June 20, 2023
If you’re getting fed up with the nine-to-five, doing the same old job every day and feeling like you’re getting paid a pittance for it, then maybe it’s time for a change.
The turbulent events of the past few years have prompted countless people around the country to reconsider what’s important to them in life. As a result, many of them have decided to shun the corporate treadmill, pursue something they enjoy and branch out with their own small business. And this doesn’t necessarily have to mean travelling to events, or opening up your own shop or office: in many cases, you can forge out business success from the comfort of your own home.
In this guide, we’ll explore all the most exciting business ideas from home you can explore. You’ll discover why running a business from home can be so rewarding, inspiration to find an idea that appeals to you, and the key things to consider as you get up and running.
There are lots of reasons why it can be so rewarding to start a business from home. The first is the ability to be your own boss, and make your work fit in with the rest of your life much better. Within reason, you can work when you want, and the amount you earn is directly connected to how much effort you put in and the good decisions you make along the way.
It’s also worth highlighting that running a business from home can be a way to cut living costs substantially. If you’re currently in a job where you have to commute regularly, either by car or by public transport, these substantial costs can be eliminated by working from where you live. Additionally, some of your regular household costs (such as utilities) may qualify as business expenses, allowing you to save even more money for you and your family.
And the final key driver is the ability to combine your passion in life with your work. If there’s something you’re an expert in or have always had a strong interest in, then starting a small business gives you the perfect opportunity to do something you enjoy, every day of the working week.
Of course, there are many businesses from home that are largely online-based that you can run through simple access to a computer. These can include creative services (like writing and graphic design), and online buying and selling. As the practical considerations of these tend to be very similar (and very simple), we’ve decided instead to focus on the small business ideas that are more hands-on in nature.
The small businesses where you’ll be required to interact with people (or animals!) need more planning, consideration and care – but can also be the most interesting and rewarding compared to tapping away at a keyboard all day. Here are nine of the stand-out ideas you can explore:
There are countless types of therapy out there, and many of them are suitable for administering from home, as long as you have the appropriate space to do it. These can include (and are not necessarily limited to): massages, reiki, mediumship, counselling, holistic therapy, physiotherapy and much more. It is important, however, to ensure that you, your home and your equipment are prepared to deliver these therapies properly – getting them independently assessed and approved may help in this regard.
The stresses and complexities of the modern world mean that lots of people feel they need objective guidance as to improving their life. As a result, they turn to life coaches who can make impartial assessments on what your life goals could be, and what you need to do to get there. A calm, comfortable setting in your home can help clients get some mental clarity, and feel more receptive to new ideas – including those that they might not normally be willing to consider.
Hypnotherapy is a type of treatment that can be extremely effective for many people, whether they want to get over a phobia, want to give up smoking, or (obviously!) just want to get more sleep. As it involves little or no physical contact, it’s ideal for running from home – all it needs is a living room or study where clients can feel comfortable, both physically and mentally.
An increasing number of pet owners want to make sure their animals are in good hands while they’re away on holiday, but are put off by the high costs of kennels or other facilities. Instead they’re turning to individual pet-sitters, who are happy to take in a four-legged lodger for a period of time in exchange for a fee. Not only does this give you some pleasant company for a while, but it also gives you a welcome change of pace. What’s more, it’s a job that doesn’t require much in terms of qualifications – just a love of animals, an accommodating home and some good old-fashioned common sense.
Dog grooming requires a reasonable amount of space (especially if you want to treat bigger dogs!) but it allows you to differentiate from your competitors in a comfortable setting. The more clinical surroundings of a grooming salon can make some dogs feel uneasy, and they don’t generally offer much in the way of convenience for the owner while they wait. Running dog grooming from home allows you to make dogs and owners alike feel more positively about the experience, and feel that they’re getting the personal touch.
