The 10 Best Home Based Business Ideas (Online Businesses are Here to Stay)

You may have noticed that Sacramento’s economic condition has not exactly been strong, of late. In fact, while conditions across the country are trying, to say the least, Sacramento, and California as a whole, seems to be leading the pack in economic devastation. With a State budget on the verge of collapse, years of arguing and posturing over the use of public funds, and what appears to be the breakdown of our State’s entire public service sector, local entrepreneurs are turning to online businesses to supplement, and in some cases actually replace their income streams.

Over the last several years, but specifically in the last six to nine months, direct sales companies have seen a surge in their membership numbers. Those companies experiencing the highest growth are companies utilizing the internet as a primary means of member recruiting as well as well-developed web purchasing interfaces.

We know this economy has been hard on everyone, and we felt that this list would be timely and helpful to our readers. What follows is a list of the 10 best home based business ideas.

Leading the pack of home-based direct sales companies are those that offer access to goods and services used by people on a regular basis, and especially those that offer discounts and/or rebates on these every day purchases. People are not interested in buying things they don’t view as necessary any more. Today what they are looking for is access to those items they have to have, and they are looking for ways to buy them cheaper and more efficiently.

And clearly in this list, the online options dominate. Fully six of the top 10 best home based business ideas we researched were online opportunities. There is no doubt that online commerce is just in its infancy. According to one report this $305 Billion industry is likely to triple in the next 5 years, and that is allegedly a conservative estimate. More and more businesses are finding online sales to be lucrative, as well as more efficient and cost effective. There are less employees required and businesses can sell to a broader range of clients spread out over a greater geographical territory. The potential is limitless.

So, without further ado, our list of the 10 best home based business ideas (in reverse order).

10. Home Day Care Center

Believe it or not, the home daycare center still ranks in the top ten for home-based businesses. The reason is that in these economic times it is becoming more and more difficult for families to stay afloat on just one income. Everyone is looking to supplement their incomes, and those with two spouses working, and kids at home, must have an alternative to the daily care of their children. Parents of young children looking to supplement income from home may find day care an excellent way to bring in income as well as spend time with their own children. There are some other benefits to this profession as well, such as the opportunity to socialize your own children at a young age. But, beware of the potential pitfalls of this industry: many children find it hard to share their personal space in their own home for lengthy periods of time, this may result in frustration for the care-giver’s own children. Also, licensing is required in most jurisdictions, so be sure to check with your local authorities before you launch a home day care.

9. Medical Transcription

This is an excellent choice of careers for people with excellent English language skills and typing ability. Many doctors outsource their transcription functions rather than pay employees to handle them. It is more cost effective for the doctors since they do not have to pay Medicare, SDI and other taxes that accompany hiring employees. This business is excellent for start-ups since it requires very low overhead and equipment purchases, and can be done in a minimal amount of space. In fact, most people already have the necessary equipment such as a desk, computer, and tape recorder. Incomes can range from $25,000 per year for part-time work to more than $90,000 per year for full-time efforts.

8. Accounting

For those would-be stay-at-home working parents, especially those with a strong background in accounting and/or financial skills, an accounting or bookkeeping career may be just the right choice. This career option offers a tremendous amount of flexibility to the working parent, and an excellent income opportunity. You can start the business right from your own home, building on referrals and low cost advertising, but it has the potential to grow with you as your children age and become less dependent, entering school, and freeing up more of your own time. Look heavily to building relationships with other professions, such as attorneys, insurance professionals and real estate agents as they will often refer clients to you. You can begin this business from scratch, or you can buy a tax and accounting franchise (a slightly more expensive option, but perhaps a shorter start-up period). Again, check with local authorities for licensing requirements in your area. Regulations can change from state to state, and there is also a wealth of information available at the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

7. Catering

Many parents love to cook and entertain, and catering can provide Moms (or Dads) an opportunity to work from home, but still get out and socialize and do what you enjoy. Most of the upfront preparation work can be done from your own home while looking after children, and then meals can be delivered, or in some cases even picked up, for delivery to the event. Parents with a modest approach can make an excellent income by simply providing the meals, those looking to satisfy a larger dream can also provide staff for set up, waiting, and tear down, or even do it themselves. Income potentials can be very good with catering services, and the most successful home-based caterers might make close to six figures.

