It used to be that if you had a product to sell, you also had to have a storefront and all the costs associated with it. These days, you can sell anything to anyone anywhere in the world. Whether you’re marketing the organic honey from your backyard apiary, or selling personalized linens that you embroider yourself, you can find a market for your products online.
A couple of years before I had my daughter, I entertained the thought of becoming an event planner. I was ready to do something other than nursing, and event planning seemed like the perfect career since I loved planning parties. However when I looked further into the profession, there were a few of things that kept me from pursuing it as a career.
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.
Technology can make so much of your work easier, so before you start your eCommerce business, play around with customer relationship management, accounting, project management, and email marketing software that you can integrate into what you’re doing once you launch.
If you’ve developed valuable skill sets or certifications within your industry over the years, consider putting your skills to use in your free time by offering your consulting services to local business owners as a potentially lucrative side business idea. Whether you’re an expert marketer, business strategist, or manufacturing aficionado, there’s likely a local business owner who’s willing to pay you to help them solve an issue with their company—if you can craft an effective cold email that convinces them to hire you. Start with this 18-step checklist to becoming a local business consultant as a side business idea, from Karyn Greenstreet. When you’re ready to get serious about becoming a consultant, check out all of my picks for the best online business courses to keep building your skills and learning how to land your first consulting clients. Personally, I think this is one of the best business ideas you can get started with today.
Events like family reunions and large parties are often full of busywork that many people simply don’t want to tackle. That can be the perfect place for you to step in and take charge of the planning and coordination. And thanks to the Internet, it is now easier than ever to market your event planning services.
As your cash flow builds, you’ll want to reinvest some of it into professional development. Luckily, they are events, tradeshows, webinars, teleconferences, online courses, books, membership sites, mastermind groups, and coaching sessions – there is something to fit every budget and every niche. By investing in yourself and your business, you gain the knowledge, information, and skills to make your event planning business a success.
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.
I will tell you a secret. You can make a lot of money from a non-profit business. You can pay yourself a good salary and reasonable expenses. And you can even sell the enterprise. Better yet, you can create an organization that will really help others. I strongly suggest you approach running a non-profit with the same discipline that you would a profit-making business, and almost all of the how-to videos on BusinessTown.com apply to non-profits as well.
Although I found it difficult to sell new bicycles out of my house, I found it a snap to sell used bicycles. In fact, the summer I started Bob’s Rent-A-Bike I found I could buy used bicycles at the beginning of the summer, rent them out all summer long, and then sell them often for more than I paid for them at the end of the summer!
Listen to my interview with serial entrepreneur and investor, Michele Romanow about how she built an app that earned $500,000 in 3 months (as a side business idea outside of her day job) and how she eventually sold the company to Groupon. It’s seriously incredible.
If you really want all those things, you need learn to dig deep into what your customers really want and put their needs first. This takes work, and you need to be prepared to dedicate time EVERY week to make it happen.
2. “Test” for language using this script: “I’m thinking of starting some kind of website around [YOUR IDEA]. When you talk to your friends about it, what do you say? What’s the biggest problem around [YOUR IDEA]?”
Going into this space, you need to be particularly disciplined in valuing and paying for items. You want to be able to buy items at a cheap enough price so that you can still make good money when you sell them at a fair price. You also need to avoid items that may take a long, long time to find the right buyer. The more you specialize – assuming you specialize in a not too narrow area – the better your chances are.
Your target market. Who are you selling to? Don’t be afraid to get mega-specific here. Age, gender, location, income level — all of it’s relevant, and the more specifically you can define your market, the more effectively you’ll be able to sell to them.
One of my friend’s mothers offered art lessons in her home after school. She had a steady clientele and they made some really cool art! You may already have an art specialty that you want to teach to others. Or you may find that you are better off learning the basics of a new art skill and teaching that, or offering a survey course covering a number of art skills—most of the market will likely be beginners anyway.
These businesses have been around forever, and I have hired temp workers through them from time to time, typically for simple packing or assembly type work. Historically your success would be largely dependent upon how successful you were at making sales calls on companies that hire temporary help. But today you can also bring sales leads to you through online marketing.
Of course, you can try your hand at building homes and other large endeavors or you can specialize in smaller projects. Maybe driveways? Patios? Outside waterfalls? Closet renovations? There is no limit to what you can do, but to be highly successful or to build a scalable business I suggest you carefully find a highly profitable niche.
