The changes we have been experience over the past 10 years has many thinking that a home business might not be a bad idea. It’s not just about escaping the rat race; in some cases, it’s about income diversity. The reality that anyone could get fired from a steady paying job is one that has been brought home — literally. Starting a home business can provide you with a way to earn some extra money, protecting yourself, to some degree, from economic upheaval and lay-offs.
You don’t need a lot of money, either, to start a home business. There are a number of solid ideas that can be started from home. Here are 5 home business ideas with low start-up costs:
1. Home Services
You can provide services to others. If you know how to groom pets, you can start a business where you go to pets’ homes and groom them. No need to purchase an expensive building and set up shop there; just start out in your home. Buy some quality tools to do your job, and then advertise. Other home services that you can provide might include yard work, cleaning (just buy good products) and even errand-running services (you must have reliable transportation).
2. Tutoring and Teaching
There are a number of opportunities to tutor others. If you are good at a particular subject, or have qualifications in an area related to school studies, you can start up as a tutor. You don’t even have to meet students at your home. You can go to their homes, or reserve a quiet study room in a library. It is also possible to teach online. There are schools that will pay you teach online courses. My brother is teaching an online course at a university hundreds of miles away, from the comfort of his home. All you need is a reliable computer and high-speed Internet connection — and your knowledge.
There are a number of opportunities to start freelancing businesses in your home. I’m a freelance writer and sometimes editor. But writing isn’t the only service that can make for a profitable freelance offering. Web design, graphic design, web development and software development make great home-based freelance business. Even advertising design and PR campaigning and management can be done on a freelance or consultant basis from your home. You might need to buy specialized software for some freelance businesses, and you will need to pay for Internet access and a computer, but generally start-up costs are reasonably low — less than $10,000. (I started my freelance writing business for less than $2,000, most of it the cost of a good computer.)
4. Virtual Assisting
If you are organized, and good at helping keep others organized, you might try your hand at virtual assisting. This is a rapidly growing career opportunity as more people seek to outsource some of their more mundane tasks. Virtual assistants can help those who don’t feel they need a full-time, in-person assistant, but who want a little bit of help managing their schedules and contacts. Get a good headset, and maybe a dedicated business phone line, along with Internet access and a computer, and you are mostly set.
5. Affiliate Marketing
You can get started in affiliate marketing for a fairly low cost. Consider what products and services you might be willing to help sell. You can set up affiliate ads on a blog or web site you create. Then, as you draw traffic, you will see results from affiliates. There are affiliate ad sites that can help you get access to affiliate programs and makes a little more money. Just make sure that the program is legitimate and reputable. You may need to pay for some quality web hosting or web development, along with Internet access and a computer, but costs aren’t too bad for starting up.
What other ideas do you have for low cost home business startups?
Miranda is a professional personal finance journalist. She is a contributor for several personal finance web sites. Her work has been mentioned in and linked to from, USA Today, The Huffington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other publications. She also has her own personal finance blog: Planting Money Seeds.