A lot of car owners simply don’t have time to personally care for their vehicles, much less make them sparkle. With simple equipment such as car shampoo, polishing wax, tire black, sponges, a pail and a sturdy hose, you can start earning a decent side income by making cars look fresh in your free time after work and on weekends. Not bad for an easy business idea that’ll keep you outdoors and moving your body on the weekends.
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.
If keeping your home organized comes naturally and you enjoy helping other people, consider becoming a professional organizer as a side business idea. As the need for baby boomers to start downsizing grows, you can use your organizing and decluttering skills to start making an industry standard $50-125 an hour with very little startup costs and some free expert advice from Jen Kilbourne. Believe it or not, pro organizers don’t just work with hoarders. More and more people are hiring professional organizers in order stop wasting time and money due to the stress of everyday disorganization. What’s even better, is that you can take this on as a side business idea during the nights and weekends when your clients will be at home.
S Corp: S Corps require a much more formal structure than LLCs. They’re made up of a board of directors, corporate officers, and up to 100 U.S. shareholders. However, like LLCs, S Corps aren’t subject to double taxation — all of the profits are claimed on the shareholders’ personal taxes.
Busy schedules can stress people out. It can also disrupt family life to the point that busy parents and homework-laden kids barely have time to prepare decent dinners and weekend meals. Hence, the surprising demand for part-time family chefs as a business idea. If cooking healthy and delicious meals is your thing, then this lucrative side  business idea can supplement your regular income by helping feed busy homes. Hear Gaby Dalkin’s story of going from side business idea to full-time blogger while she was a part-time personal chef right here on my podcast.
All you need is one dog to walk and you’ve broken into this business. And at the same time, I have seen people build this into a big business, including to the point where they have to hire additional dog walkers. Dogs need to be walked regularly—just ask them! Woof! Woof! Yes! So, you’re guaranteed a steady income and a good business model!
Knowing how powerful the reach of the Internet is for research, companies are very willing to outsource their research efforts to independent Internet researchers. Of course, the more specialized and experienced you are the more ability you will have to both land jobs and to charge premium pricing.
Great list here! Some are very out of the box great ideas. I did find great success working from home myself. All I do is refer people to our services from home. When customers pay their electric or wireless bill, I get a check.
Amazon’s $970 million acquisition of Twitch and the possibility that the NCAA will support collegiate gaming is driving enormous growth in eSports. The industry is expected to reach $1.7 billion in 2020, up from $1.1 billion in 2018, according to SuperData Research.
Starting as a franchise can give you an upper hand by buying into an already established brand. You can leverage the brand’s already established customer base to drive sales as well as use their knowledge and proven marketing and operations strategies to run your business. However, within the online boutique space, there are not a lot of options. In many cases it is more cost effective to either start your own brand or buy an existing one.
Your county or city will require a business license. The form takes minutes to fill out. Use your EIN instead of your Social Security number to identify your business (for privacy reasons if nothing else).
A common mistake that many people make when it comes to validating their business idea is that they’ll need to invest hundreds or thousands of dollars developing an MVP. You actually want to spend very little at this stage.
During this design phase, you need to incorporate a barcode. A barcode (or UPC code) is a series of digits that is unique to your product all over the world. There are plenty of websites where you can buy barcodes, this is the website I use.
Another successful event planner, Jenn Sbranti of the Hostess with the Mostess, went to college and got a bachelor’s degree in visual arts — not event planning. She said, “To me, event design is very similar to graphic design though. Whether you’re designing a website or styling an event, it’s all about color, composition, a smart, functional layout, and – plain and simple – creating some eye candy!”

Hi Dave, and the answer is yes, eventually. I can only speak from my experience, but in my world, things ONLY got done right when I supervised the work. Later, I just supervised the foremen, but I still had to get my own boots on the property. I don’t think you can just go hire a foreman + some workers and call it a day.
The internet changes so fast that one year online equals about five years in the real world. But the principles of how to start and grow a successful online business haven’t changed at all. If you’re just starting a small business online, stick to this sequence. If you’ve been online awhile, do a quick review and see if there’s a step you’re neglecting, or never got around to doing in the first place. You can’t go wrong with the basics.
If your services are seasonal you will want to consider what the best time of year would be to advertise. Also, television advertisements will need to be timed so that the right demographics will be watching when they air.
