I guess we should start with the one that I am MOST familiar with. I have been making a full-time living blogging for almost 10 years now, and it isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme, but it can definitely make you some money.
The aim is to use your role as a business founder as an opportunity to grow as a human being (which will, in turn, bring about happiness and fulfillment; not to use your business as a vehicle to build fame and fortune in order to bring about happiness (it won’t).
What could be easier? You sit in the chair and watch the dog chase its tail! OK so there’s a little more work to it than that, but still this is not the toughest job in the world–especially if you like animals! I am surprised to hear how much money people will pay for pet sitters if they believe their pets are being really well cared for.
With that in mind, I put together this massive list of the 101 Best Side Business Ideas You Can Start While You’re Still Working a Full-Time Job, to help give you inspiration with proven side business ideas that can be executed on while you still keep your day job—and primary source of income.
Holly, thanks for putting this list together. I think it’s dead on….especially with the personal shopping/stylist which is the route I took when I stayed at home with the boys 6 ears ago. It was the perfect combo of doing what I loved, around our family schedule, and contributing to the family income.
Packaging your skills and knowledge into a downloadable eBook that delivers value to those seeking to learn a skill, advance in their careers, or start their own businesses, makes for a strong value proposition if you target the right audience. Check out Leslie Samuel’s great guide to selling eBooks online and start building your strategy around this side business idea. This class with Tara Gentile on CreativeLive will also show you how to use your existing body of work to write an eBook within the next week. Put in some serious work with your eBook, build an audience and you’ll have a platform to pitch traditional publishers on landing a book deal—then you can write one of the best business books and really build your personal brand.
Earning money on GigWalk is similar to working on Task Rabbit—not a bad side business idea if you’ve got the free time. You get to choose from an amusingly diverse range of jobs from taking snapshots of restaurant menus to counting the items arrayed on supermarket racks. It won’t make you rich though, with payouts tending to congregate in the lower half of their $3-to-$100 range. But, if you’re looking for a steady little side business idea, it can’t hurt doing a strange but fun errand and getting a tip at the end. When you’re bored or a little short on cash, you can access GigWalk anytime, anywhere via their mobile app. Meanwhile, all the jobs specifically vetted for you will be within reach (ideally, just a brisk walk away).
Do you play a musical instrument well enough to teach it to others? How about taking your skills at producing music or sound design and teaching others as a service-based business idea based on your experience? Private music instructors in all disciplines charge upwards of $20-100/hr (or more depending upon skill and experience), and you don’t necessarily have to do them in person, either. This makes for a great side business idea that can channel your passion for music into profits.
Never underestimate the terror some people feel getting up to speak in front of a live audience. High school and college students, as well as businesspeople, are excellent target markets for entrepreneurs who have some training and expertise in public speaking and presentations.
As the business grows, use a combination of simple spreadsheets and reporting tools. However, watch your spending on cloud-based solutions to measure enquiries, sales, expenses, hours worked, items sold, etc. Paying $25/month for each one of them doesn’t seem like much, but adds up quickly.
It’s great to see so many opportunities at one place. People often say how much they want to leave the corporate world and change the way they earn money but “they can’t”. And I think the reason is fear. They fear that working from home might not work out immediately. There are countless opportunities, if you want to work from home and every excuse is just due to lack of courage.
Love the list here! It’s difficult to go out to increase our household income, especially when my kids are home schooled. I tried doing crafts but I guess you need to be patient enough to gain the skills and be good enough with it. Right now I’m doing online selling on amazon and hoping for the best. https://tinyurl.com/y7pukxjz for those who are starting out with online selling.
Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found on her personal blog Wattlebird, and exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.
By using a site like Flippa you can purchase a website, build-it-up, and sell it for a pretty penny. Sounds silly, but it’s actually become a lucrative business.Personally I’ve been able to earn an additional $25-$30k flipping websites each year on the side. Just imagine if I did that full-time!
Great ideas. I currently work from home and love it. It beats driving 2 hours in traffic any day. I constantly have people asking me about jobs from home, so I’m going to have to pass this list along.
If you’ve got the attitude (and look), there should be a product or service out there on the hunt for the right model to promote their brand as a side business idea. You can sign up with a large agency, find a freelance agent, or look for your own modeling gigs as an independent talent. Since modeling is a complex field, get all the advice you need before jumping right in and find a mentor who can guide you through some of the early challenges it’ll take to establish your brand. Depending on your preference, you can specialize in a single media format such as video or still images, to build a compelling portfolio and grow this into a business idea that has the potential to scale.
I am currently sitting in my co-share work space and beside me sits a green potted plant about 15” in height. Every day or two, the commercial watering service person comes by and pours a little water on the plant. Once a week or so, the service person may take out his plant clippers, and trim a leaf or two. Wow! I think I could master this work! And I bet you could too!
