For many of us, to work from home is the ultimate indication of freedom. It means that you own both your time and your space, that your life is firmly within your control. Yet not every job can be done from afar. Some jobs, like being a pilot or a flight attendant, must be done from a certain place at a certain time, while others, like being a security consultant or a software developer, are extremely remote-friendly.
That's why I'm a huge advocate of always starting a side business while working full-time, so that you can test your way into your new product or service, get feedback, validate the business idea, and start generating income before you quit your job. If you can master the art of scaling a side business idea while keeping your day job, you'll have no trouble succeeding once you're fully self-employed.
As a result of these and other factors, an estimated 40 million Americans now work from their homes. This number includes employees working from home for a larger employer as well as self-employed. Not surprisingly, two-thirds of home-based business owners are women, who choose this option either because of childcare concerns or because of a perceived glass ceiling limiting their earnings potential in the corporate world. Running a business out of the home offers a number of advantages, including time savings, control over working hours and conditions, independence, and flexibility. Starting a home-based business is also considerably cheaper than starting a business in rented facilities. In addition to saving money on overhead expenses, commuting costs, and wardrobe expenditures, many home-based business owners can deduct a portion of their rent or mortgage interest from their personal income taxes.

It sounds too good to be true—getting paid to represent your favorite brands at events across the nation. But, if you have a friendly and outgoing personality (a growing social media following helps too), you can forge a potentially paid relationship as a brand ambassador with companies who want to reach other people within your community with this  side business idea. As a Brand Ambassador, you do anything from demoing the latest technology, to passing out free swag at music festivals, to going on nationwide tours, to pumping people up as a mascot, and more. Depending upon the gig, you can expect to earn anywhere from $18-$100/hr. You can get started as early as this weekend by joining the Brand Ambassador Facebook group for your nearest major city (e.g. join the "Brand Ambassadors of Seattle" group if you live in/near Seattle). Once you've been approved to the group, you'll get access to daily job postings from big brands and agencies with opportunities in your area. All you need to do is submit your resume and headshot to apply. For a step-by-step guide on how to get hired for the best gigs and the highest pay rates, I recommend checking out The Brand Ambassador Blueprint.
“Keep your husband involved, and don’t leave him out. It’s so easy to make a personal unit with just you and your kid, especially because you’re the mom and they want you more — especially if they’re a breastfed baby — they only want the mom. You have to remember your husband made her too. You’re still married, he’s still your best friend and partner.”  
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!
If editing and advising college students on how to write compelling 500 word essays on topics such as "You were just invited to speak at the White House. Write your speech," seems like a compelling business idea to allocate your free time towards, trust me—tons of parents will pay you to edit admissions essays and offer constructive feedback for their children. Be careful not to blur the ethical line of actually writing their essays, but serving as an editor to help them convey their message can become a great side business idea that has the potential to spread by word-of-mouth referral in your community.
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!

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.
Online Juror— I don’t see this one recommended a lot, but it’s a great gig if you can find it. As an online juror, you’re presented with a “case” that you read and evaluate the way you would if you were on a jury. They’re often used by lawyers to figure out whether or not their case would do well in court. The work tends to be sporadic, but it’s pretty interesting when you can land it.

Websites aren't too dissimilar to stocks. Many are junk, but some can generate value for you, making it a strong potential business idea if you have an eye for spotting the diamond in the rough That’s why, like stocks, they are bought and sold all the time. You can buy and sell websites as a side business  idea in the hope of generating future earnings based on their user traffic, current revenue intake, domain name, or some other factors that might be a hidden cash cow everyone else has overlooked. Interested? Check out marketplaces like Flippa and Flipping Enterprises to learn more.
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.
Please, can you let me know what your great online job is? I have been combing the internet for a legitimate job now for quite a while and I come up empty-handed most of the time. I am a fast typist (62 WPM), but have found that you need to either know how to translate or transcribe. I have a hearing problem, so sometimes it’s hard for me to understand what is being said in a recording, especially if the person talks fast. Thanks
If you want to speed up the process of launching your blog, I recommend setting up quick, affordable and easy website hosting with a company like Bluehost, choosing a simple WordPress theme and working on your first post, in order to set the precedent of prioritizing your time on creating content, connecting with (and building) your audience. Then once you've been able to build a community around your blog, you'll want to invest in really understanding your readers—so that you can give them more of what they want.
Driving for one of the two globally expanding app-centric taxi alternative services, Uber or Lyft can still be a fairly lucrative way to earn money as a side business idea on nights and weekends—working only when you want. But before you dive head first into this side business idea, do your homework and calculate the costs of extra gas, mileage, tires, wear & tear and usage on your vehicle—it's not a guaranteed business idea that'll turn a huge profit every weekend.
This is a great time for a concierge business or errand business startup. In many areas where there is significant development in the luxury market (residential and commercial), you will find increasing opportunity for concierge service providers. I remember my first job as a residential concierge, which helped me start a concierge business from home. The knowledge I acquired while employed by an established concierge business set the groundwork for my long-term career as a concierge business entrepreneur and author.
Great Post! I like the tip on creating a direct sales business. I stated my online fitness business in April 2016 and have averaged $500 a month. The pace has been increasing and mine and my husbands goal is to quit our jobs in Aug. of 2017 to take this business full time. It is possible to make money online you just have to believe in yourself! You can do it!
Many publications and online resources are interested in parenting topics. Use your experience in parenthood as the impetus to get paid to write. Contribute to a parent-focused website, social media reports, or other publication. Or, use your financial management expertise or career focus as your basis for contributing. Use your storytelling skills to cash in!
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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.
Everyone (even kids and retirees) need to have some level of technical know-how to stay competitive and appreciate the marvels of the digital age. Just observe how learning sites like Codecademy, Treehouse, and Udacity continue to grow and you’ll understand the urgency of getting computer training for our generation (thus making it a great business idea to train others if you already have the skills). If you’re a techie, you can cash in on this need by offering lessons and tutorials within your neighborhood or across cyberspace through portals like YouTube or Udemy as a side business idea. You can even set up your own tutorial site with an interface for online payments.
One way to get started might be to focus on children’s parities, which can be a bit simpler and less stressful to plan than adult get-togethers. Go further into specialization by following kid trends and offering superhero or Frozen parties. Remember that you’ll be competing not just with other party planners but with local restaurants and facilities, so excellent networking skills and a personal touch to your services will be important.
Take the time to develop your skills at either making your own music, or becoming a pro at mixing, and your side business idea of dj-ing local events could turn into a much bigger endeavor. Though you'll first need to command a solid knowledge of sound design, mixing and music production before expecting to land your first gig with this business idea, as developing an entirely new skill set is not for the faint of heart.
I AM A QUALIFIED PRIMARY TEACHER AND NEEDED SOMETHING TO TAKE MY HOURS OF WORK DOWN AS I FIND TERM TIME HOURS AND DEMANDS QUITE CHALLENGING. I LOOKED AT SEVERAL DIRECT SELLING OPPORTUNITIES AND FOUND ONE THAT IS ABSOLUTELY PERFECT. I EARN AS MUCH AS I CHOOSE TO PUT IN THE WORK FOR, AND THERE IS A FANTASTIC SUPPORT NETWORK. IT WAS SOMETHING I THOUGHT I WOULD NEVER DO AND I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT.

