll need to learn about how the process works.
This article from ThePodcastHost.com gives you a step by step guide on how to start a podcast.
10. Retail arbitrage
Consider buying stuff and reselling it for a profit!
This can make you a nice side income.
You can find discounted items at places like:
- The thrift store
- TJ MAXX
You can get items from well-known brands at low prices. Then, you can resell them on places like:
You could make this into a full-time gig, eventually!
Do you have a large following on places like Instagram, Twitter, or YouTube?
Or, maybe you have a popular blog, or are considering starting one?
If you have a large following, you could make money as an Influencer.
Influencers are paid to promote brands on their social media profiles, YouTube channels, and blogs.
Here are a few places where you can find work as a brand influencer:
- Influencer Central
- ModernMom Influencer Program
- Best Buy Influencer Network
Influencers with big followings make $1,000s or even tens of thousands each month.
Now, you’re not necessarily going to make that amount.
But, if you build up your following, you could be raking in $100s, or $1,000s every month.
And, once you have a substantial following, there’s no reason you can’t be earning tens of thousands!
12. Phone case business
Since phones are so popular, it only makes sense that mobile phone accessories is a huge growing market.
There are plenty of sellers who make their own phone cases who rake in six figures or sometimes even seven figures from their phone case businesses.
Before we get ahead of ourselves though, you’re more likely to make $100s at the start. Or not much at all when you first get started.
All business ideas take time to build up before they actually become profitable.
You can get your own phone case business up and running as a side business.
How to get started though?
Read How to Start a Phone Case Business: The Ultimate Guide from Shopify – you can also sell through Shopify.
You can use a company like Printful to print your designs on demand.
If you are selling your phone cases on your own Shopify store, Printful can integrate with your online storefront.
Or you can sell your phone cases on places like Etsy and Amazon Handmade.
13. Tax preparation
Most people hate doing their taxes. This means that they’re willing to pay someone to do their taxes for them.
Tax preparation can be a great side business for anyone who has a background with taxes, or anyone who’s willing to take training courses.
As there are annual changes to the tax code, you’ll need to refresh your training each year.
You’ll also need to register with the IRS as a tax preparer.
Now, tax preparation is more of a seasonal business idea than it is a year-round money-maker.
You’ll get most of your work during the winter and spring when it’s tax season.
So, it’s a great way to make some extra income in the winter and spring.
In terms of where to get started, read this article from Microsoft on how to become a tax preparer.
Understanding Tax Return Preparer Credentials and Qualifications from the IRS is another article to read to understand more about being a tax preparer.
According to the National Society of Accountants, the average fee for a professional to prepare and submit Form 1040 and a state tax return ranges from $176 to $457.
So, you could easily make yourself a $100s each time tax season rolls around.
14. Invest in crowd-funded real estate
Okay, another idea is to invest in crowd-funded real estate.
Now, investing in real estate costs a lot. So, it’s just not affordable for most people.
Throw crowdfunding into the mix though and it does become affordable.
To get started with crowd-funded real estate, sign up for Fundrise.
You can get started with investing for just $500 through Fundrise!
This is one of those ventures that requires a little upfront investment. In the long run though, this can really pay off!
15. Online tutoring
Next up on the list is online tutoring.
Online tutors make money teaching students in a virtual classroom. Most of the time, this is on a freelance basis.
You could set up your own tutoring company, and offer your services on your own website or on social media, like Facebook.
You can also find online tutoring work from these companies:
- Chegg Tutors
- Aim-for-A Tutoring
- Homework Tutoring
- Manhattan Prep
For some gigs, you’ll need to have qualifications, like a degree and, in some cases, teaching experience.
But, not always, especially if you’re offering your services through your own website or social media profile. For the companies above though, you might need to have certain qualifications and experience, so just check with the particular company that you plan to work with.
Online tutors can earn from $15 to $20 an hour, with the average income being $19 an hour. You could earn more than that though!
16. Social media manager
Social media managers manage social media profiles for companies and individuals, like bloggers. They’re responsible for a variety of tasks, like responding to comments, answering questions, and uploading to social media platforms, like Instagram and Twitter.
You could set up your own social media management business if you’re well-versed with social media sites.
You advertise your services on your own website or social media profiles.
Or you could look for work on one of these sites:
Since most jobs are freelance, this is a good side business to try alongside your regular job.
Social media managers can make anywhere from $10 to $27 an hour, with the average pay being $15 an hour.
17. Resume writing
Consider starting your own resume writing business.
Lots of people need a good resume when they’re looking for a new job, and they’re willing to pay people to write theirs for them.
As with most of the ventures on this list, you can advertise your services on your own website and social media channels.
Or you could look for resume writing jobs on these sites:
- Talent Inc.
- Boardroom Resumes
While you can get certified as a resume writer to increase your chances of being hired, it’s not a necessity.
Take a look at these sites if you want to become a certified/trained resume writer:
- National Resume Writers’ Association (NRWA)
- Career Directors International (CDI)
- Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW)
Some places might require you to have a degree instead of or as well as certification.
