These businesses have been around forever, and I have hired temp workers through them from time to time, typically for simple packing or assembly type work. Historically your success would be largely dependent upon how successful you were at making sales calls on companies that hire temporary help. But today you can also bring sales leads to you through online marketing.
Live in a destination where travelers frequently visit? If you love meeting new people from around the world and also love the city you live in, starting your own local tour company is arguably the best business idea that will give you both of those perks. Take a unique spin on your local tour business like Erik from Vantigo. He was starting his VW van tour business in San Francisco as just a side business idea while he was still working a full-time job, and grew it to being a sustainable source of full-time income before quitting—now he’s running a multiple van tour company on the back of what originally began as a crazy side business idea.
Potential challenges: It’s a challenging business to operate. Obstacles include securing financing, choosing a location that will attract customers, picking out the right equipment and ingredients to brew beer, and obtaining the proper permits and licenses.
4 Ways to Make Customers Crave Your Emails For Sarah Waters, brand director of Treat Cupcake Bar, email marketing is one of the most effective ways to pique her customers’ appetite and get them to shop with her. Read her four ingredients of crave-worthy emails here. Learn More >>
The antique market is not as lively as it used to be. But there’s still money to be had from the industry if you love rare old stuff and possess the skill of restoring them to their former glory. To start an antique refurbishing business at home, you’ll likely need a few thousand dollars to build out a basic workshop and stock it with all of the right treatments and materials in order to truly excel with this side business idea. Start small by borrowing around what you can, and learning the basics of the trade as a side hustle before investing in a ton of equipment.
Investment: Startup costs will depend on the type of services you provide. The upfront costs should be lower if the business is nonmedical and assists seniors with basic daily tasks, although training and licensing may still be required.
A mobile pet grooming business offers a convenient service to customers. Instead of having to drag their pets to get groomed, you can bring the salon right to their doorsteps — and you can charge more for this convenience.
Then don’t sell YOUR product or skills for $5. Other people, your competitors, are allowed to do whatever they want. If someone makes a product and markets it for $5, while you make a product that YOU consider to be much more valued and market it for $100, the consumer still has the power of deciding what they would rather spend their money on. I’ve worked in the culinary industry for 10+ years and the saying I’ve always heard is that if you can’t handle the heat, then get out of the kitchen. Anyone can tell you if something tastes good or bad, but that doesn’t mean they can create high quality meals like I can. That being said…
I will tell you a secret. You can make a lot of money from a non-profit business. You can pay yourself a good salary and reasonable expenses. And you can even sell the enterprise. Better yet, you can create an organization that will really help others. I strongly suggest you approach running a non-profit with the same discipline that you would a profit-making business, and almost all of the how-to videos on BusinessTown.com apply to non-profits as well.
With the wide array of digital marketing options to consider, not to mention traditional options, local businesses increasingly need outside help to develop and execute the best marketing strategy. To get going in this field you will need to be familiar with the most popular online and offline marketing venues, and be comfortable selling your services to local business people.
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.
In my experience, one of the greatest challenges people face is deciding why they are starting a business, what they hope to accomplish and what they really want to do. Starting a business, particularly from home, sounds glamorous and free but, in reality, it can put a strain on home life if not done right. People I talk to often need help decision-making which is an essential quality in running a business.
Phone: You probably already have a cell phone, but it might be time to invest in a landline for your business as well. In addition to giving you a dedicated phone number for your business, it will allow you to reserve your cell phone for personal use or urgent business matters. It is important for people to be able to reach you, but setting some early boundaries isn’t a bad idea (Tip: Google Voice allows you to set “business hours” on your phone, so that the number goes to voicemail during the hours you need privacy).
It’s a good idea to add an insurance rider to your homeowner’s or renter’s policy in case a delivery person or client tumbles on your steps. Home-business owners typically get little or no coverage from their standard homeowner’s policy.
With the emergence of “sharing economy” people are choosing to rent instead of purchasing items. While renting out a room on Airbnb or your vehicle and time on Uber/Lyft get most of the attention, you can rent pretty much anything you own like a garage, parking space, and even household items like furniture or yard equipment. Even if you don’t own these items, they’re fairly inexpensive to purchase.And, if you really want to step-up your rental gam, consider renting out party equipment like tents, photo booths, or bounce houses.
Figure out if you need additional insurance. Visit with your local insurance agent to determine if you are in need of any special insurance for your home based business. When you start a home based business, you immediately start exposing yourself, your family and your home to variety of risks and you want to make sure you are covered before it is too late.
I’m not going up in one of these balloons–but I know plenty of people who have, and have had a fabulous experience! This is a good vacation area business, but it could also be a good gift for special occasions. Nail down all of the licensing and safety requirements, and this could be fun business that quickly builds by word-of-mouth.
One of my friends developed a great retail business with several small gift locations inside of shopping malls. She taught herself to make mouth-watering candy by practicing up in her kitchen. Most of her candy she made herself, but she did compliment her offerings with a few products she bought wholesale.
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.
There are people now making a living creating viral YouTube videos. If you create a unique and entertaining video then it could soon be getting millions of views online if it goes viral. YouTube pays you as a partner for the advertisements that are in front of your videos meaning you do not have to find time looking for advertisers. There are also other potential revenue streams such as endorsing products and affiliate marketing.
I never thought my blog would generate a million dollars. In fact, the first time it happened, I didn’t even know. One of my team members emailed me in the middle of the night and attached this image:
This is a nice little niche business with a strong personal service element and a market that’s not just looking for the cheapest product. Netting for railings, cabinet door catches, safety coverings for electric outlets, door locks…there are lots of safety elements that need to be changed to make houses safe for babies and toddlers. Do your research carefully and make sure you are not missing any safety elements.
When I was running my book publishing company I developed a series of books called the Everything series and I negotiated a deal to buy the “everything.com” domain from a company controlled by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen for over $100,000. The market for good domain names isn’t going away and you can make money trading these names, but I would be careful in putting too much money into names that are “almost” great names.
It doesn’t happen overnight, but licensing a foreign product for sale domestically, can be a lucrative business idea that (at times) leads to a big payoff down the road. Invest intelligently, sell a product you believe in, and you can reap the rewards for years to come.
I have worked for Community Colleges, traditional non-profit universities, and a for-profit university. I cannot warn you enough to stay away from for-profits. Total snake oil salesmen who would steal from their own grandmas.
This is another heavily regulated business and it’s competitive. But companies that need security need it on an on-going basis and typically they need more than one person. That means every assignment you get can be an annuity stream as long as you service the customer well.