Home bases businesses are growing at a rapid rate and it gives you the ability to run the leanest and most flexible business models as well as the opportunity to produce serious income.
Provided you have the discipline and drive, starting a home business in today’s economy is certainly the way to go…in my opinion at least!.
Here are my top ten personal home business startup favorites and I will add more to the list over time, but these ideas will help you get started.
1. Start a blog
Starting a blog is a great way to begin your online journey and to build the foundations of your online real estate portfolio.
You have nothing to lose if you start a blog (only time, so do it correctly) and potentially a whole lot to gain.
Take a look at my article “Blogging: Ultimate Guide To Starting A Blog & Create Your Blogging Message.”
Let’s move to business.
A blog is a powerful tool in business as it can provide great support and education function for potential and existing customers as well as to help you add some personality to your business.
Today’s buyers are far more informed thanks to technology and have the capacity to research, compare, and learn about the companies they wish to buy from.
Unless they are dealing with large and trusted brands, they are far more likely to want to know who is behind the brand.
And from the business owners’ perspective, a great way to show customers who you are, how you think and your vision for the market is to start a blog.
Sadly many business blogs are too concerned with selling their products rather than simply connecting with their audience and sharing their vision, opinions, and generally providing education.
This serves to build trust, which is the key to getting sales.
So if you have a blog or are considering starting one for your business, please remember not to use it purely to tell the world how great your products and services are and try to think a little more laterally.
On the personal front, a blog is a great way to project “who you are” to the world, let the world know how you think and then if you decide to start any form of business, I believe it will give you an edge, as well as a head start.
If you are going to start a blog based upon a subject that you know, with the goal of starting a business later, then you will again have the opportunity to build a valuable audience that could ultimately bring you customers for life, provided you put in the hard work and follow some key strategies.
Blogging can be a serious and powerful business and please don’t let anyone tell you anything different.
There are some hugely successful bloggers out there earning fortunes from their efforts and equally many who don’t earn a single cent…and everything in between.
Making money from a blog takes a lot of hard work, effort, and most importantly, consistency. Very few bloggers will actually stay the course and get to the monetization aspect as it is easy to become distracted, frustrated, and eventually quit.
However, for those who stay the course, there can be some excellent rewards and it is a perfect home business.
The American blogger Perez Hilton is reported to make around $3m per month!
There are bloggers from all walks of life and who cover all sorts of topics:
And some weird and unusual blogs that only a Google search will reveal as there are too many to mention!
You can read my story of why I started a blog on WordPress and that will help you with regard to the second point above and my niche or topic is entrepreneurship.
You can also take a look at my article, “How to write a blog post perfectly in 6 steps,” to get an idea about writing — there is a huge difference between simply writing a blog post and writing one that has a chance of being seen!
Here are two other great resources for getting your blog started and eventually earning money from it:
2. Start a recruitment agency
It’s an industry that I fell in love with instantly — you are both helping people career-wise and in some cases, getting them their dream jobs and also helping companies attract the right talent in line with their mission, vision, values, and to deliver their commercial commitments.
When I started in this industry as an employee, I had to travel to an office, work long hours and learn new skills, but it was an industry that gave you clear rewards, in return for your efforts.
The entrepreneur streak in me eventually took over and I set up my own operation and actually from home.
You can read the story in this article “How I started my first business from a living room in London.”
At the time of starting my company, I was up against seriously large competitors that had been in business for years and it was very unusual to work from home.
The main problem I had was that I wanted to have a “recurring income” business model and that meant providing workers on a contract basis for periods of around 6 months, in comparison to finding candidates for permanent positions and receiving a one-off fee.
One of the key value propositions of providing contract or temporary workers is that you keep them legally separate from the hiring company, which is essential to limit the legal liability of the hiring company and this “arms-length” transaction requires the agency to pay the workers regularly, which will typically mean that you are paying out vast sums of money before receiving them.
If you are paying someone say $40 per hour and they are working forty hours per week, then you will have a payroll obligation of $1600 per week and multiply that by ten and you have some serious outgoings.
Thankfully there are specialist companies out there who provide invoice factoring, to help you overcome this cash-flow gap.
My recommendation is to do what I did and take things a little further, which means outsourcing your entire finance and administration function and that will free up your time to do the thing that you should both want to do the most and that will give you the best return on your time — sales.
One such company that I know and would recommend you at least talk to is Simplicity and you can talk to David Vizzard.
