20 Small Business Ideas You Can Start From Home

By Carrie Wilder | Last Updated: June 13, 2024 

2020 was a roller coaster of a year, and it has made one thing certain: it's more important now than ever to be in control of your own finances.

Not only that, but it's important to be able to earn money from anywhere, because there's no telling what could happen.

With millions of people having lost their jobs, many are looking to online solutions for relief. Starting your own business could be the answer!

Many of these small business ideas require minimal time and money to get started. The only thing that's required is ambition and willingness to research and learn the skills that you don't already possess.

1. Virtual Assistant

Starting a virtual assistant business is one of the easiest and fastest ways for anyone – even a total beginner – to start making money online. As a virtual assistant, you can offer many different types of services depending on your own skills and strengths. Check out this post for 50+ services you can offer as a virtual assistant.

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2. Proofreading

Click for a free workshop on building a work-from-home proofreading business

It might sound crazy, but proofreaders are in high demand! You can create a great remote income by starting a proofreading business. This is one of the most lucrative small business ideas that you can start from home.

It doesn't require any experience or certifications to get started, either.

If you're interested in becoming a proofreader, check out this free training from Proofread Anywhere. You'll learn:

  • What proofreaders do and don't do.
  • How much money you can make with a proofreading side-hustle.
  • Signs it's the perfect gig for you.
  • How and where to find high-paying proofreading jobs and clients.

Want to learn more? Check out the free workshop here!

Related: 71+ Best Proofreading Jobs Online: No Experience Required

3. Start a Blog

Starting a blog won't make you money right away, but with time, effort, and dedication, blogging can be an incredibly lucrative small business idea.

A blog is important for any entrepreneur to have. It will also give you valuable skillsets you can use in any of the other small businesses on this list. Learn how to start a blog here.

4. Sell Courses Online

Every single person has something they're really good at that they can teach other people – yes, even you. Whatever your skillset or special talent is, I guarantee you there are people willing to pay you for it.

Making online courses is one of the most profitable small business ideas – there are literally online courses for just about anything you can think of. Browse Udemy for ideas!

5. Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing agencies are in high-demand. And, because of this demand, you can charge a premium for your services. You can specialize on the platform of your choice or offer an array of services on many platforms.

There are so many different kinds of services you can offer as a social media manager. Check out 25 social media management services you can offer here.

6. Write eBooks

Selling eBooks is one of my favorite small business ideas. eBooks are short (so they don't take long to write) and can bring in a steady trickle of income for years to come! Pro tip: you don't even have to write them yourself. Choose a few popular topic ideas, hire an eBook writer, publish it yourself and keep the profit.

7. Facebook Ads Manager

Facebook Ads Managers are in high demand and it's not hard to see why. With millions of users on the platform and the low cost of ads, Facebook Ad Agencies are easily able to charge top dollar for their services. Charging $1500 a month per client for ad services is normal and reasonable for this service.

8. Sell on Amazon

Sell on Amazon with Amazon FBA! FBA stands for “fulfilled by Amazon”. You source product, ship it to Amazon's warehouses, price it and let Amazon take care of fulfillment. No shipping or customer return hassles for you! If this is something that sounds interesting to you, here's a link to a free Amazon FBA course by a couple of super successful Amazon sellers!

9. Freelance Writing

If you like writing, starting a freelance writing business is a great small business to start from home. This is a business idea that can be extremely lucrative, even if you just do it part time.

10. Transcription

Transcription is typing out audio from video and audio files into a text format. Many businesses hire transcriptionists to create captions for their videos, blog posts from their podcasts, and more. Transcription is a great choice for you if you're a hearing person and a fast typer! If transcription sounds interesting, you can learn more in this free eBook: The Truth About Transcription – written by professional transcriptionist Janet Shaughnessy. (She also has 2 free transcription courses!)

11. Bookkeeper

Starting a bookkeeping business is one of the top small businesses you can start from home. Bookkeeping is in high demand!

12. Scoping

A Scopist is a professional transcript editor for court reporters. Scoping is what the court reporting industry calls ‘editing'. Unlike general proofreading or editing, a scopist can compare a court reporters shorthand to the final transcript. Scoping is in high demand and it is highly paid.

Does Scoping sound interesting to you? Here's a link to a free Intro to Scoping mini-course so you can learn more.

13. Resume Writer

This is a great business for former recruiters, hiring managers, career coaches, and more. There is a huge need for resume writers out there!

14. E-Commerce

Starting an E-Commerce business is a popular small business to start from the comfort of your own home. Whether you create your own products, do dropshipping, or print-on-demand, e-commerce is a highly scalable online business that you can do from anywhere.

15. Divination

Are you into reading Tarot cards, Runes, Palmistry, Scrying, or other kinds of Divination? Share your gifts with the world and start a business, already!

16. Astrologer

Are you drawn to Astrology, Birth Charts, Horoscopes, etc? Start a business as an Astrologer.

17. Travel Agent

In post-COVID times, of course. You can become a travel agent from home (or wherever you want). Travel booking can take a lot of time out of a busy persons schedule, especially if they travel a lot for work. Travel agents are in high demand!

Related: 20 Unique Side Hustles for Women: Make $1k+ on the Side!

18. Copywriter

Copywriters write content called copy, and the copy has a specific purpose. The purpose of writing copy is to elicit an emotion and/or a reaction in a reader to make a purchase, sign up for an email list, comment, share, etc. Copywriting is one of the most lucrative businesses you can start online. If you can write a sales page that makes a client thousands of dollars, you will be paid VERY well.

19. SEO Consultant

SEO stands for search engine optimization… and if you want free passive traffic to your website, SEO is everything. SEO Consultants are paid very well and there is no shortage of work.

20. Sell on Etsy

This is a perfect small business idea for creatives! Selling your handmade crafts and printables on Etsy can be very lucrative… and fun.

Related: 21 Best Side Hustles for Introverts

Starting a Small Business Online

For many of these businesses, all you need to get started is the internet, a computer, and a willingness to learn.

Yes, there are many courses out there on the internet that can help you learn these skills faster. But if you can't invest in courses right now, you can still learn these skills. It just may take you a little more time.

Google and YouTube are your friend – there are so many websites and YouTube channels out there giving out incredible free information on literally all of the topics I mentioned here in this article.

Does starting your own business not really sound like your ‘thing'? Check out this post to learn how to get a remote job here.

Carrie Wilder

Carrie has a passion for location independence and nomadic lifestyles. After traveling full-time in an RV and living the van life, she created Making Money and Traveling to help others make the switch to a remote lifestyle. Learn more about Carrie on the About page or connect on social media below.