Great small business ideas you can run from home

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s to wash our hands, and that people are enjoying working from home a lot more than the office setup. Here are some ideas for home-based businesses.

Finding employment opportunities that allow you to work from home is becoming more and more common, as many businesses start to understand the importance of the web and digital technology for expansion.

However, because many people are now working from home, it can be hard to find a job that’s explicitly at-home, even when things get back to normal. This opens up a new opportunity – entrepreneurship.

Instead of finding a job, you can start creating one yourself. Working from home might be the ideal choice, so that you can spend more time relaxing with your family, or even traveling, and owning your own business could be the real path to financial and 9-5 office freedom you really need.

Starting a business is no easy task, but with the right inspiration, you might just find the industry you could burst onto the scene in. Here’s a list of great small business ideas you can operate from home.

Studio photographer

Photography is a rather self-driven field of work. You don’t need to attend college for it, nor do you necessarily need the best equipment, but you’re tasked with a lot of networking work to help expand your client base.

Studio photography is a great small business to own because the costs are relatively low for operation. The biggest expenses you’ll come across are your camera, lenses, lighting, and website upkeep.

While it’s true that cameras and lenses can get quite expensive, you’re not going to be changing them out very often because they can last long with proper care. Even studio equipment for your setup can be reasonable.

You can see the backdrops that photographers use, which cost little, but allow for many opportunities for product photography, portraits, wedding photos, etc. to give you many options for your style of photography.

Just remember, studio photographers need a dedicated space in their home, so you need to allocate space for this small home business! 


Woodworkers are a crucially undervalued trade. We take for granted how much of our furniture and home decor is finely crafted wood products, but we usually buy them from large chains.

Filling a niche as a woodworker home business keeps people’s money local, which is a big thing now, and offers a fun chance to help people find the right desk, drawer, or stand for their home or apartment.

Woodworking isn’t easy, and you need a good degree of skill with power equipment (Sawzall, skill saw, table saw, sanders, chainsaws, etc.) as well as math skills, but the reward in making things by hand is certainly there.

Woodworkers can provide a useful service in crafting furniture or decorative pieces for buyers and is a fun small business to start from the comfort of your garage or tool shed. 

And while perhaps not the most obvious one, it’s also an increasingly popular career choice for women, so you’ll be in good company!

Automobile and small engine mechanic

Another hands-on trade business you can start from home is an automobile and small engine repair mechanic. This business is always in high demand because chain repair shops can charge an arm and a leg for small repairs.

People are always looking for a way to save some money on their next oil change, and you could be that person to fulfill their needs. Of course, you need the right equipment and training, as well as a garage to work with, but word of mouth spreads fast about reasonably priced car mechanics.

The best part about this small business is that people are constantly buying cars or appliances like lawnmowers, so the demand never goes away. Startup fees for this business could be upwards of $50 000, but the long-term payoff is certainly enough to consider it a viable small business to operate. 

And again, like woodworking, this may not be the most obvious career choice for women, female mechanics do exist – just ask Louise Baker, founder of Womanic!

Tutoring and teaching services

Even with the need to stay distanced and safe, tutoring and teaching services have remained well intact during these strange times. In fact, they may have actually improved for many.

Tutoring online allows you to work from home on your computer or laptop with webcam access to your students, so there’s no more need to be driving around town, and it opens up a larger clientele base.

Tutoring and teaching can be about anything you want, as long as you’re educated enough on the topic. Music lessons, math, science, reading and writing, marketing, or life coaching are some of the popular choices.

When you teach things or offer services like financial consulting, you’ll need to be qualified in those fields with certifications or a degree, but even without, there are plenty of ways to start your own tutoring business at home.

House cleaning

Keeping a home spotless is tough for working parents and homeowners. Between all of the chores and running around, sometimes, it feels like there’s not enough time in a day to get it all done. Thankfully for them, you can help cure their woes.

House cleaning is a viable small business to get involved in now because there’s a heightened concern about safety and hygiene. This small business has the usual startup fees for cleaning equipment like power washes, vacuums, cleaning supplies, and PPE (personal protective equipment), but they pale in comparison to the money you can potentially make.

Even before 2020, house cleaning was a steady industry, but people are looking for cheaper alternatives to house cleaning companies. You can offer incentives like an added cleaning service for free for new customers or reduced subscription costs, pay as you serve, or anything that helps the customer feel like they are paying less. 

Freeing yourself from the office life and finding legitimate ways to work from home is something many people dream about, but few actually accomplish.

The alternative is one that even less considers, and that’s starting a small business you can run from home. While business ownership isn’t for everyone, it’s a viable solution to the woes of 9-5 labor and can lead you on the path to financial freedom.