Now there are many people who say the recruitment industry has changed, that margins are harder to achieve and they would be correct…but this is an industry I have been in for thirty-five odd years and I have seen many things.
What I think the industry lacks today, which will help you see the opportunity is a high level and personalized service.
By high-level, I mean contacting hiring companies at the most senior level and proactively introducing candidates that you know, through detailed and thorough research who actually have the desire to work for that company. For the candidates, you will be providing a service based on personal representation and not simply hunting down vacancies that are already out there in the market.
I go into more detail in my article, “Top tips to starting and growing a recruitment agency in the UK.”
It’s a great business to start and when everyone is trying to automate processes and procedures, you can reverse the trend by providing a more personal service that concentrates on the “human factor.”
If you want to know more about setting up a recruitment agency then please get in touch with me here.
3. Become a financial investor/trader
Now this is a very tricky area and one that lures people simply because of two things and this is, of course, my opinion:
- The glamour factor — people love to say “I trade the markets” to make my living. It is almost the dream lifestyle and if you watch the movies The Big Short, Wall Street and The Wolf of Wall Street then it is easy to see why
- The lure of earning money fast…and a lot of it
This industry is not unfamiliar to me and living in London, I came across many people who worked in the City of London’s financial district and my wife was a former currency trader for a major international bank.
To be honest, it’s an industry that has always fascinated me for one simple reason — you are working with money, commodities, and the other things that make the world go round.
You are literally at the source of all of the action in the world and the very source that powers all industry and commerce.
Today, there are many companies and people who offer anything from monthly investment tips, education as to how to play the markets and brokers who will allow you to open an account and trade almost instantly with your hard-earned money.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there simply to take your money and if you look at the advertisements on social media, you will see many companies preying on you in relation to the two points I mention at the beginning of this section.
You have to be extremely cautious and make sure you do your due diligence.
One of my friends only recently told me that he has signed up for a course teaching him how to play the currency markets.
His entire strategy was to make a number of “pips” or points on the currency markets every day and these pips would lead him to riches. As part of the course, he was assigned a mentor to help guide him through the money-making process, and that involved weekly sessions with his mentor, whereby he would watch his mentor trade, learn and eventually copy his trades.
Thankfully a simple meeting with my wife saved him a lot of money, time and put him on the straight and narrow as to exactly how these markets work and the fact he was trading on margin.
Margin trading is for experts and professional traders — it should never be taken lightly and you have to be aware of the “lure” of financial success and rewards.
Investing in shares is less risky than trading in currencies on the face of it…but if you employ the same strategy as trading in currencies by trading on margin, then you run the same risk so be extremely careful.
On the education front, there are so many people professing to be “educators” and the model is to get you to a course for a fee and then tell you how easy it is to make money trading. What is more concerning is that many of the companies running the courses get a commission from the brokers they recommend and this can earn them some serious money.
However, I would be lying if I said there was no money to be made in this field, but like in any industry it takes hard work, effort and there is no such thing as a free lunch.
Here are two people I would recommend you take a look at and ironically they used to work together in the same bank and there was a great TV program called Million Dollar Traders where the two people in question took ordinary people off the street in an attempt to make them into traders — it provides a great insight into the industry as a whole.
If you want to take this further, then take a look at their respective websites and go with the one that resonates with you and also do your research before handing over any money.
Both of these people offer information, courses and they are not cheap, but will certainly cover all of the information you need to understand before you attempt to trade.
4. Offer web-design and consulting services
The Internet is growing daily and as I keep repeating in many of my articles, it is expected that 90% of the population will be online by 2030.
That is an awful lot of people and many of them will need web-design services.
But I will approach this from a different angle.
When I had my first website back in the 1990s, it was more about being able to boast to my friends that I had one, rather than it doing anything more specific that being a shop window. In fact, my first major overhaul and re-design cost me 40,000 GBP!
And it was still nothing more than a fancy shop window.
Thankfully over the years, people are learning that websites can be a powerful business tool…if they are built more for functionality, rather than looks.
A website should be your hardest-working salesperson!
Now let me get to web designers and most of these guys are great coders who can turn out a site in a short period of time and make it look fantastic…but in today’s ever-increasing automated economy, how long will it be before you can automate the entire design process?
Purists and including myself will tell you that you must own and control your own website and you would be better off doing some hard work and use WordPress.org along with some YouTube tutorials and build your own.
But, I will tell you that if you are looking to build a quality website, you should consider a custom design, which ultimately will look more professional and that is where the designers fit in.
