For some, working from home is a choice. For others, children, health and pets keep people at home. But with the rapidly changing face of technology and the rise of entrepreneurship, it has become entirely possible to make a living without leaving your house.
Doing bookkeeping for small businesses and/or handling people's finances is a popular job for parents who stay at home with kids or for accountants looking for flexible consulting jobs.
If you're a stay-at-home parent, opening a small-operation day care allows you to spend time with your kids, give them kids to play with and watch other people's children while making money.
Custom Gift Baskets
From fruit baskets to variety packs, arranging and selling gift baskets is a lucrative home business, especially once you establish a reputation. People can just swing by after work and pick up their baskets.
Crafts and Scrapbooking
Making craft jewelry, knitting and crocheting can be a lucrative way to spend your days, especially if you have other forms of income coming into the home and you're taking care of the kids. Learn how to make baby clothes and target your business toward new parents. Also, scrapbooking--some call it creative memories--is a popular and high-demand job that can be done at home, usually as a consultant through a bigger company. Scrapbooking was named one of the top start-ups for moms in the United States by StartupNation in 2009.
With the advancement of technology, more and more people are learning how to make websites and create logos. Full-time graphic designers make between $36,000 and $50,000 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the job can be done from anywhere with computer and Internet access. Many graphic designers attend a four-year college and receive a bachelor's in graphic design or art, and sometimes a master's degree in a specialized form of graphic design. However, if you have a creative eye, you can teach yourself the design basics without a degree.
A large catering operation isn't likely from the comfort of your home, but you can at least cater for smaller events, like business meetings, small weddings and birthdays if you like to cook.
If you have a background in writing but can't take on a full-time office job, you can start a freelance writing career. Some popular realms of the field are writing e-books, ghostwriting, sales and marketing, resumes and cover letters. You can charge between $30 and $100 per hour depending on your experience.
iPhone App Developer
Developing iPhone applications is a profitable and inexpensive home business idea. If you know basic design and the tricks of the iPhone trade--from creation to marketing--you could be selling apps in no time.
If you have music talent but need to stay home with the kids, teaching music lessons is a great way to earn some extra money here and there. You can take on as many or as few students as you want. Put an ad for a music teacher in the classifieds, on online classified sites and on bulletin boards across the town.
Tutoring elementary, junior high and high school students in subjects like math, science, English and Spanish is another way to earn some extra spending money on the side. Depending on your location, you can often charge up to $50 or $60. When it comes to education, parents don't mess around and do want the best tutors for their money. Market yourself the same way for tutoring as you would for teaching music lessons.