Working from home is more than a dream for many people. In fact, in 2017 alone, more than 3.7 million employees telecommuted in the US at least half-time. This number is 115 percent more than it was just a decade ago. So, what does that say about our American workforce? It says that working from home is more accepted and offered by more and more employers. But you don’t have to be employed by “the man” to work for home. Many people find it more satisfying to start their own businesses. And believe it or not, you can start more than a few with little to no capital.
Party or event planning is a business through which you get paid to organize events, and most of the time, you don’t need any money upfront to start it. You can simply use the deposits from your clients to purchase any supplies you may need. Depending on the type of business you run, though, you may not need to purchase supplies. For example, some planners outsource all the work, including decorating, catering, and other services. In this business, it’s important to pick a niche to market yourself effectively. You can choose from many different specialties including wedding, children, engagement, and bar mitzvahs.
If you’re great with numbers or have already been trained in bookkeeping, this could be a great business for you. You can offer full-service bookkeeping where you keep financial records for your clients year-round. Or you can offer e-commerce accounting services where you compile all your clients’ tax information and file their federal forms. There are many paid and low-cost online tools you can use to provide these services, such as Xero or Quickbooks, but you can also start out with some free ones like Sighted or Due.
Online selling seems like it would require an investment, but you can start this venture by selling unused items from around your house. Amazon and eBay are great sites to list your merchandise on and wait for sales. And once you’ve sold a few things you already have, you can start picking up items at thrift stores and yard sales to increase your income. You can even choose to buy wholesale pallets or private label your own products. There are many people who make a great living in this business — some of the most successful even claim incomes in the millions.
Freelancing is an extremely popular way to make a living these days, and it encompasses so many different types of careers and talents. You can be a writer, graphic designer, social media marketer, web designer, and so much more. In fact, there are even a lot of professionals, such as attorneys and engineers who have ventured into the freelance community. Freelancers typically work fewer hours and have flexible schedules. And most professions require zero upfront costs to begin. Websites like Upwork and Fiverr have made it fairly easy for people to post their services and start landing clients with no initial cost. However, many professionals opt to build their own websites and do their own marketing.
Tutoring is a great way to make a living. You can either advertise your services locally and tutor students privately, or you can sign up with a website like Chegg or QKid and make upwards of $20 an hour tutoring students online. Most of them require that you have some type of degree and a little experience working with kids, but others who tutor online say that even raising your own kids can count toward that experience. And with the ability to conduct virtual meetings online, it’s simple to be productive and efficient from anywhere in the world.
Working from home has surged in popularity, and good reason. If you’re interested in converting to this style of work in a way that you can be your own boss, consider these five paths you venture into with zero capital.