Whether it's a 'side-hustle' or the beginnings of a new startup venture, it's never been easier to make money from home. According to Informi research, as many as one in five UK workers (19%) say they have a second job on the side of their main source of income, earning an average £4,992 over the course of a year. So, what are the ways to make money from home?
Modern technology has developed to such a degree that it’s extremely easy to turn anywhere into a workspace. Job roles have evolved with the digital age, with many only requiring a computer and internet access to fulfil daily tasks. If you’re someone who focuses better at home without the distraction of (what can be) a busy, noisy office environment and feel your commuting costs are eating up a chunk of your salary, then it might be worth having a think about how to make money from home.
These ideas aren’t necessarily about starting a home business, as that can be a lengthy and complicated process. These are quick ideas for side businesses or money-making projects that could keep you financially happy without stepping near a station or overcrowded Starbucks. They can fit around your lifestyle, which is helpful if you have a young family and can’t commit to the 9-5, or even if you just want to improve the quality of your lifestyle by spending more time at home. Who knows, maybe one of them might develop into a booming business!
The best starting point is to know where your skills lie, have a willingness to learn new ones and embrace that inner entrepreneurial spirit…
Even though our lives are dominated by computer-based technology, the vast majority of us only know so much when it comes to solving technical issues beyond the restart button. If you have an understanding of the inner workings of a PCs, tablets (or even mobile phones!) and have strong communication skills, this could be the job for you.
Build a local client base by word of mouth and local advertising (for example, add yourself to local directories online, attend local networking events, pop your business card in shops that stock computers/computer equipment etc.). Use remote access software e.g. TeamViewer to enable you to troubleshoot clients’ computers from home, which will also allow you to expand your client base beyond your postcode.
Become the person behind the "Hi, is there anything I can help you with today?" box that sometimes pops up on websites. The live chat service on Amazon is a classic example of instant customer service. Job sites such as indeed.co.uk regularly advertise these roles – with brands such as Silkfred offering this role based from home. With some on-the-job training, you should be able to assist online customers from the comfort of your sofa.
If your background is in programming the language of computers, then this highly skilled job is one that can easily be completed at home. From building websites and apps to developing software, all you need as a starting point is a computer and internet access. Additional equipment and software would be subject to the specific work you offer or take on.
If you are an accurate, speedy computer user then this might be the job for you. Companies regularly outsource the inputting of information into a computer system. Simply take a look on job sites and you’ll see that many don’t require previous experience to apply.
Transcriptionists convert the spoken word into electronic text quickly and precisely. Speed and accuracy is essential for this job, alongside a computer, word processing software, headphones, internet access and basic computer skills.
Translate audio recordings, documents, videos etc. from your home office. Most employers require proficiency in English and another language, while others require a degree in interpretation.
If you have a background in social media content planning, writing and community management then this can easily become a freelance job that you run remotely from home.
Promote your services to local companies who might not have the budget to hire a snazzy agency. Keeping it local will also mean less money travelling for meetings and content-gathering tasks. You can also offer your services from an auditing and strategy perspective, where companies employ your expertise to assess and create a social media plan for the year, while helping to train and guide staff in implementing it successfully.
Be prepared to show results at the end of your campaigns and be clear from the beginning that your rates exclude any travel expenses, should you want to take on exciting projects that require a few offsite meetings.
Complete online surveys for cash! Businesses pay for your opinions to help them refine their products and marketing materials. Money Saving Expert have created a detailed guide to help you get off to the most profitable start, including their list of the top 25 online survey sites, helping you to hit the ground running.
Companies are looking for the best places online to target new customers outside their owned channels. If you run a successful blog and/or social media channel/s that specialise in an industry e.g. home décor, you could outreach to brands to collaborate on paid content, advertising, competitions and more.
You will need to prove your popularity through your blog traffic and social media followers, with many brands not considering you to be a micro-influencer until your social following tops 1k. Make sure to be transparent with your followers when collaborating, using #ad when producing content as part of the agreement.
Some companies rely on brand ambassadors to represent them in a positive light, encouraging brand awareness and sales. A classic example is Avon, which states that if you’re trying to build your own business, "we’ll make it our mission to help you achieve it". Activities include hosting an Avon party at home or online amongst your customers, where you showcase products and take orders. Reps can earn 25% of their sales every three weeks, allowing you flexible earnings that you can control. Further details can be found on the Avon website.
