About The Author: Isabella is Marketing Team Lead and handles Content Marketing at Porch. She has an International MBA, and her hobbies are reading, writing, and music.
Some of today’s most prominent businesses were started at home. From Walt Disney’s cartoon stand in his uncle’s Hollywood garage, to Sarah Blakely’s Spanx warehouse in her apartment, the list is pretty impressive.
Many people start a small home business or side hustle to earn extra income – or simply to go into business for themselves. All kinds of companies run from homes today, from financial consulting and baking to salon services and tutoring. And if you’re reading this, you’re probably ready to join the crowd!
In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of a home-based business. We’ll also touch on product and service ideas, and ways to make a workspace that works for you.
Benefits of a Home-Based Business
Whether it’s a side hustle or a fulltime gig, creating your own income stream is very satisfying. Of course, it’s also tough. But the benefits of doing so are pretty attractive. Here are some top selling points:
1. Time with Family
Running your business from home is definitely a plus for parents or people with family obligations. You can be around for the school run, pick up children if they’re unwell and attend events like Sports Day or Christmas productions. If you have older relatives, you can be on standby if they need occasional assistance. It’s also a win for “pet parents”. Starting a home-based business will let you spend quality time with your furry loved ones.
2. Zero Commute Time
Londoners face an average daily commute of 84 minutes. That’s not even factoring in the substantial cost, which is as much as £544 a month for some. Being at home will enable you to cook and eat at home, avoid traffic and lower your petrol or train fare budget. On that note, it would also be the perfect time to scrub up your diet, as well as make time for other activities – instead of being stuck in traffic.
3. Save on Commercial Rent
If you operate your business in a commercial space, you’re required to pay rent ,as well as utilities and insurance. Since you’re already paying down a mortgage or rent on your home, why not reinvest the money you save on commercial rent back into your business in some other form, such as digital marketing?
It might take some practice to juggle tasks associated with your business and personal life skilfully. After all, you might feel like you need to spend every waking moment of the work day focussed on the company. The truth is there’s room for a lot of flexibility. You can take a break to throw in a load of laundry or prep for dinner on your lunch break. In short, you can create a daily dynamic schedule that balances both your business and household needs.
4. Be More Productive
Being your own boss means you can set your own goals for productivity, and develop strategies to achieve them that work best for you. A great way to get started is by creating a schedule you know you’ll follow every day. Be realistic with your goals and timings so you can stay motivated throughout the day. For example, if you know you’re more productive first thing in the morning, aim to tackle your biggest tasks before 12 PM. While making your schedule, you might also want to add some household activities that are quick to complete, or pencil in time for an outdoor walk to boost your brain cells. Organizing your agenda and working at home will a great experience – whether you’re a morning or evening person!
Small Business Product and Service Ideas
You probably already have an idea about what kind of business you want to run. But if not, there are a huge range of goods and services to choose from, all with excellent track records. Here are some of the most popular in case you’re looking for inspiration!
1. Virtual / In-Person Teacher
- Music teacher: teach an instrument such as guitar, violin, or piano. If you play, why not offer your services on different teaching platforms? This could be private lessons or group lessons.
- Dance teacher: teach modern dance, ballet, or ballroom dancing. Offer different types of schedules for kids and adults. Just make sure you have all the proper equipment, so your whether you’re in-person or online, it’s always professional.
- Art teacher: teach drawing and illustration, painting, or sculpture. Define which are technique you’re best at, select a platform like Zoom for classes, and create a schedule of your availability.
- Language instructor: teach Spanish, Chinese, Latin, or French. Just make sure you’ve really mastered the language you are planning to teach.
- Tutor: Tutor either elementary or high school students in subjects that you’re qualified in – such as math, English, or chemistry.
- Yoga or Pilates instructor: teach virtual yoga or Pilates, or even meditation techniques.
- Blogging: There are a lot of ways to make money blogging. If you’re a fan of writing, creating your own blog can be a fun activity where you’ll be able to experiment with your creativity – and get paid to do it. Do keep in mind, though, that this type of business can take a little longer to generate revenue.
- Freelancing photography: Got an eye for a great scene? Think about what type of photography you want to do, and what are the most popular requirements needed from your potential clients.
- Online course creator: Develop, create, and sell an online course that teaches people how to do something you’re really good at – including any of the items listed above!
2. E-commerce Seller
Buying products in bulk and selling them online is another way to generate income. You’ll partner with a warehouse where your products will be shipped from. You can also perform all services related to e-commerce and expand as you need to. When choosing products, consider how much space you’ll need to accommodate this type of operation.
Many home-based business owners sell products that they create, such as:
- Candles: A candle company is great for anyone passionate about wicks, soy blends, and achieving the perfect scent. You can offer soy candles, scented candles, beeswax candles, paraffin candles, and more.
