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.
I live in a flat but I own the leasehold. Does that mean I can use the flat for whatever I want? The short answer is no, you can’t. Your lease will govern how you can use the property so you will need to check whether it contains any restrictions. There may be an absolute prohibition on business use, or it may say that you need to seek your landlord’s consent. Certain types of leases (including the widely used assured shorthold tenancy or “AST”) prohibit business use. Running a home business in these circumstances would be a breach of your lease and there would be a risk of your landlord trying to terminate your tenancy.
I’ve rented boats and bicycles and this can be a decent business. For canoes, you don’t need a waterfront location. You can rent canoes from a highly-trafficked location on the side of the road, and then provide roof racks for your customers’ cars.
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.
Having been on television and done many videos, I can appreciate that makeup consulting isn’t just for women! With the Internet leading to more and more video production, makeup consulting is becoming more important than ever!
Saying no to anything that isn’t in your direct line of fire may be difficult to do at first, but can actually be one of the smartest business decisions you make in the long run. Even if it means firing your own customers. Why? Because it frees you up to focus on your target, it allows for more space and bandwidth to grow, and makes you available for the yes’s.
Entrepreneur.com reports the startup costs of freelance bartending at “under $2,000.” But you can keep it under $100 if you start with clients who have the necessary equipment or by bartending for parties where expectations are minimal. Entrepreneur.com says you can make “up to $300 per day when you tally up your wages and tips.”
You can make a room in your house into a photography studio, but you’ve got to get out to promote your services or do some clever marketing. Doing photography for groups (typically at their location) is one way to get going. Another is to develop a specialty (such as children’s portraits).
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.
We all wear clothes (at least some of the time). Which, of course, makes the business idea of cleaning soiled laundry an obvious hit. In fact, the self-service laundromat industry in the US is worth more than $3 billion, with many related businesses such as a mobile app laundry service, a real rolling mobile laundry service, and home laundry pickup & delivery services springing up each year. Here’s one way you can cash in on the trend as a side business idea.
Just as there are people who don’t know how to use email, there are also those who don’t want to use it. Virtual assistants run clients’ email and voicemail accounts, aside from performing other digital duties.
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.
Wedding planning could be good fit for someone who has experience in party planning, event coordination or hospitality. Strong organizational and communication skills, the ability to work weekends and patience are necessary.
It’s not the sort of side business idea that’s covered in glory, but someone needs to make sure all the numbers add up at the end of the year. Every business and most individuals need someone with the domain expertise to help prepare tax returns, especially time or resource-strapped small business owners. Majo Jacinto in his Udemy course provides an in-depth foundational understanding of how to prepare tax returns (and stay current with ever-changing laws) that’ll certify you with tax prep skills in as little as a few hours of training and practice. Then once tax season rolls around you’ll be able to charge an average of $229 per return as a freelance tax preparer with this side business idea, according to CNBC.
A lot of people don’t want to leave their bowser at the busy kennel along with all the other dogs. They are willing to pay a premium and even drive a distance to a place where they believe their dog will be pampered.
Working solo can be isolating. Sometimes you’ll need a professional to tap for some advice. Look for a mentor among your industry connections. This relationship can take time to build, but it’s worth it.
In the beginning, you’ll likely be doing everything yourself or shouldering the responsibilities with a co-founder. As your business grows, document all the daily, weekly and monthly procedures you follow–whether it’s setting up a Facebook ad campaign, scheduling a call or closing a sale–in a way that someone else can replicate.
I’ve been getting so much feedback with great business ideas from my community and in the comments, so I frequently add to this post. If you have side hustle ideas you’d like to share (or personal experience with a side hustle of your own), please add to them in the comments below!
There are lots of graphic designers out there but not so many people specializing in logos. Yet in the age of the Internet, a good-looking logo is more important than ever! Most businesses don’t give enough thought to their logo and end up with a weak result. You can help them create a great logo–one that can help define their business and bring them customers!
She just created an online store and sold all of her products via her website. If you aren’t creating your own product you can always find a product to dropship – that way you don’t have to store any inventory in your home.
Mobile tech is now a must-have for almost any business, but finding ways to go mobile is a challenge for many business owners. If you can provide affordable mobile solutions to businesses that need them, you’ll find mobile consulting a rich business opportunity.
