Today, many people today are looking to leave the daily grind for something that feeds their passion. People do not want to retire at the age of 60 (or older) to look back on life and feel they have wasted it.
Luckily, it is now increasingly easy to start a business from scratch without spending a fortune. Below, I’ve highlighted 70 varied business ideas you can start cheaply from the comforts of your own home. Some of the business ideas listed require nothing more than an internet connection, while others demand a level of licensing or a specific set of vocational skills…the choice is yours!
1. Making Chatbots
I am quoted on entrepreneur.com as “ChatBot expert Murray Newlands commented that “Where 10 years ago every company needed a website and five years ago every company needed an app, now every company needs to embrace messaging with AI and chatbots.” That brings opportunity and jobs. You can learn to make them for free without coding for companies.
Chatbots are in and it has reached the point where every business needs one. Chatbots have become a huge opportunity for companies to engage with their customers, gather data, and improve their marketing and customer care efforts. You can start your own chatbot creation business easily and quickly without needing to code. I created the free to use tool Chattypeople.com but there are lots of others out there. All you need to do is:
- Read about bots and their functions
- Create an account
- Learn about the company who needs a chatbot
- Create their bot through
- Launch it through Facebook Messenger
- No coding or long courses needed
The platform is great, as it:
- Works with Facebook Messenger and comments
- Can push promotions to customers on demand
- Recognizes variations on trigger words
- Can process orders from Facebook
- Integrates with all main payment processing platforms
2. Bookkeeping Services
Are you great with numbers and want to work from the comforts of home? To become a freelance bookkeeper, you do not need to be a Certified Public Accountant, but you do need to be good with numbers. There are lots of free to use online invoicing tools such as Sighted.com and online payments tools like Due.com. Some services you could offer include:
- Creating balance sheets
- Providing income statements
- Creating various monthly, quarterly, or annual financial reports
3. Personal or Virtual Assistant
Although personal and virtual assistant jobs do not sound glamorous, they do pay well. If you have already held this job in an office, you will find the digital version allows for a lot more freedom. Use services like Upwork.com to find clients. You can choose:
- Your clients
- Your hours
- Your hourly, daily, or monthly pay rate
4. Marketing Services
Marketing does involve a certain level of background knowledge. That said, if you are not experienced, investing in an online course is not only cheap but will equip you with the adequate tools to start a solo digital marketing agency you could expand in the future. There are lots of new marketing fields opening up such as influencer marketing.
Companies are always looking for freelancers able to provide marketing copy that is SEO-friendly and can transform website visitors into leads and, eventually, customers. In addition to offering optimized copy, you could offer to upload the content to their websites and improve their SEO further with:
- Meta descriptions
- The right titles
- The correct keyword density
- Tags and categories
- Relevant images with SEO captions and alt tags
5. Social Media Consultant
Who doesn’t love Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram? Fancy yourself to be a bit of whiz but don’t have any formal training? Twitter and Google, among other platforms, offer complete professional courses with recognized certifications that require little to no money. Social media is also a business that has unlimited potential with a client base that can span across the world. This trend is unlikely to die soon, if ever, and new platforms are being released every year, making the possibilities for expansion limitless. You can use social media management tools to make your job easy.
6. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is extremely easy to get into and involves you earning a commission by promoting other companies’ products and services. Basically, you choose a product you like, promote it, and make a profit on each sale that stems from your marketing efforts. An affiliate marketing business is especially easy to start if:
- You have a blog or website of your own
- You can prove your success through visitor statistics
- You have already successfully undertaken affiliate marketing and can show this to your potential clients
7. Tester or Reviewer
Individuals or startups often look for people to review their products to encourage others to buy them. You can either get started with a profile on freelancing websites or approach companies directly, offering them a review in exchange for a monetary reward by becoming an influencer. Even better, if you have your own website or blog, you could write entire posts about their products, thus allowing you to charge more money in the long run and build a portfolio with tangible results to show future clients.
