101 Best Business Ideas
Today, thousands of people are considering starting their own business as there is no job available for all. On an average, people can expect to have two and three careers during their work life. Those leaving one career often think about their second or third career move being one they can run out of their own home. Choosing the path of entrepreneurship and working on finding great business ideas is no doubt riskier than being content with holding a 9 to 5 job. It requires more sacrifice. However, once you’re reaping the lifestyle benefits of being your own boss and hustling your way into making significantly more money with your business ideas than you ever could at your day job, the hard work will have all been worth it. The good news: Starting a home-based business is within the reach of almost anyone who wants to take a risk and work hard, as are of low-cost ideas:
Blogging is a good source of income. Recent blogging statistics show that thousands of bloggers are creating profitable content on topics as diverse as home cooking, travel, film, lifestyle, business, personal finance, scrap-booking, and more. The best part is very very low cost to blog. And more people are growing their blogs into six-figure businesses because of a combination of email subscribers, affiliate marketing, blog sponsorship, and other revenue streams. Your first step with starting a blog is quickly getting the technical side of things handled (my other blog will show you how), and then both understanding what your audience craves and learning how to attract those readers online.
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 for bloggers, working through the process of creating a blog business plan and 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 your target audience. You will also need to employ the right blogging tools to grow your blog along the way.
Then once you have been able to build a community around your blog, you would want to invest in really understanding your readers, so that you can give them more of what they want.
I know that learning how to start a blog, can be a massive new undertaking. So, I put together a course for you to take that spreads out all of the work involved in starting a blog, into a series of action-packed lessons. My course breaks the entire process of starting a blog down into an incredibly simple a week process for going from zero to generating creative blog post ideas, writing a blog post, optimizing and promoting your blog content in just one week. And if you want a deep knowledge on getting your blog up and running today, head over to my Guide to Starting a Blog then browse my list of all the best blogging courses.
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.
But before you can graduate from side business ideas and begin 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 Boot-camp. Then once you’re an expert at your craft, you can further continue your education and move up to offering more hands-on experiences like design sprints for higher-value clients around the world.
Web designers are incredibly valuable for technology companies—which is why becoming a freelance web designer is a top side business idea today. Web design is all about mastering the art of creating a beautiful, value-driven experience for the people using a website or app. There are always new websites popping up in need of professional web design, and foundational books like HTML & CSS: Design and Build Websites by acclaimed web designer Jon Duckett and Don’t Make Me Think by user experience legend Steve Krug will get you started down the right path to quickly determining whether or not becoming a web designer is one of the most viable side business ideas for you.
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 mentor-ship with platforms like Tree-house 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.
As a web developer, you’ll build incredibly valuable skills that are in extremely high demand. You can get up to speed on building websites in as little as a few months with inexpensive or free online education programs like Tree-house, the Web Developer Boot-camp on Udemy and Codeacademy.
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.
If you want to find a profitable online course idea in the next 3 days, join my free online course Find a Profitable Business Idea today. It’ll walk you step-by-step through the process I’ve used to generate more than $15,000 in online course sales in a single week. Then once you’re ready to start teaching your own online course, I recommend using Teachable, the easiest and most affordable platform to use for creating, hosting and selling your online courses. They also have a ton of free educational resources about how to get started with creating an online course (yes, even as one of our top side business ideas) when you sign up right here.
Packaging your skills and knowledge into a downloadable eBook (like I’ve done with my best blogging books) that delivers value to those seeking to learn a skill, advance in their careers, or start their own businesses, makes for a strong value proposition if you learn how to find your target audience (which is why it makes for such sustainable business ideas for many authors). You can see in my one of the class that will also show you how to use your existing body of work to write an eBook within the next week (even by starting with something as simple as a blog post outline to kick the process off) and turn an eBook into one of the smartest business ideas you can execute on if you have a knack for writing. Put in some serious work with your eBook, build an audience and you’ll have a platform to pitch traditional publishers on landing a book deal—then you can write one of the top business books and really build your personal brand.
Build up a following on your Instagram account and you could quickly be approached by major brands, gear companies, and other relevant businesses that sell products or services related to the type of content you share on Instagram—creating multiple potential side business ideas that’ll come to you. If you have the right marketing skills and hundreds of thousands of followers, you can easily charge anywhere between $500 to $5,000 per post (or more)—which makes for very profitable side business ideas. Once you get some traction, to cut down on the amount of time you spend uploading images, you can make your entire workflow more efficient by posting photos from your Mac or PC.
If you have something you’re skilled at and very passionate about, you can turn that winning combination into offering your services with one-on-one online coaching as one of the most dependable side business ideas that leverage your skills. Just be sure to implement your own opportunity management system so you don’t get caught up working with clients that you can’t measurably help. Elmira Strange will give you a step-by-step plan for putting your skills and experience to work by developing an online coaching business—even as a side business idea in the time around your full-time job—so be sure to check out her course on Udemy for a jump start on this side business idea.
On top of just the skill and experience components to being a successful online coach, this side business idea is all about building a community around the help you’re offering and fostering trust with members. Plus, your community members will learn from each other along the way. Creating the space for that community can be as simple as setting up a private Facebook group or choosing a community-building platform like Slack that has more capabilities to use your own custom URL, have internal forums, customized designs and more.
If you can create a regular audience for your podcast on a specific topic, this is a great way to get sponsors and fund this side business idea.
