10 Profitable Home Business Ideas You Can Start Today (2021)

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Looking for work-from-home business ideas? Good idea.

Renting commercial real estate, warehousing, or office space can put massive financial strain on a new business. In contrast, many home business opportunities are quick and easy to start.

But there are so many home-based business ideas out there — which one should you consider?

Some work-from-home business ideas require an upfront investment to get the ball rolling — and some require just $29. Also, some home-based businesses are easier to start if you can turn a spare bedroom into an office or workshop — others are easy to run from your dining table.

So, what’s the best work-from-home business idea for you? In this article, we’ll explore 10 of the best home business ideas that you can start quickly and easily.

(Disclosure: This website is a part of Shopify inc. media properties. Although we strive to publish objective, accurate, and factual content, this article may contain biased opinions.)

10 Profitable Home Business Ideas You Can Start Today

While there are countless ways to start a home-based business, here are 10 of the most approachable home business ideas to consider:

  1. Sell handmade products
  2. Purchase products in bulk and sell them online
  3. Start a dropshipping business
  4. Start a print-on-demand business
  5. Purchase an existing ecommerce business
  6. Start a subscription box business
  7. Teach online classes
  8. Start a service-based business
  9. Sell digital products online
  10. Build an online following that you can monetize

1. Sell Handmade Products

Do you love to create things at home? If you love crafts or art, why not sell your handcrafted products online? For example, you could:

  • Make candles
  • Create jewelry
  • Create pieces of art
  • Make homemade food
  • Design and sew clothing
  • Knit clothes and blankets
  • Craft wooden furniture

Whatever you like to create, selling handmade products is a great way to turn a passion into a work-from-home business opportunity.

There are two main ways to start selling handmade products online:

  • Sell through a marketplace such as Etsy
  • Create your own online store using a platform like Shopify

That said, you could also sell via both channels with Shopify’s Etsy integration.


If this home business idea has caught your eye, start by writing a list of everything you could create. Then, do some online research to see what other people are selling.

2. Start a Dropshipping Business From Home

If you like the idea of running an online store, but you’re not sure what to sell, consider starting a dropshipping business from home. Plus, this is a home business idea with low startup costs.

Dropshipping is a type of ecommerce in which sellers don’t need to purchase or store the products they sell. Instead, sellers partner with dropshipping suppliers who manage the inventory and ship products directly to customers on the seller’s behalf.

Check out the image below to see the dropshipping business model in action:

The Dropshipping Business Model

Pretty cool, right?

The best part is that starting a dropshipping business from home is as easy as 1-2-3 thanks to tools like Oberlo.

Yep, this is a shameless plug… but for good reason.

Here’s why: You can use Oberlo to start selling dropshipped products online today — just sign up for Shopify, install the Oberlo app, and search for products to add to your store.

Find Products to Sell with Oberlo

Check out this guide for a step-by-step tutorial on how to get started.

3. Start a Print-on-Demand Business From Home

Similarly, if you like to create art and eye-catching designs but don’t want to make products yourself, you could start a print-on-demand business from home.

Print-on-demand is a type of dropshipping in which you can sell products that are customized with your designs, such as:

  • Apparel: T-shirts, hoodies, leggings, yoga pants, etc.
  • Footwear: Sneakers, boots, flip flops, etc.
  • Accessories: Jewelry, watches, phone covers, bags, bottles, face masks, notebooks, stationery, etc.
  • Homeware: Mugs, towels, bedsheets, cushions, blankets, throws, etc.
  • Art: posters, wall hangings, stickers, magnets, etc.
  • Electronics: Headphones, speakers, etc.

Check out some common print-on-demand products in the image below from Printful:

Printful Print-on-Demand Products

To start this work-from-home business idea, sign up for a Shopify account and choose a print-on-demand app to install, such as:

  1. Printful
  2. Printify
  3. CustomCat
  4. SPOD
  5. T-Pop
  6. JetPrint
  7. teelaunch
  8. Gelato
  9. Gooten
  10. Printy6

4. Purchase Products in Bulk and Sell Them Online

Another way to sell products online is to buy products in bulk — also known as ‘wholesale’ — and sell them individually. 

