Many people start home-based businesses in the hopes of setting their own work schedules and increasing their free time, but few people realize the careful planning that is required to achieve these goals. In fact, time management is one of the more important challenges a home-based business owner may face. Experts recommend that home-based business owners set up a workable schedule immediately upon starting their ventures in order to establish good habits. In many cases, the limited amount of work available in the early stages of a home-based business's existence may cause the entrepreneur to establish a pattern of running personal errands or watching television during work time. In this way, lethargy and unproductive use of time become ingrained and perpetuate themselves. Instead, downtime that has been reserved for working should be used to market and promote the business.
User Testing hires people to test out websites. Each assignment pays $10/$15 for 20 minutes of work. To become a tester – submit your email address and apply. Testers must take a sample test before receiving any assignments. This gig is open to the US and International residents alike who can receive payments via PayPal. Each test takes about 15 – 20 minutes.
You may think working at home means you can skip child care, but you'll have days when you need help -- and that's okay. When Jonas was about 6 months old, O'Donnell hired a responsible high-school student to watch him two or three hours two days a week. The teenager charged half of what an adult sitter or day care would, and it meant O'Donnell could concentrate on answering e-mails and returning phone calls.
If you speak like James Earl Jones or Scarlett Johansson, quite a number of digital publishers (including game developers, animated film-makers, and training video producers) pay good money for voice talent and the time investment isn't too intensive—making this a great side business idea. You can find these publishers looking for voice-over artists on sites like PeoplePerHour, Freelancer and Upwork, as well as their calls for talent directly on their websites or through voiceover agents. If you do pursue this as a side business idea, be prepared to invest for the long-haul as it can be a very competitive industry.

If you have never been self-employed before you need to do some further self-assessment to determine whether you have the right personality to be an entrepreneur. Starting a business is not for everyone. (See 6 Traits You Need to Be Self-Employed.) Common traits for successful business owners are motivation, self-reliance, perseverance, initiative, and the ability to deal with uncertainty.
Since you are reading this article, that means you have a skill that many people around the world are seeking – knowing the English language. Learning to read, write, and speak English has become an invaluable asset in industries based in the U.S. or that are global. Specialty websites and local resources can connect you with people looking for an English teacher to learn from and converse with.

Ever tried to find child care on a Saturday afternoon? Unless you've got a standing relationship with a babysitter – and even then, it can be hard – there are few places you can count on for evening or weekend child care. Most states allow you to operate a home child care business and there's little competition and a great need for off-hours care. Licensing requirements are different based on your state, but many don't require a license as long as you keep below the minimum number of children.
If you keep your money hidden in the attic or earning close to nothing in a savings account, you might want to consider putting it to better use through smarter investing as your side business idea. Sure, there are plenty dangers to look out for, but most personal finance experts will advise you to start learning about the stock market if you want to grow your wealth, and to avoid jumping too heavily into trends like Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies without proper understanding.
It's one chunk of the day when you can generally expect to be able to plug away without interruption (at least not from your child). Whether your kid sleeps for one hour or three, use this time to finish assignments that require your complete focus and concentration, says Erin O'Donnell, a mom of two and freelance writer and editor in Milwaukee, who often schedules work-related phone calls during her 20-month-old Jonas's naps. If for some reason he isn't tired, they have quiet time instead: O'Donnell puts him in his crib with books and closes the door. "I can usually get in 20 minutes of work before he grows restless," she says. If Jonas wakes up while she's on a work call and begins crying, O'Donnell has trained herself to resist hanging up and rushing right in to check on him. "It hurts a little bit to listen to him," she says. "But it won't kill me -- or him." Plus, she believes it's important for him to learn how to soothe himself.

P.S. If you want to learn from some of the best in the business I highly recommend you check out the Work at home Summit. This summit is a collection of entrepreneurs talking about a myriad of different work at home businesses and jobs they’ve started and grown. This is 100% the best work at home event I’ve ever seen. (Totally scam free.) And it’s free. You can find out more here.
I have a potential opportunity to work for a mid sized company. It would be a good career move (more pay, better title, more responsibility), however, the company does not have any flex options. The manager has said there is no potential to work remotely and although there are no fixed hours, most people seem to get to work much earlier than I would be able to. I only have experience working in large corporations. Do you think this is typical of smaller/mid sized businesses. Also, anyone know of smaller companies that do offer flex opportunities (looking for Strategy/Finance type roles). Appreciate any thoughts!
Hi, I really enjoyed this article. I think everyone has a skill they can market like being a VA, writing, web design etc for some extra cash. I think the main thing to consider when starting a business is if you can run the business with your day job. It’s great if you can build a service based business to work from home but it takes time to build these business to replace a wage – it took me three years. Great post!