Anyone can sell goods on Amazon, provided you have products to sell (or buy low, then resell). If you’re the type to hit all the local garage sales each weekend, there’s all sorts of valuable things that can be resold online as incredibly lucrative side business ideas. If you want to step your Amazon selling game up, check out this detailed story about Amazon and eBay retail arbitrage featuring an interview with several successful drop-shippers who’ve grown this home based business idea from side business into a lucrative money-maker. If you can learn how to write a headline that’ll draw readers into your blog posts, then you’ll be well on the way to monetizing a readership with selling them the products they want.
Local Business Consulting
If you’ve developed valuable skill sets or certifications within your industry over the years, consider putting your skills to use in your free time by offering your consulting services to local business owners as potentially lucrative side business ideas. Whether you’re an expert marketer, business strategist, or manufacturing aficionado, there’s likely a local business owner who’s willing to pay you to help them solve an issue with their company—if you can craft an effective cold email that convinces them to hire you. Start to becoming a local business consultant as a side business idea, from Karyn Greenstreet. Personally, I think this is one of the best business ideas you can get started with today.
Phone Case Business
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, 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 and Amazon Handmade. During our first year of selling phone cases as one of our side business ideas on our Etsy store, we made a good 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.
If you have a knack for connecting with people and the willingness to take on some risk, a commission-based freelance sales role could be a great side business idea for you. Many startups seek part-time and commission salespeople, especially when they’re just getting started, which means you’ll often be able to make this a home based business idea. Develop your sales strategies, become an inside sales rep and perfect your cold calling skills on the side in your free time for nothing but commission, negotiate a little equity and you could profit big time if you’re pitching a solid product and the startup succeeds. Start your sales education with the acclaimed books, Secrets of a Master Closer and To Sell is Human by famed bestselling author Daniel Pink and you’ll be well on your way to getting this side business idea off the ground.
Then you can move on to more immersive sales education through online courses like Sales Training and Prospecting on Udemy. Once you’re ready to put your selling skills to the test, check out Angel List and see if any sales position opportunities align with your interests—the last thing you want to do is get stuck selling products or services you’re not interested in. However, by starting out your sales career as a side business idea, that gives you the flexibility to easily change courses if you ever need to.
Affiliate Sales and Marketing
If you already have a website that’s driving in targeted traffic, a great way to make passive income from the content you’re already creating as an easy side business idea, is through affiliate marketing. ShareASale, Rakuten, Clickbank, and Skimlinks are a few of the best affiliate networks and tools that can help you make money from the content you already produce, thus amplifying your side business idea income. Check out how I’ve gone from starting a blog to now making money blogging (to the tune of often more than $50,000/mo) from affiliate marketing—to get some inspiration on how you can grow a blog from side business ideas to full-time company—and follow along as I grow my own side project affiliate blog,
Have a knack for staying organized? If you’re a jack of all trades, you should consider working as a virtual assistant as a side business idea. You can find great gigs on Flexjobs, Indeed, or Upwork. It can be an awesome way to rub shoulders with some very important people, build up your professional network, develop in-demand new skills (like creating GIFs and VR videos), grow your side business ideas and you’ll have the added perk of being able to start this as a home based business idea. Becoming a virtual assistant can be a particularly great side business idea if you’re hoping to travel the world while making money online as a digital nomad.
It’s not the sort of side business idea that’s covered in glory, but someone needs to make sure all the numbers add up at the end of the year. Every business and most individuals need someone with the domain expertise to help prepare tax returns, especially time or resource-strapped small business owners. Majo Jacinto in his Udemy course provides an in-depth foundational understanding of how to prepare tax returns (and stay current with ever-changing laws) that’ll certify you with tax prep skills in as little as a few hours of training and practice. Then once tax season rolls around you’ll be able to charge an average of $229 per return as a freelance tax preparer with these kinds of side business ideas, according to CNBC—and you could even grow your business more by teaching your advice online (like taxes for bloggers, influencers and remote employees).
Remote English Teacher/Tutor
Teaching and tutoring English as a second language is a great way to put your skills to work into business ideas with potential to earn, not to mention opening doors for you to travel the world if you’d like. While full ESL (English as a Second Language) accreditation is recommended, as long as you’re a native speaker, there are people in countries such as Hong Kong or the UAE who are willing to pay upwards of $25/hr for you to teach them English via Skype. Indeed, Learn4Good and Remote.co often have remote English tutoring jobs posted, check back frequently. Then once you land that remote job, you’ll need somewhere more professional than your dining room table to meet with students—check out this post about how to find places to work remotely and you’ll officially graduate this side business idea into a full-time endeavor for yourself.
If you had a knack for standardized tests and had no trouble acing the SAT, ACT or other college exams, why not start tutoring high schoolers as a side business idea? Parents of all economic backgrounds are more than willing to shell out upwards of $100/hr to the right tutor, if it means their son or daughter will get admitted to the college or university of their choice. There are plenty of work from home jobs helping kids out with homework and turning it into profitable side business ideas that can stand the test of time.
Social Media Manager
We’re all guilty of spending too much time on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest sometimes, so why not get paid to put your expertise to work as a side business idea? Lots of companies, especially startups or those in retail and travel—even influencers have heavy social media presences and are constantly in need of people to help build their brands online. You can find these types of opportunities on sites like Flexjobs, Career Builder and most employers on these websites are conditioned to working with people who operate these services as their side business idea. Over time as you grow in your ability to leverage various social channels, you can add more service offerings like running high-return Facebook Ad campaigns or hosting lucrative sweepstakes competitions for the brands you want to work with.
