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If you’re planning to start a business, you may start thinking about things like renting commercial real estate, moving to an office, or managing staff.
Small Online Business Ideas From Home
But with the rise of home businesses, more and more people are finding ways to work remotely, including their business headquarters.
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In today’s connected world, where technology gives us more flexibility in how and where we work, home-based businesses come in many forms.
Some require you to turn a spare room into a mini warehouse for products, while others can be run entirely online. But generally, you can start this type of business using your existing location and means You can check out our guide on how to make money online to explore more options
A home-based business is a venture—whether full-time or run as a side hustle—that you can start using your home as your base of operations. Some home-based businesses, especially those that sell online and don’t buy and hold a lot of inventory, can even be run without the need to be tied to your home.
Naturally, there are pros and cons to consider when deciding whether a home business is right for you
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While there are many ways to start a home business, the following are some of the closest ways to create a home business for yourself:
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Many businesses center on the simple concept of importing products in bulk and selling them separately for a profit
Maybe you’ve recently traveled abroad and come across unique products that aren’t readily available in your market, but you’re feeling an appetite. Or maybe you’ve zeroed in on a good market and know the perfect way to serve it
Either way, if these products are relatively easy to store and ship, you may have some solid home-based business ideas on your hands.
You can initially use your home as a showroom to sell locally, giving you the option to expand with additional storage space and staff as you validate your idea and sales begin to take off. Thus Artemis Design Co. got its start
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“I lived in the south end of Boston and my apartment was full of these products If people wanted to see something or try something, I would come to people, and I made my first sale. ” Millicent Armstrong, Artemis Design Co. 2. Sell homemade products.
If you’re a maker yourself (or know someone who is), consider turning that hobby into a business Even if you have to create your products elsewhere—in a studio, commercial kitchen, or workshop—you may be able to store and sell them in your own home.
When you have the ability to control almost every aspect of the products you sell, you can make them more cost-effective, improve their quality, or cater to a specific audience by targeting market demand.
Josh Pigford already had a successful home business at a business analytics startup, but wanted to find a way to flex his creative muscles. He started printing succulent planters at home with his 3D printer – and a business was born. Cedar & Cell now carries planters, coasters and other small desk touchcases.
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Whether you choose to start on a marketplace like Etsy or build your own branded storefront, selling your creations is a great way to share your passion with others and make money. Be aware of regulations regarding products that consumers apply or apply to their skin
Best of all, producing your own product doesn’t have to be overwhelming When you’re ready to scale, you can establish a process to help with productivity and onboard new employees
So far, we have covered the commercial considerations that you need to keep inventory in your home But there are a variety of online business ideas to pursue that don’t involve thinking about inventory and shipping
These businesses employ a dropship model, where a third party manufactures, stores and ships your products on your behalf, leaving marketing and customer service as your primary responsibility. leaves as
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Children’s brand Finer & Dandy is an example of a home business that uses a dropshipper. Founder Courtney White started the company on a quest to make money online without spending too much time providing customer service. When he discovered dropshipping Now, he wakes up at 4 a.m. every morning to run his dropshipping business before going to his day job.
Your dropshipping supplier can be local or overseas, but you need to make sure you find a supplier that you can trust to provide a consistently great customer experience after the sale. Always do your due diligence or you could risk the reputation of your business
There are even apps, such as Oberlo, that can connect you with suppliers to import products into their stores to simplify order fulfillment.
At its core, dropshipping involves being a third-party distributor of products, taking on the costs of marketing (both financial and time-based) in order to be rewarded with a margin when you make a sale. In many cases, this can turn your product into a commodity with limited opportunities to brand your customer experience Fortunately, there are a few different ways you can compete even if your product is lacking in the market you sell to:
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If you’re interested in learning more about starting a dropshipping business, be sure to check out The Ultimate Guide to Dropshipping.
Using the same dropshipping model, a print-on-demand business doesn’t require you to keep any inventory or ship anything yourself. Print-on-demand gives you more flexibility to customize white label products with your own creative designs.
Rebecca Lee Funk launched the women’s rights activist clothing brand The Outrage, which sells print-on-demand T-shirt designs from her home. The business donates a portion of profits to Planned Parenthood in Donald Trump’s name His launch campaign went viral, and the frenzy turned into a thriving e-commerce business
There are many print-on-demand products you can sell: books, hats, backpacks, blankets, pillows, mugs, shoes, hoodies, phone cases, watches, and more, depending on the supplier you want to work with.
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Many print-on-demand businesses focus on serving a specific niche or, better yet, a shared identity What are people passionate about and proud to share? What about yourself? From pet owners to vegans, there are many passionate communities you can create products for.
If you have design skills, you can create your own designs But if not, you can always hire the talent you need
For a full rundown of how print on demand works and how you can get started, be sure to take our video course inside the academy.
Services are easier than products to start selling at home, but the challenge is allocating your limited time When you’re running a service-based business, “time is money” is never truer
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Creative professionals like designers or marketers may freelance or consult with other companies, juggling multiple clients, often remotely from their home office with occasional travel. Others may operate on an appointment and booking basis to provide their services directly to individuals
Service-based businesses often require a lot of networking and word-of-mouth referrals to find the right customers, but satisfied customers will retain your services over time.
Because of this, you don’t need a large number of customers to do well, as you would with a product-based business Depending on the services you offer, a handful of high-quality clients may be enough to support you full-time while working from home.
Chris Carey, one of the founders of MAPerformance, started his automotive parts and service business from the comfort of his home. He started by teaching car maintenance and repair tips to online users on forums After establishing expertise and trust, people started going to his e-commerce site to buy parts
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If you have a teachable skill, you can not only share that name on forums, you can also turn it into online classes to get your name out there. There’s an audience for any desired skill, whether it’s English as a second language, advanced marketing, or everyday home maintenance hacks.
If I Made It, Emily Newman’s home-based business coaching class for creative professionals. When you teach classes online, not only do you have the flexibility to do it in your home, you can also offer live or pre-recorded teaching and training. For example, you could offer live courses at a premium rate, while customers can purchase recorded sessions at a discounted price.
Yegi Sharian, its founder
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