There’s a lot of articles out there about service-oriented small businesses you can start from home, such as pet sitting or landscaping. But not everyone who starts a business is service-oriented. Some of us like to make things! So, I wanted to compile a list of product-based small businesses.
Before I dive into it, I just want to offer a full disclaimer to say that I’m not an expert in any of this. If you’re going to start a business of any kind, it’s always a good idea to consult a lawyer and an accountant to make sure you’re protected, prepared and certified in all your practices.
Without further ado, here is my list:
A Cookie Company
Got a passion for baking? You may enjoy turning it into a business. I had a friend in high school who used to sell his yummy foods to fellow classmates. He eventually became a professional chef. You never know where a small biz can take you.
Self publishing is easier than ever before. If you have a passion for telling stories, sharing poems, or educating others through nonfiction, publishing books may be just the thing for you. You can use a self-publishing service, or you can make hand-made chapbooks. The self-pubbed world can also extend to music and audio books.
Maybe you have an idea for a paper airplane that actually flies, or maybe you have an adorable design for a stuffed bear. This is an especially neat option for people who know how to crochet. Embrace your inner child and the possibilities are endless.
When it comes to greeting cards, I think there will always be room in the marketplace for things that are hand-made with a personal touch. In this digital age, people have an appreciation for things that feel authentic. If you have a flair for design and can create heart-warming messages, buy yourself some card stock and ribbons and get creating.
Admittedly I don’t know much about this industry. But there are people who are interested in finding more organic, vegan, or ethical products. If you know anything about making organic soaps or moisturizers, this could be a fun little business to start.
Reselling books, vinyls, cassettes, sheet music and more
Okay, this doesn’t qualify as making something. But there are a lot of people out there who are into vinyls and of course print books. Does anyone still buy or collect cassette tapes? Who knows. Get thee on Etsy and find out. (Fun fact: my high school chorus teacher used to give us cassette tapes with our piano accompaniments on them.)
Scarves, Sweaters, and Hats
If you enjoy knitting or crocheting, this is a charming way to make money. Not only do these things make you feel warm and cozy, but something about a crocheted scarf makes me feel like it was made with love.
This is a big one. I follow so many creative jewelry makers on Instagram. Whether someone is making beaded bracelets or wire wrapping crystals, I’m always impressed by the fun, quirky, and awesome things people can come up with.
From art prints, to sculptures, to unique found art pieces, selling your art online or in person is a good idea for any artist who wants to get their work out there. You can sell your designs on merch through sites such as Redbubble. Or you can sell hand-made items.
Blogs, Web Shows, and Apps
Ah, good old technology. I think we’re still at a point where it’s difficult to define the monetary value of a blog or YouTube channel. Even though it’s not a tangible product that consumers can own, I still see it as being a thing that’s being created and offered to the world. An app feels more tangible since it can actually be purchased or downloaded. If you have a knack for technology and creativity, what are you waiting for? Get off my blog and get back to your own 😉 (Kidding, you’re more than welcome here).
Crystals, Candles, and Herbs
Another good reselling business, this could be a lovely option for someone who’s into contemporary witchcraft, meditation, or spirituality. This is an especially good option for someone who has knowledge of spells or crystal healing, because people may look to you for knowledge and guidance.
Garden Fresh Vegetables
If you enjoy growing your own vegetables in your backyard, you may consider selling them on occasion. You could also sell recipe books or how-to guides for anyone interested in starting their own garden. This can be a good way to share your passion with others.
Patches, Pins, or Stickers
I’ve seen people sell some pretty cool embroidery designs or pins made with different fabrics. This seems especially effective if your work has social messages, like things supporting feminism, Black Lives Matters, or the LGBTQ+ community. People like wearing things that help share their message, tell their stories, or simply to express themselves.
Coins, Trading Cards, and Other Collectibles
I imagine there’s a pretty interesting community around coin collecting, and anything else people enjoy trading. Get involved in buying and selling something neat. Who knows, you may learn something new, make new friends, and discover something that may be worth something someday.
Duct Tape Wallets
If you know a unique yet functional way to make an everyday item, other people might find it cool, too. You may enjoy selling them or even giving them as gifts.
Well, there you go. Fifteen product-based businesses for my creative darlings out there. Even if these businesses don’t make a ton of money, they’re worth starting if you want to. You can sell things in person, at events, or on sites like Etsy, Big Cartel, or your own website. It teaches you a lot, and more importantly, it allows you to share your gifts with the world.