Many clients though don’t require you to have any qualifications, preferring instead that you have a good selection of samples, or resume writing experience.
So, you can still get work without a certification or degree.
Make sure you check with the client or company you plan to work with to see which qualifications if any, they require.
Resume writers make around $23 an hour.
You could make more or less than that though, depending in the client or company you work with.
Also, some clients or companies might pay you per page or per assignment, instead of per hour.
18. Voiceover work
Voiceover actors provide narration for lots of different things, like those documentaries on Netflix or those tutorials on YouTube.
You can get paid for voiceover work, which is awesome. You could turn this into a fulltime business.
While starting your own site and social media for your business is a good idea, you can also take a look at the following sites for voiceover work:
19. Teach English online
Make money teaching people English online.
This is also called teaching English as a second language (ESL)
You could start your own teaching business.
Now, this is another one where you can promote yourself on your website or social media profiles. But there are also a few places to find work teaching English:
- Dave’s ESL Café
- ESL Jobs
- ESL Jobs World
- TESOL International Association
- ESL Employment
For some jobs, you may need a TEFL certification, or a similar qualification, as well as teaching experience to get started. Some places may also require you to have a degree.
But, for some gigs, qualifications aren’t required.
Check the requirements for the place you plan to work with.
Income for ESL teachers can be anywhere from $12 to $39, with the average pay being $20 an hour.
20. Virtual assistant
This just might be the best business for beginners to start with.
Virtual assistants are like regular assistants, except they do their work online, rather than in your traditional, brick-and-mortar office setting.
You could set up your own virtual assistant business, source your own clients, and get paid.
As a virtual assistant, you’ll perform all the usual tasks a regular assistant would, like scheduling appointments, arranging meetings, making phone calls, and other admin and organizational tasks.
So, this is another business that you can conduct in your PJs if you wish, as you don’t have to leave the house for this one!
There are a few places where you can find people who’re looking to work with a VA:
Again, you could also advertise your services online, on places like Craigslist, your own website, or Facebook.
Virtual assistants earn from $10 to $29 an hour, with the average income being about $15 an hour.
21. Sell photos
You can make money selling photos to stock photo websites.
Here are some places where you can sell photos:
Just list your photos for sale on these sites, and you’ll make money when someone buys them.
Now, you could also sell your photos through your own website, but since you need to drive traffic to a site, this option takes more time.
With the sites above, they already have an audience who’re looking to buy stock images.
So, they’re great for making money.
But, most stock photo websites do charge a commission – so they take a percentage of your profits.
Just factor that in when pricing your photos for sale.
22. Freelance writing
Another good business idea is freelance writing. If you enjoy writing, you may want to offer your writing services to clients.
Lots of people hire writers to create everything from blog posts to books.
Here are some places where you can find freelance writing clients who’ll pay you for your work:
Freelance writers can be paid per word, per hour, or per project.
Pay per word can range from $0.001 per word to $0.06 or more per word.
When paid per hour, freelance writers earn between $10 and $55 an hour, with the average income being $23 an hour.
Now, when it comes to pay per project, this can vary a lot. You could make $5 per article or $500 per article, depending on the type of work you do, and the client you work with.
23. Sell on Etsy
Do you have a talent for crafting or creating handmade goods?
Whether it’s bracelets or artwork, you can sell a plethora of handmade items on Etsy.
Set up your Etsy store, sell your handmade stuff, and you’ll make money. This is a great side gig that anyone who’s crafty can get started with.
To get started, read this article from Esty on how to open an Esty shop.
24. Write or illustrate greeting cards
If you’re artistic or creative, consider writing or illustrating greeting cards. This is a creative business idea you can do from home.
There are lots of places that’ll pay you to write or illustrate greetings cards, like:
If you’re good at finding typos, grammatical mistakes, and spelling errors, then you might want to give proofreading a try.
As a proofreader, you read things like blog posts, books, articles, and product descriptions, and correct any errors that you find.
Now, you could set up your own website and social media profiles to advertise your services.
Or, you could look for work on one of the following platforms:
- Editor World
You can earn $12 to $50 as a freelance editor, with average pay being $20 an hour.
26. WordPress Website Consultant
Since many small businesses start building their web presence with WordPress, there’s the opportunity for you to make money as a WordPress Website Consultant.
If you’re experienced with setting up websites on WordPress, then this could be the business idea for you.
Many business owners will pay you to set up their sites. This idea is great because, once you’ve set up a site for business, you can offer additional services, like helping them to generate traffic to their site.
27. Data analyst
There are lots of companies that hire contractors to do data analysis for them. So, if you have the right credentials and experience, this can be a lucrative side business.
UpWork is a good place to get started finding work.
If you do want to get into this line of work, you might want to take a look at:
- Data analysis courses from edX.org.
- Udemy data analysis courses.
- Data analysis courses from Coursera.
YouTube is a full-time career for many.
So, why not start your own channel?
When your channel gets enough views, you’ll become a YouTube Partner. You can then make money from the ads on your videos.
Learn more about the YouTube Partner Program here.