I find the car wash business highly attractive and even considered opening one at one point. You have a regular clientele, in many areas the competition isn’t too intense, and there is lots of room to upsell more expensive services like detailing. If I was going to go into this business, I might consider starting with a smaller facility in a smaller market, and really learning the business before going for a larger facility, in a more competitive marketplace.
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.
People get into this business thinking it is a totally passive way to make money and then they find out—they actually have to do some work! Heavily used washing machines and dryers can break down, and the laundromat will need to be cleaned constantly. That being said people need clean clothes so this is a classic steady income business!
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 would have to cover yourself legally, though. You have to do things so they would be transparent enough, and legally documented well enough, to actually get what you deserve for this provision of service. Some home owner definitely don’t like to hear that you want to take a cut without signing a prior deal with them. On the other hand if you have a website or a blog to show, you might be able to get some early permission to find them buyers.
The closest I came to knitting was repairing rips in the sails on my boat, but there a are a lot of people who want to knit and crochet—and you can show them how! You could start with a class at your house or perhaps at a local knitting store. Maybe offer an entry level course at the local adult ed program to get going.
Yes, you can turn your car into a money-maker by driving for Uber and Lyft, but there are other ways to convert mileage into money as a clever side business idea. One way is to do vehicle advertising, a potential side income source of anywhere between $100 to $600 per month. Whether you own a compact sedan or a full-sized bus, your vehicle’s exterior space is prime real estate for ads. Check Wrapify, carvertise, and similar sites for more details about getting started with this business idea and for being paired up with local advertisers.
Everyone wants videos for their website, and corporations and non-profits are willing to pay good money for high quality service. This is a local business because you need to be onsite with your camera.
Start part time and build this business carefully! Only buy items you are confident that you can sell relatively quickly for a good mark-up, and avoid getting stuck with slow moving inventory. To really succeed, develop deep expertise in a specialty and build a loyal customer base.
Sure, there are national chains, but if you really focus on it, you can come up with a few sandwiches that are totally delicious! For this business, I would want a location that services office or industrial workers. That way you can get their business every single work day of the year! And forget a fancy buildout, I would focus instead on fancy sandwiches!
Great insight Steve! As someone pointed out above, with so many options to start for such little money, most people really have no excuse. Some of the online related businesses are ones I intend to try just for the fun of it.
Note that many of these ideas could have been listed in more than the single category I placed them in. But I thought it would easier and more interesting for you, if I only listed each business once.
This is a perfect business idea for trained accountants who would like to work from home, although it is not necessary to be a Certified Public Accountant in order to become a freelance bookkeeper—it’s just necessary to have the background knowledge that bookkeeping courses at any community college can offer. This kind of freelance work is especially helpful for small businesses that do not need or cannot afford a fulltime bookkeeper, making it possible for you to have full time work through several smaller clients. Median salary: $34,000.
Gazelle allows you to sell your old electronics and make some easy cash. Simply find your gadget on their website, answer a few questions, and ship it off for free with their pre-paid envelopes. Payments are made via check, Amazon gift card, or PayPal. Gazelle has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
Like recycling, this side business idea requires the willingness to get your hands a little dirty. If you enjoy working outdoors, then you can make a pretty good side income cleaning up litter outside retail, office and industrial properties—especially for businesses that have large parking lots that need regular cleaning. Property management companies need their properties maintained litter free and you can do so with an on-foot service using inexpensive equipment like this cheap pick-up tool and a broom. Charge for your time at $35 – $50 per hour and bill your clients the same contract price each month. For even more on how to get started with a litter removal side business idea, check out Cleanlots.
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.
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.
While this is a long list of business ideas—I have carefully pruned it for you. I started out with an initial list that was more than twice as long…and ruthlessly chopped off the weaker business ideas that I didn’t want you to consider starting.
This is a good steady service business. To get started you don’t have to handle every single brand or every single repair. You can study manufacturer’s repair guides or watch instructional videos to get going.
You can start as a personal trainer at a local gym. Then try going out on your own. Being known for a particular expertise can help. Then someday you can open your own gym. Maybe even franchise it and go global!
My good buddy Steve Chou from MyWifeQuitHerJob.com has created an online course that walks people step-by-step through building their own online store. His wife was able to quit her job, and together their online store produces in the six figures. If you’re interested in learning more, check out his course: Profitable Online Store.
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.