25 Skill-Based Home Business Ideas

April 8, 2014 | By | 6 Replies More

skill-based home business ideas

There are many other types of home-based opportunities which may require more specific skills, longer training or more time to get up and running. They are no less useful, however. Here are a few skill-based home business ideas for you.


Small businesses may be especially reliant on contract help for this type of work since many of them may not be large enough to have their own accountant and/or bookkeeper on staff.


This is a popular home-based business. An investment in the essential beautician supplies and chair can get you started. There is a licensing course that varies by state. All you need for this, other than the start-up merchandise, is an extra room in the house or a garage. If you’re working for someone now and were wondering how to break away, it only takes a few dollars and your clientele to follow you. This happens quite frequently.

RELATED: How to Start a Hair and Beauty Salon Business


Walk into a country restaurant like the Cracker Barrel and the first thing you see is a foyer/waiting area where there is a variety of goods, including a number of specialty food items. Pickles, sauces, jellies, many of them homemade, all sitting and waiting for a buyer. And people will buy these specialties! Specialty coffee shops and gourmet stores are always on the lookout for the new treat they can feature. Why not sell to these stores if you have a talent for this kind of cooking? You can start out part-time and see how the demand and the income goes from there. The next time you’re in a specialty food store, ask about their distribution.

RELATED: How to Start a Food Business

Chair Caning

Country styles for homes are as popular as ever and the ability to cane chairs can bring in a sizable amount of side income if you have the talent for this type of work. If you’re already doing it as a hobby, you’ve already established the necessary work shop, know where to get materials, etc. The only thing that remains is who to distribute to, a decision that may involve both private and public sales. There are locals who would certainly hire you to handle a chair or two for them personally. There are also specialty furniture stores and outlets with whom you can also contract. You’ll have to do a little research on it, but the possibilities are there to expand a hobby that may already give you many hours of joy. It’s time to cash in on this hobby and get your home-based business off the ground!

Cheese making

Like making jellies and pickles, the art of cheese making can also be turned into a tidy profit center for you, distributing to some of the same chains and specialty food stores. Cheese has been and will continue to remain a sought after food.

RELATED: How to Start a Food Business in Texas

Chimney Sweeping

Wood burning stoves and fireplaces are still dominant home items and the skill of chimney sweeping is a fine one with a number of business opportunities to choose from in plying this trade. Very little equipment is necessary and it won’t take long to become proficient at this work if you have the ability and liking for physical labor.


If you’ve been in a specific field for a length of time, you’ve likely built up an arsenal of knowledge about your subject. The more you know, the more you can offer any person or firm interested in breaking into, expanding or becoming more competent in this area. If your name is recognized, so much the better. Consultants can earn high hourly fees, expenses paid for.

RELATED: How to Start a Successful Consulting Business

Floral Arrangements

You don’t necessarily have to grow flowers to do this. You can purchase, make up elaborate flower arrangements and resell them. Dried arrangements and wreaths are popular in season. Some advertising and competitive pricing can generate a substantial workload for you.

RELATED: Starting a Flower Shop or Florist Business


Raising bees for honey can be a part-time effort if you have an interest in this type of activity. This is not a business for those with no experience, but for those already doing something along this line, or have a hobby in this area.

Balloon Rides

Popular in areas where the weather is nice year-round, hot air balloon rides are popular gifts for special occasions like a birthday, anniversary, Valentine’s Day and other holidays. Those of you who are trained aeronauts can step into a needed void as a pilot for this craft. You can start as a pilot, perhaps, and then accumulate capital to invest in your own balloon. Other than advertising and the cost of the balloons and their upkeep, little else is required except some wide open spaces.

Home maintenance

How many times have you heard that someone is looking for help to do a few odd jobs around the house. Or for a painter? Or someone who can do a variety of work from landscaping to electrical wiring? If you’re good at putting up wallpaper, laying carpet and other assorted tasks, advertise! The more diverse the skills you publicize, the better your chances of regular employment.

RELATED: How to Start a Handyman Business

Insurance Sales

Many people start off in this field on a part-time basis until they realize that a few sales a week will triple and quadruple the income they’re used to making. This field is not for everyone. It requires extraordinary discipline and a desire to succeed along with the belief that you’re assisting people with their financial goals and objectives. But if you can handle it, the insurance profession can be one of the most lucrative for working out of your home. Overhead is relatively low. You can get licensed through your state’s insurance department, located in your capital city. It may require a certain amount of training and definitely an exam, but once passed you can seek out insurance companies who would be glad to work with you. Think of what your niche market might be. Who are your natural business associates and friends? These will be your first potential clients and you might test them by determining their interest in having you do an analysis of their financial goals and objectives.

Kennel operator

If you like animals and have adequate room in your property, this could be a strong home-based opportunity for you. Pets will always need to be boarded and, although some capital will be required to set it up, it can be a lucrative business just for doing what you love — taking care of animals!

Mail-order business

This is a new rage among the home-based opportunity seekers in this country. You can start your own mail-order business quite easily and if you advertise in the right publications, generate an ample amount of business.

Meals for handicapped

Contact your local social services for the disabled and elderly to see if there are any openings for someone who can cook meals out of their house and deliver them. This often involves a hot meal for lunch and a cold meal for dinner which is left with the client at the same time. If you like to cook, this can be another outlet for your talents.


