If you’re planning to own and operate a business, you might start thinking about things like renting commercial real estate, commuting to an office, or managing employees.
But with the rise of home businesses, more and more people are discovering ways to use remote work to pursue entrepreneurship, with their business headquartered at home.
In today’s connected world, where technology affords us more flexibility in how and where we work, home-based businesses come in a variety of forms.
Some require you to convert a spare room into a mini-warehouse for products, while others can be run completely online. But generally, you can start these types of businesses using your existing space and means.
What makes a “home-based” business: the pros and cons
A home-based business is a venture—whether full time or run as a side hustle—that you can start and operate using your own home as your base of operations. A few home-based businesses, especially those that sell online and don’t buy and hold lots of inventory, can even be run on the go, without the need to be bound to your home.
Naturally, there are pros and cons to consider when deciding whether a home-based business is right for you.
A low-investment business has fewer overhead costs (such as warehousing fees), plus potential tax deductions you can claim.
The option to sell products or services locally or internationally.
Flexible work-life balance, which is ideal if, for example, you’re a stay-at-home parent or aretiree.
You can create a family business where your relations or your spouse can chip in as needed.
You may need to convert space in your home to support the needs of your business (e.g., holding inventory, creating a home office, or storing equipment). The challenge can be doing this without disrupting your life at home.
You still have to comply with any regulations that pertain to the business you want to start (e.g., you may need to rent a commercial kitchen if you plan to sell food products or a license/permit to hold inventory).
Your business may outgrow your home and require you to rent additional space and hire employees.
Working from home offers you a lot of freedom, butit can also be lonely. This might be difficult if you enjoy being around other people.
13 home-based business ideas you can start today
While there are plenty of ways to go about starting a home-based business, the following are some of the most approachable paths to creating a home business for yourself:
Buy products in bulk and sell them online
Sell homemade products
Start a dropshipping store
Start a print-on-demand business
Offer online services
Teach online classes
Productize your service or expertise
Grow an audience you can monetize
Buy an existing e-commerce business
Start a subscription box business
Get involved with pets
Sell unwanted items
Play video games
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