OK, so I am guessing Grant was a lot like me in that very early on his goal was financial independence. I pursued a different strategy but was also very motivated. I worked for a Fortune 100 company, earned my undergraduate and MBA at night and on the weekends. I maxed out my 401K and collected all the free money that I could. I had some great jobs and traveled the world. I retired at 56 and have been enjoying life and my freedom ever since. It will always require dedication and hard work but if you want it you can earn it. But not everyone is driven and if you are not you will never achieve your goals. I am writing this while I am in Sao Paulo, Brazil one of the great foodie cities in the world, and I bet you didn’t know that either. But I know because I travel a lot!
Valentine's day. Birthdays. Weddings. The list goes on and on—throughout the course of a year, there are dozens of occasions when people need to order flowers. What's more is that once you're up to speed with this business idea, your costs can stay relatively low if you know where to source your flowers, and typical margins are in the neighborhood of 300% (or more) on cut flowers which makes this a particularly profitable side business idea in the right geographic area. Check out this amazing interview with floral designer, Sara Tedford of Ladybird Poppy to hear about how her floral design company started out as a side business idea of doing weddings and events for her friends and family.
Obviously some of these small business ideas have more earning potential than others, but what they all share in common are relatively low barriers to entry and the flexibility to work at them for a limited amount of time per week. I also tried to focus on side business ideas that have some sort of online component to them, since that's what I love most.
Make sure your intended market is broad enough to sustain the business. Many new business owners mistakenly offer a product or service that only a select few want, without specifically targeting that market. Especially with a side business, it helps to have a broad audience. But even if your market is niche, make sure it’s large enough to sustain your business. Remember, your marketing efforts may be limited and you’ll need to reach more people with less effort.
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 Upwork, which makes this a high-demand side business idea.
This article is excerpted from U.S. News money senior editor Kimberly Palmer’s book, “The Economy of You: Discover Your Inner Entrepreneur and Recession-Proof Your Life,” which was released this month. Copyright © 2014 Kimberly Palmer. Published by AMACOM Books, a division of American Management Association, New York, NY. Used with permission. All rights reserved
One bonus is that I got to learn about so many different industries, including for example hydroponics, which I would have probably never learned about had I not had to build WordPress site for the second largest (at the time) online hydroponics store. Another cool thing about building WordPress websites is that my clients then wanted to buy on-going website maintenance services from me. These services included things like keeping the website secure and uploading content. This is where the real gold was, especially from larger law firms. I was able to get some maintenance contracts at $1,000/month – which is a tiny expense for a big firm. Building WordPress websites really added up.
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. With pet-crazed, yet busy Americans having more pooches around, dog walking services have become a thriving industry in some U.S. cities. In fact, there’s already an app called Wag that links up dog walkers who want to exercise this business idea with the pet owners who need a helping hand.
While this suggestion could not be further from the standard small business loan, it cannot be denied that the strategy paid off. The company has now earned around $1.65 million in seed funding from Andreessen Horowitz, CrunchFund, Spark Capital and Chicago Ventures, and has been named one of the Top 5 Silicon Beach Startups to Watch by Entrepreneur.
To found their floral startup BloomNation, co-founders Farbod Shoraka, David Daneshgar, and Gregg Weisstein used a rather unorthodox funding source—the poker business. The three pooled their money to enter David, a former World Series of Poker champion, into a local poker tournament. He won, ultimately raising $30,000, which the trio used to help start BloomNation.
The photo booth business is perfect for any person who likes photography. Whether you’re a photographer, a framer, a painter or simply love taking pictures of others, you can establish a photo booth business to give customers the chance to take their own pictures. Operating a photo booth does take some familiarity with camera settings like ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. The ideal photo booth business owner will also have a solid software foundation. It takes time to hook everything up, but it’s certainly worth the effort when customers are satisfied.
Knowing your goals for your side business enables you to prioritize your side business and your day job more easily. If you intend to grow your side business to the point that you can quit your day job, you might take a day off work so you can shoot the event. However, if you need the stability of your day job and its benefits more, you'd probably want to turn the event down.
Now for the completely strange and unexpected: Jon Colgan, founder and CEO of fintech startup CellBreaker, used his background in sustainability to help finance his business. “I also studied sustainability in school and became enamored of using worms to compost. As a third revenue source, I sell worms,” he says. “I discovered that happy worm populations double every 90 days. My worms are always happy. So, I started selling worms and vermicompost on Craigslist and by word-of-mouth.”
Although you can still build a niche website around your personal passion, it is typically a more calculated affair. You gear all your efforts towards establishing multiple income sources and earning money rather than getting the satisfaction of following your hobbies and interests. You might be a huge fan of Queen’s music, but if there’s no money to be made off this, you won’t pursue the idea as a side gig.
This is the BEST list that I have seen in a long while. I have so many tabs open from clicking on these links! I am a current high school senior but I’ve been side hustling practically my entire life, from lemonade stands and my childhood “art” to selling on Ebay, and pretty soon, on Etsy. This list gave me some great ideas and advice and I can’t wait to put them into practice!