Today, many people today are looking to leave the daily grind for something that feeds their passion. People do not want to retire at the age of 60 (or older) to look back on life and feel they have wasted it.
Luckily, it is now increasingly easy to start a business from scratch without spending a fortune. Below, I’ve highlighted 75 varied business ideas you can start cheaply from the comforts of your own home. Some of the business ideas listed require nothing more than an internet connection, while others demand a level of licensing or a specific set of vocational skills…the choice is yours!
1. Making Chatbots
I am quoted on entrepreneur.com as “ChatBot expert Murray Newlands commented that “Where 10 years ago every company needed a website and five years ago every company needed an app, now every company needs to embrace messaging with AI and chatbots.” That brings opportunity and jobs. You can learn to make them for free without coding for companies.
Chatbots are in and it has reached the point where every business needs one. Chatbots have become a huge opportunity for companies to engage with their customers, gather data, and improve their marketing and customer care efforts. You can start your own chatbot creation business easily and quickly without needing to code. I created the free to use tool Chattypeople.com but there are lots of others out there. All you need to do is:
- Read about bots and their functions
- Create an account
- Learn about the company who needs a chatbot
- Create their bot through
- Launch it through Facebook Messenger
- No coding or long courses needed
The platform is great, as it:
- Works with Facebook Messenger and comments
- Can push promotions to customers on demand
- Recognizes variations on trigger words
- Can process orders from Facebook
- Integrates with all main payment processing platforms
2. Bookkeeping Services
Are you great with numbers and want to work from the comforts of home? To become a freelance bookkeeper, you do not need to be a Certified Public Accountant, but you do need to be good with numbers. There are lots of free to use online invoicing tools such as Sighted.com and online payments tools like Due.com. Some services you could offer include:
- Creating balance sheets
- Providing income statements
- Creating various monthly, quarterly, or annual financial reports
3. Personal or Virtual Assistant
Although personal and virtual assistant jobs do not sound glamorous, they do pay well. If you have already held this job in an office, you will find the digital version allows for a lot more freedom. Use services like Upwork.com to find clients. You can choose:
- Your clients
- Your hours
- Your hourly, daily, or monthly pay rate
4. Marketing Services
Marketing does involve a certain level of background knowledge. That said, if you are not experienced, investing in an online course is not only cheap but will equip you with the adequate tools to start a solo digital marketing agency you could expand in the future. There are lots of new marketing fields opening up such as influencer marketing.
Companies are always looking for freelancers able to provide marketing copy that is SEO-friendly and can transform website visitors into leads and, eventually, customers. In addition to offering optimized copy, you could offer to upload the content to their websites and improve their SEO further with:
- Meta descriptions
- The right titles
- The correct keyword density
- Tags and categories
- Relevant images with SEO captions and alt tags
5. Social Media Consultant
Who doesn’t love Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram? Fancy yourself to be a bit of whiz but don’t have any formal training? Twitter and Google, among other platforms, offer complete professional courses with recognized certifications that require little to no money. Social media is also a business that has unlimited potential with a client base that can span across the world. This trend is unlikely to die soon, if ever, and new platforms are being released every year, making the possibilities for expansion limitless. You can use social media management tools to make your job easy.
6. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is extremely easy to get into and involves you earning a commission by promoting other companies’ products and services. Basically, you choose a product you like, promote it, and make a profit on each sale that stems from your marketing efforts. An affiliate marketing business is especially easy to start if:
- You have a blog or website of your own
- You can prove your success through visitor statistics
- You have already successfully undertaken affiliate marketing and can show this to your potential clients
7. Tester or Reviewer
Individuals or startups often look for people to review their products to encourage others to buy them. You can either get started with a profile on freelancing websites or approach companies directly, offering them a review in exchange for a monetary reward by becoming an influencer. Even better, if you have your own website or blog, you could write entire posts about their products, thus allowing you to charge more money in the long run and build a portfolio with tangible results to show future clients.
8. Secretarial Services
Similar to virtual assisting, remote secretarial services require little to no experience. All you need is:
- Strong organizational skills
- Good communication skills
- Good time management
- A high level of autonomy
Your day-to-day tasks as a freelancing secretary will typically include:
- Booking meetings
- Organizing calendars
- Replying to emails
- Putting together presentations
- Answering phone calls
9. Online Dating Consultant
Have you got a way with words? Or have you found your Mr. or Mrs. Right and want to share how you got there? You can become someone’s wingman or woman and help them find love by becoming an online dating consultant. This type of consulting comes with a large level of responsibility, as you will be guiding someone’s love life. Daily tasks include:
- Acting as an account manager on dating sites
- Writing profiles
- Offering telephone updates on their matchmaking status
10. Ebay Assistant or Seller
An Ebay assistant or seller is similar to being a marketing affiliate. The key difference is that instead of marketing the product, you are selling it directly to the customer. When selling for others on Ebay or any other platform, you will sell the product and keep a commission as compensation.
