It’s one of the first ideas people have when they think of starting a business: making and selling crafts. That means there’s lots of competition. The good news, though, is that people just love crafts. But be careful. Don’t just sell anything and everything. Define a product line and choose a distribution channel (online, craft fairs, etc.), and stick with your plan. And, of course, be creative.
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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.
Do you love to tweet? If you have a large and interactive Twitter audience, you may be able to cash in on hosting Twitter Parties. Help brands build brand awareness by hosting interactive Twitter Parties.
If you can read and follow the directions of an online soap-making tutorial, you can gain some basic knowledge of the soap making craft. It involves relatively few materials and tools. To make soap you mix various forms of oil with lye and scents. A basic mold for 12 bars can be bought on Amazon for under $10.
Box subscription services are popping up everywhere in the food, beauty and even pet product sectors, ready to deliver goods right to your door each month. One of the consumer perks is the idea that these subscription boxes are carefully curated just for them based on their likes and interests, and each month, the boxes’ contents are a surprise.
For many entrepreneurs, importing products from abroad is part of their business plan. However if you have never imported before then there is often a lot to learn. If you are an expert in importing and exporting products then you could sell this skill by helping entrepreneurs to import supplies and export their own products.
In the past, jobs provided most everyone with a dependable paycheck and long-range security but not anymore. Along with diminishing retirement benefits, jobs are getting hard to find and hold onto. An alternative is to go into business, yet most people accustomed to working for a living do not have quite enough confidence to start a full-time business. Reasons include:
While most direct sales and internet business opportunities have a small startup fee, there are a few that do not. Each company allows you to set up shop online for FREE. Then for each item that is sold through your shop, you’ll earn a specified commission.
In the past, jobs provided most everyone with a dependable paycheck and long-range security – but not anymore. An alternative is to go into business, yet most people don’t have the confidence to start a full-time business. This session will review the do’s and don’ts of operating a home-based business, how to pick the right business, and the common pitfalls. You will realize that these options still require specific skills just like any other business.
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.
If you had a knack for standardized tests and had no trouble acing the SAT, ACT or other college exams, why not start tutoring high schoolers as a side business idea? Parents of all economic backgrounds are more than willing to shell out upwards of $100/hr to the right tutor, if it means their son or daughter will get admitted to the college or university of their choice. See this quick checklist for starting an SAT tutoring business from the Work At Home Mom. Whitney over at Rookiemoms also has a cool story to share about a stay-at-home mom making $40/hr helping kids out with homework and turning it into a profitable side business idea.
While I think this post is a good source for IDEAS, I think a lot of them are lucrative because you either haven’t been professionally trained in the field or you’re accepting risks that most businesses insure against and account for in overhead. To pick out a few to explain:
I found this website homebusinessidea.com.au and they were brilliant in helping me get sorted with a home business that suits me down the ground. With so many choices out there I found their approach simple and down to earth.
Whether it’s a close friend or family member, partner with people you can trust. Most of the time, we focus on the character and virtues of those we are legally partnered with. But vetting other people and entities that you are associated with — including your vendors and advisors — is equally critical.
Are you a health nut? Is exercise your forte? Help others achieve their fitness goals with your experience, knowledge, and expertise. You can even use an app like Handstand to connect directly with clients.
Got a thing for numbers? Plenty of companies need to hire talented contractors who are good at data analysis, making this a potentially lucrative side business idea if you have the right credentials and experience. Platforms like Upwork and Digiserved are but a two of many websites that are great for freelancers with an analytical prowess, looking for extra work as a side business idea around their full-time jobs.
Steve Gillman is a freelance writer, author of, “101 Weird Ways to Make Money” and the creator of Every Way To Make Money. Of the more than 100 ways he has made money, writing is (so far) his favorite.
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.
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.
Decluttr is an online platform where you can sell CDs, DVDs, and video games. Just enter the item’s barcode on the site to get a quote. Decide which items you’d like to sell (must be between 10 – 500) and send them in using a pre-paid shipping label. Once items are received, Music Magpie will send you a check.
Having built one of the largest independent book publishers in the US, I can tell you that book publishing is not the easy road to riches that so many people think it is. Furthermore, I believe getting really rich publishing your own eBook can even be harder. For one the competition is insane…you will be competing with everybody and their mother, including people who are literally giving away their product. Furthermore, it is increasingly hard to get attention for books in the media, and it is hard to convert website visitors into book buyers. But hard is not impossible, and you could publish that rare book that makes a lot of money. Several of the book authors I published earned over a million dollars, and that was just from their royalties.