Build your own social following and create a personal brand for yourself like Matt Nelson, founder of WeRateDogs has done (thus growing his following to more than 2.8 Million people), and countless opportunities will come your way for turning these kinds of side business ideas into a full-time business.
Google Paid Ad Specialist
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.
Presentation Design Consultant
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 legit side business ideas—and potentially earn a good amount a slide for your time and talents.
If you love to travel and find yourself randomly searching for airfare sales or browsing Lonely Planet, why not carve out a niche for yourself as a private travel agent? Build travel consulting into one of your side business ideas by starting with word of mouth recommendations from friends who know they can count on you for the cheapest flights, create a Facebook or LinkedIn group to invite people who want to stay on top of the latest deals and eventually you could spin this business idea into a full-time consultancy—or even start a travel blog teaching people how to make their dream trips a reality. Just be sure to avoid the most common blogging mistakes that can sink your site in the early days—like choosing a domain name that’s not right for your niche and not doing proper blogger outreach when seeking to build relationships in your space.
Landing Page Specialist
If you have a way with words, know how to do keyword research and craft beautifully designed landing pages that follow the best blog SEO strategies, why not charge other companies for your services and turn it into money-making side business ideas? Even a short landing page is worth a couple hundred bucks in most cases, and so much more if you know how to pitch your prospects well. If you want to get started with your business idea of becoming a landing page specialist or freelance copywriter, check out Len Smith and Sean Kaye’s awesome course on Udemy, Copywriting Secrets: How to Write Copy That Sells.
Interior Design Consultant
Someone out there is remodeling their kitchen and needs to know which shade of granite will match best with mahogany flooring. That someone will often be happy to pay you for your advice, especially if you’re the kind of person that subscribes to websites like Contemporist and you have the motivation to turn these kinds of business ideas into a money-making enterprise.
It’s not exactly a way to make consistent great money, but housesitting—exactly what it sounds like—is a fantastically easy business idea that can fund your ability to live in exciting locales around the world (or your city) without paying a dime in rent. Did I mention it’s a way to travel and live rent free? Legendary Nomadic Matt hac created websites, to start your housesitting side business idea search.
No, babysitting isn’t just for teenagers and college students. Quite on the contrary, if you call yourself an Au Pair instead, you can make some pretty good side money working nights and weekends with these kinds of business ideas if you don’t mind the often odd hours.
Know someone who rents out property to others? Perhaps they could use a hand managing their property. If so, you can make a decent amount of money on this side business idea with relatively little work on your part (most of the time). It’ll take some hustling and the willingness to be flexible with your schedule, as you’ll be responsible for collecting rent checks, managing repairs and improvements, and simply being on call for emergencies. But, a property manager is essential for most real estate investors that have a large enough portfolio, so there’s definitely merit to this business idea.
Sell on Etsy
Have a talent for crafting or creating other handmade goods? From bracelets to phone cases, rings, furniture, and more, Etsy is one of the world’s largest independent marketplaces that’s perfect for anyone who is creative and willing to sell their handmade creations. As long as you have the space, this can make for one of the best home business ideas that can be started as a side hustle with a very limited investment. Then, after you’re able to build your brand and grow your own audience, you can start an eCommerce site of your own and retain a larger portion of the revenue from your product sales—making this a very lucrative potential business idea if you’re able to find an audience that loves your products and figure out how to best sell online to them.
Similar to selling on Amazon, eBay is a place to make money selling just about anything you can think of as a side business idea, with the added excitement of using the auction selling model to sometimes get way more than you expected for that antique baseball card you picked up at a local street fair. To turn your eBay selling into a legitimate business idea, look for opportunities where you can buy in-demand products at a discount—and later sell them for a profit. Eventually, you can even take the lessons learned from your eBay store and build a full on blog or eCommerce business.
Fiverr is a great place for first-time freelancers who might not have tons of experience and want to build up a portfolio of their work. You’ll be able to complete simple tasks ranging from logo design, to creating animations, or even drawing a company logo on your forehead. While this side business idea likely won’t be growing into a million dollar startup for you, it can still be a platform for funding one of your next big business ideas. Want to learn more about Fiverr’s history and how to get the most out of selling on the platform?
College Admissions Essay Tutor and Editor
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 one of the more compelling business ideas 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.
If you own a camera, starting a freelance portrait photography business could be a very natural way to turn your skills and passions into a profitable business idea. Start with doing free shoots for friends and family to build up a strong online portfolio, get familiar with your gear and the editing process, then you’ll be able to get paid for photographing professional head shots and celebratory family moments as your side business idea. Once you have all the gear for your photography business, you can earn a little extra side income by renting it out when you’re not using it through online marketplaces.
Wedding photographers command premium rates. After all, you are capturing one of a couple’s most important life moments, making it a very lucrative side business idea. Many professional wedding photographers charge between Rs.25000 – Rs.100000 (or more) to shoot a wedding, so it’s realistic that this side business idea could quickly blossom into becoming a full-time endeavor with the right happy clientele base that’s willing to refer you to their friends and family.
Online Dating Consultant
Believe it or not, some people have such a difficult time with dating, that they don’t even want to participate in the online (or app-based) component of it. If you’re a smooth talker, why not leverage that skill into becoming a paid match maker as a side business idea?
