If you’re looking to change careers, or you’re interested in starting a side hustle, starting a home business is a fantastic option. Starting a home business gives you the creative freedom to explore the ways you can make money from the things you are passionate about.
While some business ventures require entrepreneurs to have advanced degrees or a large amount of capital to cover startup costs, that is not always the case. Here are some of the best businesses to start with a little money.
Bookkeepers work to provide current financial data for businesses. These accounting professionals do not need any type of license, however, earning a certified public bookkeeper (CPB) designation can help to prove your expertise to potential clients.
If you are starting a bookkeeping business, you’ll be responsible for monitoring your client’s invoicing and payments, profits and expenses, and other financial transactions. You might be called upon to help CEOs and entrepreneurs make decisions based on your findings. Your clients, which can be anything from large corporations to local lawn care companies, may have software like WorkWave Service which can help you monitor their financial data.
2. Catering, Meal Prep, or Personal Chef
If you love food and have a passion for the culinary arts, then you may be able to turn that interest into a home-based food delivery business by providing catering, meal prep, and personal chef services for clients. Catering would involve cooking large amounts of food for group events, while meal prep and personal chef services would involve preparing food for one person or one family.
If you are starting a catering business, you can use catering delivery software to help optimize your routes and ensure timely deliveries. For meal preparation, having groceries delivered or working with a top-notch alcohol delivery software can help you to get your individualized weekly groceries to your clients every Monday.
3. Content Creation and Digital Marketing
If you are a creative person with skills such as video production, photography, or writing, then you can create a home-based business working in content creation or digital marketing.
As a content creator, you‘ll develop your presence online (i.e. starting an influential Instagram account or a blog), and then you partner with businesses to promote their services to your existing audience. For each photograph or blog post, you write that promotes your client’s business, you will be paid for creating that content.
As a digital marketing professional, you will create video, photographic, and written content that your clients can use to promote their businesses. You work with clients to promote their business, make digital marketing plans and long-term goals, as well as analyze data to make suggestions for future action.
4. Event Planning
Event planners coordinate successful events such as corporate retreats, weddings, baby showers, and birthday parties for their clients. Some event planners hold bachelor’s degrees in business, event management, hospitality, or marketing, but it’s not a requirement.
If you want to start an event planning business, you will need to decide on a business name, apply for a business license, and find some clients willing to hire a new event planner and provide you with positive reviews. Your first clients can be friends, family, or people with whom you have a working relationship in your community.
5. Graphic Design
Graphic designers are highly sought-after professionals. Graphic designers use technology to create visual content for companies. This content can take the form of logos, website design, and advertising materials. Graphic designers create art, and if you are a creative person looking to start a home business, this might be a good option for you.
Some graphic designers hold degrees in art or graphic design, but others learned their skills through free resources online and lots of trial and error. To start working as a graphic designer, you’ll need to invest in a tablet or digital drawing pad with which to work. You’ll also need to create a variety of sample pieces and showcase them in an online portfolio, such as on your business’s website. These sample pieces can show clients what you are capable of and what kind of content you can create for their businesses.
Landscapers help their clients maintain and beautify their lawns and gardens. If you are interested in starting your own landscaping business, you could begin by renting the necessary equipment. Once you have your first clients, you can use lawn care software to help with scheduling your services and coordinating any employees you bring into your business.
Once your business has grown, you can use software such as Real Green to create a website that automatically communicates with your clients. By using these tools, you can grow your lawn care business quickly.
7. Language Translation Services
If you are bilingual, you already have valuable skills. Speaking, reading, and writing more than one language makes you an asset, and it’s a great way to start a home business. As a translator, you can work in several different capacities. If you want to work with people directly, you can be hired as an independent contractor for businesses that have partnerships in other countries.
If you want to work from home in a more independent capacity, you can offer your services as a translator for written and audio/visual materials. This can include translating books for publication in other languages, writing closed captioning and subtitles, and being a voice actor for alternate-language releases of movies and shows.
To start your career as a language translator, you’ll need to prove your fluency (you can do so by taking a proficiency test) and start working with local clients who need your services.
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8. Music Lessons
If you’re a musician, and you want to start your own business, then offering music lessons is a great choice. You can choose your availability, choose your pricing, and work your schedule around any shows you may be performing in.
