Work from home

Work from home
Credit: Dreamstime.com
For some people, working 9 to 5 in an office is the right career choice. For others, however, the dream is waking up and working from the comfort of their own homes. If you're one of the latter and you're looking to take advantage of your entrepreneurial spirit, you can try starting a home-based business. Not sure where to start? Here are 18 home-based business ideas to inspire you.

Business plan service

Business plan service
Credit: Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock
If you've got business expertise already, you can help other entrepreneurs launch and maintain their own businesses by offering your services as a business plan consultant and writer. Help your clients figure out their ideas, goals and finances for their businesses and put them all in one organized business roadmap. You can also help conduct market research for your clients, so they can determine how successful their businesses can really be, or if they need to make changes or go in another direction before wrapping up their business plans.

Electronics recycling

Electronics recycling
Credit: Artem Samokhvalov/Shutterstock

Even though consumers are constantly upgrading their phones, tablets, laptops and other electronic devices, a lot of people still don't understand how important it is to recycle their old electronics. According to DoSomething.org, 20 million to 50 million metric tons of e-waste are disposed of worldwide each year, and only 12.5 percent of e-waste is recycled. Allow people to drop off their unwanted electronics at your home, or go mobile and offer a pickup service. In addition, you could help your customers back up their files and clear sensitive information from their devices as well. 

Massage therapist

Massage therapist
Credit: Ersler Dmitry
Becoming a massage therapist requires proper training and licensing, but if you're looking for a great career to pursue that you can also turn into a home-based business, massage therapy might be the right choice for you. And with a massage therapy business, you have options: You can either invite clients into your home for appointments, or make house calls for massages.

Interior designer

Interior designer
Credit: Maxx-Studio/Shutterstock
If you understand design and have a passion for décor, a career in interior design could be a great path for you. While you may not technically need a formal education to be an interior designer, having a bachelor's degree in interior design will definitely give you a huge leg up in the field. But if working for a design firm doesn't feel right to you, try running your own interior design business from your home.

Translator

Translator
Credit: cybrain/Shutterstock
If you're fluent in multiple languages, you can turn it into a business as a translator. Businesses that work with international partners need to make sure their documents are accurate and in order, so offer up your linguistic skills to translate their documents for them, and you can do so from the comfort of your home.

Handmade seller

Handmade seller
Credit: Handmade crafts image via Shutterstock
Do you have a knack for knitting, jewelry making or creating other small crafts? If you can produce a large quantity of items in a short amount of time, consider selling your goods to the public. In just minutes, you can set up an online store and start promoting your business.

Music teacher

Music teacher
Credit: Broken Guitar Image via Shutterstock
For the musically gifted, offering lessons to others who want to learn an instrument can be a great source of extra income. Unless you're teaching piano, students can bring their own instruments to your home for hour-long lessons. Stock up on sheet music or songbooks in varying genres and aimed at various skill levels so you can offer a wide selection for your potential clients. Voice lessons can also bring in a lot of money if you market yourself to local high school and community theater groups.

Web/graphic designer

Web/graphic designer
Credit: Web design Image via Shutterstock
Have you ever been turned off by a business’s generic-looking website layout or logo? If you have a good eye for design, you can launch a service to create attractive, easy-to-use websites for small businesses. You can put your skills to good use for business owners who want to take their online presence to the next level. Build up a portfolio of work with smaller freelance jobs, then create your own website to show it off and bring in a steady stream of clients. [10 Things Every Freelancer Should Know]

Online course instructor

Online course instructor
You don’t need a degree in education to teach people how to do something you know inside and out. According to Fox, online course enrollment on the rise, you can help others enrich their lives by offering classes in an area you’re passionate about, like yoga or baking. Create instructional packets and videos for download from a website, or schedule real-time Skype lessons with clients.

Software trainer

Software trainer
Credit: Goodluz
If you're proficient in a highly specialized software, you can get paid to pass your knowledge on to amateurs and professionals looking to expand their skill sets. Technical manuals are available for programs like QuickBooks and Final Cut Pro, but these are often expensive and difficult for the average user to get through. Schedule small group workshops or private sessions, and charge by the hour for a full tutorial of the program. Patience and a great personality are a must.

Pet care

Pet care
Are you good with animals? Spread the word to friends and neighbors that you're available to watch their pets while the owners go on a vacation or weekend trip. Pet owners often feel more comfortable leaving their furry friends in the care of an individual rather than placing pets in a boarding facility, so getting referrals shouldn't be too difficult. If you can't commit to lodging animals in your home, consider starting a dog walking or waste cleanup business.

