But that’s also too simple. What about a teapot that only has one review. Even if it’s a 5-star review I can’t show that higher than a teapot with 100 4.9 reviews. Ok, so I weight the rating in some way by the number of reviews.
While having a formal background in graphic design is absolutely going to be helpful, it’s also relatively easy to learn the foundations of graphic design on your own. An increasingly easy-to-use Adobe Illustrator and even more easily accessible tools like Stencil and Visme are making it so that just about anyone with two opposable thumbs, a bit of creativity, and motivation can earn a side income doing things like designing (and selling) images like these motivational quotes that can be printed onto posters and sold on platforms like Etsy. Or you can find a local startup, small business owner, or photographer who could benefit from some extra help designing or altering images.
It’s not very engaging, or mentally stimulating, but online surveys do pay out (a little), believe it or not. Just don’t expect to make bank with this side business idea—I recommend combining it with another source of side income from this list of my best business ideas, and turning to surveys in your downtime when you need a little extra income.
The California Small Business Development Center is a great resource if you need a little assistance coming up with funding opportunities. They’ve got dozens of locations across the state where you can go to discuss potential funding approaches for your business based on all the criteria above (and more).
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.
If you’re a contractor that has a lot of connections with people, suppliers, laborers, and etc., this small business is can be really profitable. This is a good business because you don’t necessarily need a large budget to start or a large office space to rent.

Prem Ganapathy, one of India’s richest entrepreneurs, had begun his business by selling idlis and dosas from a hand-cart opposite Vashi station, which he rented for Rs 150 a month. And while the hand-cart has been replaced by a chain of luxury restaurants across the world, it was the reason for his eminent success today. Food trucks offer the same kind of potential to those looking to get into low-cost-high-returns business, considering their growing appeal among the urban masses today. Bengaluru even had an all-women food-truck company, 7 Sin, which has been doing exceedingly well since. As for the initial costs, the only thing that those looking into this have to wager on, is to rent a sturdy food-truck for a nominal fee and to pay the salary of a driver, who is required to drive it through all the popular hot-spots in the respective cities.
Bridal consulting/wedding planning seems like a lot of fun to get into, but it is also a lot of work, stressful at times and competitive. Nonetheless an established bridal consultant can earn very good money.
Most small businesses are sole proprietorships or partnerships. While these types of businesses are nice and easy to form, they also expose their owners to liability for business debts and judgments. Creditors and judgment holders can come after the owners’ personal assets, like savings accounts and homes, once the business’ money is depleted.
Thanks to sites like TaskRabbit, plenty of people have learned to pick up work doing a variety of side jobs that other people just don’t have time to do. Common tasks can include anything from picking up dry cleaning to making dinner or assembling Ikea furniture.
There is a proven sequence of steps you can follow to guarantee your success when you’re starting a small business online. I’ve seen thousands of people start and grow successful businesses by doing the following:
Note that I say “product business” and not “manufacturing business” because today you typically want to contract out the manufacturing. Manufacturing itself can take huge amounts of capital and is best left for specialized firms.
Do you play a musical instrument well enough to teach it to others? How about taking your skills at producing music or sound design and teaching others as a service-based business idea based on your experience? Private music instructors in all disciplines charge upwards of $20-100/hr (or more depending upon skill and experience), and you don’t necessarily have to do them in person, either. This makes for a great side business idea that can channel your passion for music into profits.
If you’re somebody who go to office everyday, a loading business can be a good sideline. There are a lot of employees in the company who can be your target market. Good thing about the loading business is your product doesn’t spoil unlike foods.
We personally use Infusionsoft at Foundr, because we have a subscriber list of over 300,000 people. For someone just starting out, however, there are several tools out there that you can use to get your email marketing into shape and even create automated email campaigns.
The great thing about the internet is that you can sell products/services you don’t actually have to deliver/fulfill. Look into commission junction, amazon and ebay and find some things you know a lot about. Sign up as an affiliate for products/services you feel comfortable selling. Create a blog, facebook page or simply try to get your friends to buy these products through your affiliate links.
Jennifer Post graduated from Rowan University in 2012 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. Having worked in the food industry, print and online journalism, and marketing, she is now a freelance contributor for Business News Daily. When she’s not working, you will find her exploring her current town of Cape May, NJ or binge watching Pretty Little Liars for the 700th time.
This is a good solid service business. But it is competitive, you need to have fully qualified service providers, and you need to look into licensing. No matter how good a service you run, when you deal with the elderly especially there is always legal risk. You can mitigate the risk by incorporating, by getting insurance and by being sure your staff follows accepted medical protocols.
Michael is a business journalist focused on entrepreneurship. He is a mechanical engineer and freelance writer, having earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis. His articles have appeared mostly online. He has blogged for the small business section of Chron writes about various business and entrepreneurial topics.
Private school and private colleges and universities can cost a bloody fortune! Yet by carefully evaluating a family’s resources, reviewing school choices, assessing school financial aid offerings, and by exploring outside scholarships, a talented financial aid consultant could help a student attend a school that was previously viewed as completely unaffordable. To get going in this field, you will want to do extensive research, and then either help your own kids or perhaps those of friends, to get some experience under your belt, before seeking out the general public.
What a great excuse to travel and get paid for it! Yes, there are some really cool craft items you can find around the world for really low prices. It could take a little bit of patience to get going, and specialization helps. But this is a very doable business. One of my friends built up a successful import/export business while still in college.
