Getting a business off the ground means keeping a lot of balls in the air at once. Early-stage entrepreneurs need to prospect for new customers, raise sufficient capital to get over the next hump, acquire inventory and supplies, and find a suitable place to base their operations.
That last chore requires working knowledge of your local commercial real estate market and office leasing best practices. Unless, that is, your business is one that works just as well out of a home office as out of a Class B suite or retail pad.
These five business ideas all work exceedingly well as home-based businesses — at least, until success forces their keepers into larger digs.
1. Medical Support Services
Those bills won’t write or send themselves. That could be your job.
Medical billing and coding professionals don’t earn princely sums — the average U.S. annual salary for both professions is less than $50,000. But billers and coders who work from home for multiple healthcare clients generally earn a premium over their office-bound compatriots, and structuring a freelance billing and coding operation as a small business leaves open the possibility of growing at scale.
2. Fundraising Distribution
Fundraising distributors help schools, extracurricular clubs, faith groups, and community organizations raise money to fund their operations. Since the job has low inventory requirements, many fundraising distributors choose to work out of home offices. According to experts at ABC Fundraising, full-time work-at-home distributors can earn anywhere from $500 to $5,000 per month.
3. Property Management
Not all landlords are hands-on types. If you’re organized and reasonably handy, you can carve out a potentially lucrative niche as an independent property manager who collects rent, prepares lease documents, lists soon-to-be vacant properties, and responds first when tenants call with problems. Getting started isn’t rocket science. Plus, this is a service that’s virtually recession-proof, so you’re likely to be limited only by your willingness to take on new clients (or hire assistant managers to deal with demand).
4. Architecture and Design
Why toil away as an architecture associate for 10 years before realizing “partner” just isn’t in the cards? Strike out on your own, drum up business the old-fashioned way, and let your reputation for excellence (eventually) precede you. If you’re not a licensed architect, there’s plenty of work yet in the design field; backyards, parking lots, and community gardens need professional care, too.
What difference does it make whether your clients sit on the couch in your home or office? In point of fact, you won’t want to base your home counseling business in your living room, but a separate home office (or, even better, a detached or basement office with a separate entrance) will do just fine.
What’s Your Home Business Secret?
If none of these home business ideas catch your eye, you’re not out of luck just yet. A simple list of the different types of home-based businesses would fill volumes. Virtually any pursuit with reasonable space and utility requirements is viable from the comfort of a home office or studio. For all practical purposes, your work-at-home business ownership dream is limited only by your talents, imagination, and resources — the last of which you’ll no doubt grow as your idea takes flight.