E-books have made self-publishing a real income-generating option for writers who previously may have had trouble partnering with big-name publishers. If you have in-depth knowledge about a specific topic, crafting a well-written, informative e-book and selling it online can be a great way to supplement your regular income.
Anyone who has ever had the unenviable task of cleaning up a house for sale after the death of the owner knows just how important this job is. Junk removal can be as simple as hauling away unwanted stuff to the dump, or it can be as complicated as separating out the trash from the treasures and handling the actual sale of the goods.
Using your skills for profit is a common trend with all of the best side business ideas. If you’re an expert at something, there’s likely an audience of people online who would be willing to pay to become an expert in your field—just like you. If you want to take your skills and turn them into an online course that teaches others how to get the same results you’ve achieved in your life, career, or business, start with How to Create an Awesome Online Course on Udemy, where instructor Miguel Hernandez covers how he makes over $90,000/yr teaching online. You’ll learn from more than 8 hours of video instruction.
Meal preparation services are booming and the Internet is facilitating this, making it easier to attract and service customers. The market includes the elderly as well as busy working people, who don’t always want to take the time to cook. Typically, these services offer just a few meal choices each day, but they vary the selection constantly. Especially if you can build up regular subscribers to your service, you can determine in advance exactly what your food needs will be, minimizing both food and labor waste.
Have you ever created a blog or website? If so, web development could be the business for you. Small businesses and entrepreneurs need to establish an online presence to reach customers, but many don’t have the time or patience to create a website.
What a great excuse to travel and get paid for it! Yes, there are some really cool craft items you can find around the world for really low prices. It could take a little bit of patience to get going, and specialization helps. But this is a very doable business. One of my friends built up a successful import/export business while still in college.
Domain name trading has been around for the last couple decades, and while most slam-dunk names have long been sold off (Insure.com went for $16 Million in 2009) there’s still plenty of others that you can get your hands on for relatively cheap and broker as your side business idea. But beware: some experts doubt the long-term viability of this business idea, so you shouldn’t quit your day job just to put all your effort into this one without some successes already in the bag. To get you started, here are some tips from GoDaddy, arguably the world’s largest and most famous repository of domain names. Imagine owning desirable domain names for the next decade’s most innovative companies.
Businesses always need graphic designers to help them convey information visually, through logos, advertisements, posters, websites, and the like. While it is possible to be an entirely self-taught graphic designer, most have either a certification or a degree. Other than the cost of design software, this business has very little overhead and can be done anywhere with a dedicated computer. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, graphic designers have a median salary of $45,000.*
Web developing is another specialized skill in which you can make a decent living as a freelancer. Everyone needs web assistance, and if you’ve got thetechnical know-how, you can easily start your own work-from-home web-dev online business.
Many business and non-profit associations are too small to hire a full-time administrator but still have a lot of administrative work to be done. Some of the business groups I belong to, such as local chapter of The Young President’s Organization and The Harvard Business School Association of Boston, have hired an association management service which is typically a single individual or in one case a mother/daughter team. For these businesses, the management service processes membership dues and event payments, fields questions about events, arranges logistics for events, and attends events and welcomes members. Payment is usually on a monthly retainer basis.
This usually entails starting a business from home, and like all great business ideas, it begins by filling a need. Even if you are going to sell something find an underserved segment and provide the best service possible.
This is more of a low risk pastime activity that can generate an income sufficient to live by, if you reside in a developing country, or something you can do on top of your usual day job for extra cash. The idea is that companies pay for surveys to be filled out, and survey companies recruit the requested audience. They pay a portion of what they’re given to the people handing out surveys.
By the way, I don’t care if you decide to make $5,000 or $1,000,000 — it makes no difference to me. The point is for you to get started. YOU DECIDE what more is, and you decide how much you want to make. I can help you at each level.
This is one of the most popular small businesses because everyone wants a house cleaner. The work is repetitive. But if you can show up on time and do a good job consistently (I find many the work of many cleaners deteriorates after the first few weeks), you will build a healthy clientele. And if you can charge enough so that you can delegate, you can grow this into a large business.
The key to freelance writing is never to stop selling yourself. Don’t get complacent once a project comes in—always look for the next one. Network like crazy online and in person. Ask for press passes to events in the field of your choice. Attend writing workshops and writer meet-ups; they happen everywhere.
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.
Having previous SEO experience, a blogging or editing background, strong communication skills and experience using Google Analytics are desirable. If you have these skills but lack experience, taking online courses is an option. Examples of your successful work and references can help you gain new clients.
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.
Despite Instagram’s growing popularity, not all brands know what they’re doing on the app. If you have a background in social media and marketing and a passion for photography and Instagram, starting a consulting business that focuses on the popular photo app can be a great way to make money while helping other businesses improve their content and thrive.
Great insight Steve! As someone pointed out above, with so many options to start for such little money, most people really have no excuse. Some of the online related businesses are ones I intend to try just for the fun of it.
Washing windows for retail stores is about as simple as it gets. Just get your cleaning supplies and knock on the doors of retail stores, asking if they want their windows cleaned. If you get some takers you could arrange to make it into a regular service.
Sometimes it seems like there’s an app for everything. Yet somehow, new ones keep popping up and selling for lots of money, all the time. If you spot a niche that hasn’t been filled to its potential just yet, and you can learn the coding skills (or know someone who already has them), you could be on to something with this side business idea. Today, it’s even possible to build an app without any coding skills whatsoever. Just make sure you validate your app idea before jumping too far in. Even if your app business idea doesn’t pan out to be a best-seller, you’ll still pick up valuable skills.