Writing Erotic Fiction
Werewolves, step-brothers, and tentacles—the demand is high. As odd as it may sound, if you’ve got the imagination (and a clever pseudonym), you can make upwards of Rs.50000 month writing erotic fiction in your free time as a side business idea.
Writing Greeting Cards
Fancy yourself a poet? You can earn Rs.2000 for every poem you write that this greeting card company publishes—not bad as far as side business ideas go, if you’ve got a way with words and aren’t afraid of rejection on poems that aren’t a good fit.
WordPress Website Consultant
Countless small businesses start out their web presence using a WordPress website (myself included) with one of the best web hosting plans to power it (consider even cheap hosting plans or free hosting if you’re on a budget), before needing to upgrade to other solutions for various reasons. Many of them will pay several hundreds of dollars for someone to get their business ideas set up online. If you have the patience to learn how to start a blog yourself, it’s an extremely valuable skill and can be turned into a very lucrative side business idea even if you’re just starting with one of the best WordPress themes and customizing it for clients—especially if you sign up for affiliate programs with companies, who offer high quality managed WordPress hosting plans that allow you to collect fees from the clients you refer their way. Consider an additional service offering to your clients by executing on a carefully curated digital marketing strategy that goes beyond just setting up their website, and into actually generating traffic to it. Plus, with the skills you pick up from this side business idea, you’ll be able to spin up other profitable website ideas like my friend Akash been able to do with his site, puzzlefry.com.
Drive for Uber or Ola
Driving for one of the two globally expanding app-centric taxi alternative services, Uber or Ola can still be a fairly lucrative way to earn money as a side business idea on nights and weekends—working only when you want. But before you dive head first into this side business idea, do your homework and calculate the costs of extra gas, mileage, tires, wear & tear and usage on your vehicle—it’s not one of the best guaranteed business ideas that’ll turn a significant profit every weekend, though.
Rent Your Car on Turo
If you own a car but barely use it, you can make some easy cash as an effortless side business idea by renting it out. Before you freak out, know that there’s a car insurance policy on all cars, plus drivers are prescreened, so you can have peace of mind.
Not to be confused with hoarding, these kinds of business ideas take a lot of time, patience and passion. If you have an eye for good art, it’s easy to get in on the ground level by visiting the studio department at your local university—though don’t expect to get rich overnight with this side business idea. Many art students are more than happy to sell their work for a bargain, and in as little as a few years, there’s a chance that piece you bought for a couple hundred bucks may be worth well into the thousands. Beware though, this business idea will take a whole lot of patience (and storage space for all that art).
Online sites are 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. Plus, if you play your cards right and start to build a social following over time, you could parlay your success as a caterer into starting a food blog that can open up additional revenue streams for your business.
Develop an App
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.
You may be knowing about Michele Romanow’s how she built an app that earned $500,000 in 3 months (as a side business idea outside of her day job) and how she eventually sold the company to Groupon. It’s seriously incredible.
Online News Correspondent
You don’t need to have a degree in journalism to be a reporter these days (and pursue this business idea as a work from home job). Plus, there are many news websites that can always use a bit of help on getting local coverage. Some of them, will compensate contributors based on ad revenue generated per article written—a great incentive to provide compelling content to news organizations as your side business idea.
This side business idea isn’t for most, but consider Kia Silverbrock who has been granted over 4,665 US Patents in his lifetime (so far). You don’t have to invent the wheel to make good money from your patented concepts—just make sure that your idea can be produced affordably, or it will never stand up against a lawsuit in the future.
Buy and Sell Domain Names
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 Rs.80 Cr 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. If you know how to name a blog the right way, you could even use a smart domain name generator to find and buy a good name today, with an affordable monthly hosting plan—then sell it one day in the future as the right buyer comes along.
Start a Popup Shop
While the barriers to entry for a retail shop can be very high, one way to keep costs down and limit your time investment while you keep your full-time job, is to set up a weekend popup shop as a side business idea. More of whatever it is you’re selling—donuts, clothing, antique baseball cards, or anything else—will stay in your pockets instead of going to pay for operating expenses such as rent or utilities by choosing to pursue retail as a side business idea with a short-term rental.
Brew Your Own Beer
Like drinking beer? Why not try making it yourself as your side business idea? With enough patience and skill you might end up brewing something that others are willing to pay to drink. Pick up an easy-to-use starter kit from Mr. Beer online, invest the time it’ll take to perfect your craft, make a unique brew and start shopping it around to friends & family to see what they think of this side business idea.
Freelance Proofreading and Editing
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 Contena, which makes this a high-demand side business idea.
Buy Used Electronics and Refurbish Them
Many people give up on their faulty laptops, mobile phones, or cameras without even looking into the cause of their malfunctions. If you have the skills to fix them, consider pursuing this side business idea of refurbishing and reselling used electronics in your free time.
Got a thing for numbers? Plenty of companies need to hire talented contractors who are good at data analysis, making this a potentially lucrative side business idea if you have the right credentials and experience. Platforms like Upwork and Digiserved are but a two of many websites that are great for freelancers with an analytical prowess, looking for extra work as a side business idea around their full-time jobs.
Acquire and Resell Parts from Electronics Stores
Believe it or not there’s a treasure trove of valuable items being thrown away by big box stores around the world. Electronics stores toss out everything from printer cartridges to tablets, and if you’ve got the stomach for rummaging around in dumpsters you can easily earn a bit (more than you ever thought possible) with this side business idea.
