7 Home-Based Business Ideas That Require Little to No Cost

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With the whole world moving online, it’s no surprise the number of home-based business ideas out there are growing—at an exponential rate.

For one, people love having full control over their schedule. Say goodbye to the strict 9 to 5, time cards, and shift work. With a home-based business, you now have the power to manage your own time and work towards a work-life balance that suits your lifestyle.

For another, people love the freedom of being able to work from anywhere. Regardless of whether you are working from the comfort of your own bedroom or at a beach cafe in Bali, you will still be able to earn an income. How? Simply use the many platforms that offer many different freelance jobs and opportunities, like Twine.

Most importantly, most home businesses require little to no capital to start. This allows you to have close to no risk when starting your business. All you need is good access to the internet and a great idea to become a home entrepreneur.

Now, with the help of technology, there are thousands of ideas and ways for us to become our own bosses anytime, anywhere—with little to no startup cost at all. In this article, we’ll share some amazing home-based business ideas.

Time for a career change, maybe?

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What Are Some Good Home-Based Business Ideas?

Social Media Affiliate Marketing 

Social Media Affiliate Marketing home-based business idea

As of right now, there are more than 4 billion people using social media and getting content from it. What if you could turn these people into potential customers?

Introducing social media affiliate marketing

This method of marketing is straightforward: first, you get a referral link from an affiliate program. Every time someone clicks on your link and makes a purchase from it, you get a commission! Simple as that.

There is no need for you to purchase any inventory or store them in a physical location before you can start selling the product. All you need is to create a piece of content to accompany your affiliate link and find the right platform to share it.

Plus, there are many ways to promote your affiliate links to garner more traffic and sales.

You can promote them by linking them to different kinds of content, like articles, videos, photo posts, and more, on different social media sites. As people consume content differently, this allows you to expand the audience group you can reach out to. 

Online Teaching

Online Teaching

Teaching online is another great business idea that you can start from home. Before you strike this off your list because you are not academically trained as an educator, prepare to be surprised!

Online teaching can be about anything, as long as it is a skill that people are interested in. From teaching someone how to sing to sharing your secret family recipe for chicken pot pie, the possibilities are endless!

Now, you can teach and connect with students from all around the world without needing to open your own physical school, which would have limited your business to a certain location. Not only does this open up your business to the rest of the world, but it also saves you rental costs and more, which can be invested down the line to upgrade your equipment for the video lessons.

Some very popular upgrades include switching to a high-quality vocal microphone and webcam to improve the teaching and learning experience. Alternatively, you can also invest the savings in running paid promotions for your home-based business.

One more bonus is that you have room to scale this further by teaching in groups or venturing into pre-recorded lessons that can be sold across various platforms.

Video Production Agency

Video Production Agency home based business idea

Content is king, and every brand and business definitely knows that as a fact. With the rise in popularity of TikTok and Instagram Reels, videos are a hot choice for advertisers and that is also why there is such a huge demand for video production. 

Starting a video production agency may sound like a tough business, but it can be pretty simple, and you do not necessarily need to be good at directing or editing either!

Here is what the business model of a video production agency looks like: 

Rather than doing everything in-house, you can act as the main liaison. Outsource the work that requires a specific skill set to qualified freelancers and contractors, and save yourself time.

Your fees and profits will come from client servicing, managing communications from start-to-end and making sure the project is delivered as promised.

For this business model to work without upfront capital, one very important thing to take note of is the negotiation of payment terms and a timeline with the client. For example, negotiating for a portion of the project sum to be paid upon confirmation of the video idea and treatment. This is a common practice in the industry as well.

You can find potential clients through these useful and proven marketing strategies. Remember, regardless of industry, all businesses share a common goal to get more sales and increase brand recognition. If you can identify the pain points of why they have not been as successful in their marketing efforts and create something better, there is a very high chance they will turn into recurring customers.

Imagine this: If you are contracted to produce marketing videos for a company that participates in all major sales events in a year (e.g. 11.11, 12.12, Boxing Day, Black Friday), you already have in the bag multiple projects in a year from a single client!



Ever wanted to open up your own store and sell products you like? Dropshipping makes it a lot easier to fulfill that dream!

Dropshipping makes the process easier because you don’t have to buy the products, keep track of inventory, and coordinate deliveries. Instead, you just have to sell and market the products.

As a dropshipping entrepreneur, what you will need to do is decide what to sell and find a dropship supplier who can help you manage the inventory and ship the products out to your customers. Once you have those in the bag, you can start selling and marketing your products online. 

Here is an example of how it works:

  • A customer makes an order on your online store for an item that costs USD$10.
  • You would forward that order to your supplier, who is selling at a wholesale rate of USD$5. 
  • Your supplier receives the order and helps you ship out the item to your customer.
  • You get to keep the difference of USD$5 as your profit.