Although YouTube doesn’t say what its content creators earn, there are estimated figures online which suggest that for every 1,000 views a video gets, YouTubers earn from $0.25 to $7!
Use this tool from social blade to estimate your income from YouTube.
29. Buy an established website
Starting up your own site and driving traffic to it can be a lot of work. That’s why buying an established site can be a great alternative.
You could buy a website that’s already generating traffic and earn an income from it. Of course, not every site for sale is going to be a money-maker. However, if you have an eye for spotting the diamond in the rough, this is a strong potential business idea.
Browsing for sale websites on Flippa is a good place to get started.
There are sites listed for sale on Flippa, which claim to make $1,000 to $4,000 a month. When you look at sites on Flippa, you can see what’s available for sale and how much profit these sites claim to make.
30. Sell stock music
Do you love writing and playing music?
Then why not try your hand at selling stock music?
You could make money selling your music on stock websites. It can be a great side business that’s easy to start from home.
All you need to do is license it, and you’ll earn royalties from your music.
There are lots of people looking for music for things like videos on YouTube, apps, and ads, so there’s the potential to make money here.
Here are a few places where you can sell your music:
Now, it’s important to note that most of these stock music sites take a cut of your profits. Each one charges a different commission rate, so keep that in mind when pricing your music for sale.
Of course, you could try selling your music through your own website, and promote it on social media. But, this does take time to build up.
With stock music websites, on the other hand, you have customers who’re already looking to buy music.
So, that means it’s much quicker to start selling your music.
Now, with this business idea, you could make $100s a month selling your songs, as Redditors have reported. Some musicians even make $30,000 to $40,000 a year selling their music.
Make money by starting your own copywriting business.
Copywriters write promotional materials for businesses, like ads, websites, newsletters, commercials, direct mailings and press releases.
Many copywriters have a degree in topics like advertising, English, communication or marketing.
However, it’s not required. As long as you have some great writing samples, you should be able to find clients.
Here are a few places where you can find clients who’re looking to work with a copywriter:
Visit this page to learn more about copywriting. You’ll get a free eBook about copywriting and access to lots of copywriting articles for free.
If you know more than one language, consider offering your services as a translator.
You can make money at home translating documents.
Here are some places where you can find work as a translator:
You could also advertise your services online.
Translators earn $20 an hour, on average, but pay can range anywhere from $12 to $40.
33. eBook author
I mentioned above that you can make money writing how-to books.
But, if fiction writing is your passion, then you can still make money with eBooks.
Nowadays, writers don’t have to get an agent and pitch their ideas to publishing houses. They can instead write and publish their content themselves!
This is thanks to the Kindle Direct Publishing program from Amazon.
With it, anyone can upload their novel and get it out there in front of thousands of readers.
So, if you love to write, and don’t mind doing your own promotion for your work, then publishing a novel through KDP is a great idea.
It’s best to have a few books out there, because not only will more books equal more money, but you also give your readers another book of yours to read!
Learn more about Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing here.
Amazon gives you 35% to 75% royalties on your books.
34. Travel planner (Travel consultant)
Although people can check online nowadays on aggregator sites for travel deals, sometimes people just want someone to plan their travel for them.
So, you could make money as a travel planner.
You can use your skills to find the best trip, including the flight, accommodation, rental car, tours, and whatever else the client wants, for the budget the client set.
You could create a group on Facebook or LinkedIn or set up a social media profile where people can keep up to date with great travel deals. Then, you could offer your services as a travel planner or consultant.
35. Affiliate marketing
If you don’t want to sell your own products, then you might want to give affiliate marketing a try.
Affiliate links are links to products or services that have a unique affiliate ID attached to them.
When a customer clicks on one of your affiliate links and buys something, you get a commission on the sale.
This commission can range from 1% to 75% or even more than that in some cases.
All you need to do to get started is join an affiliate program.
Affiliate programs give you affiliate links.
There are lots of them available, like:
With Amazon, the customer doesn’t even need to buy the item you linked them to. If they use your link to view a product on Amazon, and then purchase another item from Amazon, you get a commission on that item.
Some retailers have their own affiliate marketing programs, like Target and Bluehost for example.
Consider which brands you like and would like to promote, and search online to see if they have an affiliate program.
You can find brand affiliate programs by searching online for the brand’s name, followed by the words, “affiliate program.”
You can post and promote your affiliate links through:
- Social media posts.
- Landing pages – this is a website with a static sales page.
- A comparison review site.
- A product resources page.
- Blog posts.
36. Selling on Amazon with FBA
Another idea to try is starting your own Fulfilment by Amazon business (FBA). FBA is a program from Amazon that allows you to make money selling stuff on the platform.
Learn more about Fulfillment by Amazon here.
Choose the product you want to sell, get it delivered to an Amazon fulfillment center, and Amazon handles the rest for you. It will ship your products and handle customer service as well.
Now, for providing these services, Amazon does charge you fulfillment fees, which you can learn more about here.
37. Selling apps
Selling apps is an idea to consider.
Some app designers are able to make this into a fulltime job.
