By Diana Harris

Running a lucrative small business is an attractive idea for many women who are trapped in a 9-5 job that they hate. The idea of running a small business from home is an even more exciting prospect.

If your day job leaves you feeling drained by the time you make it home, it’s likely you’ve felt the urge to get out and pursue a career you really love. Even if you began your career with high hopes and a willingness to excel, you may now find yourself stuck in an office job without any hopes of climbing the corporate ladder.

We’ve all been there, telling ourselves there must be more. If you find yourself questioning what’s really important to you, you’re already on the right track! If you’ve begun envisioning your ideal work scenario and imagined yourself setting your own hours, being your own boss, and doing it all from the comfort of your home, you’ve taken the first steps toward building your own successful work-from-home business.

The Benefits of Running Your Own Stay at Home Business

At the mention of starting your own stay at home business, your mind likely jumps immediately to those common benefits associated with working from home. Yes, you get to work in your PJ’s if you so choose! Yes, you can set your own hours, allowing yourself a flexible schedule!

There are many benefits, however, of working from home. When you start to get serious about starting your own stay at home business, use those less talked about benefits as motivation. When you start to get discouraged or begin to doubt your ability to get your small business ideas off the ground, use a few of these benefits to fuel your efforts.

1. Your Office Is Wherever You Are

If you feel like taking a trip, your work can go with you. This may not sound so appealing at first but just imagine the possibilities! After all, you’re your own boss and you set your own hours. Allow yourself to enjoy that schedule flexibility and have equal parts vacation and work- whenever, wherever.

2. Your Home Office Is Your Own

Depending on your small business idea, you may need more space or even less space than you had at your 9-5. Luckily, this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to cram a large desk into the nearest available space in your home. The choice is yours! Use any part of your home that fits your needs while keeping you comfortable.

3. No More Rush Hour

Running a small business from home can actually end up saving you more money than you think. You may be surprised (or maybe not) to know that U.S. commuters spend an average of 42 hours per year stuck in traffic jams. Think of those gas prices! Once you work from home, those long hours spent in traffic will be a thing of the past.

4. Increased Focus, Increased Productivity

Corporate office jobs are usually riddled with distractions that you don’t have control over. Maybe it’s that coworker that’s just a little too friendly, stopping by your desk every 30 minutes to chit-chat. Maybe it’s all the background noise that made it so difficult to keep your mind on the task at hand. When you work from home, you block distractions out whenever they pop up. This results in you more effectively maintaining focus and becoming much more productive in turn.

The Top 10 Work-From-Home Ideas For Women

Now that you have the motivation to get this show on the road and start your journey towards your dream job, let’s go over a few of our favorite small business work-from-home ideas for women.

1. Open Your Own Etsy Shop

If you’re crafty and creative, Etsy is the place to go! Etsy is a global marketplace for sellers specializing in handcrafted items. There are millions of handmade items on Etsy catering to almost anything you could imagine.

Women just like you have gained a full-time income doing something that they love right from home. Years ago, nobody could have imagined running a small business from home based entirely upon using artistic talents. Whether you make your own jewelry, pottery, or paintings, you can take your passion for art and use it to pay your bills.

You may not find instant success on Etsy within a week- starting your own small business is hard work! But in the end, nothing worth having doesn’t require a little elbow grease. The most successful Etsy business owners started at the very bottom and worked their way to the top. Now they’re earning more than most daytime jobs. If you have the talent, the time, and the work ethic to make Etsy your full-time job, you can and you will.

2. Become a Blogger/Freelance Writer

Do you have a knack for writing and the need to put your voice out into the world? If the answer’s yes, you should consider becoming a blogger or freelance writer. These jobs go hand and hand and that’s why we’re including them both in the same category.

Running a blog demands a lot of time and patience, but the job freedom it allows is worth it. The most important thing to consider when thinking about a career as a blogger/freelance writer is the level of multi-tasking that will be required. Upon creating your first blog, you’ll be taking on many different roles and wearing many different hats. You’ll find yourself researching, writing, editing, and learning.

Building a successful blog can end up being a great entrance into other opportunities — like freelance writing. Once you’ve gotten a hold on your writing style, voice, and determined the best research methods for you, you can start to outsource your talents. There’s no end to the different platforms you can use to begin your freelance writing career right from home. From Fiverr to Upwork, there’s someone that wants to pay for your writing services. With each day, you’ll get better and better at delivering a product your customer will appreciate. You’ll have steady business in no time! 

3. Create an Online Store

Have an idea for the next big thing for today’s consumer? It’s never been easier to take your place as one of the many successful female entrepreneurs selling their product online. There are more platforms than ever to list and market your product. In time, you can learn how to use social media marketing to your advantage and drive traffic to your online store.

Haven’t found that perfect product to sell yet? You’re not out of options! There’s a new craze taking the online selling experience by storm: dropshipping. There are many sellers earning a full-time income from home by selling otherpeople’s products. You won’t have to keep an inventory stocked and won’t even have to deal with the shipping process. All you have to do is set up your website, market products provided from third party sellers, and keep shop.

Your work day will consist of advertising your store’s products, doing product research to find the most in-demand products to add to your store, and managing orders. In time, you’ll have orders rolling in. With over 85% of people shopping online today, there’s an ever-changing market for new, innovative products. Exercise your entrepreneurial talents and operate your own online store all while working from home.

4. Start an Online Course

Is there a topic or skill that you know a lot about? You can start your own small business by sharing that knowledge with the world! Online courses are a great way of helping others learn. Every day, there’s millions of people using Google to ask questions and learn how to gain certain skills.

