Setting up your home business – the first steps

Once you have made the decision to embark on a new business that you can run without the need for commercial premises there will be a whole lot to consider. One of the big things will obviously be exactly what business you plan to run. We have outlined 50 ideas in our list below to help kick-start your plans. But deciding on the concept is just the start.

There are a lot of practical issues to think about. Do you have enough space for your chosen business and what will the start-up costs be? Will you need to take any additional qualifications in order to get started? And once you have covered all of this, an often overlooked point is that of insurance. Is running a business from home going to invalidate your present cover and do you need to consider extra covers such as professional indemnity insurance?

Ideas to get your own business and start making money from a home based job in 2018

If you are keen to become self-employed and run your own business but not quite sure what are you would like to focus on it can be overwhelming to try and decide exactly what business to launch. We have compiled a list of 50 different home business ideas that you can start as your own business based out of your own home:


Home Business Ideas UK how to make money from home


1) Antiques Trader

If you have a fondness for antiques and vintage furniture there is a growing market and demand from consumers. By touring antique fairs and flea markets you can pick up bargains. These can either be immediately sold on for a profit or restored/upcycled to make it appeal to a new purchaser. Advice on becoming an antiques trader.


Home Business Ideas UK 2018 antique furniture


2) Beautician

Becoming a beautician does require the undertaking of certain training and qualifications, but once you have achieved these then the world is your oyster! You can run your own beauty shop from the comfort of your own home. You can then take on clients and fitting appointments around your other commitments. More information on becoming a home business UK beauty therapist.


3) Bed & breakfast

If you have a large enough house then opening a B&B is a career choice that many find to be highly rewarding. Your duties will largely revolve around providing breakfast and general housekeeping, The rest of the day is then able to be spent on other endeavours. You will often have the added benefit of meeting a variety of interesting people from around the world. More information on starting a Bed and Breakfast.


Home Business Ideas UK 2018


4) Blogging

Blogging is a concept that has taken off massively over the past decade as the internet continues to evolve and grow. If you have a flair for writing then this could be a rewarding business to explore. Be warned though, running a successful blog takes real time and commitment. It will need to be treated as a business rather than a hobby in order to turn a profit. Tips on becoming a home business UK blogger. 


5) Cake making business

More and more bakers are choosing to set up independent businesses from their home kitchens, selling cakes and cupcakes that are professional yet personal. If you are a keen baker with excellent presentation and food preparation hygiene then this is likely to appeal and offer a feasible business platform to get started on. Information on starting a cake business. 


Home Business Ideas UK 2018 Cake making equipment


6) Car boot seller

Although car boots are traditionally used to clear out unwanted items from your own home, it is possible to do this professionally. Careful purchases can provide items that you can sell on for a small profit. If you have particular creative skills you can even sell handmade arts and crafts at events such as these. Top 10 tips about car boot selling. 


7) Car cleaning

Having a keen eye for detail and enjoying the reward of seeing something spotlessly clean could make a car cleaning company the perfect option for you. You can offer a variety of packages to include interior and exterior cleans, with minimal start-up costs required. As long as you have some kind of outside space to run such a business from a car cleaning business could provide a flexible home working option. More information on starting a car cleaning business. 


8) Childminding/babysitting

This is a home business that is often particularly appealing if you have children yourself. There is the option to simply provide before and after school care, freeing up your time during the day. You will need to ensure you are CRB checked before you work as a childminder and will also need to be OFSTED registered.


Home Business Ideas UK 2018


9) Cloud hosting reseller

A great job prospect if you are comfortable dealing with technology, this is a market that is likely to continue to grow and grow to provide good long-term prospects. Like all forms of buying and selling, it is important to make sure you purchase at the right price in order to ensure you can sell at a reasonable profit. Information on becoming a cloud reseller. Information on becoming a home business UK cloud reseller. 


10) Computer Repairer

Being an IT whizz can be very lucrative in today’s technological world. With the big companies charging a fortune for diagnostics and repair, you can earn a good income by fixing people’s computers and phones. And even better, the costs of starting up a business such as this are minimal as long as you already possess the basic equipment and know-how. More information on starting a computer repair business from home. 


11) Confectionary maker

Similar to a home baker, if you have a knack for making delicious sweets or chocolates you can easily turn this into a professional money making initiative. If you can think of a novel presentation or selling point for your products you are even more likely to attract potential customers – for example, if you only use locally sourced ingredients make sure you are shouting loud about it! More information on starting a chocolate making business from home. 


Home Business Ideas UK 2018 variety of chocolates in a pile


12) Content writer

Similar to generating an income by writing a blog, if you enjoy writing and have a natural flair for it then writing content for other people can generate you a decent income. It is worth collecting together a portfolio of previous work to show prospective clients and entice them to use you – starting off by generating content for a few unpaid gigs is often the best way to get the ball rolling. How to become a content writer at home. 


