If you’re looking for a remote job or home business idea to begin in 2023, you’re not alone. Approximately 27.6 million Americans (17.9% of the population) work remotely now, a massive increase from previous years. There are many reasons for this, ranging from the desire for more flexibility to wanting to skip the morning commute.
The good news is that work-from-home businesses don’t usually require a lot of cash to get started. For most home businesses, all you need to get started is a secure internet connection, a computer or laptop, and a plan. Some ventures, such as those that require inventory or products, might need some storage space, but the overhead is usually minor.
Plus, working remotely comes with a lot more freedom and flexibility than you’d find with most traditional jobs. Not only that, but as you go, you may very well find that there are very few limitations on how much you can grow your business.
As things become more digital, it’s become much easier to find a lucrative job or business opportunity that uses your skill set and fits your interests. So, whether you want to start a lucrative side hustle or a fully established company, here are the 25 top home business ideas to help inspire you to get started.
Here are top 25 work from home business ideas to start
Now that you’re ready to start your own venture — or move toward remote work — the next step is to find the right home business idea for you. For 2023, here are the top 25 business ideas to get you started — as well as what you’ll need for each.
1. Product seller
If you enjoy crafting, you might want to consider selling your products or designs to others. You can open an online shop on a website like Etsy and sell your products to a large audience, thereby turning your passion into profit.
In terms of equipment, you’ll need a computer or tablet to upload your designs and a camera to take quality pictures. You’ll also need access to a post office and reliable transportation so you can deliver your items to your customers.
You’ll also need whatever materials are required to make your goods. For example, some people use 3D printers to make their designs, while others go through third-party suppliers to make shirts with creative artwork.
These supplies will cost money, so keep that in mind. As your business expands, you could consider branching out with your own website.
2. Virtual assistant
A virtual assistant is essentially someone who remotely supports a larger business. They typically have a background in human resources or business administration and have good communication skills. They also perform many administrative tasks, such as scheduling meetings and booking travel.
To get started, you’ll need a computer, phone, and secure internet connection. You might also need certain software applications, depending on the types of businesses you’re working with.
You can be a freelance virtual assistant by making your own website and networking, or you can work for an established business — all while being at home.
3. Online course creator
Another great home based business idea is to create an online course revolving around skills or specific knowledge you already have. For example, if you have skills in something like freelance writing, business creation, music, or teaching, you could share your knowledge with others for a set fee. This can also help you build passive income since, once the course is completed, you don’t have to do much with it (unless you choose to update it).
It helps to already have an online presence such as on an established social media platform. The more followers you have, the better the chances of you being seen online and of people buying your course.
You’ll also need some equipment, such as a computer, microphone, and potentially a camera. Depending on the course type, you may also need certain software. You can create your own site and host the course there, or you can use an online platform like Teachable or Udemy.
If you enjoy writing and researching, a freelance writer could be a lucrative choice. You can either pitch to clients directly, work through referrals, or join a content writing agency.
You’ll need a computer and a reliable internet connection to get started. From there, create a writer’s website and a portfolio (samples will do). Then, start building up your professional network on LinkedIn and other platforms.
It’s important to choose a specific niche to write about. For example, if you have professional experience as a nurse or banker, you could translate that over to writing. You could also take courses online to improve or certify your skills.
5. Graphic designer
A graphic designer is someone who creates visuals (often with text), typically for marketing purposes. These illustrations can be digital, in print advertisements, in magazines, and more.
As a graphic designer, you’ll need to use certain software, such as Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. Many graphic designers also use a digital drawing pad or tablet.
Create a website with a portfolio of your designs online so clients can find you. Also, start building up or reaching out to your network for clients. Alternatively, advertise your services on platforms like Fiverr.
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6. Online consultant
Remote consultants can work in nearly any industry, ranging from education to cyber security to business development. Their main purpose is to help larger companies continue to scale through advice and solutions.
Many online consultants will do video calls with their clients, so having quality audio and recording equipment is essential. They often need certifications verifying their skills, too. It helps to also have a professional website with the services, industries, and testimonials.
7. Video editor
Video editing is a highly lucrative career, too. Most content creators on sites like TikTok and YouTube use editing software to get their videos publish-ready. But some of the bigger creators don’t have time to edit their videos themselves.
As a video editor, you take raw footage and edit it into something worthy of the brand that people will enjoy. This could be long- or short-form content.
You’ll need a good computer and a video editing program like Filmora or Adobe Premiere. It might also be beneficial to take some online or in-person courses on video editing, graphic design, audio, and special effects.
If you know your way around a camera — DSLR, mirrorless, or otherwise —, you could offer photography skills remotely to businesses, magazines, websites, or individual customers.
