Best Work From Home Business Ideas
We’ve broken down our favorite work from home business ideas and ranked their startup costs, required skill level, and earning potential to help you decide which business idea is right for you.
1. Candle Making Business
Candlemakers are artisans who pay critical attention to the sensory aesthetics of their product line and pragmatic business people adept at enticing buyers through smart marketing strategies.
Learn how to start a candle making business.
2. Adult Coloring Book Company
The adult coloring book industry has exploded in recent years. In 2015, the Washington Post reports, an estimated 12 million coloring books were sold. For comparison, an estimated 1 million was sold in 2014.
An adult coloring book company helps provide grown-ups with a creative outlet by both designing and marketing coloring books. These coloring books are usually highly detailed.
Learn how to start an adult coloring book company.
3. Soap Making Business
As a soapmaker, you'll formulate soaps and perhaps other personal cleansing and beauty products according to your own recipes.
You will market your offerings along sales channels that might include ecommerce, farmers markets, arts festivals, wholesale placement in spas and boutiques, and even door-to-door sales. You'll explore a range of options to see where you can find a loyal customer base.
Learn how to start a soap making business.
4. Woodworking Business
Woodworking businesses are started by self-motivated individuals with a deep knowledge of the craft. Most professional woodworkers start out as hobbyists, and often already have the necessary equipment and space at their disposal -- which typically makes their startup costs low.
The wood product manufacturing industry is massive and offers considerable opportunities for new businesses, but earning potential depends largely on your skill, product niche, and selling ability.
Learn how to start a woodworking business.
5. eBay Store
Starting an eBay store is great for motivated self-starters who want a flexible schedule and are already familiar with eBay. Knowing what sells well, how to best price products, and how to get your listings noticed will promote success in this business. It’s also a business you can build around your personal interests and experience, making it both fun and lucrative.
Growth potential is limited only by the time and scope of the seller. Finding a specialty or niche area selling popular products you’re passionate about is a great strategy for success. With low startup and maintenance costs, there is virtually no limit to your earning potential once you get things rolling.
Learn how to start an eBay store.
6. Etsy Store
Anyone who enjoys making handmade goods or finding vintage items may enjoy running an Etsy business. This is an excellent outlet for artists looking to sell their work, or anyone who’s passionate about producing and selling well-crafted goods. Sellers must have the skills required to find or create the products they sell, basic computer skills, and experience with marketing and/or advertising to help promote their products.
These basic skills plus a strong entrepreneurial spirit can convert your hobby into a lucrative business opportunity. While you may opt for a limited part-time gig, earning potential is real, with some sellers bringing in six figures. Etsy even offers a program to help sellers launch an independent website as their business outgrows the platform.
Learn how to start an Etsy store.
7. eCommerce Store
If you are looking for a way to provide people with goods and services they need, an eCommerce store may be the right business for you. eCommerce stores make a real difference in people’s lives by creating access to a variety of goods and services at low prices. You should have some knowledge of web design, marketing, internet security, and computer programming to get things started, and you’ll need a moderate amount of seed money to cover your website, servers, any employees, marketing, and other business services.
However, with online shopping growing more popular by the day, there are few limits to the growth potential of an eCommerce business if you find the right product or niche.
Learn how to start an eCommerce store.
Find a Web Domain for Your Online Business
Securing a web domain and creating a quality website is important for the overall success of an online business. You can search for an available domain below:
8. GRAPHIC DESIGN BUSINESS
Graphic design is the creation of art for magazines, websites, physical products or more. This online business is best for artistically minded people who also have experience or proficiency in business. You can create logos, text, or any other art you or your client imagines. A degree in a related design field is helpful but not required. Creating a quality portfolio, however, is essential to finding success in this field.
Getting started can cost less than $2,000. You will need a computer and some type of graphic design software like Adobe Illustrator. In the beginning, many graphic designers work with ad agencies or use platforms that connect freelancers with interested parties. It is normal to charge clients between $25 and $100 an hour. As you grow, you’ll have the opportunity to create your own firm and hire additional employees, increasing your earning potential dramatically.
Learn how to start a graphic design studio.
9. ILLUSTRATION BUSINESS
An illustration business is a great way for talented and artistic people to make money. Some potential jobs include illustrating books, creating cartoon characters, or designing storyboards. Keeping up on digital illustration technologies and maintaining a marketable portfolio are important in order to stay relevant in this space.
Startup costs for an illustration business are low, including art supplies and artistic computer software. Including a computer, you can keep these costs under $3,000. Illustrators make around $55,000 per year on average, but specializing in a particular market can help you get to a six-figure income.
Learn how to start an illustration business.
Ready to form your LLC? Check out the Top LLC Formation Services
And, use our free tools to help start your business:
- Use our Business Name Generator for help brainstorming your new venture’s name
- Learn how to form an LLC, one of the best business structures for online businesses
- Use our free business plan generator to start planning your business today
- Get your unique logo with our free Logo Maker and start branding your business
- After finding your perfect idea learn how to start a busines
10. PHOTO EDITING BUSINESS
If you have photography and photo editing experience, starting an online business can be a great and lucrative pursuit. While many photo editors also work as photographers, this is not a requirement. People with social media savvy can do particularly well by finding a wide variety of clients online.
