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.
Web designers are incredibly valuable for technology companies—which is why becoming a freelance web designer is a top side business idea today. Web design is all about mastering the art of creating a beautiful, value-driven experience for the people using a website or app. There are always new websites popping up in need of professional web design, and foundational books like HTML & CSS: Design and Build Websites by acclaimed web designer Jon Duckett and Don’t Make Me Think by user experience legend Steve Krug will get you started down the right path to quickly determining whether or not becoming a web designer is a viable side business idea for you.
NerdWallet has rounded up some of our best information on starting a business, including structuring and naming your company, creating a solid plan and much more. We’ll help you do your homework and get started on the right foot.
This is good specialized business with a specific, clearly defined market to target. Until you have started to gain momentum you might want to find someone you can rent a horse trailer from on an as-needed basis. Then buy your own trailer after you start to build your customer base.
If there are big names out there who already offer the same app as you, you are out of luck. The best hope is to be first to market with a new idea. If your app has any uniqur features, especially if you have some form of copyright protrction or patent, the that feature to the big guys amd perhaps they will add it to their app and pay you for the idea.
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!
Our advice is sticking to something you can really shine on. If you’re ultra muscular, videos of you training and instructing can become very popular, but if you don’t have the body or knowledge to show for it, you might become a laughing stock. If you’re an ultra-gamer considering yourself lucky, as the top grossing Youtuber, PewDiePie, is a gamer making 4 M Dollars (estimated) from his Hobby.
Some claim a lot of people are interested in the idea of blogging as a business. May somebody please explain if this is a viable home based business, and how much can you realistically bring in based on an hourly rate… bottom line after all you have to put into it!?
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.
Using your skills for profit is a common trend with all of the best side business ideas. If you’re an expert at something, there’s likely an audience of people online who would be willing to pay to become an expert in your field—just like you. If you want to take your skills and turn them into an online course that teaches others how to get the same results you’ve achieved in your life, career, or business, start with How to Create an Awesome Online Course on Udemy, where instructor Miguel Hernandez covers how he makes over $90,000/yr teaching online. You’ll learn from more than 8 hours of video instruction.
The day spa business is hot as more and more overworked people seek rejuvenation for their tired bodies. I would pull first time customers in with very sweet deals, then try to tie them in with a membership model, such as so many day spa visits per month for one flat rate. Building out a day spa can be expensive and will usually cost more than you budget, so with your first spa I wouldn’t get too carried away with remodeling. Instead make the spa nice, but not lavish, and then offer great service.
Packaging your skills and knowledge into a downloadable eBook that delivers value to those seeking to learn a skill, advance in their careers, or start their own businesses, makes for a strong value proposition if you target the right audience. Check out Leslie Samuel’s great guide to selling eBooks online and start building your strategy around this side business idea. This class with Tara Gentile on CreativeLive will also show you how to use your existing body of work to write an eBook within the next week. Put in some serious work with your eBook, build an audience and you’ll have a platform to pitch traditional publishers on landing a book deal—then you can write one of the best business books and really build your personal brand.
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.
What if I am not making any alterations? Will running your business materially change the use of the property? The answer is likely to be yes if your property will no longer be used mainly as a private residence or your business will increase traffic, involve activities unusual in a residential area or disturb your neighbours. The key test is whether your house is still mainly a home or whether it has become business premises. If it has, you may have to make a planning application for change of use. If you are in any doubt, you can apply to the local council for a Certificate of Proposed Lawful Use or Development in relation to your proposed activity, to confirm that it is lawful. The Planning Portal has some helpful links.
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.
Some local businesses don’t want to go through all of the necessary steps to do their inbound marketing themselves. They would rather have you just do it all for them and deliver leads to their doorstep. If you go into this business I would suggest that you consider building your expertise for a particular industry, instead of a particular location, as the results for a particular industry are more likely to be repeatable.
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Being a virtual assistant not only gives you the flexibility of working from home, but often you get to set your own hours. Virtual assistant work is frequently part time, so it could be a way to get some income coming in while you develop a plan for another business.
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.
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.
Instead of spending hours playing with accounting software, dreaming up potential expense and income categories, and creating fancy reports with no data, spend that time generating revenue. As long as you record everything you do now, creating a more formal system later will be fairly easy. It will also be more fun, because then you’ll have real data to enter.
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.
Never underestimate the terror some people feel getting up to speak in front of a live audience. High school and college students, as well as businesspeople, are excellent target markets for entrepreneurs who have some training and expertise in public speaking and presentations.
Craft beer is popular today, as are local, independently-owned businesses. If you’re passionate about beer, consider starting a microbrewery that offers unique flavors and quality products. You can experiment with different brewing techniques and conduct taste tests. You’ll also save startup money by opting for a smaller business rather than a large brewery or chain. Choose a lively location and plan your venture.
