Rather than replacing sofas and chairs, many people prefer to save money and just replace the fabric, often changing colors in the process. This is a great service business—you can’t be underpriced by Amazon. Furthermore, not only will your customers come to you for more business at some point, but you bet that next time they are entertaining in their living room that your new fabric covering work will come up in the conversation! Eventually you may want to consider offering complete re-upholstering services.
Fancy yourself a poet? You can earn $300 for every poem you write that this greeting card company publishes—not a bad side business idea if you’ve got a way with words and aren’t afraid of rejection on poems that aren’t a good fit.
Selling and installing key control systems for hotels and other commercial businesses has a lot going for it. You are selling the latest technology, there is a strong service component, and your target market is businesses that can afford to spend a lot of money for this valuable service. For example, with a key control system a company can limit the hours that some employees may access their facility and if they let go an employee they can just de-activate their card, rather than having to call a locksmith to redo every lock.
Share in the comments if I’m missing any of your picks for the best side business ideas that you can start while working full-time! Bonus points if you’ve already gotten started on one of these business idea, and share the link to your website.
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.
Believe it or not, eBay is now more than two decades old, but it’s still the most viable platform for setting up a home-based business online. Big success stories have been around for years now, but there is an enormous amount of competition on the site.
For most people, successful investing will involve selecting mutual funds or ETFs, not individual stocks or bonds. That means to become a financial planner you don’t need to be a Wall Street wizard. You will need to understand the basics of investing (such as the importance of being diversified and understanding and respecting your client’s risk profile!) but this is very learnable. Study hard for this profession and you can do a tremendous service for people by helping them protect and growth their hard-earned money.
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.
One of my business school classmates started a concert promotion business while still an undergrad at Harvard, and even as a student he was making a fortune at it. He started with lesser known groups and smaller venues, and within a couple years he was booking some of the largest venues in greater Boston. He also enjoyed partying with the rock stars!
If keeping your home organized comes naturally and you enjoy helping other people, consider becoming a professional organizer as a side business idea. As the need for baby boomers to start downsizing grows, you can use your organizing and decluttering skills to start making an industry standard $50-125 an hour with very little startup costs and some free expert advice from Jen Kilbourne. Believe it or not, pro organizers don’t just work with hoarders. More and more people are hiring professional organizers in order stop wasting time and money due to the stress of everyday disorganization. What’s even better, is that you can take this on as a side business idea during the nights and weekends when your clients will be at home.
I love Gene Mahon’s blog about Nantucket. Great photos and well presented. Overtime he has built up a good advertising base. Like any blog it takes time, energy, consistency and patience to build a following. But if you enjoy taking pictures, attending events and meeting people, a local blog can be a lot of fun.
As a PR agency you work with businesses to promote their latest products and represent them as a business. With many niche businesses these days, you could start a PR agency focusing specifically on a specific business niche. Operating in only one niche would allow you to specialise in that niche and know exactly what the market wants.
Health products and supplements are all the range these days. Detox products are becoming more popular, as well as products for working out. There are new blends and health products being created all the time. You could start a business selling your own health products or even just a reseller with an e-commerce store.
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.
Drones are gaining a lot of popularity, both with businesses and individuals. That means there are lots of people who are looking to learn how to use them. So you can offer them lessons right from your home.
Whether if it’s a new business or family that just moved into town, you can can refer them to restaurants, accountants, lawyers, landscapers, babysitters, or vendors. You’re biggest costs is networking, marketing yourself to the community, and placing ads online and in the Yellow Pages.
What’s intriguing about starting a cleaning service is the fact that you have several different routes to take. You could clean houses during the day, office buildings during off-hours, or clean restaurants daily. It really depends on your preference, like what hours you work best.Cleaning supplies aren’t terribly expensive and since most of your business comes from word or mouth you don’t have to spend a ton on advertising or marketing.
Creating beautiful flower arrangements can be a fun activity for anyone with an eye for design and a love of plants. And you can turn that activity into a career by selling flower arrangements and other plants that you create in your home.
Though certainly not for everyone, recycling the containers from products left strewn around on the ground can become a surprisingly decent side business idea if you put in the time. Attending events like street fairs and outdoor concerts can be a great starting place. Put on a clean shirt, jeans, apply your sunscreen, grab a cheap pick-up tool like this one, sturdy plastic bags, and you can sell them for upwards of $4.00/pound on eBay.
Everyone knows legal proceedings take forever, can be very expensive, and the outcomes can be uncertain. I became involved in litigation with a service vendor and it looked like we had no alternative but to go to court. However, our opposing attorneys agreed to hire an arbitrator and we ended up with a much better result, with much less time and agony. A great business—and a great service for individuals and businesses.
While selling items doesn’t seem like an actual internet business, some individuals turn it into a business by buying clothing, books, and various items at garage sales and thrift stores — then they turn around and sell it for a higher price on sites like Craigslist, Amazon, VarageSale, eBay, or Etsy.
The market for daycare is gigantic! Of course, you can start in your home or in the workplace. Corporations may consider providing you with free space if you provide day care for their employees’ kids. Safety and licensing are essential for this business. You can quickly build a steady income and a valuable business.
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.
DO think outside the box, DON’T reinvent the wheel. By understanding how a tool works, you can use its API to fit your business needs. For example, at Leverage we use Trello’s API to aggregate client information into our own dashboard to easily monitor our VA’s work all in one place.
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.
Start by selling things around the house that you no longer need. With the money you raise, you can look for a niche. For example, some vendors hit rummage sales and thrift stores for cheap goods they can resell.
But if you get the green light to do it, starting a catering service is a relatively low-overhead way to create a new business. It’s a lot of work, but if you enjoy cooking, it could turn into a lucrative and fulfilling career. To get started with minimal investment, you could first cook in your customers’ homes and use their dishes. Also, a narrow specialization on a particular type of cuisine or event may help you attract clientele as you work develop a strong customer base.
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.