What Are the Different Types of Home Based Business Opportunities?

N. Madison

There are many types of home business opportunities an individual may choose. Some of these businesses are service based, which means they are primarily focused on providing services. Others are product based, which means the business sells some type of product rather than offering a service. There are also combination businesses that both sell products and offer services. Home based business opportunities also differ in terms of whom they serve; some focus on sales to consumers, while others seek to meet business needs.

Babysitting is considered service-based.
Babysitting is considered service-based.

Some home based business opportunities are service based, which means their purpose is to meet a need or a selection of needs. For example, some types of home based businesses provide advice and referrals. Others may provide support a person needs, such as gift, errand, or cleaning services; babysitting services and virtual assistant businesses count as service businesses as well. It is important to note that lawn mowing, cleaning, and babysitting services can be considered home based even if the owner travels to his customers' locations to perform the work. The fact that he handles the administrative aspect of his business from home and has no other business headquarters makes it a home based business.

A writer might work online from home.
A writer might work online from home.

Other types of home based businesses are product based. The types of products a home based business may sell are as varied as those a traditional business might offer. For example, this type of business may sell computers, books, clothing, jewelry, perfume, or any product the jurisdiction allows a business to sell. Some also sell items the business owner has personally created, such as crafts, invitations, or artwork.

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Often, businesses are neither strictly service based nor strictly product based; some home based business opportunities combine services with products. For example, a home based business opportunity may involve selling website creation software while also building websites for those who aren't interested in doing so on their own.

Home based business opportunities also differ in terms of their customers. Some businesses primarily sell to consumers while others focus on business-to-business sales. It is possible, however, for a business to cater to both markets. For example, a business may sell paper products to consumers at retail prices and then offer special bulk prices to business customers.

An individual may also consider home based business opportunities that are franchises or involve selling as an independent representative of a company. A franchise is a business opportunity in which a person uses an established company name and business operation plan for his own business. He has to buy the right to use the company's name and plans. As an independent sales representative, on the other hand, the home business owner usually sells a company's products and services for commissions.

Independent real estate agents may work from their home.
Independent real estate agents may work from their home.

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Discussion Comments


@Latte31 - I also think that writing resumes is another great home based business. A resume writer can charge about $50 or more per resume. This is a skill that really comes in handy because a lot of busy people hate updating or creating a new resume.

A lot of resume writers also offer cover letters for an additional fee, but I think that it is well worth it because it makes you look more professional.

You can also develop a desktop publishing or graphic design business as well as a craft business. I knew a lady that developed a craft business from home and then sold her creations on line and went to craft shows to display her work for sale.

In fact, I knew of one jewelry designer that got her start this way. She went to these shows and was picked up by a high end retailer. I think that you just have to find something that you love to do and the rest will fall into place.


@Crispety - I agree with you and you also don’t have to worry about the overhead charges involved in a business lease. This makes the franchise a little less risky.

I think that the best home based business opportunity has to involve solving a problem that the average consumer faces. For example, dog sitting, tutoring, or running errands are businesses that could be started easily with minimal advertising expense.

For example, a dog sitter in my sister in law’s building charges $20 per dog to take them for a walk during the week. If you walk ten dogs a day you’ve made about $200 in a single day.

Although my sister in law lives in New York City, there are many urban areas where business professionals live that could really use this service and would pay for the convenience.

I think that the home based business has to be one that you will enjoy. They say that if you can’t wait to get to work every day then you have found your passion and would probably be successful.


I have to say that I really like the idea of a home based business franchise. A home based business franchise has a proven business model that offers on-going support and training.

Also, the business has name recognition and often the franchise company will produce ads that will benefit all of the franchisees. The only downside to the franchise model involves having to pay royalties to the franchise company.

Also if there are any public relations problems that the franchise had, the franchisee will also be saddled with it as well. There are a lot of home based franchises that require a low investment.

Many of the commercial cleaning businesses could be started with less than $10,000. I also know of a home based travel agency that sells cruise packages that is under $3,000 to start up. I think that because of the low start up fees a lot of people have considered home based business opportunities ideas like this.

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