For several years in the book industry, I distributed the books of several other publishers in the U.S. I received roughly 27 percent of the wholesale price, including paying for the sales force, whereas the book wholesalers were operating on margins in the 10 percent range.
Wouldn’t you enjoy making kids smile and laugh? What a great way to earn some good money, especially at kids’ birthdays and Bar and Bat mitzvahs! Business will be heavily focused on weekends, so you can hold onto your day job as you build your clientele. I met a professional clown who told me that he charged $200 an hour…for that price I’ll put the clown suit on right now!
One of the best ways to keep a grocery budget—and a waistline—in check is to do meal planning. But for some, this kind of planning is a mystery wrapped in an enigma. A meal planner could put together a list of a week’s recipes, along with a grocery list, for a harried but budget-conscious shopper.
As it is so easy for customers to price compare a lot of factories are starting to realise that they can get more business by opening with their best price. But I think it will still be another few years before you don’t need to negotiate.
Cooking classes have become much more than just a way to instruct people in cooking. They have become more of a social event where for example, couples enjoy a cooking class together, get to meet some other people, enjoy sampling the food they cook, perhaps try some fine wine, and have a great experience. So carefully define whether you are selling the expertise, the experience, or both, and build your business model accordingly.
Use free resources. Your local library contains numerous useful references regarding incorporation, writing business plans, marketing, as well as information specific to your industry. The Small Business Association, Chambers of Commerce, AMEX Small Business website, associations for your industry, associations by ethnicity…all of these offer training, materials, networking and sometimes financing. Another good option is SCORE, a group of retired executives who provide business start-up advice.
One-on-one sports coaching is the obvious play here. But you could set up sports clinics or sports camps. You could build up a business based on your expertise in a particular sport or you could offer more general fitness training for athletes of many sports. Often sports coaches get started with a part time job coaching a school sports team, which then leads to private coaching work.
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.
Once you launch your eCommerce business, things are going to move at the speed of light. Don’t overlook filing your annual report, if you incorporated or filed an LLC, nor those annual fees for business permits. If you need to, put these deadlines on your calendar so you stay on top of them.
Look to start a service industry business that requires little overhead expenses to turn classmates into customers. For college entrepreneurs, a good example would be a laundry pick-up, wash, and delivery service. Price the service per pound and spread the word via word of mouth and flyers around campus. Everyone away at school needs to do laundry and I haven’t met many people that enjoy it.
Arranging for shipping, especially overseas, is complex and the rates can vary widely, even for nearby truck shipments. A shipping or freight forwarding service can find the best shipper for you, arrange the paperwork and a lot more. This can be a great business, with long term customers and steady work, but it can take a while to build up a large clientele.
Some people have no time. They may have a job that requires lots of travel or an executive position that has them working around the clock. But you can make their life easier offering personal concierge services!
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.
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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.
Sign up for a bar-tending course at the local community college or adult education center, get a safety certificate if your state requires it, and then you’re ready to start serving. Usually the client will provide the booze and the glasses, you might bring a few mixing tools or even a service cart if you want to get fancy. Demand for this service will run strongest on the weekends, making it a great part time gig!
You would think that you get your electrical contractor license and the money would rain on you forever more! I have been shocked with the prices some electricians have tried to charge me. Then again, I called back a more reasonably priced electrician who had done some work for me a couple years ago and he told me he went out of business for lack of work. This goes to remind you that in any business there is always some risk.
The only other thing I would say about negotiating is: don’t burn your bridges. The first manufacturer may turn out to be a dud and you may want that second one. So even if you don’t go with them, leave the option open for future business.
The manager-managed LLC, where only designated members (or even outsiders) are given the responsibility of running the LLC.[12] While this is a less common structure than the member-managed LLC, it can be useful when some members only want to be passive investors.[13] In addition, this structure may be advantageous if you have some members that are not particularly skilled in managing, or when your ownership is too large or diverse to allow for everyone to manage.[14]
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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.
During summer and even regular days, a lot of people are traveling going to schools, work, and etc. One of the businesses I’ve personally tried is selling drinks that quenches the thirst of people who are on-the-go. I’ve tried selling coconut juice and chocolate drinks which only requires small amount of capital like around P150 pesos.
It’s messy, dirty work that must be meticulously done, and done by someone dependable. That means it can be a high margin business. I would start this business by taking on very small jobs and working my way up.
Most people, even those many won’t admit it, love moving their bodies. It’s also a great workout. If at some point in your life, you had to hang your dancing shoes for a more sensible office job, there’s nothing stopping you from earning money with this side business idea as a passion project around your day job. Part-time dance instructors get a fraction of the pie that their full-time peers enjoy, but it can add up to hundreds each week if you’re consistent—making for a great side business idea to those with the skills and drive.
Sole Proprietorship: The least formal structure of all — if you’re doing business on your own, you’re automatically seen as a sole proprietorship. There’s no need to file anything with the state, except perhaps a DBA (if you want to operate under a name aside from your own legal name). The main problem with this structure is that there’s nothing shielding you from business liability.

It is a deep search tool for Amazon that compares each listing with its own data to work out how much your competitors are selling a month. It costs $69 a month (for the web app version with niche-hunter I am using below) and you can cancel it once you’ve chosen a product.
We all have something that we are good at, so why not try to sell your services in the form of a private lesson: a very low risk start-up. You might find teaching the lesson to be the easiest part. Along the way you’ll gain valuable marketing and sales experience in your search for clients and practice skills like negotiation and client management.
You should have some decent equipment that makes your audience happy but that could mean different levels of investment for different audiences. Are you going to be playing for large event venues or for junior high school birthday parties? I know a fellow who started a successful mobile DJ business even before he was old enough to have a driver’s license. He would either have a friend give him and his equipment a ride to his gigs, or he would get a taxi.
This includes all the unsung heroes- the electrician, the plumber, the home-staff and others without whom we wouldn’t be able to get through a single day. These handymen and women usually choose not to be affiliated with any organisation and instead take on work at homes independently at a nominal charge. Hence, their only primary initial cost will be spent in purchasing the necessary tools that befits their respective professions.
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…
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.
Dear Thinking: Good question, especially given the current IPO gold rush, which is creating a whole new batch of overnight-millionaire entrepreneurs. Still, your main motivation right now seems to be getting away from your terrible boss, and that sets off some alarm bells.