Startup costs are low and include a computer and photo-editing software. If you include a good website and some advertising, you can still easily start the business for under $5,000. A photo editing company does have the potential to grow, but the low overhead costs are usually only available for small-scale businesses. Over time, it’s reasonable to make a 5-figure annual salary that has the potential to close in on $100,000 per year.
Learn how to start a photo editing business.
11. 3D PRINTING DESIGN BUSINESS
To start a 3D printing design business, it’s beneficial to have model design and creation experience. It is also important to understand the mechanics of a 3D printer and the market for 3D printed products. Many buyers of 3D printed products have specific needs that can only be met by someone that has a deep understanding of the software involved.
Costs to start a 3D printing design business generally begin at around $8,000 and include a printer, software, website, and some early marketing efforts. Just like any company, earning potential is based entirely on how many contracts and products you are able to make and sell. On average, a designer working for a corporation makes around $53,000 per year.
Learn how to start a 3D printing design business.
12. WEB DESIGN BUSINESS
A web design business can be a very lucrative opportunity for anyone with sufficient experience in this field. Since virtually every company needs a website to be successful in today’s market, there are many job opportunities for web designers. Like many design companies, you need little more than your computer to get started.
Startup costs are low, especially since most web designers already have much of what they need to begin. Beyond the hardware and software required, you’ll need to spend some money upfront on marketing yourself to clients. The need for quality web designers is certainly not going to wane any time soon, so finding a steady stream of both short-term and long-term clients is possible with the right efforts. An average freelance web designer makes $75,000 annually. With additional hires and services, that can easily surpass six figures.
Learn how to start a web design business.
13. FREELANCE WRITING BUSINESS
Freelance writing is a great business venture for both established writers and those hoping to break into the field. Self-starters with the time, skills, and motivation to seek out clients and meet tight deadlines will thrive. The vast number of online publications means that no matter your writing style or area of expertise, you are likely to find clients who can use your services.
There are also still plenty of opportunities for freelancers looking to write for more traditional offline publications like newspapers, magazines, and journals. Beyond the cost of your computer, wifi, and advertising the startup and maintenance costs are almost nonexistent. With low costs and great growth potential for those able to find constant or long-term clients, earning potential is good. Established freelance writers can bring in an average of $30,000-$50,000 annually.
Learn how to start a freelance writing business.
14. BLOGGING BUSINESS
Anyone with a laptop and an idea can start a blog. If you have a passion for a particular subject that you believe you can use to entertain or educate the masses, blogging is one of many great online businesses to consider.
Getting started as a blogger is simple and practically free, since all you need is your computer and a website. You’ll need to put some time and money into advertising, since most of your revenue will be ad-based, requiring constant web traffic. The more people that read your blog, the higher the amount a business is willing to pay to advertise on your site. Highly successful blogs can bring in over $10,000 per month.
Learn how to start a blogging business.
15. REVIEW WEBSITE
A review website is a place where consumers can leave feedback about companies, products, or services, and read existing reviews about them. This business venture is particularly worth considering for an entrepreneur with web development experience. Popular review platforms in operation today include Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Trustpilot.
Primary startup expenses for a review website include the cost of building and marketing the platform -- you can expect to invest about $5,000 upfront if you plan on starting in your home. Earning potential can easily rise to six figures annually if you choose to turn it into a full-time business.
Learn how to start a review website.
16. ONLINE MAGAZINE
A successful online magazine publisher has a skill set that includes the talents of a writer, editor, web developer, webmaster, advertising salesperson, and business person rolled into one. Online magazines can focus on such a wide variety of subjects that anyone with the necessary skills to launch one can find an audience for their content.
It doesn’t cost any money at all to start an online magazine. If you can design and create your own website, write articles, take pictures, and self-promote on social media platforms, then you can get started today for virtually nothing. However, the most successful online magazines have at least a small staff of writers to handle a variety of topics. For a new online magazine, most income comes from running online ads. However, as popularity increases, charging subscriptions fees is a great way to boost profits. Ads and fees can generate $35,000 per month if you have around 25,000 subscribers.
Learn how to start an online magazine.
17. RESUME WRITING BUSINESS
Resume writing is something almost everyone has to do, but few enjoy or feel confident about completing. Resume writers need to have both writing and business skills since they’re effectively crafting sales’ letters for their clients. This is a great business opportunity for anyone with the ability to write professionally and persuasively.
Startup costs are extremely low, as you can get up and running with little more than a computer and a website. Since the need for quality resumes is unlikely to slow, this can be a very successful and lucrative business. A prominent resume writer can charge $1,000 per resume, so just one hundred clients per year can get you to the $100,000 mark.
Learn how to start a resume writing business.
18. GHOSTWRITING BUSINESS
If you love to write, work with people, and prefer to stay out of the spotlight, ghostwriting can be a great business opportunity for you. Ghostwriters are often hired by celebrities looking to capitalize on their popularity by publishing a memoir or other autobiographical text. For this reason, ghostwriting is highly profitable when you land the right clients.
