I find that a lot of people want a turn-key business – one that doesn’t require a lot of capital to start and maintain. Unfortunately, the majority of the businesses listed here either require significant start-up costs because in a lot of them you need liability insurance, licenses, money to buy the inventory to start the business, and or a physical location in order to operate.
Blogging can potentially be a profitable home-based business, but you need to pick a niche that’s not already saturated with competitors. After you’ve figured out how to generate enough Web traffic to your blog — either through SEO, content marketing, or other means — the next hurdle is to find just the right products, services, and/or ads that your readership will respond to. In my experience, it’s often a matter of trial and error before you find the winning combination of strategies.
Do I need to tell my mortgage lender? Residential mortgages usually prohibit using the property for a business, so you need to check the terms of your mortgage and if necessary, ask for consent from the lender. Breaching your mortgage could risk the loan being terminated and being repayable immediately.
When I was running my book publishing company I developed a series of books called the Everything series and I negotiated a deal to buy the “everything.com” domain from a company controlled by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen for over $100,000. The market for good domain names isn’t going away and you can make money trading these names, but I would be careful in putting too much money into names that are “almost” great names.
This is a worker who handles any number of small tasks for a business or individual. Tasks include answering emails, data entry, scheduling, managing blogs, and even shopping. Anyone can become a virtual assistant. According to Indeed.com, the average salary for virtual assistants is $42,000.
You could try to do this business online…but of course the issue is getting people the right size. You could even send several sizes if they are not sure of their size. Or you could have a storefront. You don’t need a fancy location or expensive buildout. There is a formal wear rental facility near me that has been very successful for decades, and the storefront looks like it was last remodeled about 50 years ago.
Do you know how to secure funding? Finding funding for a small business can be a lot of work, not to mention the huge learning curve. Use your inside knowledge of how the investment realm works, and assist other entrepreneurs with obtaining and securing funding for their business.
Planning a wedding requires a lot of work and organizational skills. So many couples hire a wedding coordinator to help manage all of the various aspects of the event. You can do much of that work from home, if you enjoy organizing and working with clients.
I am a rep at PawTree.com/special. I have did well by selling products to dog owners. It’s easy, I just visit dog parks with samples and hand out order forms. PawTree.com/special has a special going on until March 31, you can start for just $1 at pawtree.com/special. Most direct sale companies charge much more to get started, so this is something you can start with little investment. Make sure you choose sponsor spectacular at checkout.
For example, if boardroom meetings, high-level discussions about financials or attending weekly networking events are boring, an executive role may not be right for you. If you are an introvert and working with people every day is nerve wrecking, you need to reconsider a job in sales.
People get into this business thinking it is a totally passive way to make money and then they find out—they actually have to do some work! Heavily used washing machines and dryers can break down, and the laundromat will need to be cleaned constantly. That being said people need clean clothes so this is a classic steady income business!
You would think that you get your electrical contractor license and the money would rain on you forever more! I have been shocked with the prices some electricians have tried to charge me. Then again, I called back a more reasonably priced electrician who had done some work for me a couple years ago and he told me he went out of business for lack of work. This goes to remind you that in any business there is always some risk.
Teaching piano (or guitar or violin or singing) lessons out of your house is a well-established way for stay-at-home spouses to make a little extra cash. If Lois Griffin can do it, so can any musically minded entrepreneur.
Have you cracked the code for landing higher paying jobs at the drop of a hat? If you have a knack for helping your friends or co-workers navigate the process of finding their dream job, nailing an interview, negotiating a better salary or getting a raise at their current day job, other people would be willing to pay for your help too—making this a great side business idea that doesn’t take too much time. Get started by sharing your advice on a personal blog and becoming a career coach on platforms like The Muse and Coach Me where there’s already an existing audience of people looking to make a move in their careers. From there, keep your focus on helping people get real results, building case studies to support this side business idea, and eventually charging for the results you’re delivering clients.
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…
As a PR agency you work with businesses to promote their latest products and represent them as a business. With many niche businesses these days, you could start a PR agency focusing specifically on a specific business niche. Operating in only one niche would allow you to specialise in that niche and know exactly what the market wants.
These writers put together promotional materials for businesses, including ads, websites, newsletters, commercials, direct mailings, and many others. Copywriters generally have a degree in advertising, marketing, English, or communication, but any excellent writer can do a great job copywriting. Median salary: $55,000.
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.