My father spent year after year remodeling our basement—and I’m glad he did because that’s where I located my model railroad! However, a lot of homeowners aren’t willing to invest the huge amount of time it takes a novice to remodel their basement—that’s where you come in! Remodel your own basement, put together a website with the before and after photos, and hang out your shingle!
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.
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.
Are you artistic? Create beautiful and unique handmade cards, wedding invitations, or announcement greetings. The avenues for selling are numerous: create your own online store, sell them to friends and family, sell them on Esty, approach brick, and mortar stores about your cards or sell them through your own in-home parties.
Do you adore babies? Then perhaps helping expecting families is your calling. Baby Planners consult new and expecting parents with birth preparation and beyond. If you’re interested in this sort of career, April Beach has created a whole business course around the occupation. In fact, she says the average Baby Planner can earn $75 per hour!
People are always searching for one-of-a-kind venues for meetings, parties and weddings. Why not earn some extra money off the space you already have by renting it out for events as a side business idea? If you own a unique venue, like a studio, warehouse or boat, UK-based company Tagvenue will connect you with clients looking for somewhere special to host their event. Not a bad low-effort side business idea.
Scour local Goodwill stores and garage sales for antiques or high-demand niche items that can earn a decent price tag online. Pick a specific niche, research it, and become an expert so you know exactly what kinds of products to look for and what they’re worth online.
There’s a huge growing market for mobile phone accessories, and plenty of handmade sellers are raking in 6 and sometimes 7 figures from their phone case businesses. You can get your own phone case business up and running as a side business idea in a matter of days with turnkey solutions from Case Escape, my previous company, and you can now get ready-to-go kits that’ll give you everything you need to start a phone case business. Once you’re up and running, you can sell cases on Etsy, Amazon Handmade, and Fancy. During our first year of selling phone cases as a side business idea on our Etsy store, we made around $60,000 in revenue from that selling channel alone—not to mention additional sales from fairs, trade shows, promotional products vendors, parties, events and other online marketplaces. From there, the sales only continued growing and we graduated from side business idea to full-time company that I ran with my best friend for multiple years.
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People with wood burning stoves and fireplaces need wood to burn and they love to have it delivered, all cut up into bite-sized pieces! They don’t want to have to carry logs around, they don’t want to get their nice car dirty and they don’t want to split up logs.
Non-profits, universities, hospitals and other community organizations all have a great need for grant money to supplement their budgets, but grants are notoriously tricky to write for the first time. If you have experience writing grants, or are willing to learn how to do it by practicing your skills without pay for a few non-profits, you can start a lucrative freelance grant writing business. According to eHow, grant writers can make anywhere from $40, 300 to $67,000.
Every company needs content for their website to attract search engine traffic and develop a bond with their customers and potential customers. Hence the market for creating web-friendly content has exploded with both large firms and independent content marketers helping to fill the need. Specializing in the needs of a particular industry can help jump-start your business, but many companies are willing to hire content marketers who are good researchers and can write well, even if they lack specific industry expertise.
Then don’t sell YOUR product or skills for $5. Other people, your competitors, are allowed to do whatever they want. If someone makes a product and markets it for $5, while you make a product that YOU consider to be much more valued and market it for $100, the consumer still has the power of deciding what they would rather spend their money on. I’ve worked in the culinary industry for 10+ years and the saying I’ve always heard is that if you can’t handle the heat, then get out of the kitchen. Anyone can tell you if something tastes good or bad, but that doesn’t mean they can create high quality meals like I can. That being said…
Similar to selling on Amazon, eBay is a place to make money selling just about anything you can think of as a side business idea, with the added excitement of using the auction selling model to sometimes get way more than you expected for that antique baseball card you picked up at a local street fair. To turn your eBay selling into a legitimate business idea, look for opportunities where you can buy in-demand products at a discount—and later sell them for a profit. Eventually, you can even take the lessons learned from your eBay store and build a full on blog or eCommerce business like what the team over at Gear Hungry has done.
Not many people realize that Amazon actually has a pretty cool commission program. That’s right, Amazon will dish out commissions to websites that refer customers to its site. Join the Amazon Associates Program, create a website reviewing or promoting various products (with links to where users can buy the items on Amazon), and get a nice little cut if users complete an Amazon order.
Hello Nicholas I would very much like to learn about public speaking sir. I believe every human has the same abilities as gods but we just don’t know yet. I want to give people facts to why i said so and share some ideas that could help change someone’s life no matter where they’re from. Please teach me sir My Facebook name is Tony Mengot and twitter ID: @tonymengot1
Great list! I work as a Survey Taker and Singer from home. I enjoy writing and look forward to starting a freelance writing career. If you have any advice for me I am open to it. I am a beginner. I write poetry, songs and enjoy topics on family and entertainment such as movies.
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Since there are more than 46 million people in the U.S. who are 65 years of age or older, and that figure is expected to increase to approximately 98 million by 2060, there are a lot business opportunities involving seniors.This includes companionship, running errands, or providing advice for family members.
