Are you ready to take the plunge and start your own home-based business? Working from home allows you freedom and flexibility, most people find they are also more productive as they know their time is precious. In fact, employers are realizing that staff who are normally confined to the official opening times of 9-5 are more productive when given the opportunity to work from home, either for part of the week or fully. 

Another positive aspect of working from home, either on a self-employed basis or employed is that you will eliminate the time taken up by commuting and the associated costs. Travelling adds a huge amount of time to your working day, especially if your travel time coincides with rush hour traffic. It would be amazing to just get up in the morning and walk to your desk!

What are your options when starting a home based business?

Your current job

If your current job naturally lends itself to working from home you could ask your employer if it’s possible. Outline the positives of working from home to your employer including the convenience of working flexible hours and not being confined to the traditional office hours of 9-5. They may be reluctant to allow you to work from home full time initially, but part-time may be an option.

You could also consider going freelance with your current job, again this may enable you to continue working for your current employer but on a self-employed basis. This may work well for both parties as you can be flexible around where you work from and your employer can eliminate the associated costs relating to employment such as holiday and sick pay. You will also have the flexibility of taking on additional freelance work from other clients.

What are your skills?

If your current job simply cannot be worked from home or your employer is against the idea, you will need to think a little more creatively on how to start your own business that you can base at home.

Look carefully at the skills you already possess, including skills that you have developed during your career and skills you have gained through hobbies and life experiences. Write them down and try to decipher which skills you would like to incorporate into your new business. In addition to the skills you possess, write down what you enjoy doing. Starting a new business requires a passion for it to succeed. If you find yourself creating a business that you hate you’re less likely to succeed. Although working from home is great, you do need a large amount of organization and motivation to stay on task.

Look at your lists and try to create your ideal home based business. Don’t worry too much about whether your ideas will be lucrative enough at this point as you can tackle this at a later stage during your business planning stage.

It is often difficult to know what our actual skills are, so it may be worth hiring the expertise of a life coach or careers coach to reveal your areas of expertise.

Home based business ideas

You have so many options, the difficult part is choosing the right one. There is an abundance of information on the internet. Take a look at website to discover some of the options available to you.

Always read the reviews from other people who have embarked on opportunities as there are many unscrupulous scammers out there!

There are some traditional tried and tested work from home opportunities, some of which are described below.


If flowers are your passion you could consider setting up your own home based floristry business. This is an excellent option as bricks and mortar premises can be extremely expensive. Although you won’t get “footfall” customers as they pass your shop, you could concentrate on supplying and designing floral displays and bouquets for large events such as weddings, funerals, parties and birthday celebrations. You could even supply floral displays to hotels on a regular basis.

Freelance writer

The internet offers a huge amount of opportunity for freelance writers. You could find writing jobs doing any style of writing you are interested in, such as article writing, ghostwriting, copywriting and fiction. There is not a huge amount of overheads related to freelance writing, you just need a laptop and internet connection. You will find most of your work from online connections, you could also find work in your local area. Building up a portfolio of previous work is key so that you can showcase your writing to it’s best ability.  

Selling a product

Selling is a term that covers many avenues. You could be an inventor and sell a product that you have designed from scratch or you could buy products from a wholesaler in order to sell. Many people have discovered the lucrative option of becoming a reseller, which involves selling preloved, unwanted stock and vintage items.

To sell online you will need to have an online shop. This could be done via auction sites such as eBay, or you could develop your own commerce website – or both! You’ll need to feature highly on the internet by implementing SEO into your site. There are many SEO experts who can help you with this. To sell enough to make a fulltime living you will need to consider where your stock comes from, manufacturing ability, storage and how to package your items effectively.


If you are an expert in a particular area or you are a qualified teacher you could consider tutoring as your home-based business. Parents are spending more and more money on their child’s education meaning that there is huge potential for trusted and capable tutors. You could tutor from your own home or travel to your students home, you also have the option of tutoring online via Skype. This will allow you to tutor people from all over the world, which will make your role interesting and rewarding.

There is also scope for tutoring adults too. Some people didn’t do too well at school and want to update their skills and qualifications. Whereas some people want expert tuition in particular areas such as web design or computer programming. Whatever your skill, if you are an expert you can choose to teach.

Another avenue for tutoring is music and instrument tuition. If you are qualified for a certain grade you will be able to teach both children and adults how to lay a particular instrument. Instruments such as teaching the piano command quite hefty hourly rates.

Arts and crafts

If you have a skill at creating saleable products for the arts and crafts market there is scope for you to create a home based business from your talent. Many crafters create products for their own family and friends, then get asked by others to create items for them too. As time passes and your reputation grows you can charge more for your items so that you make a profit rather than just covering expenses. The key to getting your products noticed is by concentrating on marketing. You need people to see first hand the quality of your items, so visit craft fayres, markets, leave samples in shops and promote online. Ensure your products meet health and safety standards and regulations which will vary depending on where you live.

Domestic and commercial cleaning

You most likely have the skills required to be a domestic cleaner and if you actually enjoy cleaning there will be a need for your services. Cleaning can be a flexible job and you can work it around family commitments. You need to be reliable and able to keep up with a weekly time slot for your individual clients. The way to get work normally starts off with “word of mouth”.

As the number of clients increases ask them to write a reference of your services so that you can show potential clients. Leaflet drops, community magazine adverts and adverts in shops are a good start for promoting your services and don’t forget the power of social media!

It is important to get the right insurance when working as a cleaner, just in case expensive accidents happen! You could concentrate on domestic cleaning or the cleaning of commercial properties. As your business grows you will possibly want to hire staff to help with the workload. There is oodles of potential.

Beauty therapy/alternative therapies

Statistically, despite downturns in the economy, people still want to look and feel good and will still spend money to do so. If you are qualified in the beauty industry or you are an aromatherapist or reflexologist you could consider opening your own home based salon. This could be situated in a spare room, converted garage or garden room. If space is at a premium you could concentrate on being a mobile therapist only. Many people enjoy receiving treatments within the comfort of their own home.

This is just a tiny snapshot of the opportunities available, there are many more. You could also consider retraining in an area that will enable you to create your own business from home in the future.



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