13) Counselling

Once you have obtained the required qualifications, being a counsellor is a profession that you can conduct from any place you choose, including the comfort of your own home. Make sure to have a dedicated and private space for your counselling sessions as people will be discussing private personal issues in these sessions. Information on becoming a counsellor. Information on becoming a counsellor. 


Home Business Ideas UK 2018 Counselling home insurance


14) Data entry jobs from home

Data entry is an arduous task that many people need to outsource in order to keep their business running smoothly. As long as you are accurate and enjoy working with data then this can provide a good source of income without any particular upfront costs. It may take a little work to get some regular clients but once you do you should have a pretty regular income. Information on making money from data entry at home. 


15) Debt Collection

It is not the most enjoyable of tasks but there are plenty of companies out there that require services such as these. As long as you are a confident individual and feel comfortable dealing with people who may not be happy to see you, then debt collection could be an option that provides flexible working hours. Information on running a debt collection agency from home. 


16) Dog groomer/sitter

People are always willing to spend money on their pets and setting up a dog sitting service can provide a vital service for pet owners who may be at work all day and not want to leave their dogs on their own. Providing additional services such as pet grooming can allow you to charge extras and set you apart from the competition. More information on starting a home dog grooming business. 


17) Dog walking

Although not technically working from home, this is a flexible business that can work around your other commitments. Once you build up a number of loyal customers you can earn a steady income, plus it has the added benefit of allowing you to regularly get out and about walking and keeping fit. Information on becoming a dog walker. 


Home Business Ideas UK 2018 Dogs running in grass field


18) E-commerce store – local produce

Online selling looks more and more like it may be the future of small business so setting up an e-commerce store could well be a home business that will continue to provide in the future. If you live in an area famed for some kind of local produce then this can be a good option for sales as you can really push the local aspect of your offering. How to start your own e-commerce home business.


19) Embroidery

If you are a dab-hand with a sewing machine and have a natural artistic flare then a possible home business option is to start providing professional embroidery services. This could also include services such as adjustments to clothing and turning up dresses. As long as you have a sewing machine and the knowhow then there is no limit to the variety of services that you can offer. Information on starting a home business UK embroidery compnay in 2018. 


Home Business Ideas UK 2018 Needles, pins and thimble for embroidery


20) Graphic designer – Fiverr etc

Graphic design is a skill that is in high demand from a lot of different companies so if you have such skills it can be easy to sell them to a wide audience via sites such as Fiverr. You can pick and choose what work you would like to take on and charge an hourly fee of your choosing. This type of work has no ongoing commitment and can be picked up and put down whenever you have spare time to commit to a project. Information on starting a graphic design business from home. 


21) Hairdresser

As a qualified hairdresser, one option available to you is to run your mobile hairdressing salon from your own home. This means that your work can be fitted around commitments such as childcare and you will greatly reduce the overheads associated with travelling to clients or hosting them in a professional salon. How to start your own home hairdressing business. 


Home Business Ideas UK 2018 hairdressing insurance

22) Home hosting

As long as you feel comfortable with the prospect of allowing strangers into your home then home hosting can provide a generous second income without too much work. Using popular sites such as Airbnb or HomeAway will open up the best pool of potential guests to you and give you the best chance of frequent bookings. Learn more about becoming a host. 


Host Airbnb Insurance Enhanced protection for home hosting

23) Home tutor

If you have strong academic skills or qualifications then passing these on as a private home tutor can be a good way to earn some money in the evenings and on weekends. There are a number of websites that you can advertise your tutoring on, and as with many businesses, once you have a few happy customers word of mouth will be the greatest advertising option for you. Information on becoming a home business tutor. 

Home Business Ideas UK 2018 Tutor and student looking at book

24) Homemade cards or crafts  

Puting your creative and artistic skills to use by making cards and crafts to sell online can provide a good home business opportunity, with the overheads for such a business minimal. You can start small by selling your products to friends and family and through word of mouth. Local craft fares, bring and buy sales and small markets could then provide the next step in expanding your small business. How to start a card-making home business in 2018.


25) Homemade Cupcakes

Cupcakes have experienced a huge surge in popularity over recent years so if you are a keen amateur baker then it is certainly worth cashing in on this. The presentation is key so make sure you invest in attractive packaging for your baked goods and ensure good quality control so that you never send substandard products out – the bad word can travel fast and really harm your business.  How to start a cupcake making business from home. Home Business Ideas UK 2018 Line of homemade cupcakes


26) Homemade Product (online seller)

If you are creative and enjoy making a particular product (e.g. soaps) then there is also the opportunity to run the business completely online. Facebook offers a good platform to start your business from, with the opportunity to expand your marketing and set up a website when your budget allows.


