Home     Who we are     What we do      Startup Questions Answers  

On-Line coaching    One-on-one counseling   Business startup guide 

Business books        Great business help links     Add your URL     The Blog

 

(scroll down)

100 HOTTEST HOME BASED BUSINESSES

Not listed in the order of importance.

These businesses can be operated in the home; however, certain regulatory requirements may have to be met in your particular location.  It is advisable to check with your local and state authorities before opening a business in your home. For a more in-depth description of these businesses and more go to www.entrepreneur.com where you can purchase, on line, individual business guide books.  

Home health care - Establish a database of qualified independent contractors willing to work on call.  You set the rate, client's pay you and you pay your contractors.  You must follow the IRS regulations concerning their 20 rules for Independent contractors.  Clients register with your company and you assign provider.  Can be a sitter service or nursing service.

Nurses registry - Establish a database of qualified Independent contractor LVN's and RN's willing to work on call.  You negotiate the rate with nurse and client for a fee.  You will act as a provider referral agency.  Clients register with your company and you assign provider.  You collect fees, bill Insurance Companies, Medicare, Medicaid, etc and pay contractors by invoice.  You will be responsible for following all federal and state guidelines.  Be sure to read all rules and regulations before starting this service.
Physical & occupational therapy - Requires education, license, and health permit.  Business is done primarily through Physician referrals and the primary function of the business is healing through physical therapy. 
24 Hour nursing - Independent contractor serving patience in hospital and at home. Education, license and health permit required.
Gift baskets - A growing business serving the gift industry with unique baskets packaged with a variety of gift ideas for birthdays, anniversaries, and various holiday events.  These baskets are marketed through unlimited channels. 
Birthdays planning and preparations - In a world where time is so valuable, many people are now opting for professionally planned birthday parties, anniversary parties, etc.  This is a business that requires extensive knowledge of birthday and anniversary ideas, customs, etc. It is also a business that does not require huge start-up funds. 
Birth memories, photo and video services - Special event video and photography is a business that has been traditionally performed by family members, but now has grown into an viable business for those with talent in these areas.  Some special equipment and education is required for best results.  However, as compared to other businesses, the start-up cost of minimal.  This business can be operated as a full time or part time business.  

Grand Openings – Most Festive Occasions - Creating that "just right" festivity for the new grand opening, family or company event has now grown to a business where more and more couples and individuals are able to choose full time and part time activity.  For those inexperienced in this field, a learning curve is required.

