What is the most crucial survival skill you need to have these days?
In ancient times, hunting and gathering would be the answer to that question. These days, a better answer to that question would be the ability to generate money. Whether we like it or not, we have bills to pay and mouths to feed, and we need money to take care of both.
Having a full-time job is a great way to earn money! Still, as we’ve all seen in the news lately, it’s far too easy for even highly educated and highly qualified workers to get fired from their jobs.
Thankfully, you can take matters into your own hands. Starting a legit home business is easy these days, as long as you know what you’re doing.
In this article, we’re going to discuss everything there is to know about starting a legit home business. First, we’ll look at the basic things you need to start a business. Then, we’ll look at the pros and cons of running a home business, so that nothing will catch you by surprise. Finally, we’ll explore seven legit home business ideas that let you work from home.
Let’s get started.
How To Start Your Home Business
What does a person need to start a home business? These days, all you really need is a computer, an internet connection, and a business idea. That final part, the business idea, that’s where things get a bit complicated.
As you’ll see through this article, there are many ways you can make an honest living by running a home business. The most important thing is to do your homework and figure out which idea you’d like to start with. Then, it’s a matter of sticking with the business idea that’s best for you.
Unfortunately, because it’s so easy to start a home business, that also means that it’s easy to switch to a new business idea at any time.
You see, some people get distracted very easily. They might first decide to start a web design business, for example, only to switch to something else just a few weeks later. That is known as ‘Shiny Object Syndrome’, and it’s something that will make success harder for you to achieve.
The key to success, then, is to stick with one idea long enough to gain experience and to enjoy the benefits of your work. Later on, you can decide if you’d like to continue with the same idea or start a new one. For now, though, choose just one business idea and focus on that.
No matter what home business idea you decide to start with, each of them comes with their fair share of benefits and challenges.
So now, let’s see what the pros and cons are of starting a home business.
The Pros of Starting a Home Business
Work on Your Couch in Your Pajamas
This is probably the most talked-about benefit of starting a home business. Everyone loves the idea of working on their couch in their pajamas, don’t they?
On a more serious note, this pro is less about the dress code and more about freedom and flexibility. The point here is that when you start a home business, you won’t have a boss dictating where you should sit or what you should wear to work.
You’ll have the freedom to work on your couch, at the kitchen table, or even at your favorite coffeehouse. The choice is yours entirely.
For many people, this is one of the most attractive perks of working from home, especially for their own business!
Closely related to the ‘pajamas’ perk is the benefit of a flexible schedule. With an online business, you’re not stuck working 9-5 anymore (unless you want to!).
Some people are night owls. Others are more productive in the early hours of the morning. Whatever your style might be, you can adjust your work hours accordingly and maximize your productivity.
Best of all, you can schedule your work around essential events in your day. You could take your kids to school without having to rush to work right after. Or, you could free up lunchtime hours to have a nice leisurely lunch with an old friend.
You could enjoy the world freely while most people are working at a 9-to-5 pace!
Avoid Traffic Jams
Did you know that people spend about 62 hours a year sitting in traffic? Just think about how much time you already spend commuting to and from work each day. That’s valuable time that could be spent doing much more productive things.
Don’t forget to think about the costs that can’t be measured with numbers. Your daily commute adds a lot of stress to your body and tires it out even before your workday begins! That’s a huge demand placed on your physical and mental health.
When you run a home business, you’ll have much more energy and peace of mind. You can then invest that extra energy into your business.
If you’re the kind of person who prefers seeing things in dollars and cents, this will make you happy: you’ll spend less money when you work from home.
Less time spent commuting to and from work? That’s less money spent on fuel and other transport costs. Your car will also need repairs less often, which adds to those long-term savings even more.
Working from home also reduces your budget, since you’ll be paying for lunches a lot less often than before. Again, some of these costs might not seem like much on their own. But when you add them up and multiply them by all your workdays in a month, that becomes a significant part of your budget that you’ve saved.
The Cons of Starting a Home Business
Just like anything else in life, choosing to start a home business involves certain tradeoffs. You’ll be able to enjoy all of the perks mentioned above and more, but there are certain things that you’ll have to sacrifice as well.
Here are a few of the cons of starting a home business and working from home.
Even when you run a home business and work from home, you’ll still need to interact with people. If you were working in an office, all you’d have to do is walk over to their desk and discuss things. With a home business, your communication options are limited.
Sure, some things can be sorted out over the phone. Meetings with groups of people can also be conducted using teleconferencing apps like Skype or Zoom. Still, some problems are just easier to deal with face to face.
When you work from home, you’ll have to work around these communication challenges. Also, you’ll have to leave the house occasionally to have face-to-face meetings with people.
Blurred Work-Life Balance
As you can see, working from home is a double-edged sword. Sure, you get loads of flexibility and freedom. But those things blur the lines as well.
What lines are we talking about here? The line that separates your professional and personal lives.
See, with a regular office job, your workday ends when you clock out and head home. With a home business, you’ll find yourself hopping back and forth between work time and personal time quite frequently.
If you’re good at compartmentalizing, then you should be fine. Not all people are, though. Sometimes, you’ll work when you should be focusing on your family. Or, you’ll spend too much time on personal matters and neglect your home business.
You may find yourself continually juggling different priorities all the time.
More Distractions At Home
Whether you’re a single bachelor or someone with a family, there is much more temptation when you’re working from home.
