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20 Small Business Ideas to Start from Home

Looking for small business ideas? Here are 20 low-budget small business ideas to start from home

Starting a small business can be scary, difficult, and rewarding at the same time.

But before you can get started, you need to commit to a small business idea.

However, it can be challenging to find viable small business ideas for beginners.

Especially if you don’t have a specialist skill set, a war chest of money to invest, or connections to get you started.

Thankfully, there are still plenty of great small business ideas out there!

(Psst! While we feature certain third parties in this article, we receive no affiliate compensation for including them and are not affiliated with any third parties other than Shopify and Oberlo. All deals in this article were available at the time of writing, but may be removed in the future.)

Best Small Business Ideas 2020

Whether you’re a teenager with dreams of entrepreneurship, a nine-to-fiver looking for a change of pace, or a single parent looking for some extra income, we’ve got you covered. 

Here are 20 low-budget small business ideas to start from home. 

Small-Scale Business Ideas to Start from Home

If you’re looking to keep things manageable, consider these small-scale business ideas.

1. Freelance Transcriber

Transcribing is the process of turning speech into written words. If you have good listening and writing skills, you can start this home-based business idea today! Find your first transcription job through sites like:

Start Transcribing with TranscribeMe

2. Resume Writer

Not everyone has the time – or the skills – to write a job-winning resume. So, many people hire someone to help. If you’ve got some experience under your belt and are detail-oriented, you could assist clients by writing and designing resumes, cover letters, and portfolios that catch potential employers’ eyes.

3. Online Tutor

Are you a science geek, talented musician, or history buff? Brilliant! Put your knowledge to use as an online tutor. To get started, check out remote job sites like:

Become an Online Teacher with Yup

4. Freelance Data Entry Clerk

Plenty of businesses struggle to keep up with their data needs. To learn more about becoming a data entry clerk, check out our in-depth guide, Data Entry Jobs: Everything You Need to Know.

5. Calligrapher

According to Google Trends, calligraphy has seen a resurgence in recent years – with notable spikes in interest over the holiday season. So, if you enjoy crafting beautiful invitations, place settings, and cards to announce personal events, consider becoming a calligrapher.

Google Trends Calligraphy

6. Freelance Virtual Assistant

Virtual assistants help individuals and businesses with a range of tasks, such as scheduling, travel planning, and customer support. To learn more, check out our guide on How to Get Virtual Assistant Jobs.

Best Businesses to Start with Little Money

Don’t have money to invest in your new business? Check out these small investment business ideas.

7. Dropshipping

Dropshipping is a home-based business model that allows you to sell physical products online while another business stores and ships the products to your customers for you. You can start this low-budget business idea by using Shopify and Oberlo.

Dropshipping with Shopify and Oberlo

8. Career Coach

Countless people are looking to get ahead in their careers. If you have plenty of career experience, use it to help others achieve their goals by providing actionable training, mentorship, and advice.

9. Print-on-Demand

Print-on-demand is another passive income idea similar to dropshipping. However, instead of selling generic products, you can sell products featuring your unique designs. When a customer purchases a product from your store, your supplier will print the product and ship it to the customer. You can get started with Shopify.

Print-on-Demand with Shopify

10. Personal Chef

Many people love to eat delicious, fresh food but don’t have the time – or the desire – to cook for themselves. Why not cook meals for them? This is an easy business to start from home as you already have a kitchen! Start by asking your friends and family if they know someone who might need a chef. Then post bulletins at local stores or in local organizations.

11. Freelance Writer

If you love writing, you could write sales copy, blog posts, white papers, magazine articles, ebooks – or even become a technical writer. Check out popular freelance writing job boards to start pitching for jobs.

Find Freelance Writing Jobs on Problogger

12. Social Media Manager

Are you a social media whizz? Consider harnessing your knowledge to help businesses grow their sales with social media marketing.

13. Proofreader and Editor

Are you good with words and grammar? Do you have an eye for detail? Plenty of people need someone to help them proofread and edit their book manuscripts, research papers, or business materials.

14. Freelance Translator

If you speak a foreign language fluently, you could provide translation services. To get started with this small business idea, take a look at the translation jobs available on sites like:

Find Freelance Translation Jobs with Translator Base

Business Ideas to Start From Home

Looking for a way to work from home? Here are some great home-based business ideas.

15. Website Flipper

Website flipping is the process of buying websites that aren’t living up to their potential, improving them, and then selling them for a profit. Use websites like Shopify’s Exchange marketplace to find opportunities.

Website Flipping Process

16. Freelance Photo or Video Editor

Lots of people need someone to edit their photos and videos professionally. If you know your way around Photoshop or Final Cut Pro, consider becoming a freelance photo or video editor.

17. Handcrafted Goods Store Owner

Do you love to make things? If so, why not create a line of handcrafted products? You can get started selling your creations through online platforms like Shopify Handmade and Etsy.

Sell Handcrafted Products with Shopify

18. Caterer

If being a personal chef doesn’t fit your schedule, consider catering for small events in your area instead. As your business grows, you could even get together with some friends to work on larger events.

19. Freelance Graphic Designer

If you love to design, put your skills to use by helping businesses to promote their brands, products, and services with your designs.

20. Ecommerce Store Owner

Do you have a hobby or interest that you can’t stop thinking about? Turn your obsession into a profitable small business by starting an ecommerce store and selling products online.

Summary: Small Business Ideas List

Small Business Ideas

There are countless viable small business ideas to start from home out there. In summary, here’s a list of small business ideas to inspire your next venture:

  1. Freelance transcriber
  2. Resume writer
  3. Online tutor
  4. Freelance data entry clerk
  5. Calligrapher
  6. Freelance virtual assistant
  7. Dropshipping
  8. Career coach
  9. Print-on-demand
  10. Personal chef
  11. Freelance writer
  12. Social media manager
  13. Proofreader and editor
  14. Freelance translator
  15. Website flipper
  16. Freelance photo or video editor
  17. Handmade goods store owner
  18. Caterer
  19. Freelancer graphic designer
  20. Ecommerce store owner

Finally, don’t worry if you don’t become a millionaire overnight. As the billionaire founder of Virgin, Richard Branson said, “A big business starts small.”

So, choose a small business idea, focus on finding your first customer, and serve them powerfully.

Thomas is a B2B content writer specializing in SaaS, ecommerce, and digital marketing.
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