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!
The idea of this business is that you can personalize just about anything your customers may want. T-shirts, hats, mugs, pens…you name it. Initially you may want to outsource all of the work, but if your business takes off you may want to bring some of the personalization processes in–house to further boost your profit margins.
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.
If you have experience with marketing, SEO or a knack for getting people excited about the products and services you use on a regular basis, think about refining your skills and putting them to work as a small business marketing consultant in your region—especially if you can become a local SEO expert and can help local clients rank higher in their search results as your side business idea. Businesses of all sizes are in constant need of bringing in more customers, which is where you come in with your business idea. Start by pitching some of these small business marketing ideas by Brian Downard and you’ll be sure to impress the first set of clients you begin working with in your area.
Do you have an extra room in your house or condo? You could rent it out by the day like the Airbnb model, or you could rent it by the week, or you could rent it by the month. Then maybe you could use the income to help subsidize your expenses as you start another business!
Alterations is a great steady income business, easy to start on the side. Then after you’ve begun to build a clientele, you may want to quit your day job and open a small storefront location. Begin by promoting to friends and friends of friends on social media. I would charge by the job, but carefully estimate how long each job will take you and base your job rates on your time estimates.
Yes, you can compete with the Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts of the world! However, these chains have raised the bar, so your coffee or tea must be not just good, but awesome! Your ambiance better be good too. Your location needs to be good as well. Plus, you need to be distinctive. One way to stand out is to compliment your world class beverages with some fabulous foods. So yes, you can compete, but you’ve gotta be firing on all cylinders in this competitive space!
Perhaps most importantly, though, would-be eBay moguls need to specialize. Just throwing junk online won’t work. Sellers need to know what they want to sell and how they’re going to market it to their audiences. Again, competition is fierce, so research, preparation and strategy are critical. (For reference, eBay itself provides an extensive guide to selling on the site.)
Employed techies planning to earn some extra side income can leverage their software and hardware skills by offering home-based computer repair services as a business idea that engages their passion. If this rings a bell, you can start with a modest one-man tech team before envisioning a scaled-up operation as massive as Geek Squad. Remember, you can provide home service locally as a starting point to this business idea, as well as offer remote support through online messaging and video calling services before making your way into a retail setting.
As an example, your business may make a $20,000 profit. But if you live in a large city, support a family and maybe elderly parents, and are trying to save for kids’ college and retirement, then most likely $20,000 is not enough.
Yes, you can make a lot of money with a simple ice cream shop! Perfect your ice cream before you start, find a good busy location without a crazy rent and consider starting with a smaller footprint to minimize your overhead. I’ll have an ice cream sundae please—with everything on it!
Everyone wants videos for their website, and corporations and non-profits are willing to pay good money for high quality service. This is a local business because you need to be onsite with your camera.
That’s not to say that it’ll be easy. With the rise in working from home comes more competition from other home-based businesses. And any new venture will require at a minimum some serious market research and possibly some fairly complex licensing and legal maneuvers.
My father spent year after year remodeling our basement—and I’m glad he did because that’s where I located my model railroad! However, a lot of homeowners aren’t willing to invest the huge amount of time it takes a novice to remodel their basement—that’s where you come in! Remodel your own basement, put together a website with the before and after photos, and hang out your shingle!
A cleaning business is perhaps one of the most simplest businesses you can start. You can start of just yourself and as your business expands you can employ more people to work for you. Furthermore as your business expands you can begin to invest in better and more efficient cleaning equipment.
EatWith is a great way to test the waters as a chef for your side business idea, and if you have enough rave reviews you might be able to turn your knife skills into a full-time endeavor where you’re leveraging your network to book catering events. This side business idea is built heavily upon getting happy referrals, so be sure to over-deliver for your first customers, and ask if they know anyone else who could be in need of your catering services.
As far as network marketing is concerned, I think it’s very difficult for an average person to get through what it takes to make money. Being told that they have to try to recruit their warm market, have home meetings, prospect strangers and attend hotel meeting every week. I believe these task are so painful and takes the average person too far out of their comfort zone, it feels like a relief to just quit. I personally believe in network marketing and there are some awesome companies and awesome products. But it seems like people have to go through a lot of pain and sacrifice before they can win in traditional network marketing.
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.
Becoming an Uber driver has quickly become a great way for people to get their own business off the ground. You will need to pass a background check and have valid instate driver’s license and auto insurance. The process is pretty painless and will get you rolling on your own business. Many people start as an Uber driver to pay the bills while they work on another business that they are more passionate about. Check out our post to learn more about Uber driver requirements.
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.
In any case, advertise your business on bulletin boards in libraries and schools, particularly high schools and universities. Also consider email marketing. Pharmaceutical companies in particular tend to be in the market for presentation coaches.
I like the vintage clothing business because you are not competing head to head with all the retailers and online sites selling new goods. Furthermore, you can have high margins. I would look to at least double my money on any vintage clothing that I buy, and I would try to pay for items with store credit not cash, as much as possible.
Did you know that English speakers are in high demand in Asia? As a result many are turning to freelance English teachers using websites like Italki.com. The site is basically a virtual online classroom for freelance teachers and students. Anyone can offer lessons (and set their own price) and anyone can take lessons.