Contrary to popular wisdom, real estate prices don’t always go up and catching the trends can tremendously amplify your success in this market. One of my business school classmates caught the trend just right in the Houston commercial real estate market, and then did the same in Boston. Another business school classmate took advantage of the huge 2008 real estate sell-off by scooping up thousands of homes in particularly hard-hit areas like Las Vegas with his hedge fund. The safest way to buy real estate is to make sure that your cash flows from current rents will justify the minimum return you need, then you can look at any appreciation as pure gravy!
Referrals and showcasing your work in an online gallery are two keys to gaining new clients. If you don’t have a lot of experience in photography but still want to pursue this business idea, try working as an assistant to a professional photographer to build up your resume.
One of my friends developed a great retail business with several small gift locations inside of shopping malls. She taught herself to make mouth-watering candy by practicing up in her kitchen. Most of her candy she made herself, but she did compliment her offerings with a few products she bought wholesale.
An errand service can be a natural business to tie into grocery delivery, or vice versa. Once again, if you already have a car you’re ready to get started. People often need someone to check on their dog at home, or run to the store if they are homebound.
Like Karen, I would like for someone to help me with the “how to” part. I have a couple of business ideas, but when you start researching on the internet you are barraged with plenty of sites that lead you no where, and don’t answer specific questions. @ Karlene: How could I get your information?
Yoga is getting ever more popular, which means yoga instructors are more in demand than ever—making this another physically rewarding side business idea. Link up with a local yoga studio to teach nightly classes or offer personalized yoga in-home at a higher rate to pursue this kind of emotional and physical balance with others, during your free time while helping your bank balance, too.
A furniture maker’s advice? Don’t be afraid to be a businessperson as well as a craftsperson. Charge more than you think your furniture is worth, and remember that craftsmanship and business savvy are not at all mutually exclusive.
There’s a huge growing market for mobile phone accessories, and plenty of handmade sellers are raking in 6 and sometimes 7 figures from their phone case businesses. You can get your own phone case business up and running as a side business idea in a matter of days with turnkey solutions from Case Escape, my previous company, and you can now get ready-to-go kits that’ll give you everything you need to start a phone case business. Once you’re up and running, you can sell cases on Etsy, Amazon Handmade, and Fancy. During our first year of selling phone cases as a side business idea on our Etsy store, we made around $60,000 in revenue from that selling channel alone—not to mention additional sales from fairs, trade shows, promotional products vendors, parties, events and other online marketplaces. From there, the sales only continued growing and we graduated from side business idea to full-time company that I ran with my best friend for multiple years.
It used to be that if you had a product to sell, you also had to have a storefront and all the costs associated with it. These days, you can sell anything to anyone anywhere in the world. Whether you’re marketing the organic honey from your backyard apiary, or selling personalized linens that you embroider yourself, you can find a market for your products online.
Since we live in a digital world, it’s expected that you have a website – especially for businesses who need to drive traffic to increase sales. If you have the skills then you can start creating personalized websites for customers. Start small by developing websites on a platforms like WordPress and work your way up. If you don’t have the talent, you can teach yourself through Codeacademy or hire a talented designer.Besides developing websites, offer a service like website management where you keep clients websites properly running and updated. Here is a guide to being a better programmer.
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.
I mean come on, who wouldn’t be interested in this side business idea? Getting paid to take care of a cute pup sounds like a dream. The prevalence of unattended pets is another side effect of busy life, creating job business ideas and opportunities for people with time, patience, and affection to spare. Just check out DogVacay and Rover to see what I mean. Would the payout be worth it if you try? One person in New York earns $3,300 a month just pet-sitting for busy animal lovers as his side business idea.
If you love kids—really, really love kids—starting a home-based day-care center could be a viable option. Just make sure you do your homework regarding zoning laws, background checks and other regulations.
Potential challenges: You will likely run into serious competition from repair shops and phone provider service programs, such as AppleCare. You can lower these risks by offering your services at a lower cost.
If you know a thing or two about paid internet marketing and are comfortable with Google, a great way to make some extra income as a side business idea is to sign a freelance contract to manage a company’s Google Ad Campaigns, and gradually start bringing on more clients as your consulting business grows. Just be sure to brush up on all the right business slang and industry jargon that’s pervasive in the online marketing world before you launch unprepared into this side business idea.