8. Secretarial Services
Similar to virtual assisting, remote secretarial services require little to no experience. All you need is:
- Strong organizational skills
- Good communication skills
- Good time management
- A high level of autonomy
Your day-to-day tasks as a freelancing secretary will typically include:
- Booking meetings
- Organizing calendars
- Replying to emails
- Putting together presentations
- Answering phone calls
9. Online Dating Consultant
Have you got a way with words? Or have you found your Mr. or Mrs. Right and want to share how you got there? You can become someone’s wingman or woman and help them find love by becoming an online dating consultant. This type of consulting comes with a large level of responsibility, as you will be guiding someone’s love life. Daily tasks include:
- Acting as an account manager on dating sites
- Writing profiles
- Offering telephone updates on their matchmaking status
10. Ebay Assistant or Seller
An Ebay assistant or seller is similar to being a marketing affiliate. The key difference is that instead of marketing the product, you are selling it directly to the customer. When selling for others on Ebay or any other platform, you will sell the product and keep a commission as compensation.
Unfortunately, this type of job comes with risks. Commonly, scam artists attract Ebay sellers and use fake shipping papers to convince them to send payments. Unfortunately, even if you are scammed, you will be held responsible for your customers not receiving their items. Always remember to:
- Get to know the distributor
- Keep all payments in your e-wallet until the customer confirms having received the parcel
- Report any suspicious activity
- Do not share any of your banking details
11. Application Developer
New applications are launched on a daily basis and if you believe you have the skills to create your own and a unique enough idea, you should do it! Aside from the fact that you will have to invest little to no money to get started, it is far less time consuming than the average 9 to 5. Once you have created your application, couple it with the right marketing strategy and you’ll be making money in your sleep. The best part about developing applications is that you can do it from anywhere in the world.
12. Website Developer
We live in a digital world where every business needs a website to drive their traffic to in order to make sales. If you have the skills, you could enter an industry that will never die. You can also start small by creating websites on platforms such as WordPress. If you want to take your web-building skills to the next level, you can learn the language of website creation through Codecademy.com, where you will be able to learn how to incorporate personalized:
- Shopping carts
- Product pages
- Services pages
- Feedback forms
13. Internet Security Consultant
Hacking, scamming, and viruses are just some of the security threats on the web today. If you know your stuff, you could make very good money consulting businesses, especially those who handle sensitive customer information and want to keep it as safe as possible.
14. Graphic Designer
Companies are always in search for branding that tells people about what they do. If you can follow company guidelines and customer needs, all you will need to get started is a computer and applications such as Photoshop or Illustrator. Types of media you will be responsible for creating include:
- Information sheets
15. Desktop Publisher
Desktop publishers typically use publishing software to create:
- Marketing newsletters
- Other marketing materials
In order to offer a full service, you could also write the content or hire a content writer and create your own small team.
16. Designing Business Plans
Having a eureka moment is great, but it can be hard to put that idea down on paper in a way that will speak to a potential investor. If you have owned your own business in the past or earned a business degree, why not help those with a eureka moment start something they love? Plan your fee around the various packages you are prepared to offer your clients. You can either:
- Create an electronic copy that your client can customize
- Keep a copy on file and continue customizing it according to their needs
- Create various templates that you can show your customers and how you can customize the templates for them accordingly
17. Tax Consultant
Companies big and small pay good money to have their taxes prepared for them. It gives them a chance to focus on the everyday operations of their business. If you have the appropriate experience, you could set yourself up as a freelancer; however, by starting with a tax preparation franchise, you will receive courses, seminars, and training.
18. Blogger or Vlogger
Are you an expert in a specific field? From travel, fashion, cooking, to DIY, and removal services, if you know how to do something particularly well, why not tell the world through a blog or vlog? All you will need is a computer and a good quality camera. You can make money by offering advertising space and reviews of products on your platform.
19. Informational Product Creator
Similar to blogging or vlogging, creating informational products is your chance to put your expertise in an e-book or some form of digital format and selling it to the online world. Find a niche that’s not been overdone and start writing. You can sell your information piece on platforms such as Amazon Books.
20. Resume Writer
No matter the experience, there are very few people that enjoy or are good at writing their own resume. Individuals pay very good money to have their personal statements put on paper for them. It will cost you nothing to get setup and once you get the hang of it, you should be able to average a good hourly or daily pay rate.