Here’s the good thing though. With good technical skills and good negotiation skills, you can actually make a good business out of it. At some point in time, you will find yourself loaded of web development works.
There are tens of millions of small business in the US alone, and starting a new business to compete in this segment will require hard work and dedication. If you know how to run a business and you have taken the right steps to starting a business, money shouldn’t stop you.
Be willing to evolve. If you come to find that your initial marketing plan just isn’t working, it’s time to do some more research and reevaluate your approach. Don’t just keep pouring time and money into a strategy that isn’t getting results.
Have a website. The world has moved online. Any business that wants to survive the next ten years is going to have a website. People will use it to contact you, find your location, learn your operating hours, ask you questions, make suggestions, and maybe even buy your products or services. In having a website and services which are available over the internet, you will be able to expand your service area out across your region or even the world.
If your mastery of another language is good enough to have the grammar and spelling down, translating is a great side business idea to set up for yourself and can even be done remotely. Flexjobs has literally hundreds of freelance, remote translator jobs available right now and if you’re looking to land more remote work on the side of your other pursuits, check out my guide—how to get a remote job (this weekend).
If you know a thing or two about paid internet marketing and are comfortable with Google, a great way to make some extra income as a side business idea is to sign a freelance contract to manage a company’s Google Ad Campaigns, and gradually start bringing on more clients as your consulting business grows. Just be sure to brush up on all the right business slang and industry jargon that’s pervasive in the online marketing world before you launch unprepared into this side business idea.
Now the cost of this one might vary depending on the library near you, but in my experience, a membership to your local library is always one of the best investments you can make. And most of the time, they are free.
Start doing your research on various business bank accounts. Local options, like Banc of California, and national banks, like Capital One, both have their perks. Read some reviews, make some calls, and figure out which one is right for you. Feel free to start off your research with our favorite business bank accounts.
To become a financial advisor, you need to submit an application to a recruiting manager. You will take exam, interview, and training. Once you passed the Insurance Commission’s licensing exam, you need to meet your branch’s minimum requirements to become officially part of the Financial Advisory profession.
Repairing appliances is generally less complicated than repairing gadgets. If you know basic to average electronics, you might want to accept appliances repair services. You can consider this as a side-line business whenever you’re at home.
Entrepreneurship in the Philippines is currently booming and one of the best things you can do today is start taking action in putting up your own business. With just small capital, there’s already a lot of low cost businesses you can choose from!
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.
Report. No matter which source you raise funds from, be sure to provide key operating, strategic and accounting information to your financiers periodically, usually twice a year. It’s a good idea to hold a board meeting if everyone can physically attend. If not, do it via teleconference.
With nearly 100,000 different custom extensions both free and paid available in Google Chrome’s marketplace, there’s a huge opportunity for creating a useful extension for people to use while browsing the web as a low effort business idea. One of my favorite Chrome extensions, Yet Another Mail Merge, which enables you to send bulk customized emails from within Gmail, gives you 50 free credits to send emails and gives you the chance to upgrade to a paid account to unlock more sending—a great upsell for the people who are getting value from the extension. Even free Chrome extensions like SVRF Tabs by SVRF, which replaces your new tab with stunning VR and 360º images, have the potential to bring in new users and eventually drive revenue for the startup’s core business. Another fun example from a friend of mine, Kathleen Garvin, is Hide images with NOPE, a Chrome extension that hides images on the web pages you’re browsing—to help eliminate distractions and keep you from seeing images (like those of certain politicians) that you may want to hide. This side business idea is particularly great because it also allows you to showcase your development skills—which can be put to work as an adjacent side business idea on a freelance basis alongside the Chrome extensions you launch.
If you want to test whether there is a market for your skills, try becoming a freelancer on ODesk. Don’t focus on pricing too much, but try to work with some clients on design/programming/admin projects to get a sense of what selling services is like. It’s low risk and you can earn a few bucks.
Take a few ideas and run with them – by this time of the next year, you very well may have your own successful and profitable online business! Just be sure to report back here and let me know your results!
Zoning and parking: There may be restrictions on where you can park your truck, so make sure you research that before setting up shop. There could be commercial versus noncommercial zoning restrictions, parking time limits or distance restrictions from other establishments. The city and local motor vehicle department will be able to help.
While you can find terrific resources online about family history, it takes someone to patiently piece it all together—that’s where you come in as the family history writer. Do your research carefully, put it together in a snappy-looking package, be patient in answering customers’ questions, and you could grow this business nicely.
Rental businesses are not as easy of a way to make money as you might think, but there are many rental firm owners who have made a lot of money. It takes time to develop a steady patronage and iron out the operational issues of running the business.
Many businesses and civic institutions need individuals who can clean their offices and common areas outside of normal business hours. If you’re willing to work some nights and weekends, you can build a cleaning side business and get in shape all in one fell swoop.
If you want to start your own business, first come up with a unique idea for a product or service that you think people would pay for. Then, look for funding by talking with your bank, looking for local investors, or approaching family and friends for start-up money. Next, set yourself up to work in an appropriate space, and buy whatever equipment your business needs. Finally, create a website for your business, find ways to advertise to your target customers, and network, network, network!
Crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter have changed the way entrepreneurs are raising money to fund their new businesses. Whether you want to sell a new software tool or set up an organic noodle bar, you can get people to invest in your business.