Many people would love to have a beautiful slideshow to commemorate the passing of a loved one, an anniversary, or a special birthday. With a computer and some select software, you could quickly turn anyone’s pictures into a beautiful, custom slideshow, and profit handsomely for your time and effort.
Each of these ideas is very simple to start, and most can be done as a sole proprietorship at first (meaning you don’t have to file any legal documents to get started, though you will want to do that if it starts to take off). Most of these can be done at home in your spare time, and in your spare space, too.
Publishing is dead; long live the e-reader! Now that anyone can have their work e-published, it is possible for anyone to make a fortune off their writing. The biggest recent example is the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy, but there are many authors taking advantage of the ease of e-publishing. If you love to write and are willing to do your own promotion (and having a blog can really help in that case), writing an e-book is an excellent way to make money at home.
Wouldn’t you feel so much better knowing that while you were slaving away at work, there was someone taking proper care of your pet – feeding it on time, playing with it, and making sure that it isn’t lonely? Especially when you have to go for a work-trip or a vacation. This an extremely lucrative and to an extent, still largely unexplored field in our country and holds great promises for those wishing to build a brand around it. The main costs for this would be in creating and maintaining a website.
We’re all guilty of spending too much time on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest sometimes, so why not get paid to put your expertise to work as a side business idea? Lots of companies, especially startups or those in retail and travel—even influencers have heavy social media presences and are constantly in need of people to help build their brands online. You can find these types of opportunities on sites like Flexjobs and CareerBuilder and most employers on these websites are conditioned to working with people who operate these services as their side business idea.
One of my friend’s mothers who had performed as a Radio City Rockette, founded a highly successful dance studio for young girls. She was successful enough to rent large commercial space, but this is a business you may want to start in your home.
For starters, getting a new website to rank in the first page of search engine results of the more popular keywords on the larger search engines is a formidable task indeed. Yes, you can buy advertising to drive traffic to your site, but it is very expensive. Then, even once you have driven traffic to your website, it can be very hard to convert visitors to sales.
It shouldn’t be for you, either. “You have to start with what your true passion is, and then work backward and find a way to pursue it,” says MJ Gottlieb. “You might find that’s by getting a different job, rather than starting a business.” Gottlieb is the author of How to Ruin a Business Without Really Trying, a compendium of 55 mistakes he made while starting and running six successful companies over the past 23 years. “Above all, don’t quit your job because you believe you have a great idea for a business,” he adds. “An idea is not enough.”
Fashion, style, and grooming continue to be a lucrative side business idea that can be done in your hours outside of work. If you know how to mend clothes, then you have a growing market of budget-conscious and/or personalization-obsessed customers. Entrepreneur says you need around two thousand dollars to start a decent side business idea in this niche but there’s no harm in starting smaller and growing from there, as long as you can make magic with needle and thread.
But he managed to sell a necklace for $200, and with that $200, Branson finally had the money to call potential advertisers for his fledgling magazine. The rest, as they say, is history. That $200 would eventually grow into the Virgin Group, now a multibillion-dollar brand, operating in industries ranging from aerospace to communications.
A few years ago, I overheard a conversation in a gym about a fellow who was planning on starting an Irish pub, of which there are close to million (well almost a million) in Boston, but then changed his mind and opened a pub focusing on craft beers. It was wildly successful! In addition to being a unique idea at the time, he also chose an excellent location and developed a solid food menu. Unless your overhead is extremely low, you are probably going to need to serve food to make a go of this business, so yes you can be extremely successful–but it is no small undertaking.
I learned a lot about resume writing as my book publishing company became the leading seller of resume books in the US. Resumes are not obsolete, even if you don’t always use one when applying for a position online, recruiters expect you to bring a resume to the interview. With the Internet, you can help write resumes and cover letters for anyone in the world. If you can write succinctly, you can write a good resume.
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.
Is your business idea really unique? What value will it generate? Is it something your target audience really wants? Or is it something you think they’d want? Getting answers to these questions is important to determine whether or not your idea works.
Use crowd-funding. If you still can’t drum up enough funding, use websites to raise the money you need to start. These funding sources have several benefits: you will not have to pay interest on the money you get (since it is money which is used to provide actual product or services) and it will help you not only gauge interest in what you have to offer but also help you build a customer base. You’ll start business with hundreds or thousands of customers already lined up and ready to tell other people about what you have to offer.