7 Popular Home-based Businesses to Start at Low Cost

Today, the Internet has made it much more affordable for individuals to start home-based businesses. But success isn't just about the ease of the start-up. Successful entrepreneurs are usually the ones who start their businesses based on their passions or hobbies, so if you want to have a better chance of succeeding in a home-based business, you should find something you really enjoy doing, something you're passionate about. Are any of these 7 popular trades a passion of yours?
Info Entrepreneurs Wish They Would Have Known Sooner
Info Entrepreneurs Wish They Would Have Known Sooner

1. Freelance copywriting: This is one of the most popular home-based businesses nowadays. If you have a communications or English degree and want to run your own show instead of working for a newspaper or publishing agency; being a freelance copy writer may be a great path for you. The cost required to setup this home-base business is very low. You just need a computer (ideally a laptop), web access, a simple informational website that you can update yourself, a couple hundred business cards and you are ready to go.

2. Social media marketing/management: This is another popular and low cost business you can establish out of your home. To start this business, you first need a laptop computer, web access, a smartphone, a couple hundred business cards, and social media webpages for your business on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. As your business grows, establishing a customized, content management system (CMS) website for your own business is another wise investment.

A CMS website allows you to update and change your business easily, so that as your business grows, you can update your site to reflect your growth. Having a professional website is very important in a field like social media, because it allows you to better present yourself to potential customers, and also to build lots of social share links back to your website. Over time, this “organic link building” will help you create a large network of links back to your website, which are valuable because your potential clients are online and many will run into those links, and your website.

10 Tips for Achieving More in Less Time
10 Tips for Achieving More in Less Time

3. Promotional video productions Leveraging YouTube and other social video sharing channels, this trade is another attractive business in today’s market. You can help your customers promote their businesses effectively with promotional videos via viral marketing such as social media, websites, email, video sharing channels, etc. And of course, you can establish this business from home.

4. E-commerce store: This is another business trend growing quite a bit in popularity today. With the ability to compete with big box retail stores on a level playing field while keeping overhead costs low, E-commerce business owners are enjoying the flexibility the Internet has to offer. For more information on how to build and manage an E-Commerce website intelligently for better results, see How to Customize and Manage Your E-commerce Website for Maximum Results.

5. Business consultant If you have quite a bit of knowledge (a degree) and experience in small business development and want to be your own boss while consulting small businesses and helping owners write their business plans, this may be for you. Often, small businesses, especially startups, do not have the budget to afford big consulting firms. Your lower overhead costs allow you to offer a more affordable rate and capture this market segment.

6. Music lessons: This trade is flexible to establish as a home-base business. You can use your basement as your teaching studio or use it as your business office while renting public studios close by on an as-needed basis. This allows you to keep your operating costs low and enables you to work your business schedule around your personal life.

7. Wedding/Event planner: In addition to consulting services, you can keep your operating costs low by partnering and contracting with businesses such as restaurants, entertainers, hair stylists, etc. on an as-needed basis. The wider the network of partners and contractors you have, the more clients you can serve in a wider geographic area.

Although many of us want to be our own boss and run our own show, operating your own business is not easy. It requires a lot of ongoing effort and hard work. Business owners who survive and thrive often are those who started out their business as they explored their passion. A few notable examples are: Michael Dell of DELL computer, Lawrence “Larry” Page of Google, and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook.

To give yourself a better chance of succeeding in running your own business, you should focus, in a field that you are passionate about, on identifying the challenges or problems people face, and see if you can make a business out of helping people solve those challenges problems. I hope you find this article helpful. If you do, please share it with others. Thanks!

Phong T. Nguyen

BA from St. Olaf College
MBA from University of St. Thomas
SEO from "the School of Hard Knocks."