Top Businesses to Run from Home

by Alex HaslamSeptember 13, 2018

Working from home — whether it’s remote work for a company or self-employment — is becoming increasingly popular. In fact, roughly 10% of workers in the US are self-employed and over 3% of employees in the US work from home half of the time. If you’re looking to start a home-based business, you’ve got plenty of company. Of course, some fields are better suited to working from home than others. Generally, service-based businesses are easier to operate from home because you don’t have to worry about storing items and dealing with inventory. Whether you’re looking for the perfect place to start your business or just want to make a little extra money on the weekends, here are the five best businesses to run from home.

1. Social Media Management

Social media is a crucial part of a comprehensive marketing strategy, but it’s also demanding — especially when you consider that many companies have a presence on three or four different platforms. Typically, businesses have dedicated social media teams to handle sourcing content, scheduling, and engaging with followers and fans.

Some businesses have in-house social media teams, but many outsource their social media management to agencies or freelancers. This gig is perfect to run from home since almost all the tools you need are digital and it doesn’t involve much overhead or specialized equipment, which is a common theme among the best home-based businesses.

2. Virtual Assistant

A virtual assistant (VA) is basically a personal assistant or administrative assistant that works remotely. The job duties of a virtual assistant can be highly varied and depend on the types of services you want to offer clients.

This field has become very in-demand, especially as freelancing and contract work have become more popular. Many freelancers find themselves with a full plate of client work to do and little time left for the essential administrative tasks that help keep a business running. Hiring an assistant seems like a logical step, but they may not have enough work or enough budget to justify a full-time employee, so a virtual assistant can step in.

Many virtual assistants work with multiple clients to fill out their work weeks, though this isn’t always the case. Some of the tasks you might perform as a VA include the following:

  • Email management
  • Transcription and note-taking for calls
  • Data entry
  • Travel planning

If you like variety in your work, becoming a VA is a great business idea.

3. Copywriting

“Copy” is another name for the writing found on websites, especially relating to sales and advertising. Think sales pages, email signups, product descriptions, Facebook ads — these are all examples of copy. And copywriters are the people who write that copy.

Many businesses outsource copywriting, and it’s one of the most common freelance fields, especially since blogging exploded in popularity. Freelance job boards like Upwork have thousands of listings seeking copywriters to create web pages and blog posts. In fact, copywriting might be the perfect at-home business.

Why? All you need to get up and running is a computer. The software and tools used are generally much more affordable than those for design and other creative fields. In fact, many copywriters get by with free Google Docs and have no complaints.

4. Graphic Design

We live in a visual world, especially when it comes to marketing. Whether it’s logos, website icons, brand color palettes, or something else, visual assets are necessary for businesses. However, many companies lack the time or expertise to create them on their own.

Starting a graphic design business and operating out of your home means you can work in a space that is comfortable and lets your creativity flow. And as with all the businesses here, since it’s service-based, you won’t require much overhead—meaning you can invest more profits back into the business or pay yourself a higher salary. Although there are numerous specialized graphic design tools ranging from software to drawing tablets, all you really need to get started is a computer and some design software (like Adobe Creative Cloud).

5. Web and App Development

These days, every business needs a website. And increasingly, customers expect businesses to have an app too. As a result, web and app developers are in extremely high demand and can average more than double the national average annual salary, to boot.

Developers aren’t just responsible for building the app or website for the client—they also handle maintenance and troubleshooting once the site is live and may be responsible for producing or converting content for the app or site. It’s a busy job but can be very rewarding.

Whatever your reason for starting a home-based business, it’s hard to go wrong with one of these. Set aside some office space, grab your laptop, and get to work!

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About The Author
Alex Haslam
Alex Haslam has always been a writer, but working on home improvements of her own have encouraged her to be a doer as well. Now she writes about how first-time DIYers can create beautiful, meaningful spaces with their own hands.