Many freelance photographers have their own platform or website where they display their portfolio and connect with potential customers. But you could also go through a website like Shutterstock and sell stock photos online.
Consider your interests and find a niche that way. For example, are you interested in wedding photography or nature photography? Do you want to work with large businesses or individuals?
To get into this type of business, you’ll need a quality camera and a computer. If you’re new to photography, consider taking a few relevant courses.
Businesses, large and small, need accountants to help them prepare and verify their financial records to ensure they comply with legal and business practices. Accountants typically need a dedicated skill set and a certain level of education. But if you’ve already worked as one, going remote or working for yourself could be the best business to start.
You’ll need a computer, accounting software (ex. FreshBooks or QuickBooks), and a professional website.
10. Event organizer
Event organizers, or event planners, can be one of the more lucrative small business ideas from home. They primarily plan, organize, and oversee events for companies, weddings, birthdays, and more. They’re responsible for all the logistics, including communicating with vendors and suppliers, scheduling venues, working with clients on the theme, and handling the guest list.
Although having a relevant degree or certificate (such as in public relations or hospitality) can help, it’s not essential. Many people get started as an employee before transitioning into their own thing.
11. Content creator
Content creator is a catch-all term for anyone who creates content online — whether it’s videos, written content, illustrations, music, or otherwise. You can be a content creator on many different platforms, including Upwork, YouTube, Twitch, Instagram, or Fiverr.
If you have specific skills or interests in a particular medium, consider creating content for it. Over time as you build an audience, you could monetize it. Successful content creators can make tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.
You’ll need to know the ins and outs of your chosen niche or content type. The equipment varies, but most people need a computer and reliable internet connection. Some also need basic editing and recording software.
12. Item reseller
If you consider yourself a thrifty shopper, then reselling items could be another potential home based business idea. Start by creating an online shop — eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and Craigslist are good options. Over time, you can create a recognizable brand for yourself, which will help attract customers.
You’ll need to have the items you want to sell first. You’ll also need decent communication skills, a phone or camera for photos and uploading, and a laptop or desktop computer.
13. Online translator
Fluent in other languages? If so, you could become a translator for different companies or clients. This could involve translating written documents or audio.
For example, you could work with international businesses to translate meetings. Or you could create closed captions on videos or podcasts.
To get started, consider offering your services online. Build up a professional network on Linkedin, connect with people in your industry, and start reaching out to businesses that need your services.
14. Remote coder
There are several ways to do this business from home. One way is to post your services on marketplaces or websites like Fiverr to find small starting gigs. Another way is to create an online website with a portfolio.
You’ll need a computer and specific software programs like Notepad++ or Visual Studio Code.
15. Social media manager
Many home business ideas require you to have some form of social media presence. After all, online relevance is key to many businesses’ success.
If you have excellent social media skills and want to use them to help other businesses establish their online presence, consider becoming a social media manager. In this role, you’ll interact and engage with the brand’s community, while building it up.
For example, the restaurant chain Wendy’s has a highly popular Twitter account, which boosts engagement and helps keep the brand relevant.
16. Online tutor
If you consider yourself to be a subject matter expert on something, you could set up an online tutoring business. You can create your own website or promote your services on platforms such as BuffTutor.
You won’t have many startup costs, but you may want to take a course or read some relevant textbooks to keep you up to date with your field. Online tutors also need video conference software and internet access.
17. Website designer
A website designer is someone who has the experience and creativity to build websites. If this sounds like you, consider creating a website design agency and offering your services to businesses. Create a website or get started on a site like Upwork or Fiverr.
18. Property management service owner
Many people who own multiple properties use vacation or short-term rental management services to help them rent out their property for extra income. By starting such a service, you could do this for them while earning a commission.
You may need to visit the properties in person, or get pictures from the owner that you can then use online to market the property. You’ll also need good communication and administrative skills to speak with clients and handle the logistics.
19. Ecommerce business purchaser
This one requires a bit of capital, but if you’re ready to invest, consider buying a preexisting ecommerce business. Depending on the size of the business, you may want to keep some of the original team on board to help you run it. If you’re not sure where to start, head over to an online marketplace like Bizbuysell and see what’s available.
20. App creator and developer
Have a great idea for an app you think could sell? Start by researching the current market and competition for your idea. Calculate how much it might cost and, if needed, get an investor or two to back your idea. Investors could be family, angel investors, venture capitalists, and more.
From there, you’ll need to think about how to develop the app (unless you already have the technical skills to do so). It’s also a good idea to start considering how you’ll monetize the app. For example, do you want to have in-app ads, purchases, or a subscription fee?
You can put your app on a marketplace like the Apple or Google Play Store. These platforms do charge a fee, so keep this in mind.