When you purchase products in bulk, you can get a lower cost-per-unit than if you buy them individually. Then, when selling the products one-by-one, you’re able to increase the prices to create a profit margin.

So, where can you buy fantastic goods in bulk?

Start by researching products on business-to-business (B2B) ecommerce marketplaces like Alibaba and Handshake.

Buy Products in Bulk on Handshake

You can then create an online store with Shopify to sell your products to consumers.

Plus, instead of selling products individually to consumers, you could also purchase products in bulk and sell them to retailers in smaller quantities — this is called wholesaling.

5. Purchase An Existing Ecommerce Business

If you don’t have the time — or the inclination — to set up a home-based business from scratch, you could always buy an existing home business opportunity via the Exchange marketplace.

This website facilitates the sale of ecommerce businesses in a range of niches. Plus, you can buy an established business or a relatively new business.

Buy a Business on the Exchange Marketplace

This may sound pretty complicated at first, but in practice, it’s pretty straightforward.

Start by browsing the home business opportunities listed on Exchange. When you find a business you like, consider reaching out to the buyer to find out more information. Then, if you decide to purchase the business, Exchange will facilitate the… well, exchange.

How it Works: Exchange Marketplace

On the other hand, if you want to start businesses but you’re not interested in growing them to their full potential, you could create and sell ecommerce businesses on Exchange. 

It’s also possible to ‘flip’ businesses — or to put it another way, buy a business, improve it, and then sell it for a profit.

Small Business Ideas from Home: Website Flipping Process

6. Start a Subscription Box Business From Home

Why sell one product at a time when you can sell a bundle of products every month to the same person? This is what subscription box businesses like Birchbox do. 

Online Business Ideas from Home: Birchbox Subscription Boxes

Plus, Google Trends shows how interest in subscription boxes has boomed in recent years:

Google Trends: Subscription Boxes

This home business idea is a fantastic way to grow a sustainable income, thanks to the recurring revenue generated by ongoing purchases.

You can sell almost anything as a subscription box, too, such as:

  • Makeup
  • Clothes
  • Fashion accessories
  • Indie records
  • Books
  • Homeware and kitchen gadgets
  • Information products (such as up-to-date industry reports)
  • Food, such as snacks or sauces

What’s more, you don’t necessarily have to sell products — you could also rent them. For example, Haverdash rents clothes.

Online Business Ideas from Home: Haverdash Clothes Subscription

To get started with this home business idea, sign up for Shopify and use the built-in subscription management tools. 

Starting a Small Business From Home Ideas: Shopify Subscription Management

7. Teach Online

If you have in-demand skills or knowledge and a talent for teaching, consider sharing your knowledge via online video calls

Popular subjects taught online include languages, maths, science, and business. But there are no limits to what you can teach, so you could also teach things like music, sewing, or even DIY!

According to PayScale, most online teachers earn between $10.18 and $39.87 per hour, depending on their level of experience.

Payscale Online Teacher Pay

There are countless online teaching marketplaces that will help you to connect with students and manage your classes, such as:

Plus, there are plenty of feature-rich online teaching platforms to help you create incredible virtual learning experiences, such as:

8. Start a Service-Based Business From Home

The need for digital services is rampant — from designers and developers to digital marketers and doodlers, there’s a need for virtually every talent.

If you’re wondering what service you can offer, here are 20 service-based home business opportunities to consider:

  1. Graphic designer
  2. Web designer
  3. Developer
  4. Transcriber
  5. Translator
  6. Marketing writer
  7. Resume writer
  8. Photo or video editor
  9. Social media manager
  10. Digital advertising manager
  11. Data entry clerk
  12. Virtual assistant
  13. Bookkeeper
  14. Accountant
  15. Career coach
  16. Life coach
  17. Marketing consultant
  18. Management consultant
  19. Finance consultant
  20. Calligrapher

Some of these home business ideas offer more income potential than others. So, make sure to do your research to choose the right service-based home business idea for you.

To get started, consider signing up to a freelance marketplace like People Per Hour, Upwork, or Fiverr.

At Home Business Ideas: Upwork Freelance Marketplace

You could also create a website and then find clients independently by networking and pitching.

9. Sell Digital Products Online

If you’ve mastered a particular skill or subject and don’t want to teach online or provide a service, you could package your knowledge and experience in a digital product.

Selling digital products is a fantastic home business idea because — like dropshipping — there’s no need to source or manage inventory or ship products to customers. Plus, once you’ve created a digital product, it doesn’t cost anything to replicate.

So, what types of digital products can you sell? Here are 20 to consider:

  1. Courses
  2. Videos
  3. Ebooks
  4. Written templates (résumés, scripts, marketing emails, etc.)
  5. Spreadsheets
  6. Photos
  7. Fonts
  8. Icons
  9. Logos
  10. Graphics
  11. Illustrations
  12. Animations
  13. Graphic templates
  14. Overlays
  15. Editing presets (for videos, images, or audio)
  16. Software
  17. Online tools
  18. Membership sites
  19. Audio (music, samples, podcasts, etc.)
  20. Research (statistics, reports, etc.)

For example, Gabriella and Andrew Morrison sell courses and house plans to help people build tiny houses on their website Tiny House Build.

Sell Digital Products: Tiny House Build Example

10. Build An Online Following That You Can Monetize

If you love creating content, you could build an online following around a particular topic or niche and monetize your audience.

If you’re interested in this home business idea, you need to choose a way to build an audience. Now, there are many ways to create a following online — for example, you could:

Once you have a relatively large following or plenty of website traffic, how can you make money? In essence, there are three ways to monetize an online audience:

  • Brand sponsorships: Get paid to promote a company’s products (also known as ‘influencer marketing.’
  • Affiliate marketing: Promote a company’s products or services and earn a commission.
  • Sell products: Create and sell physical or digital products to your audience.

For example, Adam Enfroy built a blog that reviews many software products. In the image below, you can see his blog post reviewing the Shopify platform:

Home Business Ideas: Adam Enfroy – Shopify Review

This blog post contains Adam’s affiliate link to Shopify. As a result, whenever someone reads the post, clicks the affiliate link, and signs up for Shopify, Adam will receive a small sales commission.

FAQs About Home Business Ideas

  • How do I start a small home business?

Wondering how to start a small home business? Here are 8 steps to starting an online business:

    • Choose an online business model that suits your business
    • Identify your target market
    • Identify the problem that your business is solving
    • Know your competitors and how you are different from them
    • Choose a sourcing strategy that your customers will love
    • Set up your payment system so you can get paid 
    • Test your business idea in the simplest way possible
    • Create your marketing strategy to start promoting your business
  • How do I make money from home business ideas?

There are many ways that online home business ideas make money. You could charge per product, create subscriptions, build affiliate links, and so much more. Once you have decided your business model you can start brainstorming the exact home business idea for you and get started.

Choose A Home-Based Business Idea and Get Started Today 

There are tons of profitable home business ideas out there to choose from. So, if you’re wondering, “What business can I start from home?” Here are 10 of the best home-based businesses to consider:

  1. Sell products you make at home online
  2. Start dropshipping products with Oberlo
  3. Sell print-on-demand products
  4. Buy products in bulk and sell them online
  5. Purchase an existing business on Exchange
  6. Sell subscription boxes
  7. Teach online
  8. Start a service-based business
  9. Sell digital products
  10. Build and monetize an online following

When deciding which home business opportunity to pursue, try to capitalize on any skills and experience you have — and consider following your interests or passions.

Which home business idea has caught your eye? Let us know in the comments below!



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