27) Host and teach foreign students

Foreign students often wish to take extended breaks in the UK to improve their language skills and experience a foreign culture. One option for earning money from home is to play host to these students during their visit, providing them with a safe and comfortable place to stay. If you enjoy teaching you could also offer extras such as tuition on the English language. Information on hosting foreign students. 


28) Ironing/laundry services

Lots of people are happy to pay to not have to do their own ironing, which means it offers a good home business opportunity. You can choose to charge per item or per hour, depending on which option you feel will work best for you. Take a look at local companies to see what they are offering and see if you can do the same at a more competitive price. Information on starting a home laundry business. 

Home Business Ideas UK 2018

29) Market research

Market research is incredibly valuable to companies as it allows them to refine their product or offering to be as appealing and competitive as possible. This means they are willing to pay people to participate in their various surveys in order to gather this information, meaning you can make money from the comfort of your own home. Sites such as provide a good place to get started.


30) Musician – weddings and other events etc

If you are a talented musician or have a strong singing voice then it is possible to make money without reaching the dizzying heights of chart success. People are always looking for good musicians to perform at events such as weddings and parties and since these often take place in evenings or on weekends it is something that you can fit in around a main 9-5 job if you desire, or while you are just starting out. Find out more about becoming an events musician. 

Home Business Ideas UK 2018 Man in suit playing guitar

31) Online surveys

Although they are never going to net you a fortune, taking part in online surveys is a way to spend your spare time and generate a little bit of extra money too. Be warned though, you will usually only be paid pence for each survey you complete and there is usually a minimum payout figure which means that you have to complete a high number of surveys before you are able to be paid. How to make money from online surveys in 2018. 


32) Outsourced call centre agent

As more and more business is primarily conducted online, there is a growing market for outsourced call centre agents who perform the traditional role of a call worker but from the comfort of their own home. Roles such as, remote working jobs in the UK, are in high demand, but if you are lucky enough to secure one then full training and equipment are usually provided and working hours are pretty regular.

How to make money from taking calls at home. 

Home Business Ideas UK 2018

33) Parcel delivery

If you enjoy getting out and about, perhaps with your children or dog, then acting as a parcel delivery person for a local firm may be an option. Obviously, your choice will be wider if you have access to a car but there are still delivery gigs available for those who only want to carry out local, walkable deliveries. How to get started as a courier. 

In the same category you can also look at working from home packing products. This could be an ideal opportunity if you have some spare space in your property, maybe a spare room or garage. To find out more click here


34) Patient Airbnb

A new concept that is slowly being rolled out is that of Airbnb style accommodation for patients that are leaving hospital but not yet well enough to return to their own homes. As part of the agreement, you are usually required to provide 3 meals a day for your guest and a certain level of company. However, for this, you are paid a set daily fee and there is also the option to take in more than one guest if you have a large house. Learn more about making money through CareRooms. 

Home Business Ideas UK 2018 patient using Zimmer frame

35) Photographer

Even in our digital age where you can capture constant snaps on your smartphone, people are still willing to spend money on good quality prints for special occasions. Providing you have the necessary camera and accessories then it is easy to set up a home studio in a spare room giving you a flexible working space at home.


36) Plant grower

If you have green fingers and enjoy nurturing plants then it is possible to set up a very small scale garden centre from your home. By choosing to specialise in particular plants or flowers then you can quickly build a reputation in this field, meaning people are far more likely to come to you. This concept will only work if you have enough space, with a large greenhouse vital to ensure that your plants are able to thrive at various points in the year.

Home Business Ideas UK 2018 Couple standing with trays of plants

37) Rent out your parking space

If you don’t feel comfortable having guests in your home, there are other alternatives available. Sites such as YourParkingSpace allow you to earn money by leasing your unused parking space. This can work particularly well if you live in a busy city centre where parking is at a premium.


38) Rubbish removal

There is certainly money to be made in waste disposal so if you have a van that could accommodate such waste this could be a home business option to explore. However, it is important to be aware that this is a heavily regulated industry that requires certain certificates to be issued before you can even transport waste material.


39) Selling cosmetics

Avon is the traditional route for selling cosmetics and beauty products via their magazines that you distribute. However, there is also a host of online companies with products available that you can sell via your own personal Facebook profile and to friends, family or work colleagues. Many people choose to do this to earn a little extra cash, but to make yourself stand out you really need to dedicate some time and thought to a marketing plan.

40) Social media manager

If you already have a thriving social media presence, and a list of contacts with businesses of their own, then you’re on to a winner with this one! You can utilise tools like HootSuite which have been designed to manage and schedule social media activity, to help you organise your business.