There are a lot of items that can be purchased very inexpensively at garage sales or thrift stores and sold for higher prices elsewhere. A few years ago I discovered that I could purchase good hardcover books at my local thrift shop for $1 or less. I realized that some of them could be sold on Amazon.com for $15-$20, which turns out to be a pretty decent profit.


Great ideas! I’ve been thinking about starting a home-based business for years but I just never stopped long enough to actually start and I didn’t know what kind of business to pursue. Now I’m ready to get started and you gave me some really good ideas. I really appreciate the links to more information on how to get started in several of these business opportunities. I will definitely look into them.
I am a teacher & mom but just started as an Independent Consultant for Jamberry Nails in October! love it and love the wraps! Jamberry is a family and my team is a sisterhood….we support each other, assist each other and lift each other up! We have one of the top compensation plans in direct sales! You are your own boss…work when you want! It’s Jamazing!

Alex Ikonn and his wife Mimi launched Luxyhair.com after they realized how hard it was to find great hair extensions in the marketplace. This hair extensions ecommerce retailer has built their business on the fan audience they’ve attracted through YouTube tutorial videos. They have a serious following, which is exactly what has enabled them to grow their business to seven figures since 2010!


The Ink Plus® Business Credit Card is a smart choice for anyone who wants to earn flexible points on their business spending. At the moment, the signup bonus alone on this card is worth $600 in cash back! Meanwhile, the Ink Cash® Business Credit Card awards you with $200 in cash back after you put $3,000 of your new business expenses on the card within the first 90 days. Plus, this card comes with no annual fee.

The prospect of working from home has gained credibility over the years. Home offices can now compete with small commercial businesses and save on rent in the process. It may also be possible to tax deduct some of your home expenses while running a home based business.[2] Faxes, high speed internet connections, dedicated home telephone lines, and cell phones help to make a home-based business a reality. Earlier home businesses had been where families lived on the second floor of their house while converting the first floor into a store, where upon close of business they would secure the first floor and retire to the upper floors. This type of home business is still done in some rural areas. Many home businesses are started off in a much smaller capacity whilst the owner is still employed elsewhere, and then expanded once they are proven to be profitable.


This is not an enterprise for the lazy. eBay sellers need to respond to customers quickly and politely, and ship items promptly. A seller’s success is in eBay users’ hands after all; a negative seller rating can sink an eBay business before it even gets started. Sellers also need to familiarize themselves with eBay’s return policies, which tend to focus on making the overall experience better for buyers but not necessarily for sellers.
Like starting a home bakery, developing a catering service comes with a unique set of food-oriented challenges. Right off the bat, you need to make sure that it’s legal in your state or municipality to use your home kitchen for commercial food production. If it is, you’ll still need to make sure that you’re following food-safety regulations and other relevant laws.

Going to work may be the way many women make a living, but if staying home to work sounds good to you, you're not alone: About 21 percent of employed adults did some or all of their job at home, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Considering becoming a work-at-home mom (WAHM) yourself? First, heed the advice of moms and experts who have learned the best ways to navigate life at the intersection of WAHM-ing and Mom-ing.
Great post. My husband has been selling used books on-line for 10 years…It’s not enough to fully support our family of 6, but it does afford us a lot of flexibility. We both work other odds and ends spot jobs and it ends up working out. We have also had the flexibility to be volunteer managers at a church camp in the summer. (Right now the camp can not afford a manager) I’m pioneering a women’s conference and event ministry. I’ve always been very greatful for the freedom we have. My husband helps at the kids schools, apointments are easy to make, and the stress is less. It’s been a sacrifice in some ways but worth the gains in time and flexibility for sure.
Everybody knows that finding (and landing) your dream job can be tough—especially when you've had the same position for a while and your resume is looking a little rusty. Before jumping in and becoming an expert resume writer, you'll have to learn how to write a resume on your own, and then practice by redoing resume's for your friends and co-workers. Next, you're ready to join a resume writers' association, continue establishing your credibility and you can eventually make your way into more hands-on career coaching opportunities.
Wayfair is hiring work at home customer service agents in Nevada and Arizona, and the company is holding a virtual open house on December 19th for the openings in Arizona, in order to give potential applicants a chance to learn more about the home-based opportunity. These appear to be full-time work at home customer service jobs. From the company: "At … Read More

