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:
If you have the gift of gab, public speaking is a worthwhile side business idea for you to pursue. Many authors, medical practitioners, scientists, artisans, politicians, and other subject matter experts earn extra income by delivering speeches, seminars, and presentations. Professional motivational speakers earn an average annual salary of around $90,000 with just that portion of their income, making this a very realistic side business idea while you continue practicing your craft.
It’s also important that other people are already doing it because that means there’s a market for it. Your side hustle needs to be profitable – it has to make money. There is no point in starting a business that won’t be profitable. So, make sure there is a market for it. People mistakenly think that because an area already is filled with people making money that it’s too saturated, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. That just means there’s money to be made in that space.
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.

Anyone who is artistically inclined and enjoys animals may like running a pet portraits business. For those who like to draw, paint, or work with another medium, doing commissioned portraits is a great way to earn an income creating art. Loving animals helps business owners stay interested in their work even when they’re working on animal portraits several days in a row.
Affiliate marketing is the ideal way for any side hustle or to prosper. All they have to do is start a blog or website, preferably a self hosted WordPress blog, and start discussing a niche topic they’re passionate about. One thing I tell people about starting up a business online is a side hustle is that you have to be passionate about what you’re doing and not look at it as a second job. If a person loves doing what they’re doing as a hobby, it’ll transform into a full-time business and not only be more successful than hoped for, but will most likely end up becoming a millionaire and inspiring others to follow their lead. Becoming a millionaire is one thing. Appreciating the process and being thankful for the learning experiences is another.
A proofreader reviews the written word in its various forms for clients and corrects for spelling, punctuation, and typos. To start a proofreading business, you must have a strong command of language usage, spelling, and punctuation. Depending on your clientele, you might be reviewing and correcting the language used in books, magazine articles, web content, ads, packaging, student assignments, or virtually any other vehicle of written communication.
If you had a knack for standardized tests and had no trouble acing the SAT or ACT, you’ll find that many parents are eager to shell out upwards of $100 an hour for the right tutor to help their kids gain entrance to the college of their choice. Begin with this checklist for starting an SAT tutoring business and look into taking the route of tutoring student for their regular coursework, which will net you closer to $17 an hour. If you’re a credentialed teacher, or have special certifications, you’ll be able to charge much higher rates for the right students.
With dropshipping, you can start a business within any of your favorite passions. Do you love decorating your home? You can sell home decor products. Maybe you’re obsessed with fashion. You can start your own fashion store. If you love doing your makeup? You can sell beauty products and build an audience who follows along to your makeup tutorials. Almost any niche can be pursued with dropshipping. Plus, if you’re a creative type, you can run wild with your ideas. After all, as the owner of your own business, you’ll always have final say. Making this a great side hustle to start out with. 
But before you can graduate from side business idea and start earning a full-time living as a graphic designer, you'll need to build your skills—I recommend starting with reading the foundational book Graphic Design School and Steal Like an Artist, the incredible book by Austin Kleon about how to become more creative. To accelerate your education in becoming a graphic designer even quicker, check out the online courses Graphic Design Fundamentals and The Graphic Design Bootcamp. Then once you're an expert at your craft, you can further your education and move up to offering  more hands-on experiences like design sprints for higher-value clients around the world.
Fiverr is a great place for first-time freelancers who might not have tons of experience and want to build up a portfolio of their work. You'll be able to complete simple tasks ranging from logo design, to creating animations, or even drawing a company logo on your forehead. While this side business idea likely won't be growing into a million dollar startup for you, it can still be a platform for funding your next big business idea. Want to learn more about Fiverr's history and how to get the most out of selling on the platform? Listen to my interview with Fiverr CEO Micha Kaufman.
A friend’s son was a member of the Chess Club at his elementary school. He spent one day a week after school for an hour, learning how to play chess. His parents paid $40 for 8 weeks of this club. That money went to the leader who was teaching everyone how to play chess. He paid a small rental fee to the school, but everything after that cost was profit for him. This brilliant idea could be a side hustle for you on the weekends or evenings. This entrepreneur offered these services to four different schools, worked just an hour a day and was able to live on the money he made while going to college. This is definitely not limited to chess and could be offered at a local rec center, a church, or the library.  
Turning your favorite craft or hobby into a revenue-generating business idea easily counts among the most fulfilling experiences anyone can have. Just take a look at what Jacob Huss of Soteria Designs is doing wit his hobby of hand-building furniture and wood jewelry. With more and more people demanding a higher degree of personalization in just about anything they own or use, count yourself lucky if your craft happens to be the creation of custom furniture. Not only is the real estate sector regaining its footing, the number of style-conscious customers is also on the rise, creating plenty of room for growth into this business idea.
While the barriers to entry for a retail shop can be very high, one way to keep costs down and limit your time investment while you keep your full-time job, is to set up a weekend popup shop as a side business idea. More of whatever it is you’re selling—donuts, clothing, antique baseball cards, or anything else—will stay in your pockets instead of going to pay for operating expenses such as rent or utilities by choosing to pursue retail as a side business idea with a short-term rental. This guide from Shopify will give you a step-by-step process for getting your popup shop off the ground.

