Interested in starting a business? This post is the first in a series that will detail 100 Business Ideas. Each week, we’ll post an article describing 10 businesses in a specific category. This week’s post gives you ideas for businesses you can work out of your home.
A future post will discus Internet businesses, so they aren’t on this week’s list. Stay tuned for all the lists, and then look forward to the compilation post with all 100 ideas. There is no lack of opportunities to be self employed. Just pick an idea that appeals to you, and go for it.
1. Backyard Plant Nursery
If you have a green thumb and love both plants and people, this is the business for you. Did you know that most of your local nurseries don’t grow most of their own plants? They actually buy them from small, specialized growers. You can easily become one of their suppliers.
The key is to specialize in specific kinds of plants – the ones that are in demand. The only way to find out which plants those are is to ask. Get started in this business for just a few hundred dollars after talking with local nurseries to find out what they’re looking for. Want to know more? Check out this book.
2. Personal Shopper
You say going to the mall and the grocery store are your idea of a good time? How would you like to get paid to shop? Personal shoppers are popular in many areas.
Generally, the larger the city you live in and the more affluent the city, the more prominent this business will be (think San Francisco, Miami, and Scottsdale), but personal shoppers can thrive just about anywhere.
The best part is – there are low to no startup costs. Print some flyers to post around town or put an ad on Craigslist, and you’re on your way! From there, networking and referrals will fuel your growth. If you think this is the business for you and you have 50 bucks to spend, get this book.
3. Window Cleaning
Let the sun shine in! Clean windows can do wonders for a retail business’s image. But who in business has time to clean windows? Besides, without the proper equipment and know-how, it’s tough to make them look good.
That’s where you come in. Word on the street is you can make upwards of $60k a year as a professional window cleaner. Startup costs are minimal, and we’re not talking skyscrapers here, so a fear of heights won’t stop you.
4. Music Lessons
Remember those piano lessons you had to take when you were 8? Or was it violin? Well if you ended up sticking with it and you’re still fluent in your chosen instrument, now it’s your turn to pass on your knowledge.
In his 2009 book, Make a Fortune Teaching Private Music Lessons, Lloyd Steiner insists you can quit your job and make this your full-time business within 30 days if you do it right. That might or might not be the case, but at the very least you know there’s a market as long as there are tone-deaf 8-year-olds!
5. Virtual Assistant
Entrepreneurs are most successful when they focus on what they do best. For this reason, it’s smart to outsource tasks that detract from our core talents.
If your talents are staying organized, creating correspondence, managing schedules, and other office tasks, you just might be someone other entrepreneurs will outsource to.
Virtual assistants are in demand, and it’s easy to get the word out using sites like Craigslist or VirtualAssistants, where you can post your qualifications and search for openings. And as long as you already have a computer and basic office needs, you’re probably ready for business before spending a dime.
6. Event Planning Service
You’re the person your friends come to when they want help planning their wedding. You’re super detail oriented and able to juggle a million important tasks at the same time. You love planning every detail of an event and get great satisfaction out of seeing it come off without a hitch.
Then an event planning business is right up your ally. From weddings and family reunions to corporate functions and conventions, event planners are in demand just about everywhere. The hours are long, and the work isn’t easy, but the rewards can be great. Learn more with this book.
7. Trunk Show Business
You know those guys selling electronics out of their car trunks in the mall parking lot? Stay away from them. That is not a trunk show! A trunk show is an event you hold at your house or the house of a friend, where you offer goods for sale.
The products can be jewelry, purses, home goods, kitchenware, or any number of other merchandise categories. You’ll purchase your products wholesale, and you’ll be able to sell them at a discount because of your low overhead.
There are several direct sales companies you can join up with, or you can find wholesale products everywhere from eBay to books like this one.
8. Professional Organizer
Are you a little obsessive about having a place for everything and keeping everything in its place? If you get satisfaction out of organizing your workspace, your closet, your files, and everything else around you, consider providing this service to others as a professional organizer.
There is no shortage of people in desperate need of some organizational therapy, and you might just be their savior. Anne Blumer’s book, Get Rich Organizing will show you all the ins and outs of the business, from startup to business growth.
And as a golden circle member of NAPO, the National Association of Professional Organizers, she should know her stuff.
9. Image Consultant
If you’re the type of person who makes a great impression everywhere you go, from your sharp, trendy shoes to your winning conversation skills, there’s big money in teaching others to do what comes naturally to you.
Whether someone needs advice before a big job interview or they’re just trying to feel better about how they look and feel, the professional image consultant’s services are in high demand. The great part is, no special training is necessary, and you can get started for practically nothing. To avoid making some common mistakes and get off to a good start, invest in this book.
10. Pet Sitting Service
Do you love animals? Would you rather spend time surrounded by dogs and cats than people? Maybe a pet sitting service is your calling. Out of the 63.2 million pet owners in the U.S., there are sure to be plenty in your neck of the woods who need quality, loving care for Sparky or Mittens from time to time.
And according to How To Open & Operate a Financially Successful Pet Sitting Business, a book by Angela Duea, they’re willing to pay top dollar for qualified pet sitters who provide such services.
Next week, we’ll cover 10 Online Businesses – ten more opportunities for anyone to begin or expand their entrepreneurial journey. What a great world we live in where there are so many chances to make a living doing what we love. Thinking of starting one of these or another business? Tell us about it in the comments below.