Freelance Writing & Copywriting
Every website owner (including myself) hires copywriters to write content for things like about pages, FAQ’s, or blog posts. Hourly wages for novice copywriters are not very high, but with some experience and a growing portfolio, you can become a freelance writer today and soon be charging more than you make at your full-time job if you find the right clients and brand yourself as an expert with this side business idea. Then when you’re ready to start cold emailing potential clients.?
Licensed Product Distributor
It doesn’t happen overnight, but licensing a foreign product for sale domestically, can be one of the most lucrative business ideas that (at times) leads to a big payoff down the road. Invest intelligently, sell a product you believe in, and you can reap the rewards for years to come.
Fill Out Online Surveys
It’s not very engaging, or mentally stimulating, but taking online surveys through companies like Survey Junkie, User Interviews and InboxDollars do pay out (a little), believe it or not. Payouts come in the form of PayPal, check or sometimes Amazon gift cards, but if you’ve got the idle time—then sites like Survey Junkie, User Interviews and InboxDollars might be a good way to spend some of your down time. Just don’t expect to make bank with this side business idea—I recommend combining it with another source of side income from this list of my best business ideas, and turning to surveys in your downtime when you need a little extra income.
Not only is Airbnb a great way to make money by renting out your spare bedroom or living room couch as a legitimate home-based business idea, but you also have the benefit of meeting new people and making new friends if that’s your kind of thing. You can even rent out an entirely new apartment just to manage as an Airbnb side business idea, but don’t make the mistake of thinking this will be a passive source of income—you’re on call whenever you have a guest and you’ll always need to keep the place clean for incoming visitors. On top of just renting on Airbnb, you can take this business idea to the next level by offering your guests add-on and personalized experiences for an extra charge. Take Lauren Gheysens’ Airbnb-based side business idea, Royal Day Out in London, England for example—where she gives visiting tourists a local’s only tour of the city, complete with bespoke 18th century costumes.
Personal Fitness Trainer
If you’re a fitness buff and have the right combination of charisma and business sense, working as a part-time personal trainer as a side business idea can be both physically and financially rewarding. Once you build up a reputation and client base for yourself, it could easily turn into a full-time endeavor for you. Many people are making a living online. Finally, I’d recommend taking this business idea seriously and actually devising a go-to-market plan that can let you hit the ground running with clients from day one.
Yoga or Meditation Instructor
Yoga is getting ever more popular, which means yoga instructors are more in demand than ever—making this another of our most physically rewarding side business ideas. 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.
Start a YouTube Channel
Yes, spending time on YouTube can be a legitimate business idea if you take it seriously. If you can create value-driven, entertaining video content and grow your subscriber base to a few thousand subscribers, your videos can start generating pretty substantial income from all the ads being displayed on your videos. Many YouTube users make well into the millions each year, so there’s clear potential to take this from side business idea to eventual millionaire with the right combination of content, audience, skills, relationships and timing. If you’re considering starting a YouTube channel it’s important use best practices when making videos. Read the YouTube playbook for tips which will result in faster growth of your channel. Additionally think about investing in a quality camera and microphone since the production quality of videos can often affect your viewership.
If your mastery of another language is good enough to have the grammar and spelling down, translating is a great side business idea to set up for yourself and can even be done remotely. Flexjobs has literally hundreds of freelance, remote translator jobs available right now and if you’re looking to land more remote work on the side of your other pursuits, then browse through these remote jobs websites to find the right opportunities for you.
Live in a destination where travelers frequently visit? If you love meeting new people from around the world and also love the city you live in, starting your own local tour company is arguably the best business idea that will give you both of those perks. Take a unique spin on your local tour business like Erik from Vantigo. He was starting his VW van tour business in San Francisco as just a side business idea while he was still working a full-time job, and grew it to being a sustainable source of full-time income before quitting—now he’s running a multiple van tour company on the back of what originally began as a crazy side business idea.
Do you play a musical instrument well enough to teach it to others? How about taking your skills at producing music or sound design and teaching others as a service-based business idea based on your experience? Private music instructors in all disciplines charge upwards of Rs.2000-5000/hr (or more depending upon skill and experience), and you don’t necessarily have to do them in person, either. This makes for a great side business idea that can channel your passion for music into profits.
If you have a fondness for taking pictures of smiling families or laughing children blowing bubbles, consider becoming a stock photographer and selling your images to a stock photo company like Unsplash, ShutterStock and iStockPhoto as a side business idea. You’ll get royalties every time someone licenses an image you’ve submitted. To really be successful, build your own photography website to be able to showcase your portfolio and start getting higher-paid private corporate work.
Ghostwriting pays pretty well, and if you’re talented at researching and creating great content within a certain subject domain, you can quickly build a roster of high-paying clientele with these kinds of business ideas. Ghostwriters like Jeff Haden have created very lucrative careers for themselves by writing for business executives and CEO’s—and Jeff also started his ghostwriting career as a side business idea outside of his full-time job as a factory manager. It’s a grind getting to a place where you can earn a full-time living from ghostwriting, but if you stick with it and bounce back from your defeats, you’ll make it.
Once you’ve established yourself in any number of freelance verticals online, spending your time focusing just on doing inside sales (booking freelance contracts with high-value clients) and then subcontracting your work out to other freelancers can help significantly grow your client list, and revenue generating possibilities with this business idea.
Take the time to develop your skills at either making your own music, or becoming a pro at mixing, and your side business idea of dj-ing local events could turn into a much bigger endeavor. Though you’ll first need to command a solid knowledge of sound design, mixing and music production before expecting to land your first gig with this business idea, as developing an entirely new skill set is not for the faint of heart.
