Home Business Ideas That Really Pay

Lightbulb with dollar sign in it, the symbol for a million dollar idea.
••• Turnbull/Ikon Images/Getty Images

With the ups and downs of the economy, the slicing of employer benefits, and the crazy pace of life, many people are deciding to take control of their careers and income through a home business. While once a pie-in-the-sky idea, today, home businesses are the reality for millions. It's easier and more affordable than ever to build a home-based career.

That doesn't mean profits will be automatic or easy to achieve. But if you have the desire, a plan, and a willingness to do the work, you can be a successful home-based entrepreneur. 

Starting a Home Business

The first step in home business success is in figuring out what business to run. Too many people focus on fast profits over choosing the right idea. While the goal is to make money, to base your decision solely on profit potential and ignoring your interest in or compatibility with the business is a big mistake. It's always better to choose a business idea that you're passionate about or can get excited about. The good news is that you can turn a passion or a hobby into a home business. Or you can take a skill from your job or volunteer work and build a business doing that.

Once you have an idea about the area you'd like to build a business in, the next step is determining how to turn your idea into income. There are essentially three ways to make money: 

1. Sell stuff 

2. Sell your skill.

3. Sell your knowledge

For example, if your passion is baking, you can open an online store selling baking goods (sell stuff), provide baking services to others (sell skill), or teach baking (sell knowledge). 

Unfortunately, many would-be home business owners get stuck on knowing what business to start. This is where having a list of possible ideas can help. Below you'll find a MONSTER list of over 80 proven home business ideas. The list isn't complete, but it will show you how many different businesses you can start and possibly lead you to more potential ideas.

Appliances & Electronics Home Business Ideas

  1. Appliance Repair Business
  2. Computer Repair
  3. Home Theater Repair/Design
  4. TV Repair

Arts & Crafts Home Business Ideas

Business-to-Business Home Business Ideas

Home Services Home Business Ideas

  1. Lawn & Yard Care
  2. Bathtub Reglazing
  3. Carpet Cleaning
  4. Chimney Sweep
  5. Deck Maintenance
  6. Floor Installation
  7. Garage Organizer
  8. Gardner
  9. Green Cleaning Products Distributor
  10. Gutter Cleaning
  11. Handyman or Handywoman
  12. Holiday Decorating
  13. Home Inspection
  14. Home Remodeling & Restoration
  15. Home Safety Inspection
  16. Home Staging
  17. Hot Tub Repair
  18. House Sitting
  19. Interior Designer
  20. Locksmith
  21. Housecleaning/Maid Services
  22. Pest Control
  23. Pool Cleaning and Maintenance
  24. Roof Repair
  25. Snow Removal
  26. Wallpapering
  27. Window Cleaning

Health and Medical-Related Home Business Ideas

  1. Medical Billing & Coding
  2. Patient or Health Advocate
  3. Health Coach

Online Home Business Ideas

Personal Services/Products Home Business Idea

Still Need More Ideas?

Don't miss these articles that provide home business ideas as well:

The Next Step to Starting a Home Business

Choosing your home business idea is just the first step. Once you have your idea, there is still more to do including:

  1. Research the viability of your idea and determine if it's really the best option for you.
  2. Write a business plan.
  3. Create your marketing strategy.
  4. Set up your business entity including creating a business name, deciding on your business structure, and getting necessary licenses and/or permits.

To help you through the process, check out Start Your Home Business in a Month, a four-week guide to all the tasks you need to complete to get your business up and running in 30 days.