The following list of home businesses don’t require much capital or knowledge to start. While experts in these industries might disagree, those same people probably got their start like everyone else — learning their craft working in the trenches, making mistakes and asking lots of questions to people who know what they’re talking about.
Proceed with caution, but don’t be afraid to get your feet wet!
1. Critter Control
Keep in mind I’m not referring to exterminators; you need a license to dispense the chemicals needed to control bugs. This is strictly related to removing unwanted, yet relatively safe critters (ie., not crocodiles!) from people’s homes and properties. It’s not one of those “anyone can do it jobs,” but if you’re the type of person who knows a lot about pesky animals and how to handle them, this might be for you.
All you need is a willingness to take on whatever challenges come your way. Things like mice, raccoons, bats, birds, etc. If there’s certain animals in your area that require special training to deal with or which you’re uncomfortable working with, simply pass on those jobs.
2. Home Jewelry Maker
This is obviously for jewelry that’s more on the craft side than what you’ll find in a typical jewelry store. You’ll need a flair for making trinkets and such with your own two hands, but I know more than a few people who’ve made this into a great income for themselves. Materials are fairly cheap too, depending on what you decide to make/sell.
Friendship bracelets, anklets, beaded necklaces, earrings — you name it, there’s someone out there on Etsy willing to buy it. As far as all those “Work at Home” ads go, I can’t really suggest any that are reliable, but make sure you see what people are saying about them on BBB.org and Ripoffreport.com before signing up or sending any money to anyone for their startup kits, if you decide to go that route (though this is more of a J.O.B. than home business if you ask me).
3. Lawn Care
This might seem like an obvious idea, but it’s one that so many people disregard as nothing more than a part time gig than a way to make a significant income. In fact, if you take the time to cultivate a great list of clients and use as many means of marketing in your area as possible, you can definitely make an above-average income.
Then there’s also the opportunity to do landscaping jobs and a variety of around-the-house things that may come up in conversations with customers. The caveat: If you live in an area with 4-seasons, you’ll have to figure out a fall/winter gig like snow removal to get you through those months.
4. Wedding Officiator
Not everybody wants to schedule their wedding 10-months in advance with their favorite priest. And some of those same folks simply abhor the idea of going down to their stuffy city hall to get married in 5-minutes either. That’s when they turn to the Yellow Pages, Craigslist and the like to find someone who can marry them wherever and whenever.
Some states, like those found in highly religious areas, may require that you be an ordained priest in order to perform legal marriages in the state, province or specific locale, but many do not and allow marriages to be officiated by people who’ve been ordained by a secular humanist organization (many offer online ordinations for a set fee). Being an officiant doesn’t really take much personality, but I’d suggest that the ability to smile and make people feel good in your presence are good qualities to possess.
5. Mobile Auto Detailing
All you need is a few tools and a careful eye for detail and you can start an auto detailing business. I knew a guy with an auto detailing business that started it with his bike (ironically, he’d lost his license due to not paying a LOT of fines off and was punished accordingly). He’d schedule appointments and ride around with his bike and a lightweight custom trailer he’d built for it to hold his supplies and complete all his appointments that way.
Next, he upgraded to an electric scooter to get to appointments faster (and less exhausted when he got there, no doubt!) Now he has three trucks running from sun-up to sun-down and business has never been better. Sage words from my friend: stay away from dealer work unless they’re willing to pay your rates, which can top $100/hr if you can deliver the best of the best results to customers. As you expand the business, you can hire people to do mobile oil changes and even window tinting on-the-fly if you can find skilled folks who know what they’re doing.
If you own your own business or work in any of these professions, feel free to leave any advice you feel would help people who might want to start one of these businesses.
Main Image Credit: Wired Witch/Flickr