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Introduction to 10 Lucrative Work-at-Home Businesses

If you've always dreamed of having your own home business, there's never been a better time than now. More people are working from home today than ever and earning a substantial income. Some are telecommuting for other companies, but many are operating a home-based business right from their own computer!

These "at-home" entrepreneurs might be moms who wanted to stay home with their children or dads who wanted to spend more time with their family and save on gas and car maintenance. Even some college students work from their dorms between classes and earn enough income to pay tuition. There are also those who have a disability that hinders them from doing physical work. They have been able to earn money with an online home business.

The Common Factor

So what do all these home business owners have in common? They all understand the power of online marketing and the potential of a niche business. They all desire something more than clocking in at a 9-to-5 job. They want to be their own boss while increasing their personal income. The tie that binds these business owners together is the desire for success and freedom.

This success can be realized through many different types of home businesses. Let's take a look at 10 of the most lucrative home business categories and the possibilities for each.

Use the home business list below to discover your own home business dream.

1. Administrative Services

Offering administrative services is the perfect home business for someone who loves office work, typing or data entry, processing forms and information, planning schedules, or assisting with any type of secretarial work. This type of work can be done as an independent contractor for several companies or one company.

You can even start your own professional administrative service and provide office-related services to many different companies. When you want to expand, you can then hire employees to help you. Your employees can also work from their home.

2. Business and Marketing Services

Business-to-business services have become some of the most lucrative home web businesses since the Internet's beginnings. These can include online and off-line marketing services, business consulting, fund raising, bookkeeping, notary, computer consultant or technician, proofreading, life coaching, financial collections, mystery shopping, business sign creation, Intranet development and monitoring, language translations, and many others.

Another lucrative business is a personnel service or temporary staffing agency. You can locate dependable employees for other companies and handle payroll, insurance, and more for the employers. Or, you can start a job listing service and provide an avenue for employers and employees to meet.

The key is to concentrate on your greatest skills and how you can best help companies with your services while maximizing profits.

3. Creative and Niche Products

Another way to start a home business is to use your creativity and develop your own niche products to sell. These products can be almost anything that's not readily available on every corner. Two things to consider are supply and demand. Is there a demand for the product? Can you supply the product and still earn enough money to come out on top financially?

Some niche products that have done really well online include crafts, gift baskets, decor items, specialty foods and candies, handmade quilts, greeting cards, children's clothing, books, art, herbs and vitamins, etc.

With a niche product, you can also recruit others to sell your products for you through an online affiliate program. With an affiliate program, others will send customers to you. When a purchase is made, you will pay a commission to the person who sent the customer. It's actually an automated referral system!

4. Financial Services

Financial services may be offered to businesses or individuals online. These might include tax preparation, financial consulting, credit repair, bookkeeping and accounting, stocks and FOREX trading, online banking services, annuities, insurance, currency exchange, loans and mortgages, and credit cards.

5. Medical Services

Though you can't provide medical care for someone from your home, you can assist those who do. You can start a medical assistance business at home offering one or several services such as medical transcription, medical billing, medical claims processing, nutritional counseling, or medical coding. These can be done alone as an independent contractor or you can expand your service and hire others to help.

A back-end business to this is to provide training for those who might work with you or others in the same field. Medical billing and transcription educational courses are very popular online.

6. Photography Services

If you're a photographer, you can start an online business offering photos for sale. These could be travel or still-life photos. Website owners, magazine editors, and brochure designers are always looking for great photos.

Some photographers even hire models to pose for lifestyle stock photos. You can also start your own stock photo agency online. This would allow other photographers to post photos to your site for sale, and you will earn a commission from each sale.

If you enjoy traveling, you can take a laptop computer with you and upload your digital photos for sale as you go! Many hotels now offer Internet access for rooms as an amenity, so you'll be able to do what you love while running your own home business.

7. Web Services

If you're Internet-savvy, you might consider offering Web services to help other individuals get their home business off the ground. These can include web design, graphic and logo design, programming, web hosting, domain name registration, Internet marketing and SEO, online business consulting, etc.

These services can often be tied in together as one business as well, so you'll have much to offer your clients. For instance, as a web designer you can also offer web hosting and domain name registration, online promotional services, SEO for their website, and more. Many new business owners would rather work with one individual than several – and they already trust you.

8. Writing Services

Whether you are a professional or amateur writer, there are many opportunities online for writing. You can start a writing company with your own website, or you can freelance for other writing services. Companies are always looking for great content for their websites, so the online opportunity for writers is tremendous. Also, you can offer other types of writing such as business proposals, marketing presentations, brochures, guides, tutorials, and more.

You can provide proofreading and website editing as a back-end service. Some companies may want you to read over their entire website and correct any grammatical errors you find. Some may want you to rewrite their content to improve it. These services will often lead into more writing work for you.

9. Real Estate Services

The real estate business has drastically changed since homes can now be listed online and updated daily. Home buyers can view photos of every room, pricing, neighborhood information, and more on the Internet.

If you are a real estate agent or someone who offers related services, you can start a web-based real estate service from your home. Some real estate and related business ideas include interior design, notary, home inspections, appraisals, Web design or photography for real estate companies, mortgage lending, and more.

10. Training and Educational Services

Perhaps you'd like to train others in your area of expertise. The beauty of Web training services is it can all be done online from your home. There are several ways you can offer training: by phone, online through interactive courses, or in a downloadable e-book.

Here are just a few types of training that are being offered online from home business owners: programming and computer, pet training, health and fitness, architecture, business and finance, crafts and hobbies, art, literary, gardening, hunting, fishing, etc. The possibilities are endless.

Other popular categories to consider for work-at-home businesses include travel booking, MLM, music, sports, electronics, home and garden, interactive games, family and parenting, phone tech support and customer service, telemarketing, and media.

Making the Move

Each home business has its advantages and disadvantages, so be sure to weigh all the facts before choosing a business. Also, consider all legal aspects of the business. For example, you must be licensed and/or have certain qualifications for some fields. Other fields may require additional training even though you already have experience.

Also, find out what expenses you will incur for operating your business or for stocking inventory if you sell tangible products. Just as with any business, a home business will take effort, money, and time to get established.

Consider your own life goals and the skills and knowledge you already have to find the right home business for you. There's nothing better than earning a lucrative income while doing what you love most. You and those around you will be much happier!

by Candice Pardue

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