Top 10 Home-Based Business Ideas and Opportunities for 2017


With 2017 just landed a few days ago, most of you are probably looking forward to starting a new career or business opportunity. Whether 2016 was a disappointment or a fresh revelation, you will have another 365 days to build on the successful venture you started or another entrepreneurial journey to begin.

There are many great home-based business ideas and opportunities for 2017 that you can consider. How do you know what home based idea to work on or business to start in 2017?


Find out which businesses or industries are showing potential for growth. I would not recommend putting too much emphasis on established industries. Look for a niche that is still in its fledgling stages but has a nice, stable upside for growth.

What’s Your Passion?

Some people say passion is overrated; that you do not have to be passionate about your business idea to succeed. I disagree with that.

In my opinion, passion drives business to succeed because it fuels drive, determination, and commitment. As Confucius said, “Find something you love to do and never work a day in your life.”

Trust Your Intuition

Numbers and research alone are not enough to determine the viability of business. What does your gut tell you?

The “gut” is often referred to as your instinct. A good number of entrepreneurs and businesspeople have relied on their intuition to make a good judgment call on a business opportunity. These include Roy Disney, Sir Richard Branson, Elon Musk and Howard Schultz.

The strategy follows numbers but sometimes you just have to trust your intuition.

When you have decided on the home-based business ideas and opportunities for 2017, bear in mind these five valuable tips before commencing activity:

  • Register Your Business – If you want your business to be well-received, noticed and respected, register it as a legal entity. You can negotiate better terms if you are authorized to enter into trade agreements.
  • Invest in a Website – In a mobile-dependent economy where consumers search information online, you cannot hope to succeed without a website. Your website must be mobile responsive, accessible, fast and fully functional.
  • Conduct Online Marketing – Industries have become highly competitive. Set aside a budget for online marketing activities.
  • Moderate Expectations – It is not realistic to expect great success at the get-go. There is a Learning Curve to respect and challenges to overcome before the business starts to gain traction.
  • Get Help – You cannot hope to do everything yourself. And even if you could, you shouldn’t. Get help by hiring people to run parts of your business. This will free up your time to focus on the business’ core functions.

The top 10 home-based business ideas and opportunities for 2017 listed below are based on studies and research I have done throughout 2016. There are notable absences which were excluded with good reason:

  • Cell Phone Loading Business – Margins remain small at 7% per load. There have also been complaints about the delivery of the load which the proprietor has no control over. Then there’s the inconvenience. You’re eating lunch then it comes, “Pa-load po!”
  • Food Delivery Service – Saturated market; not many interesting new concepts. However, the segment listed in this article is growing and developing a good-sized niche.
  • Photography – There are too many photographers competing for the same job. Investment in equipment is very high. I know people who sold their equipment at a loss.

The business ideas listed here, in my opinion, offer more potential for you to grow a career with.

1. E-Commerce

An Internet-based business is the closest thing to having guaranteed success in 2017. The only reason why you can’t guarantee success is that an idea is only as good as its execution.

But make no mistake about it e-Commerce will be; to quote US President-elect Donald Trump, YUGE! This is why it is number 1 on my list of top 10 home-based business ideas and opportunities for 2017…and beyond!

In 2016, global e-Commerce sales are on track to generate US$22 Trillion. Although market analysts expect growth of annual sales to decline gradually, they estimate e-Commerce to hit US$27 Trillion in global sales by 2020.

Asia Pacific remains the largest market for e-Commerce accounting for US$1.1 Trillion of global sales in 2016. The top 3 e-Commerce markets in Asia Pacific are China, Japan, and India. China accounts for 74% of all sales in the Asia Pacific market.

What are the top 5 online retail items?

  • Consumer Electronics – 69%
  • Books – 67%
  • Fashion Apparel – 63%
  • Household Goods – 38%
  • Office Supplies – 30%

With an e-Commerce business, you are not limited to retail items. You can be a proprietor of any product or service that can be conducted online. Here are other prospective ideas for an e-Commerce business:

  • Graphics Design
  • Blogging/ Writing Services
  • Virtual Assistance
  • Software App Development
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Business Consultation
  • Back Office Services

If you plan to go into online retail, the challenge will be to find credible suppliers or wholesalers that can give you competitive pricing and reasonable payment terms.

Go to the manufacturer and ask for a list of accredited wholesalers. If you pitch a sound business plan and ask nicely, the manufacturer may even give you an endorsement.

2. Real Estate Agent

Real estate is an investment that pays out over time. Demand for real estate property remains consistently high in the Philippines. This is why even if the property does not look viable today it may do so in the future because of gentrification.

Local governments invest in gentrification activities to increase the market value of its real estate. You may have noticed this around your neighborhood. You can see the local government fixing roads, putting up street lights or allowing more permits to open up businesses along the main streets.

