23 Businesses You Can Start from Home Right Now

While changes in the economy have presented different challenges for established businesses, solo-preneurs and employees, this year will still be a year of new opportunities for the discerning entrepreneur. Starting a home-based business is one of the most feasible ways of making money while keeping the costs of operation low.

Here are 25 businesses you can start from home this year:

1. Ecommerce
More and more people are opting to purchase goods online as it saves them time and money. Starting up your own ecommerce shop is a great way to supplement your income while meeting this growing demand for online purchases. You can sell just about anything through an ecommerce storefront, but it is a good idea to research the niche that you want to venture into. The most successful ecommerce stores are those that cater to a specific audience. Other than buying products directly from manufacturers, storing them and then selling them to your customers, you can create your own unique products, arts and crafts to sell through an e-store. Popular platforms such Esty and Pinterest can be a good place to start to display and sell your own handmade merchandise. You may also use Ebay, Amazon, Clickbank and CommissionJunction to get started with online selling from home.

2. Personal Development Coach
Are you a specialist in any personal development areas including weight loss, image consultancy, wealth creation, networking, or even relationships? The personal development niche is one of the fastest growing industries and it will continue to grow this year and beyond. It is also one of the best recession proof businesses that you can start from home. If you have some experience and knowledge about any personal development field, you can create products that will help people improve their lives. Another option is to become a one-on-one coach in any field of your choice. Your home can be your office where clients simply walk in for coaching and consultancy services. Good niches to venture in include fashion, weight loss, wealth creation, coaching yoga and other spiritual self-improvement activities.

3. Virtual Assistant
Are you great with administrative work? Then you can start your own virtual assistance services from home. Globally, businesses are cutting down on staffing costs and are hiring remote workers to attend to business tasks such as administrative work. The best thing about being a virtual assistant is that you do not have to depend on the local market for work opportunities; you can serve a global clientele by working for businesses in different countries. The type of work you will perform may range from answering calls, replying to emails, communicating with customers, business analysis and more recently, keeping social media accounts active. The only tools of the trade required here are a computers and a reliable Internet service.

4. Translator
While businesses go global and start to cater to an international clientele, the need for a translator is eminent. However, very few businesses can pay for an onsite translator; they are opting to hire translation services when they need these services. As a freelance translator working from home, you stand to enjoy more business than working in an office for one single company. Online platforms such as Elance and Guru.com have made it easier to find translation jobs. Of course, local companies can be great sources of repeat business too. To be successful as a translator working from home, a solid marketing plan and references are essential.

5. Corporate Consultancy
Consultancy is one of the fastest growing businesses globally. As corporate organizations look to cut costs, stay profitable and reach out to new markets, corporate consultants are in high demand. The competition is significant in the field of corporate consultancy, but given the low costs of starting up and the industry growth, there is still an opportunity to make money in this field. Perhaps a good approach would be to find a niche in the corporate business structure that will set you apart from the competition. This could include global marketing, financial consultancy, public relations, training and development or business growth and expansion.

6. Social Media Consultancy
Social media is the new frontier for many businesses. However, few businesses know how to effectively leverage social media, to market their products and to reach out to their fans and followers. As a social media consultant, you can easily work from home utilizing your social media savvy to help companies stay abreast with their social community. Although social media is popular, you would need a good marketing plan to reach out to businesses that have not yet integrated their business operations with social media.

7. Entrepreneur Consulting
There is a steadily growing number of startups, most of which need some sort of advice on different issues related to entrepreneurship. If you have been successful in several entrepreneurial ventures, you might want to sell your success knowledge to other budding entrepreneurs. The experience that you have as a successful entrepreneur could be worth a couple of hundred or thousands of dollars. From your home office, you can offer your clients advice on anything pertaining to business including obtaining funding, requirements for getting started, how to market their business, and how to comply with taxation issues. For entrepreneurs who are just getting started, it is much cheaper to work with a single entrepreneur consultant than to work with several professionals.

8. Writing
Several reports indicate that copywriting is one of the most lucrative stay at home businesses. As companies take their businesses online, they are also looking for experienced copywriters to update their web content and to offer marketing and sales copy. If you have a knack for playing with words, then copywriting could earn you a significant amount of income. All you need is a laptop and reliable Internet connection. While you can write copy for local companies, there are far greater opportunities writing for international clients. Sites such as Elance, Odesk and Guru have made it incredibly easy to find writing jobs that pay well. Other than developing content for websites, you may also offer ghostwriting services for those who are looking to publish entire books. Most publishing companies are looking to hire ghostwriters to develop publishable content that sells to their target audience

9. App Creation
Smartphone apps are very much in demand. Most modern companies are in search of creative app developers to create applications that will help them reach out to their audiences effectively. These companies are willing to pay substantial amounts of money to developers. You may also sell your applications directly on the app marketplace including iTunes and Android. An added advantage is that venture capitalists are increasingly willing to fund independent app developers. The challenge is to develop dynamic apps that will set you apart from the competition.

10. Accounting Services
Business cost cutting measures have seen a replacement of onsite accounting staff with independent accountants. Most companies regularly require accounting tasks to be completed and are always looking to outsource accounting services. If you have a good background in accounting and business law, working as an independent accountant can earn you substantial income. The startup and operational costs are low, allowing you to maximize your profits.

