As you can see, you don't have to spend thousands of dollars to start a side business. The 11 ideas above only scratch the surface of the types of side business you can start to make extra money. Plus, who knows? You might even be able to turn your side hustle into a full-time career today. Start small with an equally small investment, and see where it takes you!

It’s funny that you put baking of all things on this list. I’d often considered the idea of baking cookies and things and selling them on Facebook garage sale sites and things like that – until I made Christmas cookies last week and found out how difficult it is. Let’s just say it gave me a healthy appreciate for the people who make all the tasty desserts I regularly enjoy!

This business is perfect for seasoned business owners or upper level managers who are looking for a career change. A business consulting firm must be experienced in business management, marketing, and team building and management. They must also understand how to generate revenue from a wide range of businesses and expand existing streams of income.
We all wear clothes (at least some of the time). Which, of course, makes the business idea of cleaning soiled laundry an obvious hit. In fact, the self-service laundromat industry in the US is worth more than $3 billion, with many related businesses such as a mobile app laundry service, a real rolling mobile laundry service, and home laundry pickup & delivery services springing up each year. Here’s one way you can cash in on the trend as a side business idea.

Side Hustles are one of my favorite methods of making extra money, and I love encouraging my readers to start up a side hustle. This blog originally began as a side hustle and l never imagined that it would become my full time job. (Click here to see how to start a blog, or here to learn how I made $160k from my blog side hustle.) But side hustles don't start from nothing. 99.9% of “side gigs” have to be actively managed (and grown!) “on the side” – often on top of full time work. Balancing a full-time job and a side business is not for the “faint of heart”, but it can be done. Below is my guide for how to make it happen and how to (eventually) quit your job and do your side hustle FULL TIME.


The firm wants to look smart on a topic and then use the white paper as part of their sales strategy. The funny thing about these reports is that very few companies actually write them – they hire freelancers to do it. If you were good at writing college papers then you will be awesome at writing white papers. I’ve written papers on all kinds of things and even hired my own researcher in India to do most of the fact finding for me. Always be hustling! A great place to look for these gigs is on Craigslist or through networking at local corporate events. If you go in expressing interest in white paper writing you can find likely find some gigs.
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.
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.
Companies have different rules about employees working other jobs. Study your employer’s rules regarding what they expect from you if you open a side business. If you intend to offer a competing product or service, you may risk losing your job, particularly if you signed a non-compete clause when you first started. You could even be subject to a lawsuit if you market a product or idea you came up with while working your full-time job.
If you aren’t familiar with the term, bootstrapping, also known as “self-funding,” refers to the various methods entrepreneurs can use to fund their startups beyond funding sources like small business loans. The phrase, based around the popular idea of individuals “pulling themselves up by their bootstraps,” refers to doing something without outside help—in this instance, funding your business.

Once you have a regular audience (ideally in the thousands), you'll start to develop a lot of value to potential advertisers. Let's say your podcast frequently talks about life as an outdoor photographer. A natural fit would be to reach out to relevant magazines, gear companies, and camera brands to see if they'd be interested in advertising on your podcast of targeted listeners. The more niche your podcast topic, the better for future sponsorship opportunities.
I no longer build WordPress sites, but back in the day I easily built over 100 of them and worked on even more. I was an OG WordPress adoptor and loved building websites for anyone who needed one. I got my early clients from Craigslist and eLance (now UpWork) and started building websites for law offices, consulting firms, non-profits, churches, real estate companies, and e-commerce startups.
Domain name trading has been around for the last couple decades, and while most slam-dunk names have long been sold off (Insure.com went for $16 Million in 2009) there’s still plenty of others that you can get your hands on for relatively cheap and broker as your side business idea. But beware: some experts doubt the long-term viability of this business idea, so you shouldn’t quit your day job just to put all your effort into this one without some successes already in the bag. To get you started, here are some tips from GoDaddy, arguably the world’s largest and most famous repository of domain names. Imagine owning desirable domain names for the next decade's most innovative companies.
Make sure your intended market is broad enough to sustain the business. Many new business owners mistakenly offer a product or service that only a select few want, without specifically targeting that market. Especially with a side business, it helps to have a broad audience. But even if your market is niche, make sure it’s large enough to sustain your business. Remember, your marketing efforts may be limited and you’ll need to reach more people with less effort.
An acting classes business provides group or one-on-one classes in acting for adults or children. As the owner of an acting classes business, you’ll provide training, coaching and support to those who are considering getting into the acting business or those already in the business who would like to improve their chances of landing a role. Most business owners in this field will want to find a niche. For instance, you might work with children, or with a career-oriented adult audience interested in stage acting, film, commercials, voice-over work or other areas of specialization.
Obviously, this business is good for those who are great at taking tests and have already taken many standardized tests. It is a great business for a current or former educator, as this helps you in teaching fundamentals of test-taking to customers. Above all, it is great for those who want to improve their local community by helping people get into the universities and programs of their dreams and better themselves.

