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.
A social media influencer is a lot like an Instagram, with the main difference being the social media platforms you use. As a social media influencer, you can use whichever platform(s) you prefer, or you could use all of them. A social media influencer may spend a bit more time than an Instagram business owner, as they’d have to create posts for multiple accounts and optimize those posts for each platform. This business still lends itself well to being a side business, though, as you don’t have to commit a whole lot of time to it.
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However, it’s important to understand that working from home doesn’t mean relaxing in your pajamas all day. In fact, you will probably end up working more from home than in-office. And be careful when searching online for remote work, though. There are an estimated 60 to 70 scam jobs for every genuine one. Only use vetted sites such as FlexJobs to ensure you’re not being taken advantage of.
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 $20-100/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.

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.
There you go! These are the first five things you need to do to get started. And notice not one of them was “go buy a bunch of equipment and materials” or “pay $10,000 for a professional website.” Those things aren’t a bad investment later down the line when your business revenues justify it. But when you’re starting out, the problem isn’t the design of your website; it’s your fear, doubt, and hesitation.

Many people choose to start a side business while still maintaining a full-time job. Maybe you want to generate a little extra income, or you believe you have a good idea for a product or service that's going to take awhile to get up and running. Whatever your reason, starting a side business can be difficult, but you can do it if you test your idea and keep everything well separated from your day job. Spend time researching your idea so you know the need is there to make it worth your time and effort. Once you know your business idea is solid, get your licenses and permits in order and check over your employer's policies to make sure you can start your side business and still keep your day job.[1]
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-only 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.
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.
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, here are the requirements and steps you need to consider in the US.
Even if you have an income stream that makes up to 90% of the money. When working for yourself, you'll need something different for that other 10%. This not only provides an outlet for creativity but diversifies your income in the event something happens with that primary revenue source. Again, this may not work for everyone but for ME and MY EXPERIENCE, being able to branch out into other ways of making money besides freelance writing made my time as a solopreneur a lot more bearable.
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Enamel pins are back and they are popular! Selling enamel pins online is one of the side business ideas we are most excited about. The first step will be figuring out your audience- who are you going to sell these pins to? Next, you will need to come up with a unique design. Think long term here. You want a design that will still be popular six months down the road, or your hard work will have been for nothing.
Not only do these fully remote opportunities not require an advanced degree, they also pay more than many other opportunities for workers without a college degree. The median weekly earnings for an American worker with a high school diploma is $712, according to the BLS, or about $37,024 a year. All of the opportunities highlighted here offer higher wages.
If trends hold steady, there will be an estimated 6 billion smartphones in the world by 2020. This is an incredible opportunity for those who want to break into this market, as there will be increased demand for products to protect these expensive investments from dents, scratches, and breaks. The majority of phone cases are sold online to decrease overhead costs. However, retail storefronts can be a good investment for entrepreneurs depending on the target customers.
Self-publishing is thriving, eBooks and online guides are slowly but steadily making a lot of online authors richer every day and, to the surprise of a number of cynics, people are still reading! So here’s another golden nugget for you – write a book or a long-form guide and sell it online. Whether you have a great personal story to tell, a valuable, educational piece cooking up in your head or have accumulated a wealth of resources or knowledge on a particular topic that could prove invaluable to others, you can start making money off it as soon as it gets online. If you publish your eBook through Amazon Kindle Publishing and continuously promote it on your blog or website, the sales will keep on trickling in.

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:


If you’re not familiar, podcasts are essentially self-published talk shows. The audiences tend to be extremely engaged and it’s one of the best outlets for networking that I’ve ever seen. The engagement also makes it one of the best marketing channels out there right now. Many podcasters are reaping the benefits, with some like John Lee Dumas bringing in $2,000,000+.
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 on Turo. Before you freak out, know that there’s a $1 Million insurance policy on all cars, plus drivers are prescreened, so you can have peace of mind. Closely related to renting out your car is another new service I recently came across (available only in the UK at the moment) called YourParkingSpace where you can sign up to list your available parking space through the app, and earn when people decide to use your spot.
Now that you’ve thought through the myriad of reasons to start a business on the side, the next step is to know what to expect. Some people think a side business will be easy and won’t take much effort. After all, it’s a side business right? Unfortunately, that’s simply not the case. A side business has many of the same challenges and issues a full-time business has. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind.
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 investing as your side business idea. 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.
This is a great business for those who enjoy interacting with people while treasure-hunting for bargains at flea markets or estate sales. Those who have a talent for finding bargains and negotiating prices can transform that talent into a successful resale business. It’s also a good choice for recycling enthusiasts who want to save usable items from landfills and help conserve natural resources. Community-oriented people who want to help provide necessities for low-income residents at reduced prices are also good candidates for this business.

If you’re offering a service, do you need to be licensed and registered for it? Research the product or service you’re going to offer to determine exactly what you’ll need to do according to state law. If you’re going to help people with their taxes, for example, you’ll not only need to be licensed, registered, and bonded in some states, but you’ll also need to carry errors and omissions insurance.
Think about websites like Udemy, which gives teachers a platform to teach online courses. A business like this allows people to share their expertise with students while making a living—all without the need for a physical location, or even a set schedule. Or maybe you prefer to approach things a little more creatively. If you’re crafty, you might consider a custom phone case business, which helps you lets customers add personal flair to their phones.
A college planning business’ volume is very seasonal. In the fall, most high school seniors begin to seriously consider which college they’ll be attending. As this is such a big decision, many students stress over which college is the right choice for them. This is where you come in. Since peak demand is in the fall, this business won’t require too much of your time throughout the year, making it a convenient side business that’ll also prove lucrative.
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. Check out these tips to a successful personal training business by the American Fitness Professionals and this interview with several fitness blog owners who are making a living online, from MonetizePros. Finally, I'd recommend checking out this resource if you want to take this business idea seriously and get started with a business plan for your personal fitness trainer business today.
Guerin, an editor/author specializing in employment law, is author or co-author of several Nolo books, including The Manager's Legal Handbook, Dealing with Problem Employees, Nolo's Essential Guide to Federal Employment Laws, Workplace Investigations, Create Your Own Employee Handbook, and Nolo's Guide to California Law. Guerin has practiced employment law in government, public interest, and private practice where she represented clients at all levels of state and federal courts and in agency proceedings. She is a graduate of Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California at Berkeley.
As I’ve already covered with TeeSpring, the T-shirt retailing business is worth millions of dollars. But what if you want to do the manufacturing side of things? T-shirt printing turns out to be quite a rewarding business idea for many each year, but can quickly consume much of your side business idea time—so know what you're getting into before diving in. This multi-billion dollar industry counts big corporate factories as well as home-based part-time entrepreneurs.
A portrait photography business provides high-quality, professional photos of individuals and families. Many businesses offer specialized services for things such as school photos, holiday cards, and family portraits. Because of the ability to offer these useful services year-round, portrait photography businesses play a vital role in the communities that they are located in.

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 $20-100/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.
This list offers some great ideas and inspiration for folks looking to increase their income. There’s really no reason that anyone with some ambition, a good work ethic, and “people skills” can’t earn some extra money (or a full-time income) pursuing some of these self-employment ideas. I’ve done a little research, myself, to compile a list of small business ideas, and stumbled upon a few possibilities which you didn’t cover:
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