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Tip Sheets

Working Part-Time From Home


If you want to start a part-time business from home, this article includes over 180 business ideas. These suggestions are to get you started—the possibilities are endless.

The best home-based business ideas

  • build on your interests and skills
  • respond to customer needs and preferences
  • are solid business opportunities, not scams designed to part you from your money!

The more tailored a business idea is to your needs and the needs of potential customers, the more successful it’s likely to be. To get started with ideas of your own, choose appropriate interests or skills and check out the related occupations. To learn more about each of these business ideas, try using them as a search term in Google or Bing.

Interests or skills Home-based business

Animal care and services
  • pick-up and delivery pet groomer, aquarium servicer, dog walker, pet sitter, dog trainer, pet breeder, pet accessories designer and maker, specialized pet food chef

    Artisan products and crafts
  • craft product maker (e.g. jewelry, decorations, handmade furniture, handmade paper, etc.), craft show/flea market retailer, tailor/dressmaker, furniture refinisher, toymaker, window covering designer/maker, doll refurbisher, custom bridal veil designer/maker, upholsterer, picture framer, engraver

    Business services
  • virtual assistant, word processer, data entry operator, billing servicer, telephone answering service operator, team building consultant, specialized business travel agent, human resource consultant, communications consultant, medical transcriptionist, court/real time reporter, inventory servicer, business coach, researcher

    Cooking and catering
  • business lunch or boxed lunch caterer, home chef service operator, bread maker, specialty baker, gourmet jam/salsa seller, chocolatier, special event caterer, cake decorator

    Education and child care
  • day home/after school operator, private facilitator/trainer, tutor, craft workshop instructor, music teacher, corporate babysitter (e.g. for hotels, conferences), gardening teacher/consultant, playground/playspace designer

    Entertainment
  • musician, recording studio operator, music producer, clown, party planner, puppeteer, booking agent, talent manager, promoter, novelty message deliverer, educational performer, lyricist, gaming consultant, game inventor, disc jockey, dramaturge, playwright, musical director, director, lighting designer, costume designer, set designer

    Finances
  • accounting system developer, bookkeeper, investment consultant, financial planner, real estate appraiser, retirement planner, credit repairer, refund auditor, insurance claims consultant, tax preparer, credit consultant

    Health and wellness
  • seniors’ care services (e.g. companion, driver, home safety consultant), alternative health consultant, massage therapist, reflexologist, home child proofer, midwife, personal fitness trainer, personal weight management consultant, consulting dietitian, yoga instructor, fitness instructor

    Home and garden
  • home renovator, handyperson, lawn care specialist, herb gardener, window washer, tree trimmer, commercial plant horticulturist, hauling service operator, cleaning services operator, house sitter, chimney sweep, house painter, carpet cleaner, pond and water garden installer, landscape/garden designer, playhouse designer/builder, home inspector, landlord

    Internet and digital services
  • web optimization consultant, social media consultant, home or business network installer, website designer, website architecture specialist, web master, troubleshooter, data rescue specialist, consultant/trainer, desktop publisher, app developer, online trader (e.g. e-Bay, Kijiji), digital media conversion specialist

    Personal service
  • life coach, concierge, gift basket maker, seniors' helper (shopping, yard, fix-it services), personal organizer, bed and breakfast operator, in-home beauty and grooming services operator, balloon/candy deliverer, gift-buying specialist, dating service operator, wardrobe or image consultant, career counsellor, résumé writer, family tree researcher

    Sales and marketing
  • online affiliate marketer, direct distributor (e.g. home party sales), comic book dealer, sports card dealer, freelance publicist, manufacturer sales representative, collectibles dealer, market researcher, online marketing consultant, online advertising salesperson

    Special events and organizational support
  • fundraiser, corporate meeting planner, information broker, balloon decorator, party rental business operator, party planner, wedding consultant/planner

    Visual art and graphic design
  • graphic designer, interior designer, photographer, decorative painter, house portrait painter, home stager, fabric painter, calligrapher, greeting card designer, art tutor, floral designer, event videographer, web designer, web videographer

    Writing and publishing
  • website content developer, researcher, corporate newsletter publisher, editor, proofreader, fact checker, indexer, blogger, corporate biographer, desktop publisher, translator, grant writer, advertising copywriter, technical writer, abstract writer, family history videographer

    Home-based, part-time businesses succeed the way all businesses succeed—through solid market research, skill and hard work. Beware of work-at-home opportunities that sound too good to be true—they probably are.

    When you start looking for home-based business ideas, you’ll find many online and print ads promising you hundreds of dollars a week working part-time from your home (no experience required). Acquaintances, friends or family members may even approach you about these kinds of businesses. Be cautious if the opportunity is unclear but promises a big profit, especially if you’re pressured to send money, call a 1-900 number, or provide credit card or banking information.

    Running your own home-based, part-time business can offer you flexibility, creativity, independence and plenty of challenges. As many home business operators will tell you, seeing your idea succeed is a uniquely satisfying experience.

    Relevant Tips (alis.alberta.ca/tips)

    Additional Reading (alis.alberta.ca/publications)

    Additional Information
    For more information about working part-time from home:

    • visit your local library to research business ideas
    • contact The Business Link at 1-800-272-9675 toll-free
    • check out the Self-Employment link on the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website at alis.alberta.ca/selfemployment

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