Best Home Based Business Ideas
You can minimize the risks of entrepreneurship by launching a part-time business from home. If all goes well, you could one day live the dream of leaving your 9-5 to operate your home business full-time.
If you're lucky, your full-time job is gratifying. Still, it can't compare to the satisfaction of owning your own business. As a result, many people have considered making the transition from working for someone else to operating their own enterprise.
For those who succeed, it's taken sacrifice but was well worth the effort. You too can experience the satisfaction of business ownership, but choosing which business to launch is often the first major hurdle for would-be entrepreneurs.
A Few Facts About Home Businesses in the U.S.
Small businesses are a driving force in the United States economy. Over the last decade, the number of new home businesses has remained relatively steady.
Home-based enterprises account for approximately 50% of United States small businesses. A little over 60% of those businesses are sole proprietorships. Over 20% of those firms hire employees, and less than 1% of home-based businesses are large employers.
Give Yourself a Break: Tax Benefits for Home Business Owners
Now is a great time to launch a home-based business. New tax laws enacted in 2017 are a boon for freelancers and contractors.
Up until 2025, for instance, independent contractors who earn less than $157,500 per year are entitled to a 20% tax deduction. Also, lawmakers have more than doubled the standard tax deduction from $6,500 to $12,000 and raised the standard deduction for couples from $13,000 to $24,000.
Qualifying self-employed individuals can claim the standard deduction plus the qualified business income deduction. Home business owners can also deduct other expenses, such as:
• Professional fees
You can also prorate the amount of space that you use for your business based on the percentage of your home that you use exclusively for your enterprise. If you travel for your home business, you can deduct expenses such as business meals and gas.
Note: The new tax law has tightened up on entertainment expenses, so speak with an accountant to find out exactly what costs you're allowed to write off under current regulations.
If you pay for your health insurance, it's a considerable expense - as it is for most self-employed individuals. For now, the new tax laws allow business owners to deduct 7.5% of their adjusted gross income. However, the health insurance and medical expense allowance will return to 10% in 2019.
You can also write off expenses related to education and training for your home-based business. As for retirement, you can contribute $5,500 in pretax funds to savings each year if you don't have an existing retirement plan with your employer. If you're over 50, that amount increases to $6,500 per year.
Now that you know a few things about launching your own home business, you should start thinking about what type of enterprise you'd like to open. If you're struggling to choose a business idea, the following overviews may help you to decide.
Turn Your Skills Into a Business as a Consultant or Coach
If you work as a skilled professional, you can turn your knowledge into a successful business. In nearly any field, people and businesses need coaching or consultation to help them reach their goals.
This business opportunity is all about relationships. If you decide to become a consultant, you should build a community around your offering. People who trust your expertise will refer you to other clients.
You can create a sense of community by building a web presence around your brand. For example, you can launch a Facebook group or create a Ning.com community and position yourself as a subject matter expert.
Earn a Living From Home as a Virtual Assistant
If you enjoy organization, you may like the idea of launching a home-based virtual assistant business. To start, you can look for openings on job sites such as the Indeed.com and Upwork.
Networking is essential in the virtual assistant business, as is learning new skills so that you can offer more value to clients. By working as a virtual assistant, you may meet influential businesspeople that can help you grow your enterprise.
Manage Properties for Landlords
Nearly everyone knows someone who rents properties. If not, there are rentals in almost any city across the United States. If it interests you, you can earn a considerable living by helping landlords manage their properties.
Work in this field is sporadic. In other words, sometimes there's not much to do and other times you'll have many responsibilities to manage at once. To work as a property manager, you must have the ability to change gears at a moment's notice. Mostly, however, you'll collect rent checks, manage repairs, show available units and oversee maintenance.
As part of your offering, you'll also have to remain on call for emergencies. If - for instance - a pipe burst or a fire breaks out, you must manage all the safety and legal issues surrounding the event and provide timely information to the property owner, among other responsibilities.
Putting Numbers to Work as a Tax Preparer
Most people and businesses would prefer that someone they know and trust prepares their taxes at the end of the year. You can tap in this desire to launch a business is a seasonal tax preparer.
