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10 Best Home-Based Business Opportunities in 2018

Running a home-based business can be a lot of work but it also offers opportunities to make more money and have more flexibility. 3.9 million Americans work from home at least half of the time. This is a sharp rise from 1.8 million in 2005—a 115 percent increase, according to FlexJobs. Excited to join their ranks? Here are some profitable and proven home-based business opportunities that are in high demand in 2018.

In this article, we’ll cover:

1. Skilled Trades

ManpowerGroup’s recent survey highlighted skilled trades as the number one area with talent shortage. The main causes? Baby boomers retiring and the perception of skilled trades as undesirable careers by new high school graduates, according to Reuters.

In fact, working in the skilled trades can pay very well—Indeed estimates hourly rates as $15.88 to $40 per hour. Remote or overseas may pay higher, requiring relocation. A caveat: work is done on-site but businesses are home-based.

Working in the skilled trades also has low startup costs and there’s demand everywhere, not just in large cities. Job security is guaranteed since these skilled trade tasks can’t be automated, for the most part.

The following skilled trades are in demand through 2024:

  • Construction laborers
  • Electricians
  • Structural iron and steelworkers
  • Pipelayers
  • Millwrights
  • Carpenters
  • Solar photovoltaic Installers

The above trades are listed according to decreasing demand, with data from Tradesmen International.

2. Home Renovation

Home renovation is a booming business in the United States. Homeowners spend an average of $6,649 per year, according to a 2018 HomeAdvisor survey. Remodelling is a $361 billion (annual) industry according to 2016 figures, a 6 percent increase from the previous year, according to a Harvard study.

The reason? An aging population is looking to remodel their homes as they retire and settle into their houses. And as the economy improves, younger generations such as millenials are moving into homeownership.

If you have experience in the skilled trades, such as electrical, plumbing and carpentry skills, and you already have the tools to do the job, home renovation may be just the business for you.

3. Coaching

Coaching is a hot industry. A report by IBISWorld says coaching is a $1 billion industry in the U.S. with an expected annual growth rate of 3.6 percent. Demand is slowing overall but high-income clients are still driving this industry forward.

This is a great home-based business opportunity because it allows for remote work—coaches can meet clients over the phone or via Skype.

Coaching is also a versatile business as there are many types of coaches. In fact, choosing an in-demand area of specialization is key to succeeding as a coach, as is having a great reputation and attracting a high-earning client base.

Types of in-demand coaches include:

  • Agile coach (productivity flow in organizations)
  • Small business coach
  • Leadership coach
  • Success coach
  • Mindfulness coach
  • Emotion coach
  • Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) coach
  • Macro coach (nutrition)
  • Health and wellness coach
  • Fitness coach

Start your coaching journey by getting credentialed via the International Coach Federation.

4. Pet Products and Services

Americans love their pets. U.S.spending on pets is estimated at $72.13 billion in 2018, a increase from $69.51 billion in 2017 according to the American Pet Products Association (APPA). The reason for this trend? Millennials are buying more pets than previous generations.

Of this $69.61 billion, the largest percentage is spent on food, followed by pet supplies. It’s also a good idea to keep in mind that the majority of pets are dogs, with cats close behind.

Pet products you could consider making at home (and selling on the internet) include:

  • Food
  • Vitamins
  • Toys
  • Treats
  • Grooming aids

Pet services are also in demand—$6.16 billion is spent on services per year.

Pet services include:

  • Pet sitting
  • Dog walking
  • Dog day care
  • Boarding
  • Pet grooming

Thanks to new pet sitting and dog walking apps, people are making more money than ever in these jobs. Plus, they require few to no startup costs—grooming, daycare and boarding require significantly more investment in equipment and local competition can be fierce.

5. Software Engineering and Development

Software developers are hot in 2018—demand should increase by 24 percent through 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. App developers will see the highest rate of increase: 31 percent. The demand for software and apps continue to grow and with it, the need for developers to make them.

The most in-demand areas of software development include:

  • App development
  • Health and medical insurance software
  • Software for consumer electronics, such as cell phones and appliances
  • Security software

In 2017, average pay for a software developer was $103,50 annually or $49.79 an hour. Most software developers have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or software engineering

Please note: many software engineers and developers start out as interns and salaried employees to get experience. They then move into freelance work. This type of job lends well to remote work and can easily be done from the comfort of your own home via the internet.