Are you an extrovert that loves meeting new people? Selling insurance products—particularly life insurance—may be a great way to bring in some extra cash and build residual income in your spare time. Selling life insurance on the side could quickly generate a consistent $1,000 - $2,000 per month depending on how much time you invest in this side business idea. To get started you’ll likely want to take an online course to brush up on the subject matter, and then pass a state licensing exam. The biggest challenge you'll face as a new agent is generating sales beyond just helping out friends and family. From there, it’s all about networking and lead generation to grow this one. Learn more about this side business idea with this getting started in life insurance guide from the team over at NoExam.
The home office deduction may become even easier to use in the near future. Colleen DeBaise wrote, in an early 2006 article entitled "Locking In The Home-Office Deduction," about efforts being made to simplify this tax deduction. She wrote, "The National Association for the Self-Employed, a small-business group in Washington, D.C., supports a simplified, standard deduction to ease the burden on home-based businesses. And perhaps someday, sweet relief will be granted: Two bills introduced in 2005 contain language for a standard home-office deduction, although neither has passed. One of the bills, the Small Employer Tax Relief Act of 2005, specifically calls for a standard home-office deduction of $2,500'¦. In the meantime, small-business owners have little choice other than to muddle through the form—or hire a tax adviser for help."
Provide chat support to the nation’s leading food delivery app service to help diners with late deliveries or missing food items via Chat. All you need to do in three simple steps: 1) Receive chat from diner describing an issue they are having with food delivery. 2) Make a 60-second call to the restaurant to determine next steps. 3) Return back to the diner on chat to resolve their issue. Almost every contact will require this process of a back and forth between contact utilities. Must be capable of handling three concurrent chats at once, excel at multi-tasking and use of multiple systems at once, excellent typing skills, and great with the written word.
Do you love being around dogs but can’t commit to having one of your own? There is a big demand for dog walking for people who work long hours away from the home as well as dog sitting for when dog owners go out of town. This would give you and your kids the perfect opportunity to have fun with a four-legged friend without having to adopt one of your own.

Are you fluent in multiple languages? Did you kill it on your SATs or are you particularly knowledgeable about a certain topic? Consider being an online tutor! You still get the satisfaction of seeing first-hand the difference you have made in a student’s life…all from the comfort of your home. Tutors are typically part time and are paid hourly, but depending on your expertise and needs of your client(s), you may be able to secure full time -- and super lucrative -- work.


Fast-forward 15 years, and I’ve had at least seven work-from-home jobs, usually more than one at time. It’s been great for the most part. I do get the best of all worlds — getting to make my own schedule, being able to be with my kids during the day, keeping my foot in the door professionally, and contributing to the household income. I feel incredibly fortunate to have been able to find work I can do from home all these years.
Consulting is a great option for stay-at-home parents because it’s likely something you can do regardless of your career path -- as long as you’re particularly knowledgeable about something. If you’re creative about problem solving and you’re good at seeing the picture -- and if you like offering advice -- consulting may be the way to go. Many professionals who decide they’d like to work from home or enjoy more flexible hours  tend to turn their talents to consulting.
Some moms don't want to play the "parent card," admitting to clients that a finicky child is preventing them from meeting a deadline. In that case, it may be best to keep the fact that you're working from home out of the conversation completely. Give your child a nonverbal "Do not disturb" when you need quiet time. Perhaps you could wear a tiara when you're on the phone to signify that kids are not allowed to make noise or interrupt -- unless there's an emergency. If you have an office door, tie a red ribbon on it when you're not to be bothered. This tactic is best for older kids; toddlers won't understand that they can't always have your undivided attention.
Cambly is an online, foreign language, tutoring platform that lets individuals practice their language skills with a native speaker. Online tutors make 17 cents per minute ($10.20 per hour) talking to paying Cambly users. To get started, you must be a native English or Spanish speaker; you must have a webcam and Internet connection. Payments are made via PayPal.
There’s more to being a coach or personal trainer than just being fit and loving to exercise. Finding a specialization is important, and licenses might be required for certain types of coaching roles. For instance, a friend in Boston obtained US and European soccer-coaching licenses before opening a successful one-on-one soccer-instruction business.
Most people, even those many won’t admit it, love moving their bodies. It's also a great workout. If at some point in your life, you had to hang your dancing shoes for a more sensible office job, there's nothing stopping you from earning money with this side business idea as a passion project around your day job. Part-time dance instructors get a fraction of the pie that their full-time peers enjoy, but it can add up to hundreds each week if you're consistent—making for a great side business idea to those with the skills and drive.
Obviously some of these small business ideas have more earning potential than others, but what they all share in common are relatively low barriers to entry and the flexibility to work at them for a limited amount of time per week. I also tried to focus on side business ideas that have some sort of online component to them, since that's what I love most.
Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission. Know that I only recommend tools and learning resources I've personally used and believe are genuinely helpful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to purchase them. Most of all, I would never advocate for buying something that you can't afford or that you're not yet ready to implement.

