Guide

Start a business from home

Popular home-based business ideas

If you don't have a home business idea yet, ask yourself three questions:

1. Is there a gap in the market? Have you tried to buy something that you just can't find? In which case, others may be looking for that product too.

2. What is my passion/skill/hobby? Can you find a way of making a living from it?

3. Can I do something better? Have you seen someone offer a product or service that you think you can offer better yourself?

Business idea profiles

If you want to start a business but don't have a definite idea, you can get help from our business idea profiles. The profiles provide information on over 600 small business trades, sectors and professions. This includes start-up costs, market trends, pricing, and rules and regulations. See find a business idea.

Popular home business ideas

Consider opportunities in your local area for services such as:

  • child care
  • tutoring
  • translation services
  • editorial services
  • dog walking
  • alteration services

Other common home-based businesses include:

  • accountants
  • arts and craft makers
  • bed and breakfast facilities
  • business coaching
  • caterers
  • consultants
  • creating an online shop
  • pet grooming
  • public relations services
  • publishers
  • virtual assistants who provide professional assistance to clients from a home office
  • website designers
  • writing/blogging

Buy a franchise

You could also consider investing in a franchise. The benefits of being a franchisee are that you are your own boss but also have the benefit of working with a central team. There are a growing number of home-based franchise opportunities that you can explore. See buy a franchise.

If you need more help developing your home business idea, see research and develop your business ideas.

The British Library and IP Centre also provide a range of business development resources.

Working 'five to nine'

You may want to consider starting a business whilst in full or part-time employment, using the evenings and weekends to build your business. This means that you will have money coming in whilst your business finds its feet. However, you might find it difficult to manage the extra hours and the extra work. See start a part-time business.

Your business plan

Once you have worked out a business idea, you need to create a written business plan. Your business plan will document your business, its objectives, its strategies, the market it is in and its financial forecasts.  For more information, see write a business plan: step-by-step.

Watch a short video that will help you develop your business idea.

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