Home Occupation Permit – Your home is more than likely in a residential area and not in a business or retail zone. In order to conduct business in a residential zone, you will need a permit from your local or state government permitting it. Your local zoning board can answer your questions regarding requirements for permits. Not all home-based businesses will require a business permit, but it is always best to check.
Perhaps most importantly, though, would-be eBay moguls need to specialize. Just throwing junk online won’t work. Sellers need to know what they want to sell and how they’re going to market it to their audiences. Again, competition is fierce, so research, preparation and strategy are critical. (For reference, eBay itself provides an extensive guide to selling on the site.)
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.
I like these ideas! Besides being good ideas in themselves, they stimulate MORE ideas! Some of them reminded me of something I was reading about called Craigslist arbitrage – buying low and selling high on craigslist, kind of like the first part of the old Oregon Trail game, but with washers and dryers and bicycles instead of cases of crackers and horses. Sounds like fun! Anyway, that one about the pooper-scooper business, that works, I know because I was quite successful in the pooper-scooper service I started back in 1988! I’ve been in the industry for 25 years now, though I don’t go out and scoop any more.
Thanks for all the great ideas. Persistence is key for any business to succeed. Additional business is vegetable farming in case you have a bit of a backyard. I sell the vegetables to nearby shop/green grocers in the neighborhood. This enables me to use most of my salary for other purposes since my daily recurrent expenses are taken care of.
If you have extensive experience in a highly valued field, consider starting your own consulting business. Outside businesses often look to consultants to help and guide them, rather than hire someone in-house. Popular consultants include those for cybersecurity, finance, accounting, and graphic design.
Advertising and marketing companies are always looking for freelance copywriters to help with their creative projects. You can set up a home office and put your creative and marketing savvy to good use.
I’ve heard of people starting businesses with $1,000 or more but I did not know you can start a business with a $100.00 only. I might start doing logo designs seem like something that I can do plus I just got my dslr camera so I can take pictures to make logos.
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.
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!
While you can find terrific resources online about family history, it takes someone to patiently piece it all together—that’s where you come in as the family history writer. Do your research carefully, put it together in a snappy-looking package, be patient in answering customers’ questions, and you could grow this business nicely.
Whether for therapy, relaxation or rehabilitation, massage therapists provide services for many reasons. Many clients use massage therapy on a regular basis, while others for special occasions or medical treatment.
Much like the first point, once the time is right this process will help you to decentralize control and make handing over the reigns easier (so you can focus on growth). Sales and marketing, finance, HR and administration are all separate sectors to be cognizant of.
Christmas, Halloween, Easter, Yuletide, Hanukkah, Valentine’s Day, Chinese New Year, 4th of July, Mother’s Day. There are a ton of traditional holidays that count as solid reasons to explore the side business idea of crafting and selling seasonal decorations. After all, people and businesses pay good money for them. In fact, total sales of Christmas trees in the U.S. alone amounted to a whopping $1.04 billion in 2014. And you still have holiday lights, nativity scenes, crafted hangings, baskets, wreaths, and other decorations to cover, making this a potentially year-round seasonal side business idea.
A lot of car repairs don’t require a car lift and you can do them at the customer’s location. Not only does it eliminate the cost of owning a service bay, but it saves your customer the time to drive and wait at a service station.
Web designers are incredibly valuable for technology companies—which is why becoming a freelance web designer is a top side business idea today. Web design is all about mastering the art of creating a beautiful, value-driven experience for the people using a website or app. There are always new websites popping up in need of professional web design, and foundational books like HTML & CSS: Design and Build Websites by acclaimed web designer Jon Duckett and Don’t Make Me Think by user experience legend Steve Krug will get you started down the right path to quickly determining whether or not becoming a web designer is a viable side business idea for you.
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.
I really like the idea of the outdoor deck business. I envision beautiful wood, wonderfully stained and maybe an attractive awning or roof. Outdoor furniture could be beautifully made out of wood too!
Health and fitness services are being rebranded to become trendier and more sociable. Opening a health club or gym targeted specifically to millennials could be a great way to capitalize on the fitness trend, especially if you focus on creating a strong, fun and engaging social media presence to really connect with young members and potential customers.
I also keep an iPad in the toilet to leverage my time there. Before my bathroom call is up, I typically flick through a few articles on my Feedly reader in order to get up to speed with the latest SEO/SEM/PPC news and schedule in a few tweets via Sprout Social.