Janitorial services – Business – Commercial – Residential - Professional cleaning services invest heavily in heavy duty equipment, storage, office space and payroll.  Those who operate large professional cleaning services find the main challenge in finding and keeping sufficient trained staff to complete jobs. However, this can be a profitable venture for individuals and couples who are willing to work hard and at times, odd hours.
Auto maintenance – Auto maintenance service is done more often by automotive repair services and service stations.  However, entrepreneur's throughout the U.S. are now finding, because of time restraints, a very lucrative business in pickup and delivery service for auto maintenance.  This business can be operated as a pickup and delivery business only or it can be conducted by offering the complete service which would include the actual maintenance service as well. When operated as a pickup and delivery service fees are collected for the service and referral commission are collected from maintenance providers.  This is a low entry business, but requires some beginning operating capital to carry the business until the business is stabilized, if operated as a full time enterprise.
Mechanical repair – Primarily a small mechanical device repair service.  Lawn mowers, small engines, electric motors and home appliances.
Auto Detailing - For individuals, companies, and auto dealers - One of the fastest growing businesses, requiring funds for tools, cleaning supplies and various equipment.  Heavy marketing and personal relationships are needed to get this business on a sound footing. Auto dealerships may not be suitable in all home based business locations.  Check with you city for ordinances involving property use and zoning.
Auto wash - Motor home wash and prep - In recent years with the new equipment that is now available, this business has become more mobile.  Portable high pressure spray and wash systems are now available at reasonable prices.  Contracts with used car dealerships, motor home sellers and individuals who are time squeezed find this solution more advantages since the vehicles do not need to be removed to distant car washes for cleaning.  On site auto and motor home washing requires proper equipment and working capital.  As compared to brick and mortar locations, this is a very low entry business.  The key to this and any other business venture is...good planning.
Mail order – To Target Markets – Catalog – Internet - While this may appear to be a very simple business, it is not.  Funds are needed for automation, working capital and expensive advertising.  Make sure you do your home work on this one.  It can be very lucrative, but requires direct mail marketing knowledge and the ability to find the right products to market.  Learning how to reach your targeted market with the right product at the right time is essential. Do your home work and work your plan.
Medical claims processing – For medical offices – For individuals - Clinics- Sounds easy enough and once you have the basics under your belt...it is not that difficult to do the work.  The major challenge is obtaining clients.  Physician's are extremely sensitive about patient information, since they have a confidentiality agreement with all patients, and one should remember that the doctor either already has someone on the outside doing this work for him/her or he/she is doing the work in house. They will not let just anyone process their patient claims, medical transcripts, etc.  The key here is developing a relationship with the doctor and the people at the front desk.  It is vital that the doctor and his staff understand that you will keep all records that you receive totally confidential.  It is not enough to just say, "I will keep everything confidential.  Obtaining a liability policy to protect you and your clients is very important.  You will also need computer, printer, copy machine, translation equipment, office space to work, modem, direct telephone line, recording equipment and most likely 2 years of education in the field.
Export – Import - Unlimited items to target markets - Specialization is the key word in Import/Export business.  Find a product you are most familiar with.  If you do not have one, find one and learn all you can about the product, its manufactures, the buying, shipping, letters of credit, banking, funds by telephone, wire, etc.  Read all you can find on the subject and the countries with whom you will be doing business.  It makes sense to take a few classes on this subject.  Visit with people who are already in the business, but with a different target market and product.  Once you have made up your mind to enter this industry, make a 3 year plan to determine cash flow, working capital and capital expenses.  You will need all the high tech office equipment and capital to get started.  Your first few order on products you import will most likely not be shipped to you except by C.O.D. When exporting, you will need enough capital to tide you over until you receive your income.  This will take several weeks, as a norm.
Business consulting -  Business consulting does not require a license, permit or college education in most states or municipalities, but requires vast knowledge of the business world, business law, business finance, etc. in the your chosen field.  Because the knowledge and ability to find solutions is required, income can be very substantial...once the practice and reputation has been establish.  Specializing in an industry that you are most familiar with, helps to shorten the time between your startup and obtaining your first client.  This business involves, business planning, coaching, counseling and at times, hands on management of a business in turnaround.  You will need to set aside enough money to live on for about 12 months.  Marketing involves selling one's self.  You will also need enough money to buy needed office equipment, telephone systems, etc.  Indirect marketing of your business is an excellent method for achieving success.  Remember that this business is a business of referrals.  People buy people first, then goods and services.  Advertising your consulting services in the newspaper, magazine, billboards, yellow page, etc is a waste of money and time.  Spend your time writing articles, doing seminars, and in service organizations where you will come in contact with people you most want to serve.  Do choose, however, a service organization you truly care about and where you service will actually do some good for others.  Read The Overnight Consultant, by Marsha D. Lewin.  It is an excellent, easy to read book for new consultants.
