7 Small businesses you can start from home right now

With the advent of lockdown, people have seen that working from home is not only an option, but it can also be a great way of life.

So if you are thinking about making a change you may like to consider starting a home-based business.

Working from home can give you a much better work-life balance and the challenge of starting and running a business is very attractive for many people.

Being home-based means that you can often choose your hours to suit which certainly helps with childcare and there can’t be many people who haven’t longed to wave goodbye to that dreary commute.

So here are our tips for a few home-based businesses you could start right now.

#1 Freelancing

If you have a skill set that you have been using for the benefit of your employer then now may well be the time to start using them on your own behalf.

Freelancing has taken off massively over the last few years and there are whole communities of people who work when they choose, for whom they choose and are doing very nicely as a result.

Some freelancers such as designers, copywriters and SEO experts have never met any of their clients and prefer life that way.

Check out freelancer sites like People per hour  or Upwork  as they have lots of useful resources and are a great source of work to start you off.

#2 Make and sell handcrafted gifts

The success of companies like notonthehighstreet.com proves that people are constantly looking for gifts that are a little different.

If you are an amazing crafter, why not look at setting up your own webshop selling handcrafted, bespoke and personalised gifts?

Getting something through the post that has been made especially for you and has a personalised message from a loved one is a wonderful surprise and saves your customers the hassle of shopping on the high street.

#3 Virtual assistant service

This is a fantastic way of working from home utilising your skills for organisation and administration.

As we said before, freelancing is a booming sector but for every busy freelancer, there is a pile of paperwork waiting to be dealt with.

Phone answering, word processing, sending out emails, all of these services can be offered to time-poor small businesses and the best thing is that all you need to start is a phone and a computer.

#4 User testing

Have you ever wondered how software and website developers check that what they have produced actually works?

You may be surprised to learn that there is a community of user experience testers out there that spend their days playing games, buying things from websites (pretend) and working on new software on behalf of companies.

They provide a valuable service making sure that a product is fit for the market and works as intended.

You can find user testing work on sites like usertesting.com.

#5 Online courses

Have you got a skill that took you years to learn?

Could you transfer that to an online training setting?

Online courses are a great way to earn money and the really good news is that once you have developed and filmed the course it just sits there earning you money.

You can choose to host the training yourself or look to use a training portal like udemy.com .Udemy also have a lot of resources that will help you with setting up and filming your course.

#6 Baker/confectioner

Have you ever been in a café and seen all the terrific cakes and wondered how they manage to make so many every day? Well, the truth is that most of them don’t. In fact, they buy them in.

Specialist patissieres, cake makers and confectioners deliver wholesale to small independent café’s and coffee shops every day of the week and if you have amazing baking skills and a reasonably sized kitchen then this could be for you.

You’ll need to have an oven that is capable of producing a decent capacity and a good mixer but other than that it’s about walking around a few local shops and showing them some samples.

Don’t forget to check your local regulations regarding commercial baking at home though.

#7 Market researcher

Whenever companies are looking at developing new products or services they need to test the water first. Alternatively, many companies just want to canvas opinion about their image or an advertising campaign that’s happening.

They do this by employing market researchers who call people and ask their opinion. This is exactly the same as political pollsters who need people to call around and find out voting intentions.

This option needs very little in the way of start-up capital but you may want to invest in a telephone headset to avoid neck ache!

Before you start

Before you get going with your home-based business there are a couple of things you’ll want to get in place. Speak to an accountant about whether you should be self-employed or a company and what the tax implications are.Set up a business bank account to keep your business finances separate from your personal funds.

And think about how you will get paid. Many home-based businesses will be remote from their customers so you’ll need a method of taking payment, especially if people are paying over the web.

For instance, a company UTP has a great range of payment solutions from automated website payment gateways to handheld card machines that get the money into your account the same day.

Good luck with your new business!