10 Home-Based Businesses You Can Start Right Now

Why A Home-Based Business Can Be A Practical Option

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Out of the 30 million-plus small businesses in the U.S., approximately half, or 15 million, are considered to be home-based. A home-based business offers numerous benefits: no commute, control over decisions, low startup costs, and tax benefits. Operating a business from home is also a practical option nowadays since you can make money while you're practicing social distancing.

Running a home-based business isn't for everyone. The hours can be long and the work can be isolating. Your work life can encroach on your home life, and you may have little opportunity to take time off. You may be unable to expand your business due to a lack of space.

Your home-based business is more likely to succeed if it's based on a business concept you feel passionate about. If you are looking for inspiration, consider the following 10 home-based business ideas.

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Translation Services

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If you are fluent in multiple languages, you can put your skills to good use by starting a translation business. Translation services convert written material from one language to another. All you need to get started is a computer. You can give your business credibility by becoming certified with the American Translators Association.

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Online Consulting Business

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The knowledge and skills you've acquired in your profession may be a marketable asset. You can use your expertise to create an online consulting company that you operate from your home. Your role as a consultant is to help other business owners solve problems. To get started, make a list of your skills and abilities, and the types of businesses you could help. Networking is essential for attracting clients.

Protect your consulting business from lawsuits by purchasing errors and omissions liability insurance.

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Content Writing

Woman working on her laptop at home office : Stock Photo
Woman working on her laptop at home office : Stock Photo. © Getty Images

A home-based freelance writing business offers considerable flexibility. You have many options, including books, articles, blogs, instructions for technical manuals, and advertising copy. You don't need a journalism degree to be a successful writer but you do need good writing skills. You also need discipline and the ability to meet deadlines.

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Handmade Crafts

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Is making homemade crafts your favorite hobby? If so, you can turn that hobby into a home-based crafts business. Your first step is to make sure there's a market for your crafts. You can assess potential demand and check out your competition by visiting craft fairs and online craft marketplaces like Etsy and Amazon Handmade. You can find additional tips on setting up a crafts business via the Small Business Administration, which offers guidance on differentiating your product line, sourcing quality materials, creating brand recognition, and more.

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Drop-Shipping Store

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With so many people now shopping online, it's a great time to start a drop-shipping business. When you operate as a drop-shipper, you don't take physical possession of the goods you sell. Instead, the supplier ships the goods directly to the buyer once the sale has been made. You can help your business stand out by focusing on products that aren't readily available through other delivery services. For instance, you could start a hyperlocal delivery system that's more efficient and cheaper than the mainstream services in your area.

A major advantage of running a drop-shipping business is that you don't have to worry about storing, packing, or shipping products.

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Website Design

Graphic Design Home Business
Use you're creativity online to design websites and graphics. Credit: Cultura RM/Robin James | Getty Images

Most businesses need a website nowadays, and many hire a designer to create one. If you have an artistic streak, an understanding of color, and a good knowledge of website design tools, a website design business might be a good option. Startup costs are low and you can work anywhere you have a high-speed internet connection. Website design is a highly competitive industry so you'll need to find a way to make your business stand out.

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Private Tutor

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Private tutoring is a great home-based business idea for anyone who enjoys teaching and helping people learn. You can offer your services in person or remotely via a computer. While you don't need a teaching certificate to be a tutor, you must have extensive knowledge in at least one specific area. You must also be able to convey your knowledge in terms other people can understand.

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Graphics Designer

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If you can create professional-looking flyers, brochures, letterhead, and logos, consider starting a home-based graphics design business. Many businesses need graphic art but don't have the staff to produce it. Graphics design is a broad category. Assess your skills and decide what products you want to produce. Identify your target market and study your competitors. Graphics design is highly competitive so you'll need to specialize to make your business unique.

Don't let an infringement lawsuit bankrupt your business. Consult an attorney to be sure you understand federal laws regarding trademarks and copyrights.

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Digital Marketing Consultant

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Many businesses are looking for ways to connect with customers online. If you have expertise in things like content marketing, social media, and search engine optimization (SEO), you could start a digital marketing business. Digital marketing is a fairly broad category so you'll need to establish an area of focus. Try to find a marketing niche that fits your skills and interests, and then promote your business by networking.

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Virtual Assistant

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Earn extra income by becoming a virtual assistant. Jose Luis Pelaez Inc./Getty Images

Do you have experience performing administrative functions for business owners or managers? If so, a virtual assistant business might be a good fit. Virtual assistants offer a broad range of services via a computer, such as scheduling, emailing, record keeping, and customer support.

They can help small businesses improve their productivity by taking on time-consuming tasks, putting new processes in place, and capturing and organizing data.