3Play Media is hiring home-based transcriptionists and transcription editors in the U.S.  These are contract work at home positions. As a home-based transcriptionist/transcription editor, you will be transcribing audio and editing transcription utilizing the company's proprietary Internet-based software. From the company: "Since all transcription work is … Read More
Like drinking beer? Why not try making it yourself as your side business idea? With enough patience and skill you might end up brewing something that others are willing to pay to drink. Pick up an easy-to-use starter kit from Mr. Beer online, invest the time it'll take to perfect your craft, make a unique brew and start shopping it around to friends & family to see what they think of this side business idea.
Like birthdays, marriages happen all the time. Which means you can treat weddings as a recurring fountain of business opportunities: wedding dresses and coats, jewelers, food caterers, venue providers, photographers and videographers, performers, flower shops, travel agencies, souvenir crafts, and a host of other ventures. Now imagine if you can form a network of these service providers so you can offer engaged couples a range of hassle-free wedding packages as a turnkey business idea. The process is certainly fun (and time-consuming), but as a side business idea, the pay can be pretty great.
Deanne Akerson: As a maternity and breastfeeding apparel brand, our customers are moms. Our team of work-from-home-moms are uniquely positioned to deliver an incredible customer experience simply because they’re moms themselves, and they understand the needs of our customers perfectly! They know what it’s like to be pregnant, breastfeeding, sleep-deprived, because they have been there so recently themselves. This is a benefit to the company in so many ways; from knowing what kind of content creation to focus on, what new apparel products to make next, and how to interact on social media. It simply makes sense to employ work-from home moms who are also experiencing the same crazy, beautiful life stage as our customers.
The process of gathering information and writing a business plan helps the entrepreneur take an objective, critical look at the business idea and its chances for success. A home-based business may be related to an individual's previous occupation, but may also be based upon a hobby or the discovery of a unique business opportunity. In any case, the idea should be evaluated with an eye toward market potential and competition. Once the business is up and running, the business plan sets forth goals and standards for management and serves as an operational tool to measure progress. Although there are many ways to start a home-based business—including "moonlighting" while employed full-time, working part-time for an employer and part-time at home, and just taking the plunge—planning is important to all of them.

Working Solutions hires independent contractor home-agents to provide sales, technical support and customer service. Home agents can put their experience to work and enjoy the freedom of working when they want, where they want. They select highly educated, experienced professionals with product knowledge, certifications and industry experience to match our clients’ business needs. They never charge any fees. Home-agents earn anywhere from $8.00 -$20.00 per hour, depending on the program.
Websites aren't too dissimilar to stocks. Many are junk, but some can generate value for you, making it a strong potential business idea if you have an eye for spotting the diamond in the rough That’s why, like stocks, they are bought and sold all the time. You can buy and sell websites as a side business  idea in the hope of generating future earnings based on their user traffic, current revenue intake, domain name, or some other factors that might be a hidden cash cow everyone else has overlooked. Interested? Check out marketplaces like Flippa and Flipping Enterprises to learn more.
Great list Whitney! Another great option is Amazon FBA (Fulfillment By Amazon) There are apps (like Profit Bandit) that will allow you to scan the barcodes of clearance items at local stores and know instantly if the item can be sold for a profit on Amazon. The beauty of FBA is you simply ship all of the items at once to Amazon and they handle picking, packing and shipping your items when they sell so you can get back to being a mom 🙂 I know three people that make a legitimate six-figure income doing this from home.

If you understand design and have a passion for décor, a career in interior design could be a great path for you. While you may not technically need a formal education to be an interior designer, having a bachelor's degree in interior design will definitely give you a huge leg up in the field. But if working for a design firm doesn't feel right to you, try running your own interior design business from your home.
How to Get It: Sylvan Learning (Tutoring.SylvanLearning.com), Tutor.com, TutorVista.com and Tutorzilla (Tutorzilla.com) all offer a good cross section of the kinds of remote-based tutoring jobs out there, and they all have great reputations with students and teachers. Since you will be working with children, you can expect a background check before you are hired.
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