See what buyers are paying, and then offer half of that or less. The big margins are in textbooks, but online buyers accept many types of used books, and often pay for shipping with a printable label.
Whether it’s a child’s birthday party or a wedding reception, behind every good celebration there is a great planner. People will pay big bucks to quality planners to create experiences they’ll never forget. Armed with little more than a budget and a knowledge for what makes a party really “pop,” party planning can become a lucrative home-based business for any party animal.
I see two routes to success in this business: 1) Focus on artists with well- established followings that you are comfortable that you can sell or 2) Take on less well-known artists on a consignment basis, meaning you don’t actually buy the painting from the artist until the day you sell it. This can be a finicky business–people’s tastes can change and a gallery that is successful one year can find itself struggling enough. So, keep your overhead manageable and watch for changing trends.
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.
Having a specialized skill set can help, especially in some businesses, but even without many skills it’s worth trying something when the risk is so low. My wife and I knew nothing about putting websites online, but grew our internet publishing business to six figures within a few years, starting with less than $100.
Learn a little more with online tutorials on how to become a social media consultant. Then contact everyone you know to see if they need this valuable service. Scaling up will require hiring others at some point, so you can focus on getting new clients.
The market for music teaching is there, and your instrument is your specialty. The key is to develop reasonable but firm policies on pricing and cancellations and to, if possible, make your home the venue for providing lessons, rather than traveling to visit students.
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.
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.
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.
Gardening is big and growing. And it is a business that is less likely to move totally online than many other businesses. You could start out with a supply center, expanding over time to add some plants to sell, and then, eventually vertically integrate with your own plant nursery. You could also expand into providing onsite services.
This is a specialized niche of the fencing business, but so differentiated that it is basically a totally separate, non-competitive business—and that’s the best kind of niche to find! Your market is dog owners, and probably the owners of some types or dogs, or maybe multiple dogs, are much more likely to be customers than others, which means that you can really target your marketing!
The old saying about one person’s trash being another person’s treasure is the mantra of the antiques refurbishing business. This is a great opportunity to turn a hobby into a business. But don’t confuse your hobby interest and your business interest.
You can make good money at this business but you need great locations that provide enough volume to make it worthwhile to service provide a decent return on your investment. I have even seen some entrepreneurs try selling snacks at companies without any machine at all…totally on the honor system. Still another variant you could do is provide coffee, soft drinks or basic snack food for a company location and try to get the company to pick up the cost as a benefit for its employees.
One of my friends and his wife liked having a nanny so much that they kept her to help out around the house even after the kids went off to boarding school. This same friend told me they went through 23 nannies in 22 years! No wonder there is a demand for nanny services! This business is all about trust. If you don’t have successful placements under your belt, you can build trust other ways. Show off your background, describe your thorough vetting process, and have a very professional looking website and marketing materials.
Search “tax preparation no experience” on job websites like Indeed.com. You’ll find plenty of companies willing to train you for jobs preparing tax returns (at least during tax season). Once you have a season under your belt, it’s time to strike out on your own.
Getting started in the sport fishing charter business may not be as expensive and difficult as you think. Unless you are going into particularly rough waters you don’t need to start with a large cabin boat. Furthermore, you can finance much of your purchase. And if your fishing skills are a little weak, hire a boat hand with some strong local fishing knowledge. In the right location, you can charge some serious money in this business.
As an example, your business may make a $20,000 profit. But if you live in a large city, support a family and maybe elderly parents, and are trying to save for kids’ college and retirement, then most likely $20,000 is not enough.
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.
Because a home-based or online business operates with the goal generating revenue by selling goods or services to the public, most of the rules designed to guard the public and collect tax revenue apply. This includes obtaining an array of business licenses, permits, and zoning approvals, as well as incorporating or forming an LLC to operate your business legally, protect your personal assets, avoid fines and penalties, and boost your business credibility.
With all my experience in book publishing I am not going to tell you that this is an easy business, especially with the domination of players like Amazon. But if you pick a defensible niche, keep your overhead low, you could develop a decent business.
Some people have no time. They may have a job that requires lots of travel or an executive position that has them working around the clock. But you can make their life easier offering personal concierge services!
The other option for online sales is to simply become the eBay middleman. Millions of vendors sell their wares on the online auction house. If you can find an inexpensive source for (legally!) saleable merchandise, you can get into business.
A CV can often be what gets you a job interview. If your CV is not standing out then you are just going to get over looked with the rest of them. There has been a growing trend of CV’s that are unique, colourful and standout from others. You could start a business creating standout CV’s for customers who will find it worth paying for it they get the job they want.
There has been a large increase in customers looking for parts for vehicles and this has led to some successful businesses focusing on just one model. You could easily start a successful e-commerce store for specific car models. As a niche site you would most likely have little competition and could charge more for hard to find parts.
