Earn Extra Income With These 11 Small Business Ideas You can Start from Home

Start a new business and become your own boss from the comfort of your own home.
Updated Sept. 21, 2023
Woman working from home

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If you feel stuck in a dead-end job and you’re not seeing any way forward, it may be time for you to consider starting your own business.

Start-up costs, like renting and building out a space, can be a hurdle. But you can minimize your investment by starting a small business from your home.

If you want to become your own boss to make extra money, here are a few new career ideas to get you started.

Virtual assistant

fizkes/Adobe entrepreneur giving command to virtual assistant on cellphone

A virtual assistant business may be a good idea if you have good administrative skills.

You can work with clients to answer emails, schedule meetings, book travel, or do other administrative duties for them from the comfort of your own home. 

You can set your own hours or work with multiple clients to make extra cash depending on how much work you want to take on.


Jacob Lund/Adobe chef making a cake at home

Do friends and family request cakes and cookies from you for birthdays or celebrations? Make it into a business by baking tasty treats in your home.

You may want to consider the start-up costs such as extra baking equipment, accessories, and ingredients to get your business started. 

You’ll also want to set up a presence on social media to show off your products and get new customers.


Prostock-studio/Adobe student in glasses studying at home online

If you have a depth of knowledge in a specialized subject, you may be able to tutor students from your home as a small business.

You can set up space in your home to teach students or you can book time with video conferencing if you would prefer. 

As a tutor, you’ll have to work afternoons, evenings, and weekends when students are available, but if you’re really good or can teach a specialized subject well, you may be able to charge more than the going rate.

Doggy daycare

hedgehog94/Adobe dog walker enjoying with dogs while walking

If you’re working from a home with a big space for dogs to run around, you might want to consider creating a doggy daycare.

You can pick up as few or as many clients as you want to depending on the size of your space, both inside and outside. 

You also could work on a daily basis or book dogs to stay during their owners’ vacations. But be sure to check on the zoning laws — and the neighbors — before you get started.

Send subscription boxes

Yakobchuk Olena/Adobe cheerful woman opening a box full of cosmetic products

You may have a background in retail or do work in a specific category that could be a great fit for subscription boxes.

You can advertise the boxes with a particular focus and cultivate specific products that would work well together in the boxes. Assemble them at home and ship them from your local post office or shipping office.

Writer for job seekers

ipuwadol/Adobe human resource management and hiring concept

If you have a background in human resources, writing and editing content for job seekers could be a great way to use your talents.

Perhaps you can also write and edit content for a client’s social media pages, such as information about their job history or posts on their LinkedIn feed, that will draw additional attention to their work.

Airbnb management

Jirapong/Adobe real estate agent giving keys to a client

Airbnb owners may want to hire management to make sure their properties are well taken care of.

You might be responsible for working on details for check-ins and check-outs as well as bookings for a property. 

You could also be in charge of cleaning services or managing maintenance and repair services for properties – all from your own home.


LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS/Adobe photographer

Make your photography hobby into a job that you can do from your own home.

You might be able to set up a studio in your home for portraits or headshots for professionals. You can also take your photography on the road and set up appointments for families at specific locations for photos. 

Then you can edit all your photos from your home.

Event planning

pressmaster/Adobe event planner using checklist

Help plan conferences, weddings, and special events right from your home.

You can book spaces, order decorations, find vendors, get caterers, and more while working with clients who hire you for different types of events. 

Be aware that you may have to do some local traveling such as visiting venues or being there in person during the events, but you can take on clients that work best with your schedule.


Syda Productions/Adobe male translator

If you are fluent in another language, becoming a translator may be a good work-from-home option.

You can work with clients like hospitals, schools, government agencies, and other organizations that may call you to help facilitate and translate conversations. 

And by working at home, you can set your own hours for when you want to be on call and translate over the phone or through video conferencing instead of having to be there in person.

Home manager

dusanpetkovic1/Adobe woman shaking hands with repairman

Help other people manage their homes from the comfort of your own as a home manager. You can be hired by clients to do things like book maintenance appointments or get home repairs done. 

You may also be responsible for hiring and managing services like landscapers or cleaners for your clients. Or, you could even limit your services to house-sitting and checking in on homes while the owners are away or on vacation.

Bottom line

2B/Adobe mother reading a book to her child

Think about moving your job home to make extra money – and to try out being your own boss.

It’s also a good idea to do some market research before you start your new business, to make sure there’s a market for what you want to offer. 

If you can find a niche that suits your talents or works best in your space and within your hours, you may be surprised at the satisfaction of your potential success by going into business for yourself at home.

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Jenny Cohen Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.