Every business needs help with their Internet marketing. And now I see even the smallest businesses hiring specialists for individual aspects of digital marketing. For example, they may hire one expert for pay-for-click search engine advertising, another for Facebook marketing and still another for SEO for their website. So, you could focus on one aspect of digital marketing, or you could be a generalist.
This is basically an employment temp service, but you may be “leasing out” employees for longer stints of time. The advantage to the customer is that they don’t have to get involved in sourcing, screening and qualifying candidates, and importantly, they are not responsible for employment taxes, withholding and reporting. To succeed at this business, you need a strong ability to sell your services and place employees. This can be a “messy” business with employees coming and going, tax filing requirements, and customers to please. However, the upside is unlimited, some employee leasing firms have grown into mammoth enterprises!
My brother makes around 50K a year running a “We Pull Weeds by Hand” business as a lot of people don’t want herbicides sprayed in their flower beds. He also does some mulching, flower planting, etc. All it take is a truck or van and some hand tools.

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.
Bridal shows can be an important marketing venue for the purveyors of wedding goods and services. You could start in this business by helping vendors prepare their display spaces at various shows, and then at some point you may want to organize your own bridal shows.
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.
Teaching and tutoring English as a second language is a great way to make a solid side business idea work, not to mention opening doors for you to travel the world if you’d like. While full ESL (English as a Second Language) accreditation is recommended, as long as you’re a native speaker, there are people in countries such as Hong Kong or the UAE who are willing to pay upwards of $25/hr for you to teach them English via Skype. Indeed, Learn4Good and Remote.co often have remote english tutoring jobs posted, check back frequently. Then once you land that remote job, you’ll need somewhere more professional than your dining room table to meet with students—check out this post about how to find places to work remotely and you’ll officially graduate this side business idea into a full-time endeavor for yourself.
Yes, you can turn your car into a money-maker by driving for Uber and Lyft, but there are other ways to convert mileage into money as a clever side business idea. One way is to do vehicle advertising, a potential side income source of anywhere between $100 to $600 per month. Whether you own a compact sedan or a full-sized bus, your vehicle’s exterior space is prime real estate for ads. Check Wrapify, carvertise, and similar sites for more details about getting started with this business idea and for being paired up with local advertisers.
Over the years, I’ve gotten to know some people who have highly established art galleries in excellent locations. Despite these advantages, some still struggle in business at times, as art styles and sales cycles run up and down – the overhead and the rent just seem to go up and up. Enter the “floating art gallery,” where there is no rent or other overhead – just pure profit!
Becoming an Uber driver has quickly become a great way for people to get their own business off the ground. You will need to pass a background check and have valid instate driver’s license and auto insurance. The process is pretty painless and will get you rolling on your own business. Many people start as an Uber driver to pay the bills while they work on another business that they are more passionate about. Check out our post to learn more about Uber driver requirements.
Tracing the business history of our country, it has been noted that the market is ripe for the ambitious entrepreneur to dominate it today. Some individuals may have the business acumen to influence the market but have not yet managed to narrow down on a single idea to begin with.
There are a lot of ways to do this business idea. If you have something like tools, gadgets, instruments, car, truck or anything that other people may rent for one-time or occasional use, you might try puting up a business around this. Here’s a list of common things people rent:
Tax Calculation: Tiered based on taxable gross receipts. LLCs with between $150,000 and $1 million in gross recipes pay $150. If you form an LLC during the second half of the year, your first year’s CAT is $75.
This is an especially good idea for stay-at-home-parents who need to bring in some money. You’re already staying home with your kids: why not invite a few others to the party? Licensing for in-home daycare varies from state to state, but you will want to make sure you comply with your local regulations. Median salary: $19,300.
Have great customer service skills. Be good at interacting with people. Practice reading between the lines of what people say. Learn how to meet needs they didn’t know they had. Figure out how to make people happy. Be charming. Most importantly, be humble. The customer may not always be right but you need to be able to let them think they are.
1. Find 1 person — JUST ONE! — who might be interested in your idea. You can do this via email or in person. If you’re not sure, ask ANYONE that’s close to you, even your parents. We’re not aiming for perfection right now, just people.
With the byzantine complexity of modern medical billing practices, there is a definite need for patient advocates. These individuals take the time to track down hospital billing paperwork and potentially argue with insurance companies. Considering the fact that many of those who need to hire advocates are either ailing or grieving, this is a very necessary service.
Got a thing for numbers? Plenty of companies need to hire talented contractors who are good at data analysis, making this a potentially lucrative side business idea if you have the right credentials and experience. Platforms like Upwork and Digiserved are but a two of many websites that are great for freelancers with an analytical prowess, looking for extra work as a side business idea around their full-time jobs.
