Work From Home Business: 10 Best (and Worst) Businesses to Start

Article by Charlène Guicheron - 19 Mar 2020 - 4 minute read

Want to start a work from home business? Read on to learn how to set up a profitable home-based business.

Want to start a work from home business? After all, working from home can afford you a lot of flexibility and freedom along with an extra income stream. Today, you learn what makes a successful home business and why. 

Want to get the best (and worst) work from home business ideas? Here you go. 

work from home business

(Source: Pexels)

Find the work from home business that works for you

A home-based business can be a great way to change your life and start making money from a domain that you love while breaking free from your office and the 9-5 grind.

When finding out what remote-friendly business can work for you, keep in mind the following points: What are your goals, your motivations, your family situation, but also your means?

After all, you want to start a business that you love and that you’ll be happy to run every day.

Which work from home ideas are worth pursuing?

What are the best and worst work from home business ideas? Good question. What you want to focus on are ideas that:

  • Are profitable (so that you work smarter, not harder). 
  • Have a big impact (after all, how motivating is it to build a business you don’t believe in?)
  • Are easy to set up and you can start right away (instead of learning a new skill or developing a new product, which could take years).
  • Are online, so that you can work where and when you want
  • Can be reconciled with family life (maybe you have children to take care of). 

best home based businesses

The worst ideas (based on this list) include:

  • Setting up a traditional ecommerce store. You’ll need to source a product and set up logistics for it. This is both costly and can take a long time. 
  • Multi-level marketing schemes. Generally, these tend not to be profitable or impactful. 
  • Affiliate offers (getting paid a small percentage typically by showing ads on a website). You will need a lot of traffic to make these profitable and that traffic takes years to build.
  • Blogging. Blogging, like affiliate offers, will take a long time to make profitable or sustainable. 

The best ideas, on the other hand, include:

  • Services, like consulting, freelancing, online teaching/tutoring, and coaching
  • Virtual assistance
  • Starting a dropshipping store
  • Print-on-demand business
  • Facilitating people to sell and buy on marketplaces 

Why? Because these ideas are easy to start right away, they can be very profitable because you don’t have a lot of extra costs (like inventory or shipping) and they can have a big impact on your life, your community, and people outside it. 

The thing is: if you’re building your first business, you want to avoid spending years of your time on an idea that ends up not working out. Instead, choose an idea that is easy to set up on the side and test it out before taking any unnecessary risks.

Here below, we’ll focus on marketplace business ideas (because that’s what we know how to do best as a marketplace website builder!). 

The demand for marketplaces is growing rapidly. Just look at Amazon, which now makes up 49% of the US ecommerce market. In our daily lives, we use marketplaces like Airbnb, Etsy, and Uber. And by 2022, platform provider revenues in the global sharing economy are expected to reach $40.2 billion.

As a marketplace owner, you are in charge of getting people to use your marketplace and you usually make your money off of commissioning when people buy on your marketplace. However, you don’t have extra costs, like shipping or having to put in the time to perform a service (something you do need to do as a freelancer or consultant). 

In this guide, we talk more about how to grow your marketplace. For now, let’s focus on picking the perfect work from home business for you. 

The 10 most profitable home business ideas

What are the most successful home-based businesses available today? Here are our top 10 businesses. 

1. Marketplace for experiences 

The demand for experiences is going up. The location-based experience industry is projected to become a $12 billion industry in 2023. And how are people going to find those experiences? How about through your marketplace! To stand out, focus on a specific type of experience. A few examples of what your experience marketplace can focus on:

  • Extreme sports experiences.
  • Travel experiences. 
  • Music experiences. 
  • Experiences for kids. 

2. Marketplace for services 

There are already now a number of successful marketplaces for services. TaskRabbit (local physical services), Fiverr (digital services) and our client Madoora (wellness services) are just a few of them. This also means that there is a great demand for services. A few service business ideas in in-demand industries are:

  • Local child-care marketplace.
  • Local elderly-care marketplace.
  • Handyman marketplace. 
  • Marketplace for home decor services. 
  • A marketplace for home services (chefs, cleaning, and more).
  • Pet care services.

Read our in-depth guide for service marketplaces here

3. Marketplace for local small businesses 

A lot of people like supporting local businesses and exploring what their neighborhood has to offer. A marketplace that lets local small businesses reach their customers can be a great way to boost your local economy while creating a business for yourself. A few examples include:

  • A deal marketplace for local businesses (to give people an incentive to try them out).
  • A marketplace for local artists. 
  • A marketplace for local cafés and restaurants. 
  • A marketplace for local farmers and other food producers. 