An administrative-focused job that requires sharp organisation skills and attention to detail. Perform remote tasks for a number of industries, from booking travel to managing a calendar. Some jobs can last for a day, others can last for months. Search ‘virtual assistant’ on job sites and you’ll gain a better understanding of the broad requirements.
Have an eye for style? Promote your services to people in need of a new wardrobe or image refresh – from one-off appointments to a regular shopping trip in line with the seasons.
This is a great option for teachers who might be putting their career on hold to bring up a family or retired teachers looking to make some money on the side. Advertise locally or register on websites such as Personal Tutors. In the UK, there are no legal requirements to have any specific qualifications to become a tutor but, in general, tutors tend to have a specific academic subject and a degree-level qualification in it. A degree isn’t compulsory but helps sell your services.
Thanks to software sure as FaceTime, Skype and Google Hangouts, it’s pretty easy to tutor remotely from home.
If you’re a whizz with words and have a hawk-eye for grammar, then freelance writing could bring in a healthy salary each month. Depending on your previous roles and contacts you could hit the ground running with rates that reflect your experience and ability. Outreach to companies and contacts – there’s nothing wrong going after the brands and people you’d love to work with. Make sure your LinkedIn account is up-to-date and typo-free and any personal social channels and blogs reflect you in a positive light. Set up a website that showcases your best work and if you have any areas of expertise, shout about them. Make it easy for people to get in touch with you.
This job is more than spotting typos; it’s about factual accuracy, grammar and overall readability. There are no set qualifications for entry into this role, but many Copy Editors have studied subjects including English, journalism, communication, marketing or media. You can enter national certificates – a simple Google search will point you in the right direction.
Some companies are happy to pay someone who delivers good candidates before they meet them in second-stage interviews. Working independently from an agency will mean payment for access to job boards and recruitment tools so consider this in your rates. It’s recommended you have some previous experience in this sector before freelancing as there is a deal of skill involved.
Turn a crafty hobby into an online shop via Etsy – a creative marketplace focusing on handmade and vintage items. While it costs £0.15 to list an item, a 5% transaction fee and 4%+ £0.20 payment processing fee, it allows you instant access to millions of buyers in the UK and worldwide looking for handmade treasures. You don’t have to worry about setting up a website for secure transactions etc. as this is all supplied by Etsy. It takes a lot of time and set-up stress off your hands, making this a quick way to get your creations out there.
There are other craft e-commerce sites such as Folksy and Zazzle, but Etsy is one of the most well-known, offering the best exposure if you’re looking to earn money from home quickly. Listed as one of our ten most on-trend businesses last year, it’s a great way to monetise your creative talents.
Can you play a musical instrument to a high standard? Promote your talent locally and you could be providing the soundtrack to a wedding or formal function in no time. Just make sure you have a few smart outfits to hand…
Are you a keen musician with good communication skills? A self-employed music teacher could be the gig for you.
You don’t need any formal qualifications, although they could help when it comes to gaining pupils. An option to consider is the Certificate for Music Educators (CME) or you can even take a PGCE course to become a fully qualified teacher (you’d need an undergraduate degree in music before taking this course). It’s important to set yourself up correctly including insurance and criminal record checks. Simply Business have put together a useful 7-step guide that ensures you cover these important bases from the start.
If you’re nifty with a needle this could be a solid income for you as, according to The Guardian, more and more people are appreciating the value in repairing and patching up clothes.
Sell your bakes to local shops to sell. Start by contacting your local council explaining your plan. They will send someone to your home to inspect your kitchen/preparation area. It must be clean with the correct cleaning equipment and procedures in place for food storage etc.
Ask your council if you need to go on any specific food safety courses. The Food Standards Agency also provides helpful information to get started.
If you’re a wizard with a whisk then making special occasion cakes and bakes can be a great side business to bring in some extra cash. Again, look into the relevant food safety procedures etc. that you’ll need in place.
With so many tips and tricks available online, it would be quite easy to educate yourself in flower arranging. Sell your creations to local businesses, events or individuals – from centrepieces to hanging baskets, there’s a lot of scope for a successful side-business once word of mouth travels.
If you have a few spare evenings each week and know any parents in need of a break, this is a simple way to earn some spending money.