11. Online or Home Tutoring
Professional tutors stand a chance to earn lucrative income due to the changing faces of education. More and more students across the different age bracket are looking for one-on-one tutors who can help them perfect their academic skills or talents. Fields such as chemistry, biology, math, and other sciences are especially in high demand. Online tutoring platforms and tools have made it easier for educators or tutors to link up with students from all over the world. Starting a tutoring business, whether offline or online requires very minimal capital and startup requirements, allowing you to keep costs low, work comfortably from home and maximize on your returns.

12. Product Reviews
If you like to try out different products, you can make money from this. In fact, you can start your own small, one-person review service to review different products and earn from this. Several online platforms such as Amazon, ReviewMe, PayPerSpot among others have thousands of products to review. The amount you make simply depends on how much time you dedicate to reviewing products.

13. Creating and Selling Your Own Custom Products
Online tools such as Zazzle and Café Press have made it possible for anyone to create customized products and to sell them. One of the greatest advantages about using these online platforms to create your customized merchandise is that the cost of production is low and you do not have to stock any merchandise; you simply produce your merchandise on demand. You are also not limited to a single market—you can sell internationally.

14. Home-Based Beauty Services
If fashion and beauty are your specialty, why not offer these services directly to those who need them? There is a demand for one-on-one beauty services with an increasing amount of people looking for beauty experts who can come to their homes and offer these services. While you may not work directly from your home, you will not require high fees that are typical when setting up a spa or a salon; you simply need to make appointments with your clients at their homes and offer them the beauty services at a fee.

15. Catering
The food industry has evolved significantly so that you no longer require large amounts of capital to start a food business. The best part is that you can start it in your home thus lowering the costs of operation. An prime example of this are catering firms that offer ready made food delivered to parties, offices or other functions.

16. Day Baby Care
An increasing number of parents are still working outside the home and they need someone to attend to their children. The cost of hiring a nanny is significantly lower compared to placing a child in local daycare. If you have adequate space in your home and you are gifted at entertaining and caring for children, then starting a daycare business can be a profitable home-based venture. Fortunately, the costs of starting up a baby care centre in your home are low; few places require you to have a license or permit to offer baby care services from your home. However, you might require applying for a license if the number of children you are caring for exceeds a specific number. Other than the low start up costs and business requirements, there is an added advantage of staying at home with your own children.

17. Home Health Care
The population in most parts of the developed world is aging fast. As such, there is a need for people who can take care of the elderly. For entrepreneurs with a background in health care and patient management, there are numerous opportunities when it comes to caring for the elderly. You can go directly to your clients’ home to help with chores and medically attend to them. Alternatively, you may start a nursing facility in your home if you have adequate resources including space and startup capital. If you are technically inclined, you may develop software or programs that can help the elderly in various cognitive functions.

18. Senior Transportation Services
Other than directly caring for the elderly, you can offer transportation services for this market segment. Most of them can no longer drive but may require moving around. You only require a vehicle for transportation and a phone for communication and you could be on your way to making considerable profits in this growing industry.

19. Pet Care
Just like working parents are looking for a dependable person who can care for their children, busy pet owners also require someone who can take good care of their pets. Pet care has always been a lucrative industry if you are able to target the right clientele and charge competitive fees for your services. Pet day care may require a considerable amount of space, but if space is not a problem in your premises, this can be a promising home-based business. You will need to apply for licenses and come up with activities for the pets. Typically, pet day-care services charge per day.

20. Car Service Concierges
A growing industry that is taking advantage of the busy lifestyles of most employees and business people is the car service concierges. These service providers simply pick up client’s cars, take them for servicing and bring them back when the cars are fully serviced. If you find yourself with a lot of time on your hands, you do not mind driving around and know of some good car service providers this business can earn you some significant income. However, you might need to have two or three extra vehicles to hire out to clients who might still need to drive while their car is being serviced.

21. Running Errands
In the backdrop of the economic downturn, most people are hard pressed for time. Working more than one job and meeting other domestic responsibilities is simply becoming too hectic. This is where you come in, to help working people meet their responsibilities by offering to run their errands for a fee. The errands can be as simple as picking up groceries, ensuring that their laundry is done, making payments for utility bills etc. You may only need your car, laptop and mobile phone to run these errands; you can simply set up a workstation in your home and you set your own schedule. The best thing about errand services is that satisfied customers can spread the word fast, to your advantage.

22. Cleaning and Landscaping
Other than running simple errands, you may also start a small cleaning and landscaping company from your home. Admittedly, the competition is fierce but with proper marketing, competitive pricing and the right services, you can run a profitable cleaning and landscaping businesses. You can make as much as $30 per hour by offering cleaning services. To add more value to your services, it is a good idea to offer additional services such as snow shoveling, sweeping away fallen leaves, weeding, and garden cultivation. Busy homeowners usually do not have the time to take up these tasks and they will appreciate your services. Tip: using green or organic cleaning products can help you market you as a premium cleaning service provider.

23. Repair Services
Repair services seem to be recession-proof, as people still need someone to fix their possessions. You can repair anything that you have expertise in including laptops, phones, automobiles, and other home repairs. The greatest advantage in starting a repair business is that you can operate it from home and it requires very little startup funds.