When I was promoting my job search books I started to put up advertisements on bulletin boards around local colleges. Then, seeing my advertisements people who were running bulletin board services called me, and I hired them to do the work for me instead. You can either offer your services putting up notices for clients on public bulletin boards, or you can get more sophisticated and develop proprietary bulletin boards that you get local businesses or organizations to agree to display for you. For example, you could list tourist attractions and post the bulletin board at local hotels.
If you are really want to be your own boss and build a highly successful business, I am sure that you will find an idea that you really like on my extensive list! And once you have chosen your idea, check out our guide explaining the 5 critical steps you need to follow to start your own business.
If you tell people you run a lawn-cutting service they might laugh at you, but so what! You can make a lot of money cutting lawns! You can start with one lawn and a second-hand lawn mower, and grow your business into riding mowers, full landscaping services, fancy trucks and trailers, and lots of happy customers! Click here to see the sample marketing plan I wrote for a lawn service business.
But before you can graduate from side business idea and start earning a full-time living as a graphic designer, you’ll need to build your skills—I recommend starting with reading the foundational book Graphic Design School and Steal Like an Artist, the incredible book by Austin Kleon about how to become more creative. To accelerate your education in becoming a graphic designer even quicker, check out the online courses Graphic Design Fundamentals and The Graphic Design Bootcamp.
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.
Carpets make your home warm and cozy. But they also tend to gather dust, grime, stains, allergens and bugs over time. You can tap into this opportunity by launching a carpet cleaning side business idea or serving as an independent contract cleaner in your free time. Either way, you’ll need to invest in proper equipment such as vacuum cleaners, carpet brushes, and cleaning chemicals in order to launch this business idea. Look into the possibility of renting equipment for a full weekend and lining up 5-10 clients to service, to offset your rental costs. If you turn a healthy profit, you’ll eventually be able to invest in owning your own equipment and increase your margins, thus going from side hustle to serious business.
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.
There are plenty of platforms and places where you can sell furniture and home décor items. You can find old pieces at flea markets or second hand stores and add your own upgrades so that you can resell them for a profit.
This is one of the most popular small businesses because everyone wants a house cleaner. The work is repetitive. But if you can show up on time and do a good job consistently (I find many the work of many cleaners deteriorates after the first few weeks), you will build a healthy clientele. And if you can charge enough so that you can delegate, you can grow this into a large business.
ATTENTION PEOPLE SHRIEKING THAT THIS IS OVERLY SIMPLISTIC: Yeah, I know. It’s a model. The point is to show you that generating $1 million is not some mythical, unattainable goal that you can never get. You use models to see the possibilities, then you go deeper to make it happen.
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.
I see this as an arbitrage opportunity. You finance your fitness rental equipment as one package at a low rate, and then you rent it out to your clientele at a much higher rate, providing them a service they can afford. Nice for everyone! My experience in the rental business is you need to pay careful attention to what happens at the end of the rental period—is the equipment still rentable? Is it sellable? And what happens when the equipment breaks down? Work out these details and this could be a solid and very scalable business.
Companies are increasingly turning to freelance and contract workers to fill the skill gaps in their staff. It’s not hard to imagine that you could build a whole company around providing freelance services of one sort or another. Some freelance gigs pay by the project and others pay hourly, and the rates can vary greatly. But as you gain more experience, your earning potential will soar.
When visiting a city it can often be difficult to find parking, especially during peak seasons. A unique business idea would be to create an application that tells users where the nearest car parks are and whether there are spaces available. Users would be willing to pay for this app if it is saving them time and they are getting reliable parking information
The holidays do bring cheer, but when winter comes, so does the snow. Thick, traffic-hindering piles of it. Snow can be fun for a while but somebody has to get rid of it for our lifestyles to continue onward. Make extra money with this side business idea from home by offering snow and ice removal services.
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.
Understand the needs of your market. Listen to what people say and what they need in the area. If something they mention is an interest of yours and you are good at it, you should definitely try it. This applies locally just as well as it does online. Every good business idea fulfills a need in the market.
If you’ve always wanted to publish your own book as a side business idea, there never been a better time than now. That’s because access to self-publishing tools and marketplaces has never been easier and more affordable. This eBook writer currently earns up to a couple of thousand bucks each month from six ebooks she published; while you can reportedly demand around $1000 per eBook project serving as a ghostwriter. My good friend, Caroline Beaton used freelance writing as her side business idea to eventually go from secretary to self-employed, while focusing on her own personal development and looking inward to discover what she’s truly passionate about.
Cash 4 Books is an online business where you can sell new and used books. Grab your books and head to the website; here you’ll be able to enter each book’s ISBN, which is a 10 or 13 digit number that can be found on the back cover or inside the front cover of almost all books. Once you have entered each code, you’ll receive a quote for each book. Next, send your books in with a pre-paid shipping label. Once they receive your books, you’ll be paid either via check or PayPal.
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.
It turns out, he thought the process of starting a business was really complicated. “I don’t want to go through all that stuff,” he said, “unless I’m absolutely sure my idea is perfect.” Like a lot of would-be entrepreneurs, he was stalling because he was intimidated by the apparent complexity of the administrative and legal tasks involved in starting a 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.
From there, you need to learn which tools, resources, and feedback communities you can use to accelerate the pace at which you’re able to launch. Check out these 101 essential tools and resources I use to launch profitable side hustle businesses.
Are you good with animals? Spread the word to friends and neighbors that you’re available to watch their pets while the owners go on a vacation or weekend trip. Pet owners often feel more comfortable leaving their furry friends in the care of an individual rather than placing pets in a boarding facility, so getting referrals shouldn’t be too difficult. If you can’t commit to lodging animals in your home, consider starting a dog walking or waste cleanup business.