But the pricing for website design is getting so much more competitive and that is why I added the “consulting” aspect to this section as I believe it will serve you better to market yourself as both a designer and a consultant.
Many entrepreneurs and businessmen simply don’t have the time or inclination to do what we consider “non-core” activities.
We are much better off performing our magic and that usually involves getting in front of customers and making sales to grow our companies.
But we are becoming more and more aware of controlling each and every cent in our budgets and always want the best possible service for the cheapest price when it comes down to spending our money, so if you are selling web design services or are looking to start a business in that field, you must go beyond the simple design process.
If you are offering a consulting service then you can advise on many other aspects such as Internet marketing, which I cover in the next section and if you do not know much about that aspect then learn, or at least partner with someone who can cover that area of expertise.
The real value for design, in my opinion, is the ongoing support, maintenance, and enhancement services which helps the customer keep the site up-to-date and secure — website security is a growing issue and a whole industry in itself.
I was advising one designer who was on the face of it, offering a complete package of everything I mentioned. He was hosting websites on his own server and had to respond to technical issues 24/7.
This was totally impractical for him as he was a one-man-band. I advised him to recommend a large hosting company to handle the hosting and support, to give his customers the peace of mind of a “round the clock” service and he could still earn a commission from the introduction.
It’s a great business to run from the comfort of your own home, but you must do it smartly and always be aware of what is coming in the future.
Add the consulting element and you will find that you can increase the value you offer to your clients and differentiate from those people who offer design only.
5. Offer Internet marketing services
This is an amazing business to start from your own home.
Fernando Raymond came to this country from his native Sri-Lanka as a student and after taking a range of jobs simply to make ends meet, he decided to learn everything he could about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Internet marketing.
Soon he established a company to offer services to clients and now he is on a much bigger journey where he has a mission to get 100 million people online. His website hosting company Seekahost is growing rapidly and he has also established an online education platform.
All of this was started from his home in London and as Fernando constantly explains to me — “If I can do it anyone can and you just have to put in the hard work.”
Take a look at this guide from Hubspot — “The Ultimate Guide to Internet Marketing,” so you can familiarize yourself with the process and then it comes down to whether you are going to focus on a specific niche like Fernando did when he started, or you may want to cover everything!
The choice is yours and please realize that there are no shortcuts…be prepared for a lot of hard work.
For more inspiration take a look at this article from animasmarketing — “Top 30 Digital Marketing Influencers to follow in 2020.”
6. Start an online education business
I will keep this one short and sweet as I have just written an in-depth article on the subject, “How to start an online education business from home.”
Now is a great time to consider this home business idea and there are so many people out there who are looking to learn from the comfort of their own homes, plus a huge number of people who have in-demand knowledge.
Unless you are in an industry that requires a formal educational qualification to teach, then you are free to share your knowledge with the world.
What I like about this business is that you can approach the education process in any way you want and that may involve a simple video to explain a process, a full-blown course, a membership site to provide continuing education, one-on-one daily, weekly, monthly courses and so on.
It really is up to you to use your imagination and be innovative!
I lacked confidence at school and was intimidated by the entire learning process, only to try and make up for this after I left school and started my own business.
Today, anyone can learn without fear or intimidation and from the comfort of their own home.
7. Start a mentoring/coaching/consulting business
As well as being an entrepreneur, I am also a coach, mentor and occasionally I do some consulting work. It’s a business I run from my home and if you have some in-demand expertise, then it could be a great business for you.
Now you can read my story in this article, “Why I decided to do business coaching and mentoring online” and you don’t have to just provide an online service.
I am just as comfortable mentoring and coaching people face-to-face as I am online and it is down to how you want to work.
But I want to add a word of warning here — there are so many people jumping on the coaching and mentoring bandwagon.
It’s a huge industry because so many people want to start a business and so many businesses want to grow. The Internet has been a godsend in helping both of these situations, because of the reach, etc. But many of the so-called coaches and mentors simply do not have the real-world experience to help their clients.
To me, a mentor is someone who has been in the shoes of the person he or she is mentoring and will be able to empathize with the mentee and offer support and advice. A coach will be able to take someone from where they are to where they want to be through again, having the experience of going through the same transformation and a consultant, will have the necessary subject matter expertise to be able to perform a task within a required time-frame or as agreed with their client.
Make sure you offer a clear value proposition to your clients, explaining exactly what you do, what problems you are able to solve, and the process by which you do it.
Next comes the areas of “reach” and “delivery ” — how are you going to firstly reach your audience and then how are you going to deliver your services?
