Does your job offer you the flexibility and adequate revenue to help you fund your startup? If so, you might be set. While you can certainly supplement your income by combining your day job with one of these side businesses, consider thinking of your full time employment as a means to an end, and focusing any extra income after living expenses into your startup.
Let’s face it, times are tough. The unemployment rate is high and the cost of gas and food prices are on the rise. Out of necessity, many people have started to look for ways to supplement their income. Some have succeeded with side business ideas while they continue to work a full-time job. But that’s a big step, and many don’t realize how much time, effort, and money it takes.
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.
I live in Phoenix where it will hover at 116°F during the summer. I also see a guy selling snow cones and water for a premium. I asked him how business was recently – he smiled and said “Business is gooooooood”. Buy a case of water at Costco for $0.12 a bottle and resell them for $2 wherever it is HOT. Who wouldn’t pay $2 for ice-cold water during the dog days of summer?
Nothing beats teaching more novice learners about your passion, hobby, or craft as a business idea (that's a common theme here). Explore dozens of DIY portals (such as DIY.org, DIY Network, Instructables and Mahalo) to get business ideas on how to earn a healthy side income just by showing others how to do the things you love. You can also sift through the countless ad-supported YouTube channels that teach just about anything from guitar strumming to 3D printing.
Although it is called Fiverr, you will only be netting just under $4 after Fiverr takes the first 20% and Paypal takes a few more pennies. However, there are many things you may be able to do quickly for $4. A quick design, a quick voice over if you have that deep sexy voice, or creating a quick intro video for a company in a matter of minutes for you techy type may get you some quick and painless cash. Also, if you sell enough, keep a good rating, and Fiverr likes you, there are levels you can advance inside Fiverr for higher cash payouts and more gig offers.
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.
Much like a live streaming business, a podcasting business takes a hobby and turns it into a profitable business. You might really enjoy talking about a certain TV show, a sport or hobby, or any number of things. As long as you can dedicate enough time to write and record your podcast, this business can serve as a great way to make extra money while doing something you really enjoy.
My events are seasonal (May-December here in Massachusetts) and some vendor fees need to be paid months ahead of time to secure a space in a well attended show. This is a great opportunity for peer to peer lending! My best fairs cost between $125 to $250 to get in, but I can make $1200 or more at those shows. My 2 sisters invest in my biz early in the year so I can pay those vendor fees during my slow season (Jan-May) when I don’t have much income from my biz. I pay 10% interest on their investment, which is usually about $1500, and pay them back by the end of December. 10% is much more than they would get leaving that money in their bank account. If I had the funding, I would go to farmers markets and fairs and talk to the crafters/vendors about my peer to peer lending services because most of the vendors I know struggle with paying those fees which are due during their slow season.
I struggled with creating spreadsheets to track my progress because it’s the least sexiest thing about blogging (for me, anyways!). But since I started doing it the right way, and checking in to update my progress every Sunday night, I can evaluate what’s working and what’s not. The results have been amazing. I wouldn’t be able to get this type of insight without tracking my numbers.
People drawn to this business have a keen aesthetic eye for the details that make a framed item attractive. They also like to interface with the public and encourage their customers’ personal style and expression in how a customer wants something framed. A custom framing shop is all about serving others to help them make their decorative ideas come true.
Pet sitting businesses offer pet owners a variety of animal care services, including exercising their pets while they are at work. They also provide an affordable alternative to boarding pets at a kennel during vacations or business trips. Being able to remain in their own home environment can reduce separation anxiety for both pets and their owners.
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.
This business is great for veterans of yard sales and thrift shops—basically, anyone with a good eye for finding surprising items at low prices. It's also good for those with an eye for style and design, so you are able to see not just what the worn down furniture is but what it could be after some modifications. Finally, it's good for those with sales experience, as the job may involve a lot of individual interaction with a variety of customers.
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.
If you enjoy writing and have a talent for words, then this popular side business idea is right up your alley. Start by creating quality content and building up a subscriber base among your readers. Monetize your blog by featuring advertising, adding products to sell, and setting up affiliate marketing. Between these different revenue streams, you can earn a nice profit from something you already enjoy doing.
Who doesn’t love a good t-shirt? This is one of our favorite online side business ideas, because you have the opportunity to be as wildly creative or tactfully simple as you want. Start out with a specific niche and build your business from there. When you have a sense of your personal niche, sketch out some designs (if you already have them, great!), decide the type of material you want to use for your shirts, and have your branding implemented.
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!
Many gymnasiums will trade membership and often a bit more for a person willing and able to teach an exercise class. You can also find people who don’t want to go to a gym and train them at home as a personal trainer. If you’re in good shape, this is a great opportunity to earn some extra money, plus it can often lead to additional income with one-on-one instruction opportunities.
Whether in the classroom, at the grocery store, or on a job site, there’s always the potential that someone could need immediate, life saving medical assistance. Many SCA victims require defibrillation within 4 minutes of an attack, yet it takes emergency medical personnel 8-12 minutes to arrive after an emergency call is placed. Your assistance in training individuals and workplace teams will, undoubtedly, save someone’s life.
If you think you’re busy now, wait until you have a company to run. Even side businesses take up loads of time, especially in the beginning stages when you are just setting up your systems and trying to attract customers. You’ll be working after your day job during the week and most likely on weekends too. This will limit the time you have for your family and personal relationships. Think carefully about the time commitment and consider what it will take to start your business.
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.
Using your skills for profit is a common trend with all of the best side business ideas. If you're an expert at something, there's likely an audience of people online who would be willing to pay to become an expert in your field—just like you. If you want to take your skills and turn them into an online course that teaches others how to get the same results you've achieved in your life, career, or business, start with How to Create an Awesome Online Course on Udemy, where instructor Miguel Hernandez covers how he makes over $90,000/yr teaching online. You'll learn from more than 8 hours of video instruction.
If editing and advising college students on how to write compelling 500 word essays on topics such as "You were just invited to speak at the White House. Write your speech," seems like a compelling business idea to allocate your free time towards, trust me—tons of parents will pay you to edit admissions essays and offer constructive feedback for their children. Be careful not to blur the ethical line of actually writing their essays, but serving as an editor to help them convey their message can become a great side business idea that has the potential to spread by word-of-mouth referral in your community.
Imagine this scenario: You’re at work and a customer from your side business calls your personal cell phone. He has a problem with a product you delivered the night before and needs you to fix it immediately. If you don’t, he’ll refuse to pay for it and you’ll have to eat the expense. But you also have a project that’s due in a few hours at work that can’t be late. What do you do?
After you’re certified, you can more or less set your own hours. Driving schools are always in-demand so you can be sure you’ll always have a steady stream of customers. That said, this business really starts to pick up in the warmer months, so you can also take advantage of the seasonality and take it into consideration when considering it as a side business.
If you enjoy writing, find a topic you’re passionate about and start a website dedicated to covering that topic and anything else interesting you want to talk about. All you need is a computer, some time, and some energy to consistently write. It can start as a hobby and turn into a business over time. And blog hosting can cost less than $12 per month.
Many small companies and startups now outsource jobs that aren’t part of their core business (such as HR, admin, and accounting), which makes this skill set a great opportunity for starting a side business idea that engages your number prowess. Because companies always need to track their cash flow, freelance accountants and bookkeepers can really benefit from the increasing demand for part-time help.
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.