One huge driver of these price increases, of course, is the growth of WordPress and as building websites have gotten easier, more people have been willing to shell out pretty big bucks to get the exact domain they want. I currently own over 800 domains and a vast majority of them have a “Domain For Sale” landing page where visitors can submit an offer to me. I have them all set-up so unless an offer is over $1,000 then I don’t receive the email. So I don’t have to deal with lowballers.
Then you can move on to more immersive sales education through online courses like Sales Training and Prospecting on Udemy, The Guide to Pitching and Selling Clients on CreativeLive. Once you're ready to put your selling skills to the test, check out Angel List and see if any sales position opportunities align with your interests—the last thing you want to do is get stuck selling products or services you're not interested in. However, by starting out your sales career as a side business idea, that gives you the flexibility to easily change courses if you ever need to.
If you’re forced to disclose the fact, it might make your employer suspicious of your on-site activities and cause them to watch you more closely. On the other hand, it may make them see you in a new light and open opportunities for you with the company. Either way, you’ll have to carefully consider whether or not your employer has the right to know what you’re doing, and what, if anything, is at risk if you don’t tell.
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.

I started this blog in February of ’08 simply as a hobby, and two years later it became my full-time “job.” when I realized there was money to be made (a total fluke that I jumped all over!) Now, 4 years after that, here we still are and having the time of my life. So you really never know what opportunities are around the corner when you start hustling. But you do need to grab them when they cross your path.


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.


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.
Detailing cars is a great way to make a few extra dollars. You can start this business with a few supplies and some networking. You can start in your local neighborhood, advertise on Facebook, and offer discounts during holidays. This is a great gift people can give new graduates or dads for Father’s Day so be sure to mention this when trying to sell people on your service.
This business is right for an individual who has an affinity for the written word and language in general. If you are a voracious reader, enjoy expressing yourself, and have a way with words, you should give consideration to working as a freelance writer. This line of work is also ideal for those who enjoy autonomy. The typical freelance writer does not have to deal with an overbearing boss. However, freelance writers must meet tight deadlines, satisfy clients' nuanced demands, and create captivating content.
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!
A pet waste removal business eliminates pet waste from customers' yards. This is an essential service that beautifies properties, improves cleanliness, and reduces the chances of illness. Though most pet waste removal business owners remove dog waste from yards, services can extend to emptying cat litter boxes and the waste spaces of other animals.
Companies of all kinds are looking for mystery shoppers. Mystery shoppers buy in secret, documenting their experiences with the retailer. This can be done at a physical store or an online store. If you do a simple search on becoming a mystery shopper, you can likely locate several services that will assist you. Or, you can simply contact companies directly to pitch your mystery shopping services to them.
Live in a destination where travelers frequently visit? If you love meeting new people from around the world and also love the city you live in, starting your own local tour company is arguably the best business idea that will give you both of those perks. Take a unique spin on your local tour business like Erik from Vantigo. He was starting his VW van tour business in San Francisco as just a side business idea while he was still working a full-time job, and grew it to being a sustainable source of full-time income before quitting—now he's running a multiple van tour company on the back of what originally began as a crazy side business idea.
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.
An Airbnb is a great way to add some extra income, especially if you have unused rooms or lots of space in your house. You will have guests staying in your home, so you should be comfortable talking and interacting with guests. Some homeowners, who travel often, will also rent out their homes when they are out of town. This allows them to receive income and have someone watching their home when they’re not around.
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.
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.
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 fun little way to personalize things around the home and office, magnets are also practical tools for attaching notes to the fridge and highlighting your to-do list at work. You can create your own magnets from scratch or you can purchase magnets from a wholesale vendor online. It just depends on how much time and money you want to put into this side business idea.

I’ve never worked as a freelance writer for any websites because I was never able to find lucrative enough gigs. I didn’t want to write posts for $200-$300 each. I wanted to get paid to write $5,000 – $10,000 reports! So I haven’t written as a freelancer for any websites, but what I have done quite a bit of is write white papers for companies. Here’s basically how it works. Consulting companies, engineering firms, law firms, and tons of other professional service firms like to put out “thought leadership” reports which basically are blog/research reports on steroids. Sometimes they are pretty big.

That prob helps, yeah :) Also if you hustle hard during holidays and weekends and rush hours, at least from what I’ve read… I’ve never tried it as I’m always glued to my online hustles, but if you could actually do both at the same time that would be even better! Haha… Just bring a laptop and wifi hotspot with you while you’re waiting around town :)
With pet specialty stores and dog-friendly restaurants becoming the new norm, more and more families are embracing the idea of openly expressing their love for their pets. Pet photographers, whether working in teams or as individuals, are there to catch a family’s four-legged loved one in action. Whether at an adoption event, dog show, horse race, or private photo shoot, these moments are captured on film, delivering pet lovers a keepsake they’ll cherish forever.
Being a Loan Signing Agent is a great side hustle because you can make $75 to $200 per hour-long appointment working for yourself on your own schedule. Retired people, working professionals, and students can be signing agents and earn extra cash when they want. The best part is you need nothing more than a notary commission (which can often be attained by simply filling out an application)!

Martial Arts, huh? I teach too, and have found that when I want to offer a new class I give a free workshop. If you went around to the non-profits, churches and other type of groups and offer a free 1 hour talk on self defense with a question and answer period you’d get your name out there as the go to person to learn self defense. Set up a page on facebook, instagram on tips for self defense and invite people to follow you. 80% good info and 20% Hey hire me to train you. Bet you’d get a large following within 6 months. Let us know how it goes. Good luck

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