Tax preparation is an ideal business to test the waters as an entrepreneur without committing to a year-round undertaking. You can learn the fundamentals of tax preparation by taking an online course at Udemy, for instance.
Preparers typically charge a little over $200 for each consumer tax return. However, you can charge more if you learn how to prepare business taxes.
Note: Tax laws change every year. You'll need to commit to continuing education to stay on top of the latest Internal Revenue Service updates.
Blogging for Profit
If you have a passion for a niche topic and a gift for writing, you can try your hand at launching a monetized blog. Bloggers write about subjects such as cooking, travel, entertainment, finance and other interests. You can monetize your blog by building an email subscriber list, joining an affiliate marketing network, soliciting sponsorship, and selling advertisements.
You must also market your website. You'll need to learn what information your target audience wants as well as how to attract consumers to your site. You can park your domain with a low-cost hosting provider such as Bluehost and start out using WordPress to build your site.
Note: You'll want to learn some of the technical aspects of running a website so that you don't have to pay a webmaster to execute basic tasks.
Tap Into Your Creative Side as a Photographer
If you have a passion for photography, you can grow your hobby into a full-time business. To start, you can do free photo shoots for friends and family members. Use these images to build your online portfolio.
As you build your portfolio, you'll learn how to work with editing software and photography equipment. Once you learn the basics, you can start to go after professional photography assignments. Eventually, you could demand premium rates of $2,500 to $10,000 by photographing momentous events such as weddings.
Help Other Business Owners Build an Online Presence
Today, nearly every business can benefit from a website. Accordingly, many small business owners need help establishing a web presence.
You can earn a living by helping entrepreneurs promote their businesses online. If you learn how to work with a content management service such as WordPress, many busy entrepreneurs would gladly pay for your expertise.
You can charge a few hundred dollars to set up a basic website for a business. Over time, you can develop other skills that will allow you to expand your offerings, such as digital marketing or content strategy.
Turn Your Passion for Food Into a Business
The world is a busy place. It seems that the more success one enjoys, the less time that they have to enjoy it. Many professionals barely have time to prepare a healthy meal for their families. As a result, there's a growing demand for personal chefs.
If you enjoy cooking and know how to make a tasty and healthy meal, you may enjoy working as a personal chef for busy consumers, while you manage the administrative tasks of your business from home.
Working as a personal chef is an excellent idea if you're not sure how much time you can commit to a home business. You can scale your business up or down as needed.
Getting Started With Your Home Business
Before you decide on a home business, try to imagine what it's like to work in that field. Make sure that the work is something that you think you'll enjoy.
Once you settle on a business, learn everything you can about it. Don't make the mistake of thinking that you already know everything there is to know about a business you want to start because you already work in that field.
You should know enough about your business so that you can explain it easily. You should also know if there's a demand for what you offer.
You also need to know the persona of your ideal consumer. If you don't understand your customers, how can you successfully market your business?
You must also consider the legal aspects of operating a home-based business. Different states have different laws.
You should consult with an accountant and attorney before launching your business. By consulting with experts, you can avoid starting off on the wrong foot. You don't want to launch a business only to have it shut down because of a zoning violation.
Your lawyer and accountant will make sure that you complete essential tasks correctly - such as filing for business licenses, registering with the Internal Revenue Service and opening a business bank account. Also, they can help you to develop a business plan and financial forecasts so that you have a clear plan for success.
You Can Do It!
It takes time and honest introspection to figure out which business idea is right for you. Most people can't quit their job to pursue their dream of owning their own business. It makes sense to minimize risks by keeping your day job and working part-time with your home business until it succeeds.
Of course, you'll need to overcome the challenges of managing work, home and life responsibilities with your business. However, your hard work will eventually pay off.
About the Author
Austin Andrukaitis is the CEO of ChamberofCommerce.com. He's an experienced digital marketing strategist with more than 15 years of experience in creating successful online campaigns. Austin's approach to developing, optimizing, and delivering web-based technologies has help businesses achieve higher profit, enhance productivity, and position organizations for accelerated sustained growth.Full Biography