6. Online Affiliate Programs

One of the internet’s greatest introductions to the home business owner over the last decade has been that of the affiliate marketer. This is the first of our online business opportunities, and is a position that does not require you to work for a company, purchase products, carry inventory, or even to interact with customers. You can easily start a successful and lucrative affiliate marketing business by simply finding products on the internet that you are interested in, joining the company’s affiliate program, and then marketing those products online. Most affiliate programs pay directly to a Pay Pal (or other payment processing service) account on a monthly basis. Of course, this business may require some start up capital if you choose to market through pay for service venues, such as pay per click. There are plenty of free marketing sources online as well, but they may require more effort. Still, this can be an excellent way for work-from-home parents to supplement a one-income family. You can find out all about it by Googling “Affiliate Programs” or on resource sites such as Affiliate Programs and Affiliate Scout. While this is a viable internet opportunity, it does require you to seek out and market individual companies and their products. In my opinion, a far better opportunity to consolidate this effort into a more lucrative, efficient and profitable business exists in item number one below.

5. Freelance Writing

Everyone has considered writing a book at some point in their lives, or at least liked the sound of that idea. Today’s market for writers is wide open, everything from relevant articles on travel, the arts, local scenes and business to fully fledged e-books on both technical as well as tactical topics. Especially if you are already familiar with a specific subject, this is a great way for you to share that expertise with a very broad market. There are literally millions of people searching the internet every day for information on specific subjects, and they are willing to pay for that information. Try your hand at writing first with shorter venues, and as your skill and experience grow, branch out into more aggressive projects. An excellent resource for freelance writing on the internet can be found at The Freelance Writing Jobs Network.

4. Business Coach

While this opportunity is not a true “online” opportunity, it is a bit of a hybrid, and it really plays to those individuals at the top of their game. This opportunity requires someone with a very strong business background, or at least some formidable business training. In today’s climate with so many people becoming displaced or seeking opportunity outside of the traditional corporate walls, there is a tremendous need for someone off which to bounce ideas, to assist in the business planning activities and to keep over-energetic CEO’s feet on the ground. If you have experience in corporate management, business acumen or other specialized skills then you can share them with those who have ideas but less experience. There is even a coaching certification program and referral service provided to the members of the International Coach Federation.

3. Web Design

Web sites are a must in today’s business climate, even for traditional brick-and-mortar type businesses. With online shopping and information dissemination becoming more and more a requirement companies are jumping onto the web in droves, and they need excellent web site designers to guide them through the process. This is truly a case where it is difficult to see the forest for the trees. There are so many facets to web design and a web presence that it is almost impossible to get started without some heavy duty assistance. For anyone familiar with html programming, CSS, SEO, or even WYSIWYG editors, this opportunity can be a gold mine. Much of your work can be done after hours when the kids are in bed, and this is one thing that makes this opportunity perfect for moonlighters and all-day parents.

2. Online Marketing

As the opportunities to network and market online become greater and more diverse, so too, do the companies that offer to train you in these mechanisms. Without this training, the would-be do-it-yourself internet marketer will likely run into one frustration after another, and perhaps even waste thousands of dollars in online advertising costs with very little return. The best money you can spend is to invest a little in your own training before you begin your online marketing campaign. And if you are going to spend a little on yourself, why not do it in a place where you can also earn while you learn? By far, the best training (and income opportunity) we have found for internet marketing, both free and paid, is through Carbon Copy PRO (www.mylifevalue.net).

1. Online Shopping Portal

Our number one pick of the 10 best home based business ideas – drum roll please – an online internet shopping portal where retailers (like Target, Best Buy, Home Depot, and hundreds more that we shop from daily) pay the website owners a rebate when they purchase from their online stores. This is the affiliate programs on steroids. Website Owners and Business Builders (as the company refers to them) can build large residual incomes by doing their shopping online, and referring others to shop online. This company has already made more than 20 millionaires, and they are only a little over 15 months into their launch. They have more appeal than any other direct sales company due to the fact that they do not require you to purchase a specific product (such as vitamins, juice, shakes, candles, etc.), but they allow you to purchase whatever you need from over 800 national retailer’s websites. Members get paid rebates on their own purchases, commissions on referred shopper’s rebates and training bonuses for referred members. You can find out more about this incredible home business opportunity at www.shoppingevolution.net. Watch for this one to explode over the next 5 years.

So, now you have the 10 best home based business ideas. Of course, there are a number of other considerations you must keep in mind, such as which opportunity best fits your lifestyle, avoiding scams, etc.; and we will delve into some of these issues in future articles. All that is left now is for you to do your own homework and decide which opportunity is best suited to your tastes. Happy hunting.