Local Internet marketing consultant

Local Internet marketing consultant
Credit: Dreamstime
Small businesses know they have to get online, but finding the time to figure out how is proving a real challenge for small business owners of every stripe. If you're Internet-savvy and know how local businesses can harness the power of local search, coupon pages and social media, you could be working from home helping small business owners promote their companies online. Since your client base will be local to you, your commute to clients will be close to home.

App designer

App designer
Research continues to prove that mobile apps or mobile Web browsers .are a must for businesses of all kinds. But most don't have the in-house teams to create them. Smaller companies also don't have the budget to hire an expensive firm to create their apps. A freelance app designer who works from home could specialize in creating apps for one or two industries and build a strong following.

Green consultant

Green consultant
Consumers want to buy from companies that are making efforts to turn their operations "green," or eco-friendly. In fact, research has shown that consumers are willing to pay more for green products. Big companies often have whole staffs and outside consulting firms dedicated to that cause. Small business owners don't have those kinds of resources, but many would still like to find ways to be more environmentally friendly and energy efficient. A home-based green consulting business allows you to travel locally to meet with clients, review their environmental impact and make recommendations on how they can cut their energy use, waste and costs. There's no need for an office outside the house for this business.

Off-hours child care

Off-hours child care
Ever tried to find child care on a Saturday afternoon? Unless you've got a standing relationship with a babysitter – and even then, it can be hard – there are few places you can count on for evening or weekend child care. Most states allow you to operate a home child care business and there's little competition and a great need for off-hours care. Licensing requirements are different based on your state, but many don't require a license as long as you keep below the minimum number of children.

E-commerce warehouse/shipping

E-commerce warehouse/shipping
Credit: Dreamstime
You'll need some extra space at home if you want to run this business out of your house, but with a well-organized basement or garage space, you can do it. E-commerce is a huge business, and it's an especially appealing one for small business owners who can't afford to rent a retail space. The problem, of course, is that packing and shipping all those orders can be a real hassle. Many e-commerce companies would like to outsource this function to a third party who can keep the inventory in stock and ship orders as they come in. There are not many of these companies who offer their services to small retailers. It's a business you can start at home and grow into a larger space once it's a success.

Billing service

Billing service
Credit: Dreamstime
During the recession, many companies, especially contractors, had to lay off office workers. And, while the economy is recovering, most still can't afford to hire a full-time office assistant. That leaves an opportunity for entrepreneurs who want to offer invoicing, bookkeeping, human resources and other clerical services to business owners on a contractual or part-time basis. With just a laptop and a few clients, you can get the ball rolling from home.

Business security consultant

Business security consultant
Just about every company has a website that has the potential to collect data from its customers. Furthermore, many businesses store their customers' data, personal information – even credit card numbers – in their company computers. But, how many smaller firms can honestly say they know the data is safe from identity thieves and hackers? Most small companies can't afford to hire a full-time data security specialist. That's where your home-based security consulting business comes in. If you've got a background in IT, you could be working as a consultant helping small businesses shore up their data security.

Party planner

Party planner
Credit: Dreamstime
We might be in a recession, but many parents will still spend big bucks to throw their kid a great birthday party. While they could just throw a party at home, many people don't have the time or energy to pull it off. That's where a kids' party business comes in. Parties that take place at local sports centers and play zones are expensive. There's demand for party planners who can arrange the whole event, mail the invitations, stock the goody bags and arrange discounts with local party places. Parents are often willing to pay handsomely for the service.

Tablet repair

Tablet repair
Credit: Dreamstime.com
These days, it seems as though everybody has a tablet, but have you ever tried to get one fixed? It's not as easy as you think. In fact, research revealed that it costs almost as much to repair a tablet as it does to buy a new one. If you're capable of servicing and fixing this kind of technology, there's going to be a big demand for reasonably priced tablet repair. Especially, if you're willing to make house calls.

Updated Jan. 1, 2016. Additional reporting by Business News Daily assistant editor Nicole Fallon.

Small Business Resource Center

Small Business Resource Center
Credit: Laptop image via Shutterstock
If you're thinking about starting your own business, there are lots of decisions to be made. What kind of accounting software will you use? Will you do your own payroll our outsource it? BusinessNewsDaily's Small Business Resource Center will help you sort through the choices. Visit it here.