If you have the skills to do so, start up your own business creating and selling apps.
If you don’t yet have the skills, but would like to get into the mobile app field, then take a look at these resources:
- Coursera app design courses.
- edX.org offers a list of five free courses on how to build a mobile app.
Once you’ve created an app, and put it up for sale, you’ll make money each time it sells, so this is a great passive income business.
People can make $100s or even $1,000s a month selling their apps.
38. Selling on eBay
Some people make a fulltime income selling stuff on eBay.
You could start by selling stuff from around the house that you no longer need. Then, when you have a little more cash, you can start looking for a niche. Some sellers look at garage sales for stuff to sell, and others look in thrift stores for goods. You could also consider buying stuff in bulk, and then sell items individually on eBay.
eBay does charge people fees, so do keep those in mind when selling stuff. You can learn more about selling fees on eBay here.
39. Invest in stocks
Many people have invested in stocks as a way to earn a living without a boss or an office!
However, investing is risky.
You have to invest money upfront, and the stocks you invest in aren’t guaranteed to actually make you money back.
That’s why it’s not recommended for everyone.
If you are experienced or have a strategy, and can afford it in your current budget, then consider this idea.
If you’re not experienced but would like to get into investing someday, I’d highly recommend learning a ton first.
There’s plenty of information out there on how to invest in dividend stocks.
Here are some resources to get you started:
- Dividend.com, overall, is a great site to browse for information on investing, so you should definitely take a look.
- Read this list from Dividend.com for a list of investment opportunities.
- Investopedia is another site that offers some great resources on investing. Read this article and this one to learn more about investing in dividend stocks.
- This article from Investopedia not only gives you an introduction to investing in dividends, but it also provides you with information on how much stocks can pay out.
- Also take a look at this list from S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats to see companies that have increased their dividend payouts for 25 consecutive years.
Once you’ve learned a lot about investing in stocks, start out slowly with your investments.
Some brokerage platforms offer low-cost investment options:
If your stocks do end up making you money, investing in stocks can be a profitable business idea.
40. Cupcake and cake making
Are you good at making cupcakes or cakes?
Well, consider making and selling your own cupcakes or cakes.
I’ve seen a lot of those shows on the Food Network and Netflix, like Cupcake Wars, and Sugar Rush, where bakers compete for prizes, and many of them are bakers who run their businesses from home.
They say they take orders online, and then make the cakes at home. If you love baking, then starting your own cupcake or cake business could be your dream job!
You could sell your creations through your own website, on Facebook, or at your local farmers market. Many towns and neighborhoods have Facebook groups, so that can be a great way to spread the word about your business.
Small Businesses to Start with Little to No Capital
Maybe working at home isn’t for you. I love working at home, but some people like to get out of the house and interact with the world.
If you’re one of those people, then you’ll love the business ideas below.
Again, you can start these businesses right from home. The only difference is that these businesses mainly involve working outside of the home.
So, if you want a business idea that gets you out of the house, then give these ideas a try!
Like to cook?
Well, consider starting up your own catering business. You can make money catering to private parties and events, like weddings, anniversary parties, and birthday parties.
You can advertise your services locally and start booking gigs.
42. Interior designer
If you have an eye for design, give interior design work a try.
The main thing with this line of work is being able to meet the needs of your clients.
But, a degree or certification is usually required too.
If you’re looking for a new career, then it’s definitely worth studying to become a designer.
Now, there are a few free or low-cost online courses you can do that can be a good starting point.
These can give you a good idea of what interior design entails. Here are a few courses to consider:
- Skillshare Interior Design Classes
- Coursera Interior Design Courses
- Rhodec International Free Online Interior Decorating Course
You could start your own cleaning business. Since there are always people who want someone to clean their home, this can be a good way to make money.
You could offer your cleaning services on Facebook or Craigslist.
Or you can find people looking for cleaners on Housekeeper.com.
44. Computer repairs
Here’s a classics computer based business idea. Most people have a PC, and PCs often break. So, consider starting your own computer repair company. You could also consider building computers for people. Or you could refurbish and resell computers or laptops.
Udemy has some courses on computer repair, which you can take a look at here.
45. Selling crafts
You could make and sell crafts at local craft shows, and to people nearby.
Now, this is a gig that’s great if you’re looking for a creative business idea.
This is a good venture if you work fulltime since lots of craft shows are held at the weekend.
So, you can easily fit this in next to your full-time job.
Do you like pets?
You might want to offer pet-sitting services.
You can advertise on Facebook or Craigslist. Or you can look on sites like PetSitter.com and Rover.com for pet-sitting jobs.
47. Dog walker
If you like animals, another side business to consider is dog walking. Lots of people are busy with work and family, so they need a dog walker to walk their pets. You could make money with this after work and during the weekends. Get enough work, and you could turn your side gig into your fulltime business.
48. Personal trainer
Lots of people want to get fit, but they don’t just want to go to the gym. They want a personal trainer to help them to reach their fitness goals. You could become a personal trainer, and start your own business.
