If you have experience with marketing, SEO or a knack for getting people excited about the products and services you use on a regular basis, think about refining your skills and putting them to work as a small business marketing consultant in your region—especially if you can become a local SEO expert and can help local clients rank higher in their search results as your side business idea. Businesses of all sizes are in constant need of bringing in more customers, which is where you come in with your business idea. Start by pitching some of these small business marketing ideas by Brian Downard and you'll be sure to impress the first set of clients you begin working with in your area.
A carpentry business is ideal for those who enjoy working with their hands and building things. It’s ideal for those who enjoy preserving and restoring historic landmarks as well as creating new ones for future generations. Those who take pride in their work and a sense of satisfaction in helping customers utilize space more effectively will enjoy this type of business.
Let’s say that your friend has a product. They want to sell a million units on their website but there’s one little problem…They have ZERO idea how to market online. Being the digital marketing guru that you are, you offer to help drive traffic to your friend’s product on the condition that he pays you 2% of each sale that you influence. That is affiliate marketing.
If you're operating your business as a sole proprietorship in the United States, you don't technically need an EIN for the business – you can file taxes for your business along with your personal taxes. However, you may want one if you want to open a bank account for your business, or if you don't want your Social Security number to appear on business documents.

Crafts are a great way for parents to entertain their children and encourage them to be creative, but it’s not always easy to come up with new projects in the moment. Selling templates of images that children can trace or attempt to draw on their own can be a fun side business and a popular product. You can put together themed template-books, along with guides that teach children how to make various types of crafts.
Software drives businesses today. This is a fact not lost on individuals and companies attempting to earn a profit, make a name for themselves, or simply get things done. As a result, the job outlook for software developers will be much sunnier than prospects for many other occupations—creating massive opportunities for this business idea well into  the future. In fact, it won’t take you long to find a good-paying software development project as a side business idea on sites like Upwork, Guru.com, and Freelancer. LinkedIn also recently launched their brand new freelancing platform, ProFinder which has a dedicated section just for hiring talented software developers.
If you’d rather trade time for money you might choose to get a part-time job. Side jobs to make money include: dog walking, babysitter, restaurant server, receptionist, administrative assistant, or barista. You can also find part-time jobs within your industry. Maybe you’re a full-time marketer who takes on a part-time social media gig. The only downside to a part time job is that you need to invest your time for money. And time is your most valuable luxury. Part time jobs don’t scale as well as an online business would. Meaning, your total earnings get capped.

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.
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 like what the team over at Gear Hungry has done.
But that was 2007, and quite a bit has changed since then. Where a side business was once a novel idea, it has since become much more mainstream. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, freelancers now make up around 15% of the workforce, compared to only 7% in 1995. And the trend isn’t expected to stop here. The BLS reports that freelancers and self-employed individuals may comprise 20% of the workforce by 2020.
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+.
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.

Great read Lauren, always looking for extra ways to make cash. I just wanted to share something I’ve been doing recently. I run an office and have noticed that unused toner was piling up in storage. Looked into returning but that was no good. Tried out the site http://www.tonerconnect.net/ and was impressed. They had quick service and that payout was nice.
Photography is essentially an art form which captures the moments in life we cherish. If you are thinking about sharing the beauty of your work with others while generating some cash flow, a photography business might be right for you. There’s a need for professional photographers in every market, but the majority of photographers make money either by serving individual clients or by working as a freelancer for magazines, websites, and other venues. Here is an overview of each type of photographer:
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.

Selz includes the option to link your online store to your blog and social media accounts. By connecting all of these sites, you can drive traffic to your store and sell more workout plans. Selz also allows you to upload videos along with your photos, which can be be a great way to feature short, visual samples of your workouts plans and the different exercises you recommend. Customers want to see what you do, and this is the perfect way to show them.

Believe it or not, having expert advice and getting insightful help for navigating Tinder, OK Cupid, and Coffee Meets Bagel is something many people are willing to pay for. Take dating coach, Virginia Roberts of The Heartographer, who charges a whopping $200 an hour for her one-on-one video coaching. If you can put together an enticing profile, select flattering photos, and craft messages like a pro, your friends are probably already asking you for advice. Now it’s time to cash in on your skills.
I don’t know about that working for free thingy. Even if an affiliate bought from me, I would still make them an offer on something highly discounted, such as a downloadable .pdf file, an informative YouTube video with AdSense in it included in a pdf file or ask them to share the video with everyone so clicks could be accrued, and the list goes on. Working for free online is not an option. lol
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 lucrative side  business idea can supplement your regular income by helping feed busy homes. Hear Gaby Dalkin's story of going from side business idea to full-time blogger while she was a part-time personal chef right here on my podcast.

Aside from an attractive glossy cover, and being extremely critical for today's economy, Running a Side Business is excellent tool for anybody yearning for a second income. Again, NOLO series has teamed up with USA Today for another information-filled book for the public. NOLO is a legal companion for more than 35 years, while USA is the nation's largest circulation newspaper.


Stress management training can increase a business’ profitability by giving employees the tools they need to manage difficult emotions or particularly taxing situations. Hiring a counselor who can impart the wisdom employees need to keep their cool and maintain their quality can be a huge boost to their bottom line and it can even increase employee loyalty.
I’ve heard this (okay, I’ve been that person) so many times. There is so much mythology and complexity around what it takes to go from idea to income. In the world of entrepreneurship, the lore has become, “you’ve gotta be all-in, all the time” if you want to succeed. Truth is, that’s a complete fiction. And, what if you don’t so much want to built the next mega-company, but instead would love to just do something you enjoy on the side that also happens to generate a nice bit of extra cash?
An effective social media strategy that’s focused on attracting new prospects and nurturing leads can take a lot of time to develop and implement. Let alone all the automation, optimization and engagement tools and tactics that a good social media manager needs to master. So while the majority of business owners will strive to have a presence on social media channels, only a few will know how to get the best ROI and tie their social media efforts to the bottom line. Tapping into this need and helping businesses manage their social media accounts could turn out to be a very profitable side business idea.