Real estate remains a valuable asset because it represents ownership of land from a country. You can buy property in an area with low real estate value and given time; it could appreciate and payout dividends multiple times over what you paid for it.

As a real estate agent, you can represent the seller and become a Listing Agent. Or you can represent the buyer and be a Buyer’s Agent. You could also look for people who prefer to invest than live on the property. Another option is to become a Property Manager for condominiums and commercial spaces.

Agents are paid commissions that are calculated on the final sale price of the property. The amount of your commission can range from 2.5% to 3% depending on the location of the property.

If you want to become a real estate agent, the first thing you should do is to sign up for a 120-hour course on the real estate market from an accredited real estate training center. Once you’ve completed the course, you can take the licensing test from the PRC or Professional Regulation Commission.

As a real estate agent, you have to build your leads list constantly. Networking is a very important activity. Attend open houses, auctions and listings as often as you can. Introduce yourself to developers or real estate and connect with reputable real estate investors.

3. Personal Trainer

For sure you’ve noticed the increase in fitness-themed shows on TV. This is because people want to get fit but don’t have the time to go to the gym. Traffic will always remain a problem in the Philippines. On a weekday, it may take you 1 to 2 hours to get from your home or office to the gym.

These TV shows are great, but nothing beats personalized instruction. More people are hiring Personal Trainers today so they can stay on track with their fitness goals. There are many disciplines that you can offer as a Personal Trainer. These include the following:

  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Bodyweight Exercises
  • Boxing/ MMA
  • Running
  • Weight Training
  • Cross Fit

You can set up a small, private gym in your house or offer personalized instruction at the gym where the client is a member. Of the latter, take note that most gyms do not allow third party personal instruction. Make sure your client gets clearance from the gym. Another option is to pay home visits for personal training.

If you want to be a Personal Trainer, you should get licensed or certified by a reputable organization such as:

As a certified Personal Trainer, you could charge 300 Pesos to 1,000 Pesos per hour per client. If you have credentials as a champion in a related sport such as Bodybuilding, Power Lifting, Weight Lifting or Cross Fit, you can charge even higher.

4. Pet Care Service Provider

No doubt you’ve also noticed the increase in the number of pet care proprietors in malls and around the city. There is a big market for pets because there are people who consider them as part of the family.

You can offer the following services in pet care:

  • Grooming
  • Veterinary Services
  • Walking
  • Pet Sitting
  • Pet Supplies Distributor

While you’re at it and if you or someone you know has the requisite training and expertise, why not offer Pet Psychiatry services? This is what famed “Dog Whisperer” Cesar Milan and cat psychologist Jackson Galaxy of “My Cat from Hell” does, and it pays out well.

Make sure you have licensed or certified people working for you and who share the same love and passion for animals. Dog walking is a service that requires certification.

You can offer these services at your home or have mobile services available.

5. Healthy Food Delivery Service

In the past, I listed “Food Delivery” as one of the home-based business ideas and opportunities for the coming year. While it still is a viable business opportunity, I think the time is right for the market to accept a more specialized type of food delivery service.

It’s more than just an opinion but a social commentary that the food offered by retail food proprietors remains unhealthy.

You simply cannot find a place to eat healthy food in malls or anywhere around the city. Even the salads are not healthy; these are laden with mayonnaise based dressings. The options are very limited.

Thankfully some entrepreneurs have recognized the growing demand for health food and have set up delivery services.

A home based health food delivery service is a smart idea because you can keep the prices down while maintaining good margins. Healthy food is more expensive because the ingredients do not undergo food processing. These are not exposed to chemicals, pesticides, and hormones which decrease shelf life.

Food is processed to extend its shelf life, lower cost and improve taste. But food processing involves the use of refined sugars, excess sodium, high fructose corn syrup and other artificial ingredients which have been linked to cancer, diabetes, mental illness, cardiovascular diseases and high blood pressure.

With a healthy food delivery concept, you should always buy fresh ingredients. It would be a better idea only to accept advance orders to give you time to shop and prepare so that you won’t compromise quality, delivery time.

Health food is a growing segment in food delivery. And contrary to popular belief, it tastes really good! You can have baked chicken fillets with vegetables and brown or turmeric rice for 180 to 220 Pesos. Compare that to the burger, fries and drink they sell at a fast food restaurant at nearly the same price.

6. Tutorial Services

There are many tutorial services providers in the Philippines. But there is always room for one more!

My observation is these tutorial centers are focused more on establishing the basics or fundamentals in each discipline rather than helping the student understand his or her current lesson.

Developing basics are good; it encourages good habits. But doing the same drills in Math will not contribute much to a student who needs help in solving Word Problems.

