With more of us working fewer hours and with a resulting earnings gap to close, there's arguably never been a better time to set up a business you can run in your spare time from home. Whether it's to help make ends meet, or to follow your passion, or maybe even both, we've asked the experts to come up with 50 practical and cheap ways to make some extra cash.
The pros of starting a music lessons business as a side business are very similar to a foreign language business. Assuming you know how to play an instrument and enjoy teaching others, you have everything necessary to start giving lessons. Music lessons businesses are easy to run out of your own home, according to your own schedule, so doing it on the side will not hinder the success you may find.
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
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.

There's a misconception that keeps those with dreams of owning their own business from following their dreams. It's a misconception that's not only false but dangerous to the small business community. It's not true that every entrepreneur sits in a rundown apartment somewhere in Silicon Valley, eats boxes of cheap mac-and-cheese and stays up all night building the next big startup. Most entrepreneurs aren't living in poverty hoping to someday sign the papers for millions of dollars in funding only to see their dreams become the next worldwide craze.
I live in an apartment complex, and there is a husband and wife team who do valet trash pickup outside everyone’s door 3 nights a week. We have to take our trash to the compactor ourselves on the other days of the week, but on those 3 nights it’s very nice to just put it outside our door! They just have a pickup truck & when it’s full they drive to the complex compactor to unload all of it then head back to the next building. It takes them 2-3 hours. The cost is figured into our rent so they are paid by the apartment complex. Smelly but nice side gig!!
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.
Great post, MM! Incredibly inspiring, I really only grasped the side hustle concept since starting my blog about 6 months ago, after reading sites like yours. Already, apart from my blog, I’ve put my personal recording studio into use and started a music production side hustle, and a friend and I have launched a boutique logo design start up, called BroGoLogo, as an quality alternative to commodity products/services that you mention in this post.
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.
Believe it or not, this freelance bike messenger makes more money than some people glued to their office desks. You won't rake in a whopping $50,000 as this guy does by just doing this in your free time as a side business idea only, but you’ll surely get a piece of the action. Even Uber is trying out a blueprint for a delivery service, and companies like WunWun and Amazon are stepping up their efforts to expand same-day delivery, increasing the demand for more to jump in on this business idea. If you have a decent bicycle, those pair of pedals might just earn you a healthy side hustle income.
Almost everyone uses Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest these days, but did you know that many companies will pay people to help them manage their social media accounts — sometimes even part-time from home? To find social media jobs, you can start by contacting businesses with a social media presence and scanning sites like Upwork.com for opportunities.
If you’re looking for side jobs to make money, why not trying selling information products? This side hustle requires some research, invested time and marketing skills for you to flourish. Are there topics that are really popular right now that you know a lot about? Did you find a popular topic that there isn’t enough information about? Monetize these opportunities by creating content around it. You can publish books on Amazon or sell courses on Udemy.
You don’t need to have a degree in journalism to be a reporter these days (and pursue this business idea). Plus, there are many news websites that can always use a bit of help on getting local coverage. Some of them, such as The Examiner or HuffPost, will compensate contributors based on ad revenue generated per article written—a great incentive to provide compelling content to news organizations as your side business idea.

As a freelance writer, you are largely in control of the amount of work you do and the time you put into writing. Whether you use an online writer platform or another system for getting clients, you have a say in the number of pieces that you do, and, as long as you meet any deadlines set for you, you can work on these pieces whenever you have time. Therefore, it is easy to successfully manage a freelance writing business on the side of whatever else you spend time doing.

If you have an idea and can help people, pay attention. Whether it is motivating someone, helping them pass a class, or teaching them how to build a website, this can all be done online. Setup you’re pricing, terms, and accept payment through something as simple as PayPal and you are on your way. I recommend using Skype or Google Hangouts since it is 100% free. Help someone and get paid – genius.
Use your various social media accounts to bring potential customers to your Selz store; and, once you have enough people interested in your services, let them know for every referral there will be a discount or a give-away. This will ensure you build a customer base, and each referral with boost your income. Reach out to past clients for reviews and post them for potential customers to view.
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.
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."