Clothing Alterations and Tailoring
Fashion, style, and grooming continue to be a lucrative side business idea that can be done in your hours outside of work. If you know how to mend clothes, then you have a growing market of budget-conscious and/or personalization -obsessed customers. Many experienced entrepreneurs in this field say you need around two thousand dollars to start a decent side business in this niche, but there’s no harm in starting smaller and growing from there, as long as you can make magic with needle and thread.
Nothing beats teaching more novice learners about your passion, hobby, or craft as a business idea (that’s a common theme here). Explore dozens of DIY portals (such as DIY.org, DIY Network, Instructables and Mahalo) to get business ideas on how to earn a healthy side income just by showing others how to do the things you love. You can also sift through the countless ad-supported YouTube channels that teach just about anything from guitar strumming to 3D printing.
It’s funny how much baking can translate into different types of business ideas that make money. Start bringing in some side income by kneading flour, mastering the oven, and appeasing everyone’s sweet tooth. While some experts have already turned baking into their sole “bread and butter,” you need not leave your day job to pursue this business idea just yet. Depending on your experience, you can start by doing something simple on the side like perfecting grandma’s nostalgic cookies before heading on to offer exquisite artisanal fare.
Being a Task Rabbit
If you don’t mind doing other people’s chores, then Task Rabbit may be the right side business idea for you. Earn a little side money doing odd jobs like walking your neighbor’s dog or mowing Mr. John’s lawn. Running errands not your style? Tell that to the top taskers on the portal who reportedly earn as much as Rs. 10000 a month, making this a full-time business idea for some.
Freelance Content Marketing
From personal experience as a freelance content marketer, I can vouch for the profitability in this industry. I grew my side hustle into a Rs.20,00,000/yr business before quitting my day job to pursue this business idea full-time; all you need is the right skills and experience to back it up. With startups, established brands, and even notable influencers needing to build credibility and grow their brands, professionals who can serve up compelling content enjoy a huge demand for their services. And, since brands will always need high quality content to bring in new customers, your skills will always remain an asset to invest in—especially since the nature of creating a content marketing strategy is an ever-evolving one. Start by tapping into your existing network with this business idea and begin tracking down local small business owners who could benefit from your marketing tactics, do a bang up job, ask for referrals and grow from there to the point where you’re doing things like guest blogging and blogger outreach and spreading out to a wider market.
Freelance eBook Writing
If you’ve always wanted to publish your own book as a side business idea, there never been a better time than now. That’s because access to self-publishing tools and marketplaces has never been easier and more affordable. One eBook writer I know currently earns up to a couple of thousand bucks each month from six ebooks she published; while you can reportedly demand around Rs.100000 per eBook project serving as a ghostwriter. My good friend, used freelance writing as her side business idea to eventually go from secretary to self-employed, while focusing on her own personal development and looking inward to discover what she’s truly passionate about.
Investing Your Money
If you keep your money hidden in the attic or earning close to nothing in a savings account, you might want to consider putting it to better use through smarter stock investing as one of your side business ideas to keep slowly working on. Sure, there are plenty dangers to look out for, but most personal finance experts will advise you to start learning about the stock market if you want to grow your wealth, and to avoid jumping too heavily into trends like Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies without proper understanding.
Investing Others’ Money
Incidentally, helping others grow their wealth is also a good way to grow your own financial worth as a side business idea. If you have stock market and finance credentials, then you can earn freelance commissions or consulting fees, advising clients on how to get the best returns for their investments as a lucrative side business idea if you can get results for those clients—otherwise this business idea can be the fast-track to alienating friends and family, so be careful.
Accounting and Bookkeeping
Many small companies and startups now outsource jobs that aren’t part of their core business (such as HR, admin, and accounting), which makes this skill set a great opportunity for starting a side business idea that engages your number prowess. Because companies always need to track their cash flow, freelance accountants and bookkeepers can really benefit from the increasing demand for part-time help.
Building a Niche Website
Find an audience for your passion or hobby and you’re all set to monetize something you love via learning how to make a website in a clever blog niche as a side business idea. That of course, is easier said than done, something not intended for the faint of heart. Prepare to invest a lot of your time in choosing from the best website builders and learning what a blog is, but if you can hurdle the steep challenges and positively answer a few key questions on whether the website business ideas you’re thinking about can make money, then you can begin building it. Your niche website doesn’t even need to be built around an existing business of yours. For example, one of my newest side projects, Puzzlefry, was built out of a desire to create the best possible Scrabble puzzle finder tool, and we’ll worry about the greater business model later—once we have a steady flow of traffic coming into the website.
Car Washing and Detailing
A lot of car owners simply don’t have time to personally care for their vehicles, much less make them sparkle. With simple equipment such as car shampoo, polishing wax, tire black, sponges, a pail and a sturdy hose, you can start earning a decent side income by making cars look fresh in your free time after work and on weekends. Not bad for an easy business idea that’ll keep you outdoors and moving your body on the weekends.
To be clear, providing care for the elderly often requires a broader set of credentials (as it should) so this business idea isn’t one most people can get started with this weekend. These credentials may include licenses, training certificates, business permits, and tax forms depending on which state you wish to operate, the level of care you intend to provide, and whether you plan on running a formal business or just hiring yourself out as an independent worker as a side business idea. If you’re already giving unpaid care to an elderly relative or friend, you may want to review Medicaid provisions for some compensation. In all cases, you need genuine affection for the elderly, a lot of common sense, and good knowledge of first aid, CPR, and elderly care basics to excel with this side business idea.