These types of tutorial centers are better suited for pre-school children but are next to useless for students who are deep into formal education. And they are not exactly affordable either!

There are very few tutorial centers that help students manage homework or prepare for tests. And if there are, the coverage is limited to only Math and English. Why not include Science, AP, Pilipino, Economics and Social Studies?

If you decide to set up home based Tutorial Services, you should offer instruction for current lessons. Hire teachers who can provide instruction up to Grade 12 initially.

On average, a person can maintain focus for only 90 minutes. You can schedule 1-hour classes per student or groups per subject. It would be a good idea to set up a few glass enclosed, soundproof booths in your home. Include an intercom with a headset, so parents can listen to their children perform.

7. General Cleaning Services

For sure you’ve noticed gas prices are heading toward 50 Pesos per liter. Petroleum is a main factor of production which means you should expect prices of commodities to rise over the next few months.

The Peso is also rapidly depreciating at nearly 50 Pesos to a US Dollar. As a net importer, the deterioration of the Peso will exert more upward pressure on the prices of commodities.

Thus, more households will remain dual income. Both parents have to continue holding down jobs to pay the bills. They may not have enough resources to pay for household help and time to do the cleaning.

General Cleaning Services is a great business opportunity to earn income and to give dual income families an option to keep their homes clean.

You will need to buy cleaning supplies, equipment and solvents. If you include carpet cleaning, you will have to get a steam cleaner. To bring down costs, you should enter into a supply contract with a reputable supplier of cleaning products.

Give discounts to homes that sign up your services every week. Carpet cleaning can be done every 3 to 6 months. The usual charge averages 25 to 35 Pesos per square meter.

8. Car Repair and Maintenance

It seems the new administration in charge of Metro Manila traffic is leaning toward retaining the number coding scheme. Not only has the number coding scheme been proven to be ineffective in reducing traffic but it is one of the reasons why there are more cars every year.

It’s all about supply and demand. When you curtail the use of a car, it will necessitate buying a new one to ensure the conduct of daily activities remains unhampered. This is why the car is no longer a luxury but a necessity.

It is estimated that by 2020, the number of cars traversing Metro Manila will be 500,000.

As demand goes up, so will car prices. Given the increase in the price of petroleum and the deterioration of the Peso, cars will become more expensive every year. But people will still have to buy them because, in the absence of a comprehensive public transportation program, cars will remain a necessity.

People would rather maintain their cars and have them repaired rather than buy a new one. If you have the skills, the equipment, and the best mechanics, you will easily find customers for your car repair and maintenance services.

9. Computer Repair and Maintenance

Another important item that will be subject to inflationary forces is the computer. Even though mobile gadgets have overtaken the PC as the primary source of online traffic, the desktop still offers great value for life and work.

But it is expensive to keep replacing computers every year. The advantage of the desktop over laptops, notebooks and tablets are you can just upgrade the motherboard, increase the memory and improve other hardware to make it good as new.

Computer Repair and Maintenance will remain a valuable and in-demand service in 2017. You can repair computers at home or conduct in-house repairs for an extra charge.

If you have the experience and the necessary skills, include mobile gadgets in your suite of services.

10. Air Conditioning Repair and Maintenance

Forget what US President-elect Donald J. Trump thinks about global warming. We have been experiencing extreme and unpredictable changes in the weather the last ten years.

While working on this article a few nights ago, the temperature became inexplicably warm. The electric fan was no longer sufficient and in fact, was circulating warm air. I had to open the air-conditioner.

I normally do not open the air-con unless the temperature was unbearable which it was that night. The barometer in the kitchen read 37 degrees! This was at night!

Haven’t you noticed that in the middle of November, the weather continues to remain unusually warm? I believe our summer months will just get warmer and more humid.

Similar to the automobile, the air-conditioner will be declared a “necessity.” Buying a new air-con can be expensive especially if you opt for an Inverter. It would be better to have the unit repaired and serviced every few months.

As a proprietor of air-con repair and maintenance services, you will need good technicians and updated equipment. Make sure your technicians are familiar with different brands and types of air-conditioners.

A home visit for cleaning costs between 500 to 800 Pesos per unit. Repair services could average 1,500 to 3,000 per unit depending on the type of air-con and the extent of the repair. In addition to repair and maintenance, you should offer installation services.

Start Your Home-Based Business in 2017

I’m sure you can think of other ideas or businesses to start in 2017. Whatever it is, take the time to run studies and design a development plan for it. Always keep in mind that money should never be your barometer for success. It is cliché, but it’s worth noting that success does not happen overnight.

Just like a good stew, the best things in life always take time. As long as you remain committed and dedicated to your business idea, you should have a successful year in 2017.

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