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. This guide from Shopify will give you a step-by-step process for getting your popup shop off the ground.
There are at least three teenage 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.
If you’re relatively young and in good health, this could be an option for you to add some significant income to your budget. Keep in mind, however, that this option is fraught with physical and emotional consequences; make sure you think about egg donation carefully before moving forward. This is also a process that, once you’re accepted into an egg donation program, usually takes 3-5 weeks, or longer.

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 this business idea. 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. Listen to his interview with me on The Side Hustle Project (podcast) right here.


Anyone who is artistically inclined and enjoys animals may like running a pet portraits business. For those who like to draw, paint, or work with another medium, doing commissioned portraits is a great way to earn an income creating art. Loving animals helps business owners stay interested in their work even when they’re working on animal portraits several days in a row.
I recently met a woman who earned quite a bit of money as a very part-time chef. Once a week, she would go to someone’s house and prepare a homemade meal for their family, then do all the dishes and cleanup work. This gives the family plenty of together time, while putting some cash in the woman’s pocket. If you love to cook, this can be a great opportunity, but you may have to put a lot of effort into searching for clients.
28 Market research Get paid for your opinions by signing up with sarosresearch.com and taking part in focus groups, suggests Birtles. "You get between £50-£100 cash, plus food and drink for saying what you think about products or services for a few hours. Or be the one asking the questions. Ipsos Mori offers flexible hours to people willing to do phone interviews or knock on doors to ask people questions. You make between £8-£10 an hour on average."
This business consists of an individual, or a team, who are hired to take quality pictures of properties for sale. The purpose is to attract potential buyers who view the property online. Due to the competitive nature of the real estate industry, the demand for quality property photos is elevated and perpetual. Proper lighting and point of view helps a property stand out above the competition, driving potential buyers to view the property.

Last year the online learning industry hit $107 billion dollars. That’s billion with a B. Tons of 9-5ers are realizing they have unique skills sets that other people want to learn. Getting started is simple too, all you need is a copy of Powerpoint, a pair of headphones with a mic and some screen recording software. Then you can either drop your course on Udemy or you can build your own site and save the royalty fees!
Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission. Know that I only recommend tools and learning resources I've personally used and believe are genuinely helpful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to purchase them. Most of all, I would never advocate for buying something that you can't afford or that you're not yet ready to implement.
You will want to research your shopper and go in with a very clear sense of your target audience. Are you looking at hip, young parents; or excited grandparents? Will your products be cute, funny, or simply stylish? Narrow down exactly what you want to sell, then market your online store hard. Getting shares and testimonials from happy customers will be huge.
Blogging Tip: If you’re passionate about blogging, create an online store that you can monetize and add a blog onto it. This allows you to start monetizing your asset before you’ve built your audience. Plus, the combination of content and commerce is a powerful one. As your blog grows, you can use retargeting ads to monetize your blog traffic to land even more sales. If you pump out regular, quality content you’ll quite possibly have a few home run posts that bring you a ton of traffic that’ll be easier to monetize than if you were hoping for a few affiliate sales.
Coffee beans are actually the pit of coffee cherries. They’re green, hard and un-brewable in their raw state. A coffee roasting business roasts green coffee beans to light (city), medium (full city) and dark (full city+) roast levels so that they can be brewed. Roasters may sell their roasted coffee directly to individuals, or through coffee shops, grocers and other retailers.

So where does the money come in? As your audience starts to grow and you begin attracting more and more traffic, a whole array of different blog monetization options will open up to you. It’s best to choose the most organic ways that won’t detract from your blog’s reputation. For example, if you’re blogging about walking as a hobby, start selling custom walking trail plans or promoting walking boots. As mentioned earlier, it’s best to have multiple sources of income, as any one of them can shrink unexpectedly. The five main categories of income streams that bloggers tend to adopt are:
Your customers will need a reason to buy your tea, and not your competition’s. You will need an inviting storefront to catch their eye and make them stop and check out what you have to offer. Selz can help you create a unique store design that will stand out from the crowd. Consider offering packages of similar teas, or seasonal options- i.e. the best teas for a cold winter.
If you’re adept at woodworking and have some basic equipment, it’s easy to get into business making deck furniture. It only requires a few items – a saw, a drill, a sander – and some creativity and passion for working with wood. If you have the tools or just want to turn your hobby into a business, this may be a great small business idea for you. In addition to creating new items, you could also focus on repairing existing wooden furniture or woodwork.
Are you an accomplished instrumentalist or vocalist? Have you played in a band or a symphony? Even if you just play as a hobby, selling music lessons online can be a great way to help people explore their passions and make yourself some money on the side. Parents often seek out professionals to help their children learn how to play a specific instrument, and virtual music coaches are becoming more and more popular.

If you are an experienced public speaker yourself and know the tricks to keep calm and deliver a strong presentation, you can provide guidance for someone else who hopes to do the same. Outside of one-on-one coaching; you can create general guides, and make short video presentations on body language skills clients can use to become better public speakers.

I’m sure you’re familiar with newsletters so I’ll skip the intro and dive right into the juicy stuff. Newsletters are a fantastic vehicle for driving revenue. Every single successful business in 2016 has some type of newsletter. Why? Because they are the only way to build, store and directly reach your audience. Facebook can change its policies, Google’s cost-per-click can go up but if you have someone subscribed to your newsletter you own all of the messaging.
After you have exhausted your skill set, consider what you may have to offer others. Think about what others want to have done in their life that you are willing to do. Consider all the things people pay for professionally, but would love to save money by paying you a bit less. These 5 examples are awesome in that they come from someone thinking outside the box.

