This could be a lot of fun, playing store merchant every now and then, when you decide to attend a flea market. There are general flea markets to attend, plus more specialized ones. For example, being a model railroad buff, I notice the many model railroad vendors who travel to model railroad shows around the northeast, selling new or used model railroad supplies. You could make your own items to sell, trade used items, or sell new items that you buy wholesale. The options are endless.
One of the biggest mistakes young business make is over-committing. They end up saying yes to almost everything and lacking a clear focus. But if you try to be all things to all people, chances are you will fail. Start with making a one-page strategic plan that forces you to focus on creating and doing one thing for one target audience. Verne Harnish’s one-pager provides an ideal framework to help structure this thought process. With a singular focus, you can harness all of your energy and effort and direct it towards a specific outcome.
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.
Self-Employed Taxes: As a home-based business owner, you are more than likely self-employed as well, and that can easily complicate the filing of your annual tax returns. The IRS offers a comprehensive overview of what self-employed workers need to know when preparing their taxes.
Christmas, Halloween, Easter, Yuletide, Hanukkah, Valentine’s Day, Chinese New Year, 4th of July, Mother’s Day. There are a ton of traditional holidays that count as solid reasons to explore the side business idea of crafting and selling seasonal decorations. After all, people and businesses pay good money for them. In fact, total sales of Christmas trees in the U.S. alone amounted to a whopping $1.04 billion in 2014. And you still have holiday lights, nativity scenes, crafted hangings, baskets, wreaths, and other decorations to cover, making this a potentially year-round seasonal side business idea.
People will pay a lot of money to get their dog trained and you can provide the service. To get going you can read a book or take a dog training class yourself. This business would also be a great source of clients for dog walking services, if you want to expand your dog services empire!
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.
Yes, even the PowerPoint presentation requires outside consulting every now and then—especially if it’s not your forte. I know I would happily outsource the visual layout of my presentation decks for work meetings, investor pitches and lectures. Tobias Schelle of 24Slides is living proof that you can turn your skills at slideshow presentation design into a legit side business idea—and potentially earn up to $20 a slide for your time and talents.
If you’re running a small business out of your home, you may need tax registrations, business and occupational licenses, and permits from state and local governments in order to operate legally. Check to see that your homeowner’s association is OK with the idea. It might have restrictions.
I really like the idea of the outdoor deck business. I envision beautiful wood, wonderfully stained and maybe an attractive awning or roof. Outdoor furniture could be beautifully made out of wood too!
Great list here! Some are very out of the box great ideas. I did find great success working from home myself. All I do is refer people to our services from home. When customers pay their electric or wireless bill, I get a check.
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.
Cigar shops can bring in decent and steady revenue. Better yet the profit margins are good, so you can be very profitable without hitting sky high sales levels. This is a relatively easy business without too many headaches. But choose your location carefully…then roll out your wooden Indian!
I just recently started my own in home personal training business. If you have the passion for fitness and helping people and also have a good set up in your home (separate training room) then I highly suggest it! It’s fun and why not make a little extra money?
Starting a business in this field will require some experience, but as long as there is anxiety, there will be a market for coaching people to create and deliver presentations. Invest in video equipment or use a smartphone to record students as part of the coaching process. If you have a background in radio or TV or specific experience in high-profile public speaking, all the better.
A good offshoot to starting a house cleaning service is home and office organizing. It’s not as competitive and commoditized. A super cheap / beginner home organizer starts at $25/hr, but $35-$50/hr is pretty standard. Even higher if you have a specialty (hoarders, ADD/ADHD, etc), are certified, have YEARS of experience and/or are based in a large metro area. You do not have to be certified, however. Starting as a house cleaner will definitely give you an inroad (as there is more demand in terms of volume and helps with regular cash flow). That’s how I started and eventually phased the cleaning out. Offering pre-paid discounted packages (with a contract) and taking deposits from 1st time clients helps to keep problems away.
thredUP is a way you can sell your old clothing, shoes, and handbags online. Simply sign up for or a clean out pack online. Once you receive your clean-up-pack, fill it full of clothing, and send it back to thredUp with the pre-paid label and packing slip. Upon receiving your package, thredUp will appraise your clothing and issue a credit which can be withdrawn via PayPal or store credit. Any unsold clothing will be donated with a donation receipt will be issued.
If you’re never happier than when you are landscaping your yard, landscape design might be the home-based business for you. This is a relatively new field, so you can get some background knowledge through a degree, although schools that offer these degrees are somewhat rare, or you can intern with another landscape designer.
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.
We strategically partnered with an entrepreneur mastermind group: Genius Network (aka the 25k group). The investment is $25,000 a year to be a member, and brings together entrepreneurs trying to grow/scale their companies. This turned out to be our exact demographic since a person spending all that money proves they can afford a high-end service as well as tools and services that will help them grow their company. After only one presentation at one of these networking events, we received 100 new clients, which gave us a solid starting ground. From there, we continued to grow from one of the strongest forms of marketing there is–word of mouth.
People have discovered that they can make so much money at yard sales that they turn it into a regular business, including buying additional merchandise such as at flea markets or online specifically to sell at their yard sales. One town that I vacation in decided that too many people were turning yard sales into a business, and passed an ordinance limiting how many yard sales you were legally allowed to conduct. This is of course another indicator that yard sales can be highly lucrative!
