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.
Do you have a piece of furniture that you love, but it’s looking a little ragged? Instead of purchasing a replacement you could have it upholstered. And, it’s pretty solid business idea as well. You can also repair and upsell used furniture for those who prefer quality pieces of furniture at a decent price.
I’ve seen promoters begin in this business by first promoting regular nights at established night clubs, then by working a deal with a club to have their own exclusive night, then eventually launching their own club venue.
You can put a big sign on top of your truck or pull it around on a trailer. This is particularly powerful for local businesses because you can offer pinpoint marketing—driving around the same business block for example. You could also offer a service to hire people to agree to have a commercial sign mounted on their cars as they drive around town doing their usual thing. For example, a Boston radio station arranged to have hundreds of small VWs to be painted with their logos, paying each car owner a monthly stipend. How big can this business go? Well CNN/Turner Broadcasting founder Ted Turner made his initial money in the billboard business!
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.
Despite the vast number of blogs these days, blogging is still a profitable business (we do it!). Blogging provides the opportunity for multiple revenue streams at once and could potentially be very profitable. However the majority of bloggers fail to make any substantial money so you need to know what you are doing if you are going to blog for business.
Coordinate a group of trusted mentors to counsel you on key issues in growing your business. While an advisory board may not seem like a critical component of business success, it can actually become one of your most important assets in business development — providing the strategic advice and complementary skills to take your company to the next level.
A friend in Boston made a living doing this. He had lived in the Netherlands and was fluent in Dutch. He contacted companies who sent people to the Netherlands to work and live, and offered to provide not just his language expertise but important information on Dutch culture and living in the country. It worked. If you’re from or have lived in another country, consider channeling not just your language but your cultural expertise into a new career.
Know someone who rents out property to others? Perhaps they could use a hand managing their property. If so, you can make a decent amount of money on this side business idea with relatively little work on your part (most of the time). It’ll take some hustling and the willingness to be flexible with your schedule, as you’ll be responsible for collecting rent checks, managing repairs and improvements, and simply being on call for emergencies. But, a property manager is essential for most real estate investors that have a large enough portfolio, so there’s definitely merit to this business idea.
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!
It’s funny how much baking can relate to making money. Start bringing in some side income by kneading flour, mastering the oven, and appeasing everyone’s sweet tooth. While some experts have already turned baking into their sole “bread and butter,” you need not leave your day job to pursue this business idea just yet. Depending on your experience, you can start by doing something simple on the side like perfecting Grandma’s nostalgic cookies before heading on to offer exquisite artisanal fare.
If you think you have a reasonably good ability to judge which early stage businesses have the best chances to succeed then this is the business for you! However, the odds against any particular venture backed business succeeding are low, so you need to spread your bets widely, especially if you are betting on very early stage companies. To get started you may first want to invest with a group of angel investors, typically plucking down $25k or $50k for each company you invest in.
A large proportion of homeowners and small businesses have lawns to tend to. Many turn to independent providers of yard work services to take care of their lawn care woes. To start and sustain a yard work services side business idea, you need training, equipment, and a growing network of customers. In the U.S., a full-time landscaping and groundskeeping worker reportedly earns a median wage of around $25,000, while those working on this as a side business idea largely during evenings and weekends can expect to make substantially less.
You’ll have to decide for yourself when to “formalize” your company by creating a legal structure like an LLC, buying liability insurance, and such. For advice on these matters, you can meet with volunteers at SCORE, and there are even places to get inexpensive legal help. Meanwhile, why not pull out a $100 bill and take a look at what you can do with it.
A furniture maker’s advice? Don’t be afraid to be a businessperson as well as a craftsperson. Charge more than you think your furniture is worth, and remember that craftsmanship and business savvy are not at all mutually exclusive.
I started two different map businesses while in college, both of which I later sold. One was a street map of a local resort area, which I sold to retailers and also sold advertising on the back side of. The other was a tourist map of the island of Nantucket which I sold at retail. Today with everyone using navigation systems, I would be less excited about putting together a street map. But a fun illustrated map showing local business sponsors still makes for a viable business model.
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.
Refusing to accept that I had no musical talent, my parents took me to many music teachers over the years, from a home based piano teacher to school based trumpet teachers. If you are patient with young students or talented enough to work with more experienced musicians, this could be a very satisfying way to make some good money.
Investment: You can keep your startup costs lower by operating from your home and starting with part-time hours. Costs may include educational supplies such as toys and books, furniture such as cribs and mats, outdoor playground equipment, cleaning supplies and insurance.
For this reason, consider testing out your dishes on a smaller scale first, at a local farmer’s market or a food festival. You can get feedback from customers on your product before investing in a mobile operation.
Do you have a way with words? Freelance copywriting is a good way to make money working from home. Companies large and small will pay someone handsomely to take basic information and add a bit of flair. If a smooth turn of phrase has been known to come forth from your pen, freelance copywriting might just be for you. It takes networking, but once you have a portfolio to show your worth, you’ll be able to prove to clients that you’re exactly the writer they need. And, as a bonus, if you’re naturally inquisitive and love storytelling, you might be able to spin your copywriting gig into a career as a freelance journalist.