You may think that many people (men and women) would prefer to get their hair done in a recognised salon in town, or in their own homes through mobile hairdressing service. But in your home, you have the chance to create a personalised paradise for individual customers, especially for women whose hair appointments often take much longer than men’s. You can create a tiny ‘temple of hairdressing’ that allows customers to get the music and ambience that makes them feel comfortable, without any of the distractions they’d get at home or in a salon.
Nail bars and make-up studios have become a common feature on our high streets, particularly in recent years. However, the cost and overheads of these premises can often hinder the financial viability of these businesses. If you have the space, it’s entirely possible to run these beauty-focused small businesses from your home as well. What’s more, it gives you the flexibility to open up bookings for certain times and days of the week that suit your lifestyle (for example, not taking bookings at school-run times).
If you have some expertise or qualifications in a particular subject, then a home office or even a living room could be the ideal location to provide private tuition or lessons. For example, many parents look for private tutors to help their children improve in a particular subject, or explore extracurricular pursuits such as playing a musical instrument. And don’t forget that many adults look for tutors too, especially those who want to learn a foreign language, or migrants that want to improve their English.
Demand for personal training, and other health and fitness-related services, remains high. Some people want specialised help in focusing their training and reaching their goals, while others just need the rod up their back to get exercising, improve their fitness and lose weight. From home, you could offer personal training consultancy appointments where you can advise clients on training plans, nutrition, new exercises to explore and more. This can also act as a gateway to providing PT sessions for customers outdoors or in gyms, if you want to grow your business in that direction.
When you’ve picked out your work from home business ideas, then you can get to work setting it up. This sometimes is easier said than done, but there are a number of specifics to take into account when running a business from home:
Many small businesses run as sole traders and partnerships, which are the simplest types of business to set up and administer. However, there is a certain element of risk involved in doing so.
This is because the liabilities that sole traders and partnerships are subject to are unlimited. This means that if a claim is made against you by a customer, partner, supplier or other organisation, you personally will have to cover any costs incurred. In the worst-case scenario, your home could be at risk. Alternatively, if you set up a limited company, the costs and administrative burden is greater, but you do have some added financial protection in the event of a claim or any debts.
Which option is best for you depends on the nature and risk profile of the business that you want to run. For example, if you’re just providing tuition to customers coming to visit you, then the risk is much lower than therapy or other physical treatment that could go wrong and cause injury.
Connected to the previous point, you’ll also have to make sure that everything is in order from a financial perspective. You’ll need to be clear on how much money you’ll make, and how much money you want to take out of your business as wages. Even if you’re operating as a sole trader, setting up a separate business bank account is strongly recommended, so that you can keep your personal and business finances separate.
Make sure you also read up on the tax implications of your enterprise. If you operate as a sole trader or partnership, then your profits and earnings will be subject to income tax through the means of a self-assessment. But if you operate as a limited company, then arrangements are likely to be different: you may be able to pay yourself through a normal monthly salary (subject to Pay-As-You-Earn deductions) and dividends. Read our guide here on all the ins and outs of taxes for limited companies.
Insurance is a vitally important part of any business, and there are two key points to take into account here.
The first is your existing home insurance policy. If you start running a business from your home, or certain aspects of one, then they may not necessarily be covered by the terms of your home insurance. In some extreme cases, they may even invalidate the policy, leaving you without cover if anything else untoward happens (such as a fire or a burglary). It’s essential that you read your home insurance policy thoroughly to check for any potential issues at a very early stage.
The second point is that all types of businesses, big and small, need the protection and reassurance that business-specific insurance can give them. These insurance policies cover off the risk of major financial disruption wrecking long-term plans, especially at the start of a business venture when things can be uncertain.
Whatever small business from home, it’s vital that you take out good insurance cover. You never know what might happen, and even the smallest error or event beyond your control can have serious financial ramifications.
At Protectivity, we offer comprehensive insurance policies for dozens of different types of businesses from home as well as Event Insurance. That way, if your property is damaged, a customer gets hurt, your employees make a claim against you, or other unforeseen events occur, you won’t end up out of pocket.
To find out if we can cover your business idea, and to explore our flexible and affordable policies, get in touch with our friendly team today.