Marketing consulting - Like business consulting, Marketing consultants do not require college degree, a license or permit in most states, but you will require much knowledge and experience.  Marketing is the process of moving a product, service or idea from the drawing board to the end consumer in the most profitable manner possible.  Specializing in an industry that you are most familiar with, helps to shorten the time between your startup and obtaining your first client.  This business involves, marketing plans, coaching, counseling and at times, hands on marketing implementation.  Especially in a business in turnaround situation.  You will need to set aside enough money to live on for about 12 months.  You will also need enough money to buy needed office equipment, telephone systems, etc.  Marketing your marketing consultant business requires an ability to sell one's self.  Indirect marketing of your business is an excellent method for achieving success.  Remember that this business is a business of referrals.  People buy people first, then goods and services.  Advertising your practice in the newspaper, magazine, billboards, yellow page, etc is a waste of money and time.  Spend your time writing articles, doing seminars and in service organizations where you will come in contact with people you most want to serve.  Do choose, however, a service organization you truly care about and where you service will actually do some good for others. 
Financial consulting - The financial industry is regulated.  Becoming a successful financial consultant requires vast knowledge of the industry.  A degree in finance and or financial planning is essential to success and in most states a license and permit is required.  Check with your city for regulations, ordinances, zoning, etc.  Experience working with a financial consulting company would help.  There are also several good books on this subject.  Read as much as you can get your hands on to determine if this business is a good business for you.  It would be advisable to have enough money to live on for 12 months and to buy needed office equipment.  
Turn-a-round consulting - Turn around consulting requires a wide variety of experience and knowledge.  It involves intensive business planning, people skills, and the ability to find creative solutions.  A strong background in business ownership and or business management is required.
Engineering consulting - Working as an engineer requires a college education in the chosen field, permits, licensing and continuing education.  Count on substantial startup cost for equipment, marketing and working capital to last for 6 months to a year. 
Home decorating and consulting - Some people have a natural talent for decorating and make good consultants to those of us who do not own these talents.  However, it does not hurt to gain additional knowledge on how to market the business and how to manage the business.  Plan on six months to a year before you start making enough income to quit your day job.  If going full time, determine the minimum income level and add about 20% of that total for additional and unexpected expenses while building your business.
Home Improvement - Room additions – Replacements - Redecorating -  If you have the business knowledge required to understand estimating, job scheduling, general carpentry, etc. and you have the contacts to buy your supplies at wholesale (contractor prices), you could become a general contractor sub-contracting all are part of your jobs to others.  You main focus would be in obtaining the work.  One should be experienced in all phases of home improvement, including finance, and contractors liens.  Be prepared to put up a substantial amount of funds to cover office equipment, supplies, general contractors license, insurance and a bond.  You will also need enough operating capital to keep you in business during the beginning stages of your business.
Training/Educational Services – Second languages – Computer skills - Arts & crafts - Right now is an excellent time to start this type of business.  The state and federal government is interested in helping people get off welfare and become independent.  Depending on the category in which you choose to work, you will need funds for start-up, general operating expenses and enough working capital to last until you get your business past your projected breakeven.
Recycling & ecological Services - This business will require environment permits and state and federal licenses.  You will need to be well educated concerning the EPA AND OSHA regulations plus any other state or federal mandates.  You will need a truck equipped to handle the category of recycling and ecological service you plan to provide, office equipment, supplies, a credit line and working capital will also be necessary.
Disposal of special waste -  Shredding sensitive documents for the medical, legal and banking industry can be a very lucrative business.  Special bond and liability insurance is usually required in order to obtain these jobs.  Special equipment, a truck, office equipment, supplies and working capital will be required for start-up.   
Ecological monitoring and collections - See Environmental & Ecological Services above.
Wedding & event planning - All special large events, Private or commercial - Planning, coordinating, and general event consulting talents required.  Experience required.  This is a competitive industry.  Special knowledge of the business side and marketing would be a tremendous plus.  Most equipment can be rented, but you will need office equipment and working capital to last until you have reached breakeven.
Financial planning - Wills – Investments – Insurance - See Financial Consultant above.
Mobile services - Some areas to consider:  Delivery, meals-on-wheels, medical transportation, taxi, chauffer, mini-busing, and senior-citizen support transportation.  Let your imagination be your guide. You will need reliable transportation suitable to fill the needs of the service you plan to offer, licenses, state and municipal permits and working capital to keep the business afloat while working to breakeven is vital.
