7 At Home Business Ideas To Start For Under $500

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The Top 7 At Home Business Ideas You Can Start Today For Under $500

This article explores 7 of the very best at home business ideas that you can start today for less than $500 in total.

This list of businesses can all be started without formal certifications or licences; however, they still may need specific knowledge and self-education; in some cases, it may take months of study.

Are you starting a business? Check out our step by step guide.

What You Will Need For Any At Home Business

To be able to operate and take the plunge with any of the below at home business ideas, you will need a few things; luckily, many of these are either free or low cost (included in the $500)

To make it easy, we have outlined these items or products below, all of which can be used for any of the listed businesses.

The required items are in addition to the standard facilities you will need for a home business, such as internet access, a computer, and a workspace.

ABN. All of these businesses will need to have applied for an ABN. If you are unsure of where to start, you can check out our guide and get an ABN for free.

Google Workspace Account. This is perhaps one of the best value digital subscriptions you can get today. A single low monthly payment of $8.40 will get you the following:

  • Professional email (xyz@yourbusiness.com).
  • 30Gb cloud storage.
  • Access to all Google services such as YouTube, Google Photos, and much more.
  • Google full office suite (cloud based).
  • Google account for Search Console, Analytics, Tag Manger.

Email Marketing Service. This is something you should set up from the very start to collect email addresses and build a list.

Luckily many excellent platforms offer free plans; take a look at our email marketing comparison guide here.

Social Media Accounts. Setting up your social media accounts is a must, and we advise you to do so before launching your business.

Project management tool. Having an at-home business can make it more challenging to stay organised and efficient; we recommend using a tool such as Monday.com to keep you on track.

Luckily Monday.com has a great free plan you can use to get started.

Benefits Of A Home Business

If you are exploring any at home business ideas, it is always good to weigh the benefits and drawbacks; below, we expand on some of the main benefits.

  • Reduced travel time and cost.
  • Flexibility with family commitments.
  • Lower running costs as you will not need to rent a premises.
  • No corporate attire needed (unless you have a Zoom meeting).
  • Ease of access to home bought food and nutrition.

Related: The Top 5 Australian Sole Trader Benefits You Need To Know About

The 7 At Home Business Ideas

The list below will share some business ideas with our previous list of Top 10 Small Business Ideas For 100k Plus.

1. Social Media Manager

Social Media Manager Small business

As in our previous list, the first up when it comes to at home business ideas is a social media manager. This is a fantastic option for those that have a good grasp of the leading social platforms.

A social media manager is somebody who oversees the social media content of a business or organisation.

They identify which social media platforms to use, create content for these platforms, respond to any comments or messages that followers send, and measure the success of this content.

Getting set up is very easy; besides the tools, we listed above, there are two main products you will need, which we list below.


Business Overview
  • Cost to set up – under $200
  • Ongoing Industry-specific tool cost $156 pm
  • Qualification needed – No
  • Earning Potential – 100-110k

Social Media Manager Tools

Below are the two primary tools you will need in addition to the above tools required for any at home business.

2. Online Teacher

Online teaching as a business

The second up on the list of at home business ideas is also one we have talked about before, an online teacher.

An online teacher is a person who teaches people through the internet in a virtual setting. You can freelance as a teacher or tutor or even create a course using a platform like Thinkific.

Online teachers provide students with information about specific subjects in an interactive way by demonstrating how to solve problems, answering questions, and giving feedback.

Regarding what you will be teaching, this could be absolutely anything from traditional academia to industry-specific skills.


Business Overview
  • Earning potential – No limit
  • Cost to set up – $200
  • Ongoing Industry-specific tool cost $60 pm
  • Qualification needed – Depends on the subject matter

Online Teacher Tools

Apart from the primary tools at the top of the article, you will not need any specific tools unless you decide to create a course.

3. Web Designer

Home based website design setup

Next on the list of at home business ideas is a web designer. This in-demand business is perfect for creatives and those that are tech-savvy.

Web designers are the people who design and sometimes build websites and online apps.

They design everything from the basic layout to graphics and animations. Web design is one of the most popular careers available for artists and creatives.


Business Overview
  • Earning potential – 100-150k
  • Cost to set up – $500
  • Ongoing Industry-specific tool cost – Depends on your area of focus
  • Qualification needed – No, however an idepth understanding of design and web development is needed.

Web Design Tools

The tools required will depend on your area of design and whether you plan to also develop the websites or apps.

There are a couple of must-have design tools that you can utilise regardless of your focal area.

4. Virtual Assistant

Virtual Assistant at desk

Number four on our list of at home business ideas costs next to nothing to start, becoming a virtual assistant.

Becoming a virtual assistant takes little to get started and set up. You will need to be organised and have experience with administrative tasks in addition to either Mircosoft Office or Google Cloud services.

As a VA, you can perform a wide range of roles, from data entry to client prospecting, so no matter your background or skillset, you should always be able to find work in this field.


Business Overview
  • Earning potential – 40-50k
  • Cost to set up – $100
  • Ongoing Industry-specific tool cost – Depends on your assigned tasks
  • Qualification needed – No

Virtual Assistant Tools

There will be no industry-specific tools required, although you may be asked to utilise a specific platform or software depending on your tasks.

If you have set up the tool listed at the start of the article, then you should be ready to go.

5. Copy Writer

Copywriters home business desk

The next at home business idea is copywriting and also one we have highlighted in our previous list of small business ideas.

A copywriter writes or edits text that is used for marketing or to convey a company’s message. The only pre-requisite is a solid understanding of the English language and exposure to SEM.

A copywriter ensures that the message is clear and fits into the allotted space or time.

They want to get their audience excited about what they are trying to sell – whether it’s a product, service or idea.


Business Overview
  • Earning potential – 100k
  • Cost to set up – $100
  • Ongoing Industry-specific tool cost – $30 pm
  • Qualification needed – No,

Copy Writer Tools

Aside from the shared tools, the only other thing you will need to a subscription to Grammarly.

6. Sell Hand Made Cards

Hand made Craft workspace

If you have a creative flair and love to work with your hands, creating handmade greeting cards and invites may be for you.

Although this is a low-cost business to set up, you will need to sell your products on a platform like Etsy or Ebay, which may have small monthly costs, although you can get started for free.

You will also need to purchase the raw materials; however, you can do so after you have received an order to ensure you are not out of pocket.

An advantage of this business is that you can sell both digital and hard copies of your designs.


Business Overview
  • Earning potential – 100-150k
  • Cost to set up – $500
  • Ongoing Industry-specific tool cost – $130
  • Qualification needed – No

Hand Made Card Tools

The tools required will depend on your area of design and whether you plan to also develop the websites or apps.

As in some other businesses, the main tools you will need are design-based and listed below.

7. Graphic Designer

graphic designer desk layout

Next on the list of at home business ideas is a graphic designer. This is another in-demand business that is perfect for tech-savvy creatives.

Designers use their expertise to create layouts and graphics for print and digital media, so the information contained in the design is easy to read and understand while conveying the desired message.

Graphic designers can also use their knowledge of colour theory, typography, page layout and more to create visually pleasing designs.


Business Overview
  • Earning potential – 100-125k
  • Cost to set up – $500
  • Ongoing Industry-specific tool cost – $130 pm
  • Qualification needed – No, however an idepth understanding of design and the related software.

Graphic Design Tools

This business shares the same tools as a web designer; this is due to the fact the Adobe suit some with so many great platforms.

Final Words

And that wraps up our top 7 at home business ideas that you can start on today for less than $500. If you want to start a business but feel a little stuck, you may want to read our how-to guide below.

Read our How-to start a business guide.

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