21. Affiliate marketer and blogger
On their own, blogs may not make money. But if you have a dedicated audience and quality content, you could get into affiliate marketing, offer advertising space, or get sponsorships.
This home based business idea can take a while to become lucrative, so it’s best to start now. Upfront costs are minimal, but you will need a website domain and host. You may also need to buy a custom website template.
A transcriptionist is someone who types everything they hear, whether it’s prerecorded or spoken in the moment. Starting a transcription business doesn’t require much to get started — only a computer and some basic software.
It can also be fairly easy to get into, especially if you have an online presence or solid network. Reach out to different businesses to see if they need a transcriptionist. Or, if you’re new to the field, head over to Udemy, Upwork, Rev, or other platforms to help you get started.
23. Recruiting agent
Recruiting agencies are businesses that help companies find candidates for open positions. Most of these businesses will pay the recruiting agency a commission — sometimes up to 20% of the employee’s proposed salary — rather than do it themselves.
You can get started as an independent recruiter on a platform like LinkedIn. Or you can work with a staffing agency on a contract basis.
If you already have a background in the industry, you may want to consider starting your own agency. This is something you can do fully remotely, but you will need to do a lot of video and phone calls.
24. Independent landscaper
If you enjoy gardening or designing exterior spaces, consider becoming a landscaper or starting a landscaping business. You’ll need to work with clients to understand their needs. And you’ll need to scope out the competition to make sure your services and prices are reasonable for the market.
You can learn about landscaping and the different design elements on platforms like Instagram or YouTube. From there, you can create a dedicated website with a consistent blog to draw in readers and potential clients. Alternatively, you could advertise your services to neighborhoods in your area.
Consider getting special landscaping software programs to help you plan out larger areas. Some landscapers also have a degree in Landscape Architecture, but this isn’t required.
25. Travel planner
As a travel planner, you’re responsible for planning every aspect of your client’s trip or vacation. This involves things like scheduling the trip, booking hotel and plane reservations, planning the itinerary, and finding suitable restaurants.
One way to get started is to work remotely for an established travel planning agency. Another option is to work through a platform like Fiverr and advertise your services there. Once established, you can create your own website with a travel blog and start working more independently.
How to start a home business
Starting a home business from scratch requires some time and preparation, just like it would with any other business. It might also require some legal documentation and a few other processes to ensure things run smoothly.
But if you’re just getting started, here are the basic steps for how to start a home business:
- Come up with your business idea. Although it might seem obvious, the first step is to decide on a home based business idea. Ideally, this idea will be profitable and use — or build upon — your current skill set or knowledge. It should also fit your interests.
- Consider startup costs. A new venture could cost money, whether it’s in basic equipment like a computer or office space. Plan out how much you expect to spend if anything.
- Create a business plan. For a successful home business, you need a business plan. The plan should include things like your marketing/sales plan, target audience/market, competitive analysis, and a description of your service or product, and a description of your business. This might take some time, but it’s worth it in the end.
- Start the legal process. Decide what type of business you want to run (ex. sole proprietorship or LLC). Consider speaking with an attorney about things like paperwork, taxes, and personal liability vs. business liability. If you form a C Corp or LLC, be sure to register your home business as well. You might also need to apply for a business license and an employer identification number (EIN).
- Open a business banking account. It’s a good idea to separate your personal and business finances. The easiest way to do this is to open a business bank account. You can use this account for things like business taxes, paying employees or suppliers, and so on.
- Find investors (if necessary). For larger ventures, you might want to get a few investors to help you launch. If you want something small that doesn’t have many startup costs, skip this step.
- Start providing your products/services. Once you’ve got everything else settled, it’s time to begin providing your services or products.
The best businesses to start often don’t require a lot of specialized training or any specific degree. They also don’t call for much overhead or other upfront expenses.
All it takes to get started is the right home business idea, a business plan, time, and some skill. Choose an idea that works for you and fits your skills and interests.
Also, set some short- and long-term goals to help you on the road to success. This can help set you up for long-term growth and sustainability.
Is creating a home business profitable?
It can be, depending on the home based business idea, the current market need for it, and your business model. Some of the most profitable ventures include subscription-based businesses and B2B companies (business-to-business).
What cheap business can I start?
When it comes to starting a business from home, you could be looking at spending nothing at all, or several thousand dollars. It all depends on the business idea. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money, some of the best businesses to start are those that have minimal equipment requirements. This includes things like freelance writers, graphic designers, or virtual assistants.
What businesses grow fast?
If you want to scale your business quickly, it’s important to first understand your long-term business goals. Certain home business ideas grow faster than others, but this depends on things like how lucrative the idea is and the current competition. Some of the fast-growing businesses include content creators (YouTube, bloggers, etc.), freelancers (writers, graphic designers, editors), course creators, and social media managers.