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.

Many of my readers have started proofreading from their iPads, scanning legal documents for court reporters as a result of the Proofread Anywhere eCourse I recommend. You can read some of their testimonials in the comments on this post. They offer a 7-day intro course free so you can decide if that line of work is right for you before you pursue the training.
All great ideas! Not sure if you left multi-level marketing off on purpose, but I’ve recently started taking a nutritional supplement called Thrive, and due to the amazing results (tons of energy, great sleep, calming of aches and pains, etc.) I’ve started working as a promoter. There is absolutely no requirement to pay anything to sign up, you don’t even have to stock the product, it is a cloud-based business where the customers order online and receive the product directly from the company. If you get two people to sign up with autoship, you get your product free. Even if you pay for the product it is only about $5 a day, less than a cup of coffee in the U.S. So far I’ve been really impressed.

Work at home transferring data from one source to another. Most of these companies do not require past experience, although with few exceptions the pay may not be enough to consider it a stable income. Before you begin applying to any of the companies below (many of which sadly are almost never hiring), you might want to read the post I wrote about data entry jobs from home. It explains what your expectations should be prior to pursuing a career in this industry.

Great article! I’m doing direct selling at the moment and absolutely loving it! Never thought it would be something I would get into but when you have a strong desire to stay at home with your child everyday but still need to earn money you will give anything a go right 🙂 and I’m so glad I did. The work involved itself could not be easier, I run my business all from my phone. And I also love the personal development you gain from an industry like this, you learn so much about yourself more than you could from any job working for someone else in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong it is hard work, you have to put a lot in to be successful, but when you are putting all that time and effort into yourself and creating success for YOU rather than an employer / boss the results are so rewarding!! If anyone is looking into getting on board something similar I am happy to pass on some info 🙂 Bec.

It’s not very engaging, or mentally stimulating, but taking online surveys through companies like Survey Junkie do pay  out (a little), believe it or not. Even if the payouts come in the form of Amazon gift cards, sites like Swagbucks can pay well. Just don't expect to make bank with this side business idea—I recommend combining it with another source of side income from this list of my best business ideas, and turning to surveys in your downtime when you need a little extra income.
ABC Fundraising –  Earn up to $5,000 per month or more! Work from home setting up fundraisers for schools, churches, and non-profit organizations. Since 1993 ABC Fundraising has helped over 50,000 groups, raise over 50 million dollars, and we want to help you start a new career today. Recently one of our distributors earned $7,200 by simply setting up a school-wide fundraiser with our flagship fundraising product. Get a FREE information kit now and sign up for our free online webinar to learn more about this exciting business opportunity.
What It Is: Create virtual displays of art and graphics by assembling images, typographies, and motion graphics for published, printed, or digital media. This may include drafting logos, packaging, labels, and advertisements for brands. Top candidates will have skills in creativity, typography, software, web design, Adobe Photoshop, technology, and more.
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
Vitacost is hiring home-based digital (email and chat) customer service agents in Florida. You must have a minimum of one year of customer service experience. You must also live within 80 miles of Boca Raton because you will need to attend two weeks of paid training prior to beginning work from home. From the company: "The Digital Customer Service … Read More
Another flexible non-phone option in the educational field is test scoring. There are a few reputable companies that do hire home-based workers to score everything from standardized tests to essays. Before you apply, you should know that ETS and Pearson (listed below) do require that you have certain qualifications and/or past teaching experience before they'll let you become a scorer. WriteScore on the other hand requires just a two-year college degree.
Auberge Resorts is hiring work at home reservations agents on the East Coast of the U.S. These are full-time home-based positions. All work at home reservations agents must be willing to work a flexible schedule, to include some nights, weekends. and holidays. From the company: "The reservations sales associate will be responsible for exceptional … Read More
Yes, you can turn your car into a money-maker by driving for Uber and Lyft, but there are other ways to convert mileage into money as a clever side business idea. One way is to do vehicle advertising, a potential side income source of anywhere between $100 to $600 per month. Whether you own a compact sedan or a full-sized bus, your vehicle’s exterior space is prime real estate for ads. Check Wrapify, carvertise, and similar sites for more details about getting started with this business idea and for being paired up with local advertisers.

Alessandra Ceresa, Marketing Director of Greenrope, finds he can balance his work and life much easier when he works remote, “Because much of what we do is not constrained within the hours of 9-5, I am able to go to the gym in the middle of the day, take a walk, do errands. When I take these sorts of breaks, the moment I sit back down to work, I am focused. My life is balanced because I get all of my work done and have time to actually live my life.”
Domain name trading has been around for the last couple decades, and while most slam-dunk names have long been sold off (Insure.com went for $16 Million in 2009) there’s still plenty of others that you can get your hands on for relatively cheap and broker as your side business idea. But beware: some experts doubt the long-term viability of this business idea, so you shouldn’t quit your day job just to put all your effort into this one without some successes already in the bag. To get you started, here are some tips from GoDaddy, arguably the world’s largest and most famous repository of domain names. Imagine owning desirable domain names for the next decade's most innovative companies.
I also recommend FlexJobs for finding more home data entry jobs. With that site, you can regularly search legitimate work at home jobs for data entry and other industries. Every job lead is guaranteed scam-free, and it's the only membership-based jobs site I currently use and trust. Their listings are updated 5-6 times per week, and they are plentiful. You can currently get 30% off a subscription using promo code AFFILPROMO.
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.
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.
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When I set out to start in on a new business idea, I always make sure it aligns with both my core competencies and my interests. It starts with learning how to discover your strengths as an entrepreneur, and it's how I make sure I'll be engaged, even when the going gets rough. I learned this the hard way when I decided to start a freelance business a few years ago to offer my freelance content marketing services.