Unfortunately, this type of job comes with risks. Commonly, scam artists attract Ebay sellers and use fake shipping papers to convince them to send payments. Unfortunately, even if you are scammed, you will be held responsible for your customers not receiving their items. Always remember to:
- Get to know the distributor
- Keep all payments in your e-wallet until the customer confirms having received the parcel
- Report any suspicious activity
- Do not share any of your banking details
11. Application Developer
New applications are launched on a daily basis and if you believe you have the skills to create your own and a unique enough idea, you should do it! Aside from the fact that you will have to invest little to no money to get started, it is far less time consuming than the average 9 to 5. Once you have created your application, couple it with the right marketing strategy and you’ll be making money in your sleep. The best part about developing applications is that you can do it from anywhere in the world.
12. Website Developer
We live in a digital world where every business needs a website to drive their traffic to in order to make sales. If you have the skills, you could enter an industry that will never die. You can also start small by creating websites on platforms such as WordPress. If you want to take your web-building skills to the next level, you can learn the language of website creation through Codecademy.com, where you will be able to learn how to incorporate personalized:
- Shopping carts
- Product pages
- Services pages
- Feedback forms
13. Internet Security Consultant
Hacking, scamming, and viruses are just some of the security threats on the web today. If you know your stuff, you could make very good money consulting businesses, especially those who handle sensitive customer information and want to keep it as safe as possible.
14. Graphic Designer
Companies are always in search for branding that tells people about what they do. If you can follow company guidelines and customer needs, all you will need to get started is a computer and applications such as Photoshop or Illustrator. Types of media you will be responsible for creating include:
- Information sheets
15. Desktop Publisher
Desktop publishers typically use publishing software to create:
- Marketing newsletters
- Other marketing materials
In order to offer a full service, you could also write the content or hire a content writer and create your own small team.
16. Designing Business Plans
Having a eureka moment is great, but it can be hard to put that idea down on paper in a way that will speak to a potential investor. If you have owned your own business in the past or earned a business degree, why not help those with a eureka moment start something they love? Plan your fee around the various packages you are prepared to offer your clients. You can either:
- Create an electronic copy that your client can customize
- Keep a copy on file and continue customizing it according to their needs
- Create various templates that you can show your customers and how you can customize the templates for them accordingly
17. Tax Consultant
Companies big and small pay good money to have their taxes prepared for them. It gives them a chance to focus on the everyday operations of their business. If you have the appropriate experience, you could set yourself up as a freelancer; however, by starting with a tax preparation franchise, you will receive courses, seminars, and training.
18. Blogger or Vlogger
Are you an expert in a specific field? From travel, fashion, cooking, to DIY, and removal services, if you know how to do something particularly well, why not tell the world through a blog or vlog? All you will need is a computer and a good quality camera. You can make money by offering advertising space and reviews of products on your platform.
19. Informational Product Creator
Similar to blogging or vlogging, creating informational products is your chance to put your expertise in an e-book or some form of digital format and selling it to the online world. Find a niche that’s not been overdone and start writing. You can sell your information piece on platforms such as Amazon Books.
20. Resume Writer
No matter the experience, there are very few people that enjoy or are good at writing their own resume. Individuals pay very good money to have their personal statements put on paper for them. It will cost you nothing to get setup and once you get the hang of it, you should be able to average a good hourly or daily pay rate.
21. Domain Name Buyer
As the name suggests, all you need to do is buy domain names you believe people will want and sell them for a profit. You will need to be able to:
- Identify profitable domain names
- Identify domain names that are memorable
- Learn about SEO and keyword optimization
22. Flipping Websites
Flipping a website is the art of buying an already existing website, improving it, and selling it. With the right web development skills, it is a very easy and cheap trade to explore. That said, you need to be able to identify websites that have the potential for improvement.
Translating is one of the easiest and most profitable industries to delve into if you are proficient in more than one language. Sought out on a global scale, translators do not need any capital to get started and can earn a salary of $40,000 a year (minimum) depending on the size of the company you are hired by and the length of the contract they offer.
24. Financial Advisor
Although the number of people wanting to start their own business has grown, many still do not know how to organize themselves financially. Start by getting your Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certificate to show clients you are credible. On the other hand, if you already have the experience, you can start by advising individuals and then grow your empire to consult for larger organizations.
25. Editorial Services
An editorial services business is easy to start, requires no initial monetary investment, and has a huge potential for expansion. From small and large businesses to authors and students, your client base could be endless. You can offer a variety of services, some of which include:
- Magazine article writing
- Newspaper article writing
- Web content writing
- Book writing