If you know a second (or third) language, you can make a living at home translating documents. It’s a global marketplace, and even the best translation software can’t understand linguistic nuance. Median salary: $43,300.
This is a beer lover’s dream and sounds perfect for someone who’s already brewing beer at home. However, opening a brewery isn’t easy. Consider connecting with some brewery owners for advice, tips and guidance to see if this is a path you really want to take.
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.
Once you’ve gotten your workspace set aside, decide what you need around you to make you most productive. Aside from the usual paper clips, stapler and pens, here are some other items to keep in mind:
Signage. Most localities have signage restrictions. However, if your business is in a residential area, you are likely to face very strict limits on the size, number, and placement of signs on your property. You need to verify what you can and cannot display before ordering any type of signage.
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.
Some firms outsource their customer service operations and many of these companies accept home-based contractors. You can start by signing up on freelancing sites such as Upwork to test the waters with this business idea first. If you’re already a CSR specialist with management skills, then you can form and lead a virtual team online and engage clients as a bona fide customer service company or, provide customer service training to such teams as well as individuals.
Ghostwriting pays pretty well, and if you’re talented at researching and creating great content within a certain subject domain, you can quickly build a roster of high-paying clientele with this business idea. Ghostwriters like Jeff Haden have created very lucrative careers for themselves by writing for business executives and CEO’s—and Jeff also started his ghostwriting career as a side business idea outside of his full-time job as a factory manager. Listen to his interview with me on The Side Hustle Project (podcast) right here.
This is one of the more difficult business on this list. But if you really want to do it, you can! First, it will take about 3-5 years to grow your grapes. Secondly, you need the right climate. Third, selling what you produce is like a whole separate business. However, people do like to visit and buy wine from local wineries. And I have seen some wineries that are initially producing just a small amount of wine themselves, jumpstart their business and supplement their sales by reselling wine from other vineyards.
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.
There’s a counter on Main St. in Cambridge, Mass., that keeps track of the number of bicycles that have passed in a day. By 8:30am, the tally is usually at more than 200. Some of those bikes are going to have mechanical problems or get bent up somehow. Somebody will need to repair them.
Do you have a way with words? Freelance copywriting is a good way to make money working from home. Companies large and small will pay someone handsomely to take basic information and add a bit of flair. If a smooth turn of phrase has been known to come forth from your pen, freelance copywriting might just be for you. It takes networking, but once you have a portfolio to show your worth, you’ll be able to prove to clients that you’re exactly the writer they need. And, as a bonus, if you’re naturally inquisitive and love storytelling, you might be able to spin your copywriting gig into a career as a freelance journalist.
The single most important factor in your success is your people — your partner, your advisors, your staff, your peers. All of these individuals will help you do the work to take your business to the next level. That means you don’t have to do it alone, but you do have to find the right people, and empower them, so you can harness the power and potential of their talent, skill and drive.
To succeed at this business, I would carefully perfect a few interesting smoothies drinks. Then I would search hard for a location with very high foot traffic location. I would much rather have a tiny location with lots of traffic and high rent per square foot, than a much larger location with the same total rent but less traffic.
Will it affect my council tax? It may. Businesses are liable for business rates rather than council tax. If you work from home, depending on the level of use, the part of the property used for the business may be liable for business rates while the remainder of the property remains liable to council tax. You can get advice from the Valuation Office Agency.
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…
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If you want to find a profitable online course idea in the next 3 days, join my free online course Find a Profitable Business Idea today. It’ll walk you step-by-step through the process I’ve used to generate more than $15,000 in online course sales in a single week. Then once you’re ready to start teaching your own online course, I recommend using Teachable, the easiest and most affordable platform to use for creating, hosting and selling your online courses. They also have a ton of free educational resources about how to get started with creating an online course (yes, even as a side business idea) when you sign up right here.
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.
Still, the cost of licenses tends to be relatively low, and if you have space in your home to accommodate students, becoming a physical trainer or coach can be a low-overhead option for entrepreneurs who really understand fitness and nutrition. The key is to specialize—on a sport, a category of clientele or both—and to look the part.
After you’ve secured some financing and developed your business plan, you’ll need to focus more intently on the details relating to your business. One of the key pieces to setting up your home-based business legally is determining what licenses or permits you may need.
Scour local Goodwill stores and garage sales for antiques or high-demand niche items that can earn a decent price tag online. Pick a specific niche, research it, and become an expert so you know exactly what kinds of products to look for and what they’re worth online.
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.
My 8 yr old daughter was diagnosed with Apraxia of speech, Regulation Disorder of Sensory Processing, ADHD and possible Autism. I want to open a small local shop that offers the tools needed to help children like her or even children with learning disabilities. It would sell weighted blankets, learning games and activities and so on. Some would be made by hand, others bought and sold in shop. Is this do able? There are no shops around it’s all online. Thoughts please.
The key to freelance writing is never to stop selling yourself. Don’t get complacent once a project comes in—always look for the next one. Network like crazy online and in person. Ask for press passes to events in the field of your choice. Attend writing workshops and writer meet-ups; they happen everywhere.
You can provide full service grooming without any overhead by visiting pets at their homes. Or you can have a store front with full service grooming. Or you can provide a do-it-yourself pet grooming facility. Location matters. One do-it-yourself pet grooming facility was highly successful with a location on a busy road, but another location they had on a secondary road, just off the center of town, did not work out.
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.
If you plan to operate a business in an area that is zoned “residential,” you need to become familiar with the zoning ordinances. Certain business activities are prohibited completely in residential areas. For example, operating a website design company is likely to be permitted, but an auto repair shop may be prohibited.
If you speak like James Earl Jones or Scarlett Johansson, quite a number of digital publishers (including game developers, animated film-makers, and training video producers) pay good money for voice talent and the time investment isn’t too intensive—making this a great side business idea. You can find these publishers looking for voice-over artists on sites like PeoplePerHour, Freelancer and Upwork, as well as their calls for talent directly on their websites or through voiceover agents. If you do pursue this as a side business idea, be prepared to invest for the long-haul as it can be a very competitive industry.
Good ideas, I like numbers 2, 3, and 6 personally. I think in addition to persistence and determination, creating a successful home-based business also takes courage. It can be a scary proposition to quit your day job to go it alone. I always admire people who make this move, and I think that in general they are all the more happy for it. There is not doubt, though, that you have to go for it 100% in order to make it happen!