The 10 Best Home Businesses for the New Decade

Paul and Sarah Edwards share their list of the 10 best home businesses for the new decade. Free yourself from the 9-to-5 job cycle by looking into the best projected industries for home businesses.


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    Self-employed desktop publisher Aysha Griffin produces marketing materials for clients.
    ERIC BAKKE
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    Nebraska microfarmers Robyn and Robert Rohlfing specialize in organic herbs.
    CHERYL RICHTER
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    The owner of the Logan Hill Lodge bed and breakfast in Kentucky also raises Jacob sheep and shelters injured animals of all kinds, including this orphaned deer.
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    Mary Ann Halpin photographs expectant mothers.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
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    Anne Goodwin is a graphic designer working from her home outside Durango, Colorado. She designs company reports and websites while storing graphic design to professionals.
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    Rick Hunter of Discover Solar, LLC.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
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    The knowledge and skills you need to run a photography business.
    ERNEST HORI

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How can you be your own employer, create work-from-home jobs and not spend a fortune doing it? Try this list of the 10 best home businesses for the upcoming decade. 

We wanted to be able to answer these questions with confidence, so we set out to identify what we consider to be the best home-based businesses, given the realities of the new decade. Before we introduce you to the businesses, a little introduction to our picking and choosing techniques is in order.

First, we drew on our own experience. We have been working from home ourselves since 1974, and ever since we began writing our book Working from Home in 1980, we have been tracking which businesses people have been running successfully from home.

To screen our selections, we also went to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in Washington, D.C., where we examined the job projections this government office develops and interviewed the experts who synthesize the information that forms the basis for the bureau's projections. Although these projections focus on outside jobs, we find that their work is relevant to home businesses as well. For example, growth in certain job categories may signal other business opportunities, and sometimes the shrinkage of jobs in a category is compensated for by the emergence of small businesses that can be operated from home.



Once we identified businesses that seemed to have a good future, we had to address the issue of what qualifies a business as the best. Income potential was certainly one criterion. We also considered other factors like lifestyle considerations, since today people want more than money from their work.

The Ten Best Home Businesses

Bed and Breakfast Inn Owners

In the past when homeowners had more house than they needed, they took in boarders. Today's version of this is the bed-and-breakfast (B&B) inn, which offers travelers the comfort of a home environment often at a cost less than what a hotel would charge for a comparable room. The idea of bed-and-breakfast inns developed in the 1980s. Although they represent less than 1% of the hotel industry, they are a well-established lodging choice, with some B&B inns even rated by auto clubs. From only 400 bed-and-breakfast inns in the United States in 1975, today there are more than 20,000, half of which are in private homes.





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