If you plan to run daycare from home, the process is a bit more complicated but could prove more financially fruitful in the long term compared to babysitting. You need to ensure you’ve organised everything to comply with the law to ensure you’re qualified to work with and look after young children – from contacting Ofsted to applications for relevant registers. A lot of information is available online, such as this feature by Childcare.co.uk.
If you’ve had a baby and would like to support new mothers, you can become a doula – a birth partner and post-birth partner. A short course with British Doulas alongside your experience as a mum will help you become a ‘professional mother’ (N.B. this is not a medical profession). If you think you have the personal skills to support women and their families with childbirth and the immediate post-natal period then this is worth looking into.
Let people know you’re available for small DIY jobs, whether it’s fixing a leaky tap or putting up shelves. It might amaze you what minor household tasks people are willing to pay for. Private social network NextDoor is a place for neighbours and communities to connect – take a look as it could be a great place to advertise your services and find work.
It’s a pretty obvious one, but sell anything you don’t need any more! Car boot sales, garage sales, eBay, local Facebook Marketplace pages – if you haven’t used it in the last year then consider parting with it.
Inherited some antiques or have a significant collection that might be worth something? Get an expert to price up your treasures so you know how much they might fetch should you ever choose to part ways with them.
If you’re prepared to part with it, a wedding dress can be a worthwhile sale when it comes to making some extra cash. Many brides can’t afford the extortionate prices of bridal shops and would be happy to consider buying a dress that’s only been worn once.
Rent out any equipment that people might need for a one-off task e.g. tools, garden equipment, etc. There are websites designed specifically to put lenders in touch with borrowers, such as Fat Llama.
If you have a spare room, converted garage or basement, you could capitalise on the sharing economy and rent out your space on trusted sites such as Airbnb or HomeAway. The more central you are to a city, town or place of interest, the more chance you have of increasing your rate. Make sure happy visitors leave glowing reviews on your online ad.
If you have any spare space in your loft, garage, shed or spare room, it’s worth having a look at websites such as Storemates. Free to register, it takes 15% of the monthly rent but takes a lot of the admin etc. off your hands. It’s also 50% cheaper than commercial self-storage so there should be a decent demand on your doorstep.
Depending on the size of your space, you could earn between £25-£200 a month. Another site to look at is Storenextdoor (again, free to register, it takes 23% of the monthly rental to cover its services).
If you live somewhere where parking’s tight and expensive, offer up a space to rent on your driveway. This could be long-term for commuters or short-term for a sports fixture. JustPark, Parklet and Your Parking Space are good starting points but ensure you are advised on aspects such as mortgage requirements, insurance and tax. If you have a designated parking space, this could also be an option for rental.
Love being outdoors but not too far from home? Offer to maintain your neighbours’ gardens for a weekly / monthly fee or a one-off. Clearing, planting, mowing – there’s a lot of business for these labour-intensive jobs that many people would prefer to avoid.
Love dogs and the outdoors? Helping a pooch get some exercise and/or looking after them is a great way to make some extra cash – especially if you’re responsible for more than one. Providing a sitting service appeals to a large proportion of pet owners who have to travel for work, work long hours and go on holiday.
Dog walking is also a reliable service for the elderly who may find it difficult to exercise their companions daily, especially in colder weather. Public liability insurance is essential in case something happens to your dog/s or the public while they’re in your care.
A job most pet owners hate to do! You don’t need any set entry requirements for this line of work but you should have experience with dogs and cats. A basic course in animal care at a college or training centre would be recommended, as well as some work experience with a qualified, experienced pet groomer.
Offer to look after indoor and outdoor plants while homeowners are on holiday, especially during the summer months when gardens need a good soak of water.
Turn your spare room into a yoga studio for individual lessons, or small classes if you have the room. If business goes well, you could look to create a studio in your garden! If you’re looking for training, a good start is The British Wheel of Yoga, which provides qualifications that are the highest level of yoga teacher training currently available in the UK. It’s important to ensure you’re setting your business up safely from home so make sure you’re considering elements such as any relevant insurance and planning permission.
Most people hate ironing and would happily part with some cash to have it taken care for them. Invest in a quality iron and ironing board then advertise locally and ask your friends and family to spread the word.
When you're making money from home, you'll need to make sure all relevant earnings are declared to HMRC.Read more
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