These could include candles, tablecloths, center pieces, napkins, balloons- really anything you can come up with to make the perfect wedding day. Think of it as all of the last minute supplies that the happy couple dreads having to get after all their planning. That’s where you come in as a one-stop-shop. You can combine shipping or offer specials on certain products at various times of the year.
This is where you decide on your target audience. Do you want to come up with plans for people who are concerned about their cholesterol; people who follow a certain type of diet (vegan, etc.), or do you want to go in the direction of weight loss? Eventually you can cover a range, but when you are first building your business you want to focus on one particular niche. Once this is established you can build your business to include other niches as well.
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 ...
Did you major in a subject like English, history, or math in college, or do exceptionally well on the SAT exam? Do you have patience with children? If so, you likely have what you need to tutor kids in particular subjects. Seek out parents or teachers and let them know that you tutor students in a certain subject, and offer materials for them to share, and phone calls will often trickle in. You can get going locally or expand across the country by offering to tutor online.

When you’re operating a business part-time, realize it probably won’t grow as fast as a full-time business would. Many side business owners get discouraged because it takes so long for their businesses to grow. Generally, a business’ growth is directly proportional to the amount of time put into it. So when you can only put in a few hours a day plus weekends, it will take longer to get up to speed.
It’s not very engaging, or mentally stimulating, but taking online surveys through companies like Survey Junkie do pay  out (a little), believe it or not. Even if the payouts come in the form of Amazon gift cards, sites like Swagbucks can pay well. Just don't expect to make bank with this side business idea—I recommend combining it with another source of side income from this list of my best business ideas, and turning to surveys in your downtime when you need a little extra income.
You don’t need to have a degree in journalism to be a reporter these days (and pursue this business idea). Plus, there are many news websites that can always use a bit of help on getting local coverage. Some of them, such as The Examiner or HuffPost, will compensate contributors based on ad revenue generated per article written—a great incentive to provide compelling content to news organizations as your side business idea.
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:
Owning a home staging business is an ideal full or part-time business for creative people looking for a business they can run from home or a small office. Due to the nature of the industry, owners of a home staging business need to have a flexible schedule. Late nights and working during the weekends is typical. Some of the work may involve moving heavy furniture and other physical activities.
Dropshipping is one of the best side job ideas. It allows you to sell a product directly to the customer without having to buy any inventory. Why’s that great? You don’t invest any money to buy products, keeping your risk low. The manufacturer not only carries the inventory but he also ships it directly to the customer for you. Your main focus: marketing and customer service – the lifeline of the business. If you’ve got a strong marketing background and want a side hustle that plays to your strength, this is it. It’s one of the rare side jobs that allows you to scratch a true entrepreneurial itch. You get to be the owner of your very own business.

Everyone that buys a painting or has a nice photograph or a portrait made of their family may also need to have that work framed. Framing requires a specialized skill set that includes having craft-person talents, the ability to do simple carpentry, to know how to safely run a table saw, and have a good eye for pleasing aesthetic designs. You will need to understand color combinations and how to make a painting or a photo nicely framed to fit in well with the intended surroundings.
Not only can you start sourcing freelance writing gigs on the side from sites like Upwork, Cloudpeeps, and Flexjobs while holding onto your day job, but once you've built up your client base, it's a business you'll be able to run remotely from anywhere in the world. All you need is a laptop, an internet connection, and a solid list of regular employers.

I’ve actually fielded requests from others looking for people willing to do this, so the demand is out there. To put it simply, some people are willing to pay others to get a vegetable or flower garden started for them in their yard so they can have access to ultra-fresh produce without all the legwork. If you have a green thumb and some knowledge about the vegetables that grow well in your area, this would be an easy business to start.

As a freelance illustrator, you can take your skills in a number of directions. You might work for advertising agencies, stock image houses, magazine or book publishers, record labels, greeting card companies, digital properties, merchandisers, or other businesses. Some illustrators serve such narrow specialty niches as courtroom sketch artists, or niches in fashion, medicine, or technology. Or you might primarily work in fine art to be sold to customers directly or through galleries or agents.