It’s not exactly a way to make consistent great money, but housesitting—exactly what it sounds like—is a fantastically easy business idea that can fund your ability to live in exciting locales around the world (or your city) without paying a dime in rent. Did I mention it’s a way to travel and live rent free? Here’s a list of four great websites from the legendary Nomadic Matt, to start your housesitting side business idea search.
It’s not the sort of side business idea that’s covered in glory, but someone needs to make sure all the numbers add up at the end of the year. Every business and most individuals need someone with the domain expertise to help prepare tax returns, especially time or resource-strapped small business owners. Majo Jacinto in his Udemy course provides an in-depth foundational understanding of how to prepare tax returns (and stay current with ever-changing laws) that'll certify you with tax prep skills in as little as a few hours of training and practice.  Then once tax season rolls around you'll be able to charge an average of $229 per return as a freelance tax preparer with this side business idea, according to CNBC.
A doula is a labor coach that can help a birthing mother in any labor environment, from a hospital to a midwife clinic to home. Doulas are non-medical professionals who offer information, emotional support, and physical assistance in the process of giving birth. While licensing for doulas is not required by most states, getting certified by DONA International, the only certifying body for this profession, is a good idea. Doulas do have to deal with unpredictable schedules, but they easily can do this work from home. Doulas generally charge between $500 and $1000 per birth.

If you are interested, stop by. And if you, Alexa, would like to know more or would at least add a note to your list that single moms can earn a real, full time income in the adult industry – on their own, no need to get naked or do gross stuff. It’s hard work though and I also basically work full time – with the exception that I work whenever I want, so I always have time for the kids.
Countless small businesses start out their web presence using a WordPress hosted website (myself included) before needing to upgrade to other solutions for various reasons. Many of them will pay several hundreds of dollars for someone to get their business idea set up online. If you have the patience to learn how to do it yourself, it's an extremely valuable skill and can be turned into a very lucrative side business idea—especially if you sign up for affiliate programs with companies like Kinsta, who offer high quality managed WordPress hosting plans that allow you to collect fees from the clients you refer their way. Plus, with the skills you pick up from this side business idea, you'll be able to spin up other profitable website ideas like my friend Andy's been able to do with his site, AwesomeStuffToBuy.
Since you are reading this article, that means you have a skill that many people around the world are seeking – knowing the English language. Learning to read, write, and speak English has become an invaluable asset in industries based in the U.S. or that are global. Specialty websites and local resources can connect you with people looking for an English teacher to learn from and converse with.
It’s funny how much baking can relate to making money. Start bringing in some side income by kneading flour, mastering the oven, and appeasing everyone’s sweet tooth. While some experts have already turned baking into their sole “bread and butter,” you need not leave your day job to pursue this business idea just yet. Depending on your experience, you can start by doing something simple on the side like perfecting Grandma’s nostalgic cookies before heading on to offer exquisite artisanal fare.
So happy to see Jam Maker on this list. I recently started my own business making and selling unique jams and jellies online. I never knew I was trendy. Many good ideas on here. I’ve only just started to make the break from traditional work force, but believe it is the best decision I’ve made in a long time – though I still haven’t fully quit my day job.
Packaging your skills and knowledge into a downloadable eBook that delivers value to those seeking to learn a skill, advance in their careers, or start their own businesses, makes for a strong value proposition if you target the right audience. Check out Leslie Samuel's great guide to selling eBooks online and start building your strategy around this side  business idea. This class with Tara Gentile on CreativeLive will also show you how to use your existing body of work to write an eBook within the next week. Put in some serious work with your eBook, build an audience and you'll have a platform to pitch traditional publishers on landing a book deal—then you can write one of the best business books and really build your personal brand.

CloudSource, the work-at-home division of Sutherland Global Services, employs customer service consultants from all 48 contiguous states to support industry leaders in the cable/Internet service, retail, software, and gaming console industries. While all CloudSource positions are customer service in nature, some are more heavily focused on sales and/or technical support. Inbound calls only, paid training, ongoing support and growth opportunities exist … All from the comforts of your own home.
The key to success in this business is being very disciplined in buying. Limit your car buying to popular models that you can turn over quickly, models that you have a strong understanding of current local pricing on, cars that you can buy at a significant discount to the price you believe you can fairly sell them for, and cars that are highly unlikely to need major work.

