Updated: Jan 15
The year 2020 has brought about the opportunity for many to explore the world of business and self-employment. Even though lockdown restrictions make it seem as though starting a business is impossible, access to the internet means there are plenty of business ideas that you can bring to life from the comfort of your own home.
In this quick guide we will look at a few home business ideas, as well as looking into why you should start a business from home.
Freelance / Consultancy
If you have a unique or in-demand skill/knowledge, then creating a small freelance or consultancy business could be the way forward for you. The majority of services can be delivered digitally as you can schedule meetings over zoom and deliver all of your work using tools such as Microsoft Teams and Google Suite. For example, whenever you complete a project, you can simply use shared drives and cloud-based software to share with your clients. This way you can work collaboratively on the project and receive instant feedback without having to break lockdown restrictions.
Physical face-to-face meetings are still very important but many will argue that this new way of working (remotely) is much simpler so there is a chance that people will continue to work this way.
This is a business model that is really easy to set-up and comes with little start-up costs as you will only need to invest in a website and marketing (If you already possess the knowledge or skill). Depending on your job, you may also need to invest in tools/equipment/software but this is completely tailored to the work you do so we can’t say it will be cheap for everyone.
Bonus – There are many marketplaces already set-up for freelancers such as Fiverr and People Per Hour. These sites will match freelancers with clients who are looking for the service that you provide. There’s no need for face-to-face meetings so you can get started with this idea straight from home.
Website design, along with freelance is one of the most common home business ideas but there’s a reason for this. Website design is a skill that can be learned easily with many resources available on YouTube to help you get started. There are also platforms such as Wix and WordPress that have made it possible for anyone to design a website.
If you are looking to re-skill, web design could be a very interesting field for you to get into, especially if you already have some form of digital experience.
The costs for starting up this business from home will vary depending on the experience you already possess. If you already have experience in the field of web design, you won’t need to consider many costs and you’ll be able to start delivering a service from the very beginning. However, if you do not have much experience, you will need to invest in learning resources before you start delivering the service.
A virtual assistant is a great business idea for those who are looking for a full-time gig or something to focus on in their spare time for the extra work.
The role of a virtual assistant is the same as a regular assistant, however, you will be delivering your services remotely, using technology to facilitate your service. In terms of tasks you could be expected to handle all things admin, as well as the opportunity to handle aspects of a company’s IT, marketing and sales (depending on your background).
Once again, this is a service that can be marketed through Fiverr or People Per Hour as there are always businesses on these platforms seeking virtual assistants. The cost to get started is minimal but you might need to look into software and equipment if you are looking to streamline your processes and deliver a high-quality service (recommended).
Transforming your skills into a business
Everyone has a skill or some degree of knowledge to offer. If you are considering a home business you need to start by thinking of your current strengths and weaknesses. This will help you to decide the kind of business you are going to begin. This could be a product that you create or a service that you deliver. Either way, it is possible for anyone to transform their skills into a business. The technology and software that is available means that you can get started for a small cost and its easier than ever before to deliver it from home.
For those who aren’t confident in their skills, you could think about the courses and learning resources that are available. A platform that is great for learning new skills and techniques is Udemy.
Starting from scratch is a journey and it’s really challenging to turn your idea into reality, but that’s why the SME Centre of Excellence exists. We have brought together experts from different industries to help small business owners start, survive and thrive. If you do have a business idea but you don’t know where to start, please contact our team and we’d be more than happy to chat through your options and help you launch your business.