The first thing you must do when setting up a home business is set aside a specific space in your home where you will work. Maybe it’s a spare bedroom or den; maybe it’s an alcove off your living room, or maybe it’s the workbench in the garage. It might even just be a desk.
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.
If you have the gift of gab, public speaking is a worthwhile side business idea for you to pursue. Many authors, medical practitioners, scientists, artisans, politicians, and other subject matter experts earn extra income by delivering speeches, seminars, and presentations. Professional motivational speakers earn an average annual salary of around $90,000 with just that portion of their income, making this a very realistic side business idea while you continue practicing your craft.
826 National is the largest nonprofit youth writing network in the country. 826 encourages under-resourced students to ignite their creativity, explore identity, advocate for themselves and their community, and achieve academic and professional success – all through the transformative power of writing.
College counsellors come in all shapes and sizes. Their primary duty is to help guide students through an important period in their lives. Some counselors focus on admissions, career advice, financial aid, athletics, extracurricular activities, and other concerns. There are institutions looking out for part-time college counselors, making this a fantastic side business idea, or you can even start your own practice and charge anywhere from $25-$100+ per hour for your consultative services if you’re well-versed on the subject.
“Build your business as if you were building a $100 million dollar company, not as if you were building a one person start up. Once you start gaining momentum, you’ll wish you had the systems, processes, and hiring practices of the big companies and not the piecemeal processes of a start up.”
The industry in which a small business operates also affects the average income of his owner. Some industries pay far more than others. For example, entrepreneurs who owned electrical contracting businesses make salaries that range from $49,910 to $114,000 each year. Child care providers, in contrast, make anywhere between $19,792 and $61,674 annually.
Online platforms like eBay and Etsy have made it simple to start a business selling vintage clothing and similar goods. You can shop for those items online, scour thrift stores, or just sell items you already own.
If you already have your own website or blog, you can earn money by becoming an affiliate. You can either sell products directly and earn money that way, or you can sign up others as affiliates, much like multi-level marketing.
do you know how to contact those who are in need of an eBay trading assistant? I have been unemployed for the past 4 years and recently my father passed away. SOMETHING HAS TO GIVE QUICK!!! I am 42 years old and have one child in college and another at home. I cannot believe I am in this place financially, as I have worked my entire life until I lost my lat job. I cannot find one. Love your post and advice. Thanks.
Yes, you should find your Dream Job and get paid what you’re worth. I’ve also been showing you exactly how to find your dream job, bypass online job sites, and master your interview and negotiations for years.
Here’s another wildcard from the friend in Dallas who had the art-consulting business. The premise is simple. Go into clients’ homes, photograph their art collections and produce a book (or even a Website) with a photo and a brief history of each piece in the collection.
A small business owner is an individual who manages his own organization. These entrepreneurs can be found within all industries, including retail, entertainment, financial services and law. A formal educational background is not required to become a successful small business owner. What is needed however is a good idea, a solid business plan and startup capital. Due to the variety of organizations that make up this sector, the average income of small business owners varies widely, depending upon level of experience, location of employment and gender.
Peer to peer lending: Peer to peer lending means that instead of depositing your money in a bank, giving you small-time interest in comparison to the interest earned by the bank (which is lending it), you’ll lend it directly to either private clients or small businesses that need financing. Returns in companies like Zopa have been well over the 5% mark for the last few years. To learn more about these alternative investments click here.
Being a publicist essentially involves getting clients mentioned in the press in as positive a light as possible. Publicity, a subset of public relations, works because it lends a sense of credibility that paid advertising can’t.
Learning how to promote yourself is a lynchpin for success. In addition to having a LinkedIn page, consider having Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter pages for your business. Check out competitors to see which networks they use professionally. Photographers, for example, often showcase their work on Instagram, while Pinterest is popular with people selling consumer goods such as jewelry and glassware.
How can you make a living as a real social-media expert? Practice. Build an audience for yourself before offering your services to others. Determine your target sector, build your own online presence in that community and start making contact with the social-media elite. Twitter is a great place to start. Keep cranking out content and getting it to the right users, and you’ll find a way to get yourself hired even in an ever-expanding universe.
Even in the Internet age a lot of people enjoy going to flea markets. To succeed in this business, you first need to be able to sell space to vendors. Then right from the first event you need to bring in enough visitors, so that your vendors are happy, and will come back again and again.
Nothing beats playing your favorite game. But getting paid for coaching a sports team and staying close to the action is the next best thing. Not only will you learn new skills, you’ll earn money getting your team into shape with this side business idea. The median pay for sports coaches clocks in at $30,400 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Expect to have only a slice of that if you’re signing up for part-time coaching as a side business idea only.
The entire productivity market was missing a reliable and trustworthy virtual assistant service. There were resources to find freelancers, but the time and effort spent to find a quality freelancer at a reasonable price far outweighed the reward. There was an opportunity to fix this pain point with reliable, vetted, and quality-guaranteed freelancers.
Self-Employed Taxes: As a home-based business owner, you are more than likely self-employed as well, and that can easily complicate the filing of your annual tax returns. The IRS offers a comprehensive overview of what self-employed workers need to know when preparing their taxes.
In particular, they need to tweet on Twitter and post on Facebook in order to raise awareness of their companies and promote their products. You may already know how to use these and many other social media platforms.