Car flipping can be a fun way to turn your love for cars into a quick side business idea if you have the capital and a stomach for the inherent risk. Buying and selling cars is similar to other “buy low, sell high” business models, but the profit potential per hour invested can be very high. According to Jeremy Fisher at 3HourFlip.com, the trick is to learn how to make car deals come to you, so you can minimize your time invested and maximize your profit on each flip with this side business idea.
Still, knowing something about how the flower business works is a good idea, and your online presence and photos of your work will be critical to your success. Remember, the business is all about visuals, so make yours as compelling as you can. Get started networking by contacting local wedding planners and funeral homes and letting them know you’re in business. From there, let your business bloom. A friend in Maine turned a flower-arranging business into a successful flower shop she later sold at a profit.
Blooms Today hires home-based customer service and sales in all U.S. states, except for the following: Texas, California, and Florida. Average home-based sales reps make $15 per hour, with top performers earning an average of $24 per hour. All training is provided online. From the company: "Our Independent Sales Representatives are very important to our … Read More
Naturally, it helps if you already have an online audience you can tap for listening to your regular podcast (like I did), but that hasn't stopped thousands of people from building successful side business ideas into lucrative podcasts—including Alex Blumberg, founder of Gimlet Media who teaches how to use storytelling and launch a podcast. You can also check out this class from podcaster and entrepreneur, Lewis Howes, about how to make money podcasting as a side business idea, which regularly broadcasts for free on CreativeLive.

Expertise is another matter, but remember that writing can take many forms—from resumes to news articles to marketing materials and even thank-you notes. (You can even write for businesstown.com, although that gig doesn’t pay … yet.) There’s probably some form of writing you’re qualified to do. Plus, if you’re good enough with grammar and punctuation, companies will pay you to be a freelance editor. One friend made good money editing posts on a popular travel site.
Work from Home Reviewer – Perspecta: Still recruiting. “For this opening candidates may be located near Loveland, CO or Slippery Rock, PA. Candidates in other locations may work from home or include a cover letter explaining relocation plans. Reviewers retrieve federal background investigations cases utilizing an NBIB computer reporting system. Once the Reviewer reviews the case to ensure it is complete and meets customer requirements, the Reviewer will submit the case to NBIB for final customer review. Two or more years’ experience reviewing federal background investigations preferred…”
[…] 50+ Legitimate Work From Home Job Opportunities  I have known people who have tried to find jobs they can do in their free time from home and it is really hard to find a work at home job that isn’t a scam.  Alexa from singlemomsincome.com has a list of actual things you can do to earn a little extra money.  The one tip I have is that there is no job called “work from home”  If that is the title of the classified ad then keep moving because that isn’t a real job listing. […]

College counsellors come in all shapes and sizes. Their primary duty is to help guide students through an important period in their lives. Some counselors focus on admissions, career advice, financial aid, athletics, extracurricular activities, and other concerns. There are institutions looking out for part-time college counselors, making this a fantastic side business idea, or you can even start your own practice and charge anywhere from $25-$100+ per hour for your consultative services if you're well-versed on the subject.
Corrisa, thank you for adding your thoughts on Annie’s list. I wholeheartedly agree with your points to consider and would encourage anyone looking to join a network marketing-based business to do their due diligence before signing up. As I have found in my past ventures into home based businesses, the KEY to success is to treat your business as exactly that and not a hobby or trending fad.

Earning money on GigWalk is similar to working on Task Rabbit—not a bad side business idea if you've got the free time. You get to choose from an amusingly diverse range of jobs from taking snapshots of restaurant menus to counting the items arrayed on supermarket racks. It won’t make you rich though, with payouts tending to congregate in the lower half of their $3-to-$100 range. But, if you're looking for a steady little side business idea, it can't hurt doing a strange but fun errand and getting a tip at the end. When you’re bored or a little short on cash, you can access GigWalk anytime, anywhere via their mobile app. Meanwhile, all the jobs specifically vetted for you will be within reach (ideally, just a brisk walk away).
Work from Home P/T Spanish Tutor – Pearson: “Working out of their home, the World Language Live Tutor will ‘virtually’ manage a synchronous virtual classroom utilized by students from Pearson and Connections Academy schools. The World Language Live Tutor will be responsible for working with students to develop understanding of the Spanish language using specifically designed activities. World Language Live Tutors will be responsible for monitoring student activity within the virtual classroom at all times, and providing support/feedback.”
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