Since you’re working from your home, you might want to choose a room to use specifically for music lessons. As you start your search for clients, consider posting on social media, talking with the music teachers at local schools, and offering discounted group lessons to garner interest from people in your area.
9. Online Marketplace
Selling items online, or starting a digital store, is a way for you to explore your interests and make money at the same time. If you’re interested in vintage clothes, you can shop at second-hand stores for valuable pieces of clothing and sell them on your website, or a digital market like Amazon or Facebook Marketplace. If you like jewelry, you can source jewelry from local artists or online suppliers and resell it online.
To start this kind of business, you’ll need funds to purchase your initial inventory. Depending on what kind of product you’re selling, this can cost you anywhere from $100 to $10,000. If you’re starting on a public market like Facebook, don’t be afraid to start small and work your way up to bigger ticket items.
10. Pest Control
Pest control workers help families and businesses keep their surroundings safe, clean, and free of pests. In most states, you need to complete some training and pass an exam to work in pest control. Once you are licensed, you can purchase the necessary safety equipment and begin working with pests of all sizes, from ants and gnats to rats and raccoons.
A pest control software program can help you schedule meetings with clients and easily provide client information to your employees to ensure efficient, effective care.
11. Pet Grooming/Sitting Services
If you love animals, you can start an at-home pet grooming or pet-sitting business. For a pet grooming business, you’ll need to invest in pet-safe shampoos, conditioners, and trimming tools, as well as harnesses, collars, and muzzles (for your less cooperative clients). You’ll also probably need a designated room in your house, or an outdoor grooming area, to keep the rest of your living space clean.
If you’re starting a pet-sitting business, this can take different forms. You can watch pets at your home, creating a doggie-daycare business. This would require an outdoor space, shelter for the animals, and startup costs such as food, dog toys, and fencing. You can also pet-sit animals in their owners’ homes. This may include overnight stays for clients who are on vacation, or dog walking services for clients who work long hours.
12. Selling Handcrafted or Homemade Goods
If you’re an artisan in your free time, you can turn your creations into a stream of income. If you’re making goods using a skill you’ve already been practicing, your startup costs should be minimal. If you want to learn a new art form, you’ll need to pay for the courses and materials associated with that.
Online marketplaces like Etsy allow you to sell your handmade products to people all over the world. You can sell hand-knit sweaters, paintings, wood carvings, jewelry, and anything else you can imagine.
13. Software Installation, Integration, and/or Training
Software installation, integration, and training services can be the perfect path for someone starting their own business after working in the technology industry. You would act as a consultant for companies looking to install new software, integrate their current software into a more unified system, or train their current employees on the best practices for using their software.
Starting your own consulting group allows you to work with companies that interest you, make your own schedule, and develop your expertise in specific areas of study.
14. Sustainability Consulting
As the effects of climate change become more drastic, many companies are working to make changes that will positively impact the environment. A sustainability consultant works with companies to identify ways that energy can be used more effectively and waste can be reduced.
If you have a degree in environmental science or a related field, and you want to start your own business, becoming a sustainability consultant is a great option. The biggest startup cost will be earning a relevant degree if you don’t already have one.
If you have a bachelor’s degree in a subject associated with math, English, history, or science, you can start a new career as a tutor for school-aged children. As a tutor, your job is to provide support and supplemental instruction for students who are struggling in one or more subjects in school. You can tutor a specific age group, or you can open up your services to students of all grade levels.
You can do tutoring in a home office, or a more public setting such as a library or local coffee shop. If you’re tutoring for a specific test, such as the SAT or an advanced placement test, you might need to purchase some teaching materials when you start your business. However, there are free and low-cost teaching materials available online. You don’t need to have a teaching license to tutor, although having one will help you find clients and get paid more.
16. Virtual Assistant
A personal assistant helps their clients by booking appointments, planning trips, replying to emails, answering phones, and ordering supplies as needed. As a personal assistant, you can choose what kind of services you would like to offer. If you want to work virtually, you can build a business around helping people manage their calendars.
There isn’t a high startup cost for becoming a personal assistant. You’ll need to learn to utilize tools such as scheduling software, virtual answering services, digital calendars, and travel planning websites. You’ll also need to create a website, LinkedIn profile, and social media accounts to market yourself to people in need of a personal assistant.