7 Small Businesses You Can Start in Your Living Room

by Charissa Arsaoui on February 24, 2011

Got that entrepreneurial itch but don’t know what to do with it?  Consider launching a business that you can run right from your living room. Just because you start a company doesn’t mean you have to rent an office and put a sign out front. In fact, according to Business.gov, “Over half of all U.S. businesses are based out of an owner’s home.”

Running a business from home saves money and lets you get up and running much quicker. But what to do? Here are seven options to consider.

1) Freelancer – From writing to web design, there are plenty of clients worldwide looking for independent contractor services.  Build a portfolio that showcases your talents as well as your experience and keep it up to date, organized, and digital so you can send it via email easily.

2) Virtual Assistant – If you’re good at multitasking, consider being a virtual assistant for someone who is not.  Setting up appointments, scheduling flights, and ordering office supplies remotely can be a low-stress way to work from home. In fact, you don’t even have to change out of your pajamas unless you want to.

3) Tutor – Offer up your knowledge to someone that is struggling with a subject.  Make your lesson plans fun and informative. Offer a referral rate to your best customers to encourage them to spread the word to their family members and friends.

4) Crafter – Websites like Etsy and Meylah make it a cinch to build a storefront and online presence through their clever marketing tools which include ebooks, blogs, articles, and videos.  The best part of all is that you get to showcase your handmade arts and crafts items for a nominal fee.  And rather than be limited to the community that you live in to sell your wares, you can sell to the entire world.

5) Sitter – Sitters, also known as caregivers, are in high demand now.  Whether it’s for a baby or a small child, an elderly relative, an adorable Chihuahua or a person’s home, honest and reliable people are sought after by those looking to have their most precious assets taken care of while they are away. Want to get started? The Caretaker Gazette is a great publication (for fee) that digests housesitting and caretaking opportunities in the United States and abroad.

6) Personal Shopper – Elderly people, working mothers, and the disabled often find it challenging to get out and shop.  You can offer to do this service for them and then deliver the items to their home for a fee. High-end personal shoppers can help buyers with expert advice on fashion, computers, or other pricier products.

7) Photographer – Weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, and high school graduations are just a few of the occasions that require a skilled photographer.  Set an hourly rate and advertise by posting ads on the net and in your local newspaper.  Now that everything has gone digital, it’s possible to have the pictures taken, touched up, and sent back to your customer within hours after a photo shoot.