A family person might find themselves spread too thin. Balancing between their kids, their spouse, and their home business might become overwhelming very quickly. Some people find that it’s challenging to focus on work when your kids are always demanding your attention.
Even if you live alone at home, other things are begging for your attention. Your TV and the latest series you’ve been binge-watching. Playing video games. Or just going out and having fun. All of these will tempt you away from your work.
Last but not least, social isolation. This is one of the more severe downsides to running a home business, as it has a direct impact on your mental health.
It doesn’t matter if you’re an introvert or a loner. If you’re always working alone at home, it will eventually start to bother you.
Introverts might last longer than extroverts in this regard. Still, even they need a little social interaction from time to time.
Human beings are social creatures. We need to be around other people all the time. A regular office job provides for that social need in a way that you can’t get from running a home business.
7 Legit Home Business Ideas to Choose From
So, now that you’ve seen the good and bad of running a home business and working from home, let’s look at the options you have.
Make no mistake: there are plenty of ways you can make money by working online at home. Countless self-declared experts and gurus will try to sell you their ‘secret methods’ of running a home business. Be careful: not all of them are legit!
Don’t worry about them for now. Instead, focus on the people who have successfully built legitimate home businesses and are working from home.
Here are 7 legit home business ideas that let you earn honest money working from home:
1) Web Design; Development Agency
According to Siteefy, there are over a billion websites in the world today. And that number grows every second!
Here’s your first business idea: start your own web design and development agency. You’ll work with clients who will tell you what kind of website they want for themselves. Then, you’ll get it built for them.
Don’t worry about not having any web design or development skills. You can outsource the work to white label agencies. Or, you could also hire freelance web designers and developers to build the websites on your behalf.
This is a great way to get a piece of the worldwide ‘website building’ pie. The benefit here is that you won’t have to learn web design or development to start this business.
Still, this job isn’t without its challenges. You’ll always be looking for new clients and then convincing them to hire your agency. Then, you’ll be managing their expectations throughout the entire process. At the same time, you’ll be managing the people building those websites on your behalf.
Juggling both the client and your freelancers can be tough, but it can also be rewarding!
2) Digital Marketing Agency
Alternatively, you could start an agency that focuses on digital marketing instead.
Companies hire digital marketing agencies to help promote and sell their products online using different tools and approaches. You may have heard of some of them like search engine marketing and optimization, content marketing, social media advertising, and more.
Just as mentioned before, the technical work can be done by outsourcing to a white label agency or by hiring freelancers.
The arrangement would be simple: you’ll find out what your clients need, then you’ll hire freelancers to help you fulfil those needs on a project-by-project basis.
Just like with web development and design, you’ll be standing in the middle of your client and the people working for you. Balancing client expectations with your agency’s ability to deliver will be your toughest challenge.
3) Drop shipping
Here’s a popular one: drop shipping (sometimes spelt as ‘dropshipping’). You may have heard claims that you can start a business online without ever touching a single product. That’s basically what drop shipping is.
If you start a dropshipping business, you’ll be selling physical products to customers online. Throughout this process, you’ll never actually keep those products in stock. Instead, when a customer orders an item, you’ll then order that item from a third party. That third party will deliver it to your customer on your behalf.
This is a great way to make money, but it has its fair share of challenges. Firstly, you need to do a lot of research to find out what products people want. Sure, even if you promote a product that no one buys, you won’t lose money since you don’t hold any stock. But you won’t make any money either!
Also, it’s important to find suppliers that produce high-quality products. As far as the customer is concerned, they bought the item from you. If there are any problems with that product, they’ll come back to you for an exchange or a refund.
4) Drop Servicing
Drop servicing is similar to drop shipping and running your own agency. The difference here is that you’re selling a service, not a product.
The model is very straightforward: you’ll find clients who need a service, like blog writing or video editing. Then, you’ll hire other people to do the job for you. On your end, you’ll just manage the relationship with the client and coordinate the people working on your behalf.
5) Create a course
E-learning is also a profitable business these days. Using the skills and knowledge that you already have, you could create a course for other people to learn from you.
The best part of this idea is that you only create the product (your course) once. Then, it’ll generate money for you with every new buyer.
The challenge is convincing people to buy your course since there are so many different ones out there.
6) Start a print-on-demand business
You could also start a print-on-demand business from home! This is somewhat similar to the concept of drop servicing. Here, the service you’re selling is on-demand printing.
With this business model, you could use your website to offer t-shirt printing, document printing, or even 3D printing. The possibilities are endless!
Your business would run in collaboration with a print-on-demand provider. When a client comes your way, you’ll send the job to that printer who has all the equipment and manpower needed to complete the job. Then, they’ll deliver the completed products to your clients for you.
This is a great way to start a printing business without having to invest in expensive printing equipment. However, you’ll have to respond to customers if their orders do not meet their expectations.
7) Affiliate Marketing
Last but not least, you could go with one of the oldest methods of starting an online business at home: affiliate marketing. This is also one of the easiest ways to start a home business.
Affiliate marketing means you’ll promote other people’s products. If people order those products through your unique affiliate link, you’ll receive a percentage from that sale.
Usually, people do this by writing online reviews about the product. These days, people do this not only through websites but also through blogs and their social media accounts.
Affiliate marketing is an effortless way to start a home business. However, it can be very challenging to scale up. Convincing enough people to buy the products you’re promoting so that you’ll make enough money from it is quite tricky.