If you’re thinking about starting your own home-based business, the available options can seem overwhelming. What type of business is the best fit for your background, skills, and interests? If you don’t have a lot of initial capital to invest, which ones can be started at a low cost? And, most important, which home business has the best chance of succeeding, especially with the U.S. economy still on the rebound?


While the barriers to entry for a retail shop can be very high, one way to keep costs down and limit your time investment while you keep your full-time job, is to set up a weekend popup shop as a side business idea. More of whatever it is you’re selling—donuts, clothing, antique baseball cards, or anything else—will stay in your pockets instead of going to pay for operating expenses such as rent or utilities by choosing to pursue retail as a side business idea with a short-term rental. This guide from Shopify will give you a step-by-step process for getting your popup shop off the ground.
ABC Fundraising –  Earn up to $5,000 per month or more! Work from home setting up fundraisers for schools, churches, and non-profit organizations. Since 1993 ABC Fundraising has helped over 50,000 groups, raise over 50 million dollars, and we want to help you start a new career today. Recently one of our distributors earned $7,200 by simply setting up a school-wide fundraiser with our flagship fundraising product. Get a FREE information kit now and sign up for our free online webinar to learn more about this exciting business opportunity.
There are a lot of items that can be purchased very inexpensively at garage sales or thrift stores and sold for higher prices elsewhere. A few years ago I discovered that I could purchase good hardcover books at my local thrift shop for $1 or less. I realized that some of them could be sold on Amazon.com for $15-$20, which turns out to be a pretty decent profit.

Although working from home is not usually connected with the medical field, a surprising number of medical jobs can be performed from home. Such occupations include medical transcription, medical coding, and virtual nursing. Even some pharmacists work from home reviewing prescriptions, overseeing transfers from one pharmacy to another, and providing counseling on use of medications. Many of these jobs require some form of certification, training, schooling, and/or previous experience. 
If you want to find a profitable online course idea in the next 3 days, join my free online course Find a Profitable Business Idea today. It'll walk you step-by-step through the process I've used to generate more than $15,000 in online course sales in a single week. Then once you're ready to start teaching your own online course, I recommend using Teachable, the easiest and most affordable platform to use for creating, hosting and selling your online courses. They also have a ton of free educational resources about how to get started with creating an online course (yes, even as a side business idea) when you sign up right here.
There are at least three teenage entrepreneurs who’ve already earned astonishing amounts of money by launching hand-made jewelry business ideas: M3 Girl Designs’ Maddie Bradshaw, Bella Weems of Origami Owl, and the girl behind DesignedByLei. With the industry set to shine in the near term via a brisk annual growth rate of 5-6%, the market is ripe for new entrants to this business idea who can offer sparkling new takes on how to craft appealing handmade goods.
Work at home transferring data from one source to another. Most of these companies do not require past experience, although with few exceptions the pay may not be enough to consider it a stable income. Before you begin applying to any of the companies below (many of which sadly are almost never hiring), you might want to read the post I wrote about data entry jobs from home. It explains what your expectations should be prior to pursuing a career in this industry.
8. Microworkers – Microworkers, as the name implies, is another microtask site. They offer a variety of tasks, and some of those may include data entry. Some of the jobs they offer actually pay better than similar jobs on other microtask sites. They also show you a percentage on each job that demonstrates how often that job poster has approved the work of previous workers. Your only paid for approved work, so that’s useful! Payment for completed jobs goes directly to your PayPal account once you hit their $10 payout threshold. Be vigilant against scam jobs offered through Microworkers.
“I love working for TTEC@home, I’m a single parent who moved to a new state where I had no family or friends. I started a job where I felt like I was working just to pay daycare for my four-year-old son. My son hated the daycare and I never had time to spend with him. I was referred to TTEC and I'm in love with it. Now, I put my son on the bus and log in for work. By the time I get off work, my son is almost home. It’s wonderful!”
Public notaries primarily serve as validators of, and impartial witnesses in public legal documents, especially those related to affidavits, oaths, deeds, estates, special-powers-of-attorney, and business agreements. Depending on the state, a full-time notary public earns an average annual salary of $36,000, which makes it a great business idea to do as a side hustle as you bring in money through other ways. If you want to get started with this business idea, here are the requirements and steps you need to consider in the US.

