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.
Coordinate a group of trusted mentors to counsel you on key issues in growing your business. While an advisory board may not seem like a critical component of business success, it can actually become one of your most important assets in business development — providing the strategic advice and complementary skills to take your company to the next level.
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.
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
Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission. Know that I only recommend tools and learning resources I’ve personally used and believe are genuinely helpful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to purchase them. Most of all, I would never advocate for buying something that you can’t afford or that you’re not yet ready to implement.
A membership website is a great business model that con provide you with a recurring revenue stream. Once you have members signed up you can charge them a monthly subscription fee to access the content of your site. This could work great for digital products and other valuable online resources.
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…
The key to successful Podcasting isn’t just racking up listeners in big numbers. It’s getting listeners to engage. A small group of engaged listeners is more valuable than a large but passive audience. Specialize in an area of your expertise and constantly remind listeners to participate in your Podcast via social media or your Website. Making money Podcasting isn’t easy, but it is possible.
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.
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.
You can put a big sign on top of your truck or pull it around on a trailer. This is particularly powerful for local businesses because you can offer pinpoint marketing—driving around the same business block for example. You could also offer a service to hire people to agree to have a commercial sign mounted on their cars as they drive around town doing their usual thing. For example, a Boston radio station arranged to have hundreds of small VWs to be painted with their logos, paying each car owner a monthly stipend. How big can this business go? Well CNN/Turner Broadcasting founder Ted Turner made his initial money in the billboard business!
All right, pick your jaw off the floor-I’ll tell you how this happens. You’re probably all too aware of those obnoxious video ads on YouTube that are shown before the video that you really want to watch. YouTube makes a ton of revenue from these video ad rolls, and when a user has a large enough subscriber base, he or she is invited to join YouTube’s partnership program, allowing the user to grab a piece of the advertising pie.
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!
From the inside looking out, I want to see the world as clearly as possible. And so do a lot of homeowners and particularly office managers. Now that creates a demand for window cleaners to step into this business idea, especially if you can land a contract cleaning windows for an office building. If you want to try it out as a side business idea, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to start a window-washing business at home.
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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.
This is one of those businesses you probably wouldn’t get into without previous experience. On the other hand, you can get an idea of skills needed online from the television personality and dog whisperer, Cesar Milan. There are also many dog training tutorials on YouTube. A stint at a local pet store might help too, and you’ll at least make minimum wage while you get your education and experience.
If you have experience cutting hair and giving manicures, opening up shop from your home is an excellent way to start your own salon. Make sure that you follow all of your state’s requirements for doing salon care in a home, as they can be stringent. Median salary: $22,500.
During my long search for an online business, I found a network marketing company that’s just about to do its public launch. It was set up specifically to run online. In this way, you can contact only the seemingly endless supply people that have already shown interest. You don’t have to worry about those dreaded headaches of old-style network marketing. Because it’s built into the process members are freely interact, communicating and supporting each other openly online without asking whose team they are on. With the network marketing business model and the vast market on the internet, I think that a lot more people will find this option appealing.
Selling “how to” information is a great business idea. Not only are you profiting from a passion or a skill that you already have, it’s incredibly low cost. Just purchase a website, start creating top notch content, and maybe invest in some ads. Since this is a competitive area, focus on a niche that isn’t frequently discussed.
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!
I’ve found that fear often stops aspiring consultants from starting a consulting business–or any business–and on my blog, I talk about how to overcome those fears. I also talk about practical, concrete things you can do to start and run a successful consulting business, along with tools, tips, tricks, and techniques for automating your business and keeping costs to a minimum. The info I give is applicable to most other types of businesses as well.
You can succeed with a specialty food store but it is tricky. You must be ruthless in your research, in both what the market can support, and which competitors currently have overlapping offerings. I would also look at what specialty food stores have succeeded in nearby markets.
That’s why I’m a huge advocate of always starting a side business while working full-time, so that you can test your way into your new product or service, get feedback, validate the business idea, and start generating income before you quit your job. If you can master the art of scaling a side business idea while keeping your day job, you’ll have no trouble succeeding once you’re fully self-employed.
Most pet owners don’t quite have the stomach or the time to clip nails, bathe, or give haircuts to their animals. With a couple of small tweaks to a bathroom, basement, or laundry room, you could have a full service doggy salon in your home. Again, it’s important to double-check your local requirements for this.
Twice I have heard Jim Koch, founder of Sam Adams beer, talk about how he started his business. I find this to be a tough business. First you need a brew master with deep expertise. Then you have to get your beer taste to be very distinctive and very pleasing. You need consistent quality. You need to stand out versus the many other small brewers, build a clientele, and arrange for transportation. Nonetheless the market is huge and because of the success of micro-breweries, established beer distributors are increasingly willing to take on smaller labels.
Sometimes these are full-service firms that not only do the design but also perform the work. The closer your expertise and confidence allow you to get towards high-end landscape design, the higher an income you will be able to command.
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.
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.
Of course, photography can take many forms, from photojournalism to portrait photography to general-interest stock photography. You’ll most likely go for either setting up a studio in your home or taking pictures for use as stock photos, as true photojournalism requires years of experience and almost never involves actually working from home. Keep in mind that stock-photo sites work on a revenue-sharing model, so simply selling pictures to one is unusual.
The day spa business is hot as more and more overworked people seek rejuvenation for their tired bodies. I would pull first time customers in with very sweet deals, then try to tie them in with a membership model, such as so many day spa visits per month for one flat rate. Building out a day spa can be expensive and will usually cost more than you budget, so with your first spa I wouldn’t get too carried away with remodeling. Instead make the spa nice, but not lavish, and then offer great service.
Because I am just a little bit techie, I get asked to video record weddings all the time. If video or photography are up your alley, starting a wedding photography business could be a great idea for you. If doing weddings aren’t your thing, there are other ways you can make money as a photographer as well.
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!
There is a huge market and a big opportunity selling promotional material. Your best market will be mid to larger sized businesses, who are willing to spend some money to both promote their business to their customers or to use promotional items as incentives and rewards for their employees. Basically, you are reselling the product lines for other companies. I would suggest you have a good diversity of lines to increase your chances of getting your foot in the door, to increase your chances of holding your prospects’ attention and to increase your income. T-shirts, pens, hats, jackets: there are all kinds of promotional items you can sell.
Overnight decision: Let’s face it. We make overnight decisions when stressed out or disappointed with situations at work. The problem with a quick decision is the negative and positive points is overlooked.
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.
Online search: Search your name online to see what shows up. I recommend searching images that are on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or other sites on a personal account. The last thing you want to realize is the job search is unsuccessful because there is unprofessional content you posted online.
Do you love shopping? Register to become a Mystery Shopper and check out local businesses, restaurants, and establishments. You won’t make a killing, but you could end up with a free dinner or a small amount of pocket cash.
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!
Interested entrepreneurs can either open a franchise from an existing vending machine business or sell vending-machine friendly products to help stock up schools and offices with healthier, affordable snacks.