You could take a course as a personal trainer if you don’t have much experience.
Learn more about what type of education you need to become a personal trainer here.
Now, always make sure you keep the safety of your students in mind with personal training.
When it comes to business ideas for kids and teens, babysitting is a no brainer. But you don’t have to be a kid to make money as a babysitter.
You can make money babysitting kids locally.
Parents post babysitting gigs online, so you can find work on places like:
Now, you could also consider advertising your services on places like Facebook, and Nextdoor.
This is a good side business you could do alongside your regular job.
Babysitters earn from $7 to $15 an hour, with the average income being $10 an hour.
Working as a nanny is a good business idea if you love spending time with children. Unlike babysitters, nannies give more of a long-term commitment to families, and may also have to teach the children they look after.
This can become a good fulltime business.
While a degree isn’t required to become a nanny, an associate degree and/or specialized certifications in early childcare development can help you to advance your career.
CPR and first aid certification are commonly required though.
51. Bicycle repair
Since there are lots of health-conscious people out there who cycle for fitness or people who cycle to work as a more cost-effective method of transportation, there’s a demand for bicycle repair services.
So, you could set up your own bicycle repair service.
You could make a good side income or even a fulltime income from repairing people’s bikes.
52. Taxi service
If you don’t mind chatting to strangers while giving them a lift, consider offering a taxi service. You could advertise your services on Craigslist.
Or you could drive for a ridesharing company, like Uber.
You get paid for giving people lifts in your own vehicle. What’s great about this is that you can give as many or as few lifts as you want to.
Here are a few ridesharing companies that’ll pay you:
Browse gigs on the app, and then when you have the time, you can make money giving people rides.
Whether you advertise on Craigslist or work with a company like Uber, this is a good side business to do if you’re already working fulltime.
You could make anywhere from $5 to $32 an hour. Uber drivers say they make $15 an hour. Lyft drivers say they make $18 an hour.
53. Appliance repair
If you’re skilled with appliance repair, consider offering your services to individuals and businesses nearby.
You could start your own appliance repair business, and make money repairing home appliances or appliances for businesses.
Start your own jewelry-making business. You can create custom jewelry and sell it to people through Facebook or at local craft fairs, markets and events.
55. Yoga instructor
Since yoga is so popular, cash in on the trend as a yoga instructor. You could rent a space if you have the money and teach classes, or teach groups in a workplace setting.
56. Marine mechanic
If you live in or close to an area with lots of waterfront properties, then consider offering your services as a marine mechanic. You can provide services like marine engine repairs or fix and rebuild boat motors.
57. Dance instructor
You could make money teaching people how to dance. Many people want to learn to dance, whether that’s Salsa or ballroom dancing. If you have the money to invest, rent out a small space, and teach dance classes! Or maybe you already have the space to teach a class – whatever the case, you could make money as a dance instructor. So, give this business idea a try.
58. Martial arts instructor
Whether it’s karate or Tae Kwon Do, if you know a martial art, consider teaching it to people.
You could start your own business as a martial arts instructor. It’s a good way to make money from something your skilled at and knowledgeable about.
59. Small engine repairs
Did you know that you could make money repairing things like riding lawnmowers, landscaping equipment, and farming equipment?
Offering small engine repairs can be a good side business. You can advertise your services in the paper, online, or by word of mouth.
60. Boxing instructor
If you know how to box, teach a boxing class. All you need is a small space to teach your classes, and students to teach. You could advertise your services locally on Facebook, Craigslist, or in the classifieds.
61. Selling antiques
Make money selling antiques. You can find great finds and resell them!
62. Furniture refurbishing
You could repair or refurbish furniture and sell it for a profit.
At garage sales and online resale sites, you can often find furniture at low prices. Often, all it needs is some TLC and its good as new, and that can reflect in the price tag when you sell it!
A lot of people like refurbished and vintage items, so this can be a good business to get into.
63. Selling produce
Sell your own produce at the farmer’s market or local fair. Growing and selling your own vegetables and fruits is a good side business.
64. Dog washing
Consider setting up your own dog washing business. If you like animals, then offering a dog washing service to pet owners near you is a great idea.
65. Delivery service
Consider working as a courier.
The following companies will pay you to deliver packages:
With these companies, you could make anywhere from $8 to $71 an hour.
Or, you could start your own delivery business.
Whether it’s groceries, dry cleaning, or alcohol, you could set up your own courier service and deliver stuff to people.
You could offer this service to people nearby.
Also, if you live in a bustling area, it’s likely that there are local businesses that could use a local courier service.
Unlike big-name services, you could offer more flexible and convenient pick-up and drop-off times, which many small business owners will appreciate!
You could earn thousands a year doing this!
66. Bicycle courier
If you live in or near a big city, consider working as a bicycle courier or messenger.
House-sitting is another business to consider. Some homeowners like someone to take care of their property for them while they’re away. Your tasks could include things like watering the plants, bringing in the mail, or picking up flyers in the door. Some homeowners have pets and would like you to look after their pets, as well as their home.
