If you understand design and have a passion for décor, a career in interior design could be a great path for you. While you may not technically need a formal education to be an interior designer, having a bachelor’s degree in interior design will definitely give you a huge leg up in the field. But if working for a design firm doesn’t feel right to you, try running your own interior design business from your home.
Forget about business cards (at least at first) or trying to get travel agencies to recommend your guide service. If you know an area well, you simply sign up with a website like Vayable.com and let them find your customers for a cut of the revenue.
This one is a real wild card, but a friend in Dallas did it successfully for years. He was a self-taught art expert who advised clients on which pieces of fine art would make the best long-term investments. If you’re an art lover and educated—even self-educated—in art history, you can set up a business like this, too.
Generally speaking, if the square footage of your home office equals 10 percent of your home’s total, you can claim 10 percent of its expenses. The IRS also has a “simplified option” rule, which allows you to deduct $5 per square foot of your home office on your return, with a maximum write-off of $1,500 (based on a maximum of 300 square feet). It’s a good idea to take a picture of the space so that you have a record, in case the IRS does scrutinize your return.
But before you can graduate from side business idea and start earning a full-time living as a graphic designer, you’ll need to build your skills—I recommend starting with reading the foundational book Graphic Design School and Steal Like an Artist, the incredible book by Austin Kleon about how to become more creative. To accelerate your education in becoming a graphic designer even quicker, check out the online courses Graphic Design Fundamentals and The Graphic Design Bootcamp.
Non-profits, universities, hospitals and other community organizations all have a great need for grant money to supplement their budgets, but grants are notoriously tricky to write for the first time. If you have experience writing grants, or are willing to learn how to do it by practicing your skills without pay for a few non-profits, you can start a lucrative freelance grant writing business. According to eHow, grant writers can make anywhere from $40, 300 to $67,000.
You can buy a beer kit for under a $100 and start experimenting with brewing your own beer. If things go well, you can eventually open your own microbrewery.If beer isn’t your thing, then you can start making wine. Start by purchasing juice or growing your own grapes. If the batch is good, then you can sell your vino online and someday launch your own vineyard or tasting room.
Sales Tax Permits – If you intend to sell taxable goods, on- or offline, you will need to obtain a sales tax permit. Remember that sales tax permits not only refer to where your business is located, but where you conduct business. Even if your state of residence doesn’t require sales tax, if you transact business in a state that does, you can still be liable for having a permit. Small business sales tax laws can be complicated, so do your best to understand the intricacies before beginning your business.
Focus on your strengths, skills and experience. You can perform at a higher level earlier on if there’s less of a learning curve. And starting a business that you have passion for gives you a better shot at success and lowers the chances of burnout. A detailed business plan will help, too.
Everyone (even kids and retirees) need to have some level of technical know-how to stay competitive and appreciate the marvels of the digital age. Just observe how learning sites like Codecademy, Treehouse, and Udacity continue to grow and you’ll understand the urgency of getting computer training for our generation (thus making it a great business idea to train others if you already have the skills). If you’re a techie, you can cash in on this need by offering lessons and tutorials within your neighborhood or across cyberspace through portals like YouTube or Udemy as a side business idea. You can even set up your own tutorial site with an interface for online payments.
Not only is Airbnb a great way to make money by renting out your spare bedroom or living room couch as a legitimate home-based business idea, but you also have the benefit of meeting new people and making new friends if that’s your kind of thing. You can even rent out an entirely new apartment just to manage as an Airbnb side business idea, but don’t make the mistake of thinking this will be a passive source of income—you’re on call whenever you have a guest and you’ll always need to keep the place clean for incoming visitors. On top of just renting on Airbnb, you can take this business idea to the next level by offering your guests add-on and personalized experiences for an extra charge. Take Lauren Gheysens’ Airbnb-based side business idea, Royal Day Out in London, England for example—where she gives visiting tourists a local’s only tour of the city, complete with bespoke 18th century costumes.
As people are demanding more fulfillment in their lives and have more options to consider, they are increasingly turning to coaches. You can build your skills in this field by reading up on it, signing up for some life coaching yourself, or taking a course about how to teach life coaching.
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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.
This makes perfect sense. With how many business ideas already exist out in the world, it can be difficult to come up with the right side business idea you should be spending your time on. Especially if you’re looking for the kind of home business idea that’ll afford you immense lifestyle flexibility.
By building your business as if you were, let’s say, a publicly-traded company, you’re not just planning for success-you’re preparing for it. What publicly-traded company do you know has just one employee? Now I know what you’re thinking.
We don’t manufacture as much in America as we used to, but the phrase “American made” still means a lot to some people. Artisanal items are also popular, making now a great time to start a furniture-making business. This might not be the easiest idea to start from scratch, but if you already own the equipment you need, you can start producing pieces to sell at fairs and online on sites such as Etsy.
Incidentally, helping others grow their wealth is also a good way to grow your own financial worth as a side business idea. If you have stock market and finance credentials, then you can earn freelance commissions or consulting fees, advising clients on how to get the best returns for their investments as a lucrative side business idea if you can get results for those clients—otherwise this business idea can be the fast-track to alienating friends and family, so be careful.
Knowing how powerful the reach of the Internet is for research, companies are very willing to outsource their research efforts to independent Internet researchers. Of course, the more specialized and experienced you are the more ability you will have to both land jobs and to charge premium pricing.
If you had a knack for standardized tests and had no trouble acing the SAT, ACT or other college exams, why not start tutoring high schoolers as a side business idea? Parents of all economic backgrounds are more than willing to shell out upwards of $100/hr to the right tutor, if it means their son or daughter will get admitted to the college or university of their choice. See this quick checklist for starting an SAT tutoring business from the Work At Home Mom. Whitney over at Rookiemoms also has a cool story to share about a stay-at-home mom making $40/hr helping kids out with homework and turning it into a profitable side business idea.
One of my friend’s mothers who had performed as a Radio City Rockette, founded a highly successful dance studio for young girls. She was successful enough to rent large commercial space, but this is a business you may want to start in your home.
These days most of your local community is often online, meaning you can all connect without leaving your house. However there is often not a lot of community websites. You could start off a community website and share local new and information with other members of the community. You could make a profit from selling advertising space to local businesses or offering a premium section.
You can start as a personal trainer at a local gym. Then try going out on your own. Being known for a particular expertise can help. Then someday you can open your own gym. Maybe even franchise it and go global!
Carpets make your home warm and cozy. But they also tend to gather dust, grime, stains, allergens and bugs over time. You can tap into this opportunity by launching a carpet cleaning side business idea or serving as an independent contract cleaner in your free time. Either way, you’ll need to invest in proper equipment such as vacuum cleaners, carpet brushes, and cleaning chemicals in order to launch this business idea. Look into the possibility of renting equipment for a full weekend and lining up 5-10 clients to service, to offset your rental costs. If you turn a healthy profit, you’ll eventually be able to invest in owning your own equipment and increase your margins, thus going from side hustle to serious business.
A neat bonus of attending a craft class is that not only do you learn how to do something new, but also that you get to go home with something tangible—your finished craft project! People are often willing to take a craft class if you can market it in an appealing way. And focusing on what the finished project will look like is one way to get people excited about signing up!
EatWith is a great way to test the waters as a chef for your side business idea, and if you have enough rave reviews you might be able to turn your knife skills into a full-time endeavor where you’re leveraging your network to book catering events. This side business idea is built heavily upon getting happy referrals, so be sure to over-deliver for your first customers, and ask if they know anyone else who could be in need of your catering services.