If you love to travel and find yourself randomly searching for airfare sales or browsing Lonely Planet, why not carve out a niche for yourself as a private travel agent? Take my friend, Mark Jackson's lead with what he's doing to build a travel consulting side business idea. Start with word of mouth recommendations from friends who know they can count on you for the cheapest flights, create a Facebook or LinkedIn group to invite people who want to stay on top of the latest deals and eventually you could spin this business idea into a full-time consultancy teaching people how to make your dream trip a reality.
1. AccuTran Global – AccuTran Global is mostly known as a transcription company, which is fair since that’s mostly what they bring on independent contractors to do. However, they sometimes have data entry jobs as well, so it’s best to keep your eye out. Check the link for my overview of the company, detailing what it’s like for their transcriptionists: it’s likely to share similarities to what they expect of data entry specialists.
I like these ideas! Besides being good ideas in themselves, they stimulate MORE ideas! Some of them reminded me of something I was reading about called Craigslist arbitrage – buying low and selling high on craigslist, kind of like the first part of the old Oregon Trail game, but with washers and dryers and bicycles instead of cases of crackers and horses. Sounds like fun!  Anyway, that one about the pooper-scooper business, that works, I know because I was quite successful in the pooper-scooper service I started back in 1988! I’ve been in the industry for 25 years now, though I don’t go out and scoop any more.
With so many businesses operating mostly, or even completely, online, it’s no wonder that many hire virtual assistants to help keep them organized and complete administrative tasks. According to the International Virtual Assistants Association, these workers are “independent contractors who (from a remote location, usually their home or office) support multiple clients in a variety of industries by providing administrative, creative, and technical services.”
It’s not very engaging, or mentally stimulating, but taking online surveys through companies like Survey Junkie do pay  out (a little), believe it or not. Even if the payouts come in the form of Amazon gift cards, sites like Swagbucks can pay well. Just don't expect to make bank with this side business idea—I recommend combining it with another source of side income from this list of my best business ideas, and turning to surveys in your downtime when you need a little extra income.

The worldwide data entry program is awesome, the support team was more than a pleasure. A great, very touching experience for me and my family. I am  very satisfied and I ask myself why I waited so long …The service we experienced in India for me was outstanding – I cannot think of any work at home worldwide program which was this perfect and flexible.  Your program training is tops!
Pearson offers educational content, tools, and resources through all stages of life – from K12 to higher education to industry and professional. Pearson hires work-from-home tutors and teachers to teach in a broad range of subjects to a broad range of ages. Job Search Tip: Not all of Pearson’s work-from-home jobs are labeled as such. Try searching “tutor” and “work-from-home” as keywords or “virtual” as location.
The heart of my business and the area I have a solid background in.  Dozens of these kinds of opportunities are available to those who join this powerful business program.  An effective training program and a free word processor for you to perform your work on, all as a gateway to the unmatched network of work-at-home opportunities available to members!
Traditional data entry work is by far the most common and probably the most familiar to people who have worked in an office environment. For those who like traditional data entry this part of the program you will also enjoy. Our program will provide full training and opportunities for you along with a free word processing software so you will not have to purchase anything to perform these job tasks.
There are also several disadvantages to home-based businesses, however, including uncertain income, reduced benefits, isolation, and distractions. In addition, home-based business owners, like other self-employed individuals, must be able to handle all sorts of business-related tasks, like bookkeeping, billing, marketing and sales, and tax compliance. Still, home-based businesses do tend to be more successful than other types of small business ventures. According to the editors of Income Opportunities magazine in their Home Business Handbook, only 20 to 25 percent of home-based businesses fail within five years, compared to a failure rate of over 50 percent for all small business ventures. Several organizations are available to assist people in forming home-based businesses, including the National Association of Home-Based Businesses (www.ameribiz.com), Home Office Association of America (www.hoaa.com), and National Association for the Self-Employed (www.nase.org).
4. Clickworker – Clickworker allows you to sign up and become part of a pool of folks who complete tasks for Clickworkers’ clients. Data entry is one of those tasks, and others include proofreading, copy editing, web research, surveys, and more. Once you sign up (for free), you fill out your profile and complete short assessments to demonstrate your abilities. The number of jobs available to you depend on how well you perform, and providing excellent work means your earnings will increase. You work your own schedule, they take care of invoicing, and you’re paid either monthly or weekly through PayPal.
Education requirements vary depending on what kind of work is being done. To be hired for a Work From Home position in Medical Billing, for example, applicants are often expected to have medical billing training and experience. Many online writing jobs require a resume and writing samples. Bookkeeping from home positions also require appropriate training and on-the-job experience.
Swagbucks is an online platform where you can earn points called SB, which can be redeemed for gift cards and coupons. You can easily earn SB points by watching videos, playing games, answering questions, shopping online, and even surfing the web using their toolbar. Refer your friends, and you’ll earn even more SB points. Your SB points can be traded in for gift cards from Amazon, Target, Starbucks, PayPal, and Walmart.
Small businesses know they have to get online, but finding the time to figure out how is proving a real challenge for small business owners of every stripe. If you're Internet-savvy and know how local businesses can harness the power of local search, coupon pages and social media, you could be working from home helping small business owners promote their companies online.
(Note: We are hiring from the entire state, not just one city or region.)Your future is calling….Answer Now.We’re Convergys, a leader in customer management.  We make our clients’ (Fortune 500 companies) interactions with their customers smarter, more effective, and more profitable.  We’d like to have the exact same effect on your career.Exactly what do we do?  We provide excellent customer service on behalf of our clients.  Instead of working in a traditional call center environment, our Convergys Anywhere program hires sales & service agents who work from home.  For example, when you call the customer service department for your cell phone or cable provider, you just might be talking to a Convergys home based customer service & sales agent – answering that call on behalf of one of our clients.  These calls might involve billing questions, changes or cancellation of services, inquiries on the status of an order, troubleshooting services etc.  Why Convergys Anywhere?We offer paid training and employee benefits too!  You can save a lot of money and time, and often times have less stress, when you work from home.  There is no gas to purchase, windshields to scrape in the winter and bad weather to drive through, clothes to purchase or dry clean, and no lunches, coffee or snacks to purchase daily.Where Are We Hiring? We are currently hiring in 35 states (see full list of locations on our website).This particular job requisition is only for (Montana) residents.  If you are not physically residing in Montana, please do not apply to this requisition.  Please visit our website and apply to the appropriate state requisition. We have three types of work at home positions that we hire for regularly:  Sales & Service, Customer service and Technical Support Representatives.  Every position we have is centered around providing excellent Customer Service and some positions are more sales or technically focused.  Your answers to the questions during the application process, your qualifications and your experience will all be reviewed as part of the evaluation process to determine which one is the best fit for you.Minimum Requirements/Additional Info:High School Diploma or GED and at least one year of customer service experience (One year of sales experience required if you want to be considered for a Sales position). We need you to have your own PC (less than six years old) and high speed Internet service, both of which will be tested as part of the application process.  You can work from a laptop, but will need to be hard-wired while working. Your monitor will need to be 17” – minimum (capable of 1024 x 768).  A flat panel display is highly recommended, televisions cannot be used as monitors. (External monitors are permitted for laptops with less than 17” screen) A quiet, distraction-free, location in your home to work. A telephone (landline or cell) is required for part of your training and team calls.  This phone is not used receive your incoming work calls; your Internet connection is used for that. An approved headset and flash drive will be required before you start working with us.  They are not required as part of the application process, so please do not purchase them before we extend a job offer to you. A strong candidate will be computer/Internet savvy, comfortable operating in several applications simultaneously. We need you to be a “people person” who enjoys talking and assisting others.  Think about how much you enjoy receiving excellent customer service yourself?  Well, we need you to take pride in providing that same great service to others.We require 7 days/week availability, as customer service is something that is provided by most companies every day of the week. Schedules vary and will be discussed during the interview. Great benefit options include: medical, dental & vision benefits, and 401K.  We also offer attendance based wage increases, performance bonuses, and some programs include sales incentives.     Career Framework Role  Has program required basic skill set to perform routine tasks within simple processes but lacking program/product specific knowledge.  Works with close supervision and clearly defined procedures.  Starting to demonstrate familiarity with client terminology, operating standards and procedures.  Starter without sustained metric performance levels.        Disclaimer   The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this job. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of personnel working within this job title. Convergys is an EEO/AA/M/F/Vet/Disability Employer.