68. Carpet cleaning
Consider starting your own carpet cleaning business. You can pick up portable steam cleaners for a pretty reasonable price, which can help you with cleaning. So, offer your carpet cleaning services to people locally.
You could start your own hairdressing business. You could do people’s hair for special events as well, like weddings and proms. If you’re a good color technician as well, you could earn even more money.
70. T-shirt printing
Consider printing your own t-shirts at home. You can purchase screen-printing equipment at a reasonable price on Amazon. You could turn this into a fulltime business.
To learn more, read this article from Shopify on how to start an online t-shirt business.
If you love to sew and create clothing, you might want to start your own dressmaking business.
You could make dresses for lots of different occasions, like weddings, and proms, and costumes for things like historical reenactment events, and other themed events.
72. Computer data recovery
Consider offering computer data recovery services. Hard drives sometimes fail, and not everyone backs their files up as they should. So, they need someone to recover their files for them. You can get software to help you, like data recovery tools from Linux.
And, you can also take courses in computer data recovery at places like Udemy.
73. Golf instructor
Consider offering your services as a golf instructor. This is a good business to offer on the side of your regular job since many people will want lessons at the weekend.
So, make money offering private golf lessons to people nearby.
74. Disk Jockey
DJs are always in demand. So, you could offer your DJ services for private parties, business parties, and weddings, or at local bars and clubs.
75. Bottle redemption
If you’re looking for a small business idea that you can do alongside a fulltime gig, then consider bottle redemption.
Redeeming bottles for money isn’t exactly a business idea that’s going to make you a fulltime income.
But, it’s an easy way to put some extra cash in your pocket.
Now, if you do want to make this into a part-time business idea, then make sure that you don’t only redeem the bottles and cans from your household, but also offer to redeem other people’s bottles and cans for them.
You can make money from other people’s trash. We have a full guide on making money with bottle redemption, which you can read here.
That post will give you tips on how to get more bottles and cans you can redeem for cash, and it tells you which states offer money for bottles and cans.
76. Makeup artist
Are you good at applying makeup?
Well, consider offering your services as a makeup artist.
Since people often want to hire makeup artists to do their makeup for their prom, wedding, and many other occasions, there’s a demand for this type of service.
77. Car rental
If your car often sits in the driveway, then renting it out can be a good side business.
Rent out your car when you’re not using it, and you’ll make money.
Here are a few places where you can make money renting out your car:
You could make $1,000s a year renting out your car. According to Turo, if you rent out a $20,000 market value car for 15 days a month, you could earn $6,500 a year.
78. Food delivery
I mentioned offering a delivery service above, but this idea differs slightly.
With this one, you focus on delivering food from local restaurants, cafes, and stores, and you do it through companies.
Just like driving with Uber or Lyft, you can be a driver for food delivery companies, like:
You pick up food, and deliver it to the customer.
What’s great about these companies is that you basically just use an app to pick up delivery gigs when you want to. This is a good freelance based gig for making money.
For some jobs, you don’t even need a car, as some companies will let you make your deliveries using other vehicles, like a bike, motorcycle, scooter, or van.
You can earn anywhere from $10 to $25 an hour delivering food.
79. Portrait photography
If you like photography, then starting your own freelance portrait photography business is a natural way to turn your skills and passions into a profitable business.
To build up your portfolio, you could start by offering your services for free to friends and family.
You can advertise your services locally, like with business cards, in the paper, and by word of mouth for example, and online by setting up your own website, advertising on social media, and on Craigslist.
There are plenty of courses available in portrait photography, which is good if you’re looking to sharpen your skills.
You could take courses online with places like Udemy and Skillshare.
80. Wedding photographer
If you love photography, another business to consider is one where you offer your services as a wedding photographer.
Since people are always getting married, there’s definitely a demand for wedding photographers.
You can make $1,000s per wedding for this.
Being a wedding photographer can be a fulltime business. So, if you’re looking to consider transitioning out of your current job, and you have a passion for photography, then wedding photography might be the perfect business for you.
You can always take a course too in wedding photography. Skillshare, for example, has lots of wedding photography courses you can complete online.
81. Refurbish used electronics
You can make money refurbishing used electronics. Many people get rid of their faulty laptops, mobile phones, or cameras without looking into the cause of these faults. This means that if you have the skills to fix them, you could refurbish and resell used electronics. This can be a great way to make money on the side of your regular income.
82. Clothing alteration and tailoring
Clothing alteration and tailoring is a service you could offer.
Many people are looking for tailoring services, as clothes from stores just often don’t fit right.
Now, you could also offer to mend clothes! Advertise your services online and locally.
83. Personal Organizer
Do you love organizing stuff? Are you the type of person who reorganizes their closets for fun?
Well, then you might want to offer your services as a personal organizer. You can offer your services to busy and disorganized individuals and businesses.
84. Home Staging
Home staging is a great business idea if you love rearranging furniture or improving the look of a home in general.
People who offer home-staging services help sellers to get their homes to look beautiful so that they sell as quickly as possible.
85. Herb Farming
Herb farming is a great business idea.
