If you’ve ever crossed by the Flora Fountain area of Mumbai or College Street in Kolkata, you’ve probably encountered scores of little second-hand book stalls thronged by avid readers and flustered students. The first thing to do is set up a stall with a permit, which needs the right local contacts, following which your only investment is purchasing a dozen or so books from other sellers to start the business of second-hand book exchanging.
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.
Just head out to your local cafe, set up a small sign saying that in exchange for a coffee all you need is 10 minutes of someone’s time, and spend the whole day talking to people. All you really need are some concept photos, even a simple slideshow, and then talk to as many people as you’d like to gather valuable information.
In fact, successful event planner, Candice Coppola of Jubilee Events said, “I studied art history, not event planning or event business. I just happened to have a natural affinity to the profession of being a business owner and event planner and constantly sought out to learn as much as I could (which I still do).”
Domain name trading has been around for the last couple decades, and while most slam-dunk names have long been sold off (Insure.com went for $16 Million in 2009) there’s still plenty of others that you can get your hands on for relatively cheap and broker as your side business idea. But beware: some experts doubt the long-term viability of this business idea, so you shouldn’t quit your day job just to put all your effort into this one without some successes already in the bag. To get you started, here are some tips from GoDaddy, arguably the world’s largest and most famous repository of domain names. Imagine owning desirable domain names for the next decade’s most innovative companies.
I personally use Feedback Genius. It is very simple to use and has a lot of customizability. There are different plans to choose from but the smallest one is free which allows up to 100 emails a month. Then $20 for the next 1,000 emails.
Video production and post production services. The video production landscape has been transforming from big business to multitalented single operator ever since Avid produced its first low-cost Mac-oriented video editing program. In an age where feature films are being shot on iPhones (one of them by noted director Steven Soderbergh), don’t let equipment costs hold you back. Whom do you know who really needs a good video to advertise a service?
Websites aren’t too dissimilar to stocks. Many are junk, but some can generate value for you, making it a strong potential business idea if you have an eye for spotting the diamond in the rough That’s why, like stocks, they are bought and sold all the time. You can buy and sell websites as a side business  idea in the hope of generating future earnings based on their user traffic, current revenue intake, domain name, or some other factors that might be a hidden cash cow everyone else has overlooked. Interested? Check out marketplaces like Flippa and Flipping Enterprises to learn more.
You having a great idea and you want to translate it into opening a business. There is one big caveat, you are short on cash. And for most aspiring entrepreneurs, getting hold of the much-needed capital is usually the biggest challenge.
The question I’m asked the most (by far) when I meet and speak with fellow entrepreneurs is, “How do I know which business idea is best for me?” This one is always quickly followed by, “How do I start on this side business idea while I’m still working my full-time job?”
Do you love taking photos and dream of building up a great Instagram following? As you grow your following, more sponsorship opportunities will become available. For example, if your account is focused on fitness, you may be able to sponsor products like protein powder, supplements, etc.
Someone out there is remodeling their kitchen and needs to know which shade of granite will match best with mahogany flooring. That someone will often be happy to pay you for your advice, especially if you’re the kind of person that subscribes to websites like Contemporist and you have the motivation to turn this business idea into a money-making enterprise.
As an event planner, you can either go corporate or social. Corporate market includes companies and other organizations. If you have communications with HR department of companies, this can be a profitable business idea.
There are many ways to gain a competitive edge over other businesses in your industry: you could have a better product, a more efficient manufacturing or distribution process, a more convenient location, better customer service, or a better understanding of the changing marketplace.
How you define quality content depends on your audience and what they find valuable. At Foundr, we’ve found that our Instagram audience likes motivational quotes and updates about what’s going with the Foundr podcast.
