The big problem for many of us is that working a full-time job makes it too exhausting to even consider trying to find an alternative outlet. Many of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs struggled with this when they wanted to start a business for the first time while they still had a day job.
Yes, you can learn how to repair smartphones. You can buy parts (you should inventory more common ones) and you can watch videos on YouTube that show you how to make repairs. I have been to a small shop in Cambridge that specializes just in fixing casing and glass on smartphones. You can make good money but it will take some patience to get going. A storefront, even a small one on a secondary street or second floor of an office building, will help make your business seem more established.
Determine your potential market. Be realistic. How many people will realistically use your business? How much will they pay to use your services? If either number is too small in comparison to how much it will cost you to stay in business, then you should reconsider or change your plans.
The antique market is not as lively as it used to be. But there’s still money to be had from the industry if you love rare old stuff and possess the skill of restoring them to their former glory. To start an antique refurbishing business at home, you’ll likely need a few thousand dollars to build out a basic workshop and stock it with all of the right treatments and materials in order to truly excel with this side business idea. Start small by borrowing around what you can, and learning the basics of the trade as a side hustle before investing in a ton of equipment.
Ghostwriting pays pretty well, and if you’re talented at researching and creating great content within a certain subject domain, you can quickly build a roster of high-paying clientele with this business idea. Ghostwriters like Jeff Haden have created very lucrative careers for themselves by writing for business executives and CEO’s—and Jeff also started his ghostwriting career as a side business idea outside of his full-time job as a factory manager. Listen to his interview with me on The Side Hustle Project (podcast) right here.
The other option for online sales is to simply become the eBay middleman. Millions of vendors sell their wares on the online auction house. If you can find an inexpensive source for (legally!) saleable merchandise, you can get into business.
But that’s a bit too simple. What happens if the best selling teapot is just a big brand name that is rubbish but they are spending a lot on advertising? People are still buying it but they are giving it bad reviews.
6. Focus: Perhaps most important of all, you have to learn to focus on the right things to get the right results. This is a business. This is YOUR business. You’re not here to play around. You’re here to create value and sell that value to the right people. And above all you have to work on YOUR business not in your business.
While this is a long list of business ideas—I have carefully pruned it for you. I started out with an initial list that was more than twice as long…and ruthlessly chopped off the weaker business ideas that I didn’t want you to consider starting.
Offer free samples of what you do to the right people, in order to get people saying good things about what you have to offer. Word of mouth (i.e. good PR) is the best way to attract new customers. If you get bad reviews or negative feedback, respond positively and fix the problem. People will be much less judgmental about mistakes if you’re willing to fix them.
The key to get going with this business is to build relationships with schools and school music directors, who can recommend your services. Chances are a larger school isn’t going to recommend you unless you have a track record, so you will probably have to start with some very small schools. Musical instruments, especially those that are rented out, are highly financeable for low rates, so this is a business you can get into with very little money, and expand aggressively.
You’ll need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) to open a business bank account and file your business taxes next April. Your EIN is a bit like your business’ social security number: it’s a unique number that identifies your business and helps you file important paperwork. Every business needs one, whether you’ll have employees or not.
My previous book publishing business, Adams Media, is a product company. Thinking about the contents of each book, how to position it, how to package it, and who to market it to was all fun work. But seeing the finished product and seeing consumers using it was a great feeling.
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.
Well… I really cant email people by email who haven’t agreed (via software verification) because it would look like spam to Big G. All I can say is I think I can find time to do it in the next two weeks, or just call it by April 1st. I’ll try my best…
Are you the control freak when it comes to travel planning? Do you love planning out an itinerary, scouting the internet for hours for the cheapest and most effective ticket combinations and have the history of a heritage site mugged up? If yes, then you should look into opening up a tour-guide business, where groups of travellers (school-trips, college-trips, tourist-travels) can ask you to not only make all the arrangements for the trip but also guide them through it, as the leader of the pack. Since the entire business can be carried through the internet, there is no other starting cost that you need to worry about, other than perhaps maintaining a travel-guide website for your potential clients.
While contracts can be valid when orally made, they are much harder to prove and enforce. Make sure you get all agreements in writing — it will save you headaches down the line, and could even save your business.
If you think you can make a business out of your hobby skills, why not put it to the next level? Remember that RC quad-copters where just toys back then. But today, these are now commonly known as drones and are used in many different applications.
Home buyers today are getting increasingly used to seeing vacant homes set up with staged furniture. And if you are choosing furniture specifically for the purpose of making a house look great, you can both increase the likelihood that the house will sell quickly, and that it will sell for a higher price. Stage some rooms in your own house, take pictures, and then get customers by networking with real estate brokers.
Driving for one of the two globally expanding app-centric taxi alternative services, Uber or Lyft can still be a fairly lucrative way to earn money as a side business idea on nights and weekends—working only when you want. But before you dive head first into this side business idea, do your homework and calculate the costs of extra gas, mileage, tires, wear & tear and usage on your vehicle—it’s not a guaranteed business idea that’ll turn a huge profit every weekend.
You could initially break into the carpet installation business by marketing directly to consumers. However, the bigger money comes from contracting out your services to carpet retailers. Still, I’d probably try to start out doing a few jobs independently to build references and experience before approaching some small retailers for contract work.
The most successful people I know have the most failures. Because they take the most chances. To get in the right mindset, let me tell you about the time we shelved a course we spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on.
Like drinking beer? Why not try making it yourself as your side business idea? With enough patience and skill you might end up brewing something that others are willing to pay to drink. Pick up an easy-to-use starter kit from Mr. Beer online, invest the time it’ll take to perfect your craft, make a unique brew and start shopping it around to friends & family to see what they think of this side business idea.
If you’re one of those people who can’t help but flip through bridal magazines and think about various wedding arrangements in your daydreams, wedding planning might be the perfect thing for you. A great way to get started is to develop a website or blog on the topic, get to know people online, and promote your services at local wedding venues and throughout the community.