Work from home business opportunities that don’t require a college degree

Many people would like to be their own bosses, preferring to work from home in the comfort of their living room and decide their own working hours. In this rapidly developing world with improvement in communication technologies like mobile phones reducing the need to travel for work, this is very much possible. This article discusses a few such work business opportunities for which a college degree is not required (in most countries) and one can also learn the required skills in quick time. Most of these businesses require low startup capital investment (a few hundred dollars or lower). The author would also like to caution the reader that quitting a well paying day-job is risky and hence at least in the beginning, it is better to try out these ventures after working hours of the regular day-job, till the income becomes stable. This is because one might not get the fat paycheck at the beginning of every month like in a job but with some good effort coupled with intelligent business-decision making, it is possible to come to the level of quitting a day-job.

Custom Cake Baking Service;

Like the name suggests, this business involves baking custom made cakes for birthday parties, weddings, anniversaries and other functions. There might be stiff competition from the local bakeries but you can undermine their services by offering personalized services. The local bakery might not be able to provide attention to the needs of the individual customer but working from home, you can provide ultra-personalized services like calling up the person to discuss about the flavor used, the topping which they prefer and the choice of wrappers. People also find the “fresh home-baked cakes” tags appealing and you might want to use this to your advantage. If you are living in a crowded neighborhood, it is even better because it means that there would be more birthdays, weddings and other events for ordering a cake.

Key-chain & Gift Articles Engraving;

This work involves using engraving personalized messages and text on key-chains & other gift articles made out of metal. At the very basic, the equipment required is a small hammer and a sharp tool to engrave a text such as a person’s name or initials on a metal key-chain. This would require at-least a weeks of practice. If you have knowledge of calligraphy, you can use it to provide many styles of engraving to your customers.  If you have some more money for investment, you might also want to invest in a semi-automated machine that can cut a strip of metal into shapes like a flower or a dolphin. Laser engraving machines can also be used to engrave the names faster. During Christmas and Valentine’s Day, you can expect to get a lot of orders because these are the main seasons for gifting. Investment required is minimal (a couple of hundred dollars). 

Duplicate Key Making;

A duplicate key making business requires a machine that can create duplicate keys based on the original keys. People often tend to lose keys. In some cases, they might want duplicate keys for the doors in their houses so that people in the family need not wait for the one holding the key to return before they can enter the house. Hence there is always a requirement of duplicate keys. A duplicate key machine can cost a couple of hundreds of dollars or more depending on the type of key it can make. One also needs to spend some time (a few days up to a week) learning to operate the machine. Advertise your service in Craigslist, the local newspaper and also using flyers so that other people become aware of the existence of such a business in their locality.

Customer Support & Back Office Work;

A lot of small businesses don’t have the luxury of having their own customer support centers or even dedicated staff for doing the back office work. Sitting from home, you can offer answering services and customer support to many small businesses around the world. This type of work usually involves spending some time learning about the product & services offered by the business and what type of calls to expect from their customers. You can either get paid on an hourly basis or on a contract basis. Some businesses also offer incentives based on the number of calls taken and support tickets closed. Investment required is a phone and in most cases a computer with an internet connection.

Medical Transcription;

Medical Transcription involves listening to doctor’s recording of patient diagnosis and treatment and writing them down. One usually has to have some prior experience in this industry or if one is a fresher to medical transcription, they need to take up some part time job or certificate course in a MT company. One usually gets paid based on the number of words transcribed and also based on the quality of the transcription (with lower grammar and spelling mistakes).

Mobile Phone Servicing;

The mobile phone servicing business has picked up big time because almost everyone has a cell phone these days (just like watches). However unlike watches, mobile phones are a lot more complex and also tend to get into a lot of problems (both hardware and software related). In countries like India, many non-formal institutes offer mobile phone service courses. Needless to say, one also needs to keep themselves updated on the latest models of the phones. Phone Jail-breaking (if legal in the particular country) can also be offered as an additional service.

Astrology/Numerology/Tarot Card Reading;

These are interesting types of services that can be offered from home. In countries like India, there are many number of work-from-home astrologers who make a decent living offering professional guidance and services to their clients. They rely on their brand-name to get new clients. One can either learn the art or science from other professionals by working as an apprentice for some time or take up a course offered by other professionals in this trade.


Teaching is another service business which can be offered from home. Teaching doesn’t mean just academic tutoring; it can be teaching someone to draw, paint, sing, play the guitar or even helping people learn to work with computers. It is the simplest and easiest way to make money from home, because more often than not the only investment required are your skills which you will be imparting to others.

Home based FMCG food products manufacturing;

FMCG stands for “fast moving consumer goods”. These are goods which are in constant demand by consumers, often needing a weekly or monthly replenishment. Some examples are soap, toothpaste, shaving razors etc. Tinned, packages or canned food items can be manufactured at home and sold at super markets for a good profit. This business can become a mammoth success if your end-product is well received among the customers and bigger retail stores give a more visible & larger shelf space for them.

The list of home based businesses can continue on and on. To find the one that will best work for you, use the following criteria:

  • What is the investment required and do you have that much amount of money and space at home?
  • Are their any competitors very close by and if so, will you be able to add value added services that they won’t be able to replicate easily?
  • How much time is required everyday to run the business and will you be able to dedicate that much amount of time?
  • How hard or easy is it to scale the business?
  • Is the business seasonal (like something that is in demand only during Christmas)?
  • Does it have any inventory risks?

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