There is absolutely nothing that will get you more calls than an expert looking and useful internet site. It is a bigger cost of both money and time in advance, but produces yields that exceed any other marketing technique. As soon as this is done, an internet site will need nothing but periodic upgrading of pictures and updating. A fantastic internet site is the key in the yard care market for numerous reasons listed. To begin with, not many lawn care, pressure cleaning, irrigation repair, and landscape lighting companies have internet sites and the ones that do generally have very amateur or sloppy websites, which does not gain customers. This indicates that there is less competitors online and it is easy to rank your website on the top pages of Google and on Google business listings in a relatively brief amount of time when making use of proper lawn care SEO techniques. Think about adding a local lawn care blog like this one about lawn care in Chicago to your website so that you can easily add fresh content. Even more individuals than ever are browsing the web to discover services because of how easy and fast it is to do and you need to take advantage of that. As an added bonus offer for having a website, you will get a bulk of the calls from individuals that possess second homes in your area or that are out of town and forgot to make plans for their lawn service. These people are frequently the very best customers since: 1) They aren’t there to complain about anything and 2) They are generally going to pay greater rates because of their have to get it done. This lets your consumers contact you by any means of email or contact form on your website so that you can begin to build an e-mail list to send out landscape discounts or fast communication with your clients which will conserve you hours of time and energy over the life of your business.
Are you an extrovert that loves meeting new people? Selling insurance products—particularly life insurance—may be a great way to bring in some extra cash and build residual income in your spare time. Selling life insurance on the side could quickly generate a consistent $1,000 – $2,000 per month depending on how much time you invest in this side business idea. To get started you’ll likely want to take an online course to brush up on the subject matter, and then pass a state licensing exam. The biggest challenge you’ll face as a new agent is generating sales beyond just helping out friends and family. From there, it’s all about networking and lead generation to grow this one. Learn more about this side business idea with this getting started in life insurance guide from the team over at NoExam.
Be different. Don’t design your logo to look just like that of your leading competitor. This is a great opportunity to set yourself apart. How are people supposed to get excited about your business if they can’t tell you apart from the competition?
If editing and advising college students on how to write compelling 500 word essays on topics such as “You were just invited to speak at the White House. Write your speech,” seems like a compelling business idea to allocate your free time towards, trust me—tons of parents will pay you to edit admissions essays and offer constructive feedback for their children. Be careful not to blur the ethical line of actually writing their essays, but serving as an editor to help them convey their message can become a great side business idea that has the potential to spread by word-of-mouth referral in your community.
A child-care business is a simple business concept, especially if you are a stay-at-home parent and already care for your own children during the day. If you have enough space in your home to accommodate a few children each day, most states allow you to run an in-home baby-sitting service without the licensing and regulations required for a full-time child-care center.
By using the ‘Amazon Partnered Carrier’ (which is UPS) you will pre-pay for delivery based on the number and proportions of the boxes you are sending. Amazon will then generate you a pre-paid label in the form of a PDF file.
Tree services charge a lot of money for their services and one reason is that this can be dangerous work. A tenant of mine was injured working for his own tree service. So, think safety first. Don’t take on a job that is over your head–or don’t be afraid to ask someone more experienced to help when you need it. You can also rent lift trucks and other specialized equipment when you need it.
If you are thinking of becoming a property tycoon but can’t swing the down payment on your first property, this is a good business to start in. It’s good steady income and you get to learn the ins and outs of owning property. You also may come across multi-family properties that are for sale before they get advertised.
5. Action: While I think learning is great, there comes a time when it becomes irrelevant. At some point you have to stop buying courses and reading more books. You have to apply what you’ve learned to get real results. You have to take action. You have to constantly ask yourself what you can DO with what you’ve GOT.
This can be so inspiring for a chef on the rise, especially one who wants to join the growing trend of starting a food truck business. Much like starting any business, though, there are things aspiring food truck owners need to know before burning asphalt.
Just like any other type of freelancing, being an independent consultant is a business. You will be much more successful if you go through the many steps I advise for any other business, including creating a highly detailed and well-though-out business plan, writing out your strategy, testing and experimenting with your marketing, and so on.
That being said, creating your own product is an incredibly fulfilling experience. Several friends from service businesses told me from time to time how much they wish they were in a product business.