21. Domain Name Buyer
As the name suggests, all you need to do is buy domain names you believe people will want and sell them for a profit. You will need to be able to:
- Identify profitable domain names
- Identify domain names that are memorable
- Learn about SEO and keyword optimization
22. Flipping Websites
Flipping a website is the art of buying an already existing website, improving it, and selling it. With the right web development skills, it is a very easy and cheap trade to explore. That said, you need to be able to identify websites that have the potential for improvement.
Translating is one of the easiest and most profitable industries to delve into if you are proficient in more than one language. Sought out on a global scale, translators do not need any capital to get started and can earn a salary of $40,000 a year (minimum) depending on the size of the company you are hired by and the length of the contract they offer.
24. Financial Advisor
Although the number of people wanting to start their own business has grown, many still do not know how to organize themselves financially. Start by getting your Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certificate to show clients you are credible. On the other hand, if you already have the experience, you can start by advising individuals and then grow your empire to consult for larger organizations.
25. Editorial Services
An editorial services business is easy to start, requires no initial monetary investment, and has a huge potential for expansion. From small and large businesses to authors and students, your client base could be endless. You can offer a variety of services, some of which include:
- Magazine article writing
- Newspaper article writing
- Web content writing
- Book writing
26. Online Photo Selling
If you are a professional photographer or just have a deep-rooted passion for it, you can make money from your pictures on photo selling websites. All you need to get started is a camera, preferably a digital SLR with a minimum of 8 megapixels, and a computer. Once you have established yourself on websites such as GettyImages.com and Flickr.com, you can setup your own website with a list of your watermarked images and their price per unit.
27. Meal Planning
There are loads of people who love food but don’t have the first clue about what to buy. They are either not very confident in the kitchen, don’t know the first thing about a balanced diet, or struggle with maintaining a budget. As a meal planner, you would:
- Create a list of ingredients
- Create step-by-step recipes for your customers to follow
- Explain the nutritional value of the meals to educate your customers
- Explain to them how they are saving money by sticking to your meal plans
28. Patient Advocacy Services
Patient advocacy services are extremely important to communities across the world. On a daily basis, you would be:
- Helping people track down hospitals for paperwork
- Gather bills for insurance companies
- Argue cases with insurance companies
People in need of these services are most likely ill or grieving, leaving them fragile and often unable to defend themselves. It is important they have the right support during this time in their lives.
29. Ecommerce Store
If you have a great product, but no money to invest in a physical storefront, staff, and bills, why not set yourself up online? Aside from the lack of huge monetary investment and time commitment, the marketing opportunities online are endless. Also, although a storefront is great for branding purposes, it does limit the size and scope of your audience. By setting yourself up with an e-commerce store, you can:
- Sell to anyone in the world
- Have a store that is open 24/7 (meaning you literally make money in your sleep)
- Run promotions easily, whenever you want
- Cross-sell between your marketing and social media platforms and your website
- Run marketing campaigns through Google and other platforms
30. Survey Taking
Although you won’t get rich doing surveys online, you may make a steady income if you sign up to multiple sites. These surveys take barely any time at all to complete and can normally net you around $150+. Some of the most popular survey-taking platforms include:
- Global Test Market
- Harris Poll
31. Video Production
There are a number of ways you can use videography to create your own home-based business. There are so many people wanting to become YouTube celebrities who don’t have the skills to upload high-quality, well-edited videos. Other services you could offer include:
- Vlog editing
- Creating music videos
32. Sustainability Consultant
Businesses of all sizes are trying to find news ways to do their part for the environment by implementing greener practices. Unfortunately, many of the more eco-friendly options available today are also significantly more expensive, so business owners need someone like you who can advise them on how they can change their process without sacrificing their bottom line.
33. Call Center Representative
More companies are looking to hire call center representatives that are willing to work from home on customer care issues. All you need to get started is a computer and a phone line. Aside from the fact that you could earn a good base salary, you will not have any commuting expenses and can save money by cooking your meals at home.
34. Direct Sales Representative
The term “door-to-door sales” often puts off people because all they picture is getting doors slammed in their faces on a daily basis. That said, by working for companies such as Avon, Mary Kay, and Tupperware in the right areas, you could host very civilized parties in your home, allowing you to make money while meeting new people.
