The internet has opened up a whole world of possibility when it comes to business, and now, in many instances all you need is a laptop and decent WiFi to access amazing opportunities and get started.

These days, it is becoming increasingly popular to start a business from home. Whether you live in a rural area or you’re a stay at home parent, armed with a little knowledge and know-how you can set up your own business in a matter of days.

Read on for five ideas for at-home businesses today.

  1. Internet businesses: freelancing

One of the most popular ways to start a business online is to offer your services as a freelancer. Obviously, this depends on your skillset and areas of expertise, but some ideas include copywriter, web designer, graphic designer, and social media manager.

Narrowing down your target audience and appealing to a niche is a good way to build up a regular client base. For example, web design for restaurants or social media management for hotels.

See also: Business start-up guide - Freelance writer

However, in order to start a business like these you will need to have skills in these specific areas. Alternatively, you can take an online course in order to get you up to standard with others in the industry.

Luckily, there are now many companies that make it easy for you to get your business up and running. You can design a website on Squarespace and WordPress for example, you can set up your own social media accounts, and you can easily run an online ad campaign to entice new clients.

2. Accommodation rental: Airbnb

Another option is to rent out your spare room on Airbnb. This is also fast becoming a popular way to make some extra money. The success of your listing will depend on a few factors including the location of your house, as well as the reviews and decor.

You need to really think if this option is a good idea for you, as you will have guests staying inside your property and personal space. Running an Airbnb will require good organisational and people skills. But, if you love company, this can be a really lovely way to make friends from around the globe while making money.

3. Creative projects: Cakes, jewellery, flowers and more

If you're the creative type, then you may want to think about businesses such as cake baking, jewellery making or floristry. You can easily start these types of creative businesses from home. However, one of the major considerations with this type of business is your access to market and the logistics associated with this.

If you are making perishable goods, delivery will be easier if you are supplying only locally. Non-perishable goods, however, can be shipped as far as your customer base is willing to pay for it. There are marketplaces online where you can list your handmade items - such as Etsy.

See also: Online selling options

As with all online businesses, marketing yourself properly is essential. One of the best ways to get started with this is through social media - sharing your items on Instagram, Twitter and using paid advertising for Facebook.

4. Animals: dog walker or pet sitter

If you're an animal lover, setting up a dog walking or pet sitting business can be a lucrative endeavour.

In order to pet sit or dog walk, you need to make sure that you have enough people living in your surrounding community that could be potential clients. You will also need to prove to these clients that you are trustworthy.

See also: Business start-up guide - Dog walker

Having a website with client testimonials and lots of images is a great way to build trust.

You can reach customers by putting up adverts in local stores and by word of mouth. It can be particularly worth advertising at your local vets.

5. Events: wedding and party planner

Lastly, planning events is an ideal business to run from home. Most of the planning and organising that you do will be done over the phone or visiting the site where the event will take place.

You may, however, need to have some space available at home in order to store items relating to the events. Creating a dedicated office space for yourself at home can be extremely beneficial.

While a number of these ideas may appeal to you, you will need to thoroughly research your potential business idea in order to decide whether it’s really right for you. Writing a business plan is an essential part of starting an at home business, and this is a document that you can continue evolve over time.

There are extensive prospects available to anyone looking to start their own business from home. And, with the correct planning and forethought, it is possible to make any of these businesses a success.

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