No Permits Required: Starting a Home-Based Business

healthy food on the kitchen counter

Every entrepreneur wants to make it big — but the first few steps can be difficult. Start your journey by starting small, with a home-based business that you can later expand once it becomes successful.

1. Make a Few Cupcakes

Everybody loves cupcakes, but only a few have the skills (and time!) to make them. If you love to bake, you can start selling a few cupcakes to your friends, office mates, or you can even supply local gatherings. The Cottage Food Law allows bakers to sell directly to individuals, but not to businesses (restaurants, groceries, or other retailers). It doesn’t stop you from catering to a friend’s party or selling at a local meet or farmer’s market. You can even target certain niches by going vegan or making keto cupcakes — the market may be smaller, but you’ll have a more dedicated (and wealthy!) clientele. A few states may have stricter laws and require you to have exclusive baking equipment (not to be used in preparing your own food) or even a separate kitchen.

2. Quilt

Quilting is a great way to relax and get away from the daily grind. It can also earn you a few extra cash if you’re willing to part with your creations. The cost for a homemade quilt for a queen-sized bed starts at $350 and can go as high as $1,500. Start by making larger pieces and see how it goes. You can sell your quilts locally or online. You can even buy and sell Lori Holt fabrics to fellow quilters, or you can make quilting kits for people trying out the hobby.

person serving healthy food

3. Prepare Healthy Food

Americans are eating healthier, and there is a multitude of people wanting to eat healthy food, but don’t have the time. If you love cooking, you can focus on health food and provide packed meals to friends and coworkers. Meal preps are easy. Most diets require certain types of food or a limited amount of calories. You can prepare the same food twice or thrice in a row without any complaints, but you should mix them up once in a while. Most of your clients will prefer a week’s worth of meal preparations that they can pop in the freezer and just microwave when they’re ready to eat.

4. Grow Organic

Organic vegetables are always in demand. People pay premium prices to make sure their vegetables are free from pesticides and other chemicals. If you have a sizable yard, you can start growing organic vegetables. Of course, you’ll need a bit of research on how to keep your garden free from pests naturally. You can even go with a greenhouse to make your gardening easier. You can get a decent greenhouse for $300 — especially if you opt for geodesic ones. Sell your crops to a local coop or various health food stores.

5. Sell to a Niche Market

Buying in bulk and selling locally can be a very profitable source of income. Get a feel of your community and target a particular niche. Does it have a lot of bakers? Then load up on baking supplies — particularly hard to find ones like coloring gels and various kinds of molds. Is everyone getting into craft brewing? Then buy the most popular hops online and look out for the rarer ones. Find what’s missing or rare in your community and be the one to sell it. Most buyers are willing to pay a few extra dollars if they can have their item as soon as possible. You don’t have to risk everything on a business immediately. Test the waters with a few home-based ventures before fully immersing yourself in the business world.

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