WFH? WFH business in ADU.

How to build your backyard home business

4 min read
by Olesia Chikunova, ADU Specialist.

WFH has become the abbreviation we all learned in 2020. The pandemic has shone a light on the way we work, revealing what some of us may have felt for some time: We don’t always need to be in the office. In fact, for some home environment has proven to be more productive than the open space in the office. Some have taken the time to re-assess their career, and are thinking of taking on new ventures. 

That said, a lot of homes are not ready for our new routine. And it is not just about technology, and how fast your WiFi is.

Working from home is not an excuse to work in a space that isn’t ideal for work. Who wants to see kitchen clutter or a bed as a background? Even working from home, you want to leave a good first impression.  Let us talk about a home business, a backyard home business.

Dedicate some space for your business in your backyard. Now you can work from home in style –  in a well-designed space that is affordable at the same time. Custom detached ADUs give specialized spaces for any kind of work, yoga exercises, arts, gardening, master-classes, and many other activities.

In the previous post  How to Start Building Your Backyard Home Office  we’ve already covered how to organize a home office.

This time, let us expand the home office universe and consider activities and businesses that one can start in the backyard – other than a usual home office or background for Zoom conference calls, online meetings, etc. What backyard home business would you start?

For the image consultant in you

Spa and beauty salon

When it comes to owning a business, a beauty/hair or spa salon is a pretty safe bet – the beauty industry is valued at $532 billion per year. Beauty is also a steady business, often remaining unaffected during economic recessions. Same can be said of physical therapy.

An ADU is a perfect space for your beauty salon or spa home business, especially when you are already a certified beautician. Your investment is minimal, when working from home you won’t be paying rent to a landlord. You will no longer have to travel to work, you will save money on gas and vehicle maintenance. Most people drive 10-20 miles to work. Your home office is 10 steps from your front door.

Benefits of a salon in your backyard

Sometimes in a traditional salon, a client will be late (a sick kid, a flat tire, or a standard lapse in judgement) and miss the appointments, leaving you with a big open gap of nothing on your book. Instead of stewing in your treatment room for that hour, thinking about all of the things you have to do at home, you can actually do those things with that time. Mission possible?

Despite some difficulties you will face with any new business, this backyard home business option is well suited to those who enjoy working with people and helping them transform their image.

Psst… it does not have to be an ADU – you can start small, with one of our tiny studios.

Check out our modern sheds

Starting from $48,000 for 120 sf space
For your inner artist

What if your backyard home business is an artist's studio or workshop?

artist studio for backyard home business

Accessory unit is an ideal spot for drawing plenty of artistic inspiration, not to mention storing art materials. These backyard homes are great places for artists of all types. You can have a lot of input into the layout of the building so that it works for you. You can choose the position of the windows for the most stable light; all professional artists appreciate it.

And you can use kitchen or bathroom areas for cleaning up your tools. You may add more practical flooring that is easy to clean because often floors are covered in paint splatters, clay, and whatever other kinds of materials you fancy.

What creative home business can you start in the backyard?

Wood work. Painting. Drawing. Pottery. Create special mood and inspirations in your backyard home studio.

Image courtesy of https://www.ryderwear.com
Love to help people transform their bodies?

Yoga studio or gym

For obvious reasons, working out at home has become more popular than ever in recent months. But not everyone has the luxury to set up a gym or a space to practice yoga at home. If personal coaching practice sounds exciting, you can get your business started with just a yoga mat and a little bit of room in your ADU or accessory structure.

Whether your client is new to yoga or a more seasoned yogi, a fitness newbie or a gym-junkie looking for an alternative to regular classes closer to home, home-based yoga or fitness studio should be easy to set up. You’ll be pleased to know that you don’t need to break the bank to get started – and there are ways to exercise in even the smallest of spaces like a backyard shed. You do not have to go all out and build a full scale ADU. You can start with a shed, and convert it into an ADU later – just make sure you get professional advice before you start permitting and building.

Reasons to start a gym as your backyard home business

Why are we convinced that the option has a good business perspective? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 19.3 percent of the U.S. population was engaged in sports and exercise each day in 2019. Male participation was higher (20.7 percent) than the participation rate of women (18 percent). This included participation in sports, exercise and other active leisure activities. So, can you imagine the demand for personal coaching? Get ready. The best part: it’s up to you how many you want to run virtually, and how many – in person.

Your own pit stop

Car Detailing Shop

Have you ever dreamed of being Formula 1 pilot? Or creating a racing car? Or at least tuning your own old, may be even antique, car? Your backyard building might be a great place to start a car company as a backyard home business.

To get the right vibes for building a world-famous company, let’s recollect the story of Harley Davidson. In 1901, 21-year-old William S. Harley drew up plans to create a small engine to power a bicycle. Over the next two years, Harley and his childhood friend, Arthur Davidson, built their motor-bicycle out of their friend’s 10 by 15-foot wooden shed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They officially founded Harley-Davidson in 1903 and today it’s the most well-known motorcycle brand in the world.

Another entrepreneur has created the business even in a smaller space. In 1948, at the age of 20, Anthony Colin Bruce Chapman started Lotus Cars by building the first Lotus racing car in stables behind The Railway Hotel in Hornsey, North London. Today Lotus Cars is one of the premier racing car manufacturers in the world.




ADU with garage

So, it’s up to you to grow your dream  business, whether it employs automobile mechanics, who provide repairs and vehicle maintenance to consumers and businesses – or not. It is your call, if your car repair shop offers services like custom installation of stereo and alarm systems, window tinting, and aftermarket upgrades. You can event print unique details on a 3D printer.

