best cash flow businesses to start | small scale industry ideas

The sooner you part ways with employees who aren’t the right fit, the better. Most of us, however, do the opposite. We hire quickly to fill the position when we really should be taking our time to determine if the candidate has the right nature, the right personality and whether or not their core values align with those of the company. Then we are slow to let the person go, even though we know in our gut that it isn’t working. By hiring slow and firing fast, you will find that it is more efficient and effective for you, your business and for that person.
With the advent of Fiverr, we saw a brand new way to assign and accept work: little jobs for small payouts. But it’s no party trick. Apps like Gigwalk and sites like Mechanical Turk make it possible to cobble together a living with lots of little assignment each day.
If editing and advising college students on how to write compelling 500 word essays on topics such as “You were just invited to speak at the White House. Write your speech,” seems like a compelling business idea to allocate your free time towards, trust me—tons of parents will pay you to edit admissions essays and offer constructive feedback for their children. Be careful not to blur the ethical line of actually writing their essays, but serving as an editor to help them convey their message can become a great side business idea that has the potential to spread by word-of-mouth referral in your community.
Bridal consulting/wedding planning seems like a lot of fun to get into, but it is also a lot of work, stressful at times and competitive. Nonetheless an established bridal consultant can earn very good money.
You can make good money at this business but you need great locations that provide enough volume to make it worthwhile to service provide a decent return on your investment. I have even seen some entrepreneurs try selling snacks at companies without any machine at all…totally on the honor system. Still another variant you could do is provide coffee, soft drinks or basic snack food for a company location and try to get the company to pick up the cost as a benefit for its employees.
Yes, I had a couple golf lessons–but you’d never know it to watch me play! I don’t think I had the right personality for this sport–relaxing and being patient isn’t my thing! But if you have some talent at this challenging game, you can charge some good money and bring your gift to others. Golf is an excellent lifetime sport and people are willing to pay to try to master it!
This is a sort of quality many people posses. You don’t have to be an expert writer with a lot of credentials, have academic proficiency, or to be honest, to be a particularly good writer. You need to be able to research things you aren’t fully aware of, and be able to express yourself in a certain language. There is so much content being added to the internet, billions of pages discovered every month,  and a lot of demand.
If you don’t know what Uber is, basically it is the 21st century version of the taxi.  You just use your own car and when someone near you wants a ride you get a notification on your phone (assuming you selected that you were available in the app) you go pick them up and drop them off where they want to go and then you automatically get paid.
Meal preparation services are booming and the Internet is facilitating this, making it easier to attract and service customers. The market includes the elderly as well as busy working people, who don’t always want to take the time to cook. Typically, these services offer just a few meal choices each day, but they vary the selection constantly. Especially if you can build up regular subscribers to your service, you can determine in advance exactly what your food needs will be, minimizing both food and labor waste.
Software drives businesses today. This is a fact not lost on individuals and companies attempting to earn a profit, make a name for themselves, or simply get things done. As a result, the job outlook for software developers will be much sunnier than prospects for many other occupations—creating massive opportunities for this business idea well into  the future. In fact, it won’t take you long to find a good-paying software development project as a side business idea on sites like Upwork, Guru.com, and Freelancer. LinkedIn also recently launched their brand new freelancing platform, ProFinder which has a dedicated section just for hiring talented software developers.
Like recycling, this side business idea requires the willingness to get your hands a little dirty. If you enjoy working outdoors, then you can make a pretty good side income cleaning up litter outside retail, office and industrial properties—especially for businesses that have large parking lots that need regular cleaning. Property management companies need their properties maintained litter free and you can do so with an on-foot service using inexpensive equipment like this cheap pick-up tool and a broom. Charge for your time at $35 – $50 per hour and bill your clients the same contract price each month. For even more on how to get started with a litter removal side business idea, check out Cleanlots.