35. Travel Planning
With all the booking platforms available online today, anyone can book a holiday from the comforts of their home. But with so many different factors to compare, it can be overwhelming. Some of these include:
- Car rentals
If you have strong organizational skills and the knack for finding a good bargain, you could offer these services to others who have less time on their hands. Find the deals for your customers and add your surcharge for your services.
36. Online Custom Tailoring
People are increasingly conscientious about the way they look and with that comes the need for tailored clothing. One size does not fit all, and businessmen and women, in particular, want to look the part when they go into the office every day. The custom clothing industry is still relatively untapped, so starting a business now will offer you a significant potential for growth in the future. In addition to having their pieces delivered directly to their homes, you can offer customization of:
37. Currency Trading
Online currency trading is easier than ever thanks to the number of tutorial videos, online courses, and applications that offer step-by-step guides to becoming a currency trader. All you need is:
- Technical skills
- Fundamental analytical skills
- A small amount of cash flow
- A phone, tablet, or computer
38. Telemarketing Services
More and more companies are outsourcing their marketing efforts, and telemarketing is one of them. As a freelance telemarketer working from home, you will be setting appointments with customers and creating warm leads for companies. The amount you charge will depend on the size of the company you are working for, and the project they want to allocate you.
39. Referral Services
Are you the person that all your friends and family call when they’re trying to find a good restaurant, lawyer, carpet fitter, or gardener? If that’s the case and you love referring them to all the lovely businesses you know of in your neighborhood, you could start a business doing just that. You’ll be able to work with individuals and businesses, helping customers find what they want, and businesses gain more clients. To get started, you will need to:
- Gather a list of businesses you want on your referral lists
- Sell them the benefits of being on your list
- Place ads online and in the Yellow Pages to gain customers
40. Event and Project Planning
Event and project planning can be done remotely, but having a hands-on approach and offering your services in your local area will be more beneficial to you from both a quality control and monetary point of view. You can start this business from the comforts of your home and meet with clients in restaurants, cafes, or at their office or home.
41. Professional Photography
Whether it is a wedding, family event, or a business’ marketing materials, people pay good money for professional photography. Unless you feel the need to sign up for an online course, the only monetary investment you will have to make is for a camera. Establish your daily fee and remember to keep into account your travel expenses.
Have you worked as a teacher before? Are you proficient in a second language? Have you studied math, science, or any other subject? If so, you could tutor adults and children, provided you have the right paperwork for child protection reasons. It will cost you very little to get setup and you can offer your services at people’s homes.
43. Computer Trainer
There are a number of seniors wanting to learn how to use computers and the internet, meaning that if you are proficient in both Mac and PC, you could offer your services in your neighborhood. Be warned, most will not be as passionate about computers as you, so they will only want to learn basics, such as emailing and using an internet browser.
44. Property Manager
As a property manager, you will be responsible for ensuring your clients’ properties are running smoothly. You will also be the primary contact for tenants and will be responsible for making sure the properties you manage are safe and well-maintained.
45. Home Inspector
This job may sound like it is just a matter of looking around people’s homes, but it actually requires a high level of expertise. You will need to learn about the new products that are constantly appearing in the market and stay updated with any changing laws. Networking and building positive relationships with your local real estate agents will give you the best chance of success, as they will recommend your services to others in your area.
46. Courier Services
You may be thinking “that is what the mail room is for”, but in actuality, businesses in busy areas often use local courier services, as they can offer more flexible pickup and drop-off times. Because of the specific services you are offering, you will also be able to charge more.
47. Life Coaching or Mentoring
If you have a proven track record in a particular field, can prove past success, or have trained in matters of the mind, life coaching or mentorship could be for you. People, especially soon to be entrepreneurs, seek guidance through mentorship and life coaches. You can setup your services from the comforts of your home with no monetary investment.
48. Massage Therapist
The licensing to become a massage therapist varies according to the state in which you reside, but if you have a passion for health-related activities, you could take a masseuse course and set up a clinic from the comforts of your home. Once you have completed your course and gained your license, you will have to invest in a massage bed as well as the appropriate oils and massage products.
49. Personal Trainer
Fancy yourself as a bit of a fitness fanatic? Then why not channel that energy into a course where nutrition and the anatomy of the body are also covered? With this, you can train novices from the comforts of your home or through your local gym.