My husband and I tutored as side hustles while we were dating and still in college. We both used to help kids with math on the weekends and evenings. Sometimes, we’d get paid as much as $40 per hour especially if we traveled to another town to help kids. This was a nice amount of income for college students, and it allowed us money to go on dates and even save up for a few trips. If you like teaching and helping others, this is a great, low-cost business to start.

Hello and thank you for the great article. I have been reading where you can use side hustles to contribute to self-managed retirement plans (aka Self 401k). Many of these gigs seem cash based – anyone out there contributing to their own Self 401k/Sep/Easy accounts? If so, what documentation is required to support the connections between the side hustle and the contributions to the self managed retirement plan?
One of the most widely-available ways for making money is to drive for Uber or Lyft. The sharing economy has quite literally exploding, and both Uber and Lyft are at the forefront. The best part? You can turn on and off your availability through these networks with the simple click of a button, effectively allowing you to make money no matter what time of day or night it is.
Driving for one of the two globally expanding app-centric taxi alternative services, Uber or Lyft 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 a guaranteed business idea that'll turn a huge profit every weekend.
Cycling is a popular sport in the United States, with people regularly using bikes for fun, exercise, and transportation. In 2015 alone, 17.4 million bikes were sold in the country. As bikes are used, they occasionally break down -- and most people aren’t well-versed in repairing bicycles. A bike repair business fixes and refurbishes bikes for customers when their rides break down.
Do you enjoy fast food or going into retail shops? Many companies hire mystery shoppers to test the customer service of their stores. A common one is Subway, which hires mystery shoppers to ensure that "Sandwich Artists" are following all the franchise guidelines. If you have time and can travel to different places, this could be a good side hustle.
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I’ve had other acquaintances buy the rights to unpopular songs or jingles and collect on royalties, others who buy Youtube channels or Instagram accounts, and still others who buy Amazon businesses. The list of existing assets you can buy are practically endless, and if you have one or two ideas for improving an asset, you could have a winner on your hands.
This business is good for photographers, as they will already know a lot about improving an image via specific editing. It can also be good for those with extensive skills in editing software such as Photoshop. Finally, it's good for those who use social media extensively, as such a person will be able to offer creative editing services to help customers build their online brand through unique visuals.
To avoid any confusion, I want to make it clear first that virtual assistant work is not always non-phone, but it can be. Virtual assistants tend to do a little bit of everything, just depending on their skills/expertise. So if you are good at various non-phone tasks (social media marketing/moderation, writing, graphic design, research etc.), then you may be able to do work for some of the companies below putting those non-phone skills to work. I also want to make clear that even when you do phone work as a virtual assistant, lots of times it can be arranged so you're making the calls during times of day when it's convenient for you.
I’m sure you’re familiar with newsletters so I’ll skip the intro and dive right into the juicy stuff. Newsletters are a fantastic vehicle for driving revenue. Every single successful business in 2016 has some type of newsletter. Why? Because they are the only way to build, store and directly reach your audience. Facebook can change its policies, Google’s cost-per-click can go up but if you have someone subscribed to your newsletter you own all of the messaging.
For instance, if you need a website, why not contract with the tech guy from your day job? Need an accountant? Someone in the accounting department may need income on the side. However, make sure they understand to keep the work separate from their day job, just like you do, and that they’re working for you on a contractual basis. Your agreement should be professional and incorporate a timeline. You should also receive a work order or receipt just as you would from any other contractor.
There’s a reason plenty of entrepreneurs don’t quit their day jobs—innumerable startups have come into existence as a result of the daily nine to five grind. Joseph Howard maintains his full time job, in addition to freelance work and channeling his energy into his two startup ventures. The combination of freelance work and his full time employment gives Joseph the financial freedom to work on multiple projects at once.
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. Consider these 5 steps to starting an Etsy store, from Handmadeology. 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.
If you like shopping, you can also give mystery shopping a try. With Jobs2Shop, you find local mystery shop gigs in your town. Once you’re on a mission, you might take pictures of product displays or even scan product barcodes for price checks. Of course, you can also have the opportunity to evaluate customer service and the cleanliness of the store or restaurant too.
Selling Information Product Tip: With this side hustle, focus on niches where people have a huge problem they need to solve. If you’re in the fitness niche, you can create a fitness workout course or a diet plan with recipes ebook. If people are desperately trying to solve a burning problem, there’s an opportunity to provide value by helping them solve that problem. The content you create can guide them towards a solution. Best part: you could make money while helping people.
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? Take my friend, Mark Jackson's lead with what he's doing to build a travel consulting side business idea. Start 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 teaching people how to make your dream trip a reality.
Comon’ man… this article is about getting YOUR side hustle ON. Re-read the gianormous list Nick gave, then read ALL the comments – many of which offer additional ideas – and then rethink how little you have to offer or can do. I mean, it’s just not possible for you to feel that lost if you really consider the list provided and the vast world of opportunity we currently live in. Unfortunately ALL the ideas require you to actually DO something – no room for the wallowing “woe is me” attitude – sorry, just dropping some TRUTH on you but sounds like you need it. Only YOU can make it happen for you. Remember the sobering and sage words of Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right!” So which is it going to be for you?
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