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.
Hello and thank you for the great article. I have been reading where you can use side hustles to contribute to self-managed retirement plans (aka Self 401k). Many of these gigs seem cash based – anyone out there contributing to their own Self 401k/Sep/Easy accounts? If so, what documentation is required to support the connections between the side hustle and the contributions to the self managed retirement plan?
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.
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Keep in mind that competition is fierce right now; many people turned to freelancing when the recession hit to earn some extra money on the side. So you’re going to have to fight your way into this market. The good news, however, is that quality writing never goes out of style, and there’s far more bad writers out there than great ones. So if you’re good and you’re persistent, you’re going to find work.
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.
If you have a talent for helping people look their best, and know how to mesmerize with eyeliners and turn heads with lipsticks, consider using your beauty skills to pursue this easily profitable side business idea. For under $2000, you can start your own make-up artist business which can make for the foundation of a potentially lucrative side business idea that turns a profit largely by referrals and word-of-mouth from your happy customers.

A jam business makes different flavors of jams and jellies, which are packaged into jars for distribution. Businesses may sell their jams to customers directly, or they might sell to retailers. These spreads are put on toast, used in cookies and cakes, and incorporated into many other foods. Jam businesses make different flavors of jams and jellies, which are sold to customers either directly or through retailers.
Another flexible non-phone option in the educational field is test scoring. There are a few reputable companies that do hire home-based workers to score everything from standardized tests to essays. Before you apply, you should know that ETS and Pearson (listed below) do require that you have certain qualifications and/or past teaching experience before they'll let you become a scorer. WriteScore on the other hand requires just a two-year college degree.
Someone out there is remodeling their kitchen and needs to know which shade of granite will match best with mahogany flooring. That someone will often be happy to pay you for your advice, especially if you’re the kind of person that subscribes to websites like Contemporist and you have the motivation to turn this business idea into a money-making enterprise.
If you're operating your business as a sole proprietorship in the United States, you don't technically need an EIN for the business – you can file taxes for your business along with your personal taxes. However, you may want one if you want to open a bank account for your business, or if you don't want your Social Security number to appear on business documents.
Sometimes it seems like there’s an app for everything. Yet somehow, new ones keep popping up and selling for lots of money, all the time. If you spot a niche that hasn’t been filled to its potential just yet, and you can learn the coding skills (or know someone who already has them), you could be on to something with this side business idea. Today, it's even possible to build an app without any coding skills whatsoever. Just make sure you validate your app idea before jumping too far in. Even if your app business idea doesn't pan out to be a best-seller, you'll still pick up valuable skills.
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.

Many small businesses need a social media manager and simply don't have the time nor the expertise to be constantly posting on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat or Twitter. Take it upon yourself to contact local businesses and offer up your services for a contracted monthly fee. This is an easy way to make money no matter where you live.

Resale businesses contribute to environmental sustainability by recycling clothing, furniture, and other household items. Many resale businesses operate online, while others maintain physical stores within local communities. Some accept donations only on-site, while others provide pickup services. Resale business owners and employees create attractive displays that change frequently according to available goods and the popularity of particular brands or items. Typically, resale business owners maintain mutually beneficial relationships with charitable community organizations as well as their regular customers.


If you have a fondness for taking pictures of smiling families or laughing children blowing bubbles, consider becoming a stock photographer and selling your images to a stock photo company like Unsplash, ShutterStock and iStockPhoto as a side business idea. You’ll get royalties every time someone licenses an image you’ve submitted. To really be successful, build your own photography website to be able to showcase your portfolio and start getting higher-paid private corporate work.
Starting a website can be a great way to build some side income in a fairly passive manner. Start a blog if you have interesting, unique, and informative stuff to tell your readers. You can then make money on advertising or having people pay for educational products or tools you produce. Or create a website that brings together buyers and sellers of a niche product from which you can charge a subscription or transaction fee. The key is to think outside the box and come up with an idea that can provide a unique solution for people. And even if you want to produce a website that is similar to ones already out there, do it bigger and better and find a way to differentiate yourself!
Of all the suggestions on our list, driving for Uber has unique perks: no time spent on your feet, and not all that intellectually challenging. There is a lot to be said for a side business that still enables you to focus your mental and physical energy into your dream startup, so if you are concerned that a side business like freelancing may stretch you to capacity, driving for Uber might be a good fit.
Successful ghostwriters must like to work in the background and have no interest in gaining popularity through writing. They need to be adaptable and flexible, both in their writing style and their work schedule. At the same time, ghostwriters require the self-discipline to remain on task and see a project through by delivering exactly what they promise.
Job description: "Join a technology-first team dedicated to building the greatest recruiting software available. You'll enjoy working on the latest web technologies in our ever-evolving stack and have significant input into product direction, technology decisions and development priorities. You'll be adding features to our ATS product and growing our services, as well as helping to maintain our application, write automated tests, work with other developers remotely and deploy code to production regularly."
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.
It’s not on this list but Brand Ambassador/Promo work is another very flexible, fun, and lucrative side hustle! Basically you promote your favorite brands at awesome events (e.g. handing out Red Bull or demoing new products at high foot traffic areas). I created an entire resource website on how to succeed in this industry called “Brand Ambassador World”. It has everything from resume designs, to super helpful tips and tricks, to where to find promo gigs, to a comprehensive list of agencies, etc.
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