Some firms outsource their customer service operations and many of these companies accept home-based contractors. You can start by signing up on freelancing sites such as Upwork to test the waters with this business idea first. If you’re already a CSR specialist with management skills, then you can form and lead a virtual team online and engage clients as a bona fide customer service company or, provide customer service training to such teams as well as individuals.


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
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!
I’m a former lawyer turned entrepreneur with Rodan+Fields (makers of ProActiv, the acne system). After welcoming my twin girls, I decided traveling, long hours, and dial-ins were no longer for me. I wanted to work from home on a part-time basis and Rodan+Fields has allowed me to do that. If you’re interested in earning a solid part-time income on your own terms, I’d love to talk to you!
Pearson offers educational content, tools, and resources through all stages of life – from K12 to higher education to industry and professional. Pearson hires work-from-home tutors and teachers to teach in a broad range of subjects to a broad range of ages. Job Search Tip: Not all of Pearson’s work-from-home jobs are labeled as such. Try searching “tutor” and “work-from-home” as keywords or “virtual” as location.
Fusion Cash is an online platform that allows you to make money from taking surveys, watching videos, shopping, completing short tasks, and much more. Sign up and immediately earn $5.00 just for joining. Most offers pay between .25 to $30 per offer, and payments are made via PayPal, check, or direct deposit once your account reaches a $25 threshold. Some offers do require a credit card number, so if you don’t feel comfortable giving out that information, just stick to the offers which display the No CC icon. Fusion Cash is a member of the Better Business Bureau.
When you work in an office, you can ask your boss about the details of your upcoming presentation when you see her in the company kitchen. But if you telecommute, she’s just another email in your inbox. From letting her know if you’re going to miss a deadline or getting clarification on an email, you’ll have to be proactive about communicating all aspects of your job and any questions you might have with her.
If you have carpentry, plumbing, electrical, or other home improvement expertise and the requisite tools and equipment, home renovation can be an ideal business to operate from home. The best home renovation to focus on for the long-term? Bathroom renovations. My recent bathroom renovation included cabinets that were installed by a local contractor who operates his cabinetry business from his home.
Unum is hiring Remote Customer Service Specialists. Are you looking for a career change? Do you have great energy, love helping people and a drive to succeed? If so, Unum wants you. We are hiring now for remote employees located in Pacific and Mountain time zones. Unum is a Fortune 500 company with enormous opportunity for growth and career advancement. Plus, professional development, competitive salary, great benefits and a mission you can be proud of. Take your career to the next level. Hurry and apply today.
This is great, thank you! We are having our first little one in May and I’ll be staying home with the baby after that because it’s really important to both of us, and I’ve been looking for some legit opportunities to still be able to contribute to our income. This list is really helpful and definitely gives me hope that I can find something in a few months when we have a schedule again!
Sedgwick is hiring home-based customer service agents in the U.S. In this work at home role, you will be assisting customers by expediting the claims application process, ensuring correct case assignment, and more. Shifts vary, and weekends will sometimes be required. From the company: "For a career path that is both challenging and rewarding, join … Read More
Sitel is hiring seasonal work at home agents in the United States! Both part and full-time opportunities are available. These are seasonal, contract home-based positions. Compensation starts at $9.00 to $10.00 per hour, dependent on campaign. From the company: "Sitel Work@Home Solutions™ is a virtual employee-based team supporting global fortune 500 … Read More

When you work in an office, you can ask your boss about the details of your upcoming presentation when you see her in the company kitchen. But if you telecommute, she’s just another email in your inbox. From letting her know if you’re going to miss a deadline or getting clarification on an email, you’ll have to be proactive about communicating all aspects of your job and any questions you might have with her.
For many years, the IRS has followed a very strict interpretation of "principal place of business," which prevented some self-employed persons—such as an accountant who maintained a home office but also spent a great deal of time visiting clients—from claiming the deduction. But in July 1997, responding to the concerns of small business advocates, the U.S. Congress passed a tax bill that redefined an individual's "principal place of business" to include a home office that meets the following two criteria: 1) it is used to conduct the management or administrative activities of a business; and 2) it is the only place in which the small business owner conducts those management or administrative activities. When this change became effective on January 1, 1999, it was expected to enable many home-based business owners who also perform services outside of their homes to claim the home office deduction.
What It Is: Think Mary Kay (cosmetics), Pampered Chef (kitchenware), or Rodan + Fields (skincare) — over time, you build a base of clients to whom you sell a company's wares. "There are several reasons why I decided to become a consultant," says Rodan + Fields independent consultant Debbie Royer. "I had seen how much of a blessing the business had been to a friend of mine and my sister-in-law. Plus, everything can be done from my phone, and being a mom to a preschooler and an infant I don't have a lot of extra time to be sitting at a computer."
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