Let these top 7 popular home-based businesses inspire all those eager to become their own bosses
Over half of all small businesses in the US and UK are home-based. In Europe, the exact statistics are unknown, but the situation is clearly similar. Family businesses (many of which are home-based) account for 40 – 50% of European private employment. One of the key drivers in the growth of home-based businesses is digitalization and e-commerce. Those factors enable profitability even with a small turnover and low initial investment. Therefore, starting a business at home is a great option for an average entrepreneur-to-be.
Despite plenty of ready-made meals sold in the supermarkets, grocery stores, and restaurants, there’s something special about the food made at home. Baked goods and sweets are probably the most popular variants. If you’re truly good at it, you can even make personalized and themed offers. For instance, people sell birthday cakes with individual decorations, heart-shaped Valentine cookies, edible Halloween decorations, sugar cookies for children to paint, “healthy” no-sugar sweets, grand multi-layer wedding cakes, and so on.
If you have some helpers or employees to cook on a large scale, you can even try catering services. In most countries and territories you can also sell your goods at holiday fairs or farmers’ markets. Before you start any of it, make sure that you’re following food safety regulations and other relevant laws.
According to some industry insiders, interviewed by the Penny Hoarder, if you’re just taking special orders, you can earn $200 – $400 per month; if you’re working 20 hours per week, $800 to $1,200; and if you start baking lots of wedding cakes, your profits significantly increase.
Being a professional photographer is quite rewarding these days when the visual culture is in bloom. If your home is big enough you can dedicate one room to a photographic studio. When you have your own back garden, someplace there can also become a photoshoot location. Although home photography studios earn slightly less than retail ones, owners of home studios keep a more significant portion (25%) of their gross sales than those who practice in studios for rent (19%).
Of course, such a business isn’t a low-cost one. It requires an initial investment in professional photography equipment, lighting, furniture, and props, etc. On the other hand, advertising your services doesn’t need an additional bricks-and-mortar office, so you only need to have an active SMM strategy. Even if you work at external locations, consider taking pictures for use as stock photos. There are plenty of stock websites that work on a revenue-sharing model.
Obviously, if you have a home, you can rent out all or part of it, and become a prominent host at Airbnb or similar services, but that’s not a limit to your rental possibilities. You can rent out vehicles like bikes, motorcycles, cars, RVs, and even boats if you have them. Top rentals also include musical instruments and music equipment, furniture and decorations (including foldable items for outdoor weddings and parties), recreational equipment, construction machinery, portable tubs, camping, and hiking kit. You can also hire out party supplies and costumes, children’s items and toys, sporting goods, landscaping supplies, tools, clothing and accessories, and whatever else you find appropriate. The trick is to not overestimate the demand, and test the waters before you spend lots of money on expensive equipment.
According to the newest American Rental Association (ARA) forecast, equipment and event rental revenue is going to show more than 1.5% growth in 2021 to surpass $50.2 billion. The general tool rental revenue is expected to grow 4% while parties and events swiftly recover from the devastation of 2020 expected to grow 37% in 2021. All three segments are expected to accelerate growth next year and surpass peak revenues of 2019 by the end of 2022.
Grooming, walking, and pet daycare are all quite sensible business ideas. Besides, you can sell dog clothing and accessories, train dogs, bake and sell organic treats for pets, clean after them, etc. If you’re good at DIY, consider making craft pet toys, pillows, playhouses, and other pet furniture, as well as customized collars or name tags.
According to 2021 data from Payscale, a professional dog walker working for a pet service company makes between $9.76 and $29.26 hourly. The median rate is $14.94 per hour. However, self-employed dog walkers make almost twice as much. On average, their rate is $24 per hour, though the majority of self-employed professionals make more – up to $39,66. As for the dog groomers, their earnings equal to $10-20 hourly. According to 2019 estimates of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, pet sitters and other animal caretakers make about $24,990 per year and $12.02 per hour.
Daycare and kids entertainment
If you have some pedagogical education, an understanding of early childhood psychology, and proper work experience, you can open a home-based daycare center. Of course, this business endeavor needs proper licensing and compliance with the local educational frameworks. It also needs a lot of preparation: safety-proofing your home, redesigning part of it, buying appropriate toys and educational materials, organizing some meal supplies, etc. However, it may become the most rewarding experience.
Firstly, the daycare center may eventually grow to also become a base for individual enrichment courses, group development activities, DIY masterclasses, and even host a small playroom or site for children’s parties. Moreover, you can take care of your own kids as part of your business. Finally, children’s affection and positive growth are the best motivation and reward.
As for the monetary incentives, an average childcare worker (including childcare center workers, family daycare providers, and nannies) earns $24,230 per year and
$11.65 per hour. According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual pay for a home childcare provider in the United States is $29,218. That means approximately $14.05 an hour. The majority of home childcare provider salaries currently range between $21,000 (25th percentile) to $31,500 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $41,500 annually across the United States.
If you’re not into full-time childcare, but love children and are able to bring the fun, consider kids’ entertainment as another business idea. You can organize a kids’ party room at your own premises as well as work at the client’s location for birthday parties. Additionally, you may provide party supplies as part of the package. Since the pandemic started, many entertainment centers were forced to close, so parents appreciate at least some ways for their children to have fun with their peers. On the downside, stringent lockdowns that are still in place in some locations will limit your activities. On average, children’s party entertainers earn about $60,000 annually. The salary range is very wide though – from $15,000 to $125,000.
Arts and crafts
Talented people should monetize their skills. It can start as a small side income and grow to a full-time business. All you need to do is create beautiful handmade items and sell them across various platforms. Jewelry, accessories, bags, toys, pillows – people love all things unique, you just have to find your niche. You can also design and make custom-tailored clothing, sew bedding items, make pet furniture, collectible figures, plaster figures for coloring – whatever you have passion for if there’s a demand. Those good at craftsmanship may add tailoring, building, and repair services. Another type of customized offering is the print-on-demand service. You can print your own designs on T-shirts or mugs, as well as use customers’ ideas to make memorable gifts.
It’s estimated that craft artists in the US with little to no experience can expect to earn between $21310 to $25990 per year or $10 to $13 per hour. More experienced artists increase their profits to $40490 annually. At the same time, craftsmanship is paid about $18.77 per hour. The salaries of artisans in the US range from $19,800 to $47,330, with a median salary of $29,630. The sellers of print-on-demand items can get similar incomes when they start making about 1000-1500 sales per month.
Whatever knowledge you have, you can share it online via paid consultations. You can also arrange a personal office at home to consult face-to-face if you wish. The types of consultancy jobs are numerous: strategy, management, security, operations, business, finance, HR, sales, investment, environmental impact, software, or IT consultants. Creative professionals like designers, content developers or marketers may both freelance and work for other companies. Consulting corporate clients often happens remotely from the home office, but occasional travel may be needed. Psychology sessions, as well as legal consultations, are also increasingly taking a remote form. Remote healthcare appointments, nutrition advice, and even online exercise consultations are trendy today.
The salaries range widely depending on the industry and the level of expertise. For instance, tech and software specialists may earn $80,000 – $150,000 annually. Counseling psychologists get about $81,330 per year. The average annual pay for a remote digital marketing consultant in the US is $68,153 a year. Financial and management consultants are also highly paid professions, whereas the average salary for a self-employed business consultant is $100,000.
Regardless of the size of your business, having a good workstation is important for both your productivity and your health. When choosing a desk, think about functionality. Does it have room to have an office printer on it?
You can also check our latest blog post on What is a business plan and how to write it?