A home-based business can offer a flexible, convenient and welcome alternative to long-distance commuting and the stifling rigors of working for someone else.
It also gives parents with young children, carers of elderly relatives and those living in remote locations much greater scope for being their own boss. It may appeal simply because it offers a better work-life balance.
7 Home-based Business Ideas to Consider
1. Pet facilities
If you like animals then you could provide a dog-walking service, which can be a godsend for dog owners when they’re at work or if they’re infirm. Because dogs shouldn’t be left home alone for extended periods, the market for pet boarding is huge too.
And if you have, or can acquire, the necessary skills, you could extend your business to include pet-grooming services such as haircuts, bathing, and nail-clipping – which is a booming market.
2. Laundry services
Many people will pay to offload what they regard as the drudgery of tasks such as washing and ironing. So if you already have your own equipment and facilities, it’s just a matter of researching the services offered in your local area to help you decide how to structure your pricing and what services to offer.
You could also diversify into sewing, repairs, and alterations, which would surely appeal to the same kind of clientele.
As well as a love of, and talent for, cooking, catering demands exemplary hygiene, strong organizational skills and accurate costing of ingredients. You will also need to do some careful research to establish where the best opportunities lie given local demographics.
Providing a home-based childcare service can be a great way to earn when you’re looking after your own young children.
Enjoying the company of children and child-centred living is, of course, essential, but not sufficient. You must also research the myriad regulations which apply and be sure you have the energy and resilience to cope with what can be a physically and mentally challenging job.
Though you may decide to offer only daycare, it’s worth noting the strong demand for care outside normal hours for which a premium can be charged.
5. Music teacher
If you have any special music skills – maybe singing or playing a popular instrument such as a guitar, piano or flute – then they could form the basis of a flourishing home-based business.
Teaching experience and/or music qualifications will mean you can command higher fees, but testimonials from satisfied customers will also help establish your reputation. Offering non-standard lessons, such as ‘mother and child’ classes or learning a popular instrument in small groups, can give you a unique selling point too.
If you have a passion and expertise in a particular subject –such as parenting, movies or a sport – and a talent for writing, you could generate cash through a blog.
So how do you make money? Well, you’re never going to be The Australian so you can’t charge for a subscription.
What you can do is use Google Adsense to populate your blog with relevant advertising and earn small increments on a pay-per-click basis. The larger your audience grows, the more you’ll earn.
However, it’s highly unlikely your blog will ever generate a full-time income.
A copywriter must, first and foremost, have exemplary writing skills. Versatility helps too, so you can handle a wide range of copy styles, such as website text, advertorial copy or blog articles, as well as editing and proofreading.
Journalism and writing qualifications will help you get work initially, but over time your portfolio of published work will be the decisive factor in securing commissions. You can find work and build up a reputation and repeat business through sites like Freelancer and Ozlance.
These are just seven options and there are countless more in an age where mobile or remote working is easier than ever. Just make sure you choose an area in which you have – ideally – experience, or at least enough interest in, or passion for, the sector or discipline to learn quickly.
Faye Ferris is the APAC Sales and Marketing Director for BusinessesForSale.com, one of the world’s largest online global market places for buying and selling small-to-medium sized businesses. Faye is passionate about helping Australian small business succeed and regularly writes about entrepreneurship and business management.