Next, let’s tackle one of the most popular online business ideas – affiliate marketing. So what is it, exactly? In a nutshell, you recommend products or services offered by a chosen company to your readers, followers or people you know. If they buy something as a result of your recommendation, you get a commission (either a percentage or a flat fee). Easy, right?
Consider your business plan to develop a picture of goals and timelines. For instance, if you want to turn a side business into a full-time venture later on, come up with a rough idea of when you’d like to begin this transition. Create a schedule by mapping out yearly, monthly, and weekly goals, and keep track of them along the way. Making and meeting goals will help you stay on your timeline, which will help ensure your business’ success. On the other hand, if you don’t intend to leave your full-time job, determine how much time you’re willing to put into it on a daily and weekly basis, and then create a plan to help you stick with it.
A relationship coach offers helpful, actionable tips about how to strengthen relationships with romantic partners. A relationship coach may work with husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends, or single people. It's unequivocally different from couple's therapy in that it focuses more on the behavior patterns of the relationship and not as much the thought patterns. It doesn't require couples to delve into their past, or to open up about their innermost desires and fears. It is not designed to address serious underlying issues like mental illness or domestic violence. It’s a method of helping couples or individuals find the motivation they need to tweak their habits, so they can survive and thrive. It helps single people identify what they need in a relationship, and separate those needs from what they want. Coaches help communities by resolving conflict, promoting domestic harmony, and establishing healthier coping skills.
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 promote their brand as a side 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.

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 Elance, 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 idea 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.

Have you cracked the code for landing higher paying jobs at the drop of a hat? If you have a knack for helping your friends or co-workers navigate the process of finding their dream job, nailing an interview, negotiating a better salary or getting a raise at their current day job, other people would be willing to pay for your help too—making this a great side business idea that doesn't take too much time. Get started by sharing your advice on a personal blog and becoming a career coach on platforms like The Muse and Coach Me where there's already an existing audience of people looking to make a move in their careers. From there, keep your focus on helping people get real results, building case studies to support this side business idea, and eventually charging for the results you're delivering clients.


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 this business idea, 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.

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 hiring 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 consultant.
Med Trans, Inc. provides medical transcription services to doctors' offices and healthcare facilities across the US We recruit and train contractors to work from home either full-time or part-time as ... Work at home and at your own pace; You make your own schedule; Ability to work day or night depending on your preference; High demand in several industries for transcribers; Ability to spend more time with ...
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.
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:
According to a report published by the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food in Canada, the jam and preserve industry in the United States brings in over $1 billion annually. Most impressively, it’s grown steadily -- even through the Great Recession. The market for jams, jellies, and preserves is strong, growing, and has many opportunities for new start-ups.
However, suppose you've always been interested in photography and want to start a side business offering your services as a photographer for weddings and other special events. Depending on your work schedule, this could potentially interfere with your day job – and your day job also could interfere with your side business. For example, you might get offered a well-paid and prestigious photography gig to shoot an event that takes place at a date and time when you're scheduled to work.