41) Start a membership website

If you can create a good one that proves itself popular then membership websites can produce huge profits. The concept is to create a site that people pay to join because of the like-minded individuals that it gives them access to, with a wealth of shared knowledge. The first step is to decide what particular are you would like your site to appeal to and then building it accordingly. It is worth starting off with very low membership fees to attract initial customers as you start to build the brand.

membership website

42) Stock photo photographer

Stock photographs are vital for the majority of businesses who use them to add some colour and interest to their websites and printed materials. You will usually earn a commission for each time the image is used and if not are likely to receive some kind of attribution which will help to raise the profile of your business.


43) Television/film Extra work

Although not the most regular of incomes compared to some of the suggestions above, this one is certainly the most fun. Indulging in an interest in film and TV, you can create your own personal claim to fame by featuring in a hit film or TV series and be paid fairly well for doing so. This is, however, a competitive industry so it is wise to have another more steady form of income alongside it.

woman holding film board

44) Translating

If you are fluent in more than one language then your skills are likely to always be in demand. Whether this is working in a personal capacity for someone or for a large firm, there are always people who will require documents or recordings to be translated for them. The best way to source work of this nature is online as you are able to reach a much larger range of people who may require your services.


45) Tshirt selling

People are always willing to pay for nice, good-quality clothing so tapping into this could provide a valuable income stream. In order to make sure you really stand out from the crowd, it is important to decide who you want your target market to be and how you are going to make your t-shirts appeal to them – is it going to be with bold colourful prints or with novelty animal designs? Once you have decided this you will be in a much stronger position to start marketing.


46) Virtual PA

Much like working as a remote call centre worker, being a virtual PA means that you carry out a traditional office based role from the comfort of your own home. You can use sites such as to get you started – all you need to do it upload a profile and wait for someone to get in touch with a suitable role. The benefit of being virtual rather than office-based is that you can work for a number of different clients at the same time, meaning you can earn good money while your employer can save on costs.


47) Voice artist

A number of industries require voiceover artists to help sell their products or inject a little more fun and character to their TV series for example. You can brush up on your voice acting skills simply by reading things aloud from your back bedroom, so why not pick up a trashy mag, start experimenting with your voice and don’t forget to get a recording on your phone! Information on becoming a voice artist. 

microphone for voiceover recording

48) Website building

If you possess the ability to code then your skill is very valuable to a huge number of people who would like to create their own website. You can charge people handsomely to set up a website for them and many will choose to pay you an ongoing monthly fee to update and amend the website as required.


49) Window washing

If you have a passion for cleaning and are not afraid of heights then window washing could be a good choice for home business. The admin side can be handled completely from the comfort of your own home and all you need to get started is some basic window cleaning equipment. This business also gives you the opportunity to get out of the house regularly getting fresh air and exercise as you work. How to start a window cleaning business. 

Woman cleaning glass door

50) YouTube

Making money online has never been easier and this is particularly true on YouTube. Simply having a video that goes viral can net you a huge profit but a more measured process of making an income from Youtube is to have a channel that you build up to obtain a good following. Once you have a good number of followers, brands are likely to approach you for paid reviews of their products, not to mention a huge number of freebies that are likely to head your way. Learn how to make money from YouTube.


The next steps for a home business

Once you have picked your chosen profession, there are a number of key areas to consider as you embark on your new business. We have listed these below:

  • Liability insurance

    This will protect you against being sued. For example, if you are a beautician who works from home and burns a client with wax that is too hot. Or a financial advisor who gives poor advice that leads to a client losing money.

  • Check your mortgage

    Make sure that you are able to work from home under the terms of your mortgage. It is usually worth contacting your provider to confirm and to see if there are any additional fees that will be due as a result

  • Consider your security requirements 

    If you are handling expensive goods you could become a target for thieves. Invest in good quality locks and consider security lighting and an alarm.

  • Obtain permits

    Make sure that you obtain any of the necessary business permits from your local council (this may not be necessary depending on what type of business you are running).

  • Consider cybersecurity 

    Particularly relevant if you will be holding any personal information relating to customers (e.g. name and address) and after the impact of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) next April.

  • Think about insurance

    Different occupations lead to different levels of risk at your property. The majority of workers who are completing clerical work at home don’t even realise that their insurer would need to be aware. Often there is not an increased cost, the insurers just need to hold this information on record, else a claim could be refused in future due to non-disclosure.

  • Be aware of restrictions

    Before taking out home insurance with business use policy documents should be checked carefully to ensure you are aware of the cover in place and any restrictions.


  • Do you require commercial cover?

    Home workers should be aware that they don’t necessarily need a full commercial policy. Many specialist home insurance policies exist that can include home and business cover in one.