Crazy dreams, right? And yet, we have a few ADU options that have a garage, a workshop and a guest suite – all in one.



Breeding chicken, estate management, knitting, public speech, video editing?

Give your own master class

Whatever your unique skills are, you can offer courses or masterclasses in your ADU. Take a look at your local clubs, groups and class listings, and get creative to offer something new to your area. You can attract everyone from beginners to skilled crafters who want to learn something new.

The list of master-classes is very long, choose from costume making, creative writing, crochet, drawing and painting, dressmaking, fabric dying and printing, flower arranging, knitting, machine embroidery, patchwork, quilting and pottery, painting, sewing, you name it. 

Get together a group of friends and/or neighbors and start your own workshop. Teaching a workshop is not only a great way to bring in some extra income for your family. Workshops also give you the opportunity to meet new people, gain exposure for your business, beef up your contact list, stimulate your own creativity, improve your public speaking skills … and the list of benefits goes on.

Explore your teaching skills


How has the pandemic changed the role of teachers? Despite the overwhelming consequences of 2020, this global crisis has also been an extraordinary time for learning. The pandemic has resulted in schools shut all across the world. Globally, over 1.2 billion children were out of the classroom.

Education has changed dramatically, with the distinctive rise of e-learning, whereby teaching is undertaken remotely and on digital platforms. With this sudden shift away from the classroom, many teachers taught from their homes.

Mini-school as your backyard home business

In this situation the backyard houses or ADUs came in handy and helped to conduct the lessons in a calm and quiet environment, with no other distractions. Your specially designed ADU interior will prove your professionalism and worth. How your room is arranged can have a big effect on the ability to effectively manage lessons, because a dedicated area for teaching is essential for learning.

Inner strength. Inner peace.

A Place for Therapy Sessions

The pandemic led individuals to suffer from different levels of mental health problems such as psychological distress, anxiety, depression, denial, panic, and fear.  No wonder the demand for services of therapists has greatly increased.

As mentioned, an increased anxiety at this extraordinary time was encouraging people to stay at home. For mental health practitioners, this may mean treating patients remotely. Thanks to modern communication technology therapists can work from home to keep the connection to their patients. As you understand, these sessions require special conditions and furnishings.

All you need for this backyard home business is a couch and a chair.

Do you remember Dr. Freud’s famous couch? The couch helped create an environment that was clinical yet intimate, allowing a patient to freely explore ideas that could build a picture for a psychoanalyst to work with. The one rule of psychoanalysis is that the patient should say anything that came to mind, so the environment should be relaxing. The necessary environment can be easily created in your ADU – space dedicated for work, at home but away from home.

Go Zinger

A Tailor Shop or an Atelier

Want to make money in your own fashion business? You can set it up as a backyard home business too.
You need a lot of imagination to create trendy clothes but very little space for a tailor shop.
Many worlds’ luxury and famous brands started out as a small family business. Chanel, Gucci, Benetton, many other famous brands started up in modest workshops or backyard sheds before enjoying success story, stunning marketing and an icon-of-style status worldwide.

Tailer shop in backyard home

The fashion industry offers a wide range of opportunities for startups. Let us give you some facts. The global apparel market is valued at 3 trillion dollars, and accounts for 2% of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The fashion industry includes many sub-industries, such as menswear, kidswear, womenswear, casual wear, and sportswear.

And the United States of America is the largest fashion market globally. There are tons of opportunities for creative entrepreneurs to succeed in the fashion industry. Over a hundred thousand people google for cloth alterations and about one million for a tailor every month; out of that someone must be from your area in need of a good quality tailor. You can be the one.

Who is your literary idol?

Writer’s retreat

For a lot of writers, it is vital to have a private working space or at least a place to separate your home life from the passion you want to pursue. And for this, an ADU can be a perfect option for your writer’s retreat cabin, acting as your very own home office.

A writer’s backyard home business

In fact, many successful writers have been known to use writing studios in the garden to produce their best pieces. So, if you want to create the most appropriate, comfortable, and distraction-free space to enjoy your writing, it might be time to transform your backyard – add a backyard house and turn it into a writer’s retreat cabin.

Do you need examples of writing sheds of famous writers? Take a note:  Henry Williamson, best known for his book  Tarka the Otter,  Virginia Woolf with numerous novels from Mrs Dalloway to Between the Acts,  the American naturalist and philosopher Henry David Thoreau, George Bernard Shaw, Mark Twain, the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas and Roald Dahl.

What about you joining the list? If you always wanted to write professionally, this might be the moment to start planning. Until it’s a plan, it’s a dream, right? Dream Big.

Piano? Violin? Drums?

Music Studio

It seems easier than ever before to become a composer, a musician, a singer or a DJ. But if one wants to achieve some level of virtuosity, they come to a music teacher to learn to compose music and know more about composition the way composers like Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn, Ravel, Debussy and Bach, were traditionally taught, believe it or not.

A new career born in backyard home

If you are ready for a sharp turn in your professional career, then open your mind to experiments and remember that many great things may begin in backyard homes. Think of your ADU as home music studio and make a fresh start just few steps away from your back door.

A backyard music studio can be custom tailored to meet the specific acoustical needs and requirements. If you wish, you can improve your ADU interior and add acoustical optimization. Find inspiration from musicians, producers, and industry professionals throughout the country. So, an ADU is a space of your own to pursue a passion for music.

back yard shed for art studio

Let your backyard home be a step towards a dream.

You will never know the answer, until you try.
Have we forgotten any possibilities that a backyard unit can offer you? Let us know.

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