Companies have different rules about employees working other jobs. Study your employer’s rules regarding what they expect from you if you open a side business. If you intend to offer a competing product or service, you may risk losing your job, particularly if you signed a non-compete clause when you first started. You could even be subject to a lawsuit if you market a product or idea you came up with while working your full-time job.
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.
Blogging is often the first idea that springs to mind when the conversation turns to online side businesses. And rightly so. Thousands of bloggers around the world are successfully making money off their talent to write, and the best thing about this hustle is that there’s no right way to do it. First, let’s establish the fact that blogging itself is rarely profitable. Bear with me. Blogging is like a train station – the more trains you have running, the better are your chances of turning a profit. Establishing several streams of income is key to turning your blog into a self-sustaining side business. So let’s back up a little.
Consider whether you'll need to lease office or retail space, or whether you can operate your business from your home. If you're thinking of running your side business out of your home (whether long-term or just at first), you need to check the zoning regulations in your city or county and make sure home-based businesses are permitted. This may be a problem particularly if you plan to invite customers or clients into your home on a regular basis.
I didn’t launch Millennial Money to make money. I launched it because I really like thinking and writing about money. I also feel like it’s my personal mission to share sound financial advice and spread financial literacy. It just so happens that pretty much everything I get interested in turns into a business opportunity. The money from the blog is simply a by-product of my passion for writing. If you don’t enjoy writing then don’t start a blog – you really have to love writing.

Earning money on GigWalk is similar to working on Task Rabbit—not a bad side business idea if you've got the free time. You get to choose from an amusingly diverse range of jobs from taking snapshots of restaurant menus to counting the items arrayed on supermarket racks. It won’t make you rich though, with payouts tending to congregate in the lower half of their $3-to-$100 range. But, if you're looking for a steady little side business idea, it can't hurt doing a strange but fun errand and getting a tip at the end. When you’re bored or a little short on cash, you can access GigWalk anytime, anywhere via their mobile app. Meanwhile, all the jobs specifically vetted for you will be within reach (ideally, just a brisk walk away).
Though illustrating can sometimes be a slow process, if you’re capable of making high-quality images in a short time, you can supplement your income with an illustration business. Cartooning, sketching, and such are in-demand and being able to provide these services can set you up with a steady stream of clients while you work a limited number of hours a week.
just came across your site a couple of hours ago while googling “how to do a hustle legally”…checked out a couple of sites, but signed up for RentAFriend. Now I am waiting for approval from them. Thanks for listing them! I call myself a Transplantedphoenician because I have moved here from Iowa with my partner (whom I met there), after he decided to come back to Phoenix. I literally thought (when he offered for me to join him), “what the hell?! I don’t have family in this town anymore!” Been the best decision in my life…both health wise and now (hopefully) friend wise too!
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.