FusionCash is an online platform that allows you to make money from taking surveys, watching videos, shopping online, completing short tasks and lots more. Sign up and immediately earn $5.00 for joining. Most offers pay between .25 to $30 per offer, and payments are made via PayPal, check, or direct deposit once your account reaches a $25 threshold. Some offers do require a credit card number, so if you don’t feel comfortable giving out that information, just stick to the offers which display the No CC icon. Fusion Cash is a member of the Better Business Bureau.
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.
Adjust strategies and products as necessary. Respond to your customers. You should set up a system or survey where your customers can rate their experience with you and your business. Be sure to strive for perfect ratings. Any criticisms you see consistently mean that you should change that aspect of your business.
If you’ve already created a successful business then you can pass that knowledge along to someone else for a fee – such as market research, business plan narrative, and financial statements. New business owners are more than willing to pay a someone who has successfully started a business to help guide them in developing their own successful business plan.
Potential challenges: There are plenty of wedding photographers out there already, so you need a good business plan to stand out from the competition. It may also be seasonally dependent, with higher demand in warmer months.
Today people don’t just change jobs, they change careers. And many people changing careers want to get help from someone who can help them find their dream job—that could be you. You could get up to speed in this field by reading a number of books, and by finding some standardized tests to help analyze your clients’ skills and desires. I once published a book that just listed and described career counseling services in the Boston area.
Any moron can open a graphics program and push some pixels around, but that doesn’t make them a designer. The tool does not come with the knowledge. The fundamental skills that are required to do a good job take years to hone. This isn’t something you start and are good at over night. And if it takes years of work to get good at, and hours or days of work to arrive at a good product you should not be selling it for $5.
“The massage therapy business has been growing by leaps and bounds in the last decade, tripling in volume. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, it should grow by an additional 20% through 2016, meaning this home business has strong potential for growth. And, because all in-home massage services are necessarily local in nature, it’s work that can’t be outsourced to another country.”
This is a worker who handles any number of small tasks for a business or individual. Tasks include answering emails, data entry, scheduling, managing blogs, and even shopping. Anyone can become a virtual assistant. According to Indeed.com, the average salary for virtual assistants is $42,000.
Car flipping can be a fun way to turn your love for cars into a quick side business idea if you have the capital and a stomach for the inherent risk. Buying and selling cars is similar to other “buy low, sell high” business models, but the profit potential per hour invested can be very high. According to Jeremy Fisher at 3HourFlip.com, the trick is to learn how to make car deals come to you, so you can minimize your time invested and maximize your profit on each flip with this side business idea.
For many entrepreneurs, importing products from abroad is part of their business plan. However if you have never imported before then there is often a lot to learn. If you are an expert in importing and exporting products then you could sell this skill by helping entrepreneurs to import supplies and export their own products.
For profit schools are hideously expensive. Check out your local Community College, they will have the program for literally thousands of dollars less. Many Community Colleges also now offer their programs online.
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.
What makes drop shipping so attractive is exactly what lands it on this list; there are no big startup costs or expensive investments in inventory. You can sell products online, collect payment, pay suppliers, and let them send out the products — even using your company logo if you like.
But if you do go the fashion route, be prepared to do quite a bit of networking before you get your business off the ground. Don’t be afraid to do free consultations for contests and giveaways. The more word gets around about your fabulous fashion sense, the larger a clientele you’ll build. If you’re really good, you can start this business with little to no training.
Most pet owners don’t quite have the stomach or the time to clip nails, bathe, or give haircuts to their animals. With a couple of small tweaks to a bathroom, basement, or laundry room, you could have a full service doggy salon in your home. Again, it’s important to double-check your local requirements for this.
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.
Hi I would like to add one business model that has earning potential and working successfully in 2015 is starting an online custom clothing store. Ordering custom-tailored clothing online is slowly gaining momentum in the fashion market. Websites like Modern Tailor and other websites has created an entirely new marketplace and creating business opportunity for new entrepreneur. So to offer new scope for new entrepreneur who are looking to build such online store, “Stitch” an online custom tailoring platform come in the market and launched by industry experts FATbit. Stitch as a clone script is complete package that offer all needed features and functionality of leading custom clothing websites
Two of the biggest problems of operating a retail store are the overhead of having a storefront and the risk and cost of carrying inventory. With a virtual consignment store you eliminate both of these problems! You could take it one step further and have your suppliers drop ship the goods for you.
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)!
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.
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.
The bigger market for this is companies hiring outplacement services for employees they have laid off or fired. Companies hire outplacement services to help out their ex-employees, to show current employees that they are compassionate and to decrease the chances of wrongful termination lawsuits. It will be a lot easier to land your first assignments if you have some related experience, such as having worked in HR or at an employment agency. The real reward in this business comes when you win an assignment to outplace hundreds or thousands of employees that are laid off in a large corporate business re-organization.
The first thought that comes to mind for mobile hair salon is that you save the overhead of having a storefront location. However, you are also offering a convenience for your customers. Assisted living facilities and senior citizens trying to minimize trips out of the home will especially appreciate mobile hair salon services.
If you know how to make jewelry, there’s really no reason not to sell it. Handmade jewelry has long held appeal for collectors and admirers alike. The biggest challenge to setting up a jewelry business might be running the business itself—just making beautiful things won’t be enough to sustain the operation. Study up on what it takes to run a jewelry business and then make it happen. A great place to start is online with sites like Etsy and eBay
The human equivalent of a doggie bed and breakfast is Airbnb, the home-sharing Web site that has put a dent in the traditional hotel business. This is the ultimate home-based business, as you literally rent all or part of your home to guests.