Software drives businesses today. This is a fact not lost on individuals and companies attempting to earn a profit, make a name for themselves, or simply get things done. As a result, the job outlook for software developers will be much sunnier than prospects for many other occupations—creating massive opportunities for this business idea well into the future. In fact, it won’t take you long to find a good-paying software development project as a side business idea on sites like Upwork, Guru.com, and Freelancer. LinkedIn also recently launched their brand new freelancing platform, ProFinder which has a dedicated section just for hiring talented software developers.
If you’re a fitness buff and have the right combination of charisma and business sense, working as a part-time personal trainer as a side business idea can be both physically and financially rewarding. Once you build up a reputation and client base for yourself, it could easily turn into a full-time endeavor for you. Check out these tips to a successful personal training business by the American Fitness Professionals and this interview with several fitness blog owners who are making a living online, from MonetizePros. Finally, I’d recommend checking out this resource if you want to take this business idea seriously and get started with a business plan for your personal fitness trainer business today.
We come on the internet to find out information. However when we are researching we often use information from a variety of different websites. A potential business idea would be to create a niche website teaching full courses so that visitors can get all the information they need in detail without the need to go elsewhere. You could monetize the site by offering a subscription fee or through affiliate marketing on the site.
Many business and non-profit associations are too small to hire a full-time administrator but still have a lot of administrative work to be done. Some of the business groups I belong to, such as local chapter of The Young President’s Organization and The Harvard Business School Association of Boston, have hired an association management service which is typically a single individual or in one case a mother/daughter team. For these businesses, the management service processes membership dues and event payments, fields questions about events, arranges logistics for events, and attends events and welcomes members. Payment is usually on a monthly retainer basis.
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.
The only thing better than the smell of grandma’s chocolate-chip cookie recipe baking in the oven is watching cash roll in as customers order those delectable treats. Home baking is an approachable business idea in that it involves doing what you’re probably doing a lot of, anyway, if you love to bake. You probably have all the equipment and expertise you need to get started.
Any business that does not require a storefront would be suitable for a home business. That is, any type of professional service, small-scale manufacturing, or something like that would be great. However, a restaurant or auto-parts store would not make a good home business.
If you’re like most of us, window cleaning is my least favorite chore around the house. It’s tedious and never looks “clean.” That’s why I have no problem hiring a window cleaning service for both my home and business. Like a cleaning service, you have the option to do residential or commercial properties and it doesn’t require much capital to start.
All of these ideas require some background in the area, but they are an ideal way to use your already-acquired skills in a work-from home business. And even if you do not already have the necessary training, there is nothing keeping you from getting certified in order to start your home-based business. If you do not currently have enough money to get the certification you need I would recommend saving a little each month until you have enough to pay cash. If that is not an option or you are desperate to get out of the grind, then you can check personal and student loan rates from various banks at SimpleTuition.com or learn more about Peer to Peer borrowing in my Lending Club review.
For many people, the idea of getting paid to shop is a dream come true. There are many mystery shopping scams to beware of, however. Never accept a gig that requires an upfront fee—that’s a good sign it’s not legit. According to the website Scambusters, legitimate mystery shopping can pay anywhere from $8 per job up to $50 to $100 per job.
Shelving or Filing Cabinets: How much paper does your business generate? You might be lucky enough to keep most of it digital, but inevitably you’ll find yourself surrounded by stacks of papers that you’ll need to keep. Keeping your space uncluttered is more conducive to productivity.
If you’re running a small business out of your home, you may need tax registrations, business and occupational licenses, and permits from state and local governments in order to operate legally. Check to see that your homeowner’s association is OK with the idea. It might have restrictions.
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.
There is something special about the first edition of a rare book and people will spend big money to find the exact book they want. And then there is the shop itself, a rare book shop is such as wonderful antidote to our way-too-busy Internet world. Yes, you can make money with rare books but this is a profession that I suggest you ease your way into gradually, getting very comfortable with market demand and pricing, before investing in inventory.
