The landscape of small business has dramatically changed in the last decade, primarily due to technological advances particularly in the mobile technology arena. According to the 2011 United State Census Survey of Small Business Owners, 51.6 percent of businesses were operated out of someone's home, 23.8 percent of firms with employees operated out of a home and 62.9 percent of businesses with no employees were home-based. The 2015 report has not been released yet but I wouldn't be surprised if those numbers increased over the last four years.
So what types of businesses are best to start if you are looking to be a home based business? Below are the top five businesses to operate out of your home.
- Freelancing, Freelancing, Freelancing: You can freelance just about everything. An estimated 50 percent of Americans will be freelancing by 2020. It doesn't matter if you are graphic designer or an accountant, you can take your skill set and make it mobile! Turning your talent into a freelance, home based business takes virtually no time, very little money and can have an immediate return on investment. Great places to start include Elance at elance.com and Upwork (formerly Odesk) at odesk.com.
- Health & Fitness Industry Professionals: The Health and Wellness market is predicted to be the next trillion dollar industry. Personal trainers and yoga instructors are learning that they can get a larger cut of their fee if they go out on their own. Having clients come to your home, going to them or doing sessions via video and Skype are all cost-effective ways to start your own home-based business. You will want to invest in liability insurance, however. For personal trainers, check out the National Federation of Professional Trainers for more information on certification, insurance and more. To make yourself more marketable consider taking a course in a specialized area such as nutrition or pre-natal fitness. Yoga instructors will want to visit the Yoga Alliance website for information on certification, insurance and schools.
- Business Plan Writing Service: This business has expansion possibilities! Offer a comprehensive business plan, including market research and financials. Plan your fee around the main service your client will want and then offer the other services as add-on or a la carte services. You can also offer the service of updating the plan as needed, for an additional fee. You will want to construct a basic template you work off of and customize as needed. This business takes little to no time to set-up and can have an almost immediate return on investment.
- Business Coaching: As a business coach you can empower other small business owners to improve their performance and ultimately their bottom line. The most successful business coaches have plenty of experience to draw on as well as specialized expertise (marketing, finance, sales, retail, food industry, etc.). It's also important to identify a niche to serve instead of trying to be the business coach to all industries and all small business owners (for example, a business coach to slow food restaurant owners or a business coach to personal trainers). The International Coach Federation provides certification and a referral service for its members.
- Care Services: This could include anything from child care to senior care. This business has expansion possibilities as you can hire other providers to service your growing number of clients. The demand for these services is expected to increase as baby boomers continue to age and women re-enter the workforce after giving birth. You will want to check with your state and local authorities to ensure you are in accordance with law.