Home-Based Businesses: 4 Easy Ways to Get Started

TutoringIf, for whatever reason, you’re a stay-at-home mom, dad, or single adult there is no need for you to be without an income. There are a variety of skills and attributes you can parlay into a successful home-based enterprise. We know programmers, artists, and writers do this all the time, but there are many other ways to earn from home. Let’s look at some of the most accessible options.

Wellness Instructor / Personal Trainer

Let’s face it. Fact – over a quarter of all Americans are obese. Fact – motivation is the hardest part of sticking to an exercise and wellness regimen.  If shows like “The Biggest Loser” can attract heavy viewership, that’s one sure sign of market out there just waiting for you to knock on their doors for their daily wellness sessions. An aging baby boomer population and young people who don’t want the merciless scrutiny of unforgiving eyes will be glad for the opportunity to hire you on contract to help them with their fitness concerns in the privacy of their own homes or neighborhoods.

To check whether you have the necessary qualifications to engage in this profession, check out the National Federation of Professional Trainers for information about the certification process, and other details. Other certification groups include the American Council on Exercise and the International Sports Sciences Association.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that fitness industry employment will increase by 29% through 2018. There should be enough space for everyone. There is very little investment required for this because you can always train clients in the local park or gym, or in their own homes. You will have to invest, though, on your own personal fitness because you are your greatest marketing asset.

House Cleaner

Most people want their houses spic and span and spanking clean but just can’t get around to making it happen. That’s where you come in. If you’re one of those gifted with the compulsion for order and cleanliness and the energy to act on it, you can quickly build a home-based business around this. The going rate to clean a 3-bedroom house is $80, and it usually takes just 3 hours to do it. That’s a clean $20 per hour with just the very basic investment of cleaning materials and good old elbow grease.

You’ll have to do a bit of marketing to get the clients. A simple free website or blog can get you going, as will printed brochures and flyers you can distribute or post in the local community boards or supermarket. Free adverts for your service on Craiglist is always a good idea.

Child Care

If you’re the type who’s good with children and love to have them around, this is the perfect business for you. The Job Outlook Handbook of the Bureau of Labor Statistics has this to say about the prospects of this occupation: “Employment of childcare workers is expected to grow by 20 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations.” This should be enough to tell you that the prospect for a home-based daycare business is good.

Size up your neighborhood and nearby areas quickly to find out if there’s potential demand for your daycare services. Are there many families with young kids and both parents working full-time? Who takes care of the kids? Size up your resources as well. Is your house big enough? Do you have resources to invest in toys and playthings and other materials that you’ll need to keep the kids occupied? Is your place safe enough? In connection with this you’ll need to check out state regulations and insurance requirements. The National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education provides helpful information. You’ll also need to make sure you’re prepared for emergencies so you’ll need to be certified in CPR and other emergency procedures.

Here’s the good news. The National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (NACCRRA) pegs the average cost of center-based daycare in the United States at $11,666 per year or $972 a month. That’s just for a single child. The rates you charge will depend on your location and the cost of living in your area. 3-4 regular clients can earn you a comfortable income.


Tutoring is a $10 billion/year industry. Amazed? If you ever were a straight A student, or excelled in a particular subject and you still feel confident in your knowledge and skills then tutoring might be a good option for you to earn from home. The first step will be to take stock of the things you’re good at. Recognize your skillset and build your tutoring around it.

If you haven’t done it before and want to have a feel of what it takes, sign up for online tutoring services such as TutorNation or TutorsTeach. When you’re ready to strike it out on your own, keep in mind that like child care services, the rates you can charge will depend on your location. In small towns, $20 per hour might be too much but in places like New York City, $200 might be a fair rate.

Alternately you might want to go really entrepreneurial and recruit your own team of tutors, especially if you live near a big university or your area has a lot of unemployed young college graduates.

No Job? No Worries!

In a depressed economy, it’s never easy to look for employment even with the right qualifications. But this should not prevent you from leveraging your skills and knowledge. If you’ve been unemployed for quite some time, maybe it’s time to stop looking for a job and start creating one for yourself.

Astrid Eira

By Astrid Eira

Astrid Eira is a resident B2B expert of FinancesOnline, focusing on the SaaS niche. She specializes in accounting and human resource management software, writing honest and straightforward reviews of some of the most popular systems around. Being a small business owner herself, Astrid uses her expertise to help educate business owners and entrepreneurs on how new technology can help them run their operations. She's an avid fan of the outdoors, where you'll find her when she's not crunching numbers or testing out new software.

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