Thinking about going into business from the comfort of your own home? While there are some business industries that must operate from a brick-and-mortar location with a full team of employees, others can run very successfully from the owner’s home (or a remote tree house in Costa Rica, if that’s your thing).
We gathered 10 home business ideas that don’t cost much to start and can help you take the leap to becoming an independent entrepreneur. Some can be run in your spare time, while others require a full-time commitment.
Depending on your needs and availability, you could adapt any of these as a side project to earn extra cash while you work on a larger project or venture.
10 Home Business Ideas With Low Startup Costs
Tax preparation – While it’s more of a seasonal business, tax prep is easy money if you’ve got experience doing taxes or are willing to take training courses. All you’ll need to do to get started is register with the IRS as a Tax Preparer. To find clients, start with local businesses and ask to place flyers and business cards in their establishments. Consider taking out a small ad in a local paper or magazine for your services when tax season rolls around.
Average salary: $30K
Copywriting – Writing internal and/or promotional copy for businesses and organizations can be one of the most lucrative home business ideas. If you have a strong background writing and marketing or advertising, you could do very well in this business. You might work on ads, commercials, newsletters, mailings, websites, blogs, and social media campaigns.
Average salary: $55K
eCommerce store – You can sell anything (legal) under the sun in your eCommerce store, making it a viable option for almost everyone. Whether it’s merchandise you purchase and resell, goods or products you create or manufacture, or something creative and high-profit (like Mail Your Enemies Glitter), an eCommerce website will be a great method to make it accessible to your audience and sell it.
Average salary: Widely varies by product and industry
Marketing consultant – If you’ve got experience in marketing and feel like you could develop useful, effective tips and strategies for other businesses, you might consider starting a business as a marketing consultant. It’s one of the highest paying ideas on this list! You’ll help businesses put together their marketing plans and materials according to best practices. Bonus points if you specialize in an area like blogging or social media.
Average salary: $108K
Translation services – If you’re bilingual or multilingual, you can cash in on your language skills by starting a translation service. While there is lots of experimental translation software available, nothing is perfect yet and lots of mistakes are made. People still rely on freelance translators to get the most accurate results.
Average salary: $43K
Editing – English majors and writers with editorial insight should consider starting an editing business. It pays well and is an in-demand service. It’s similar to copywriting, but if you worry you lack the creativity to create new, interesting copy every day, you’ll enjoy editing a lot more. This is one of the best home business ideas for those who find themselves constantly frustrated at bad grammar and writing mistakes online.
Average salary: $51K
Third party debt collection – It’s not glamorous or for the easily discouraged, but starting a third party debt collection business can really pay off. Every state has different requirements, so make sure you check your state’s before getting started. You’ll take on the challenge of collecting payment from people who owe money to businesses you contract with, which can be notoriously difficult due to lack of cooperation from those who owe. You receive a portion of the successful payments you collect.
Average salary: $31K
Electronic and cellphone repair – This is a home business idea that requires some prior knowledge. If you know how to take a smartphone or tablet apart (and this part is crucial – you also know how to put it back together), make small repairs, and replace faulty parts, you can make a full time income from it.
Average salary: $49K
Local tour guide – If you live near an area with historical or cultural significance, why not take advantage of your proximity and start giving tours? It doesn’t take long to research interesting facts, memorize a timeline, and plan a walking path or tour route. Create a website and blog and focus on filling them with local content and photos. It’s the lowest average salary on this list of home business ideas, but if you’d enjoy the work, there are plenty of benefits. The best part? You won’t have to work full time, and you’ll get great exercise!
Average salary: $25K
Travel planning – Some people think that because convenient services like Expedia and Kayak exist, people no longer utilize travel planning services. That’s inaccurate. Many people are simply very busy and don’t have the time or the will to plan elaborate trips, flights, rooms, and rental cars. If you’ve got time on your hands, you can do it for them and get paid well for it. Simply ask them their budget, destination, what they want and want to avoid, and book the services within that range.
Average salary: $50K