You can create an entire online course and sell it online. Many people are willing to pay large sums to have their own private tutor of sorts. You can make videos or write guides to inform those willing to learn. These courses should be extensive with a lot to offer those who will buy it.

To make a full-time income from home, you’ll have to spend many hours planning your lessons. Teaching an online course will offer a more personal learning experience to those who want to learn about what you’re teaching. Create an experience that will feel like a one-on-one teaching session. With hard work, you’ll be making a full-time income in no time.

5. Social Media Marketing

In this day and age, social media marketing has become an essential part of any business. You can become a home-based social media marketer and use your small business to benefit other small businesses!

By starting your own social media marketing agency from your own home, you can use your knowledge of social media to advertise businesses. As you know, starting your own business isn’t easy and getting the word out to potential customers/buyers is one of the biggest battles.

With a little bit of training, you can learn the in’s and out’s of social media marketing. You’ll learn how to use content marketing, influencer marketing, and ad spaces like Facebook Ads to help startup businesses grow and thrive. With more people than ever using social media on a daily basis, social media marketing is an industry that is constantly expanding. Use your home-based small business to help those following their dreams- just like you.

6. Become a Virtual Assistant

The potential earnings of a virtual assistant are unlimited. While many assume that virtual assistants are limited to certain hours at low hourly pay, most full-time virtual assistants have large workloads from various clients. As a virtual assistant, your workday will consist of providing support services to other businesses from your home. From marketing and web design to customer service calls, you’ll be helping businesses of any size grow and, in turn, grow yours.

When you first start your stay at home job as a virtual assistant, you’ll need to spend time building your portfolio and establishing yourself. After you’ve proven yourself, you’ll be able to start raising your rates. As your experience grows your business will too. Some of the more established full-time virtual assistants earn up to $50-$100 per hour. If you specialize in a specific skill set, as many virtual assistants do, you can realistically charge rates of $20 to $40 dollars per hour even at entry level.

7. Become a Home-Based Travel Agent

While travel agencies used to dominate the tourism industry, independent agencies are becoming more and more common. By starting your own independent travel agency, you can help customers plan the trip of a life-time without having to leave home.

According to a survey conducted in 2018, 61% of independent travel agencies make 10-30% more than when they worked for standard travel agencies. This is proof that you can ensure a higher income and a better future when you’re willing to take the necessary steps to start your own business. 

The first step in starting your home-based travel agency is to identify a specific niche to specialize in. By picking a niche, you set yourself apart from traditional travel agencies and can better meet the needs of those in need of your expertise.

Once you’ve chosen a niche, spend the time establishing yourself as an expert on the subject. After all, running your own travel agency is hard work and being able to answer every possible question thrown your way is only part of the process. Once you’ve done your due research and taken every necessary step to make your small business the best it can be, you’ll be ready to open for business.

8. Become a Full-Time Transcriber

Transcribers are in high demand. As a full-time transcriber, you’ll be typing up audio or video files that will be used for record keeping, as one example. The most important element of starting a successful transcription business is in having the necessary skills. You’ll have to be a fast, accurate typer with great multitasking skills.

While still an inexpensive business venture, you may also want to invest in the proper equipment and software. This will give you a leg up on the competition (transcription is becoming a popular source of income) as many inexperienced transcribers opt to use programs like MS Word. More expansive transcription software will give you the advantage of extra features like auto-correct, hot keys, and shortcuts to increase your accuracy.

Start your small business by applying for individual transcription jobs in order to gain experience and establish your presence to keep the jobs coming. There are a number of websites specializing in freelance transcription via contract jobs. Once you’ve established yourself, brand your small business and consider outsourcing and hiring remote employees to help carry the workload.

9. Become a Website Usability Tester

Without a user-friendly interface, websites hardly find success in grabbing the interest of their visitors and keep them coming back. Losing website visitors means a loss of revenue. In an effort to avoid this, website developers are using website usability testers to evaluate their websites and provide valuable user feedback.

By becoming a full-time website usability tester, you’ll be helping developers work out the kinks to provide a better user experience. There’s no end to the amount of companies willing to pay for reliable usability testing and you don’t have to be a tech-head to earn a living in the field.

Upon landing user testing gigs, you’ll find that the job itself is fairly simple. All you need to have is a reliable internet connection, a mic, and an opinion. Simply use the website in question as you would when visiting any website. Make verbal note of what you like and dislike about each site. With your suggestions, website developers can perfect their product and you’ll get paid for being part of that process.

10. Become a Home-Based Massage Therapist

If you’re looking for a small business idea that won’t constrict you to your own home all day, consider home-based massage therapy. Home-based massage therapy is a growing business opportunity that you can feel good about. Instead of working from your home, you’ll be visiting the homes of clients in your local community.

Much of your clientele is likely to be the elderly or people recovering from injuries or surgeries and your professional services will serve to better their health and relax them.

If you’ve always had an interest in massage therapy but have never sought training, you’ll want to look into the licensing requirements in your state. Regardless, it takes little time and cost to earn massage therapy certification. If this is the career you’ve always dreamed of, any time spent training will be well worth it.

Home-based massage therapy offers real health benefits and is in especially high demand due to the client’s likelihood to feel even more relaxed when in their own home. As your business grows and you form a regular customer base, it’s likely that you’ll even begin to bring in new clients thanks to referrals. Even as your small business begins to boom, you’ll still have all of the benefits of a stay at home job. You’ll still set your own schedule, feel the freedom from draining office jobs, and work in a field you’re passionate about.

Featured photo credit: Depositphotos