Do you have a way with words? Freelance copywriting is a good way to make money working from home. Companies large and small will pay someone handsomely to take basic information and add a bit of flair. If a smooth turn of phrase has been known to come forth from your pen, freelance copywriting might just be for you. It takes networking, but once you have a portfolio to show your worth, you'll be able to prove to clients that you're exactly the writer they need. And, as a bonus, if you're naturally inquisitive and love storytelling, you might be able to spin your copywriting gig into a career as a freelance journalist.


If you own a camera, starting a freelance portrait photography business could be a very natural way to turn your skills and passions into a profitable business idea. Start with doing free shoots for friends and family to build up a strong online portfolio, get familiar with your gear and the editing process, then you'll be able to get paid for photographing professional head shots and celebratory family moments as your side business idea. Get started by checking out this men's portrait photography class that regularly broadcasts for free on CreativeLive. Plus, once you have all the photography gear, you can earn a little extra side income by renting it out when you're not using it through online marketplaces like Fat Lama.
What It Is: Do people ask you your secret to perfect pie crust or how you made that wreath? "Everyone knows how to do something, or has a hobby they enjoy," says Kimberly Lawson, owner of OohLaLuxe.net, who has created fashion and beauty tutorial videos. "These can easily be turned into profits." Simply sign up for a free YouTube account. Then use a smartphone or digital camera to record yourself explaining and demonstrating how you work your magic. (If you're more tech-savvy or have a burgeoning teenage filmmaker in your house, you can use desktop software, such as Windows Movie Maker, to create a slicker video.) "Once you upload the video to YouTube, enroll in its partner program," Lawson says. YouTube will then place ads inside or near your video, and you will earn money from the ads themselves, video views and click-throughs. "The key is to put a unique spin on your video," says Lawson, especially if there are lots of others on the same subject.
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