Thanks Oak, and I agree that many of these are for when you have a lot more time than money. We put in a lot of time (at least initially) starting our internet publishing business. In fact, you can often substitute time for money in many ways when starting.
These writers put together promotional materials for businesses, including ads, websites, newsletters, commercials, direct mailings, and many others. Copywriters generally have a degree in advertising, marketing, English, or communication, but any excellent writer can do a great job copywriting. Median salary: $55,000.
Countless small businesses start out their web presence using a WordPress hosted website (myself included) before needing to upgrade to other solutions for various reasons. Many of them will pay several hundreds of dollars for someone to get their business idea set up online. If you have the patience to learn how to do it yourself, it’s an extremely valuable skill and can be turned into a very lucrative side business idea—especially if you sign up for affiliate programs with companies like Kinsta, who offer high quality managed WordPress hosting plans that allow you to collect fees from the clients you refer their way. Plus, with the skills you pick up from this side business idea, you’ll be able to spin up other profitable website ideas like my friend Andy’s been able to do with his site, AwesomeStuffToBuy.
Fancy yourself a poet? You can earn $300 for every poem you write that this greeting card company publishes—not a bad side business idea if you’ve got a way with words and aren’t afraid of rejection on poems that aren’t a good fit.
If you love to cook on a grand scale, why not start a catering business out of your home? How much you make depends on the scale of the assignments you take, and your ability to correctly decide how much your materials will cost. But this is also an industry where you can start small and work you way up to bigger gigs—and profits.
An errand service can be a natural business to tie into grocery delivery, or vice versa. Once again, if you already have a car you’re ready to get started. People often need someone to check on their dog at home, or run to the store if they are homebound.
With the rise of online craft marketplaces like Etsy, people with decent artisanal skills like sewing and woodworking have an always-open market to sell their products as a side business idea. If you’ve always wanted to design and make clothes by hand, then you can start turning those fashion ideas into real, hand-sewn garments and earn a little bit with this side business idea while you sleep and customers from around the world browse your Etsy & Amazon stores.
We knew there was a huge opportunity in the VA space, and in order to get started immediately, we needed to create an MVP. Instead of spending resources on a custom solution, we initially used five main tools: Slack for internal communications, Trello for project management, Stripe for payment processing, Zapier for automations, and Toggl to track our eventual 100+ contractors’ time.
Having built one of the largest independent book publishers in the US, I can tell you that book publishing is not the easy road to riches that so many people think it is. Furthermore, I believe getting really rich publishing your own eBook can even be harder. For one the competition is insane…you will be competing with everybody and their mother, including people who are literally giving away their product. Furthermore, it is increasingly hard to get attention for books in the media, and it is hard to convert website visitors into book buyers. But hard is not impossible, and you could publish that rare book that makes a lot of money. Several of the book authors I published earned over a million dollars, and that was just from their royalties.
Always remember to personally connect with neighbors, friends, and family and let them know about your services. You can also check out third-party platforms like Care.com, SitterCity, and Task Rabbit where they connect caretakers with caregivers. If you are connected with a job on one of these platforms they’ll take a small percentage of the total transaction fee. In fact, the on-demand economy has made it easier than ever to make money on demand — to find out more check out this post.
In the beginning, you’ll likely be doing everything yourself or shouldering the responsibilities with a co-founder. As your business grows, document all the daily, weekly and monthly procedures you follow–whether it’s setting up a Facebook ad campaign, scheduling a call or closing a sale–in a way that someone else can replicate.
Get active in LinkedIn groups that relate to your industry and clients. Make posts and comment on posts by others. This will display your expertise and give you a feeling of being connected to a community. Check out this post on ways to improve your LinkedIn profile.
Will my local authority need to know? That will depend on the nature of the business and the number of people that you are planning to employ. For example, businesses related to child care, food production or hotel/B&B businesses are likely to need specific licences. The government website has a “licence finder” tool that you may find helpful. You may also need to comply with relevant health and safety and equality legislation.
Part of the immediate profitability came from the way we hired. Instead of taking on full-time employees, it was quicker and more cost effective to find talented freelancers. This took a lot of the risk off of our shoulders and also connected us to talent around the world.
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.
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.
The popular myth these days is that anybody with a smartphone can be a photographer. The truth, however, is that professional photography can be a cutthroat business, with demanding clients and fierce competition. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing as a profession for those who have a passion for it.
Washing windows for retail stores is about as simple as it gets. Just get your cleaning supplies and knock on the doors of retail stores, asking if they want their windows cleaned. If you get some takers you could arrange to make it into a regular service.
Cloud hosting allows businesses to store their data in the cloud and access it from anywhere. Cloud hosting is often very secure and is great for businesses to keep their data secure. Many cloud hosting business offer reseller programs and some even allow for your own branding. You could work with businesses to get them set-up with cloud hosting and ensure their business documents are secure.
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.
Just to add for those who are looking for ways to make money from home without leaving home, think about services you can provide to businesses i.e. being a virtual assistant – taking calls, marketing, data entry.
Learn about employment laws. If you plan to hire employees or contract workers as part of your home based business, you will need to know how to navigate labor laws. These include, but are not limited to, minimum wage, overtime pay, required benefits, and other fair compensation regulations. It’s best to hire legal counsel to make sure that you do not run afoul of these regulations.