Since there’s an increase in demand for locally grown and organic foods, herb farmers can easily find a base of customers looking to buy their wares. If you’re in an urban area especially, you’ll have lots of demand.
While you need a little space for growing herbs, the space you need is fairly small, and pretty much any home can be modified slightly to allow for an extensive herb garden.
86. Personal Stylist
Have an eye for fashion? Do you know what looks good and what doesn’t?
Well, you might want to give personal styling a try. Personal stylists help people to dress better for their body type and improve their wardrobe. Consider turning your passion for fashion into a business as a personal stylist.
87. Wedding planning
Weddings are commonplace, so wedding planners are in high demand. Lots of couples hire wedding planners to organize their big day.
As a wedding planner, you work with couples to plan every aspect of their wedding, from the flowers to the food. Now, you can do this on the side of your regular job. In terms of landing gigs, you can advertise your services in your area.
88. Mystery shopping
Do you love shopping?
Well, then getting paid to shop would be your dream, right?
If so, mystery shopping is the gig for you.
Companies will pay shoppers like you to evaluate things like the cleanliness of the store, or how well the employees treated you.
Here are some places to find mystery shopping jobs:
- Sinclair Customer Metrics
- Market Force
- Field Agent
You could earn anywhere from $8 to $25 an hour (or more in some cases) as a mystery shopper.
89. Errand service
People are busy, and many don’t have the time for errands. That’s where you can come in and make a profit!
You could make money doing errands, like picking up dry cleaning or running to the store to pick something up for people in your area.
A good place to get started is with TaskRabbit. On there, people are looking to pay people to run errands for them.
You could also advertise your services.
90. Party planning
Whether it’s a party at a corporate event or a birthday party, many people need a party planner to help them to organize. You could offer your services as a party planner! This is a fun business idea! You could advertise your services locally and online as well.
91. Digital media conversion
Many people want to convert their old-school media, like CDs into digital files. But, it’s time-consuming, and technical, so they want to hire someone else to do it. If you have tech skills, you could offer a digital media conversion service to people.
92. Music teacher
If you know how to play a musical instrument, whether that’s the piano or the guitar, you could offer music lessons. Offering your services as a music teacher can be a good side business.
Freelance bartending is another good side business to consider.
There are lots of free mixology courses online, so you can learn how to make lots of different cocktails, and beverages. Skillshare, for example, offers courses on mixology.
Now, to get hired as a freelance bartender it helps to have experience.
A good starting point is to volunteer to tend bar for charity events. This gives you experience. And you can then market yourself to paying clients. You can contact local businesses for work.
94. Window cleaning
People always need someone to clean their windows, which is why window cleaning can be such a good venture. This is another business you can start for less than $100.
If you want to clean retail stores, rather than people’s homes, then you’ll probably need more than $100 worth of equipment, so start out with cleaning homes and then use the profit you make to get better equipment.
People move all the time, and no one likes having to move all their stuff. That’s why starting your own business as a mover is such a great idea. Whether it’s helping people to move house or dorms, there are lots of opportunities to make money. A good place to start for finding moving jobs is on Bellhops.
96. Handyman services
If you are skilled at basic home repair, then consider offering your services as a handyman. You’d be surprised by the simple things people are willing to pay others to help them with! Advertise your services to people in your neighborhood. You could even post on Facebook and Craigslist.
A Few More Ways to Make Money from Home
Okay, so above, I’ve given you lots of business ideas, but there are still a few more easy ways to make money from home.
These aren’t business ideas, per se.
Instead, they’re just easy ways to make some extra money.
If you just want a little extra spending money, give one or all of these methods a try.
97. Take surveys
Taking surveys is a good way to make money because anyone can do it.
It requires no special skills and no upfront investment, provided that you’re working with a legit company.
Here are some places where you can get paid to take surveys:
- Vindale Research
- Pinecone Research
- Darwin’s Data
- Google Opinion Rewards
- Ipsos i-Say
- Survey Junkie
I’d highly recommend that you sign up to multiple survey sites. This is because you won’t qualify for every survey. When you’re signed up for more sites, you’ll have more surveys that you qualify for and therefore more opportunities to make money!
98. Sign up for rewards websites
Rewards websites are great because they give you so many easy ways to make money.
And the best part?
Most of the tasks they pay you for are things you probably do anyway, like shopping online and playing games.
There are lots of awesome rewards websites out there, like:
These sites will give you points for doing tasks, like:
- Browsing the internet.
- Shopping online.
- Playing games.
- Completing offers.
- Watching videos.
- Taking surveys.
You can redeem your points for:
- Money to your PayPal account.
- A check.
- Money through direct bank transfer.
- Gift cards to retailers, like Amazon, Target, and Walmart.
99. Try new apps
Another easy way to make some money is by testing out new apps.
App creators want to increase the visibility of their apps, and what better way to do this than by paying people like you to try them for free!
