Working from home … it’s a wonderful thought. Particularly when it comes to maintaining a solid work-life balance and the opportunity to work in your bunny slippers.
It’s even more tempting when you check out the numbers behind it. Just take a look at these impressive work from home stats:
Seems like a straight path to professional success and flexibility, doesn’t it?
It’s not unfortunately. Work at home is not all bonbons and fluffy pillows. And it’s challenging to balance the effort needed to run a successful venture with unstructured freedom. Leaving a professional footprint could also be an issue if your customer acquisition process requires several client meetings.
So, what is it that makes some work at home entrepreneurs succeed, while others fail?
Well, the majority of successful work from home entrepreneurs have a great business idea.
Knowing exactly what business to pursue is the key to kick start a work at home entrepreneurial career. But brainstorming and picking the right idea is easier said than done. Which work at home businesses have a higher chance of succeeding with the economy on the rebound? Which ones don’t require a lot of capital investment?
If you’re intimidated by work at home business ideas, today’s post should relieve some of your worries.
Here are 10 work from home business ideas that you can take inspiration from right now:
Dropshipping is a retail fulfillment approach where you don’t keep the items you sell in stock. Instead, you purchase products from a third party and have it shipped to the customer directly. You set the item’s price, find customers, and contact the supplier once the order is placed. The seller never handles or sees the product. Branding is still a possibility as you can instruct the third party to place your custom shipping labels on the product’s packaging.
Image source: Practical Ecommerce
Shelby Nousain, owner of careerbags.com, told TODAY.com that dropshipping is a simple business model. Shelby sells several different handbag and laptop brands through her website. When she receives an order, she forwards it to the supplier for fulfilment and shipment. The work at home entrepreneur from South Florida also talked about the benefits of dropshipping, saying she doesn’t have to keep any inventory, which reduces the upfront capital and allows her to work from anywhere with a desk and PC.
2. Amazon FBA
Amazon FBA – Fulfillment by Amazon – allows you to sell goods via the Amazon platform. Amazon handles the entire fulfillment process, which includes storing your items, shipping them to customers, handling exchanges and refunds, and providing customer service. Sellers are also eligible for the free two-day shipping offer from Amazon Prime and similar options. You also benefit from Amazon’s efficiency when it comes to the speed of order processing and shipment. The difference between Amazon FBA and drop shipping is that the former requires you to buy products and send them to Amazon’s warehouse.
Image source: Project Eve
In an interview with Making Sense Of Cents, Jessica Larrew of The Selling Family shared how she found work at home success with Amazon FBA. She sold items she purchased from a regular store and individual order processing was done by Amazon. Although, Jessica only worked weekends and nights, she and her husband brought in almost $100,000 in profit in their first year of selling together.
You can read more about Amazon FBA here.
3. Online Courses
Got a knack for writing? Then the business of selling online courses would suit your work from home endeavors. With the revenues for the self-paced e-learning market estimated to reach $51.5 billion this year, more and more people will look into online courses to enhance their knowledge. All you need to do is create content on a specific subject for a specific audience. Then you can use sites like Teachable to sell your online course. Also, you can increase the appeal of your online course by throwing in some videos.
Image source: SlideShare
Ruth Soukup is an example. Her Elite Blog Academy is regarded as one of the best resources for individuals who are looking to build sustainable work from home businesses. Ruth is a mother who is killing it with online courses, and has managed bring her husband home from his job. Her experience and knowledge on the subject of blogging and writing was the main reason for her success with online courses.
You can read more about selling online courses here.
4. Event Planner
Home-based event planning is a business that has low startup costs. You need to establish some credibility before you get your first customers, so you’ll need to obtain some certifications before selling your service. Organizations like The international Special Events Society provides such certifications. Event planners specialize in planning specific events such as wedding parties or handle all types of events. You can create a digital and printed portfolio with Spacesand similar tools to promote your service both online and offline.
Image source: SlideShare
The Guardian reported that Jennifer Phipp left her role as a weddings and event manager to start a work from home business venture – Jenny Wren Weddings & Events. She said one of the keys to be successful in this field is having a personable character because people are trusting you to organize important events. Social media sites like Pinterest work well for marketing this business, as it puts you in direct contact with people looking for event planners.
You can read more about home-based event planning here.
5. Subscription Box
It’s not unusual to get starry-eyed about the work from home opportunity in subscription boxes, especially with subscription box sites receiving visitors in millions. The essential steps involve designing an appealing box, picking a range of products, building an email list, and selecting a shipment method. You’ll also need to decide how will you source your products, and this is where you can cut down startup costs if you have decent subscription numbers. For instance, you can talk to suppliers that you can promote their items to a targeted audience. This could get you a free supply or heavy discounts on items. Tools like Cratejoy will help you to determine a price for your subscription box.
