Start It Up: 12 Semi-Easy Home-Based Businesses

Have you ever had a job you couldn’t wait to quit? Did you spend days consumed with thoughts of marching into the boss’s office and shouting, “I quit, I don’t need this job anymore!” Unfortunately, most of us never get to live out that dream because we really do need the job.

For those with an entrepreneurial bent, that dream might not be too far off. There are many fairly easy start-up businesses you can run from your home with a minimal investment. Here are some of the most in demand, easy start-up businesses you could start working on today.

1. Computer Repair
Often when visiting my parents I end up becoming the resident electronics guy for the week. They have all sorts of computer questions or hardware they need installed.

Many casual computer users are in constant need of help with computer problems. The beauty of a start-up computer repair business is few tools are needed. The most important component is your own knowledge.

In many cases, small businesses without a technical staff also need help setting up and maintaining networks or security cameras.

2. Diet Consultant/Personal Trainer

Being healthy is something that will hopefully never go out of style. If you’ve been eating organic for years and your body could serve as your resume, you might consider working as a personal trainer or dietary consultant.

With the aging of America, more and more people are resolving to eat healthier and get in shape. They’re also willing to pay for help to get the job done. You might consider taking some training courses, however, before you set up shop.

3. Housecleaning
We all have chores around the house we hate. There’s just something about scrubbing the tub that makes me put it off as long as possible.

A lot of times, however, getting paid makes these mundane tasks a lot easier. If you don’t mind vacuuming or washing windows, there are always people willing to pay for your housecleaning services. Most of the time, you just have to put in the work as clients typically purchase most of the necessary cleaning supplies. All you need do is strap on your iPod and begin cleaning.

4. Event Planner
Even now, everyone needs to take a little time to celebrate and have some fun. If you can handle the pressure of meeting all your deadlines while managing a bridezilla, event and wedding planning could be the start-up business you’ve been looking for.

5. Pet Products

Some people will do just about anything for their pet. With the plethora of pet supplies available today, Fido is getting spoiled more than the grandkids.

There are a wide range of specialty products people want to buy for their pets -- toys, treats, beds and even costumes -- and they can't always find what they want at PetSmart. In addition to all of the products, there are plenty of pet services, including walking, grooming and pet sitting, that are in high demand.

6. Music Lessons
Mom always said all of those torturous piano lessons would pay off one day.

With many schools balancing budgets by cutting music programs, parents are looking for private instructors. If you’re willing to share your musical knowledge and possibly your instrument for a few hours a day, the cash can add up quickly.

7. Beauty Services
Many stylists are saying goodbye to expensive booth rental and running their business from home. A lot of people are looking for a way to fit a haircut into their hectic schedule so the flexibility of working from home can allow you to more easily accommodate such clients.

8. Landscaping
Are your home and garden the best looking on the block? Are the other neighbors bringing you down with their lack of interest in yard work? Instead of griping about those brown spots and untrimmed bushes, turn them into some cash.

Yard work is hard work and lots of people will pay to get it done. Mowing lawns, trimming trees and planting gardens are just a few of the services that can be done with tools you probably already have in the garage. Of course, in the winter, there’s always snow shoveling to balance out your budget.

9. Catering
The landscape of catering has changed. Black-tie balls and weddings are still big business, but many people like to have small events catered as well.

Besides private parties, catering provides many other avenues to pursue. Baking and cake decorating are always options if you don’t want to cater a whole event. Many busy families are starting to hire someone to prepare a few meals a week to give them more time to spend together.

10. Sewing/Alterations
Hand sewing has become more of a hobby than an industry and there’s high demand for those who lack needle-and-thread skills.

With everyone feeling the squeeze of the economy, people are holding onto their clothes for longer. Letting out pants that are too small is much cheaper than buying a new pair. Upholstery work is also in demand as a few changes in fabric can dramatically change the look of a room at a cut-rate price.

11. Home Improvement
Home foreclosures have hit especially hard over the last few years. This has left lenders with a surplus of houses needing to be sold. In many cases, these houses have fallen into disrepair or need structural improvements. If you’re a handyman that does quality work, there’s a growing market for your services.

12. Home Organizer
If you've seen the television shows about clutter freaks, you know how owning too much stuff can overwhelm some people. They don't know where to start to get organized. That's where you come in. If you've already figured out how to keep your own home organized, that's the first step.

It's not enough, however, to simply develop systems for clients. You need to help them learn how to keep their homes clutter free or they'll fall back into old habits. Of course, this means you'll have a permanent job, but there's little career satisfaction.

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