Carpets make your home warm and cozy. But they also tend to gather dust, grime, stains, allergens and bugs over time. You can tap into this opportunity by launching a carpet cleaning side business idea or serving as an independent contract cleaner in your free time. Either way, you’ll need to invest in proper equipment such as vacuum cleaners, carpet brushes, and cleaning chemicals in order to launch this business idea. Look into the possibility of renting equipment for a full weekend and lining up 5-10 clients to service, to offset your rental costs. If you turn a healthy profit, you’ll eventually be able to invest in owning your own equipment and increase your margins, thus going from side hustle to serious business.
If you want to broaden your services and earn more, you can opt to make the entire house look neat and clean with this side business idea. House cleaning services cover carpets, floors, lawns, garages, windows, walls, and roofs, requiring a whole range of cleaning tools. You can hire maids and janitors to do the actual cleaning while you handle sales, administrative and customer service tasks. Or, you can start small by actually getting your hands dirty as a contractor, learning on the job before launching your own cleaning operations with the help of cleaning business management tools like Swept. Beyond that, I’d recommend checking out Cleaning Zoom if you plan on taking this business idea seriously—and be sure to have ready access to this checklist to ensure nothing flies under the radar on you cleaning appointments.
Many families with kids, including single-parents, have very limited time resources, creating a demand for part-time child care providers (and a business idea opportunity for you). If you love kids and have some spare time, you can earn plenty of side income by looking after children while their parents are away. Just be sure to identify the particular age group you’re comfortable caring for and you’re all set after any necessary certifications. Establishing a home-based daycare center capable of servicing six or more kids is also a lucrative way to really expand upon these kinds of business ideas if you have the right environment for it.
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.
If you’ve got the attitude (and look), there should be a product or service out there on the hunt for the right model to grow their brand (or promote your own blog) as a standalone business idea. You can sign up with a large agency, find a freelance agent, or look for your own modeling gigs as an independent talent. Since modeling is a complex field, get all the advice you need before jumping right in and find a mentor who can guide you through some of the early challenges it’ll take to establish your brand. Depending on your preference, you can specialize in a single media format such as video or still images, to build a compelling portfolio and grow this into a business idea that has the potential to scale.
Computer Training and Lessons
Everyone (even kids and retirees) need to have some level of technical know-how to stay competitive and appreciate the marvels of the digital age. Just observe how learning sites like Codecademy and Treehouse and continue to grow and you’ll understand the urgency of getting computer training for our generation (thus making great business ideas to train others if you already have the skills). If you’re a techie, you can cash in on this need by offering lessons and tutorials within your neighborhood or across cyberspace through portals like YouTube or Udemy as a side business idea. You can even set up your own tutorial site with an interface for online payments.
Contract Customer Service
Some firms outsource their customer service operations and many of these companies accept home-based contractors. You can start by signing up on freelancing sites such as Upwork to test the waters with this business idea first. If you’re already a CSR specialist with management skills, then you can form and lead a virtual team online and engage clients as a bona fide customer service company or provide customer service training to such teams as well as individuals.
Dogs are amazing. But, owners aren’t always at home to take them for a walk. If you’re a canine fan like I hope you are, this great side business idea can net you a regular profit by just taking some adorable pups for a stroll around the park. Dog walkers who want to exercise this business idea with the pet owners who need a helping hand.
Real Estate Sales Consultant
The real estate market is on the rebound (for today) and people are buying and selling properties in many locations across the U.S. That means a lot of opportunities for professionals who know how to navigate the legal, financial, and commercial aspect of real estate to build up a stable of clients as a side business idea, especially if you begin to scale your sales organization and build a team of reps working to help you close more deals. If you consider yourself an expert in the subject, it won’t be a walk in the park (hehe), but you can earn significant additional side income as a home-based real estate consultant—especially if you employ one of the best CRMs for small business and know how to work magic over the phone.
Making Custom Furniture
Turning your favorite craft or hobby into a revenue-generating business idea easily counts among the most fulfilling experiences anyone can have. With more and more people demanding a higher degree of personalization in just about anything they own or use, count yourself lucky if your craft happens to be the creation of custom furniture. Not only is the real estate sector regaining its footing, the number of style-conscious customers is also on the rise, creating plenty of room for growth into these kinds of handy business ideas.
Making Handmade Jewelry
Handmade jewelry is a good business nowadays. There are at many entrepreneurs who’ve already earned astonishing amounts of money by launching hand-made jewelry business ideas: M3 Girl Designs’ Maddie Bradshaw, Bella Weems of Origami Owl, and the girl behind DesignedByLei. With the industry set to shine in the near term via a brisk annual growth rate of 5-6%, the market is ripe for new entrants to this business idea who can offer sparkling new takes on how to craft appealing handmade goods.
Being a Gigwalker
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 Rs.500-to-Rs.5000 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).
A real estate appraisal business can be operated from home, on a part-time basis, making for a fun side business idea if you have the credentials to back it up. A perfect option if you want to keep your day job while earning a little extra on the side. You won’t need a college degree to start in on these kinds of business ideas either, but you’ll need bankable appraiser credentials (including relevant training and professional licenses), strong knowledge of the sector, and a growing network of industry players including mortgage brokers, real estate agents, banks, and fellow appraisers that’ll want to utilize your services.