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.
But be wary. Food service—even a delivery service, which is the most likely scenario for home bakers, as opposed to setting up a storefront—comes with built-in risks. Prepare yourself, and read up on your local insurance requirements. And don’t be afraid to start out by making just one or two really great treats. Consistency is more important than variety in the baking business.
Everyone wants a clean house, but many people don’t have the time or desire to do it themselves (most of us are just waiting for Roombas to become more affordable while we drown in dust). Starting your own housecleaning service is another great home-business idea, although of course this job requires travel and can’t strictly be done from home-you’ll mostly be in other people’s homes.
If possible, self-fund your startup and then go for funding when you can create a growth story. This might cause you to break up your product/service offering into smaller pieces so you can fund the early stages and get some traction and experience.
If you’re even a bit artistically inclined, selling products on Etsy can be a great work-from-home business. Users love checking out Etsy for unique specialty gifts, and many customers appreciate how easy it is to order custom pieces from Etsy stores. See what’s selling out on Etsy and consider whether you may be able to offer something similar.
Teaching piano (or guitar or violin or singing) lessons out of your house is a well-established way for stay-at-home spouses to make a little extra cash. If Lois Griffin can do it, so can any musically minded entrepreneur.
I like this idea! Instead of making the speeches and presentations yourself, you are coaching the presenters. I see this market as largely three-fold. First you have professional speakers who are making or trying to make a living giving paid presentations. Then you have people who are regularly called upon to make speeches or presentations in connection with their business. Then you have the person who occasionally is called upon to make a speech or presentation without being paid for it, but nonetheless wants to improve their presenting skills. This third market is the one I would suggest focusing on, to get started in this business.
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.
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 love sports? Officiating non-professional games held at community parks and college sport fields can be an exciting way to turn your love for outdoor activities into a profitable side business idea you can engage on nights and weekends.
With never having painted a house, I opened a house painting business during a summer vacation from college. I hired a few school teachers to do most of the work, and we quickly all figured out what it takes to do a good house painting job. In a word a good house painting job requires: preparation–sanding and cleaning the surface carefully so the paint will adhere well and look good.
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.
Potential challenges: Don’t expect to quit your day job right away. You’ll likely need a ton of traffic and followers to earn anything significant, and building up your fanbase will likely take some time.
Grant writing is essential for nonprofit companies looking to gather much-needed funds. Learn all you need to know about grant writing and start taking clients! You’ll be earning a living while doing good work by helping nonprofits bring in the money they need.
I really like the idea of the outdoor deck business. I envision beautiful wood, wonderfully stained and maybe an attractive awning or roof. Outdoor furniture could be beautifully made out of wood too!
I’ve found that fear often stops aspiring consultants from starting a consulting business–or any business–and on my blog, I talk about how to overcome those fears. I also talk about practical, concrete things you can do to start and run a successful consulting business, along with tools, tips, tricks, and techniques for automating your business and keeping costs to a minimum. The info I give is applicable to most other types of businesses as well.
Driving for one of the two globally expanding app-centric taxi alternative services, Uber or Lyft can still be a fairly lucrative way to earn money as a side business idea on nights and weekends—working only when you want. But before you dive head first into this side business idea, do your homework and calculate the costs of extra gas, mileage, tires, wear & tear and usage on your vehicle—it’s not a guaranteed business idea that’ll turn a huge profit every weekend.
With more websites now using WordPress as a content management system, there is a demand for fresh new WordPress themes.If you are good at designing and coding then you could start to create and sell your own WordPress themes. As they are a digital product, you can create them once and then make a profit for every single sale. There are numerous marketplaces such as Themeforest where you can sell your themes.
Again, think of the low-cost entry point to keep your startup costs under $100. You can clean houses with all of the supplies and equipment you already use for cleaning your own home and then invest profits into specialized equipment for other clients.
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.
Want to start a food business? A truck is a much less expensive investment than a brick-and-mortar restaurant, and according to Mobi Munch founder Josh Tang, the failure rate for food trucks is just 10 to 20 percent (as opposed to 60 to 90 percent for restaurants). With the right equipment and some great recipes, you can have your mobile eatery up and running in no time.
Small businesses know they have to get online, but finding the time to figure out how is proving a real challenge for small business owners of every stripe. If you’re Internet-savvy and know how local businesses can harness the power of local search, coupon pages and social media, you could be working from home helping small business owners promote their companies online.
You can get started by opening a center at home. You set the age group of children to accept, how many kids to care for at a given time, and the hours of operation, although this will depend on the needs of your clients.
If you have extensive experience in a highly valued field, consider starting your own consulting business. Outside businesses often look to consultants to help and guide them, rather than hire someone in-house. Popular consultants include those for cybersecurity, finance, accounting, and graphic design.