Be sure it’s unique. Whatever your idea is, be sure it’s as unique as possible. This will help you eliminate or significantly combat competition, which will make your business more successful. Simply putting a small spin on a currently existing product (making blue Red vines or something like that) is not usually enough to build a business on, so push the envelope!
Fall cleanups cost an average of $200-$500 for a half acre plot with a partial shade. Like spring cleanups the average price depends on the number of times fall cleanups are done. The average price also depends on the number of trees you have on your property. I.e. the more trees you have, the more leaves you will have to clean up which costs more. The number of adjacent trees around your property also contributes to the average price of the fall cleanup lawn service. If you have neighbors’ who have trees, the fall cleanup is bound to be more as leaves get blown into your property which will increase the price. Another factor that might affect the price of a fall clean lies in the disposal of the leaves. The cleanup leaves can be disposed in two ways i.e. the leaves can be disposed as trash, left to be blown into woods, or they can be removed by the lawn service company which usually comes at an additional charge. Depending on the above factors, the average price should not exceed $500 for a property less than half an acre. This is also a good time to winterize the irrigation system.
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.
This is a great part-time business because you decide when you want to work. And except for work requiring licenses, you can decide how much work you want to contract out and how much you want to do yourself.
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.
To be clear, providing care for the elderly often requires a broader set of credentials (as it should) so this business idea isn’t one most people can get started with this weekend. These credentials may include licenses, training certificates, business permits, and tax forms depending on which state you wish to operate, the level of care you intend to provide, and whether you plan on running a formal business or just hiring yourself out as an independent worker as a side business idea. If you’re already giving unpaid care to an elderly relative or friend, you may want to review Medicaid provisions for some compensation. In all cases, you need genuine affection for the elderly, a lot of common sense, and good knowledge of first aid, CPR, and elderly care basics to excel with this side business idea.
A doula is a labor coach that can help a birthing mother in any labor environment, from a hospital to a midwife clinic to home. Doulas are non-medical professionals who offer information, emotional support, and physical assistance in the process of giving birth. While licensing for doulas is not required by most states, getting certified by DONA International, the only certifying body for this profession, is a good idea. Doulas do have to deal with unpredictable schedules, but they easily can do this work from home. Doulas generally charge between $500 and $1000 per birth.
I have seen people do very well building and renting residences for the elderly. This is a highly-regulated field and you do need to manage it carefully. Staff turnover can be sky high and “one-time” issues with residents and their families may seem endless, but there is a lot of upside here.
Why not start a coffee shop that has competitive quality yet very affordable? Always remember that it’s not always about the coffee but the customers’ overall experience in your cafe. If you want to pursue this kind of business, here are the major things you need to consider:
Build your own social following and create a personal brand for yourself like Matt Nelson, founder of WeRateDogs has done (thus growing his following to more than 2.8 Million people), and countless opportunities will come your way for turning this side business idea into a full-time business.
Many small companies and startups now outsource jobs that aren’t part of their core business (such as HR, admin, and accounting), which makes this skill set a great opportunity for starting a side business idea that engages your number prowess. Because companies always need to track their cash flow, freelance accountants and bookkeepers can really benefit from the increasing demand for part-time help.
Take a look at what problems you’re facing right now in your life, whether it’s something that annoys you a little bit, or something that can potentially uproot your entire day. See if you can find a solution to that problem, if you’re experiencing this issue, you can be pretty sure there are others out there who are going through the same thing.
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Writer, side project aficionado, and part-time entrepreneur. Join me here, on ryrob.com and learn how to start a business while working full-time. Let’s chat on Twitter about business and side projects.
Your email list is going to be your most direct form of contact with your audience. It’s been proven to be the most effective marketing channel available to you, and for years, email marketing has consistently outperformed every other digital channel when it comes to acquiring sales, leads, and customers.
Interested in starting a blog and working from home? Sign up for my Make 1k Blogging email challenge. It’s a free, 10 email series that’s main goal is to help you get your blog set up and earning $1,000!
The term ‘big fat Indian wedding’ exists for a reason. This is because weddings are taken very seriously by almost all cultures making up our diversified society. Today, even multinational corporations like Uber are tapping into this lucrative industry and centring their campaign on it. The most important investment you need to make to launch a wedding consultancy is in maintaining a popular website for it. The best way to reach out to potential clients in this field is online. Thus, ensure that your website has the requisite base of followers and is detailed, accessible, and colourful.