Enter: The Side Hustle. I’ve created an entire podcast to talk about the side hustle, featuring interviews with the world’s top entrepreneurs right here on—The Side Hustle Project. Listen to my episode about How to Find a Profitable Business Idea right here…
There are basically two businesses here and I would tend to focus on one or the other. One is providing medical help such as skilled nurses. The other is providing senior companions. Both can be great businesses with long term revenue streams and high demand.
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Do you have a green thumb, enjoy being outside, and equipment like a lawn mower, weed wacker, chainsaw? Then why haven’t started your own lawn care business yet? Since you already have the tools to get started, the main cost is advertising and marketing your business.If live in a region where you have snowy winters then offer snow removal services as well. You already did the advertising, so you just need to invest in snow shovels and a plow.
Switching off at the end of the day is difficult. There’s always an inbox of unread emails, always a number of projects which need to be moved forward, a client who is waiting, a problem that needs attention and a number of social media feeds that require input.
Wouldn’t you enjoy making kids smile and laugh? What a great way to earn some good money, especially at kids’ birthdays and Bar and Bat mitzvahs! Business will be heavily focused on weekends, so you can hold onto your day job as you build your clientele. I met a professional clown who told me that he charged $200 an hour…for that price I’ll put the clown suit on right now!
Do you love weddings? Become a specialized event planner in the wedding industry. Assist couple with everything from locales, flowers, dresses, food, entertainment to photographers, themes, and honeymoon planning.
As the saying goes, one person’s trash is another’s treasure. Without people cleaning up everybody else’s junk, the world would be a lot messier than it already is. This business idea might not be glamorous, but you get to make the world a cleaner place while earning extra side income. To start, you’ll likely need a sturdy second-hand truck and standard equipment like shovels, wheelbarrows, sledgehammers, rakes, and garbage cans to launch the foundation of this side business idea.
KJ Henderson has more than a decade of HR and talent acquisition experience. He has held roles at a Fortune 100 investment bank, a media conglomerate and at one of NYC’s largest executive staffing firms. He currently heads recruitment sourcing at a major movie studio. He read literature at Oxford.
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.
As you might imagine, publicists need to network heavily, both in reaching out to potential clients and in getting to know members of the media. You’ll need a Website, a good pricing structure and a thick skin—reporters can be famously surly—but publicity is a generally low-overhead business that can produce quick and impressive returns.
Cigar shops can bring in decent and steady revenue. Better yet the profit margins are good, so you can be very profitable without hitting sky high sales levels. This is a relatively easy business without too many headaches. But choose your location carefully…then roll out your wooden Indian!
Are you crafty? Sell your handmade items on sites like Etsy, 1000 Markets, Art Fire, CraftStar, or Folksy. You can also set up shop at flea markets, conferences, and boutique shows. Make custom orders or teach others how to craft too on sites like Craftsy.
thredUP is a way you can sell your old clothing, shoes, and handbags online. Simply sign up for or a clean out pack online. Once you receive your clean-up-pack, fill it full of clothing, and send it back to thredUp with the pre-paid label and packing slip. Upon receiving your package, thredUp will appraise your clothing and issue a credit which can be withdrawn via PayPal or store credit. Any unsold clothing will be donated with a donation receipt will be issued.
Yes, spending time on YouTube can be a legitimate business idea if you take it seriously. If you can create value-driven, entertaining video content and grow your subscriber base to a few thousand subscribers, your videos can start generating pretty substantial income from all the ads being displayed on your videos. Many YouTube users make well into the millions each year, so there’s clear potential to take this from side business idea to eventual millionaire with the right combination of content, audience, skills, relationships and timing. If you’re considering starting a YouTube channel it’s important use best practices when making videos. Read the YouTube playbook for tips which will result in faster growth of your channel. Additionally think about investing in a quality camera and microphone since the production quality of videos can often affect your viewership.
Unemployed workers can gain the satisfaction of being productive by putting their skills to work in a home-based business that helps defray living expenses while they search for work. The search becomes the “job” and the business becomes their moonlight activity which can include family members. A family working together during difficult times will create bonds that will last for lifetimes.
Is sewing your passion? Help individuals with making their garments fit and look perfect. Specialize in a niche like wedding alterations or formal wear. You can use sites like Thumbtack or The Association of Sewing and Design Professionals to connect with potential customers.
A money broker is basically someone who arranges short-term loans to people. A common variant on this is “pay-day lending” where businesses lend money to people who are typically looking for funds to hold them over to the next paycheck. These are usually storefront locations, closely regulated and not allowed in all states. This can be a solid business, but the regulatory climate is shifting against these businesses, so evaluate the risk of future regulatory changes, before hanging out your shingle.
If you have the right touch, this business can be a goldmine, and very personally rewarding. One of my business school classmates changed into this career later in life and did very well, specializing in putting together highly talented teams for well financed startups, and early stage ventures. The typical head hunter makes endless cold calls–but at the higher end firms networking is much more important.