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Everybody knows that finding (and landing) your dream job can be tough—especially when you've had the same position for a while and your resume is looking a little rusty. Before jumping in and becoming an expert resume writer, you'll have to learn how to write a resume on your own, and then practice by redoing resume's for your friends and co-workers. Next, you're ready to join a resume writers' association, continue establishing your credibility and you can eventually make your way into more hands-on career coaching opportunities.
If you’re still not having any luck with the jobs I've shared above – check out FlexJobs. The company has a A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau,  along with a money-back policy if you are unhappy with the website. FlexJobs guarantees that every single job is hand-screened for legitimacy. This is a great way to search for legitimate work at home jobs without the hassle of dealing with scams.

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 one of those people who can’t help but flip through bridal magazines and think about various wedding arrangements in your daydreams, wedding planning might be the perfect thing for you. A great way to get started is to develop a website or blog on the topic, get to know people online, and promote your services at local wedding venues and throughout the community.
This business is right for those who enjoy learning about technology and the challenge of restoring damaged items to like-new condition. Professionals in this business help conserve natural resources while helping customers preserve treasured photos and online communications as well as valuable software and digital content such as games, books, and music.
Christy Wright is a Certified Business Coach and Ramsey Personality with a passion for equipping women with the knowledge and steps they need to successfully run and grow a side business. Since joining Ramsey Solutions in 2009, she has spoken to thousands across the country at women’s conferences, national business conferences and Fortune 500 companies. You can follow Christy on Twitter at @ChristyBWright, online at businessboutique.com, or facebook.com/OfficialChristyWright.

Check out Christy Wright’s Business Boutique Podcast! In each episode you will hear from experts on topics like marketing and social media, plus inspirational stories from women just like you. You’ll also get practical advice and encouragement on how to run a successful side business without getting overwhelmed. Subscribe on iTunes today or listen online at BusinessBoutique.com!