In today’s world, you can build a stong
8. Start a home catering business
Everyone has to eat and the food industry is absolutely huge as you probably know, so starting a catering business that you run from your home could be a great idea.
There is one thing you absolutely must understand and get right from the start — the legal and compliance issues.
Here in the UK, there are strict standards that have to be met concerning food hygiene, safety, labeling, and packaging, etc., so make sure you look at the government website concerning these and other requirements.
Once you are certain you can comply with the standards, there are loads of opportunities and I have mentored people who have set up a wide arrange of home food businesses.
My first “taste” (had to put that in) of the home catering business came in the 1980s when my girlfriend at the time, who was a fully qualified chef, decided to take evening classes to learn about cake decorating.
After she completed the course she soon built a nice business making cakes for all occasions and yes, she had an advantage being a chef, but there is no reason why anyone could not learn to do the same.
Later on in the 90s, I used to train in a gym in South London and I met two guys who were running a sandwich delivery business from a small flat. They worked hard and the hours were unsocial, but they made a good living from it.
Take a look at this article from Allianceonline — “How to start a catering business from home in the UK.”
There are so many opportunities and personally, I have always been passionate about spices, seasonings, and sauces plus I love to cook, so one day when I have the time I will start something in this niche.
I will re-iterate one point again — you do not have to be a qualified chef, but you must understand food hygiene and safety and the other legislation that goes with this industry.
9. Start a cleaning business
You have probably heard the phrase “where there’s muck there’s money” and it couldn’t be more true.
Sure, in time I can imagine an army of robots turning up at any location and performing cleaning services…but not anytime soon and at least in my opinion.
Cleaning is big business — the University of Warwick estimates the UK cleaning industry to be worth £5.6 billion.
I have had a few mentees who have started cleaning businesses in both the commercial and private sectors and most of them did very well.
I have told this story many times and I had a great cleaner who came to clean my first office in South London and every morning she came in with flowers, making sure the tea and coffee were ready for everyone and the office was spotless.
She was worth her weight in gold and everyone was happy in the mornings and of course a happy work environment was a more productive one.
Never underestimate the impact cleaning services have on business and homes — but they have to be top quality.
I also remember being on holiday one year and staring at a Marriott hotel.
I saw a book about how the Marriott brand got started and I read that they had a fifty-two point checklist for cleaning a room!
This was a huge point of difference for me because no other hotel published their room cleaning policy!
Here is an article I wrote that you might want to take a look at, “How to start a cleaning business in the UK.”
10. Become a freelance salesperson
Here is a potentially home-based business opportunity in the sense that you could work on a freelance basis providing a hugely important service to companies who will demand your skills.
I believe that top-flight salespeople will have a fantastic opportunity in the future.
The sales function of any business is the most important one — nothing happens until a sale is made and then all other business functions start to engage and interconnect.
Automation and artificial intelligence (AI) will continue to grow and naturally, the growth will threaten and replace those repetitive business functions and jobs, but in the sales function, it will actually be a huge asset…only however, if you are a top-flight salesperson and are able to engage and engage clients at the highest levels.
There are so many industries where salespeople are nothing more than “human brochures” and serve more than to annoy their customers simply through interruption and taking up too much of the most valuable commodity of all — time.
Take the medical industry as an example — there are huge numbers of highly-paid salespeople who are trudging around hospitals begging for “time” from staff who are already time-exhausted. Eager to explain the next product release, they are performing a function that could easily be automated and delivered on-demand to the audience that needs to evaluate the product.
The “real deals” are done at a much higher executive level and in reality, are more likely to come down to price and other commercial factors that require a great deal of commercial understanding, deep knowledge of the customer’s problems, challenges, creativity, and entrepreneurial flair.
How many salespeople do you think really have those qualities?
I believe that mediocre salespeople will eventually fall by the wayside and they will have to seriously upskill themselves or face the prospect of a change of career.
This will leave a huge skills-gap and companies will look more and more to hire sales skills on a demand basis and they will demand the very best.
Real selling requires the ability to conduct detailed research to gain the deepest understanding of the marketplace and the target customers, combined with all of the qualities I have highlighted above and wrapped in a huge amount of emotional intelligence (EQ).
It is the perfect fusion of automation and the “human touch.”
So if you are in this category of a salesperson, I believe you have a huge opportunity to work on a demand basis and more importantly…at your demand.
Good luck with your home bases business whatever opportunity you choose!
Last modified: May 29, 2020