home business ideas

Top 10 best home based business ideas to make money online

Home based businesses provide genuine opportunities to create a sustainable, profitable income in 2015 and beyond.

Marketing or selling through an eCommerce store, online shopping cart, blog or website brings great opportunity, as you'll see in my list of inspirational business successes later in the article.

Startups are also far easier to establish now than just a few years ago. And now more than ever, entrepreneurs (working out of the home, garage, dorm room, etc) are needed to help boost the economy.

And while our top 10 list is meant to give you some inspiration, it's definitely worthwhile checking out our latest article entitled, How to come up with good business ideas, so that you can find the perfect idea for your own unique skills, knowledge and and community.

At any rate, I hope you'll find something to inspire you to startup today. There's no time like the present (and don't forget about me when you're sipping pina-coladas off the deck of your yacht ;)

1. Specialist consulting

Be a specialist consultant online
If you have experience or skills then one of the best ways to make money is by providing niche industry wisdom and expert advice. It doesn't matter what industry you are in.

Start blogging about what you know. Offer to help people by providing knowledge. Answer questions on other sites, blogs and forums.

Once people recognize you as an expert they will trust you, and you can start leveraging that trust to make money by offering services and consulting in your niche. What's nice about this idea is that there's nothing stopping you providing consulting facilities online - via Skype or a Google+ hangout.

Depending what industry you're in, you might be able to operate completely from home without having to make expensive trips out to clients. For example, a technology consultant for small businesses run by baby-boomers could be a fantastic moneyspinner.

2. Boutique online store

Bake gourmet cupcakes
Do you have a passion for designing cushions? Do you love making gourmet cupcakes? If there is something you love doing, then do it online.

Blog about what you do. Creating fantastic content that interests people gives you a powerful platform to encourage more customers to visit, and more visitors to purchase.

Make your content exciting and visual so that your passion transfers to visitors who then just have to buy.

3. eLearning content

Create online learning courses
If there is a subject you are knowledgeable in, or know plenty of people who are knowledgeable about something, then use that to make money.

Set up a subscription based service to train people. Offer them courses, complete with exercises and marked online quizzes. Award them with certificates upon completion.

Grow the business by finding other knowledgeable who can put together new courses on a wide range of subjects for kids and adults alike and expand your reach into new markets. More and more learning is shifting to the online world, making this the right time to establish yourself and capture some market share.

4. Specialty reviews

Become a specialty reviewer online
Do you love fine dining? How about wine tasting? Does staying in luxury hotels appeal to you?

Start up a blog and begin reviewing local products and services. Do a good job and local merchants and retailers will quickly catch on to the value of being reviewed by you. Leverage that demand to make money, as well as using ads and affiliate links to generate additional cash from readers.

Another advantage of working in the reviews industry is that it can be very visually appealing. Sharing photos of your amazing meals is a great way to get people to read reviews, work up an appetite and start visiting more places.

5. Innovative local services

Offer local convenience services
There are a million and one things that get in people's way each day. If you have a smart idea about how to help, then set it up.

idea: If you have a pickup you could offer to pick up people's old furniture for free. It saves them time and money taking it to the dump. You can then resell it via your website.

idea: People hate queuing at local grocery stores after work. Why not let them pre-order from your website and have it waiting for them. They don't have to pay for parking, fight with crowds or wait in queues. Well worth the small amount you charge for the service.

With limited resources, you'll have to start local. But franchising to different towns and cities is a great option for growth later down the line.

6. Online real-time tutorials and lessons

Online teaching in real time
Google+ offers incredible resources for video conferencing and online hangouts. Why not offer one hour lessons by video online? People can sign up on your website and access live tutorials and lesson, possibly followed by some Q and A for added interactivity.

You don't have to charge much, and as the word spreads you could end up with thousands of students attending each lesson.

If you're already a teacher, a good way to start would be to offer an additional, free online lesson in addition to the classes you take. Use this to discover what works best and what learners find useful. Once you're established, start charging and grow your classes into profitable sizes

7. Niche blogging

Blog about a very niche topic
Blogging is a great way to make a residual income. It's definitely a medium term investment though, so it's only viable if you are passionate about your niche topic.

Remember that, depending on how well you present content to the audience, it is possible to make virtually any weird and wonderful topic fun, interesting and engaging. The weirder and wackier you get, in a way that is still understandable, useful, or entertaining in some way, the more likely you are to be noticed and build a following.

It is far better to dominate a single, obscure niche than to be unremarkable in a common one.

Use social media, SEO and Internet marketing to build up traffic volumes, engage with readers and earn their trust. Make money from advertising and affiliate links.

8. Remote PA

Offer personal assistant services remotely
If you're planning on working from home full-time, then why not offer to help people who can't find enough hours in the day to do everything they need.

