Operating from Home: Small Business Ideas You Can Manage at Home

When you think about starting a business, your mind will wander to commercial space rentals, managing employees, office supplies, and even commuting to and from the business site. It’s tiring to just think about all the work, especially if you’re a budding entrepreneur. Thankfully, a lot of businesses can now start right from the comforts of your own home. If the likes of Amazon started from the garage of Jeff Bezos’ old rented home, surely you can start one, too, from your couch.

If this is your first time dipping your toe in any kind of business, start with a home-based business. You don’t want to worry about rent recovery service at this early point in your business. Don’t discourage yourself by taking on more challenges and risks for your first venture.

So what kind of businesses can you start at home? How much time do you spend browsing your social media? That’s the same amount of time that you can spend selling your goods to people online. Here are some ideas of what to offer online buyers:

Buy Products in Bulk, Then Sell Them Online

If you recently troubled abroad, what did you see there that are not available in your country? How about contacting the seller or producer and asking for a fair price if you buy the items in bulk? You can sell these items on the internet. You don’t need a warehouse or an office. All you have to do is partner with a courier service that will pick up the items and ship them to the buyer.

Some of your buyers may want to see the items in person. You can create detailed videos of the items, so they will have a good idea of how these look in person. Also, for those living near you, offer to show the items in person. They can come and visit your “warehouse,” which means your living room.

Sell Homemade Products

Are you a creator? Or, do you know someone good at making something? You can make clothes, headwraps, face masks, home decorations, kid’s activity binders, and many more. You can turn that hobby into something you can earn from. When this happens, you can generate more income. Why? Once you are controlling every aspect of the business—from finding suppliers to producing to marketing to distributorship—you can make them more cost-effective. You’ll also keep most of the profit.

Start a Dropshipping Business

The two business ideas mentioned above involves keeping inventory in your home. But what if you live in a small apartment and you don’t have space for inventory? You can still start a home-based business without worrying about inventory and shipping.

It’s called a dropshipping business. You will act as a middleman between the producer of the goods and the customer. Usually, these producers don’t have time to market their products to individuals because they supply goods to larger businesses. Your job as a dropshipper is to market the products. Make sure the producer is trustworthy enough to deliver the goods as scheduled.

Productize a Service-based Business

You’re a licensed yoga instructor but many people don’t want to pay for a live session because they think they can get the same information from a free tutorial on YouTube. That’s the problem with service-oriented businesses. It is difficult to put a price tag on your services. People automatically think you should be cheaper because they are not getting any tangible from you.

You can productize your services by creating a physical product to distribute to your clients. For example, for your yoga instructions, you can create digital courses, downloadable reports and modules, merchandise, e-books, and recorded yoga sessions.

Start a Blog

blog, top view of hands and keyboard

If you aren’t sure about what kind of business you should get into, start a blog first. Write about a certain topic that is close to your heart, and that you think you can be an expert. Once you grow your audience, you can then think about starting an e-commerce business. Many home-based businesses start as a blog first before becoming a full-fledged online store. Now, they sell merchandise related to the things they talked about on their blogs.

Is it hard to zero in on a home-based business idea? Probably, especially if you don’t know yet what you want to sell or what products you believe in. Consider asking yourself the time-tested questions. How much capital do you have? How much time can you spend on the business? Are you going to work full-time while running a business? Once you have the answer to these, you’ll have a better idea of the type of business model and products that are right for you.

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