One-on-one sports coaching is the obvious play here. But you could set up sports clinics or sports camps. You could build up a business based on your expertise in a particular sport or you could offer more general fitness training for athletes of many sports. Often sports coaches get started with a part time job coaching a school sports team, which then leads to private coaching work.
There’s more to writing than just being a freelance writer or creating content for blog. Juggernauts like Amazon and Apple are involved in the book publishing field where authors are raking big bucks for composing everything from instructional books to cookbooks to Sci-fi adventures.
Online businesses are becoming increasingly more dependent on content to delight and attract website visitors. However, not everyone is a born writer, which is why businesses are always looking for freelance writers and editors to help craft and polish quality online content. Often businesses are happy to work with remote freelance writers, which means you can potentially work from anywhere in the world! If you’re a knowledgeable wordsmith, freelance copywriting can be a great home-business idea.
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.
Everyone wants a clean house, but many people don’t have the time or desire to do it themselves (most of us are just waiting for Roombas to become more affordable while we drown in dust). Starting your own housecleaning service is another great home-business idea, although of course this job requires travel and can’t strictly be done from home-you’ll mostly be in other people’s homes.
I have taken the opportunity to take one of your listings on bookkeeping and have signed up to do the free course, do you think it will be beneficial for me to do it despite being in South Africa and the course based in the US?
Yes, you should find your Dream Job and get paid what you’re worth. I’ve also been showing you exactly how to find your dream job, bypass online job sites, and master your interview and negotiations for years.
The majority of us don’t have the luxury of being able to quit our day jobs to pursue starting a business idea today, without having to worry about how we’re going to meet our financial obligations moving forward with no immediate income.
That’s not to say that it’ll be easy. With the rise in working from home comes more competition from other home-based businesses. And any new venture will require at a minimum some serious market research and possibly some fairly complex licensing and legal maneuvers.
You could dream up your own product to make with your 3D printer. But instead I would tend to create products for other people, and not even finished products, but prototypes. I would develop a specialty within prototypes, such as for a particular industry.
Teaching and tutoring English as a second language is a great way to make a solid side business idea work, not to mention opening doors for you to travel the world if you’d like. While full ESL (English as a Second Language) accreditation is recommended, as long as you’re a native speaker, there are people in countries such as Hong Kong or the UAE who are willing to pay upwards of $25/hr for you to teach them English via Skype. Indeed, Learn4Good and Remote.co often have remote english tutoring jobs posted, check back frequently. Then once you land that remote job, you’ll need somewhere more professional than your dining room table to meet with students—check out this post about how to find places to work remotely and you’ll officially graduate this side business idea into a full-time endeavor for yourself.
Whether you are helping a business with traditional marketing materials or instructing them on the fine art of blogging (ahem) and social media, this is a business that has almost unlimited potential for freelancers. Median salary: $108,000 (!).
This is one of those businesses that not everyone wants to do, so the profits tend to be above average. Furthermore, you don’t have to collect just by telephone. You can send emails, mail letters and more. Make sure you know all the legal restrictions before you start!
I would recommend that you hyper specialize if you are starting an e-commerce business. Why? Because many e-commerce websites have very deep pockets and patient investors and are willing to sell products for razor thin margins (i.e. Amazon) or even at a loss to build market share. That being said if you can show some solid revenue in this business, and especially if you have repeat customers, you will have a business that is worth a lot of money even before it is profitable.
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!
Instead, at least for now, forget branding and unique selling propositions and all the business-identity stuff. And don’t worry about finding the perfect URL or website design or promotional literature. You’re putting those carts way before your business horse, too.
Of course, strictly speaking, this isn’t an at-home business, as the work takes place in someone else’s home. But it can be lucrative. You just need to make sure that your cleaning skills are up to snuff, which means some cleaning practice at friends’ houses might not be a bad thing to do before launching the business.
If you’re a fast typer with an ear for dictation, than transcription might be right for you. A lot of different businesses require transcription, from medical practices to attorney’s offices, and will pay handsomely for quality work. Why not be the service to meet their needs? All you need to start is a computer, an internet connection, and the will to build a network of professionals and gain their referrals.
Although a small business owner overseas is entire operation, it is not uncommon for him to have a specific skill set. For example, the owner of a financial services recruiting firm may have started his career as a tax accountant. The possession of special skills can affect an entrepreneur’s average income. Those with accounting skills, for instance, earn an average annual salary ranging from $38,884 to $81,313, while individuals with sales management experience earning income ranging from $45,000 to $104,762.
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!
Online, you can be an affiliate which sells almost any service or product the internet has to offer. In fact, Amazon has an affiliate program which allows you to sell everything from Amazon’s huge stock. Popular industries that have high potential, but also somewhat high competitiveness include: Financial Products, Dietary Supplements, Gambling and Commerce.