50. Personal Chef
As a personal chef, you will spend your days cooking for people who do not have the time to do so themselves but do have the money to pay someone to do it for them. If you want to stand out from the crowd, offer meal plans that suit various dietary requirements, such as:
- Gluten-free, lactose-free, or egg-free meals
- Vegan and vegetarian dishes
- Meals for those with diseases, such as coeliac
51. Cleaning Services
Cleaning services are easy to offer and require no training. You can either:
- Offer discounted services, provided they have the necessary cleaning products onsite
- Offer a more expensive service that includes you bringing your own products
Also, you can take your business in various directions by targeting different clients. Possibilities include:
- Cleaning offices or shops in the evenings
- Cleaning restaurants or people’s homes during the day
- Providing morning housekeeping services for hotels
52. Dog Walker/Trainer/Groomer
In some places, dog walking alone can be a very profitable business. Those working from 9 to 5 either do not have time to walk their dogs before leaving the house or just prefer it if someone comes in to let them out of the house for some exercise. Also, dog walking businesses that offer additional services are becoming increasingly popular. Consider also offering:
53. Packing Services
If you have an eye for the little details, a packing service business could be your calling. When someone moves out of their home, they pay for removal services to take their belongings from their old house to their new one. But the process of packing all their belongings into boxes in the first place is extremely time-consuming. Why not offer people your time to do this for them while they are at work or busy running errands?
54. Laundry Services
If you are looking for a way to make money at home without the need to learn new skills, home-based laundry services are easy to offer with the possibility for expansion in the future. The most complex part of the process will be establishing whether or not you need licensing to start this business from your home. This will depend on your location and the size to which you plan to grow your empire. Otherwise, all you need to do is:
- Keep track of your sales, expenses, taxes, and general bookkeeping
- Establish how much you will charge
- Decide on how the payment process will take place (e.g., before or after you complete the service; in cash, or via card, bank transfer, etc.)
- Create a website and other marketing materials to get your name out there
To become a caregiver, you will have to undergo professional training and acquire various certifications and health and safety diplomas. That said, if you’ve have cared for a parent, sibling, or friend in the past and feel this is something you want to pursue, it is a business you can set up cheaply. You can not only choose your clients but also your working hours. Daily tasks as a caregiver will vary; however, you will often be expected to:
- Do laundry
- Prepare meals
- Take your patients outdoors for fresh air
- Do their shopping
- Potentially dress and feed them
56. Landlord or Bed and Breakfast
You do not have to own a huge building with multiple rooms to start your own bed and breakfast. If you have a nice, clean home with a spare room, why not advertise it? Websites such as Airbnb make it easy for people to rent out the spare rooms in their homes. You can even charge more by offering:
- Food and beverages
- City tours
- Local experiences
- Housekeeping services
By offering your customers something unique, you will find the experience gratifying and profitable.
57. Personal Concierge
You are probably thinking that being the concierge to the executive of a big company will be a piece of cake, think twice. Although you will make good money being someone’s personal concierge, it is a very challenging job in which you will be expected to deliver what has been asked of you, on time, with a smile. That said, you will normally be paid very handsomely for your services.
58. Grocery Delivery Services
Big supermarkets do offer this service, but delivery prices are often very high or the food is warm or bruised when it arrives at the customer’s home. If you own a large car, you could become people’s personal shopper. Some people do not have time to run errands after a long day at work and others may not have the physical capacity to do so, so why not do it for them? You could also couple this service with others, such as:
- Being a concierge
- Offering cleaning services
- Daily or weekly dog grooming, walking, and training services
- Being a caregiver
59. Lawn Care and Gardening
Although you will only be able to mow lawns for a limited time of the year, gardening services span throughout the 12 months. You can set up your own business with services, such as:
- Snow removal
- Herb farming
Herb farming can be offered as a service across most parts of the world. Whether you are in an urban or rural area, herb gardens take up very little space.
60. Babysitting Services
Babysitting may not sound like a profitable market to enter, but you’d be surprised how well you can get paid if you have the right experience, certifications, and licenses. Although formal training is not required, this can teach you all the procedures in the case of any emergency. There are also a number of families offering service work as a:
- Au pair
61. Childproofing Services
Childproofing is a trade that many do not think of these days. But every family with a newborn baby or small child wants to provide a safe home for them. There are so many areas of a home that can be dangerous, from sharp corners to stairs. A childproofing business is very cheap to startup, but you may be required to follow certain state regulations, depending on your location. To understand all the ins and outs of the industry, you may want to undertake an internship in the field before setting up shop.