Looking to open up a new business? In need of an high-potential low-investment new business ideas? Whether you want a more flexible lifestyle, out of work, or looking to earn top dollar, be sure to scan through our 2018 business ideas list. Looking for a no-capital home business to make a little cash on the side? View our top 2018 home business ideas.
Still, knowing something about how the flower business works is a good idea, and your online presence and photos of your work will be critical to your success. Remember, the business is all about visuals, so make yours as compelling as you can. Get started networking by contacting local wedding planners and funeral homes and letting them know you’re in business. From there, let your business bloom. A friend in Maine turned a flower-arranging business into a successful flower shop she later sold at a profit.
Every company needs content for their website to attract search engine traffic and develop a bond with their customers and potential customers. Hence the market for creating web-friendly content has exploded with both large firms and independent content marketers helping to fill the need. Specializing in the needs of a particular industry can help jump-start your business, but many companies are willing to hire content marketers who are good researchers and can write well, even if they lack specific industry expertise.
Like gift-basket design, floral arrangement requires a lot more creativity than it does overhead, so it’s an approachable business idea. You don’t have to be a florist per se; you can make money arranging flowers for delivery or on-site display rather than necessarily growing or sourcing them, or selling them at retail.
Bridal shows can be an important marketing venue for the purveyors of wedding goods and services. You could start in this business by helping vendors prepare their display spaces at various shows, and then at some point you may want to organize your own bridal shows.
The best form of marketing is through your current customers. While this may seem obvious, most of us just don’t do it. We may feel uncomfortable asking existing customers for referrals or we may not realize how powerful a marketing asset this can be. But if you don’t try you won’t reap the benefits. And it’s actually quite simple to do, if you know how to present your products or services with certainty, and can go a long way towards building your business.
A small business typically doesn’t hire a full-time HR person until it reaches about 50 people in size. Until it reaches that size a company might contract for an HR person one or two days a week through a human resources service. One of my friends with experience in HR built up a good business on this model. It helps if you are a good networker or are comfortable approaching small business owners to sell them your service.
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).
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.
The list given above applies to any business. However, there are licensing rules that are triggered when a business is operated from a home (or in an area zoned as residential) and special considerations that come into play for the general type of permits.
Earning money on GigWalk is similar to working on Task Rabbit—not a bad side business idea if you’ve got the free time. You get to choose from an amusingly diverse range of jobs from taking snapshots of restaurant menus to counting the items arrayed on supermarket racks. It won’t make you rich though, with payouts tending to congregate in the lower half of their $3-to-$100 range. But, if you’re looking for a steady little side business idea, it can’t hurt doing a strange but fun errand and getting a tip at the end. When you’re bored or a little short on cash, you can access GigWalk anytime, anywhere via their mobile app. Meanwhile, all the jobs specifically vetted for you will be within reach (ideally, just a brisk walk away).
As long as there is still the written word, there will always be editors. Freelance editing and proofreading not only pays a decent hourly wage, it also gives you the chance to read about potentially interesting topics too. What’s more, pursuing freelance writing & editing as a business idea can afford you a lifestyle that lets you travel the world as a digital nomad. You can find lots of job postings from companies and individuals in need of writing, proofreading, and editing services on Upwork, which makes this a high-demand side business idea.
This year has seen a variety of simple and addictive mobile games such as Flappy Bird. These games often are often downloaded hundreds of thousands of times, creating a large profit for the creators. The most successful mobile games are free to download and then feature in-game advertisements.
One of my friends sold off his large family business that made industrial goods, and then embarked on a new career as an artisan furniture maker. He studied furniture making in a full-time study program and focused on very high wood furniture. He would display his furniture at shows and promote open studio nights. Clients were wealthy individuals and some high-end boutique hotels.
Spending a leisurely afternoon in a swimming pool can be a lot of fun. But cleaning it can be a pain in the neck. Hence, most pool owners hire people to do the cleaning for them. If you need extra cash and don’t mind getting physical, then pool cleaning is a viable side business idea for you.