Dog grooming - Special education in handling animals, grooming, bathing and spotting potential dangerous diseases, if important.  Special tools and equipment will be necessary.  Working capital to last for 6 months may be needed.
Meals on wheels - See Mobile Services above.
Electronics repairs - Repairing small home electrical equipment such as toasters, can openers, tape recorders, radios, etc. will require specialized tools and knowledge.  You local community college may offer courses to prepare you in this profession.  Business knowledge and marketing skills may also be helpful in assuring your success in this business.
Children’s products & services – Clothing - Toys – Books – Educational products - Developing lines of product suitable for home shows, party plans, or for direct sales will be needed.  You will also need office equipment and working capital for this startup.  Uniqueness of product and need are the keys to success.
Word processing/Desk top publishing – Private – Commercial – Contract for in-house publications - Read The Overnight Consultant, by Marsha D. Lewin for some excellent advice for starting your consultancy.  You will be spending more time marketing than actual work in the beginning.  Knowledge of several popular word processing  software programs and desk top publishing software is vital.  Having these programs installed on your computer can save you important time and will allow you to work in your clients area of expertise as well.
Alarm & security products & service – Residential - Commercial - As American's grow older they become more security conscious.  Insurance and bonding will help to secure quality jobs for you.  Also having available the most reliable branded merchandise for resale will go a long way in future referral's.  Price is not always the essential factor here.  Quality, ease of use, reliability and trust and the keys to success in this business.  You may also be required to obtain various forms of licenses, permits, etc from your state, and local municipalities.
Delivery service – Packages – Tickets – See Mobile Services above.
Airport pick-up & delivery - See Mobile Services Above.
Medical transport - See Mobile Services Above.
Senior day care - Highly regulated.  Requires licenses, permits, education, special accommodations, etc.  Check with your state health and welfare department for regulations and requirements.
At home or day care center -  Highly regulated.  Failure to follow state and federal laws can cause heavy penalties and fines.  Limited number of children.
Meal or grocery delivery - See Mobile Services Above.
Child care – At home or in a center - See "At home or day care center."
Tutoring service – Specific tests or exams – General school help - Excellent home based business for those who do not require large incomes and are interested in help people.  Some permits and or licenses may be required.  Check with your state, city and school district offices for more information concerning this business.
Career counseling - Best suited for people with past human resources experience or employment agency experience.  Office equipment, software and operating capital will be necessary.
Job evaluation and testing – Job market openings - See "Career counseling" above.
Information broker - Computer skills a must.  Knowledge of Internet, library research, and understanding where to go for information clients will need.  Computer, office equipment, and working capital necessary.
Collection of data for special markets - See "Information Broker" above. 
Clipping service - Clipping from all media relevant articles, ads, TV clips, etc. for business and political leaders.  Access to newspapers, magazines, trade journals, periodicals and television a must.  Knowledge of filing, computer skills and connections with major resources are very important. The ability to stay on top of market is vital.
Demographic studies - Understanding and having available all the latest local and national demographic data, a must.  Computer skills, knowledge of census reports and other relevant data also vital.
Disability consulting – Career help – Training - Education - Helping people with disabilities find career placement, get necessary training, education and funding.  Requires a solid understanding of all federal, state and local laws, regulations and requirements.  Must understand laws involved in discrimination and needs of the disabled.  Some benefits are available from the state and federal government to business who are in the business of helping people with disabilities find work.
Grant writing – Help non-profit companies raise money – Help agencies obtain funding - Grant writers are paid a percent of funds raised.  Computer, office equipment, software, writing skills, a database of organizations who offer grants and an understanding of how the grant process is works is important. Best to start this business part time. 
Resume writing – Package individual resumes – Teach resume writing - Part time or full time business.  Requires office equipment, computer, software, writing skills and an understanding of the current market and requirements.
Personal shopping service – Assist busy professional with shopping – Handicap shopping, etc. Developing clients who will trust you to do their regular and special needs shopping for a percentage of purchases or a flat fee.  Impeccable character, fashion knowledge, and people skills a must.  Can be full time or part time.
Secret shopper service – Conduct a secret survey of store personnel -  Act as a shopper. Complete a written report on employee conduct, product knowledge, enthusiasm, and over all abilities to perform job within a companies required guidelines. 
Writing - Writing skills, knowledge of the language, and the ability to put into written form, personality and character.  The ability to form a series of words that describe and influence.
Teach writing - See "Writing" above.
Ghost writing - See "Writing" above.
Freelance writing - See "Writing" above.
Arts and crafts – Design and build - Knowledge of the arts and craft industry and where to market finished product is vital.  Targeting a specific product line works best.  Will need equipment and working capital.
Retail Arts & Crafts - See "Arts and crafts" above.
