I have a friend that is the city manager of a town of about 25,000 where his main task is processing requests for building permits. Actually a volunteer-type job, no salary. But he makes a bunch of contacts every day, and his address book is huge. So he is busy all year except the Holidays. To fill in this time he started a Christmas tree lighting service (houses, lawn ornaments, etc.). In this 3-month period he makes enough to keep him going the rest of the year.
If you’re juggling your business commitments with a desire to maintain a healthy social life, attend yoga classes, be a great parent, look fashionable, cook nutritious meals, read Charles Bukowski and take regular holidays, you might find that you’re a startup founder more in theory than in practice.
In the US, the coast guard has redefined their mission to be rescuing people not rescuing boats, so this has further increased the market for tow boat operators to respond to disabled recreational boaters and bring their boat back to port. Running around on the ocean with a high-powered tow boat seems like a pretty fun way to make a living to me!
The Internal Revenue Service has carefully defined what business deductions can be taken by home-based businesses. For a summary, please visit: https://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Deducting-Business-Expenses
Desktop PC or Laptop: Depending on the type of business you run, you may want to look into upgrading your computer. If your business relies heavily on graphics and videos, it might be best to invest in a computer with a higher processing speed and more RAM to ensure it can handle that much data. Generally, you should look for a dual-core processor and a minimum 4GB of RAM (memory).
It turns out, he thought the process of starting a business was really complicated. “I don’t want to go through all that stuff,” he said, “unless I’m absolutely sure my idea is perfect.” Like a lot of would-be entrepreneurs, he was stalling because he was intimidated by the apparent complexity of the administrative and legal tasks involved in starting a business.
A real estate appraisal business can be operated from home, on a part-time basis, making for a fun side business idea if you have the credentials to back it up. A perfect option if you want to keep your day job while earning a little extra on the side. You won’t need a college degree to start in on this business idea, but you’ll need bankable appraiser credentials (including relevant training and professional licenses), strong knowledge of the sector, and a growing network of industry players including mortgage brokers, real estate agents, banks, and fellow appraisers that’ll want to utilize your services.
An errand service can be a natural business to tie into grocery delivery, or vice versa. Once again, if you already have a car you’re ready to get started. People often need someone to check on their dog at home, or run to the store if they are homebound.
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.
This one is a real wild card, but a friend in Dallas did it successfully for years. He was a self-taught art expert who advised clients on which pieces of fine art would make the best long-term investments. If you’re an art lover and educated—even self-educated—in art history, you can set up a business like this, too.
When my book publishing business grew to the point when we needed forklifts, I was shocked by how expensive they were. So, we went to a used industrial equipment dealer and bought all of our forklifts there. Selling industrial equipment allows for specialization and it also allows for you to build up long-term relationships with customers. Furthermore, you can have add-on sales such as maintenance, supplies and repairs.
Software: If you haven’t already, invest in the latest version of Microsoft Office. This is the most common business software on the market today, so chances are you’ll have no trouble reading or editing files and documents clients send to you and vice versa.
This is a great list. I’ve done a lot of these free opportunities in the past and usually made a bit here and there. At first, I just spent it but then I learned to re-invest in other online opportunities (blog hosting, e-mail marketing, etc.) and it leads to even more money that way! 🙂
If you have a fondness for taking pictures of smiling families or laughing children blowing bubbles, consider becoming a stock photographer and selling your images to a stock photo company like Unsplash, ShutterStock and iStockPhoto as a side business idea. You’ll get royalties every time someone licenses an image you’ve submitted. To really be successful, build your own photography website to be able to showcase your portfolio and start getting higher-paid private corporate work.
Interior room painting or wallpapering lends itself to part time work better than exterior house painting. Often a home owner wants just one room done. And you are not weather dependent—so you know you will be able to get a job done on Saturday for example, come rain or shine. As your experience grows you can charge a lot of money for quality interior painting and wallpapering.
Are you a leader in your field? Create, plan, organize a group of like-minded individuals and guide them and share your knowledge and expertise so that the group as a whole can grow and expand their knowledge base – aiding in their success.
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.
I started my consulting business over 4 years ago as a part-time way to make extra cash, and it’s grown into my full-time endeavor, where I’ve quadrupled my income, and have much more flexibility. My wife no longer has to work, and we’ve both been able to be involved in our kids school–which neither of us could do when we were employees.
The dreams of working at home and being your own boss (or ruling your own world, perhaps) are very much alive and go hand-in-hand in the modern workforce. It is now possible to start almost any kind of business from home immediately, albeit with varying degrees of investment and experience.
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