The types of required permits depend upon a number of factors: type of business, business structure, number of employees, and geographic location of the business. The following licenses are not home-business specific—they are just part of the cost of opening any business. (While few businesses will require each of the permits, each business will require some of them.)
Figure out if you can make this business profitable. How much will people pay for your services? Can you make a good income off this? Many people see astronomical numbers in their future until they take the time to determine their profits. Be sure to consider how much time you can reasonably commit to your business and how much profit you can get back for your time and investment money. In some cases, a great business idea in theory can in reality be unprofitable.
While no formal experience or training is necessary, you’ll need to be a talented, creative writer with strong interviewing skills. An editing or journalism background and strong communication skills are helpful, as is a sound marketing strategy to reach potential customers.
If you don’t mind parading yourself around in public places as a side business idea, and enjoy a little attention, then working as a human billboard can pay a surprising amount of dividends. Renting out your beard, for example can earn you as much as $5 a day while having a brand logo tattooed on your shaven head for five years could pay as much as $7,000—though this type of earning opportunity is admittedly rare. This business idea is definitely not for the faint of heart, and is a little extreme for me, but nonetheless it’s been done as a side hustle for many people. You can start by holding a placard or wearing a sandwich board. If you think this is a good side business idea, you can go all the way and turn it into a full on small business idea with enough hard work—plus you won’t have to deal with all the issues other more complex businesses have to constantly think about (like reducing churn).
When I used to work at CreativeLive, I regularly paid $250-$500 (or even much more depending upon audience size) per episode for 90 seconds worth of advertisements on relevant podcasts like The Tim Ferriss Show, the #1 business podcast right now from the 4-Hour Workweek author, Tim Ferriss. The podcast has even helped Tim launch his latest New York Times bestseller, Tools of Titans to a wider readership.
We’re all guilty of spending too much time on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest sometimes, so why not get paid to put your expertise to work as a side business idea? Lots of companies, especially startups or those in retail and travel—even influencers have heavy social media presences and are constantly in need of people to help build their brands online. You can find these types of opportunities on sites like Flexjobs and CareerBuilder and most employers on these websites are conditioned to working with people who operate these services as their side business idea.
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.
Internet Speed: You probably already have an internet service provider for recreational use, but now that you’ll be relying on that connection to do business, you might want to look into an upgrade. This is especially important if you live with other people who might be using the internet when you are trying to work. Connection speeds can range anywhere from 1.5 Mbps to 20 Mbps. With a 1.5 Mbps connection speed, it takes about two minutes to download a large presentation; with a 20 Mbps connection, it’ll take roughly 10 seconds to download the same file.
“Where 10 years ago every company needed a website and five years ago every company needed an app, now every company needs to embrace messaging with AI and chatbots,” said ChatBot expert Murray Newlands. While making a chatbot sounds complicated, tools like Chattypeople allow you to easily build a Facebook bot without having any previous coding knowledge.
Companies that provide employees with uniforms often also arrange for them to be cleaned and pressed every single day. You can specialize in certain types of uniforms and/or certain types of services. For example, you could rent uniforms to companies and handle all of their cleaning and pressing needs. You could lease or sell uniforms to companies and then either provide cleaning and pressing services or not.
Before the bank grants a mortgage, they will require a real estate appraisal. So, this is a great, steady income business with the only overhead being your scooter to get you to your homes to be appraised.
Jumpy YouTube videos of cats might be charming, but they don’t do much for business owners or parents of the bride who want quality video production. Video-editing and production services can tap into several markets—business presentation, wedding, parties, even documentary and feature films.
I couldn’t believe it when I first heard how expensive window treatments were! But now I understand, they add a lot to the appearance of a house, and to the utility of particular room. There are lots of reasons why this is a great business. It is a combination of sales and service, especially if you are doing the installation. And people like to see the textures and colors you have to offer in person. You can start this business on a mobile basis with low overhead, calling on customers at their homes and eventually open up your own storefront.
And don’t forget to check with your Homeowner’s Association. If you live within the confines of an HOA, it is a good idea to become familiar with its bylaws to ensure you do not incur any fines for non-compliance.
