6 Home-Based Business Ideas to Start Right Now

Home is where the heart is, and for many, it’s also where business is. According to the Small Business Administration, half of all U.S. businesses operate primarily out of a home, a figure that’s been steady over the last decade. Most are in the information, construction and service industries. And women-, minority- and veteran-owned businesses are heavily represented in this space.

While the majority (57%) of home-based businesses earn less than $25,000,  roughly 44% were started with just $5,000 or less. That puts it within reach for startups or small business owners looking to supplement their income with a side hustle.

So what are the hot ideas for home-based businesses in 2021? Take a look at these pandemic friendly picks from the website FitSmallBusiness:

Dog-Sitting Business

Dogs aren’t just man’s best friend. They can unleash a home business too. Communities like Rover help you get started. Set up your profile and select which services you want of offer and the type of pet you want to work with (they handle cats too). Manage your appointments and get paid with their online app. They also offer tips and limited liability protection.

Sell Handmade Products

Do you have a craft hobby? You might be able to turn that into a lucrative home-based business. The challenge is selling your creations in a pandemic friendly environment. Luckily there are several third-party platforms (Etsy, Amazon Handmade) that allow you to sell online. There may be a fee associated with each sale but you won’t have to create your own ecommerce store.

Online Tutor

With many students doing remote learning (and their parents busy working from home), there’s a growing call to supplement online learning with private tutors. Free platforms like Zoom or Google Meet let you share screens so you and the student can work together on an assignment. Start by establishing local contacts with school systems or parent organizations. There are also commercial websites like Home Tutor and Skooli that connect students and tutors.

Sponsored Podcasting

More companies are choosing to spend their ad dollars by sponsoring existing podcasts. In fact, the total podcast ad spending is expected to surpass $1 billion this year. By starting your own podcast at home, you might be able to capture a portion of those dollars. The amount of ad revenue is based on the number of followers you have. So this may be a longer-term investment to scale up your audience before advertisers would be interested. Here’s a guide to starting your own podcast.

Virtual Yoga Instructor

In a COVID environment, people have a limited number of in-person fitness options. If you practice yoga, you might be able to fill that void by teaching online yoga classes. This one requires an investment to get certified. Here’s a review of ten online yoga teacher certification programs.  Once certified, you could offer online classes using platforms like Zoom. There’s also software like Namastream that includes tools to take electronic payment and email marketing add-ons.

Herbal Farm Stand

With dining-in COVID restrictions in some communities, there’s a growing interest in gourmet cooking at home. For many recipes that includes the use of fresh herbs. So it’s no surprise that culinary herb sales are expected to grow at a steady rate of around 2.1% in 2021. A home-based herbal farm could capitalize on that trend. It requires an investment in equipment if you want to achieve any scale. For example, ZipGrow offers hydroponic platforms that let you grow in all seasons.

Relatively low start-up costs and minimal overhead make home-based businesses an attractive alternative for some people. Take a look at these ideas for 2021 and evaluate whether it’s right for you.