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.
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.
Web designers are incredibly valuable for technology companies—which is why becoming a freelance web designer is a top side business idea today. Web design is all about mastering the art of creating a beautiful, value-driven experience for the people using a website or app. There are always new websites popping up in need of professional web design, and foundational books like HTML & CSS: Design and Build Websites by acclaimed web designer Jon Duckett and Don't Make Me Think by user experience legend Steve Krug will get you started down the right path to quickly determining whether or not becoming a web designer is a viable side business idea for you.
Instead of having to open up your brick and mortar store, sell your creations on Etsy. Whether you make clothing, crafts, baby toys, or jewelry, you can open up your own store at Etsy. I have a friend selling her awesome clothing line on Etsy and it brings in a very nice income for the family. This is another great side hustle, but don’t expect instant results. You may need to be patient for this one.
I remember staying up until 2am to start my blog on a work night (and I am in bed at 9pm normally!). I was so excited, I couldn’t help myself but go all in and start. This is the type of enthusiasm that works really well with starting a side hustle. The more excited, committed, and focused you are, the more likely you’ll be disciplined and therefore, successful.
Similarly, if you have a particular financial goal in mind, working a side hustle can help you get there more quickly. Imagine you're aiming to buy a home and need $20,000 for a down payment. If your current salary and expenses only allow for $300 a month in savings, and you manage to earn another $300 a month from a side hustle, you'll reach your goal in half the time.
It sounds too good to be true—getting paid to represent your favorite brands at events across the nation. But, if you have a friendly and outgoing personality (a growing social media following helps too), you can forge a potentially paid relationship as a brand ambassador with companies who want to reach other people within your community with this side business idea. As a Brand Ambassador, you do anything from demoing the latest technology, to passing out free swag at music festivals, to going on nationwide tours, to pumping people up as a mascot, and more. Depending upon the gig, you can expect to earn anywhere from $18-$100/hr. You can get started as early as this weekend by joining the Brand Ambassador Facebook group for your nearest major city (e.g. join the "Brand Ambassadors of Seattle" group if you live in/near Seattle). Once you've been approved to the group, you'll get access to daily job postings from big brands and agencies with opportunities in your area. All you need to do is submit your resume and headshot to apply. For a step-by-step guide on how to get hired for the best gigs and the highest pay rates, I recommend checking out The Brand Ambassador Blueprint.
Christmas, Halloween, Easter, Yuletide, Hanukkah, Valentine’s Day, Chinese New Year, 4th of July, Mother’s Day. There are a ton of traditional holidays that count as solid reasons to explore the side business idea of crafting and selling seasonal decorations. After all, people and businesses pay good money for them. In fact, total sales of Christmas trees in the U.S. alone amounted to a whopping $1.04 billion in 2014. And you still have holiday lights, nativity scenes, crafted hangings, baskets, wreaths, and other decorations to cover, making this a potentially year-round seasonal side business idea.
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.
Briefly, successful niche websites rely on tapping into underserved topics and niches and using various monetization techniques, such as display advertising, sponsored posts, affiliate marketing, selling digital products or even plugging in eCommerce elements to lay a foundation for a passive income strategy. For some inspiration, read the FoodTruckr story (a website for buying and selling food trucks) and how it found its success online purely by chance.
Freelancing can be an excellent way to take your existing skills and channel them in a direction that can generate income. Are you a writer? Consider using freelance writing to fund your startup. Flexible hours, ability to work from anywhere, and virtually no materials needed beyond your computer and internet access—freelancing is a dream side business.
While this suggestion could not be further from the standard small business loan, it cannot be denied that the strategy paid off. The company has now earned around $1.65 million in seed funding from Andreessen Horowitz, CrunchFund, Spark Capital and Chicago Ventures, and has been named one of the Top 5 Silicon Beach Startups to Watch by Entrepreneur.
A photo booth business gives passersby the ability to take photos during gatherings and local events. Typically, photo booths are situated at parties, weddings, movie theaters and similar locations. Modern photo booth businesses give customers a variety of photo-taking options. While some photo booths have background props, others have digital amenities and social media sharing options. Generally, the photos are digital. They can also be printed once they’ve been taken. Photo booths are normally situated outside large event spaces. They’re used at concerts, movie theaters, at parties, during weddings, on the beach and in a variety of other places.
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.
If sales and marketing isn’t your forte you can use a platform like Upwork or Freelancer.com who have large active audiences already looking for your skills. The kicker there is that these platforms tend to take a significant cut of your fees. If you want to keep 100% of your dough you can handle the sales process yourself and start by reaching out to local businesses or focus on a specific niche.
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?
So, you have a great idea for a new business? The thing is, getting started isn’t as straightforward as some people make it sound. What if you need a little help getting it off the ground? In addition to creating a solid business plan, marketing your business, and a host of other details you’ll be considering, a lot of your time will probably be spent thinking about how to fund your new venture.
As an online marketer and a software engineer, I am obsessed with sales funnels. However, many people struggle with creating the proper funnel that converts. It takes a high degree of technical and marketing knowledge. However, ClickFunnels, a SaaS business with over 40,000 customers, which was started by Russell Brunson, takes all the guesswork out of that. Build a sales funnel and automate your selling with a platform like this.
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.
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!
I love creating new business forms and have recently been thinking about putting my forms out on the internet for some passive income. I was thinking free “as is”, $5 to have company information added in a header, and more dollars for a custom made form. I’m looking to learn the best way to get it out there. I just found your blogs this evening and look forward to reading many of them. Thank you in advance for all the excellent information that I will be using.