So happy to see Jam Maker on this list. I recently started my own business making and selling unique jams and jellies online. I never knew I was trendy. Many good ideas on here. I’ve only just started to make the break from traditional work force, but believe it is the best decision I’ve made in a long time – though I still haven’t fully quit my day job.
Not only is Airbnb a great way to make money by renting out your spare bedroom or living room couch as a legitimate home-based business idea, but you also have the benefit of meeting new people and making new friends if that’s your kind of thing. You can even rent out an entirely new apartment just to manage as an Airbnb side business idea, but don’t make the mistake of thinking this will be a passive source of income—you’re on call whenever you have a guest and you’ll always need to keep the place clean for incoming visitors. On top of just renting on Airbnb, you can take this business idea to the next level by offering your guests add-on and personalized experiences for an extra charge. Take Lauren Gheysens’ Airbnb-based side business idea, Royal Day Out in London, England for example—where she gives visiting tourists a local’s only tour of the city, complete with bespoke 18th century costumes.
It’s no longer taboo for people to ditch the daily 9-to-5 grind and start their own business. In fact, it’s beyond easy starting a business for almost nothing these days. But, what businesses are guaranteed to make a million dollars?
Many business and non-profit associations are too small to hire a full-time administrator but still have a lot of administrative work to be done. Some of the business groups I belong to, such as local chapter of The Young President’s Organization and The Harvard Business School Association of Boston, have hired an association management service which is typically a single individual or in one case a mother/daughter team. For these businesses, the management service processes membership dues and event payments, fields questions about events, arranges logistics for events, and attends events and welcomes members. Payment is usually on a monthly retainer basis.
Once you start servicing someone’s aquarium regularly they will come to trust you and view you as an expert, so you will be a in a great position to sell them new fish, new accessories or perhaps once they have seen the pictures or a video—that big new aquarium!
Some local businesses don’t want to go through all of the necessary steps to do their inbound marketing themselves. They would rather have you just do it all for them and deliver leads to their doorstep. If you go into this business I would suggest that you consider building your expertise for a particular industry, instead of a particular location, as the results for a particular industry are more likely to be repeatable.
Some Twitter users are able to leverage their huge following into a paid gig for advertisers. Prolific bloggers have been known to get paid for commenting on other blogs. If you are a social media expert, you can use that expertise to earn money. People want to reach your audience and are willing to pay you for it.
It sounds too good to be true—getting paid to represent your favorite brands at events across the nation. But, if you have a friendly and outgoing personality (a growing social media following helps too), you can forge a potentially paid relationship as a brand ambassador with companies who want to reach other people within your community with this side business idea. As a Brand Ambassador, you do anything from demoing the latest technology, to passing out free swag at music festivals, to going on nationwide tours, to pumping people up as a mascot, and more. Depending upon the gig, you can expect to earn anywhere from $18-$100/hr. You can get started as early as this weekend by joining the Brand Ambassador Facebook group for your nearest major city (e.g. join the “Brand Ambassadors of Seattle” group if you live in/near Seattle). Once you’ve been approved to the group, you’ll get access to daily job postings from big brands and agencies with opportunities in your area. All you need to do is submit your resume and headshot to apply. For a step-by-step guide on how to get hired for the best gigs and the highest pay rates, I recommend checking out The Brand Ambassador Blueprint.
Gazelle allows you to sell your old electronics and make some easy cash. Simply find your gadget on their website, answer a few questions, and ship it off for free with their pre-paid envelopes. Payments are made via check, Amazon gift card, or PayPal. Gazelle has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
Will I need to change my buildings and contents insurance? You must consider it. Check the terms of the policy, because if you don’t, there is a risk that your building and contents insurance could be invalidated. If the policy prohibits business use then you will need to ask for consent from the insurance company. Depending on the nature of the business, you may also need to consider employers and/or public liability insurance to deal with employees or third parties, for example, covering the risk of them injuring themselves in the property.
Arranging for shipping, especially overseas, is complex and the rates can vary widely, even for nearby truck shipments. A shipping or freight forwarding service can find the best shipper for you, arrange the paperwork and a lot more. This can be a great business, with long term customers and steady work, but it can take a while to build up a large clientele.
Do you see how this is such a different approach from what you hear in the media? It would be easy for me to write some post about credit card interest rates or the newest savings account. Or to tell you how bad the economy is.