Multi-level marketing - Meaning many levels of participation.  Multi level is the process of moving product and or services through a network of people personally sponsored at various levels of participation.  Must be a self-starter, self-motivated, strong people skills and the willingness to work very hard for 2 to 5 years without quitting.  Can be a very lucrative business for those with very strong desire, large dreams and the ability to get things done.  Large inventories are not normally required, but working capital will be needed.  Businesses than claim to be MLM, but do not require selling products or services and are paid primarily on recruiting are considered pyramids and are illegal.  Check with your better business bureau before acting.
Advertising specialties - Selling pens, baseball capes, tee shirts, money clips, etc. to businesses.  Requires business registration and sales tax permit.  In some states and municipalities you may be required to purchase a special permit or license.  Can be a lucrative part time or full time business.  Must be a self-starter with transportation, working capital, office equipment and the ability to obtain needed inventory or connections with a supplier. 
Advertising agency - Serving clients with complete ad layout, radio commercials, TV commercials, magazine, billboard and other media advertising for a percent of advertising budget.  Flat rates apply for certain categories.  Require much knowledge of the advertising and marketing industry. You will need computers, special software, office equipment, working capital and a strong desire to combat competition 
Sign making and design - Special training and talent needed for this business.  Special printing equipment, materials, working capital and other fixed assets will be necessary. Contact your local community college art department for class schedule and other requirement for entry in this industry.
Sales support and monitoring - Developing and supplying sales staff with needed marketing materials.  Working closely with client marketing departments and sales managers.  Can also be a great support business working with individual sales representatives who are self-employed and need back up help on a limited basis.  Will include sales recording, tracking and follow up reminders for the rep.
Customer service - There is a trend of outsourcing customer service.  Customer service is the process of communicating with customers, answering questions, solving general problems and helping a company retain customers.  Should have strong people skills, ability to make contacts, and knowledge of the customer service industry.  Office equipment, computer, fax, e-mail and ability to work in many software programs is required. 
Technical advice and solutions -  See "Customer Service" above.  Technical knowledge is required, but is easily abstained.
Order fulfillment and tracking - See "Customer Service" above.  Requires access to the client database and knowledge of order processing.
Sales - Sales is the ability to transfer your enthusiasm for a product, service or both to the end consumer and whereas that ability translates into a purchase by the end user.  Everyone sells everyday.  We are all salespeople.  The profession is normally commissioned and can translate into large personal income for those qualified or willing to learn. NOTHING HAPPENS UNTIL SOMETHING IS SOLD.
Home party sales - Tupperware, Avon, Mary Kaye and many other companies offer home party opportunities.  Can be very good business for those with strong people skills and the willingness to stick-to-it.  Some working capital is required, but mostly personal time.  Can be a part time or full time business.
Vending - Vending is a very good business for a person with enough money to buy the needed machines, working capital and has done their homework.  Competition is strong and the ability to earn profits is difficult, but not impossible.  Taking high traffic business locations from the competitor is the key to success.  Investment considered heavy to moderate. 
Vending machine repair - Servicing all kinds of vending machines at location.  Most companies have their own repair and maintenance. However, more and more companies are out-sourcing the skill rather than have the payroll.  Special training, tools, transportation, and other equipment will be necessary.  You will also need start-up funds and working capital to last you until your company breaks even.
Coffee service - Supplying pre-package coffee, stir sticks, sugar, crθme, for monthly fees.   Can sell or rent coffee machines.  When determining weather to furnish coffee system, first determine the average length of life for the machine.  Can be part time or full time.  Transportation, equipment, and strong people skills are necessary along with needed working capital.
Home security monitoring - Installing and monitoring security systems for home and business.  Inventory and parts supply required.  Office equipment, transportation, knowledge of the security industry, competition is important.  Working capital will be required.
Answering service - Automated equipment needed.  The ability to call on professionals and obtain their business is the key to success.  Office equipment and working capital needed.
Secretarial services - Offering secretarial services to individual clients who cannot afford a full time employee. Computer, software, ability to communicate, and some working capital required.
Travel planning and related services - Knowledge of the travel industry, important.  Computer and Internet skills needed.  Income is derived from commissions paid by company and client.  Working capital needed until break-even.
Fashion consulting - Working one-on-one with individual clients to help them coordinate their personal wardrobes.  Working with companies who are interested in a uniform company image.  Helping clients develop a positive personal image. Commissioned business.  Requires extensive knowledge of the fashion industry and the ability to stay current.  Strong people skills and the ability to develop a strong customer base is also vital to success in this industry.  Moderate investment required.
Fashion designing - Designing branded or private label products for the wholesale manufacturer.  Extensive fashion design knowledge is necessary. Strong people skills and the ability to develop a strong customer base is also vital to success in this industry.  Moderate investment required.