If you’re looking for side jobs to make money, why not trying selling information products? This side hustle requires some research, invested time and marketing skills for you to flourish. Are there topics that are really popular right now that you know a lot about? Did you find a popular topic that there isn’t enough information about? Monetize these opportunities by creating content around it. You can publish books on Amazon or sell courses on Udemy.
So, I put together a free master course for you to take that spreads out all of the work involved in starting a blog, into a series of action-packed lessons. My free course breaks the entire process of starting a blog down into an incredibly simple 7-day process for going from 0 to publishing (and promoting) your first blog post in just 1 week. I can't recommend it enough.
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.
Another option for earning a side income is to deliver for PostMates. Similar to working for Uber and Lyft, you can work whenever you want. While the pay might not be enormous, you do have the ability to earn tips. If you're in a highly-trafficked area such as Los Angeles or New York City, this is a great way to earn some cash and you don't even need a car.
Working a side hustle is a great way to generate extra income, regardless of why you need it. If you're behind on savings (whether of the emergency or retirement variety), and your living expenses currently eat up your entire paycheck, then taking on a second gig could be the least painful means of catching up to where you need to be. (Your other choice, for the record, is to seriously cut back on your existing expenses, which could result in some serious lifestyle upheaval.)
The remote workforce is increasing, and if it’s something you’re interested in, you have more than enough options for whatever suits you and your career path. These are just the top-paying remote jobs — Check out job search sites to find the remote job that works for you. After all, who wouldn’t want to be more productive and cost effective, less stressed, and more engaged overall? The average American will spend one-third of their lives at work. It’s time to make your job work for you!
15 Become a DJ It goes without saying that you need a deep love of music and an extensive collection of tunes before you can even consider DJing, but as much of the work is at evenings and weekends, it could make a perfect side business. Be ready to cater for a range of crowds and musical preferences, not just your passion. Learn the ropes by concentrating first on weddings and birthday parties or by doing roadie work for an established DJ, which will gain you useful contacts.
It is amazing how this book has covered everything....everything you might need to know about generating income, searching for what may fit you, managing the funds, protecting your income, avoiding legalities, incorporating legalities, marketing, finances, and types of side businesses. You simply cannot go wrong, as there is just too much information.
A survey company creates, distributes, and analyzes surveys for a variety of businesses or special interests. The purpose is to collect feedback before deciding to alter policies or processes to improve efficiency and overall satisfaction. Owners may either work on a per-case basis, or choose to specialize in a specific niche. For example, a survey company that only administers surveys to students about their professors.
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.
If that isn’t enough, you can expand your services to include pet grooming as an extra side business idea. To do that, you'll need to have relevant training, an operating license depending on your location, and pet grooming equipment. According to PayScale, pet groomers have an average salary range of $17,600 to $48,500. Not bad as a side business  idea if you can find a way to get in most of your clients on the weekends.
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.
Everyone (even kids and retirees) need to have some level of technical know-how to stay competitive and appreciate the marvels of the digital age. Just observe how learning sites like Codecademy, Treehouse, and Udacity continue to grow and you’ll understand the urgency of getting computer training for our generation (thus making it a great business idea to train others if you already have the skills). If you’re a techie, you can cash in on this need by offering lessons and tutorials within your neighborhood or across cyberspace through portals like YouTube or Udemy as a side business idea. You can even set up your own tutorial site with an interface for online payments.
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Dreaming up, building and marketing an online store can be tough if you’re in a full-time job (be prepared to sacrifice your evenings and weekends). But once launched, an eCommerce store is one of the best ways to make money from the internet. It all begins with finding a profitable product niche. Something as simple as selling durian fruits online can turn out to be a winner, so don’t scrap any of your ideas without further research. Whether you’re making, manufacturing or sourcing your products from a supplier, it’s a good idea to think about private labeling and branding from the start. If you manage to establish a solid online presence and your side project takes off, you’re looking at an opportunity to earn a six-figure amount from running a branded online business.
Although babysitting is not a new business venture, the earning potential, as well as the technical aspects of the business have increased exponentially in recent years. Demand for qualified and reliable individuals to monitor and interact with children is growing daily. This service is generally provided either at the client’s residence, but can be offered in hotels, event venues, or in the babysitter’s home.
It’s a complete game changer. Making money via side businesses (or side hustles) gave me the confidence to quit my job and go out on my own four years ago. Having a few thousand dollars a month coming in on autopilot gave me the freedom to charge rich rates as a growth consultant, as I knew I’d be okay if they said no (for the record: they said yes and it worked well for both parties).

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!
Yes, you can turn your car into a money-maker by driving for Uber and Lyft, but there are other ways to convert mileage into money as a clever side business idea. One way is to do vehicle advertising, a potential side income source of anywhere between $100 to $600 per month. Whether you own a compact sedan or a full-sized bus, your vehicle’s exterior space is prime real estate for ads. Check Wrapify, carvertise, and similar sites for more details about getting started with this business idea and for being paired up with local advertisers.
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.
It’s a big risk to leave a stable job and venture out into territory unknown, which is exactly why many people decide to test the demand for their new business while still enjoying the benefits of a full-time salary. This works particularly well if the idea is new or you aren’t sure whether or not the product will go over well in your area. By not committing full-time to the business, you can maintain a safety net in case it doesn’t go as well as you hope.
It is amazing how this book has covered everything....everything you might need to know about generating income, searching for what may fit you, managing the funds, protecting your income, avoiding legalities, incorporating legalities, marketing, finances, and types of side businesses. You simply cannot go wrong, as there is just too much information.
Craft fairs are also a great side hustle. I do very well at high end, handmade only craft fairs and festivals. Its a marketplace that attracts people who prefer handmade and have the income to easily afford high end crafts. I am a baker/food crafter (not the same as a food vendor. Food crafts are jams, sauces, cookies, breads, toffee, honey, maple syrup, etc. – foods made at a kitchen and brought to the event, not prepared at the event like sandwiches and burgers, etc, made by food vendors). I make hand made baking mixes, an oatmeal bar cookie in 4 flavors and a gluten free truffle cookie in 3 flavors. As with farmers markets, craft fairs mean immediate cash. I accept credit cards, too. No waiting for a paycheck to come, as my hubbie is paid by-weekly.
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