Best Home Based Businesses for Women

Mary Gormandy White
Woman in home office

According to a Pew Research study, "women are much more likely than men to experience a variety of family-related career interruptions," leading to a need for flexible careers. This may explain why the idea of starting a home-based business appeals to many women. Fortunately, there are a variety of excellent options to consider.

How-To Video Entrepreneur

Woman's Day recommends filming and posting how-to videos as one of its top home-based business opportunities for women. Assuming you already have a device with a video camera (smartphone, digital camera, webcam, etc.), it doesn't cost anything to get started. Just sign up for YouTube and create your own instructional videos to upload to the site, being sure to sign up for the YouTube partner program that will allow you to make money from your uploaded content.

Women have certainly found success doing this. The top-earning YouTube profile of 2014 was "DC Toys Collector," raking in a whopping $4.9 million that year and continuing to average 380 million views each month. While the exact person (or group) behind the profile is unknown, the videos all show a woman opening and assembling Disney toys.

Home-Based Beauty Consultant

Woman's Day also recommends direct sales opportunities with direct sales beauty product companies like Mary Kay and Avon. Since these types of customers primarily sell products for women (though they do also have lines for men), they are a natural fit for women who want to work from home, particularly those who love beauty products. They require only a minimal investment to begin and offer generous commission on product sales.

Woman's Day indicates these opportunities are great for women "with an entrepreneurial spirit, loads of energy and a love of meeting new people." According to BusinessFromHome.com, Mary Kay reported in 2015 that nearly half (47%) of new independent consultants joining that year were young women between 18 and 34 who are "looking for flexibility and not a 9 to 5, one-size-fits-all position."

Mary Kay sales directors reportedly bring in between $67,200 and $176,00 per year and top Avon earners also bring in six figure incomes. Indeed.com indicates that average annual earnings for Mary Kay and Avon beauty consultants are around $30,000 (based on figures reported to the site by users), though some people do report not finding the business profitable.

eBay Entrepreneur

TheBalance.com recommends working as an eBay entrepreneur as one of the best "low-cost, work-at-home business opportunities for women." It is easy to get set up as an eBay seller and there are opportunities to make money selling just about anything via the site. Whether you purchase wholesale or closeout merchandise to offer for sale or you scour estate and garage sales for used treasures, selling via the online auction giant can be lucrative and suitable for women seeking flexibility and earning potential.

TheBalance.com indicates that women who purse this route can "easily make a $1,000 - $2,000 a month" working 20 to 30 hours weekly. The most successful women on eBay are making significantly more. For example, Linda Lightman and Beth Marbach have made millions of dollars selling high end fashion items via the site. Their extremely high earning results may not be typical, but plenty of women earn a good living this way.

Online Tutor

Online Tutoring

As more than 75% of teachers are women, it's not surprising that the Work at Home Woman and Woman's Day recommend online tutoring as a good home-based business option for women. Online tutoring has become a booming industry, with demand only likely to increase. According to TheJournal.com, the industry "is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6.15 percent between 2016 and 2020" in the United States.

While online tutoring is a good option for teachers looking for supplemental income and former teachers seeking to build a home-based business, this business opportunity isn't limited to people who have professional teaching credentials or experience. Anyone who has specific expertise in a subject can work as a tutor. If you have spent time helping your own children or siblings study or have developed a high level of expertise in a particular field, you can leverage those skills to establish yourself as a sought-after professional tutor.

The average annual earnings for online tutors are around $30,000, with hourly rates of approximately $20. Private tutors typically charge between $10 and $75 per hour, depending on their experience and qualifications. Tutoring agency fees typically start at $25 per hour, with a portion of that going to self-employed or employee tutors who provide services to their clients.

Home-Based Catering Business

Martha Stewart, one of the world's most successful female entrepreneurs, got her start operating a small catering company from her home long before work-at-home business opportunities were a big thing. Why not follow in her footsteps? While not all women love to cook (or are good at it), plenty of women excel in the food and beverage industry. That's one reason AdvisoryHQ recommends home-based catering as one of the best "small business ideas for women entrepreneurs." If you enjoy cooking, you just might be able to turn your abilities into a successful home-based catering business.

PowerHomeBiz.com describes catering as "one of the most lucrative and profitable home businesses with a high potential for expansion and growth." The food cost for catering services generally runs between 22 and 28% of the price charged, so this type of business has a healthy profit margin, particularly if you provide most or all of the labor yourself.

As commercial food production in the home is heavily regulated, be sure to thoroughly investigate all requirements for licenses and permits, as well as local health codes, before you decide to move forward with this business idea.

Freelance Writing

Entrepreneur.com recommends content writing as one of its "freelancing jobs that are best suited for women" and AdvisoryHQ recommends the career option as a good idea for female entrepreneurs who are creative. This plays out in the statistics of who works as a freelance writer - more than 70 percent of those who work as freelance writers are women.

The median pay for freelance writers ends up being around $24 per hour, though compensation varies widely. FreelanceWriting.com asserts, "if you are an educated writer in your field, you should be able to realize anywhere from $30-$75 per hour."

Most freelance work is structured to pay by the article, page, blog post or word. According to ClearVoice, "most intermediate to advanced freelance writers charge between 10 cents and $1 per word." FreelanceWriting.com indicates that single-page online news articles generally pay between $15 and $50, while compensation for magazine articles can range between $600 and $2,000.

Legal Nurse Consultant

Nurse Consultant

Over 90% of registered nurses in the United States are women. While many nurses work in hospitals and doctor's offices, working as a legal nurse consultant is a good home-based entrepreneurial opportunity for nurses according to Nurse Theory.

The site indicates that most legal nurse consultants are self-employed and work from home, offering medical expertise to law firms, courts and healthcare organizations to "provide a more comprehensive understanding" relevant to medical cases. Their participation can help "reduce inaccurate court decisions based on a lack of knowledge and/or evidence."

Legal nurse consultants typically charge between $65-$200 per hour for their services, with fees varying depending on the service being provided. For example, fees for expert witness services are generally higher than other tasks, ranging from $150 to $200 hourly. Once you have gained 5,000 hours of experience working as a legal nurse consultant, you can sit for the exam to earn your Legal Nurse Consultant Certified (LNCC®) credential. This status could lead to higher fees and higher profile clients and cases.

Additional Work From Home Businesses

Of course, these are just a few of the many business ideas to consider if you are a woman who is thinking about starting a business from your home. There are plenty of additional business opportunities that could be a good fit for you. The key to success is to find something that is a good fit for your skills, work preferences and personality that you can also market effectively.

Best Home Based Businesses for Women