If you don’t mind parading yourself around in public places as a side business idea, and enjoy a little attention, then working as a human billboard can pay a surprising amount of dividends. Renting out your beard, for example can earn you as much as Rs.500 a day while having a brand logo tattooed on your shaven head for five years could pay as much as Rs.200000—though this type of earning opportunity is admittedly rare. This business idea is definitely not for the faint of heart, and is a little extreme for me, but nonetheless it’s been done as a side hustle for many people, even some having done it to pay their college tuition fees. You can start by holding a placard or wearing a sandwich board. If you think this is a good side business idea, you can go all the way and turn it into a full on small business idea with enough hard work—plus you won’t have to deal with all the issues other more complex businesses have to constantly think about.
Purchasing an Existing Website
Websites aren’t too dissimilar to stocks. Many are junk, but some can generate value for you, making it a strong potential business idea if you have an eye for spotting the diamond in the rough That’s why, like stocks, they are bought and sold all the time. You can buy and sell websites as a side business idea in the hope of generating future earnings based on their user traffic, current revenue intake, domain name, or some other factors that might be a hidden cash cow everyone else has overlooked.
Mobile Laundry Service
We all wear clothes (at least some of the time). Which, of course, makes the business idea of cleaning soiled laundry an obvious hit. In fact, the self-service laundromat industry is worth good enough, with many related businesses such as a mobile app laundry service, a real rolling mobile laundry service, and home laundry pickup & delivery services springing up each year. Cash in on this trend as a side business idea.
Junk Removal Service
As the saying goes, one person’s trash is another’s treasure. Without people cleaning up everybody else’s junk, the world would be a lot messier than it already is. These kinds of business ideas might not be glamorous, but you get to make the world a cleaner place while earning extra side income. To start, you’ll likely need a sturdy second-hand truck and standard equipment like shovels, wheelbarrows, sledgehammers, rakes, and garbage cans to launch the foundation of this side business idea.
Becoming a Notary Public
Public notaries primarily serve as validators of, and impartial witnesses in public legal documents, especially those related to affidavits, oaths, deeds, estates, special-powers-of-attorney, and business agreements. Depending on the state, a full-time notary public earns an average annual salary of $36,000, which makes it a great business idea to do as a side hustle as you bring in money through other ways. If you want to get started with this business idea, the requirements and steps you need to consider.
Like birthdays, marriages happen all the time. Which means you can treat weddings as a recurring fountain of business opportunities: wedding dresses and coats, jewelers, food caterers, venue providers, photographers and videographers, performers, flower shops, travel agencies, souvenir crafts, and a host of other ventures. Now imagine if you can form a network of these service providers so you can offer engaged couples a range of hassle-free wedding packages as a turnkey business idea. The process is certainly fun (and time-consuming), but as a side business idea, the pay can be pretty great.
Event and Party Planning
Being a wedding specialist works well for top-notch players, but being a generalist also has its benefits. Event and party planners leverage their network of service providers to cover not only weddings, but also seminars, corporate events, birthdays, baptisms, concerts, conferences, holiday parties, and other events, making it a relatively diverse business idea. You can go through some tips if you want to run a part-time event planning business at home as one of our more fun side business ideas. And here’s a very honest look into the upside and downside of the trade.
Becoming a Personal Chef
Busy schedules can stress people out. It can also disrupt family life to the point that busy parents and homework-laden kids barely have time to prepare decent dinners and weekend meals. Hence, the surprising demand for part-time family chefs as a business idea. If cooking healthy and delicious meals is your thing, then this is one of the more lucrative side business ideas that can supplement your regular income by helping feed busy homes.
I mean come on, who wouldn’t be interested in business ideas that let you spend time with puppies? 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.
If that isn’t enough, you can expand your services to include pet grooming as an extra side business idea. To do that, you’ll need to have relevant training, an operating license depending on your location, and pet grooming equipment. According to PayScale, pet groomers have an average salary range of Rs.20000 to Rs.50000. Not bad as a side business idea if you can find a way to get in most of your clients on the weekends.
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.
T-shirt Printing Business
T-shirts with exciting graphics and funky logos are in high demand. T-shirt retailing business is worth millions of dollars and relies on efficient t-shirt printers to meet the supply.
Several suppliers are already in the business, but there is enough room for new players. You can take the orders from multinational brands or local businesses or even launch your own line. Moreover, this industry allows you to work on your terms, i.e., you can either choose to work from a small room or start off with a big factory-based production.
Take a print production course from LinkedIn Learning to understand the dynamics of dyes and printing technology.
Ice Cream Shop
Ice Cream is a tasty and favorite eatable for everyone in the world. You can open a shop of Ice Cream and earn a good money.
Soap and Lotion Making
Soap and Lotion is another required items by human being and it is consumable. So demand is always high and consistent. Making Soap and Lotion is always profitable.
Scrap booking Services
Scrap is always worthless for its owner and profitable of buyer. Serviceable and working items are generally found in scrap. buying scrap and selling it to the needy makes a good profit
Crazy people keep aquarium who pay a good amount for its maintenance.
Adventure planning for those who come for adventure is a good return business.
There are many more business ideas which would be shared in our next articles.
If you have any proven business ideas you’d like to share (or personal experience with a side business of your own), please add to them in the comments below!
Financial and Business expert having 30+ Years of vast experience in running successful businesses and managing finance.