The first session of this course, Session 1 Deciding on a Business contains techniques that will help you evaluate business possibilities and avoid the most common mistake made by entrepreneurs: Not picking the right business to begin with.
In 2015 the Bicycle industry pulled in over $6 billion. With so many people purchasing bicycles, they’re going to need someone to repair them when they eventually breakdown. Since this is probably a seasonal business, you could also store bicycles if you have a large enough space. For example, if you lived near a beach, people could store their bikes with you instead of them transporting them back and forth.Interestingly, since it appears that more people are deciding to purchase used bicycles, then you could consider selling used bikes either in-person or online.
People often need help planning events, from fundraisers to graduations. If you enjoy making plans and working with a variety of different clients, this is a job you can do mainly from home, though you may have to meet with clients at event locations from time to time.
Some people have no time. They may have a job that requires lots of travel or an executive position that has them working around the clock. But you can make their life easier offering personal concierge services!
This is a great list. There are work from home companies that pay well and are legit. Find forums where people are doing it. I had two different jobs that I could work as many or as few hours as I wanted from home and they paid $14+ an hour. I need to get on the freelance stuff. Thanks for sharing.
No, babysitting isn’t just for teenagers and college students. Quite on the contrary, if you call yourself an Au Pair instead, you can make some pretty good side money working nights and weekends with this business idea if you don’t mind the often odd hours.
Part of the reason is that I often want a great breakfast later in the day and yet I frequently can’t find a convenient place to go. Also, breakfast foods cost little money, allowing for higher markups. And breakfasts are easier to prepare than gourmet dinners. Also, this kind of restaurant would potentially be busy for many hours during the day.
If you’re a crafty and creative person, then you could join Etsy, launch your own eCommerce site, or roadside stand where you can sell anything from hand-printed shirts, furniture, jewelry, natural soaps, or organic food.
If you’re a fitness buff and have the right combination of charisma and business sense, working as a part-time personal trainer as a side business idea can be both physically and financially rewarding. Once you build up a reputation and client base for yourself, it could easily turn into a full-time endeavor for you. Check out these tips to a successful personal training business by the American Fitness Professionals and this interview with several fitness blog owners who are making a living online, from MonetizePros. Finally, I’d recommend checking out this resource if you want to take this business idea seriously and get started with a business plan for your personal fitness trainer business today.
Peer to peer lending:  Peer to peer lending means that instead of depositing your money in a bank, giving you small-time interest in comparison to the interest earned by the bank (which is lending it), you’ll lend it directly to either private clients or small businesses that need financing. Returns in companies like Zopa have been well over the 5% mark for the last few years. To learn more about these alternative investments click here.
With the byzantine complexity of modern medical billing practices, there is a definite need for patient advocates. These individuals take the time to track down hospital billing paperwork and potentially argue with insurance companies. Considering the fact that many of those who need to hire advocates are either ailing or grieving, this is a very necessary service.
There are a lot of items that can be purchased very inexpensively at garage sales or thrift stores and sold for higher prices elsewhere. A few years ago I discovered that I could purchase good hardcover books at my local thrift shop for $1 or less. I realized that some of them could be sold on Amazon.com for $15-$20, which turns out to be a pretty decent profit. Find and sell enough items and you have a fun home business.
Are you an extrovert that loves meeting new people? Selling insurance products—particularly life insurance—may be a great way to bring in some extra cash and build residual income in your spare time. Selling life insurance on the side could quickly generate a consistent $1,000 – $2,000 per month depending on how much time you invest in this side business idea. To get started you’ll likely want to take an online course to brush up on the subject matter, and then pass a state licensing exam. The biggest challenge you’ll face as a new agent is generating sales beyond just helping out friends and family. From there, it’s all about networking and lead generation to grow this one. Learn more about this side business idea with this getting started in life insurance guide from the team over at NoExam.