Like drinking beer? Why not try making it yourself as your side business idea? With enough patience and skill you might end up brewing something that others are willing to pay to drink. Pick up an easy-to-use starter kit from Mr. Beer online, invest the time it’ll take to perfect your craft, make a unique brew and start shopping it around to friends & family to see what they think of this side business idea.
People love to be organized but often they never find the time to make it happen. And a lot of people just aren’t very good at it either. You can help people organize their house. And in the process, you can make them feel more organized about their life! What a great service!
Being a clown for kids’ birthday parties and similar events can be a fun job if you enjoy entertaining and working with children. You’ll, of course, need to leave your home for the actual events. But you can do the booking and prep work from home.
Everybody’s on social media, which is both a blessing and a curse for the would-be social-media specialist. On one hand, every organization that sells anything needs a presence on social media, so the market for experts is huge. However, there is also no shortage of social-media experts—or people who think they’re experts, anyway.
This is a really big business that you probably don’t think about a lot. On the high end are the museums. For example, in Boston the Museum of Fine Arts performs art restoration services for other institutions. Then there are the serious individual collectors. Then there are people who just want their old family portraits touched up…and that’s the part of the market you will first want to focus on if you don’t have a lot of expertise.
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.
Creating a profitable app for smart phones isn’t necessarily about having the best or most innovative idea: it’s about creating the best user experience for that idea. That’s how app designers are able to make their work-from-home a full time job—and then just live off the passive income.
Part of the reason is that I often want a great breakfast later in the day and yet I frequently can’t find a convenient place to go. Also, breakfast foods cost little money, allowing for higher markups. And breakfasts are easier to prepare than gourmet dinners. Also, this kind of restaurant would potentially be busy for many hours during the day.
If you have a fondness for taking pictures of smiling families or laughing children blowing bubbles, consider becoming a stock photographer and selling your images to a stock photo company like Unsplash, ShutterStock and iStockPhoto as a side business idea. You’ll get royalties every time someone licenses an image you’ve submitted. To really be successful, build your own photography website to be able to showcase your portfolio and start getting higher-paid private corporate work.
In that case, you buy the building and hire a management company to handle the day-to-day hassles. I once tried to sell one of my online businesses to a 40-year old real estate billionaire who started out his business with just a couple multi-family homes.
You can power wash houses, commercial buildings, driveways, patios, motor vehicles and more. You will need to be registered, probably have to post a bond, and there may be environmental issues because of the water usage. This is a business you will want to learn carefully. But the upside is that there are many potential markets for your services.
Fashion, style, and grooming continue to be a lucrative side business idea that can be done in your hours outside of work. If you know how to mend clothes, then you have a growing market of budget-conscious and/or personalization-obsessed customers. Entrepreneur says you need around two thousand dollars to start a decent side business idea in this niche but there’s no harm in starting smaller and growing from there, as long as you can make magic with needle and thread.
Yoga is getting ever more popular, which means yoga instructors are more in demand than ever—making this another physically rewarding side business idea. Link up with a local yoga studio to teach nightly classes or offer personalized yoga in-home at a higher rate to pursue this kind of emotional and physical balance with others, during your free time while helping your bank balance, too.
On the other hand, if you want to market your own t-shirts you might have more upside potential but the downside is greater too! The brothers who started “Life is Good” t-shirt business for example, lived out of their van for several years until their business finally gained momentum.
T-shirts can be a viable path toward creating an automated side business idea that makes money for you while you sleep. Even Bloomberg and Forbes feature stories from entrepreneurs who’ve done just that. Want to learn how to make this side business idea come to life? You can find TeeSpring selling walkthroughs here, here and here.
I can barely “cook” a frozen dinner, but you may have the cooking skills that I lack! People will pay good money for a really awesome cake for special occasions. Get some great cake pictures up on your website, promote your skills to event planners and build your clientele!
These are all great business ideas. The secret is finding something you LOVE doing and running with it with all your might. Then you are guaranteed to have success. Enthusiasm is what makes business and making money fun!
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.
If you have the right touch, this business can be a goldmine, and very personally rewarding. One of my business school classmates changed into this career later in life and did very well, specializing in putting together highly talented teams for well financed startups, and early stage ventures. The typical head hunter makes endless cold calls–but at the higher end firms networking is much more important.
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.
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.
Yes, even the PowerPoint presentation requires outside consulting every now and then—especially if it’s not your forte. I know I would happily outsource the visual layout of my presentation decks for work meetings, investor pitches and lectures. Tobias Schelle of 24Slides is living proof that you can turn your skills at slideshow presentation design into a legit side business idea—and potentially earn up to $20 a slide for your time and talents.
Social networks are great for small businesses to take advantage of but many of them do not have the skills required to successfully market their businesses on social networks. If you know how to use social networks such as Twitter and Facebook to successfully market a business then you could start charging for this service. This is a business that you can run from home and will require little initial start-up cost.
You would think that in this day and age of electronic communication that messengers were something of the past—but no messenger services are still vibrant. In larger cities bicycle courier services are popular and in smaller cities local messenger services rely exclusively on cars.