We’re all guilty of spending too much time on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest sometimes, so why not get paid to put your expertise to work as a side business idea? Lots of companies, especially startups or those in retail and travel—even influencers have heavy social media presences and are constantly in need of people to help build their brands online. You can find these types of opportunities on sites like Flexjobs and CareerBuilder and most employers on these websites are conditioned to working with people who operate these services as their side business idea.
Great! It was really helpful specially to those mom out there wherein they want to earn money but then they need to stay at home. That legitimate home based ideas and opportunities was really great. Thanks for sharing it and I’ll share that ideas with my friends. Thanks again.
I like these ideas! Besides being good ideas in themselves, they stimulate MORE ideas! Some of them reminded me of something I was reading about called Craigslist arbitrage – buying low and selling high on craigslist, kind of like the first part of the old Oregon Trail game, but with washers and dryers and bicycles instead of cases of crackers and horses. Sounds like fun! Anyway, that one about the pooper-scooper business, that works, I know because I was quite successful in the pooper-scooper service I started back in 1988! I’ve been in the industry for 25 years now, though I don’t go out and scoop any more.
If editing and advising college students on how to write compelling 500 word essays on topics such as “You were just invited to speak at the White House. Write your speech,” seems like a compelling business idea to allocate your free time towards, trust me—tons of parents will pay you to edit admissions essays and offer constructive feedback for their children. Be careful not to blur the ethical line of actually writing their essays, but serving as an editor to help them convey their message can become a great side business idea that has the potential to spread by word-of-mouth referral in your community.
Not everyone wants to find a babysitter by responding to a hand-scribbled note on the bulletin board at the local coffee shop. That’s where you come in. Set up a babysitting service that includes vetting your sitters and giving your customers confidence that they are dealing with safe and dependable service providers!
Gazelle allows you to sell your old electronics and make some easy cash. Simply find your gadget on their website, answer a few questions, and ship it off for free with their pre-paid envelopes. Payments are made via check, Amazon gift card, or PayPal. Gazelle has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
Then, let the veterinarians, pet-shop owners, groomers and other providers of pet services that you’re in business. Try to hook up with a large local employer—a hospital, perhaps, or a university—and see if you can pick up multiple clients there at once. A friend in Oregon followed those steps and now runs a successful dog-boarding operation.
It takes some time to grow an audience and find ways to monetize your blog, but if you love to share your point of view with the world, this can be a good way to work from home. Niche blogs are a particular area of growth in this ever-growing profession. Pay can vary widely, but the income potential is nearly limitless.
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.
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.
FusionCash is an online platform that allows you to make money from taking surveys, watching videos, shopping online, completing short tasks and lots more. Sign up and immediately earn $5.00 for joining. Most offers pay between .25 to $30 per offer, and payments are made via PayPal, check, or direct deposit once your account reaches a $25 threshold. Some offers do require a credit card number, so if you don’t feel comfortable giving out that information, just stick to the offers which display the No CC icon. Fusion Cash is a member of the Better Business Bureau.
Sammi Caramela has always loved words. When she isn’t working as a Purch B2B staff writer, she’s writing (and furiously editing) her first novel, reading a YA book with a third cup of coffee, or attending local pop-punk concerts. The only time Sammi doesn’t play it safe is when she’s writing. Reach her by email, or check out her blog at sammisays.org.
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.
Find a unique product category that’s still untapped by the box subscription industry, or find a way to put a new spin on an existing service, and you could have a lucrative business on your hands. Keep it as inexpensive as possible — according to LearnVest, offering cheaper products will help you stand out from the competition.
If you’re able to help students with academic subjects, sign up with a website like Tutor.com. If you prefer to tutor people on a wider variety of subjects, like chess, sports, cooking, or singing, try Wysant.com.
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.
If I missed any good ones, please share your best side business ideas in the comments below! If you’re ready to start a business while you’re still working full-time, join my free course, Find a Profitable Business Idea.
My cousin worked for a jet ski rental firm in Sarasota Florida. Was that a fun job! Problem was that now and then when people panic on a jet ski, they will run it right into another boat! So, try to avoid renting jet skis in a busy boat anchorage and make sure your customers are confident operators before you set them loose!
