With nearly 100,000 different custom extensions both free and paid available in Google Chrome’s marketplace, there’s a huge opportunity for creating a useful extension for people to use while browsing the web as a low effort business idea. One of my favorite Chrome extensions, Yet Another Mail Merge, which enables you to send bulk customized emails from within Gmail, gives you 50 free credits to send emails and gives you the chance to upgrade to a paid account to unlock more sending—a great upsell for the people who are getting value from the extension. Even free Chrome extensions like SVRF Tabs by SVRF, which replaces your new tab with stunning VR and 360º images, have the potential to bring in new users and eventually drive revenue for the startup’s core business. Another fun example from a friend of mine, Kathleen Garvin, is Hide images with NOPE, a Chrome extension that hides images on the web pages you’re browsing—to help eliminate distractions and keep you from seeing images (like those of certain politicians) that you may want to hide. This side business idea is particularly great because it also allows you to showcase your development skills—which can be put to work as an adjacent side business idea on a freelance basis alongside the Chrome extensions you launch.
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.
Despite the vast number of blogs these days, blogging is still a profitable business (we do it!). Blogging provides the opportunity for multiple revenue streams at once and could potentially be very profitable. However the majority of bloggers fail to make any substantial money so you need to know what you are doing if you are going to blog for business.
Then you can move into more actionable online courses like Modern Web Design on CreativeLive and Learn Web Design and Profitable Freelancing on Udemy will teach you everything from foundational web design knowledge to earning your first freelance income as a web designer. On top of that, you can take even more immersive courses and learning experiences with access to direct instructor feedback and personal mentorship with platforms like Treehouse, LinkedIn Learning and General Assembly to get up-to-speed even quicker with this career path and listen to my podcast interview with Ian Paget about how to become a freelance designer as a side business idea.
Gardening is big and growing. And it is a business that is less likely to move totally online than many other businesses. You could start out with a supply center, expanding over time to add some plants to sell, and then, eventually vertically integrate with your own plant nursery. You could also expand into providing onsite services.
My book publishing business often bought books from packagers. What is a packager? Typically, a book packager would sell to a publisher a completed manuscript with the pages already laid out, and a book cover all ready to go. Book packagers tended to sell more complex book projects, such as books that were heavily illustrated or books that were “packaged” with another component. For example, we bought a book about chess, boxed with a small chess set, from a book packager.
One of the neat things about becoming a consultant is that you DON’T need a pile of cash to start a consulting business. For example, you can create a professional website for under $100–typically in an evening (I have a free ebook that shows you exactly how to do this, even if you’re not a techie).
You could run this as a seasonal camp during the summer. But I find it’s tougher to make lots of money at seasonal businesses, so instead I would first consider offering a creative arts day camp after school or on weekends. I suggest doing surveys to find out what age groups of kids and what specific art activities have the most appeal.
The day spa business is hot as more and more overworked people seek rejuvenation for their tired bodies. I would pull first time customers in with very sweet deals, then try to tie them in with a membership model, such as so many day spa visits per month for one flat rate. Building out a day spa can be expensive and will usually cost more than you budget, so with your first spa I wouldn’t get too carried away with remodeling. Instead make the spa nice, but not lavish, and then offer great service.
For example, if you are streaming video as part of your business, you are justified in buying faster internet. However, if you are mainly using the internet for browsing and email, there is no reason for you to get a higher speed internet package.
Sometimes I’d do a little touchup work, such as a new wood trim or a coat of paint, occasionally I would contract out an engine repair, and always I would clean them the boats. Like any trading business, you need to find out what sells easily and at what price, and what you want to stay away from. Brand name outboards, specifically Boston Whalers, sold well for me. Sailboats, on the other hand, took forever to move.
A lot of my friends fly planes. And in many cases their teenage kids do too! They all started with flying lessons. To get certified to the point where you can teach basic flying lessons in a simple, single engine plane, may be easier than you think.
Find an audience for your passion or hobby and you’re all set to monetize something you love via a niche website as a side business idea. That of course, is easier said than done, something not intended for the faint of heart. Prepare to invest a lot of your time, but if you can hurdle the steep challenges and positively answer a few key questions on whether the website business idea you’re thinking about is profitable, then you can begin building it.
Let’s go flying and get paid for it! You can finance your plane and contract out most of the work, including getting help to get your company certified to fly. This is a service business and those little touches can make a difference in keeping customers coming back.
Please stop telling people they can start making logos, and certainly stop telling the people that do want to get into design to go to Fiverr. This is incredibly insulting to professional designers, and it is devaluing the profession and our work.
Don’t forget good ‘ol lawncare or landscaping. As we become more and more acquainted to the air-conditioned lifestyle more people are going to want to pay someone to do landscaping. If you like to sweat this one may be for you.
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.
