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One of the most challenging phases of becoming a business owner is deciding what products or services you have to offer. Need some ideas? You’ve come to the right place. The possibilities are endless. Here is our list of 25 home-based businesses that you can start today with almost no cost to begin. 

Baked goods are easy to find in grocery stores but if you make specialty items, you can create a profitable niche. Think of culturally-specific treats, or a unique cake decorating style. Some municipalities will allow you to bake from home, or you may even be able to offer your specialized items within existing bakeries.

Business Consultant
Some businesses exist to help other businesses. While business advisory centres help entrepreneurs to launch and grow, you can offer consulting services to those needing specialized advice and direction in a particular niche. There’s demand for Online Business Managers, Expense Reduction Consultants, and Sales Consultants, among others. 

Cleaning Service Provider
With a few cleaning supplies, you can offer residential and office cleaning services in your community. If you are organized and do a thorough job, referrals will quickly start rolling in.

Clothing Alterations Person
Humans come in all shapes and sizes, and may need adjustments to their store-bought clothing. If you have great skills in this area, consider marketing to individuals from extra small to extra tall.   

Collectibles Seller
There are many communities that get excited about collectables, such as vintage clothing and toys, antiques, and other rare items. If you have any collectibles or know where to find them, sell them online through Etsy, Kijiji or Facebook Marketplace.

Dog Walker
For those who love animals, this is a fun way to earn money. Dog walking is a service that is increasing in demand, as more homes have dogs than ever before.

Fitness Coach
If you love to exercise and motivate others to do the same, you can become a personal fitness coach. Get creative and offer indoor or outdoor routines. Scale your business by offering group sessions or online classes.

Freelance Writer
Companies of all sizes are looking for writers to create content for their website, or other digital and print materials. Find organizations that are willing to pay you to do their writing.

Ghost Writer
Business professionals always have a message to share but may not be great writers. Approach consultants, entrepreneurs or influencers who need to write speeches, e-books or proposals.

Gift Basket Designer
Holiday gift baskets have stood the test of time. Making baskets requires a bit of investment to buy supplies, but the baskets are very profitable. Sell them to individuals as family gifts, or to companies who send them to clients.

Online Researcher
Some companies will take on freelance researchers to help them with business development. You may be searching for customer data, consumer behaviour, or even technology trends. All you need is a laptop and access to the internet. 

Personal Concierge
Life gets hectic for everyone, especially busy professionals with families. Many individuals are willing to pay someone to run errands, such as doing groceries, taking their pet to the vet, etc.

Resume Writer
Resume writing allows you to use many of your skills: Interviewing your client, writing clear skills descriptions, and formatting the resume. This is meaningful work, knowing you are helping someone else to find employment. 

Snow Removal Person
Canvass your neighbourhood to find out who needs their driveway, steps and sidewalk cleared after a snowfall. This is a seasonal job, so in the summer you may want to offer grass cutting.

Social Media Manager
Creating social media content requires a lot of work and some companies don’t have the time to do it. If you love creating these pieces and engaging with others online, offer your services to help promote other businesses.

Stock Photographer
If you enjoy photography but don’t always want to schedule photo shoots for events, consider being a stock photographer. Take photos of people, landscapes, food – just about anything. Many stock-photo websites will pay for your work.

Student Tutor
If you love academic subjects such as English, science and math, there is a huge demand to help students improve their grades. Being patient is a must, and working well with children and teenagers is important.

Find companies that are looking for people to watch videos and enter corresponding text. You’ll find even more opportunities if you speak more than one language.

Vacation Rental Host
With the advent of services such as Airbnb and VRBO, you can rent some of the space in your home, or rent another property you own. It’s a great way to make passive income.

Virtual Assistant
Virtual Assistants make a living by performing business services to companies that need a little extra help. Common offerings include bookkeeping, client intake procedures, managing orders and marketing activities.

Want to learn more about launching your small business? Check out our free online course, “Are You Ready to Be in Business?”.

If you’re ready to take the next step, book a meeting with an experienced Business Advisor at Small Business Centres Ontario. We have 54 offices across Ontario.  Working with a Business Advisor means you are not alone and that you can get help to build your plan.  Find a location near you.