Because I am just a little bit techie, I get asked to video record weddings all the time. If video or photography are up your alley, starting a wedding photography business could be a great idea for you. If doing weddings aren’t your thing, there are other ways you can make money as a photographer as well.
Videos are now becoming a popular way for businesses to promote their products on the internet. Videos can often get across a lot more information about a product than just text and images. If you know how to shoot and produce professional videos then you could charge businesses a fee for these services
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!
Whether if it’s for the mid-season or winter, boats that are hauled out of the water are going to need repairs will need everything from the the decks, the head, the holds, and the sleeping quarters to be cleaned. Start by approaching any homes that have a boat on their property or working with a local marina to contract your cleaning or repair services.
From weddings to birthday parties to corporate events to conferences, the details of putting on a huge bash can be beyond the average party-giver. That’s why they’ll turn all the planning over to you. Median salary: $45,260.
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.
If you don’t mind doing other people’s chores, then TaskRabbit may be the right side business idea for you. Earn a little side money doing odd jobs like walking your neighbor’s dog or mowing Mr. Smith’s lawn. Running errands not your style? Tell that to the top taskers on the portal who reportedly earn as much as $7000 a month, making this a full-time business idea for some.
This is a great part time business that can pay very good money. For my kids, I hired coaches who were usually still students themselves, and had very little paid test prep experience. But I did make sure to hire test prep coaches who had scored exceedingly well themselves on the exams being targeted. You don’t have to be good at every subject. Just find one exam that you can study up on and excel at, and that’s all you need to become a great test prep coach!
Darren the more I learn, the more I realize that I have so much to learn. At the beginning I knew I had a lot to learn, and I have learned a lot, but as I have moved further along my eyes have been opened to things that I couldn’t understand at the beginning. Anyway, it is a good thing that there is always room to grow.
Rather than replacing sofas and chairs, many people prefer to save money and just replace the fabric, often changing colors in the process. This is a great service business—you can’t be underpriced by Amazon. Furthermore, not only will your customers come to you for more business at some point, but you bet that next time they are entertaining in their living room that your new fabric covering work will come up in the conversation! Eventually you may want to consider offering complete re-upholstering services.
Search engine optimisation is constantly changing and businesses are willing to pay a lot to stay at the top of search results. As an SEO consultant you would work on client websites to ensure they are search engine optimised correctly to rank top. You could start this business from home with your own website that ranks top for SEO services.
A lot of car owners simply don’t have time to personally care for their vehicles, much less make them sparkle. With simple equipment such as car shampoo, polishing wax, tire black, sponges, a pail and a sturdy hose, you can start earning a decent side income by making cars look fresh in your free time after work and on weekends. Not bad for an easy business idea that’ll keep you outdoors and moving your body on the weekends.
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This is one of the most popular small businesses in the world! And no wonder! Everyone needs to have it done and many people don’t like to do it! It is also a business that can be challenging to get your employees to consistently do a fantastic job. That’s why this business is particularly well-suited for both solo entrepreneurs and an entrepreneur who runs one single crew of cleaners.
To create a successful virtual assistant company, I knew we would need a “techie” to manage the platforms, a “connector” to connect us with the right clients, and a few trusty team members ready to get their hands dirty and take on any project thrown their way. Every team member was tasked with becoming an expert in the productivity space by testing other VA companies and learning the latest tools.
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.
A few years ago I started making my own beeswax candles – because they were so stinking expensive to buy. In the process of learning, I found that there are a lot of people who use candle-making as a home business. You can sell to your products online at places like Etsy.com or Ebay.com.
With the advent of Fiverr, we saw a brand new way to assign and accept work: little jobs for small payouts. But it’s no party trick. Apps like Gigwalk and sites like Mechanical Turk make it possible to cobble together a living with lots of little assignment each day.
Fiverr.com takes a dollar of each $5 sale, so you might wonder how sellers make money. It’s all about the extra services. Many of the logo designers there keep it really simple for a basic sale (add a company name to a template), but offer extra services that can add $100 or more to an order.
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.
Great insight Steve! As someone pointed out above, with so many options to start for such little money, most people really have no excuse. Some of the online related businesses are ones I intend to try just for the fun of it.