62. Digital Media Conversion
Have you ever thought about what happens to all the old CDs and DVDs we use to use to listen to music and watch films on? Well, the answer is, often nothing. For those who have only just started using the internet to download, purchase, and listen to music, their CDs are wasted. If you know how to transfer this media to a computer, you could be doing the tech-phobic and those with little time on their hands a serious favor. Offer your services on forums, social media, or flyers. You may even end up with customers with more general tech needs on a long-term basis.
63. Personal Driver or Taxi Services
This is an especially easy business to start if you live in an urban area, as many businessmen and women prefer having a driver to go to and from work in order to make calls, schedule meetings, and generally work on the operational aspects of their companies during that time. On the other hand, if you are looking to start a business that is more like a taxi service, why not become an Uber driver? To become an Uber driver, you need:
- A decent car
- A clean driving record
- A smartphone
- To be 21 years or older
- At least 3 years’ driving experience
- A background check
Some of the main benefits of being an Uber driver are:
- You can create your own schedule
- You don’t have a real boss
- You will benefit from “surge pricing” regularly
- You’ll meet new people every day
64. Hairdressing or Makeup Artist Services
If you have worked in a salon before or just know how to cut hair but do not have the capital to open your own business, you could start one from home. All you need to do is make sure you comply with all your state’s requirements for opening a salon in your home. That said, once you’ve got yourself up and running, you could earn anywhere from $22,500 and up. You could also offer other beauty treatments, such as:
- Hair coloring
- Hair extensions
- Manicure and pedicures
65. Interior Designer
Both homeowners and business owners look for interior design and home decorating services in order to make the vision for their space come to life. Having a degree or certification will help you understand the different functions of a home or office, but it is not legally required in most places. You will be able to do most of your research from the comforts of your home, but you will need to get to know your client in order to understand how they want to use the space. Consider asking questions like:
- Is it for adults or children, or both?
- Does the space need to be pet-friendly?
- What is the purpose of the room?
66. Tour Guide
Many tourists like visiting new places with a guide. It allows them to ask all the questions they want and get a real local feel of the place they are visiting. If you know your town like the back of your hand, why not charge people for tours? You can create packages that include:
- Walking tours
- Taxi services to and from their hotels
- Breakfast, lunch, or dinner at a local restaurant
67. Bridal Concierge
The wedding industry is one that will most likely live in perpetuity. This is meant to be a special day for a couple but often turns into a chore because of all the planning that comes with it. Because it is nearly impossible for brides and grooms to be able to enjoy the planning of their wedding, they often pay professionals to do it for them. If you have strong organizational skills, are communicative, pay attention to the little details, and love weddings, then you could set up shop from the comforts of your home. To get started and build a portfolio, offer your services to a friend or family member. From there, you can start charging other clients.
68. House and Pet Sitting
People who go away on holiday often worry about whether or not they will come back to an intact home, especially if they have pets. This type of business requires little to no monetary investment. Start by approaching:
- Family members
As your house and petsitting business gets on its feet, think about marketing yourself to your local community by:
- Designing business cards
- Launching a website
- Hanging flyers in your area
- Advertising in the Yellow Pages
69. Senior Home Companion
The minimum life expectancy is becoming later and there are now more than 45 million people in the United States who are 65 years old and up. As people age, they need more help with their day-to-day activities and may also appreciate some companionship.
70. Electronics Repair Services
The 21st century has led the majority of people to own at least one electronic device, if not multiple. Although many insure their products, most still prefer to get a quick fix rather than sending it off for a long time before getting it back. This type of business has room for expansion, and you can offer repairs for:
- Speakers and musical equipment
- Gaming devices
It may seem daunting to leave your 9-to-5 grind and start your own business, but by doing so, you are giving yourself a newfound level of freedom while doing something that feeds your passion(s). The internet has made it increasingly possible for you to brush up on your skillset or even learn new ones, leaving you with the opportunity to start a business easily and cheaply.