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?
If editing and advising college students on how to write compelling 500 word essays on topics such as “You were just invited to speak at the White House. Write your speech,” seems like a compelling business idea to allocate your free time towards, trust me—tons of parents will pay you to edit admissions essays and offer constructive feedback for their children. Be careful not to blur the ethical line of actually writing their essays, but serving as an editor to help them convey their message can become a great side business idea that has the potential to spread by word-of-mouth referral in your community.
While there are all kinds of training that corporations will pay for, I am focusing on sales training because the demand is so widespread. It is an absolutely critical function, even for small businesses. If you don’t have great contacts at larger companies I would suggest you target smaller firms, such as those with sales forces of 6 to 20 people. Small enough so that everyone isn’t trying to sell them training, but large enough that they are likely to be willing to pay for it.
in regards to working from home, I think that the first thing a person needs to understand as much as possible is to understand finance. I don’t mean high finance, I mean daily finance. If America really spends more than it makes overall, you better not be in that crowd.
As people are demanding more fulfillment in their lives and have more options to consider, they are increasingly turning to coaches. You can build your skills in this field by reading up on it, signing up for some life coaching yourself, or taking a course about how to teach life coaching.
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.
EBay seems as ancient as a dinosaur in today’s fast-moving webiverse, but it’s still the top online auction marketplace, where users go to order collectibles, rare goods, and other items. Building a solid reputation on eBay can take some time, as most sales go to the power sellers who have established five-star ratings. Still, if you can acquire the goods no one else has, you can make a nice income reselling items on eBay.
I am currently sitting in my co-share work space and beside me sits a green potted plant about 15” in height. Every day or two, the commercial watering service person comes by and pours a little water on the plant. Once a week or so, the service person may take out his plant clippers, and trim a leaf or two. Wow! I think I could master this work! And I bet you could too!
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.
Mechanical Turk operates much like TaskRabbit and GigWalk: it’s a corner online where Amazon gathers tasks to be done, people willing to do them, and people willing to pay for them. On Mechanical Turk, you get to do the oddest jobs you can imagine as an online business idea, made possible by a parallel online universe that runs on hits, visits, surveys, reviews, pins, likes, CPCs, reads, and other metrics. But don’t get too ambitious. The small sums being paid out to human Mechanical Turk users rarely add up to anything seriously substantial, even if you invest most of your spare time into it. It’s a better opportunity for internationally-based people with internet access and lower costs of living than in the US. Here’s one person’s account of his former life as a Mechanical Turk talking through how he got started with this business idea and what the experience was really like.
Launch your business. When you have everything ready, launch your business or website and take your first customers. These can be friends or family to start with. Keep in mind, you will not know everything about your business from the start. Entrepreneurs learn as they go!
There are basically two businesses here and I would tend to focus on one or the other. One is providing medical help such as skilled nurses. The other is providing senior companions. Both can be great businesses with long term revenue streams and high demand.
If you buy a franchise, they may come with back-office support to help you run your business, including with money transactions. If you’re running the business on your own, you could use a service like Paypal to conduct any transactions.
Planning vacations has become much easier for individuals in recent years thanks to lots of new online tools. But companies and large groups still often need help when planning and organizing travel arrangements. So if that’s something you enjoy, you can offer your services to clients.
If you’re the sort who takes apart the computer for fun, operating an electronics repair shop out of your home is a natural decision. In particular, repairing iPads and other tablets would provide you with a great deal of business, as many tablet users are looking for a less expensive way to fix smashed screens and other damages that can be costly through the manufacturer. Median salary: $49,170.
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.
Keep in mind, I’m only talking about setting yourself up to do business: I’m not talking about writing a business plan (although if that’s what you want to do, here’s a comprehensive guide to writing a business plan), sourcing financing, developing a marketing plan, etc.
The local bank or investment advisory service may decide to add a touch of class and the feel of quiet success to their office by adding art to its walls, but which paintings should they buy? That’s where you come in, the expert art buyer. You could offer your services to private art buyers as well. Where do you start? You could simply start with one recommendation for one painting for a friend’s empty wall space.
A dropship business means that you are selling physical goods that you have other companies ship out. For example, you may create a website selling desk lamps. You would take the order from the customer on your website and then you would have the order shipped out by the supplier. Drop shopping differs from affiliate marketing in that the customer stays on your website to complete the order. Furthermore, you process the order and then ask the drop shipper to fulfil the order. Affiliate marketing on the other hand, is more of a marketing service–providing traffic to the website of the company that provides the product. Drop shipping may have higher upside but if you are just getting started I would recommend that you keep things simple and start with affiliate marketing.
If you’re up on the current styles, and can actually cut hair or do makeup, then you can start your own salon right from your home. If that’s not an option, you can always always turn to YouTube and start a beauty channel where you share hair and makeup tips.
While having a formal background in graphic design is absolutely going to be helpful, it’s also relatively easy to learn the foundations of graphic design on your own. An increasingly easy-to-use Adobe Illustrator and even more easily accessible tools like Stencil and Visme are making it so that just about anyone with two opposable thumbs, a bit of creativity, and motivation can earn a side income doing things like designing (and selling) images like these motivational quotes that can be printed onto posters and sold on platforms like Etsy. Or you can find a local startup, small business owner, or photographer who could benefit from some extra help designing or altering images.
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.