6. Cleaning Services

There’s a huge demand for cleaning services in the United States to service its aging population and as more women enter the workforce. The global cleaning service market is $74,299 million and growing at 6.2 percent per year, with North America as the largest market, according to Allied Market Research.

The most popular cleaning services include:

  • Commercial floor care, especially vacuuming. Schools, hospitals and retail are the largest clients.
  • Residential maid services
  • Residential carpet and upholstery cleaning

Thankfully, this home-based business opportunity doesn’t require specific education or experience. Options include cleaning houses yourself or managing a team of cleaners. Cleaners need to find a niche to compete in a bustling market, like upscale cleaning for wealthy clients. Cleaners will also need a vehicle and supplies.

7. Financial Planners

Demand for financial planners is expected to grow by 15 percent until 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This can be partly attributed to an aging population heading towards retirement and looking to plan their finances for the future.

According to a recent study, two thirds of Americans find it difficult to manage their spending. Plus only 44 percent of Americans without a financial advisor feel confident on how to spend and save their money.

The opportunity is certainly there for the financially savvy to open their own home-based businesses. To become a financial planner, you need a bachelor’s degree, usually in finance, economics or accounting, for example. Colleges are also beginning to provide programs in financial planning. Certification isn’t required but can attract more clients.

8. Home Health Aides

Home health aides is an incredibly fast-growing opportunity. The employment growth rate is projected at an astounding 41 percent until 2026. This trend is thanks to an aging population of baby boomers.

The average wage is only $11.12 per hour but minimal education, if any, is required. Another option is to start a business managing a team of home health aides.

Another alternative is to provide products for seniors. Fall prevention is a huge market in particular. One in four seniors fall and one in five falls cause a serious injury. Products to prevent falls could include electric scooters or padded hip garments.

9. Ecommerce

Demand for ecommerce is at an all-time high. More people than ever are buying products online. Online spending was $127.3 billion in the second quarter of 2018. This was up 3.9 percent from the first quarter of 2018, according to the U.S. Census Bureau News.

The perks to ecommerce: it’s a simple business to start and requires little to no startup money. It’s also easy to do from home via the internet. The downside: the difficulty in finding the right product and edging out your competitors.

Entrepreneur recommends digging through Amazon reviews in a product category that interests you. These internet reviews will tell you a lot about what customers like and don’t like and what features they want and aren’t getting. Then make those products, but better.

10. Massage Therapy

Employment for massage therapists is set to grow 26 percent until 2026, much faster than the average of 7 percent for all occupations. Demand is led by increased coverage by healthcare providers and need from sectors like the sports industry.

Therapists can work out of their own homes or travel to clients’ homes. They can open a franchise, work for themselves or manage a team of masseuses. Massage therapists will need postsecondary training and certification, plus their own equipment. Pay is $19.23 per hour on average.

People Also Ask:

How Do I Start a Successful Home Business?

Follow these steps to build a successful home-based business:

  1. Choose an idea. Make sure your business idea capitalizes on your strengths. Choose a niche, set your pricing and write a business plan to secure funding such as a bank loan, if you need it.
  2. Legalize your business. Decide on a legal structure and a legal business name. Check if you need any licenses and what tax laws apply to you. The Small Business Administration has an excellent guide to the legal aspects of starting a small business.
  3. Get support. Seek out a lawyer, accountant or bookkeeper, should you need one. Contact a professional association to get access to networking events and expert advice.
  4. Learn bookkeeping. Hiring an accountant may be out of your budget. Learn the basics of bookkeeping by taking out how-to guides from the library or taking an online course (LinkedIn offers such courses with a free first month).
  5. Learn marketing. You may need to print business cards, get a logo designed and start a website or social media channels. Flyering is a low-cost advertising option to jump start sales. If this is your weak point, LinkedIn is a good resource.
  6. Focus on your customers. Good word of mouth is crucial. Think about developing customer loyalty programs and advertising special offers. Think about ways to customize your product or service to get customers exactly what they want.
  7. Be competitive. Improve your company image by joining a local business organization, networking and offering to speak at events for free. Stay on top of industry trends and monitor technological advancements in your field.
  8. Prepare for disaster. This means buying insurance, keeping an electronic backup of all your records and carefully monitoring your cash flow.
  9. Get ready for growth. Consider applying to a business incubator and look for new products or services that are natural offshoots of what you already offer—courses, books or coaching. And continue to revisit your business plan.


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