Sure – just buy my “Get Rich Quick” program for 3 easy payments of $99 where I teach you how to sell your own “Get Rich Quick” program without doing any work, zero effort, oh and did I mention it was guaranteed? 😉
Choose an adventure really carefully. One that people will easily pay good money for. “Focus group” it. At least informally ask lots of people for their feedback on a suggested adventure before you put any money into marketing it. Then when you do offer your first trip, make it incredible! Research it carefully and surpass people’s expectations. On your first few trips it is more important to build a great experience and a great reputation, then to make a lot of money right out of the gate.
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.
With all my experience in book publishing I am not going to tell you that this is an easy business, especially with the domination of players like Amazon. But if you pick a defensible niche, keep your overhead low, you could develop a decent business.
Investment: Depending on where you live and the services offered, you may need to obtain a business license or be registered with your state. The startup costs could run high if you need to purchase tools and a work truck.
Figure out if you need additional insurance. Visit with your local insurance agent to determine if you are in need of any special insurance for your home based business. When you start a home based business, you immediately start exposing yourself, your family and your home to variety of risks and you want to make sure you are covered before it is too late.
The only word in the English language with three consecutive pairs of letters is also a great idea for a home-based business. You probably already have the equipment and software you need to start a bookkeeping business, and plenty of business owners would love to get the tedious task of keeping records off their hands.
Having built one of the largest independent book publishers in the US, I can tell you that book publishing is not the easy road to riches that so many people think it is. Furthermore, I believe getting really rich publishing your own eBook can even be harder. For one the competition is insane…you will be competing with everybody and their mother, including people who are literally giving away their product. Furthermore, it is increasingly hard to get attention for books in the media, and it is hard to convert website visitors into book buyers. But hard is not impossible, and you could publish that rare book that makes a lot of money. Several of the book authors I published earned over a million dollars, and that was just from their royalties.
People often need help planning events, from fundraisers to graduations. If you enjoy making plans and working with a variety of different clients, this is a job you can do mainly from home, though you may have to meet with clients at event locations from time to time.
If you want to speed up the process of launching your blog, I recommend setting up quick, affordable and easy website hosting with a company like Bluehost, choosing a simple WordPress theme and working on your first post, in order to set the precedent of prioritizing your time on creating content, connecting with (and building) your audience. Then once you’ve been able to build a community around your blog, you’ll want to invest in really understanding your readers—so that you can give them more of what they want.
If you’re a business owner, you know what’s at stake and how much risk is involved in running a company. But how do you handle the fear of failure? Where do you go for advice and guidance? That’s why finding a peer community is so important. Not only can this provide a confidential atmosphere where you can find support and valuable insight, it can be instrumental in the process of learning the most efficient and effective ways of taking your business to the next level.
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.
It takes some time to grow an audience and find ways to monetize your blog, but if you love to share your point of view with the world, this can be a good way to work from home. Niche blogs are a particular area of growth in this ever-growing profession. Pay can vary widely, but the income potential is nearly limitless.
In my book business, we had up to seven full time publicists on staff, and yet we would still hire outside publicity firms to promote our books. Most publicity work is promotion work—getting attention for businesses and their products. Most publicity firms specialize, for example one firm may specialize in promoting high tech firms in Boston, another may specialize in promoting restaurants in Providence. Many of the national publicity firms I have used were founded by somebody who had previously had experience working at a media outlet. But this business isn’t rocket science…if you are good at networking and you can get promotion for your clients then you can succeed at this business.
So, you start out with some stunning jewelry designs but how do you turn it into a business? One of my friends’ sisters turned her jewelry hobby into a full-time job by selling her products to a few local jewelry stores. Another woman I know built her business into a much larger enterprise…all built around a strong unifying theme. That’s the key here, success will come a lot easier if you build a distinctive overall brand, and ideally have closely matched collections within the brand.
Assess your financing needs. While starting a business from home can be more affordable than starting a traditional business, you will still need money to get started. As you form your home business idea, think about how much money you will need to buy inventory, buy your production equipment, or cover any other initial costs. If you don’t have a lot in savings, you can also get a business loan to get started, but this would mean qualifying for and then subsequently being responsible for a loan, which can be difficult for a new business. Consider your financing options carefully as you set up your home business.
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.
Another option is cleaning offices. One friend in Boston built a highly successful cleaning business focusing on small businesses. They trusted him with access to their businesses at night and were willing to pay him a hefty premium. He worked just 4 or 5 hours a night and made a very healthy living.