Have a knack for staying organized? If you’re a jack of all trades, you should consider working as a virtual assistant as a side business idea. You can find great gigs on Elance, Indeed, or Upwork. It can be an awesome way to rub shoulders with some very important people, build up your professional network, develop in-demand new skills (like creating GIFs and VR videos), grow your side business idea and you’ll have the added perk of being able to start this as a home based business idea. Becoming a virtual assistant can be a particularly great side business idea if you’re hoping to travel the world while making money online as a digital nomad.
I launched my first AdSense supported website a little over three years ago. Today it brings in as much as my full-time job. It didn’t happen overnight, and it didn’t happen without a lot of hard work (about four hours a day for three years), but it did happen.
Thanks to hacking, scamming, and viruses, security is a priority for both businesses and individuals. Besides your expertise and some marketing, it doesn’t cost much to protect the hardware and software of others. Those handling sensitive information are more than willing to pay you a pay bundle to keep that info safe.
If you love to write, create a blog and turn it into a business. If your site gets a lot of traffic, you can earn money via direct advertising, or through affiliate marketing, where you’d promote someone else’s product or service and earn commissions based on sales.
Consider the space required for your business. If you’re planning on doing any sort of manufacturing, product storage, or shipping, you will likely need more than a desk to work on. Think about how much space you have in your home for these activities. Will you be displacing other family members with your business activities? Consider your space requirements and your home’s ability to meet those requirements before moving forward.
I have a friend that is the city manager of a town of about 25,000 where his main task is processing requests for building permits. Actually a volunteer-type job, no salary. But he makes a bunch of contacts every day, and his address book is huge. So he is busy all year except the Holidays. To fill in this time he started a Christmas tree lighting service (houses, lawn ornaments, etc.). In this 3-month period he makes enough to keep him going the rest of the year.
You too can make good money by offering your services as a nanny, babysitter, or elderly caretaker. Gather up some positive referrals from friends and family members and then spread the word that you’re open for business. Places like Facebook, Craigslist, and local bulletin boards are great places to promote your business (plus, they’re free)!
I recently started working in network marketing with a natural hair care line. It has transformed my life, by giving me my confidence back. I was losing my hair and I didn’t know what to do. I’d been to the Dr and told it wasn’t a thyroid issue, but they couldn’t tell me what WAS causing it. My good friend introduced me to these amazing products, that in a matter of months changed my life. My husband is now using the products for his “gaining face” (not receding hairline) issue. Lol.
Purchasing and installing a stair lift is a major decision for a mobility impaired customer. Offering excellent service including carefully presenting the best alternatives and being quickly available for follow-up service can help make your stair lift business stand out from the competition and build positive word of mouth.
This is a business you could start in a couple hours with literally zero investment. In the public library on the resort island of Nantucket, I watched a man create a flyer for his walking tour business on a free public access computer. Then he went outside and posted the newly created flyer on the public bulletin board. A few hours later he greeted his customers as they gathered on the advertised street corner, collected their money, and then took them on the walking tour. Not sure how to set up your walking tour? Get a history or even a self-walking tour guide at the public library.
Some affiliate marketers don’t love working with Amazon, because the payout can be small compared with other sites. Amazon starts you off with 4 percent, but that can become as high as 8.5 percent, depending on how many orders are made through your links.
Whether you’re making onesies and quilts for sale online or at local markets or doing repairs and alterations for locals with ill-fitting clothes, your sewing machine could be your ticket to a work-from-home business.
Your county or city will require a business license. The form takes minutes to fill out. Use your EIN instead of your Social Security number to identify your business (for privacy reasons if nothing else).
The key to successful Podcasting isn’t just racking up listeners in big numbers. It’s getting listeners to engage. A small group of engaged listeners is more valuable than a large but passive audience. Specialize in an area of your expertise and constantly remind listeners to participate in your Podcast via social media or your Website. Making money Podcasting isn’t easy, but it is possible.
Because I am just a little bit techie, I get asked to video record weddings all the time. If video or photography are up your alley, starting a wedding photography business could be a great idea for you. If doing weddings aren’t your thing, there are other ways you can make money as a photographer as well.
Not everything is just a Google search away. Media organizations hire fact checkers to make sure that items in stories are accurate and that sources quoted really exist. Other organizations need people to find statistics and other data for presentations and reports. There are plenty of opportunities online to get started researching at home. Just be prepared to get into some really esoteric topics that will take you way beyond Wikipedia.
Fiverr.com takes a dollar of each $5 sale, so you might wonder how sellers make money. It’s all about the extra services. Many of the logo designers there keep it really simple for a basic sale (add a company name to a template), but offer extra services that can add $100 or more to an order.
With the byzantine complexity of modern medical billing practices, there is a definite need for patient advocates. These individuals take the time to track down hospital billing paperwork and potentially argue with insurance companies. Considering the fact that many of those who need to hire advocates are either ailing or grieving, this is a very necessary service.
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.”
Interested in starting a blog and working from home? Sign up for my Make 1k Blogging email challenge. It’s a free, 10 email series that’s main goal is to help you get your blog set up and earning $1,000!