start up

Even if you’ve never worked from home, you’re no doubt intuitively familiar with the potential benefits. Freedom from micromanagement. Flexibility to wear whatever you want. The comfort that comes with familiar, casual surroundings.

The benefits of at-home work are so compelling, in fact, that it’s now a matter of course for service-based businesses to allow employees to work from home. But why work for the same old boss when striking out on your own has never been easier?

These five at-home businesses require little equipment or outside expertise to spin up. Since they demand almost no startup capital, they’re perfect for first-time entrepreneurs ready to take the leap — and land in a cozy home office.

  1. Web Development and Design

Know your way around the back end of more than a few popular web publishing platforms? Got your preferred coding language (or two, or three) down pat? Blessed with a keen eye for form and fit?

Sounds like you’d make a great web developer. All you’ll need to get started is a serviceable processor, a couple cheapo monitors, some off-the-shelf design software, and enough knowledge to set you apart from the average intern.

 

  1. Fundraising Distribution

At-home fundraising distributors need to invest very little to launch their businesses, and the payoff can come fairly quickly. According to authorities at ABC Fundraising, distributors working at home can earn up to $5,000 per month, depending on the products they sell, the amount of effort and time they put in, and their natural selling abilities. This is a home-based business with a cause: you’re helping local charities and civic institutions raise money, after all.

 

  1. Landscape Architecture

Prefer pencil and paper to keyboard and screen? Don’t mind getting your hands dirty? You’d make a great landscape architect. To be sure, certified landscape architects need to complete substantial amounts of schooling, but it’s easy to get in on the ground floor: just find an open shop willing to take you on, train for a couple years while you earn your degree, and strike out on your own. Earning potential is surprisingly high: we’re talking low six figures after taxes and expenses.

 

  1. Thrift Selling

Four words: resell it on eBay. Or Amazon, or Etsy, or — you get the idea. If you love nothing more than scouring flea markets and estate sales for one-of-a-kind thrift items, you can make a thriving home-based business using the power of ecommerce.

 

  1. Marketing and Publicity

Love writing catchy ledes atop engaging, story-driven copy? Possessed of an ample Rolodex (or the willingness to acquire one)? Willing to do whatever it takes to tell your clients’ tales?

Consider launching your own marketing or PR shop from your home office. This work requires virtually no startup capital: a basic laptop will do, plus off-the-shelf CRM and marketing automation software, a standard-issue (but compelling) website, and word of mouth advertising.

 

What’s Your At-Home Business Dream?

These aren’t the only six low-capital business ideas that you can pursue from the comfort of your own home. If you’re already in an established career that doesn’t fall under one of these umbrellas, the path of least resistance may well be to open a consulting shop that aligns with your current work — assuming you’re not bound by a non-compete agreement or anti-poaching contract.

When you’re bound only by your own initiative and ingenuity, the sky’s the limit. Let’s get down to business.