There are a number of opportunities for those with musical talent, especially songwriting. There are plenty of great voices out there, but a dearth of good material to sing. Some of the better artists along with the up and coming ones are always on the lookout for new artists adept at this skill.

If you can play instruments, you can also teach young children and adults alike how to play. You can tap the growing home-school market during the day, and focus on giving lessons in the afternoons and evenings to school kids and working adults. You can choose to give lessons in your client’s home, or ask them to come to your house.

However, check zoning restrictions in your area if your students are coming to your house. Neighbors may complain with regards to the traffic flow in and out of your home. Remember, zoning rules are typically not imposed — unless the government authorities receive complaints from neighbors.  

Pet breeding

As long as you’re considering a kennel career opportunity, you might think about breeding, an animal specialty that can earn you many dollars. Breeding can be by specific request or you can simply breed to produce animals for local pet shops like hamsters, cats and dogs. This business can be run in conjunction with the kennel. You can sell to the pet shops or take your business directly to the public which can earn you a higher fee, since you don’t have to pay the retailer.

RELATED: 10 Pet Small Business Ideas

Real Estate

Sales If you like houses and don’t mind working the evening/weekend hours, this could be a very rewarding career for you. Sales of houses can earn large commissions. You have to be very organized and always on the lookout for new listings, but once you’ve sold a few houses in an area, word of mouth will bring your next clients. The real estate market has been depressed the last few years, which creates an opportunity for those who are adept at selling homes. Sellers will tend to migrate towards the successful Realtor. There is a licensing course involved, but you can take this while you’re still working at your old job. Like insurance, many people start this business part-time, until they sell their first big house and see how much money they can make from one sale.

Rental Property Manager

If you live in a vacation area with a number of condominium units, you will likely see numerous advertisements for someone to manage the units for rental. There could be some small maintenance duties required, too. But essentially you are collecting rent, advertising for new renters and managing the properties for the owner(s). It may well require that you live in the complex, but this can often be part of the compensation package. What a great way to live near the beach or in some fantastic resort spot. This can be the job for those people who have gone on vacation and wish they didn’t have to go back to real life.

Repair of Equipment

Every home is equipped today with all the modern conveniences: television, VCR, stereo, refrigerator, microwave, stove, dishwasher, etc. All you have to do is know how to fix these pieces of equipment and you’ll have a new home-based business. This might be combined with the general all around maintenance business opportunity mentioned earlier. A skilled repair person is difficult to find, as is the general odd-job fix-it-up person. If you have any talent in these areas, there are plenty of local options for you to attract business. People can’t do for long without their conveniences and the demand will be there for the work. Consumers will bring the appliance into the repair shop, but in this age of handiness, they would rather have someone come out and repair it – it’s easier!

Secretarial Services

Small businesses can be counted on to look for help on a contract basis from someone with specific secretarial skills. A physician’s office may be looking for a medical records person or an insurance billing clerk on an independent basis. The entire medical field, in its movement towards managed care, is looking for simplified answers to common administration tasks. This isn’t the only industry utilizing outside secretarial services. If you have the skills and the small capital needed for the basic equipment, you’re in business!

RELATED: Starting a Home-Based Secretarial Business

Sharpening Services

In many hardware, sewing and fabric stores, you may notice an advertisement for sharpening services. Scissors and other craft tools can be sharpened less expensively than purchasing a new one. Often these businesses contract out the labor for the service. If you know how to sharpen these types of objects, perhaps even doing it for yourself as you knit or make crafts, then you can turn this into a lucrative side business. You just call on your store clients once or twice a week and pick up new work and drop off completed jobs. It’s an unusual, but needed service.

Sign Design & Painting

Everywhere you look across this great country, you’ll find signs! Homes, businesses and individuals are all sign candidates. Advertising for and specializing in all type of sings and banners and even billboards (if you learn how), can create a substantial side business which will grow into full-time, profitable work for you.

Telephone Answering Service

Many small businesses are one or two person shops which have only an answering machine to pick up calls should they have to leave the premises. There is a great amount of business lost as a result. This can cost the firm thousands of dollars as someone hangs up when they can’t reach a human voice and dials another number where they can. As an answering service, you can be that human voice at the other end. Even if you are just taking the message, people have confidence when they can talk to a person in a service-oriented business. If you can add a couple of lines to your existing home phone system, you’re in business. With just a few clients, you’ll generally be taking messages during the day. There are organizations who look for answering services to be on later call for product ordering and similar tasks. This can be a very profitable venture – just for talking on the phone!


There are a number of chances to obtain work doing copywriting. The written word is still very much in demand and you can attract a substantial amount of business in this area from smaller firms – even just for their basic correspondence. Distressingly, people don’t possess the same writing skills as they did en masse a few years ago and hence could use the assistance. The better a letter or document or brochure is crafted, the more likely the business will do well. This means work for writers in all phases of industry. A computer at home can be all the overhead you’ll need.

RELATED: How to Earn Money from Writing

Recommended Books on Home Business Ideas:


Jenny Fulbright

Jenny Fulbright

Jenny Fulbright is a writer for PowerHomeBiz.com.

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25 Skill-Based Home Business Ideas
There are many other types of home-based opportunities which may require more specific skills, longer training or more time to get up and running. They are no less useful, however. Here are a few ideas for you.
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