For individuals who enjoy sewing or seamstress work, have some artistic talent, or have an eye for patterning and organizing ideas into a tangible object, quilting can be the perfect career. A background in sewing is preferable, although some quilters started because of a love or passion for creating and quickly found their niche in the quilting community.
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.
30 Online surveys It's possible to make pocket money by filling in internet surveys – though moneymagpie.com's Birtles advises caution, as there are hundreds of bogus companies on the net. "Toluna, Ciao!, Lightspeed Panel, and Valued Opinions are all pukka," she says. "You make between 50p and £5 per survey. Click here for more information and a list of genuine survey companies.
It’s likely you’ve developed valuable skills and expertise within your industry that would be of great interest and help to aspiring entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses. Becoming a business coach or consultant is easier than it sounds – once you’re able to demonstrate your achievements, whether in the form of case studies, client testimonials, free sessions, value-filled content or other avenues, you’re bound to receive business opportunities that you can explore in your spare time. Every skill from inbound marketing, to cold calling, to bookkeeping can be monetized if you target the right audience and learn to promote yourself. Don’t be afraid to get out there and offer your help free of charge at first to get the ball rolling.
It is a MASSIVE industry which means there’s is bound to be a niche that fits your knowledge base and skill set. You’re also not limited to marketing for one product. In fact, the more products you market for, the more money you make! It’s also extremely fun because it allows you to get super creative. You could arbitrage clicks from Google AdWords campaigns, work on building your own audience and include the products in your newsletter, or you could join an affiliate network and have a lot of the hard work taken care of for you!
Okay, so you won't make money that fast with a blog. But, if you start a blog and deliver enormous amounts of value, you could set yourself up with a platform for ending a tremendous amount of passive income. This is something you can easily build on the side with just a few hours of work per week, but you need to stay consistent and post great content regularly.
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 mentorship with platforms like Treehouse, LinkedIn Learning 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.
Use a platform like ACX to create and sell audiobooks on platforms like Audible and iTunes. If you have a great idea for a non-fiction audiobook where you can teach a difficult skill like stock trading, foreign currency investing, accounting, online marketing or others, you can easily create a five-figure monthly income with the right volume of audiobooks.
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.
Live streaming business owners make money by broadcasting live video gaming footage on popular platforms while making use of ad revenue. Popular websites like Twitch.TV and Smashcast (formerly Azubu) create great platforms for gamers to share their content. By acquiring a large following, (500+ average for Twitch.TV) the player becomes qualified to become a partner for the live streaming site. The streaming site will pay based on the internet traffic for the individual’s channel. Live streaming channels also solicit donations from their fans.
You need to wait until after you've chosen your business structure to finalize your name, since you may have to put an abbreviation after your name to symbolize that structure. For example, if you decide to create an LLC for your photography business, you may decide to name it "Pholly Photos," but if you've organized your business as an LLC the official name would have to be "Pholly Photos, LLC."
There are a huge range of themes to personalize your store, giving it a unique edge that will stand out from the competition. The Selz builder is simple, fun, and easy to use. In-depth tutorials and helpful 24/7 customer service can get your fully-hosted store up-and-running in no time. Selling online opens you up to a huge range of customers that will have immediate access to your work.
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.
Think blogging is no longer a viable source of income? Think again. Tens of thousands of bloggers (including yours truly) are creating profitable content on topics as diverse as scrapbooking, home cooking, travel, film, lifestyle, business, personal finance and more. And we're growing our blogs into six-figure businesses thanks to a combination of email subscribers, affiliate marketing, blog sponsorships, and other revenue streams. Your first step with starting a blog is quickly getting the technical side of things handled (my free master course on blogging will show you how), and then both understanding what your audience craves and learning how to attract those readers online.
What are your skills, what is your knowledge base, and how can you channel your areas of expertise into revenue-generating side businesses? A great side business is one that allows you enough flexibility to pursue your dream startup, while still bringing in a sufficient revenue stream. Maybe, like Lori Cheek, you can sell unwanted items on eBay while also renting out a room via Airbnb, or follow Joseph Howard’s example and keep your corporate job while offering freelance services.
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.

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.
Think blogging is no longer a viable source of income? Think again. Tens of thousands of bloggers (including yours truly) are creating profitable content on topics as diverse as scrapbooking, home cooking, travel, film, lifestyle, business, personal finance and more. And we're growing our blogs into six-figure businesses thanks to a combination of email subscribers, affiliate marketing, blog sponsorships, and other revenue streams. Your first step with starting a blog is quickly getting the technical side of things handled (my free master course on blogging will show you how), and then both understanding what your audience craves and learning how to attract those readers online.

Domain trading has been around for decades, and while the best ones have long been sold off (Insure.com went for $16 million in 2009), there’s plenty of others you can get your hands on for relatively cheap. Earlier this year, I registered thelaunchformula.com for $11.95 because it was a catchy title for an upcoming course I’m filming. Since then, I’ve already received two offers to purchase it for just under $1,000.


Are you an extrovert that loves meeting new people? Selling insurance products—particularly life insurance—may be a great way to bring in some extra cash and build residual income in your spare time. Selling life insurance on the side could quickly generate a consistent $1,000 - $2,000 per month depending on how much time you invest in this side business idea. To get started you’ll likely want to take an online course to brush up on the subject matter, and then pass a state licensing exam. The biggest challenge you'll face as a new agent is generating sales beyond just helping out friends and family. From there, it’s all about networking and lead generation to grow this one. Learn more about this side business idea with this getting started in life insurance guide from the team over at NoExam.
You can sell everything that goes along with scrapbooking; including designs for different themes, stickers for added detail, scissors with a range of blade shapes, books to work in, and more. Make sure to clearly label and display pictures of the different supplies that you are selling. For an additional income source, consider offering guides and themed books.
Any adult who looks after another person's child for more than two hours on any one day in a location other than the child's home (so excluding most babysitters and nannies) needs to register with Ofsted – it's not a particularly complicated process but does include medical, criminal and domestic safety checks. Nannies can look after the children of up to two sets of parents, in one of their home environments, without being Ofsted-registered.

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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