To get paid to test out new apps, take a look at these apps:
- AppBounty: Desktop and Android
- Appdown: Desktop, iOS and Android
- Whaff Rewards: iOS and Android
- AppKarma: Android
- FeaturePoints: Android
- AppTrailers: Android and iOS
- AppMan: Desktop and Android
- AppLike: Android
- Cash for Apps: Desktop, Android and iOS
- AppNana: Desktop and Android
All you need to do is sign up for these apps, and then install new apps.
What’s great about this money-making method is that you don’t even need to keep these new apps installed on your phone.
You’ll get paid just to have the app installed on your phone for a short period!
While you won’t get rich from taking surveys, doings tasks on rewards websites, or trying new apps, these opportunities do give you an easy way to make some money.
And, these tasks, like playing games and downloading apps can be done anywhere, so you could make money while waiting in line at the airport, at the doctor’s office, or to give someone a lift.
Having easy ways to make money is always a good thing!
Tips for Starting a Business from Home
Okay, so now you have lots of business ideas that you can try. In this section, I want to give you a few quick tips for starting a successful business that makes money. These tips will help you with everything from safety to growing your business.
Only invest what you can afford
Fortunately, I’ve included lots of business ideas that require no upfront cost or investment, like freelance writing, and providing a taxi service.
Some businesses, however, do require an investment.
For example, if you want to start a window cleaning business, you’ll need to pay for things like cleaning equipment, and maybe even a ladder, and if you want to teach dance classes, then you might need to rent a studio or renovate a space in your home.
Now, if the business idea you want to try does require an upfront cost, like the aforementioned window-cleaning business, or an on-going cost, like crafting materials if you’re planning to sell stuff on Etsy, then make sure you can afford it in your current budget.
Your new business should help you to improve your financial health, not stress you out!
So, factor in the costs that will be involved with your business, and see if they work in your current budget and financial situation.
Safety should be key whether you’re starting a business that’s home-based or one that gets you out of the house.
There are lots of scams out there.
Let’s take a look at a few examples of how to stay safe:
- Some fields are more prone to scam artists, like mystery shopping, for example. Never pay for an opportunity. A legit company would never ask you to pay to join their mystery shopping platform, for example.
- Also, be careful when advertising your services on CL and sites like that. If you have to meet someone from CL, or Facebook, for example, make sure that you tell people where you’re going, meet in a public place, and provide contact details for the person you plan to meet with.
- If you plan to drive for Uber, make sure you follow safety precautions as well. Read this article from Uber on safety tips for drivers.
- Never give out sensitive information to your clients, like your SSN, credit card details, or driver’s license number.
These are of course, just precautions. For the most part, people aren’t out to scam or harm you. It’s always good to be cautious though.
Don’t ignore the IRS
I hate doing taxes. I really do. But I know they have to be done. You can’t just ignore the IRS.
If you work for yourself, you not only have to deal with whatever work it is you do, but you also have to put your tax preparation hat on when tax season rolls around.
Doing your own taxes is annoying, but once it’s done, you can rest easy knowing that your business is up to code!
You can consult with an accountant to help you.
You can learn everything you need to know about taxes when you’re self-employed at the Self-Employed Individuals Tax Center on the IRS website.
Give your business time to develop
With some business, a lot of businesses actually, they take time to build up before you actually start making any money.
I remember when I first started freelance writing, and for the first year, I barely made anything. As the years went on, I started making more money, and now it’s my fulltime job.
So, what I’m saying is that it could take a little time for your business to become profitable. Don’t give up though!
Don’t quit your day job, yet!
As much as you may want to, quitting your job to focus on your business is just a bad idea.
Keep up your regular job, and work on your business on the side.
Just because someone online tells you that you can make $10,000 a month in just a few months selling t-shirts, it doesn’t mean that you will.
Again, things take time to build up. You might make nothing in the first few months of starting your business, and even after that your income from your business is likely to be nowhere near your income from your fulltime job.
Eventually, you might make enough money from your business to quit your fulltime job. But, at the start, you’ll need to work on your business alongside your regular job.
Set yourself working hours and stick to them
When you work for a traditional employer your working hours are set. You start at 9 and you finish at 5 or some variation of that.
When you have your own business though that’s not the case.
It can be so tempting to work around the clock.
In my first couple of years as a freelancer, I used to do that. I’d think, well it’s 6 pm, but I’ll just work on one more thing, or I’ll just check my emails.
You really need to draw that line between life and work.
Just like with any job, give yourself set working hours. When your working hours are done, leave any business-related tasks alone, and relax!
Start Your New Business in 2020
Maybe you decided that 2020 was the year for a career change, or maybe you’ve wanted to start your own business for years but weren’t sure what to do.
Either way, consider the business ideas above. So many of them are businesses you can start with no investment, like:
- Freelance writing.
- Mystery shopping.
- Online tutoring.
- Pet sitting.
- Writing and publishing novels with Amazon KDP.
- Renting out your car.
So, there’s no reason not to give one of these ideas a try!
We all have something that we’re skilled at, experienced with or passionate about, so leverage that into a business idea!
Are you considering starting a business from home in 2020? If so, which ones on our list piqued your interest? Let us know in the comments section below.
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