Freelance Writing Tip: The best freelance writing opportunities are on ProBlogger. It’s the platform I used to find freelance work here at Oberlo. I also landed a few other top clients from the side job website. On average, the best paying freelance jobs are on there. However, if you’re just starting out, you might want to focus on building your portfolio and skillset on Fiverr, Craigslist or Upwork first as it’s easier to land your first few clients on those websites.
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.
Now that you’ve thought through the myriad of reasons to start a business on the side, the next step is to know what to expect. Some people think a side business will be easy and won’t take much effort. After all, it’s a side business right? Unfortunately, that’s simply not the case. A side business has many of the same challenges and issues a full-time business has. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind.
Carpets make your home warm and cozy. But they also tend to gather dust, grime, stains, allergens and bugs over time. You can tap into this opportunity by launching a carpet cleaning side business idea or serving as an independent contract cleaner in your free time. Either way, you’ll need to invest in proper equipment such as vacuum cleaners, carpet brushes, and cleaning chemicals in order to launch this business idea. Look into the possibility of renting equipment for a full weekend and lining up 5-10 clients to service, to offset your rental costs. If you turn a healthy profit, you'll eventually be able to invest in owning your own equipment and increase your margins, thus going from side hustle to serious business.
Got a thing for numbers? Plenty of companies need to hire talented contractors who are good at data analysis, making this a potentially lucrative side business idea if you have the right credentials and experience. Platforms like Upwork and Digiserved are but a two of many websites that are great for freelancers with an analytical prowess, looking for extra work as a side business idea around their full-time jobs.

In addition to being a meticulous writer from a mechanical standpoint, you must be the kind of person who pays close attention to detail. Keep in mind, a proofreader is not the same as an editor. You’re not reviewing what your clients are trying to communicate, but rather how they write it in terms of spelling, punctuation, typographical errors, and word usage.
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.

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As a soapmaker, you'll formulate soaps and perhaps other personal cleansing and beauty products according to your own recipes. You will market your offerings along sales channels that might include ecommerce, farmers markets, arts festivals, wholesale placement in spas and boutiques, and even door-to-door sales. You'll explore a range of options to see where you can find a loyal customer base.
The firm wants to look smart on a topic and then use the white paper as part of their sales strategy. The funny thing about these reports is that very few companies actually write them – they hire freelancers to do it. If you were good at writing college papers then you will be awesome at writing white papers. I’ve written papers on all kinds of things and even hired my own researcher in India to do most of the fact finding for me. Always be hustling! A great place to look for these gigs is on Craigslist or through networking at local corporate events. If you go in expressing interest in white paper writing you can find likely find some gigs.
Being a wedding specialist works well for top-notch players, but being a generalist also has its benefits. Event and party planners leverage their network of service providers to cover not only weddings, but also seminars, corporate events, birthdays, baptisms, concerts, conferences, holiday parties, and other events, making it a relatively diverse business idea. Here are some tips if you want to run a part-time event planning business at home as a side business idea. And here’s a very honest look into the upside and downside of the trade.
Live bands are paid to perform music professionally before audiences in bars, nightclubs, concerts, private parties, corporate events, and other public venues. Peripheral revenue can be generated through the sale of recordings and merchandise. In addition to the group’s musicians, ownership in the business can include its manager and anyone else with a financial stake.
There’s a reason plenty of entrepreneurs don’t quit their day jobs—innumerable startups have come into existence as a result of the daily nine to five grind. Joseph Howard maintains his full time job, in addition to freelance work and channeling his energy into his two startup ventures. The combination of freelance work and his full time employment gives Joseph the financial freedom to work on multiple projects at once.
For example, you can promote yourself as someone who is available when others usually aren’t – after regular business hours and on weekends. Get your clients used to your schedule by listing your hours on your business cards, stationary, website, and voice mail. If they know in advance not to expect a return call until after five, they won’t be irritated when it happens.
This is the BEST list that I have seen in a long while. I have so many tabs open from clicking on these links! I am a current high school senior but I’ve been side hustling practically my entire life, from lemonade stands and my childhood “art” to selling on Ebay, and pretty soon, on Etsy. This list gave me some great ideas and advice and I can’t wait to put them into practice!
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