- Books: Selling books online is a great way to get started. You could also consider selling e-books online.
- Baked goods: Bakeries have been around for a long time, but recently they have grown in popularity. Entrepreneurs have taken their baking skills from home and opened regular bakeries and restaurants, and even franchises! Creating cupcakes, artisan bread, cookies, wedding cakes, and more could be a great way to start.
- Jewellery: Making people’s personalities come alive through jewellery is a very fulfilling creative pursuit. Think about creating beaded bracelets, necklaces, earrings, rings. etc.
- Essential oils: The opportunities for creativity are boundless with this popular product. Own a business or buy wholesale oils to resell on your own.
- Knitwear: A lot of people know how to knit, but it’s generally considered a new fad or a lost art. The good news is that while cold weather lasts, knitwear will always be in demand. Why not try some hats, scarves, mittens, or sweaters?
E-commerce isn’t only product-based. You can also provide services to customers, either in person or online. These might include:
- Makeup tutorials: If you’re a whizz with cosmetics, making videos on how to properly use makeup might be a rewarding activity – not only for you, but also for your potential clients. Even showing how to apply lashes properly would be a great way to get started.
- Dog walking: Taking care of furry babies and just having a long walk outdoors could definitely bring you great benefits.
- Personal trainer: Becoming an accredited trainer is easier than you think. And don’t forget – you’re often able to get fit alongside helping others achieve their own goals. Very rewarding!
- Virtual assistant: If organizing and scheduling your day comes naturally to you, why not offer these services to people that don’t have that same passion or patience as you do? Trust me – there are plenty out there.
- Personal Shopper: Love to shop? A personal shopper can work directly for a client, or their stylist. You can also become a personal shopper through boutiques and departments stores.
- Housecleaner: This is a great opportunity if you have a knack for cleaning and decluttering. Plus, this kind of service is always in high demand.
These are just some of the most popular ideas for getting your home business up and running. But a great product or service is only one aspect of launching a successful home business. If you’re going to build this thing from scratch, you need a space to get creative. Read on for some quick tips on setting up a workspace that will work for you!
Home Office Essentials
Sitting at your coffee table with a laptop is probably fine for the odd day working from home. But if you’re going to put in the time and effort it takes to run your own business, you need a place to do it. Here are some must-haves for a productive, creative home office
1. Good Lighting
Good lighting is essential so you can work without straining your eyes. Not only that, it also helps create a bright and cheerful atmosphere, which is always mood-boosting. Consider having better overhead lighting installed by an electrician. Or why not add more lamps to the space, ensuring you have great lighting even on dark and dreary days?
2. Adjustable Desk
An adjustable desk is ideal for a home office. Whether it’s designing great products, chatting on Zoom, or any other tasks related to your business, having a desk that can go with your flow is a gamechanger. Not only is convenient – it’s also great for your health and fitness.
3. Comfortable Furniture
Speaking of your health, it’s time to invest in a quality ergonomic office chair. You’ll be spending a lot of time in your home office, so be sure to have comfortable and supportive furnishings for yourself and anyone else who may be working with you. You may also need filing cabinets, a workbench, or other furniture related to the type of work you perform.
Office decor may not seem essential, but it can enhance your mood each day. Remember: your office is your place of work. Decorate it in a way that inspires and motivates you to be productive. Although you don’t want to add much in the way of clutter, some thoughtful decorative pieces will add personal warmth to your office.
House plants can make your home office feel cosy and welcoming. And that’s not all. Many houseplants feature air-purifying properties. Add plants to your office space like aloe vera or spider plants to keep the air smelling clean and fresh. Consider plants of various sizes for a dynamic environment.
Apart from the equipment or gear related to your product or service, you’ll also want some basic office equipment, such as:
- Computer or laptop
- Internet (consider business internet service) pocket wifi could also be a great option.
- Business Phone
- Copy machine
- Postage scale
7. Quiet Space
When laying out your office, be sure to choose a space with an adequate room. If you live in a bustling household, you’ll need a place where you can work without distractions. A quiet space away from children or the television room would be ideal. Check if you have any corners where things can be rearranged to open up a space.
8. Office Bar
Although you can always visit your kitchen, you might want to create an office bar. Keep a coffee maker, healthy snacks, and even a small refrigerator to keep water or other beverages cold. That way, you can keep your work items separate from the household’s supplies.
Hopefully, this article has given you some inspiration for your very own home business!
One final piece of advice: as exciting as starting out is, make sure you dedicate adequate time to address each aspect of your business’s development. Getting your foundations right makes for smoother sailing in the long run. Also, once your business is up and rolling, be sure to consult with an accountant to ensure that you understand your tax obligations!
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