Fall is a very popular time for starting a new business. The kids are back in school, leaving mom and dad a bit more time during the day, and with (gulp) Christmas right around the corner, we could all use a little extra cash. Here are 20 home-based business ideas you can start TODAY for less than $100!
1. Direct Sales: Network marketing has gotten a bad rap over the last few years but it can be a great side business or even a full time income if you’ve got the right company and coaches behind you. Some of the longest lasting and most recommended companies include Avon, Mary Kay, Pampered Chef, Tupperware (yes, they’re still around), Scentsy and doTERRA. You can get started with these companies for as little as $5!
Eagle Mountain resident Dannette Klein, an 8-year Scentsy success story, shared the following concerning her own experience: “I’m a mom of 4 amazing and busy kids and owning a Direct Sales business has allowed me the flexibility to grow my business at my own pace and be in complete control of my when, where and how I work. It cost very little to get started and I’ve never had to miss one of my kids’ activities or sporting events because I HAD to be at work.” – Click here to learn more about Dannette and her Scentsy business.
2. Homemade & Gourmet Foods: Turn your love of cooking into a fulfilling and lucrative business by creating and selling delicious holiday pies, decorated cakes, fresh-made breads and more. If you’ve got a treasure trove of once-a-month-cooking (OAMC) recipes, consider starting a home-baked frozen dinner business for families who don’t have time to cook on busy weeknights.
3. Personal Assistant: You’re going to be going to the grocery store, the pharmacy and half a billion other places this week anyway. Why not offer your services to those who won’t have the time? You could run errands, make phone calls or anything else clients have been pushing down the to-do list for too long.
4. Babysitting & Childcare: Babysitting isn’t just for teenagers anymore. If you’ve got the time and space, you could start an in-home daycare or offer care to small groups in the evenings for couples who’d prefer more experienced childcare for a worry free date night. With the holidays coming up, a weekly kids night at your house could mean much-needed holiday shopping and prep time for parents and a nice bump in cash for you.
5. Cleaning Services: The next several months are the busiest time of year for family get-togethers and event hosting. Even families who don’t normally use a housekeeping service will be looking for a little soon. If you offer to also help tidy-up and do dishes or laundry in addition to the standard cleaning regime, word would spread very quickly.
6. Professional Organization: While we’re on the topic of tidying up… If you’re an organizational ninja, why not put those skills to use helping other families to get organized before the holiday chaos sets in. This is a fairly new concept but gaining notoriety very quickly.
7. Seamstress (or undercover crafter): We can’t all be Martha Stewart, (no matter how many Pinterest projects we attempt). If you’ve got a knack for making seasonal wreaths and centerpieces, children’s hair accessories, Halloween costumes and the like, offer those services to craft or time-challenged families in your area. You’d be surprised how many people would be willing to pay for a simple hem on a holiday dress or hand-me-down suit pants.
8. Gardening & Lawn Care: If you’ve got a green thumb and a mower, you’re already halfway to owning your own lawn care business. For a unique twist, offer to plant and maintain a vegetable garden for neighbors or simply water their plants (indoor or out) as well.
9. Editing/Proofreading: Are you that person who’s always correcting people’s grammar (if only in your head)? Chances are you’d make a great proofreader for local marketing companies and other small businesses.
10. Pet Services: This is another business that’s especially great to start during the holiday season. The need for in-home pet sitters, daytime or overnight pet-walkers and pet grooming will be at an annual high pretty soon. Poop-scooping is another related business which can be a very lucrative business if you’re the type that doesn’t mind that sort of work.
11. Calligrapher: If you have great penmanship, consider starting a calligraphy business and offer your services to those without. Local businesses may find your services especially useful when they get ready to send their holiday cards this year. There’s nothing quite like a hand written card to tell your customers how much their business has meant to you.
12. Tutoring: Many students, from grade school through college will find it much harder to study and pay attention during the holiday months. Some will have finals just before the holidays and some just after. If you’re particularly knowledgeable in certain subjects you could be some luck student’s holiday angel.
13. Adult Caregiver: The number of senior citizens is growing day by day and many have a need for assistance with cooking, cleaning, errands and simple companionship. You could market to seniors themselves, or to their adult children who might appreciate the break if they’re currently the primary caregiver.
14. Up-cycling or Antique Refurbishing: Shabby chic is very in right now. Turn your love of antiquing (or D.I.-ing) and up-cyclinginto a fun and satisfying new business. You get the enjoyment of always having a new project to work on, and your husband gets the satisfaction of knowing that old dresser in the garage won’t be there for very long once its done.
15. Auto Detailing: Some of us are meticulous with our cars and others, not so much. If you have a good quality, portable vacuum with attachments for fabric and tiny hidden crevices you already have half the business started. Purchase some high quality cleaners, leather conditioner and air fresheners and you’re in the money.
16. Card Making: Do you have a whole closet full of paper and embellishments left over front the scrapbooking craze a few years ago? Here’s your chance to put it to good use. Help others commemorate baptisms, birthdays, anniversaries, new babies and other cherished life-events with custom-made cards.
17. Computer Repair/Maintenance: Everyone has a computer these days, but not everyone knows how to maintain them properly. For the technically inclined, this is one business you could start for no more than the cost of your business cards.
18. All-natural Candles, Soaps & Cleaning Products: Making wax and soap products isn’t as hard as you think and once you’ve got the basics down, the options and possibilities are endless. Clean, all-natural, organic living is at the forefront of many families’ minds. Timing is perfect for starting a business with those ideals.
19. Teaching Music: This could be done in your home or at the homes of others and your can offer a mix of individual or group, Instrumental or vocal music classes.
20. Event Planning: Help take the stress out of holiday events, weddings, birthday parties and more by becoming an event planner. By offering purchased or borrowed items for décor, you could over time amass a large supply of tablecloths, centerpieces and other decorations which you could reuse and make money from over and over again.
Tips for all new business owners: No matter what type of business you start, be sure to register with your local and state governances, and establish a relationship with a local accountant who can help decide how to structure your business right up front to save on taxes later. A membership to a prepaid legal service such as LegalShield is also a great idea for new businesses. They can review contracts and provide a sense of security over the long term life of your business.