For my business (blogging here at SeedTime) it took a long time before I started making any money blogging, let alone enough to pay the bills each month. I didn’t really know anything when I started and still feel like I do a whole lot more wrong than right, but the one thing I have had going for me is that I have been persistent.
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.
Marketing a business can also include building a brand, setting up a professional website, driving traffic to your site with search engine optimization, and using a promotional strategy, among other tactics.
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.
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.
Of course, photography can take many forms, from photojournalism to portrait photography to general-interest stock photography. You’ll most likely go for either setting up a studio in your home or taking pictures for use as stock photos, as true photojournalism requires years of experience and almost never involves actually working from home. Keep in mind that stock-photo sites work on a revenue-sharing model, so simply selling pictures to one is unusual.
Are you an extrovert that loves meeting new people? Selling insurance products—particularly life insurance—may be a great way to bring in some extra cash and build residual income in your spare time. Selling life insurance on the side could quickly generate a consistent $1,000 – $2,000 per month depending on how much time you invest in this side business idea. To get started you’ll likely want to take an online course to brush up on the subject matter, and then pass a state licensing exam. The biggest challenge you’ll face as a new agent is generating sales beyond just helping out friends and family. From there, it’s all about networking and lead generation to grow this one. Learn more about this side business idea with this getting started in life insurance guide from the team over at NoExam.
This is a great part-time business because you decide when you want to work. And except for work requiring licenses, you can decide how much work you want to contract out and how much you want to do yourself.
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 is a big difference between mowing a lawn and performing a full landscaping service. At the highest end are landscape designers, who design elaborate and unique landscape changes for your property.
If you love pets, this home-based business could be a good fit. You can either care for pets in your own home or care for your clients’ pets in their homes. You’ll need to be reliable and have a flexible schedule to meet the needs of your clients.
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.
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.
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.
Videos are now becoming a popular way for businesses to promote their products on the internet. Videos can often get across a lot more information about a product than just text and images. If you know how to shoot and produce professional videos then you could charge businesses a fee for these services
Bob, any ideas on how to become rich instantly, that requires zero effort on my part and something that’s guaranteed???? haha, just kidding. thanks for these ideas. I’m going to share them with a few friends who are currently unemployed.
If you can craft anything, anything at all, have any sort of design qualities or experience, or just some creativity and a working set of arms and legs, you can create things and sell them. There are so many online market places that you can sell in, eBay, Amazon, Etsy, to name a few… so many product to create, from wearable art (a nicer term for clothing), through craftsmanship of things like pots and jars, through genuine art – painting sculpting etc.
You could sell or repair drones, or you could provide one of an unlimited number of drone services. You could provide drone photography or video-taping such as of sporting events, you could offer drones for parties, you could offer drones to inspect infrastructure. There is almost no limit to what you can do with drones!
Investment: The startup costs should be low; you’ll need to create a website and promote your business. If you don’t already have the required skills and experience, you may need to take some training or courses.
This is a great part time business that can pay very good money. For my kids, I hired coaches who were usually still students themselves, and had very little paid test prep experience. But I did make sure to hire test prep coaches who had scored exceedingly well themselves on the exams being targeted. You don’t have to be good at every subject. Just find one exam that you can study up on and excel at, and that’s all you need to become a great test prep coach!
The key is to stop thinking in terms of trading your time for money and start thinking of systems. That’s what an online business is — a sales machine that does the work for you. You front-load the work and keep profiting from it year after year.
By building your business as if you were, let’s say, a publicly-traded company, you’re not just planning for success-you’re preparing for it. What publicly-traded company do you know has just one employee? Now I know what you’re thinking.
It’s not very engaging, or mentally stimulating, but online surveys do pay out (a little), believe it or not. Just don’t expect to make bank with this side business idea—I recommend combining it with another source of side income from this list of my best business ideas, and turning to surveys in your downtime when you need a little extra income.
If you are looking for quick extra cash then signing up for sites like MySurvey can get you a nice side income with immediate results. You will not get rich doing surveys, but each site could net you anywhere from $30 to $100 per month. Some other popular survey sites include: