6 Home Business Ideas for a Self Isolating Future 2

While we’re not out of the woods in regards to the coronavirus, it seems that the situation is improving. Several countries which had been badly affected by the virus have begun to ease restrictions slightly, allowing some people to leave their homes for brief periods, and considering how to ease others back into work.

Evidence suggests, however, that there is likely to be some form of social distancing in place until a vaccine is produced, which could be months or even years away. As a result, it’s inevitable that our social and business landscapes will change. Canny entrepreneurs will already be planning for this eventuality - and considering these home business ideas for a self-isolating future.

Arts & crafts

The businesses least affected by continued social distancing will be the ones that are primarily conducted from home - small operations with minimal overheads that can react to changing circumstances. Of these, one of the most common and most successful areas is arts & crafts. Whether you’re selling on Etsy or eBay, there are thousands of different avenues for you to explore, and turn your passion into a thriving business.

Related article: Best business apps for remote working during Coronavirus

Finding a niche is as simple as browsing online and seeing what’s on offer. While you will know what you’re best at, there may be opportunities you can exploit, whether that’s something pop culture related or simply a unique spin on an established product. Starting up is as easy as obtaining the equipment (sewing machine, work surface etc) and securing the materials, although costs will be higher at first as you won’t be buying in bulk.

With everyone cooped up indoors, there will be a heightened demand for ornaments and other items to decorate the home, and more people looking to buy them online. Many courier services also offer home collection, allowing you to ship from door to door. With small items, a creative spirit and a low barrier to entry - beyond your own crafting skills - this is a great first business for budding entrepreneurs.

Teaching & training

Before the pandemic, training and coaching were hugely popular for businesses looking to give their employees an edge. With the lockdown in effect, many providers of classroom training courses have developed online offerings - helping people with nothing to do to learn new skills, and prepare themselves for a return to work.

Related article: How to start an online education business

If you have a skill - whether that’s from a recognised qualification or years in an industry or craft - you likely have the aptitude to teach it. Becoming a recognised trainer may require a little learning yourself, and the QA Education & Training course is a good place to start. Beyond this, however, there are a multitude of ways to approach sharing your expertise with other people.

You may decide to teach a formal qualification that you have, in which case you will have to adhere to strict criteria, and potentially be vetted by the organisation in question. However, you could also offer a more general form of training, such as life coaching or music lessons. With a wealth of online video apps to choose from, the only barriers are your enthusiasm and ability.

Online quizzes

With everyone inside and often away from friends and family, there’s been huge demand for apps and services that allow everyone to come together and enjoy the same event. Quizzing is a great option for this, and has already proven successful across multiple livestreaming platforms, including YouTube, Facebook and Twitch.

Related article: How to choose a website builder for your new business

The real trick is coming up with questions that are hard to Google and applying strict time limits, as you can’t be there to watch everyone. One idea may be to do an image round where the image has been modified slightly, so that people can’t simply reverse image search it - a function of most modern browsers that allows you to find pages an image was used on.

Music rounds are also a great choice, particularly for short clips such as sound effects, which won’t be easily ‘Shazam’d’ and will generally escape copyright issues. Many online quizzes operating now are low-fi affairs, so if you can make your presentation look professional and avoid major technical issues, there’s a chance to quickly distinguish yourself.

Writing & publishing

If you’re anything like us, you’ve already escaped into a few different worlds during your time in lockdown. For those of us lucky to have a garden - or somewhere else to enjoy the recent sunshine - reading is one of the few pleasures that hasn’t been diminished by current circumstances.

Happily, it’s also something you can buy and sell digitally, and which has no fundamental barrier to entry. This makes it a viable business idea from all sorts of angles: you could write by yourself, with a partner or collective, or even help other people to get their ideas off the ground. If you have an idea for a world or story, it’s likely that you can turn it into something people want to read, even if it takes a few drafts and some external input to get it right.

Related article: How to set up a VAT number in a foreign country for ecommerce entrepreneurs

We won’t all have been feeling creative enough to write something during lockdown, and there’s nothing wrong with feeling unproductive at such an unprecedented time. As life returns to some semblance of normality, however, writing and publishing will remain a thriving and viable industry. Now more than ever, reading fills a valuable role in people’s lives, helping to take our minds off things - and giving our eyes a break from an army of screens.

Software development

Many of us take the apps and games we enjoy every day for granted, and can hardly fathom the techno wizardry that went into making them. Becoming a software or game developer isn’t as hard as you might think however, and the rewards can be substantial. In a time of lockdown, this is work that’s both creatively fulfilling and possible to conduct entirely online.

Related article: How To Start An Indie Video Game Company

There are numerous tutorials available online to get you started, ranging from free resources on YouTube to premium courses in coding languages and software. While you can start a studio and employ people to fulfil certain roles - coders, artists etcetera - it’s also possible to develop a game or piece of software entirely by yourself.

This can be a time-consuming process, as one Eric Barone (a.k.a. ‘ConcernedApe’) would testify: the developer of Stardew Valley spent four years on his game, working on a computer balanced on cardboard boxes. Yet his passion project was a smash hit, selling more than 10 million copies and netting him over 30 million dollars. His story isn’t uncommon, and while it requires luck and dedicating, there’s nothing stopping you from following in his footsteps.

Videos and podcasts

We’ve not been shy about our love of podcasts, as this article on starting a podcast business demonstrates. While the market has become more crowded over the past few years, podcast consumption has also risen dramatically. And if you have a computer, a half-decent mic and some willing participants, you have the tools to build something successful.

Related article: How to start a podcasting business

Recording videos requires a bit more investment - all of the best software is paid for, and you will need some equipment, even if you plan on using your phone camera. But whether you’re pre-recording content for YouTube or streaming on Twitch, remember that content is king. If you’re an engaging presence on the camera and the mic, you can overcome almost any technical mishap.

While building a following can be a slow process, it has the potential to forge a thriving business. As well as the ad revenue available from videos and podcasts, you can also receive regular income from Twitch or Patreon, where people will often pay $5-10 a month for additional content. With as few as a thousand subscribers - and the subsequent revenue, donations and merchandise - you can earn enough to sustain a small business, and spawn a small media empire.

For over a decade, we’ve helped businesses open up and expand to more than 30 countries worldwide. If you need more information on company and branch formationregistering a business addressopening a bank accounttax advice or help in finding a chartered accountant, please click on the links, and either call us directly on 0033 (0)1 53 57 49 10 or email us from our contact page.  We also offer free in-depth guides to starting a business in France and starting a business in Ireland which you can download below.

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