25 Stay at Home Business Ideas that Actually Make Money in 2022
Making a living can be a grind. But it doesn’t have to be.
Since the pandemic shook things up for workers, employers and entrepreneurs alike, it opened all sorts of new avenues and work models. Some say it accelerated the eCommerce sector by more than 5 years!
So maybe it’s time for you to look a little outside the box too. Consider some new options, dip your toes, set up a little side hustle. A little time invested in starting your own thing now may well see your labor of love turn into an entrepreneurial success in a few months or years.
Change is scary and the multitude of options can be overwhelming. So we’ve put together this little overview for you, detailing how to get started with your own venture and giving you plenty of options with varying degrees of commitment. Rome wasn’t built in a day, so start with what feels manageable today and take it into the future from there.
What Makes a Good Home Business Idea?
The main appeal of a home business is that you can run it from home without having to pay for an office or warehousing. This means you can start something new relatively easily and don’t have much risk or set-up costs. All you need is internet access, a serviceable laptop or computer and a nook to turn into your workspace.
While it really is very easy to get started with most home business ideas, there are some factors that make an idea especially suitable:
You can work from your desk.
While there are many home business ideas out there that require you to travel to clients or outside the bounds of your own four walls, the most practical and profitable ideas enable you to work from your computer. This means you can maximize productive work time, plus your business will be easier to scale in the future (as opposed to e.g. a dog walking business where you’re limited to the number of dogs you can physically look after)
You don’t need much inventory.
Since you’re working from home and you presumably don’t have half a dozen empty rooms at your disposal, it’s ideal if you need to keep only limited inventory on site for your business. Basically just as much as you have room for storing in an organized manner. You don’t want your new business to become a burden on your personal life because you’re constantly stumbling over stock in the hallway.
You’re able to start with little to no capital.
Again, starting this business should be easy, and you should ideally be able to do it on the side while you get the ball rolling. So a good idea should let you start small, with little investment. Start up costs might include hosting and setup costs for a website, perhaps some software and office equipment, but ideally not much more than that.
Work hours are flexible.
Many home entrepreneurs start while also holding another job or being a full-time parent. So your business needs to fit around that and provide flexible work hours. Ideas that require you to be available 9-5 Monday to Friday will be much harder to realize.
You can work solo.
This relates to our last point. The more people whose advice and help you need on a regular basis, the more this is going to affect your work hours and flexibility. So while having collaborators can be super valuable for making an idea thrive, keeping those to a maximum of 1 or 2 works best.
What’s Your Kind of Business?
Now that you know how to identify a valid idea for your future business, there are just a few more considerations before we launch into some great examples.
Passive Income has been one of those buzzwords around the entrepreneurial media scene these last few years. What it means is that, once you’ve done all the necessary setup, the income basically makes itself. So the passive one in this scenario is you! This is opposed to active income (which is the norm), like getting paid for turning up to an employment every day. There are all sorts of examples for passive income from the digital (like selling online courses) to the physical (like setting up a vending machine). Some people’s goal is to set up various streams of passive income so that they end up having to do very little overall. Sounds pretty sweet right!
Passion-driven vs Opportunity-driven
There are all sorts of different ways to approach starting a business. Some people have a hobby or a passion that’s been a part of their life for some time before they decide to turn that passion into an income stream. The advantage of this is that you’ll already have some knowledge of the market and its audience and can use that to your advantage for turning a profit.
On the flipside of that are those entrepreneurs that start a business following an opportunity they’ve spotted. Say they’ve noticed amongst their circle of friends the demand for a particular kind of adapter, e.g. the lighting to headphone jack adapter, and that there aren’t many cheap suppliers selling those. Following opportunities like this is great because you identify a demand from the get-go which should mean that you’ll definitely have customers. On the other hand it does mean that you have to be particularly diligent with your market research, as you may not have oodles of knowledge to back up your business plan to start off with.
Home Warehouse vs Dropshipping
If you’re planning on going down the eCommerce route for your business, one final consideration is whether you want to keep any inventory in your home or if you’ll be operating fully online, e.g. by running a dropshipping business. Both have their upsides and downsides.
Buying in bulk from a wholesaler can be a smart move as it’ll mean lower per unit cost, enabling you to sell things to your customers at a lower price. You’ll just need to make sure you pick a product you actually have room for, such as small electronics accessories. If you’re going down the route of larger products like furniture, dropshipping will definitely be your better move. With dropshipping, customer orders go directly through to your supplier and get shipped from there, eliminating the need for any warehousing at home.
💡Pro Tip: Not sure what dropshipping is? Check out this guide where we explain everything there is to know about dropshipping and how to build a profitable dropshipping business.
The 25 Best Home Business Ideas
1. Sell your Crafts
If you’re a hobby maker, this can be a great opportunity to turn something you’re already doing into a side hustle. People love quality homemade goods and the fact that they make great gifts turns the run-up to Christmas into a particularly lucrative time of the year.
With 1,561,250 sales, CaitlynMinimalist’s jewelry is the #2 seller on Etsy
You don’t even need your own website to get started. Craft-focused marketplace Etsy boasted 90 million active users in 2021 and offers excellent listing tools and support for new sellers. With the competition of 5 million other sellers, you may need to put in some work to get your shop seen by potential customers, but once you’ve earned a few good reviews the Etsy algorithm will bump you up in search results and you should be flying. If you don’t fancy bracing the competition of Etsy, there are plenty of other smaller Marketplaces around to get you started on your sales journey.
Depends on what you’re selling! Product prices vary hugely from single figures (e.g. facemasks) to high-end products like jewelry or pieces of art.
Cost of your raw materials + Listing fees (USD 0.20/ listing for Etsy)
Take some pictures of your crafts and get set up on Etsy in about 30 mins.
Complete control over production, materials and pricing. Expand into selling from your own website if/ when you’re ready.
Restricted by how fast and how much you can physically produce.
Does it scale?
But you’ll need to be smart about it, e.g. by selling craft supplies as well as crafted products, and maybe outsourcing production as you grow.
2. Start a business for subscription boxes
You may have heard of veggie boxes, where your local farmer puts together their best seasonal collection of vegetables for you each week. Well, the same principle can be applied to pretty much any product category. In fact, subscription box services are getting so popular that they’re pegged to grow by 18.7% each year until 2026 from an already impressive $18.8 billion market share in 2020.
People love convenience and that’s exactly what a subscription box can provide. They can sign up to your service and regularly receive a selection of whatever you’re offering.
Some fun examples include Doughp’s Secret Cookie Dough Club, a subscription service that will deliver edible cookie dough to your doorstep each month, ScentBird who sends you tester size designer fragrances and Say it With a Sock who (yes, you got it) sends you monthly pairs of socks.
Pick a high-end product category with a spend-happy audience and you could go far with this one.
Product costs + website hosting and set up + marketing
You’ll need a solid business plan with market research here to make sure you know what you’re doing. But if you have a solid idea it’s definitely worth pursuing.
A great new-ish market that’s predicted to keep growing. Lots of scope to do something truly unique and creative.
Not as easy to get off the ground as some other ideas. But you could start small and trial the idea amongst your closer community.
Does it scale?
With a growing business you may need to look at warehousing and fulfillment solutions in the future though