If a home-based business sounds appealing, you’re not alone. According to the Small Business Administration, home-based businesses account for 50% of the small businesses operating in the United States today.
Here are some concepts that may be right up your alley—or your cul-de-sac.
If you have a kitchen, a vehicle and a lot of energy, you can start a catering business from your home. It’s a crowded field, but by identifying current trends, you can market your business with laser focus.
Cater a specific type of event—picnics, birthday parties, business lunches. To be sure you dazzle your customers, don’t take on more than you can handle. Start with smaller gatherings, or those that last just a few hours. Get plenty of help and be prepared for hard work.
People are organization crazy these days. As any Marie Kondo fan can attest, tidying up is a thing — and a business opportunity. While people believe owning less will make them happier, getting rid of all that stuff can be overwhelming. Enter the professional organizer.
There are books and websites galore on the topic of de-cluttering. Read and study them. Internalize the message until you can call yourself an expert. Then get some business cards and get to work.
3. Home repair
The phrase “No job too small” is music to homeowners’ ears. If you’ve always done your own home repairs, you’re qualified to do small jobs for others. Sticking doors, ripped window screens, and running toilets need attention; but it can be hard to find a contractor to address them. If you have the tools and knowledge, you can turn minor repairs into a major business.
Personnel at local lumberyards and home centers are often asked for contractor recommendations. Drop off some business cards. And don’t forget to go digital — websites like Angie’s List and Yelp let you list your business and build an online profile.
4. Grocery consultant
Love food? Love to shop? Become a grocery consultant. Combine the services of professional grocery shoppers (think Shipt and Instacart) with a meal planning service like emeals. Based on your clients’ food preferences and family size, create weekly menus, then shop for and deliver the groceries and recipes.
Taking your service to the next level could mean organizing the ingredients into meal-sized portions before delivering them to fridge and pantry.
Make your home your business. You’ve invested in your residence; let it pay you back.
5. Wallpaper hanger
Wallpaper is back. So is the opportunity to make money hanging it. There’s no heavy lifting and you don’t need a lot of equipment or a giant vehicle.
You do need skills. Today’s wallpaper is expensive. Patience and attention to detail are key. If you’ve never done it, or you’re a little rusty, take a professional course or apprentice with a pro.
Make your home your business. You’ve invested in your residence; let it pay you back. Rent out all or part of it through an online rental booking site, like Airbnb.
There are sites catering to adventurers of all interests, including vacationers, business travelers, families, and nature lovers. Decide which aspects make your home or neighborhood special and find the platforms best suited to them. Read the reviews to learn what guests are paying for your type of rental and what amenities they are expecting.
[Read more: Airbnb for Work Expands to Include Non-Business Travelers]
7. Windshield repair
Windshields on today’s vehicles are complex and can be incredibly expensive. Thousands of them are chipped by flying debris every day. This bad news for drivers is good news for the windshield repair specialist because not all damaged windshields require replacement. Some can be repaired quickly and inexpensively.
To start up this business, you’ll need specialized toolsand the training that comes with them. Repairs can be done anywhere you can park a car, which makes it convenient for your customers. In addition to those who do a lot of driving behind dump trucks, body shops, used car dealers and car leasing companies are all potential repeat customers as well.
8. Home stager
Home stagers prepare houses for sale by making them aspirational. They remove evidence of the current residents, allowing potential buyers to imagine the home as their own.
Stagers should have a flair for decorating, an eye for clean design and a great deal of tact. Rearranging heavy furniture may be easier than convincing a proud homeowner to repaint the family room or a grandmother to pack away the family photos. To succeed at this business, you’ll need to be able to accomplish all three. Fortunately, training is available.
9. Graphic designer
If you have design talent and a portfolio of work to prove it, you can hire yourself out to design for the less artistically gifted. Graphic designers perform a variety of functions, all of which you can do from the comfort of your own home. Design logos for companies or pages for websites, or create and sell your designs yourself. You don’t have to manufacture the coffee cup or the tee shirt, just design the graphic. There are lots of websites like Society6 and Redbubble that are willing to do the rest, including shipping the product for you.
10. Garage renovator
The desire for organization does not stop at the garage door. Today’s homeowners want clean, accessible and upgraded storage for their cars, bicycles and garden equipment. Epoxy floors are in, as are functional and attractive built-ins. This relatively new (but growing) trend presents an opportunity to launch your specialized business in a field that’s not already overcrowded.
Garage renovations are not for the faint of heart, which is why people are willing to pay someone else to tackle the job. To find out if you’re up to the challenge, start with your own garage or that of a family member. Get experience in what’s required to transform a tired garage into a showplace.
[Read more: 2019 Trends May Inspire New Business Ideas.]
CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.
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Published May 17, 2019