Like recycling, this side business idea requires the willingness to get your hands a little dirty. If you enjoy working outdoors, then you can make a pretty good side income cleaning up litter outside retail, office and industrial properties—especially for businesses that have large parking lots that need regular cleaning. Property management companies need their properties maintained litter free and you can do so with an on-foot service using inexpensive equipment like this cheap pick-up tool and a broom. Charge for your time at $35 – $50 per hour and bill your clients the same contract price each month. For even more on how to get started with a litter removal side business idea, check out Cleanlots.
This is one of the business ideas that doesn’t feel like doing business. If you’re into arts and crafts, you like tinkering memorabilia, personalized bracelets, anklets, and etc., this is a good opportunity for you. A business you can start at the comfort of your home and can be a good source of income if you’re a student. Your target market can be your classmates, other students, weddings, team building, outings, get-together, reunions, and etc.
Landscaping is also a common lawn service. The average cost of landscaping depends on a number of factors such as the number of shrubs, ornamental trees, and hedges in a property. This is because landscaping property with numerous shrubs, trees, and hedges is more labor intensive. The nature of your landscape also affects the average price of landscaping. Extensive landscapes take longer to be trimmed and maintained therefore making it more expensive. The last time your property underwent landscaping also determines the price. For instance, if it has been years since your last landscaping, then the price will be higher because it will take more time and labor to clean up the clippings and reshape the land. The expertise of the landscaping workers also affects the price. For instance, hiring the services of a professional landscaper will cost more than using an unskilled landscaper. With all the above considerations, the average price of trimming landscaping is $175-$400 for a typical ranch house that is surrounded by shrubs, hedges, and trees.
Create a records system. From doing taxes to figuring out why you’re mysteriously missing $2,000 to searching through customer records to find out if Mrs. Jones did in fact pay her bill, you’re going to want a good records system to help your business run smoothly and efficiently. Invest in file cabinets, labels and digital records software to keep you organized and on top of things.
If you have the gift of gab, public speaking is a worthwhile side business idea for you to pursue. Many authors, medical practitioners, scientists, artisans, politicians, and other subject matter experts earn extra income by delivering speeches, seminars, and presentations. Professional motivational speakers earn an average annual salary of around $90,000 with just that portion of their income, making this a very realistic side business idea while you continue practicing your craft.
While you may first think of wedding planners or reunion organizers, there are many, many types of event planners out there. Some may specialize in parties for young kids, others in large corporate events. Think carefully of a specialty that you could do well in and meet participants in that field, before you open shop.
Yard maintenance includes mowing lawns, trimming hedges, raking leaves and generally doing all the tasks that keep yards looking clean and manicured. If you own a lawnmower and a rake, you can start this business with one or two clients per week.
For this, you first must brainstorm/find an online service that people are willing to pay for on an ongoing basis. Once you create it, the challenge is to maintain it, which is not an easy task. That being said, it can be quite profitable if you can make it work.
There are many different types of events you can work. While some event planners are generalists and work on a wide-variety of functions, it is easier and more lucrative to choose a specialty. Figuring out what niche you want to focus on can be a challenge, but if you mind-map your passions, interests, experience, and knowledge you can narrow it down relatively easy.
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.
If you know how to design, draw and cut patterns, then putting up a design and sewing business may be for you. You can also accept clothing repairs or adjustment services. You can start your business at your home. If you still don’t have a studio or shop, you can just simply put a tarpaulin banner in front of your house and start from there.
If you live in a bustling area, chances are local businesses could use a local courier service. Unlike the big name services, you can offer more flexible pick-up and drop off times, which can be a godsend to many small businesses. According to About.com, half of couriers earn in the $17,000 to $27,000 range.
I see two routes to success in this business: 1) Focus on artists with well- established followings that you are comfortable that you can sell or 2) Take on less well-known artists on a consignment basis, meaning you don’t actually buy the painting from the artist until the day you sell it. This can be a finicky business–people’s tastes can change and a gallery that is successful one year can find itself struggling enough. So, keep your overhead manageable and watch for changing trends.
If you really want to go into retail, particularly in a category dominated by superstores, you will be a lot better off opening a secondhand store. You may be able to operate with no investment in inventory by only handling goods on a consignment basis—that means that you never actually own the merchandise. Instead, you display the goods and pay for it only after you have sold it.