Image source: Digiday
Jesse Richardson shared his subscription box venture story with Subscription School. He built a subscription service called Prospurly.com that sends 6-8 finest artisan and organic items to subscribers. Richard spent 10 hours a week on this business, and managed to gross over $50,000 in 6 months. He did a pre-launch campaign to test the market for this niche before going at it. His story indicates that success in this business comes from addressing a real need in a niche with an established, built in community.
You can read more about subscription box business here.
6. Niche clothing
A growing work at home trend is the business of niche clothing. With the number of people who rely on the craft or selection of specialists when buying specific clothes on the rise, you have a profitable business opportunity. To get started, select a clear range of outfits for a tightly focused audience, find a wholesaler or manufacturer, and obtain a vendor’s license as you’ll need to collect sales tax from your customers. You’ll need to create a website or choose a marketplace through which you will sell your items.
Image source: ReportLinker
Stacy Struminger and Rachel Teyssier created a clothing line of fashionable waterproof garments for females who didn’t want rain to dampen their outlook. It’s called RAINRAPS. They eliminated the need for a middle man by creating an online web store and promoting it through media mentions. The co-founders say that you should be prepared for a certain percentage of returns and offer a stellar customer service. The business allowed Stacy and Rachel to work from home and be with their children.
You can read more about starting a clothing line here.
7. Social Media Manager
This home based business requires you to handle social media marketing for companies. All you need is basic knowledge of Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. You can target local companies as servicing them gives you an advantage of understanding their needs better than someone from outside your proximity. Tools like HootSuite will ease the burden of managing social media accounts for several different companies. Daily tasks include analyzing campaign performance, engaging audiences, and building a loyal community. You’ll be charging a flat monthly fee in most instances.
Image source: Marketing Interactive
Cara Chace revealed that managing social media accounts from home has its challenges. She once made a Twitter update for a band and misspelled the name of the tour. The hustle of being a new mom made her figure out some handy shortcuts for social media. She recommends using tools to schedule social media posts, planning updates in advance, and proofreading updates before they go live.
You can read more about becoming a social media manager here.
Do you have a passion for culture and languages? Then consider starting a work at home translation business. You can offer general translation services or specialize in certain areas such as translating legal documents, ebooks, and technical documents like machinery documentation. Translation job boards are a great resource to find your first customers. After you build a reputation with them, you can encourage word of mouth referrals, and even create and optimize an independent website to reap more profits.
Image source: Lionbridge
Jennifer Madison shared her story of earning money as a translator and working from home. She said that translation job boards are the gateway to establishing long-lasting relationships with clients and agencies. To do that, you don’t even need to become a paying member on the job sites, though it does have advantages such as top listing on the site. She also recommends using a translation software sparingly to increase the speed and efficiency of servicing.
You can read more about becoming a work at home translator here.
9. Virtual Assistant (VA)
Many company executives appreciate individuals who can organize their tasks, answer their email, mark their calendars, and attend other responsibilities, with minimal interaction. You can take the role of their virtual assistant and handle the administrative work as detailed by the customer. Even some large companies are utilizing virtual assistants to handle the work of laid off employees. You can join virtual assistant forums to find new niche opportunities.
Image source: Transparency Market Research
Dawn Martinello is a real-world example of an entrepreneur who offered virtual assistant services to business owners at the beginning of her work at home career. She has shared tips on how to become a virtual assistant in a detailed blog post, which is one of the most popular posts on her blog. You can get started by picking one of the endless array of services such as copywriting research, social media outreach, data entry, customer service, live chat service, etc. Depending on your background, skills and experience, you can provide one or multiple services.
You can read more about becoming a virtual assistant here.
If you aren’t camera shy and love making videos, then look into vlogging as a work at home career. Vlogging is a big money making opportunity, but it’s a more expensive venture than other work at home businesses as you’ll need to invest in camera equipment and perhaps a video editing software. Videos can be promoted in the same way as you’d promote a normal blog post. With search engine and social media users becoming more inclined towards videos, you’ll have opportunities to sell advertising space and get affiliate sponsorships.
Image source: Statista
Brittany Null is a YouTube vlogger who managed to add a twist to her stay at home term. She shares intimate information about her family in her videos, but her posts are a livelihood. People relate to her family, and she makes money from the YouTube views she receives from her followers. YouTubers like her also get a lot of advertising offers from companies who want to sell products to families. NatureBox and Audible Inc. are examples.
You can read more about becoming a vlogger here.
Over to You
Taking action is the most challenging part. But if you really want to make a living from home, you’ll have to jump in and get started. Analyze your talent and skills to determine which work at home business is right for you. With a little direction, you can begin a successful venture from home.