Yes, graphic design is hyper competitive. But everyone wants a little different style. So, if you get a highly appealing design in front of your prospective audience you can be successful. For this business, I would go crazy having a fabulous looking website with a totally “kickass” front page! Then I would use SEO techniques, social media, and every other marketing tool I could think of to drive traffic to it.
Are you a math whiz? Do you speak a second language? Tutoring can be a wonderful home-based business opportunity, especially for those people who have an extensive knowledge of a subject; such as a college student who is majoring in math, a school teacher, or a person who is fluent a foreign language. Companies like VIDKID and Cambly hire native English speakers to teach English to international students.
After you’ve obtained the proper licenses and permits, this is a business that you can start at your home. In areas like Silicon Valley and D.C., this is a lucrative business. If you don’t want to run a daycare out of your home, you can still start a childcare business like being a babysitter, nanny, au pair, or tutor.
The idea of starting a business like Uber or AirBnB might seem cool – until you consider that you’re simply in the business of selling cheap transportation or accommodation – and being hated by a lot of people in the process.
Like drinking beer? Why not try making it yourself as your side business idea? With enough patience and skill you might end up brewing something that others are willing to pay to drink. Pick up an easy-to-use starter kit from Mr. Beer online, invest the time it’ll take to perfect your craft, make a unique brew and start shopping it around to friends & family to see what they think of this side business idea.
Busy schedules can stress people out. It can also disrupt family life to the point that busy parents and homework-laden kids barely have time to prepare decent dinners and weekend meals. Hence, the surprising demand for part-time family chefs as a business idea. If cooking healthy and delicious meals is your thing, then this lucrative side  business idea can supplement your regular income by helping feed busy homes. Hear Gaby Dalkin’s story of going from side business idea to full-time blogger while she was a part-time personal chef right here on my podcast.
Isn’t this every girls dream? People will always be getting married, so in theory they will always need wedding planners. If you love all-things-weddings and can handle the pressure from the brides, this might be a fun one.
Becoming an Uber driver has quickly become a great way for people to get their own business off the ground. You will need to pass a background check and have valid instate driver’s license and auto insurance. The process is pretty painless and will get you rolling on your own business. Many people start as an Uber driver to pay the bills while they work on another business that they are more passionate about. Check out our post to learn more about Uber driver requirements.
The other option for online sales is to simply become the eBay middleman. Millions of vendors sell their wares on the online auction house. If you can find an inexpensive source for (legally!) saleable merchandise, you can get into business.
I am from Cape Town South Africa, unfortunately I had to give up my extremely stressful job up of 18 years due to ill health (caused by stress), but due to the current economic situation in SA, I am finding it extremely difficult finding work despite my experience and also my age is counting against me (58 years).
In most cases, people convert private residences for the purpose of providing living space and assistance to small groups (usually under 20) of people. These people share common living spaces, and there is staff or a resident manager on the premises…
Everyone wants videos for their website, and corporations and non-profits are willing to pay good money for high quality service. This is a local business because you need to be onsite with your camera.
Sure, there are national chains, but if you really focus on it, you can come up with a few sandwiches that are totally delicious! For this business, I would want a location that services office or industrial workers. That way you can get their business every single work day of the year! And forget a fancy buildout, I would focus instead on fancy sandwiches!
EatWith is a great way to test the waters as a chef for your side business idea, and if you have enough rave reviews you might be able to turn your knife skills into a full-time endeavor where you’re leveraging your network to book catering events. This side business idea is built heavily upon getting happy referrals, so be sure to over-deliver for your first customers, and ask if they know anyone else who could be in need of your catering services.
Every website owner (including myself) hires copywriters to write content for things like about pages, FAQ’s, or blog posts. Hourly wages for novice copywriters are not very high, but with some experience and a growing portfolio, you can become a freelance writer today and soon be charging more than you make at your full-time job if you find the right clients and brand yourself as an expert with this side business idea. Check out one of my most talented friends, Jory Mackay, for an example of someone who’s doing a great job of positioning himself as a premium service-provider with his freelance writing side business idea. Then when you’re ready to start cold emailing potential clients, pick up my free downloadable freelance proposal template and get started today.