Preferably offer services that you can perform online such as research, administration, writing, editing, and so on. Otherwise, focus on the local market... especially if you need to run errands.

The more you can work online, the more scope there is to hire low maintenance virtual office workers to expand your business.

9. Discounts & deals

Offer fantastic sales online
Times are tough. People appreciate finding high quality services and products at low prices. Scour the web for the top deals and pass them on to your readers.

Make sure you do it in an exciting, interesting and unique way - there is a lot of competition in this industry.

Alternatively, start local. Approach local merchants and retailers and get them to run specials which you promote. As you build up a following, the tables will turn and it will be merchants who approach you to write about their specials. Leverage that demand to make money.

10. IT

Special It skills, like Fortran programming
Do you know how to build mobile apps? How about games? Are you a guru in a forgotten programming language? Are you an incredible graphic designer?

Hardcore IT and technical skills are well suited to online home based business. All the coolest companies were started in garages, bedrooms or dorm rooms by IT geeks.

Use a website to show off your abilities. Convincing clients to take you on is difficult at first, but, providing you do a good job, referrals will keep new clients coming in.

Want more ideas?

Ten ideas is great and all, but we've got hundreds of ideas that are either completely original or have taken existing ideas and given them a cheeky twist that just might mean the difference between success and failure.

What's more, you can share your own ideas and have them promoted and spread around the world via social media. By coming together around the shared goal of exchanging and inspiring each other with new ideas, the possibilities for new challenges and success multiply exponentially.

Click the screenshot below to go check it out:

Browse and share brilliant new business ideas

Here are just some of the inspirational ideas you'll come across in our list:

  • Hip, stylish shoe accessories: Design and sell a range of hip accessories that can change the look and feel of a single pair of shoes. This will mean people can dress up or down but only spend big bucks on a single pair of nice shoes.
  • 'Twisted' store for millenials: There are stacks and stacks of traditional products that could be "twisted" to appeal to a quirky new generation. Don't believe me? Check out this Zombie apocalypse garden gnome.
  • Kidpreneur classes: Start afternoon or early evening classes in your neighborhood that caters to kids/teens and teaches them about running their own business. Offer them a fun and useful learning experience and parents will love it (not least because you are taking the kids off their hands for a while).
  • Sheepdog drones: Check out this clip of a farmer herding his sheep with Shep, the world's first sheepdog drone. 100% certain people would actually pay to do the job for him it looks like so much fun.

There are literally hundreds more ideas just as unique and original as these for you to explore. Who knows, perhaps you'll see something that sparks an idea in your own mind that will ultimately lead you to your successful venture.

Like these folks...

Inspirational business successes

To inspire you to get started with your new home based business, I thought I would finish off with a few stories of how the Internet, a bit of determination and creativity, helped some people to achieve success.

If they can do it, so can you:

What other business ideas would you include on this list? Have you started a home based online business? Had any success? Share your hopes, fears, and experiences in the comments, or join the conversation on LinkedIn.

Gap in the market startups. Photo by Robert S. Donovan

Being an entrepreneur is one of the best vocations in the world because it encourages you to view everything as an opportunity for innovation. And, once you have an idea, you have to challenge it. Break it down. Make it better. Throw it away. Start again. Fail. Fail. Fail. Until you succeed.

Whatever you can imagine, you can do. Provided you have the drive and determination to see it through.

home business ideas to make money fast

Finding a way to make money quickly is really not as good as finding a way to earn a stable income in the long term - get rich quick schemes tend to be a waste of time and effort (except for the people selling the scheme).

At least that was the point of my argument with a friend the other day. They ended up betting that I couldn't come up with at least one idea that would start generating cash within 24 hours.

In the words of Barney, "Challenge accepted!"

Top ideas from university entrepreneurs

Encouraging younger people to become involved in entrepreneurship by holding business idea competitions is, in my opinion, one of the best ways to innovate our way out of the current financial doldrums the world finds itself in.

The creativity and energy exhibited by the students who enter the top business idea competitions from around the U.S. have shown the rest of us just how easy they can make it look when it comes to generating a new idea, putting together a plan, and pitching it to the world like pros.

How Google hurt our startup launch with a mistaken phishing warning

You spend years building up an online business, working hard to provide a service that gives paying customers great value.

After a while, your company starts attracting corporate clients who need a bit more than what is available on your traditional offering. And, despite limited resources, you have no choice but to expand the service to enterprise level customers.

But this means a lot of work, and it takes months to properly plan, design and implement the new changes. It's infuriating that Google can mistakenly ruin this.

Don't hesitate, start your business today

Check out our top 3 reasons why there's never been a better time to set up an online business than right now.

If you've got an idea that you think will succeed but are hesitating because you are worried about failing and losing money, then get ready to be inspired to start today - right now even.

Sure, the economy is not great, but there are signs of growth, and successful people didn't get that way by sitting around waiting for the economy to improve.