4. Marketplace for B2B businesses 

A marketplace can connect sellers with B2B businesses that need specific services and products. For example: 

  • A marketplace for B2B services like people who water plants, maintenance service providers, office decorators and more. 
  • A marketplace for coaches or consultants who support businesses. 

Read our B2B marketplace guide here

5. Marketplace for a cause 

If you want to have a big impact on the world, you might want to start a marketplace that supports a cause. Remember that you can combine this type of marketplace with another marketplace idea. For example, our user Globethik uses its marketplace to create more sustainable traveling and support local service providers. You could:

  • Help local service providers get in touch with local NGOs.
  • Connect sellers in a location (like women entrepreneurs in India) with buyers from all over the world.
  • Create a marketplace that supports sustainable trade. 

Globethik

6. Ecommerce marketplace

Ecommerce marketplaces are booming. And this doesn’t just apply to B2C marketplaces (business-to-consumer), but also B2B marketplaces. A few ideas include:

  • A B2C ecommerce marketplace for second-hand items, like high-end clothing or car parts. 
  • A B2B ecommerce marketplace for a specific industry, like health care or the automotive industry. 

7. Talent marketplace 

Talent marketplaces are wildly popular. Just look at marketplaces like Upwork (freelancers), Toptal (software coders) and Contently (writers). By finding a niche within this space, you can make a big impact in various industries. For example:

  • A marketplace for a specific customer segment (like corporations or small businesses).
  • A marketplace for illustrators. 
  • A marketplace for interior designers.

8. Events marketplace 

People have various big events in their lives that require products and services. Think about it: Birthdays, weddings, funerals, and graduation parties all need different types of services. Some ideas are:

  • A marketplace for weddings.
  • A marketplace for children’s events.
  • A marketplace for a specific type of event service provider (such as singers, caterers, and performers). 

9. Marketplace for digital products 

Digital products, like ebooks and online courses, are cheap for sellers to sell and easy for buyers to buy. Udemy is an example of a marketplace for digital products. By niching down in this space, you can find a great marketplace idea. For example:

  • A marketplace for digital courses in a specific industry (such as business or cooking). 
  • A marketplace for digital tools.

10. Marketplace for rentals

Your marketplace can focus on rentals and helping people rent out goods instead of selling them. Airbnb is a great example of a successful rental marketplace. A few rental marketplace ideas include:

  • Venue rentals.
  • B2B rentals (for example, big machinery).
  • Boat rentals. 

How to get started building your own home-based marketplace business 

How do you start building your marketplace business? Look: It’s not about spending years on an idea and THEN testing it out. Instead, take these simple steps to get started fast (you can literally take each of these steps from your living room couch). 

Get started on the side 

First of all, get started on the side while working your 9-5. That’s the most risk-free way to build your business and you don’t have to deal with things like financial stress. Does it mean working in the evenings and weekends? Yes, but on the other hand, you’ll have a business that you can work on from anywhere.

Niche down

Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your marketplace. Instead of trying to compete against giants like Amazon and Airbnb, start on a more niched level. Niching down means that your marketplace becomes more specific to a user group, who will naturally want to work with you. For example: A marketplace for people who take care of cats while their owners are traveling. You can later expand to all types of pets and all types of situations where pet owners need help (like pet walking or training).

Market research

One of the fundamentals of building a profitable work from home business is to do your market research. Ask your potential users and customers what they want in a marketplace and why. That’s how you figure out how they speak about their problem and what their needs are. 

Set up a website and test

Finally, start with a simple website and test it before you spend time and money on more features and customized design. At Kreezalid, we offer a drag-and-drop tool that’s easy to use even if you have no tech skills (and our customer service is there to help if you have any questions). You can set up your first website in a few hours (with beautiful templates) and start driving sellers and buyers to your marketplace. 

example marketplace

Want to get started building your work from home business? Try Kreezalid for 14 days here. 

 

Charlène Guicheron
About Charlène Guicheron

Co-Founder and CEO of Kreezalid

After 5 years helping companies to develop their online marketplace, I saw success stories as well as failures. Today I share my experience and my clients feedbacks through useful resources that will allow you to focus on what really matters for the success of your online marketplace. Because believe me, the secret isn't in the code ...

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