We’re all guilty of spending too much time on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest sometimes, so why not get paid to put your expertise to work as a side business idea? Lots of companies, especially startups or those in retail and travel—even influencers have heavy social media presences and are constantly in need of people to help build their brands online. You can find these types of opportunities on sites like Flexjobs and CareerBuilder and most employers on these websites are conditioned to working with people who operate these services as their side business idea. Over time as you grow in your ability to leverage various social channels, you can add more service offerings like running high-return Facebook Ad campaigns or hosting lucrative sweepstakes competitions for the brands you want to work with.
Many small businesses have gaps in what their employees can take care of. Hiring a full time employee to fill in those gaps isn’t necessarily feasible, which is where your work-at-home business comes into play. Here are some work-at-home ideas that every business needs:
We don’t manufacture as much in America as we used to, but the phrase “American made” still means a lot to some people. Artisanal items are also popular, making now a great time to start a furniture-making business. This might not be the easiest idea to start from scratch, but if you already own the equipment you need, you can start producing pieces to sell at fairs and online on sites such as Etsy.
Expertise is another matter, but remember that writing can take many forms—from resumes to news articles to marketing materials and even thank-you notes. (You can even write for businesstown.com, although that gig doesn’t pay … yet.) There’s probably some form of writing you’re qualified to do. Plus, if you’re good enough with grammar and punctuation, companies will pay you to be a freelance editor. One friend made good money editing posts on a popular travel site.
Great! It was really helpful specially to those mom out there wherein they want to earn money but then they need to stay at home. That legitimate home based ideas and opportunities was really great. Thanks for sharing it and I’ll share that ideas with my friends. Thanks again.
Fancy yourself a poet? You can earn $300 for every poem you write that this greeting card company publishes—not a bad side business idea if you’ve got a way with words and aren’t afraid of rejection on poems that aren’t a good fit.
Henna is a plant that has been used for thousands of years for cosmetic purposes. If you’re an artist who is well versed in the Henna tradition, you can create designs and sell them or apply them at events.
I will tell you a secret. You can make a lot of money from a non-profit business. You can pay yourself a good salary and reasonable expenses. And you can even sell the enterprise. Better yet, you can create an organization that will really help others. I strongly suggest you approach running a non-profit with the same discipline that you would a profit-making business, and almost all of the how-to videos on BusinessTown.com apply to non-profits as well.

Search “tax preparation no experience” on job websites like Indeed.com. You’ll find plenty of companies willing to train you for jobs preparing tax returns (at least during tax season). Once you have a season under your belt, it’s time to strike out on your own.
Make sure you are buying items that are highly sellable, meaning that you there is a large market so you won’t have to wait years to find a buyer. And be disciplined enough only to buy items that allow you plenty of markup for resale. Specialization, or at least having most of your products fit your specialization, is highly likely to increase your chances of success.
Writer, side project aficionado, and part-time entrepreneur. Join me here, on ryrob.com and learn how to start a business while working full-time. Let’s chat on Twitter about business and side projects.
Excellent article, thanks for the hard work. This must’ve taken quite a bit of research time. I fit in at Number 25 as a Pro Blogger, and can confidently add that it will not be easy. I can however assure you Blogging will be SO worth it, once you get the hang of it.
Sometimes it seems like there’s an app for everything. Yet somehow, new ones keep popping up and selling for lots of money, all the time. If you spot a niche that hasn’t been filled to its potential just yet, and you can learn the coding skills (or know someone who already has them), you could be on to something with this side business idea. Today, it’s even possible to build an app without any coding skills whatsoever. Just make sure you validate your app idea before jumping too far in. Even if your app business idea doesn’t pan out to be a best-seller, you’ll still pick up valuable skills.

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