Many dropshipping businesses first start out by promoting their products on social media for free. This can be done easily by creating videos on YouTube and TikTok or uploading posts on Instagram and Twitter. Once the business picks up, you can then decide to invest the earnings in paid ads to reach out to a larger audience.

However, do take note that it is important to recognize that different products will bring in different levels of profit margins. For example, selling a toy plushie would have a lower profit margin as compared to selling a bicycle. Another pro tip is to also research trending products!

If you do it right, this would not require any inventory, shipping, and little to no cost at all. All it needs is some patience and time.

Resume Writing

Resume Writing

Do you have a flair for writing? What about strong language and presentation skills? If so, starting a resume writing business could be for you!

Many times, not everyone who applies for a job gets the chance for an interview. Resumes form the first impression, and it helps to represent yourself and what you have achieved while you were absent.

Resumes should be informative yet captivating at the same time, and it is something that quite a lot of people struggle with. However, it is crucial because it can determine whether you win or lose a job opportunity.

As a professional resume writer, you should understand the different types of resume formats and what employers typically look for. Professional formatting is the knowledge of how to format resumes better so that they look well-organized and professional.

There are certain factors to take into consideration too, such as:

  • Which font(s) to use for a certain industry
  • When to change the size of the page margins
  • Layout plan for the contents of a resume so that it is optimized for reading
  • Including keywords that match the job description

Of course, doing some research for the role and industry will help you craft your client’s resume to make it more fitting, relevant, and memorable too! 

There is a large pool of potential clients on platforms like LinkedIn that you can reach out to market your business. This could kick off in no time!


A print-on-demand business is similar to dropshipping. It has the same benefits in that it does not require you to hold any product inventory or manage shipments, and it requires little to no cost to start.

Print-on-demand involves creating and/or customizing a design, printing it on various products that can be outsourced to suppliers, and then selling those products to customers.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how you can get started with your own Print-on-Demand business:

  1.  Identify Your Niche

To achieve a successful Print-on-Demand business, you will first need to identify your niche. Figure out who you would like your target audience to be. You can start by brainstorming a list of potential customer groups and assess which group is more likely to be interested in customized products.

  1.  Select Types of Products to Sell & Come Up With Design Ideas

Find a list of products that will appeal to your target audience after you’ve done a lot of research. These products can range from T-shirts, hats, mugs, phone cases, or anything that a custom design can be printed on.

Your custom designs should be attractive and appealing to your audience. You can even look at competitors in your niche and see what has been selling well.

If you are a creative person and love to design, you can come up with your own designs. If not, you could also engage freelance designers as well!

  1.  Find the Right Supplier

Similar to how a dropshipping business is run, your supplier forms the back end of your business. After the sales are in, the supplier will help to print and fulfill your orders before shipping them out to your customers.

Your supplier can make or break your business, so take the time to find the right one to work with. You can find them on supplier databases as well as on e-commerce sites like Alibaba.

  1.  Set Up Your Online Store and Start Selling

Finally, now that you have your entourage put together, it is time for you to set up your own online store. There are some e-commerce platforms where you can do that for free too!

Remember, presentation is key and part of product marketing. Having an aesthetically pleasing website design and a good showcase of products is half the battle won.

Online Travel Planning Business

Online Travel Planning Business

Everybody loves to travel, but not everyone is a fan of the planning that goes with it. This is where the demand for a personal online travel planner comes in!

The main task of a travel planner is to help organize a holiday itinerary that is customized to the client’s preferences, prepare all necessary paperwork like visas, and advise on the latest travel rules. With the ever-changing COVID-19 travel rules, don’t you wish there was someone who could tell you everything you need without having to go through pages of FAQs?

If you have always been the one to plan all your vacations and you love the process, this home-based business would be right up your alley.

When this starts to grow, you can potentially even expand this into a full-fledged online travel agency where you run it with a team of online freelance travel planners. With travel returning to pre-pandemic levels, the demand will only go up from here. 

Ready to Start?

Now you know what are some of the cool and unique home-based business ideas you can start today without needing any upfront capital.

The great thing is that the ideas are not just limited to this list. There are many more that you can explore. At the end of the day, what matters most is picking the right one that motivates you, and one that you are passionate about. That is how you can keep it going and growing!

Ready to hire an expert? Our marketplace of over 500,000 diverse freelancers has the skills and expertise needed to skyrocket your business. From marketers to designers, copywriters to SEO experts – browse the talented bunch here!

Ivan Leong

Ivan is the founder of ThatsIvan, where he helps content creators, brands and businesses grow their social media presence organically, and produce viral content at a large scale. Ivan’s background is a content creator who has achieved over a billion views across various platforms.