Getting a ghostwriting business off the ground (including setting up a website) can cost less than $100 if you already have a computer. For each project, a ghostwriter will do extensive research and communicate frequently with their client. Experienced, sought-after ghostwriters can charge around $20,000 per project -- significantly more if the client is wealthy or famous. Just five contracts per year and you can be in the six-figure range.
Learn how to start a ghostwriting business.
Start an Online Business in Your State
19. YOUTUBE BUSINESS
Although it takes a minimal skill-set to launch a YouTube business, the most successful YouTubers have expertise in at least one field. Creating a YouTube business from scratch requires videography and editing skills. The YouTube platform is large enough to support a wide range of categories including news, comedy, tutorials, music, gaming, vlogging and more, so this business is open a wide range of people. Passion for the subject matter is an important ingredient for success.
To get started you will need a camera, a laptop, and additional filming equipment depending on the subject matter of your videos. As such, startup costs can range anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 or more. Attracting viewers and subscribers is the crux of your business, since YouTubers earn money from ads and by partnering with companies. The most successful YouTubers make over $1,000,000 per year from ads and brand partnerships.
Learn how to start a YouTube business.
20. INSTAGRAM BUSINESS
If you take great pictures, are comfortable self-promoting, and know a target audience that would be interested in you or a subject you are familiar with, starting an Instagram business could be right for you. Instagram is a place for creatives, individuals, and businesses to share pictures and videos. Almost all money made from Instagram is from brand advertising. Becoming a full-time Instagrammer requires posting “stories” and pictures, interacting with followers, and working with brands to promote their products.
You can get started with little more than your smartphone, but investing in a high-quality camera and computer is recommended. Social-media based businesses are not likely to go anywhere, so solidifying a presence on Instagram can lead to long-term success. There is no ceiling for how much someone can make on Instagram, as success is directly related to follower count and interactions. Many successful Instagrammers make over $100,000 annually.
Learn how to start an Instagram business.
Learn more about starting a business by visting the U.S. Small Business Administration.
21. LIVE STREAMING BUSINESS
For many gaming enthusiasts, earning money while playing video games is living the dream. For the most enthusiastic and driven among them, it can become a reality. To do so, gamers should register with a major streaming service, such as Twitch.TV, and be prepared to spend several hours each day streaming their gameplay and working on building followers. Those who acquire enough followers to become partners (500+ on Twitch, for example) will begin earning money for the traffic they generate.
Earning and keeping a sufficient following requires very strong gaming skills. You will also need to be adept at navigating social media to promote yourself, respond to comments, and build a broad online presence. Those who stream full-time and succeed in becoming partners on their streaming sites can average $3,000-$5,000 per month. Most also earn a portion of the ad revenue they bring it, increasing their earning potential. Some of the most popular streamers out there earn up to $300,000 annually.
Learn how to start a live streaming business.
22. SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING BUSINESS
Social media is almost certainly here to stay, and those with marketing experience and the savvy to understand and navigate multiple platforms are great candidates for a social media marketing business. This venture requires more than just an enthusiasm for social media. Successful social media marketers have a deep understanding of people, how and when they interact with various platforms, how to reach specific demographics, what type of content works best where, and how various platforms evolve over time.
Startup costs are low, and most can begin with their computer and a small advertising budget. With social media ever on the rise, the opportunities to grow your business and make a solid profit are great. The average social media marketer brings in $50,000 per year, with the highest earners reaching up to six figures.
Learn how to start a social media marketing business.
23. WEB DEVELOPMENT COMPANY
Web development companies are typically started by people who enjoy creating websites or web applications and have backgrounds in coding. A strong attention to detail and love of problem-solving are also great qualities in a web developer.
Startup costs are manageable, and generally stay around $5,000 with a few thousand more per year for marketing. Growth potential for a web development company is unlimited. They can be operated as a one-person business or bloom into a large company with thousands of employees. Advanced web developers can charge up to a few hundred dollars per hour for their work. If you can find full-time work at this rate, you will make well over $150,000 per year.
Learn how to start a web development company.
24. TECH SUPPORT BUSINESS
Tech support businesses are a great fit for anyone who has specific knowledge of a particular computer software, or general knowledge of how computers work. Every business today uses computers, but they don’t have the time or expertise to troubleshoot every computer issue that arises.
To get started, it’s recommended to have $12,000 to $28,000 ready to invest in quality equipment, high-speed internet, phone service, insurance, marketing, and transportation. Tech support companies can charge a very high dollar to keep these online businesses running successfully. A single employee business can make $150,000 per year. Typically, tech support companies that market themselves as specialists in a particular niche perform better.
Learn how to start a tech support business.
Once you've chosen the best online business idea for you, determining a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is essential for small business success. Good SEO allows Google (and your customers) to more easily find your business website and the services you offer.
Here are some of the benefits of SEO for your business:
- Increases traffic to your business website
- Improves user experience for your customers
- Strengthens brand awareness and recognition
You can learn more about the basics of SEO and how to implement a strategy by reading Moz's Beginner's Guide to SEO.