home business ideas

Not having to drag yourself out of the house to work probably sounds like a dream, why else would you be searching “home business ideas” or “work at home.” You would never have to deal with another irritating co-worker or attend yet another meeting that’s simply taking up your valuable time.

Starting your own home business is a smart way to generate extra cash, or replace your current job. I understand how exciting the idea is, and that you want to jump in while you’re feeling motivated. However, there are some things to consider first.

Having the Right Stuff

Most work at home or home businesses these days require you to have an internet connection, and a strong one at that. In fact, you don’t even need a phone or an old fashioned fax machine anymore. The computer can do that for you. If you start an internet marketing business where you promote digital products, you’ll need a very good computer and a strong connection. Depending on the business you select, there will be other supplies, programs, apps, etc. that are part of the day-to-day business. You may also need to invest in education and training, and that typically requires books, manuals, online tutorials or coaching.

Every home business needs a specific location in your home to work from. You don’t want any distractions, so that means no televisions in your home office. You’ll need either a desk or a spot on the kitchen table. Tell your family when you’ll be working and politely ask them to leave you alone to work. It is, after all, for them that you’re doing this grand adventure, right? (I know, you’re laughing at that idea. “Ask them to leave you alone” ha ha ha. I have kids, I know how it is. But still, try to make them understand.)

Some Realistic Home Business Ideas

When I was first thinking about working from home, back in 2004, I searched online for ideas. There weren’t nearly as many as there are now, so you’re lucky. What I found a lot of were ideas that I thought were silly, for me anyway. I didn’t want to raise chickens in my backyard, the city frowns on that idea.

No, what I needed were realistic home business ideas that just about anyone could start. I’ve compiled for you a list of ideas for 2017 and beyond. No chickens or worm farming required. Be sure to check out my blog post about “Choosing the Right Home Business for You” where I go into more detail about what to expect and how to brainstorm business ideas that will work for you and your family.

The List

home business to do list

Blogging: Who doesn’t have a blog now? Starting a blog is easier than ever, but monetizing it so you actually make money takes some time and learning. Invest in educating yourself on how to create valuable content and how to make money with a blog and over time you will grow an audience and build your online income.

Affiliate Marketing: Going right along with blogging is affiliate marketing. When you have a blog or website, you can earn money by promoting other people’s products as an affiliate. You simply write about a product or include the product link in a related blog post. Depending on how you market your blog or the product you’re promoting, you will need traffic to start seeing money come in.

Online Store: We’ve all bought something online, and not always from Amazon either. People start their own online stores, build a website storefront and sell their goods. You may be a fantastic artist and want to sell your paintings or prints. Whatever you make, you can promote it online via a web store.

Tax Preparation: Everyone who makes money has to pay taxes, and not everyone wants to do their own, so here’s where you come in. An at home tax preparer can make a good income once they are trained and stay up-to-date on the current tax codes etc. Keep in mind, that although businesses need this service year round, individual tax prep is more seasonal.

Virtual Assistant: I’ve done this for years, and have enjoyed the work quite a lot. Business owners and even individuals seek out the services of a VA to handle various small jobs and tasks. Their time is then freed up to run the major parts of their business. If you are great with word processing, answering email, maintaining blogs, managing social media accounts etc., then this is probably a good option for you. Amylynnandrews.com has more info.

Self-Publishing: With the advent of ebooks and such self-publishing platforms as Kindle and CreateSpace, anyone can become an author. You can publish books on just about any topic or in any niche. For non-fiction, just be sure to do sufficient research to make sure your niche is one that people will spend money in. Talented fiction writers can fulfill their creative and financial dreams at the same time. You will have to promote your own books, however, and that will require time and investment.

Catering: So you’re the person everyone goes to for help when there’s a large event to cook for, huh? If that is you, then perhaps you can start a catering home business. You will need to learn how to manage the business side, like writing estimates and figuring supplies etc. so you don’t lose money. Starting small is a wise idea in this kind of business so you don’t become overwhelmed and burn out.

Repairing and refinishing furniture: My father did this for many years, right from our home. He had a very busy schedule and provided quite well for us with this business. Now days, people not only repair and refinish furniture for clients, but they buy old pieces, refab them to look great and sell them. I think this would be a fun business. You can take your items to farmer’s markets and flea markets and sell them.

Home Day Care: Been there, done that. When my two youngest children were little, I stayed at home with them and ran a small home child care too. During nap time, I worked on my online business. Worked out well. You can even take a partner on and join forces to make a larger licensed business. Believe me, this kind of home business can become stressful and often lonely, so having a partner is great.

Party Planner: There are all kinds of parties that people will pay you to plan for them. Not only can you plan baby showers and wedding showers and birthday parties, but there is a huge market for corporate event organizers.

Personal Trainer: Do you love to workout and are in great shape? Then share your passion for fitness with others who need your help. You can work from your own home, at client’s home or at a gym, or even outside.

House Cleaning Service: This is one of the easiest home businesses to start because the initial cost is low and the learning curve is easy too. People will always want a reliable, effective and honest house cleaning service. You can even become the contractor and hire others to do the work for you after you establish yourself in the market.

sell on amazon

Sell Stuff on Amazon and eBay: Even though I’m no longer working this business model, I did enjoy it for several years and made a bunch of money as an eBay seller. With Amazon, you can sell stuff directly yourself, or go with the Amazon FBA (Fulfillment By Amazon) route where you buy the products, ship them to Amazon, they put them in a warehouse and ship them to customers for you when they’re purchesed through Amazon.com.

There’s my list of realistic home business ideas. Many, many more exist, but I wanted to get to the ones that I knew something about first hand. One word of caution that I always share with anyone wanting to work from home: Do not quit your job until you have replaced your current pay check for at least 6 months, I’d say a year is even better, but I’m very cautious.

Also, if money is very tight for you now and you’re in need of some cash asap, then please consider getting a part-time job to fix your current situation. You can always work on your home business dream when you aren’t stressed out over paying your bills. Ok, sermon over. I wish only the best for you and am willing to answer your questions, so find me on Facebook at “Easy Family Living Ideas” anytime.

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What Kind of Home Business Can You Realistically Start?

8 thoughts on “What Kind of Home Business Can You Realistically Start?

  • May 18, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    I’m actually a social media manager and a blogger. I didn’t think about how I could also be a VA… It’s definitely something to consider. Thanks for the tips.

    • May 18, 2017 at 4:28 pm

      There are many routes a VA can take in their business. Offering social media management is a great idea and a sought after service. Good luck and much success with your business!

  • May 18, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    Lots of great ideas here. I run a blog and I am in the process of launching as a Virtual Assistant. I hadn’t considered tax prep, but it is right in my skill set. Definitely going to look a little more into that 🙂

    • May 18, 2017 at 4:26 pm

      A talented VA can offer a wide variety of services. Tax prep will certainly always be in demand. Best of luck and success to you!

  • May 18, 2017 at 4:10 pm

    I became a Wellness Advocate and blogger to be able to do some work at home. I took a little break with selling items on garage sale sites and other online outlets. That was super time consuming; but easy. Thanks for the great ideas!

    • May 18, 2017 at 4:25 pm

      You’re very welcome! Good luck and success with your work.

  • May 19, 2017 at 8:20 pm

    It’s a great post for anyone who is considering from working from home. A few years ago I was stuck at a 9-5 job and wasn’t happy at all. Now I have my own website and work as a freelancer full time. It’s a dream come true.

    • May 19, 2017 at 9:27 pm

      Sounds wonderful Elena! Freelancing is a great option for people who want flexibility. Best of luck and success!


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