Thank you so much for this list. I have been deliberating on starting a consulting/coaching business for so long now (2 years). I am not working at the moment as I took a career break after my MBA to start a family and now look after my child. Consulting for SME’s has always been my passion, it was actually my MBA long term goal but since I am yet to attain my short term goal (getting a job and more experience) I am hesitant to start my coaching business. My fear of not starting has been around how a new employer will perceive me when I am ready to go back to work. Are there people who openly run a side hustle and their employers know? I am in the UK and currently starting to look for a job but it is taking longer than expected, I also would like to know how this applies in the USA as I will be moving over in two years. Can you advice, anyone with experience in both markets please advice.
From crafting to home repair to website design and more, if you've ever wanted to turn your hobby into a business and watch your passion generate cash, Running a Side Business is the book for you. Packed with tips, legal resources, start-up success stories and USA TODAY snapshots and infographics, you'll learn the life cycle of a business and get answers to important questions along the way. Find out how to: 

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.
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.
An online driving school (also called a “traffic school”) can be started by anyone who has an affinity for creating web-based services, who is also willing to go to the trouble to be legally certified by a state authority. Schools that offer in-class instruction needs certified teachers who are skilled in public speaking. If getting up in front of a crowd of strangers to explain things does not intimidate you, you would be very good at this. Most driving schools also offer on-the-road training, which requires instructors to be both patient and firm with students, so as to help them learn how to drive while avoid making dangerous mistakes.
A sports photography business owner should find excitement in watching all types of sporting events. An owner should get a thrill from capturing awesome action shots that freeze important moments in sporting history. If you share these passions and would like to share your excitement with all those who see your photos, then starting a sports photography business is perfect for you.
While I recommend you start with one side hustle at first so you don’t spread yourself too thin, because you are your own boss, you can test out a lot of different side hustles to find one you really love and/or that makes you the most money. That’s the beauty of side hustling – you aren’t stuck with any idea. Use every opportunity to learn, build new skills, and make new connections. You can’t even begin to imagine the doors that will open as you explore new ways to make money.
Furniture flipping is actually a really fun business. I’ve dabbled in this myself a time or two, and it’s a great way to make a few extra bucks if you don’t mind putting in the time. What you do is scour garage sales, Craigslist, or even the side of the road on trash day looking for furniture that’s in need of a little TLC. Then, take the time to fix, refinish, or paint the furniture, and resell it for a profit.
People are getting more and more comfortable with buying online courses. Why is it so popular? The short answer is that people are looking for solutions to a problem that is keeping them from achieving something in their lives, and getting that help online is the simplest and easiest solution. Chances are, you are an expert at something. You don’t necessarily require an MBA or a special certification in a particular area to be an expert. Let’s say, for example, that you are an incredibly charming person and find online dating a fun and enjoyable experience. Thousands would disagree with you – they struggle with everything from setting up their online profile to maintaining a conversation. It’s a huge problem begging for a solution and could make a lot of money if approached in the right way. Find your best skills and package them into an online course to enjoy a long-term passive income as well as the satisfaction of helping people overcome professional and personal challenges. Derek Halpern is one of the biggest names in this niche, so check out his tips and resources for more information.
There isn’t one way to bootstrap your business—and this can be both a positive and a negative. Bootstrapping can offer entrepreneurs an opportunity to be flexible, creative, and fund their business on their own terms. It often results in cobbling together a variety of revenue streams in order to establish a solid financial platform to get a business going. However, this can also be a risky, unstable endeavor, which is a potential downside to consider.
To market yourself as a consultant, you will, of course, have to be an expert in something. But, as Brett rightly says, “most people starting a business are.” What are you good at? What skills from your career can translate over into a viable consulting business? Think about your previous duties and areas in which you have excelled, and go from there.
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?
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.
Blogging is a great side hustle because you can do it at your own pace anywhere you want. It's not a quick and easy way to make money, but there are a lot of ways to make money side hustling while blogging. You can sell advertising, become an affiliate for other people's products, sell your own online product, and more. It does take time to build up an audience to be able to make a decent amount of money, but once you have a large following, you could earn over $15,000 per month or more (we do).
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.

You will need to find a niche for the different types of jewelry that you will be selling. For example: if you mostly make wedding and event jewelry, start there and then branch out. If you want to sell everyday jewelry, or specific pieces like necklaces, bracelets, or earrings, you can divide these into separate categories in your store for ease of browsing. When selling jewelry online, you will need great pictures, and you will also want to include detailed descriptions.
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.
Hi J. Money! Any thoughts or experience with renting your own personal paid-off car with Zipcar or Turo ? I’ve started using public transportation exclusively and would like to have my car put to use since it is now just sitting in the driveway. There is a lot of negative feedback out there regarding these type of companies, was hoping to hear from some first hand experience!
I can tell you how I earned extra Money for my family, working just 3 nights a week for a few hours, I could make between 100 – 300 a night!! I was a Bathroom Lady @ a Local, busy Nightclub. You want to make sure the Club has a Ladies Night..and several concerts every couple Months. Just go and talk to the Manager/ Owner of the Club and tell them you will take care of the Ladies for them, provide extra Security, keep bathroom clean..Leave it clean..Free of charge..Have a tip jar Handy and give out soap, paper towels, mints, breathwash, combs..splash of body spray and be SUPER Friendly! Have Fun! I supported 3 kids ..worked late hours but the money is amazing! Quick Money too but you only get tips so be friendly..
×